Friday Four

Friday, April 27, 2012

1. I have expressed my annoyance with Google's "tablet-centric" redesign of GMail in the past, but Jason Crawford has done something about it. I thank him for his handy blog post on "How to Cope with the GMail Redesign". I was especially pleased with being able to turn off the annoying hieroglyphics on the various buttons. (Earth to Google: A valid design assumption for an email program is that the user is able to read.)

Here are the new Gmail action buttons. Quick, what does each one do?
Given that I recently expressed agreement with a blogger who held that web designers should use the constraints of smart phones and tablets as starting-points, I suppose I should elaborate more: Google's redesign of GMail is practically a primer on how not to embrace such constraints.

Update: Taking a quick look at Hacker News shortly after posting, I see a great commentary on the GMail redesign. It sums things up quite well: "Change aversion might be a real thing, but designer arrogance is a real thing too."

2. A non-typographer ended up designing a new font when he decided to see what an average of all the fonts on his laptop looked like. His result is better-looking than the average font, to play off a study on facial ratios I recall hearing about a few years ago.

3. Here's a promising list, of "67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10". Wired has also posted a list of additional suggestions from readers.

4. At long last, Google Drive is out. Like Farhad Manjoo, who advocates cobbling together personal cloud storage across several similar services, I have yet to exceed the 2 GB and change in my Dropbox account. But if I do, I'll consider Google's terms of service when deciding what to store with them.
When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.
Compare these terms to those of Dropbox at the above link.

-- CAV


: Added update to end of first item.

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