I got a Microsoft Surface Pro 4!

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So a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised with a gift of a Microsoft Surface Pro 4. I had been drooling about them for awhile, and have recently decided to ramp up my freelancing business so my husband decided one would make a fantastic fourth anniversary present. It was a sweet gesture, and it’s a fan-fucking-tastic machine.

I’m not sure what I like better, the ability to touch and get things done – whether that is just opening a link on a page or selecting objects in Illustrator – or the ability to¬†draw on the fucking screen. I miss my old Wacom tablets terribly, and this is fucking great.

I’ve drooled over a Cintiq, which is probably what you get when your digital artistry REALLY gets going, but yeah, so far I’m loving this thing. (I wrote this post on it as well, I actually really love the keyboard, it’s like my wireless one for my computer, so non-clacky and short-statured.) For now, this will be great for me.

Plus, I can code on this thing too. Sure, it’s a bit of a shock to have only one screen (what the hell did I do before I had multiple monitors?!) but it’s also a great focuser; if I can’t click into Pocket, I can’t get distracted by 14 different articles about the 2017 front-end industry or yet another review of the Tom Bihn Pilot bag.

Expiration dates for .io domains on Google Domains

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TLDR: As of February 2, 2017, the policy of the vendor that Google Domains uses for .io domain registration is that an .io domain is auto-renewed or deleted 3 days before the expiration date displayed in WHOIS information and the Google Domains dashboard. This means that your “real” expiration date is effectively 3 days earlier than you might expect. While there are email notifications at the 30 and 7 days prior marks that list the “real” expiration, there isn’t any obvious indication in your dashboard and only the email seems to mention the “real” expiration date.

Happy 4th anniversary!

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It’s my fourth wedding anniversary and I made this little “card” for my husband Spydir. He loves coffee, I love puns, seemed appropriate!

white coffee cup with face on the cup and hearts above the cup and the text "words cannot espresso how much I love you" underneath
An anniversary card I made for my husband for our 4th anniversary February 11.

Thoughts on the IFTTT Redesign

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NOTE: This is some user feedback I recently sent to IFTTT‘s CEO per his request on Product Hunt. I love their service, I just wanted to point out some places that this redesign might have missed the mark. Despite these niggles, their redesign was much needed and I believe quite successful, these are just some suggestions of how it could be even MORE successful. If you’ve never used their service, I highly recommend it.

Redesign

The redesign looks nice, but seems like mobile-first has translated into mobile only. What I mean by this is that some designers labor under the false impression that “simple is better” and that a design that works on mobile will be suitable for desktop. The problem is that the condensed and simple nature of a mobile design doesn’t translate well to desktop, and can often decrease usability of the desktop site [3]. In fact, Nielsen Norman Group estimates that less than 40% of desktop screen size is utilized (and that was in 2013!) in modern website design [1]. They talk extensively about the content-to-chrome ratio, or the ratio between website content and UI options (chrome), in this article which is a fantastic read even for non-designers. Stupid statistics aside, some of the “largeness” of the home page and other pages, including header and navigation, screams “not optimized for desktop” to me. Also the usage of “Tap for [action]” instead of “Click” just reinforces the idea.

Home Page

After logging in or signing up, the first thing a user is presented with is the applet discover page. For new or returning users, you are making the assumption that they read the home page and understand what applets are, or that they are familiar with your service already. This might be a fine assumption to make for new users depending on your signup funnel, but after a UX redesign not explaining the changes or what the terminology means to existing users is a misstep. Even new users might sign up assuming there will be onboarding or other startup documentation, and be left a bit in the lurch when landing on this page. I recommend providing some sort of onboarding with some definitions of terminology or even provide a default applet (perhaps notifying users of new blog posts on IFTT?) for users to play with.

Our anti-social cat decided she wanted attention. I guess I didn’t need to study.