I recently wrote a post about HTML 5 and whether it was ready to use -- surmising that it certainly was and that we in fact built our new site using HTML 5 and associated technologies. When using the latest development techniques you still have to take into account older browsers, making sure that your code works in an acceptable manner for all of your target audience.

There are two common practices when trying to achieve this: graceful degradation and progressive enhancement:-


A short interview with Piers Fawkes of PSFK

Trends research and consultancy company PSFK has a huge audience: 800, 000 readers a month, and growing considerably since their launch as a blog in 2004. Their consultancy business is on the rise too. They bring out reports on issues of the moment periodically; their most recent one was inspired by a conversation with UNICEF on challenges in health, which served as the creative brief and focussed on the Future of Health.

In a world where publishing attracts more attention than it used to before, I thought it would be interesting to have a quick chat with Piers Fawkes, one of the founders of PSFK, to get his thoughts on publishing in a Web 2.0 world, and what he thought was the business model of the future. By his own admission, he's minced no words in saying what he thinks, reflecting his stand as someone with a strong point of view on the topic of publishing today, being so involved in it himself. Here goes:


10 years of sketching

Last weekend, buried and long forgotten at the back of a very dusty drawer, I found a piece of my design history. A collection of sketches from my first job, including the sketches from the first project I ever worked on. I'm not sure how they've managed to survive this long (10 years seems like a long time for an ultimately highly disposable stack of layout paper) but looking through them I was struck by how much the way I work has changed since my first job. Every project still starts off with pen and paper, but there the similarity almost stops.

2000-2010 10 years of sketching


A Short Post About Gameification

Whatever people say it is, gameification isn't about games.

Mind you, enough people are saying it's not about games already. So I'll tell you what gameification is about, and it's called community building.

Amy Jo Kim wrote Community Building on the Web a good few years ago. Enough time has passed for those lessons to have been incorporated into a lot of the more successful websites of the last boom, and clearly enough time has passed for those lessons to have been forgotten.

Now that everyone is on Twitter and Facebook, we've forgotten how to build communities on our own. We've out-sourced authentication to anyone with a big enough social graph, and in doing so most websites now import your friends into their service, losing the knowledge of why people visit and why they tell their friends.


Serious Games

At the Nesta Serious Games conference the other morning, Anjali and I listened to Mary Matthews from Blitz Games and Alex Fleetwood from Hide & Seek discuss the application of games that make a difference. Her post, The business of games is an excellent read that covers pretty much everything that happened, so here's my take on the idea of serious games and the rising requirement for everything to be playfully interactive.