Journal

A blog about building compelling digital products and experiences.

New Chrome Extension Keeps Cavs Celebration Alive

Keep the winning feeling alive, Cleveland!

With this revolutionary new Google Chrome extension, you can relive the excitement of the 2016 Cavaliers Championship every day. This innovative extension will make subtle changes to the websites you visit, and keep the spirit of victory alive in us.

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Semantics and UX of Pure CSS3 Accordions

There are many examples online of pure CSS3 accordions. Many of these accordions use a combination of anchor elements with the :target pseudo-class while others use a combination of labels and checkboxes with the :checked pseudo-class. Either approach is certainly functional, but which is the right way? Perhaps the better question would be is there a right way? I believe the answer can be found in the underlying semantics and UX.

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Ruby on Rails Sparkpost RubyGem

If you have a Ruby on Rails app sending email through Mandrill, you may be feeling a bit squeezed right now. Mandrill’s recent announcement, to combine the service with paid monthly MailChimp plans, caused us some problems with our low volume services.

As a result, we’ve moved several of our applications over to SparkPost.

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How to Manage Budget and Deadlines on Agile Projects

Software projects are notorious for taking longer than expected to deliver. As a result, those projects cost more than expected. Usually the fingers point at project managers in those situations, but that's not always just. In my experience, those original expectations are to blame.

These expectations are unreliable, and often untrue. Hanging your project plan from a scaffolding of unrealistic expectations is dangerous. There is a better way.

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The Dangers, and Benefits, of Software Fidelity

Cost is a fundamental constraint of all software projects. Engineering software is a complex practice, full of rabbit trails and unexpected twists and turns. Agile methodologies guide us through these precarious situations by embracing the reality that they will happen — keeping us on our toes. This keeps timing and costs visible at all times, so that we make smart decisions in the face of uncertainty.

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Five Things Every Executive Needs to Know about Ideation

All successful people are big dreamers - creative in every aspect of managing their career. However, when in a position of power or management do they use that creativity in changing the trajectory of the company they are employed by? Why take such minimal risks when tasked with "changing the paradigm?" Ideation is a great process that can unlock new views on design, process, product, price, convention, curation, competition and strategy. No – Ideation is not all about working in a creative office space it is a method of success that should be encouraged at all levels of an organization.

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Five Things Every CEO Needs to Know about Software Design

There is an old adage, “Design is thinking made visible.” This is an absolute truth in the digital age. As a CEO it is mission critical that you understand the design process and how it affects your business.

At Designing Interactive (D-I), our mission is to make the world intuitive. The following five design truths are at the core of our philosophy. Design is the epicenter that drives the strategies we have used to create user interfaces for millions of people across the globe.

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Our new office in Colorado Springs

D-I is deeply invested in Cleveland, OH. Our team is all from here and for the last 10 years we’ve been located in the same office in the suburb of Rocky River. We’ve been a long standing member of the community and are passionate about continuing to create jobs here in Cleveland.

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Debunking the Parable of the Product Roadmap

Last year I went on a speaking tour across the United States. During that time, I attended many Agile conferences, meetup groups and private company meetings. At these events, I kept hearing the same parable over and over. I heard it so much that I believed it, and since then, I’ve been spreading that story myself. It’s a shame, since I now believe it’s actually more harmful than it is productive.

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Build a better product by spending less time planning.

I’m a morning person. I enjoy rising early to plan my day and anticipate what I’ll accomplish. This routine provides clarity of thought and a hunger to act. It challenges me to be alert, prepared, and persistent toward the day’s priorities. Ultimately, it provides an energy and momentum that nourishes me throughout the day, and that—through my action—helps to nourish my team and the software projects we’re responsible for.

Indeed, I’m happy to be a morning person, except on the first Thursday of each month. On these miserable mornings, waking up is a chore. On these mornings, I feel helpless to intercede in the unfortunate events that will invariably unfold in the hours to come. On these mornings, I’m not happy.

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Alert: SSL Security Breach

Yesterday OpenSSL, an open-source software that's used to encrypt web communications, was breached resulting in a widespread vulnerability codenamed "Heartbleed." D-I routinely uses the OpenSSL technology to secure sensitive online transactions for its clients.

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We are the new owners of ReadMore

We are the proud new owners of ReadMore, the iOS application built by Jonathan Penn at Navel Labs. Jonathan has been a long time friend and colleague of D-I and we are excited to acquire this application from him. 

Jonathan called us earlier this year to let us know he no longer has the time to dedicate to this app. While it's a profitable endeavor for him, it's becoming a distraction in his current career, and that's not fair to his customers. 

We're thrilled he has endorsed us as the new caregivers of this application. It's been his baby for many years, and we intend to care for it as our own.

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