The countdown to Christmas has begun (18 days at time of writing), and we’re all sat at our desks dreaming of warm fires, hot chocolate, and good tidings. Instead of daydreaming, have a gander at these interesting reads (and at least pretend to look like you are working).
Number one - Every company is a tech company
Leadership has changed, business models have been disrupted, and the IT department has broken free of its silo to become the business as a whole. Wall Street Journal outlines how companies born before the internet need to adapt, and how bringing in tech talent to the executive ranks can help a company pivot into the new business age.
Number two - The lingering fax machines
Technology is developing at a rapid rate, with new innovations making us drop and pick up new ways of doing things every day. However, not everyone has kept up with the times. The Atlantic has found that in the US many businesses still rely on faxes, no more so than in law and medicine. Attempts have been made to replace this once revolutionary technology, but still the beige machine lives on, providing a tenuous solution to continuous fears of digital security.
Number three - The goldilocks difficulty level in UX
It’s too challenging, it’s too hard, it’s too difficult. Despite difficulty causing some uncomfortable feelings, as Usability Geek notes, it can be essential to designing a great user experience. It notes that ‘desirable difficulty’ ( just the right level of difficulty) can help users slow down and force us to consider or confirm an action.
Number four - Accessible Instagram
Instagram, a platform that trades on the visual, took too long to create features for visually impaired persons, according to Vox. Last week, the social media platform announced that it will be making the app more accessible for the visually impaired, which includes alternative text descriptions for photos, but only for the Feed and Explore pages. Those in the visually impaired community, such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People, welcome the change, but note that this should be the start of accessible features, not a one-off fix.
Number five - Coding (advent) calendar
Advent calendars have become a booming business in the last couple of years, with calendars to cater to all interests, from beauty to pork scratchings. However, for the developer who celebrates this festive holiday, this code advent calendar could be perfect. Each day offers a new small programming puzzle that can be solved in any programming language of choice.