ted boren archives

Firescope is a free Firefox add-on from Sitepoint that puts a Reference tab into Firebug. This tab gives an overview of the level of browser support for a selected element and any styles applied to it, plus a link to more information on Sitepoint about elements and attributes. Looks very handy for troubleshooting… Download took about 3 seconds, plus a re-start of Firefox.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 · 3 comments

I gotta get my 15 year old one of these target alarm clocks… “In Quick Shot mode you have to pull off five perfect shots within 3 minutes. Time mode is a battle for speed each morning to see how quickly you can wake up, react, and blast the target away.” Hopefully after that he’ll be too alert to get back to sleep!

posted by ted on Monday, Feb 16, 2009 · 0 comments

“Three fourths of 2008 were spent working on this project. I loved every minute of it deeply.”
Comment by Michelle as I was looking over all the great work the team has posted in advance of our second annual design review. The name of her project: “Jetta Robin Barber”. Congratulations on hitting your delivery date! (Loved the project description and photos Michelle!)

posted by ted on Friday, Feb 06, 2009 · 0 comments

Accessible Gadgets. From radio devices for the deaf and blind, to videophones, to GPS devices for the blind (no, not for in-car use, silly), this NPR article reviews some of the leading edge technologies to serve those with disabilities. Hopefully some of it is actually past the “concept stage” and becomes actually affordable… (The link above also includes an interview with Stevie Wonder on all this stuff… )

posted by ted on Friday, Jan 30, 2009 · 3 comments

The strange history of lorem ipsum — a radio piece by PRI on our favorite dummy text. Looks like “Lorem” is actually a shortened form of “Dolorem” (pain) caused by a copyist looking for dummy text starting at the top of a page containing the second half of a hyphenated word within a Latin passage by Cicero. Dizzy yet?

posted by ted on Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 · 4 comments

Sculpture at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park in Seattle.
When we lived in Seattle, we would usually go to this park on Martin Luther King Day to honor this great man and talk to our kids about what he stood for. I Have Dream must stand as one of the greatest and most inspiring speeches ever.

posted by ted on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 · 1 comment

“No fair! You get to come here every week?”
“I want to live here…”
“Wow. Woah! WOOOW!!!”
Top three quotes from my kids at the Draper Temple Open House tonight, from my 9 year old, 4 year old, and 2 year old respectively. The final quote was especially memorable because it was pronounced quite loudly in the Celestial Room, a sacred space where silence or whispers are the norm. But somehow I think God smiled and accepted the compliment.

Less important, but maybe more to the purpose of this blog, the design of the building was wonderful. It is striking from the outside, but it was the interior that shone brightest. I loved the reintroduction of murals into the ordinance rooms, something I have always appreciated about the Salt Lake Temple. I also thought the Celestial Room was wonderful. The room is so much taller than it is wide in either direction that your eye is almost inexorably drawn up to the gorgeous chandelier and then to heaven.

Reservations are still available; come see for yourself. Everyone is welcome, member or not.

posted by ted on Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 · 3 comments

The Friend magazine has some nice new online features. My younger kids had a great time with the coloring pages a few days ago. Also some audio features and an online gallery for pictures submitted by kids. (Nice to see them in a little larger format than what’s feasible in the printed magazine!)

posted by ted on Thursday, Jan 15, 2009 · 4 comments

A Pipe into a Well of Pure Waters

Today in a large team meeting, one of the presenters read the following quote from the October 2008 issue of the Church’s international magazine, The Liahona:

”A Pipe Into a Well of Pure Water”
I am deeply grateful for the great work you have done with LDS.org. Permission to own and access Church materials is extremely limited in our area. Having access to the scriptures and Church materials over the Internet is like having our own pipe into a well of pure waters. Please know that your efforts make a very real difference in the daily lives of our members. What a miracle it is for them to have our Heavenly Father’s message in their own languages.
~Name withheld

This made a couple of deep impressions on me. First, it made me very grateful to live in an area where “permission to own and access” religious materials is not limited, and where my name does not have to be witheld for expressing my beliefs.

Second, it drove home the importance of our internationalization efforts, to bring our message “to every kindred, tongue, and people.”

