Series Overview

Data services and APIs are usually described by developers as slow, unreliable, hard to use, and overly complex. If the best design is the simplest one, then how do you expect a front-end developer to provide the best possible experience with such a complex service layer? The answer is to provide your developers with sensible data services that actually contribute to the overall end-user experience. This blog series will focus on topics central to building fast, extensible, and reliable data services that will elevate your customers’ experience to a whole new level. In this first post of the series, I will talk about event-based systems, what they are, why you should care, and how to implement them.

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#WAT-Up

/topic Each week, the Web Applications Team (WAT) at WillowTree uses Slack to post interesting articles, share development tricks, and discuss technologies used in our world. Here’s a breakdown of what we talked about this week.

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One of the biggest paradigm shifts when developing in React Native, especially coming from a web development background, is learning to think about styles in JavaScript. For many of us, inline styling still feels dirty and we long to cling to some semblance of separate stylesheets, even if they are written in JavaScript.

While the creators of React Native have built-in tools to help us cope, design patterns are still emerging for a relatively young platform. As of writing this, React Native is at v0.31.0. It’s still in its infancy compared with React.js, which has emerged as the pre-eminent JavaScript web platform in the past couple years.

As we have found niche projects for React Native both internally and client-facing over the past few months, several patterns have crystallized to help us write clean, reusable code. For the scope of this post, we will focus on some tips and tricks that have helped make the transition into styling in JavaScript a bit easier.

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Espresso

  • I included a link to The Dark Side of UX in a past Macchiato. I’d like to remind everyone that we should not be doing this when we design and we should also point out these patterns when we see them. “A Dark Pattern is a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things…” Dark Patterns do not have the user’s interests in mind. As designers, we need to take a stance against this; check out the pattern library where you can find the companies that use these dark forces. If you spot any, please submit to Dark Patterns.
  • When you think of a designer, ask yourself if this person is people-centered. Because a good designer keeps users in mind. Being people-centered is just one attribute you should look for in a designer. Fred Beecher, UX thought leader and Director of UX at The Nerdery, poses some questions for you to think about when you’re searching for that top UX designer: Identifying UX Talent.
  • How do we value design? How much is good design worth? The US Supreme Court will decide in a case that pits Apple against Samsung. This article brings up some food for thought: If the court reduces the damages, will it reduce the worth we attribute to design? Could it encourage copying?
  • Get a Thick Skin. Living with Criticism. In a world filled with criticism from others, gather strength because you’re going to need it in the design field. A designer’s job is one of the few that’s open to committee discussion. My takeaways from this read: Never take anything personally, defend your design decisions, and there are…
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#WAT-Up

/topic Each week, the Web Applications Team (WAT) at WillowTree uses Slack to post interesting articles, share development tricks, and discuss technologies used in our world. Here’s a breakdown of what we talked about this week.

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Over the spring and summer I’ve been exploring how to best leverage unidirectional data flow in iOS apps. It looks like the pattern will bring some huge wins in terms of simplifying our apps’ UI tiers. I’ve been looking mostly at using a Redux-like implementation.

For an introduction to the concepts of unidirectional data flow on iOS, I recommend this talk by Benjamin Encz, the main author of ReSwift, a Redux-like library in Swift. This article uses terms from Redux and ReSwift. Here’s the glossary:

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Co-Author
Caroline Hompe

Standards for how to conduct a usability test are fairly easy to find these days. Tech agencies and product companies are becoming well-versed in a variety of user-centered research methods, from traditional user interviews and ethnographic observation to the more new and specific such as card sorting and tree-testing.

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#WAT-Up

/topic Each week, the Web Applications Team (WAT) at WillowTree uses Slack to post interesting articles, share development tricks, and discuss technologies used in our world. Here’s a breakdown of what we talked about this week.

Continue Reading Article

#WAT-Up

/topic Each week, the Web Applications Team (WAT) at WillowTree uses Slack to post interesting articles, share development tricks, and discuss technologies used in our world. Here’s a breakdown of what we talked about this week.

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A couple of weeks ago at WWDC, Apple unveiled the grand concept of Map extensions. Extensions allow developers to integrate their own custom app functionality into the native Apple Maps app. In order to integrate your app with Apple Maps, developers will need to use a new form of extensions called Intents.

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#WAT-Up

/topic Each week, the Web Applications Team (WAT) at WillowTree uses Slack to post interesting articles, share development tricks, and discuss technologies used in our world. Here’s a breakdown of what we talked about this week.

Continue Reading Article