Journal

Tomorrow’s Technology, Yesterday’s Insights

Jonas Söderström on how Google’s ‘People Analytics group’ goes to extreme lengths to work out how to improve workplace happiness, something Europeans figured out decades ago:

In my view, the dream of “Big Data in the Workplace” thrives in that hole in the American corporate mind where more human ideas – such as decent trade unions, a commitment to conversation and dialogue between employees and management, and empowerment of employees, even giving them some say over how their workplace is designed – should rightly be found.

Give technologists a problem, and they’ll try and solve it with technology.

The Ethics of Digital Design

Cennydd has written a short piece for the Design Council about ethics within the realm of digital technology:

Disruption is Silicon Valley’s current watchword. Startups are optimised for shaking up vulnerable industries rather than assessing the resulting social, legal and ethical impact. Progress itself is the yardstick; whether that progress is in a worthwhile direction is sometimes secondary.

Beyond advocating that designers should have a central role in empowering and protecting users, Cenyydd suggests that we should also push for increased diversity within our product teams as well:

As ambassadors for global userbases, designers know well the range of mentalities and approaches people bring to technology. Homogenous teams are too easily swept up in camaraderie, seeing only exciting gains for people like them, yet blind to potential harm for people not like them. The broad perspective of diverse teams offers better insight on tough choices: early warning of ethical issues that may disadvantage particular groups.

I couldn’t agree more. Go read, it’s a good one.

Better CSS with Sass by Cole Henley

For those looking for a quick and succinct introduction to Sass, the popular CSS pre-processor, my friend Cole Henley has written a pocket guide:

Sass is a tool that takes a lot of the legwork out of writing good CSS. This pocket guide will provide an overview of how Sass can dramatically improve your workflow and make your CSS more flexible, robust and reusable.

This guide only takes 30 to 45 minutes to read, but on turning the last page you’ll be up to speed with all the features of Sass, know why you may want to use them and be thinking about building upon these features to take your Sass usage to the next level – careful now! The book is available now from Five Simple Steps for just £3.

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