Lastly, while our group has on occasion talked about being “temple builders” of a sort—creating sacred spaces where people can reflect, or be inspired, or do a good work—I hadn’t ever considered myself a plumber. But what could be a nobler vocation than building “a pipe into a well of pure waters” so that the spiritually thirsty can drink?

posted by ted on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 · 2 comments

case study

Design Lesson:
Shovel Smart, Soon, and Often

Here in Northtemple Land, as in many parts of the United States, we’ve received slightly more than our fair share of precipitation in the last week. I have a long driveway to deal with and no snow blower (something I may need to remedy this year with Grandma’s Christmas check). The combination of heavy snow and a long driveway has resulted in an inordinate amount of time spent outside, with nothing to do but shovel and think.

What I’ve learned: Shovel smart, shovel soon, and shovel often. And what’s more, I think this applies to design as well as driveways, and maybe to any problem-solving effort.

posted by ted on Friday, Dec 26, 2008 · 4 comments

LDS Maps is now live in 16 languages! The site should detect the browser language automatically, or if you want to poke around, there is a language selector at the bottom of the screen. Most of the work for this minor release was on the dev and translation teams, but props are due to Aaron Barker for helping define a new standard for language selection and Rob Foster for the soon-to-be-universal (?) language icon.

Update: Larry Richman provides some additional info about the release, including how to link to a specific language-version of the site.

posted by ted on Monday, Dec 22, 2008 · 11 comments

“If anyone is interested, I’m thinking of doing a type poster representing the Church Office Building, set in Hobo and Impact. $200? Let me know if ur interested.”
Jason, commenting on the fact that Cameron’s magnificent letterpress poster of the Salt Lake Temple has sold out after only a couple of days.

posted by ted on Monday, Dec 22, 2008 · 3 comments

Nielsen/Norman Group is offering a free report on Rich Internet Applications”. It’s from 2002 and most of the apps reviewed are Flash-based—but hey, it’s free :-) And most of the findings focus on the interaction itself, not the technology. Quick skim looks promising…

posted by ted on Monday, Dec 15, 2008 · 0 comments

“The art of architecture is really the art of constraint. It’s the art of compromise in many ways. It’s not about a brilliant man or woman working in his or her studio and producing a design and then getting it built. It’s about negotiating a whole series of constraints or challenges, whether those have to do with budget or site or the community.”
Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic, quoted in an interesting NPR piece on modern museum architecture. This reminded me about a great design discussion we had sometime last year about Bryan Lawson’s great book, How Designers Think. Negotiating that series of constraints and challenges is hard… but FUN! Rob mentioned this same concept as he worked with me on some map icons that needed to work well on widely varied map backgrounds in a 10X10 pixel space. (Thanks Rob!)

posted by ted on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 · 0 comments

Another great use of the video player designed by Chris and company: the annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional.

Designerly things to note: loved the opening shots of the lights on Temple Square; not in love with the title text, but oh well; and loved the family room “set” behind the podium, though the flickering fireplace got a little distracting at times. Finally, note that the broadcast site offers audio in 29 languages, and video in 4 languages. The Church’s committment to the international audience is nowhere more apparent than in its broadcasting efforts…

A nod to accessibility as well—if you’ve never watched anything in sign language before, check out the ASL version, through at least the first Mormon Tabernacle Choir number (“Once in Royal David’s City,” which incidentally was written by a member of the Church). I love watching musical performances in ASL

posted by ted on Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008 · 5 comments

“You have to tell [them] your job role twice, your job title once, and the language you prefer to speak 3 times—all in English.”
Jared Spool, dazed by the number of hoops needed to pass through just to get to see (not buy) a product catalog of branded merchandise for a major technology company. (From a re-print of a year-old post on sign-in mistakes to avoid.)

posted by ted on Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008 · 0 comments

Funeral services for Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, available in the new media player designed by Gilbert and company, which seems particularly well–suited to the dignity and solemnity of the occassion…

posted by ted on Friday, Dec 05, 2008 · 6 comments

“It takes a strong UX practitioner to stand up to an ill-informed team who think that Agile is about speed rather than about better project control, and who subsequently think that user experience work is a waste of time.”
Looking forward to reading the rest of Nielsen/Norman’s Best Practices for User Experience on Agile Development Projects

posted by ted on Monday, Dec 01, 2008 · 0 comments

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle. There’s something about this that resonates… even though I’d like to think that not all good ideas start as mistakes…

posted by ted on Saturday, Nov 29, 2008 · 0 comments

Wordle for last October’s General Conference, via Larry Richman. Nice job—love the font and color choices!

Clarification: Connor Boyack is actually the one who created this arrangement, using Wordle. See the comments for more info.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Nov 25, 2008 · 9 comments