Welcome to the ProtoShare blog.

Niche Acadamy introduces Prototyping Course

From our friend Jeromy Wilson over at Niche Acadamy:  they have just released a course on prototyping which you can sign up for today.  I’ve looked at the course material, and there is a fantastic amount of instruction and information, so if you’re looking to learn, give this course a try.  Jeromy has been a ProtoShare user for years, and we’re featured in the course.

Jeromy also has an interesting article about prototyping called “The most important skill of the decade” over at Linked In, so take a look.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the course, and let me know about any other prototyping resources you find useful.

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Web Development: Optimizing your web site for speed.

We frequently use Google Page Speed insights to make sure that our websites are running as fast as possible.  If you haven’t tried it on your site, give it a go – its fun to see, and there is inevitably a lot of low-hanging fruit you can access to improve your score.  ProtoShare.com currently scores a 92/100.

Some of the suggestions, particularly removing all render-blocking css and javascript below the fold, can be quite tricky to do, and they certainly conflict with standard development process, where adding scripts and css to the head tag is pretty standard.

Some of the suggestions are easy.  Like setting an expires header on your content so that browsers can cache it for up to a week.  While its true that you can’t do this for everything, if you can do it for part of your site, you can and should.  Even frequently updated libraries can be versioned so as to support a long expiration time (and long cache times).

So – the easy ones we did – we currently have only one file that google is telling us to increase the cache time:

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 2.39.08 PM

Yes – that’s right, its google analytics.  My OCD really really wants them to bump this up to a week.  Or they could just exclude it from their page tool.

At any rate – take advantage of page-speed, and all of the other great tools Google offers for web development.  Just don’t expect perfection.

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The Golden Ratio

Interesting article about the Golden Ratio use in design, asserting that the whole thing is a myth:  Article Here.  I’ve been reading ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman which talks a lot about inherent biases in human decision making, and Kahneman’s ideas really resonated when reading the article about the Golden Ratio.  The short of it is that human beings love to create stories and narratives, and as long as the narratives ‘feel’ right, we’ll have a high level of confidence in them whether or not they are true.  All of this leads me back to the importance of getting your ideas out of your head, making them concrete, and then validating and testing.  This is how we and our customers use ProtoShare, and while we probably still fall victim to our own biases, watching users interact with your ideas can really help you base your decisions on stronger, valid evidence.  Enjoy the articles!

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ProtoShare for Apple Watch

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 11.22.25 AMWe don’t always have our most brilliant ideas sitting at our desks.  And when lightning strikes, you want to capture it in the moment.  You need a tool that lets you create beautiful, high-fidelity interactive prototypes where-ever you are, whenever you want.

And that’s why we’re excited to announce a new wireframe and prototype authoring platform for the Apple Watch on this first day of the 2nd Quarter.  ProtoShare for Apple Watch doesn’t just let you build prototypes for the Apple Watch (which you can do with our Desktop Edition of ProtoShare), it lets you quickly build hi-fidelity, interactive mockups of websites, desktop apps, mobile apps, or whatever you can imagine, right on your wrist.

“I’ve been beta testing ProtoShare for Watch on my Apple watch for the past month or so.  I can’t describe the ecstatic feeling of being able to create hi-fi mocks of the new Netflix interface for 4k displays right on my wrist.  I’ve been able to work while waiting for the bus, eating lunch, even trimming my beard.  It’s an amazing platform.” – Rank Fishkin, Imaginativelier.ly.

Check out our mockup of our mockup platform here.  Be the first to use it on your Apple Watch, and “watch” your productivity soar.  And if you don’t have a watch, try ProtoShare or ProtoShare for Drive on your desktop computer.

Keep your mind sharp, and your fingers sharper.  ProtoShare for Apple Watch will be available on April 31st.

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Ode to the Hamburger

rwd-menu-icons

Credit: Eric Arbe

I’ve had mixed feelings about the ‘Hamburger’ menu used on Mobile.  I tend to not see them.  If I’m lost, however, I will seek them out. They feel like an idiom that is not quite fully ingrained.  I think they’re getting there, though.  I’m convinced that they will be wired to muscle memory for most within a few years.  They do solve a problem: how do I put lots of options on a small screen?

Vincent Feeny at indietech as an interesting article about this – “Can we leave hamburgers alone?“.  Take a look and let me know what you think!

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