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Article  |  UX

What Sketch Can Learn From Fireworks

10 Jun 2016

What Sketch Can Learn From Fireworks

The designers and front-end developers at Planet Argon started transitioning from Fireworks to Sketch in early 2015. I can do most of what I want to do in the Sketch quickly, efficiently, and intuitively. There are, however, a handful of Fireworks features that I would love the Sketch developers to emulate.

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Article  |  Development

The Pros and Cons of Modular Sass

7 Jan 2014

Using modular Sass

In the past year or so, the front-end developers at Planet Argon have taken more of a modular approach to writing CSS. This means writing CSS in a way that promotes forward-thinking, scalability, and ease of development. Before I get into the pros and cons, here’s a quick example of the difference between a modular and non-modular approach.

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Link  |  Development

The GitHub Pages Gem simplifies local GitHub Pages development

12 Aug 2013

Article  |  UX

3 Google I/O 2013 technologies that I'm super interested in, but will probably never use

28 May 2013

So, I didn’t technically attend Google I/O 2013, this year’s iteration of the company’s developer conference; I didn’t receive a free Chromebook Pixel and I definitely didn’t sit through the 3.5-hour keynote. But I did watch a bunch of the session videos when I was likely supposed to be doing something else, like laundry or, you know, working. There were hundreds of talks over the course of the 3 days, with topics including Android, Chrome & Apps, Maps, and YouTube, and the majority of them are posted on the Google Developers YouTube channel. In comparison to last year’s flashy introductions (Google Glass, a new Android OS, the Nexus 7 tablet), the 2013 I/O was less relevant to the typical consumer. But I found this year’s focus on developers and their tools quite interesting; in particular, there were a few announcements that really caught my attention.

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Article  |  UX

The Best Parts of An Event Apart Seattle 2013

10 Apr 2013

Last week, Brian and I sat with our peers in rapt attention at the Seattle occurrence of An Event Apart, the inspiring one-track web conference started by Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer in 2005. Known as “the design conference for people who make websites,” AEA is a particularly acclaimed web conference for good reason. Zeldman and Meyer, visionaries famous for helping shape the web as we know it, gather a dozen of the web’s most influential creators and gifted presenters to share their thoughts, inquiries, and discoveries with the several hundred fortunate attendees.

Since you were too busy vacuuming and/or getting your tires rotated to attend, I’ve summarized the best parts. Enjoy!

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Article  |  Strategy

Use Google Analytics and Spreadsheets to chart Page Load Time, Bounce and Exit Rates

7 Feb 2013

We recently spoke with one of our clients about improving their site performance; specifically, we chatted about the relationship between page load time and user satisfaction. I found a number of articles relating page load speed to bounce rate, but there’s no study as convincing as an analysis of a client’s own statistics. With the help of Annie, our very own analytics expert, I was able to fumble my way through the creation of a helpful chart plotting load time versus exit and bounce rates using Google Analytics and Google Spreadsheets.

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Article  |  Studio

The 2012 Year in Review

16 Jan 2013

Every year, Planet Argon releases a retrospective compiling the past year’s events; this includes business accomplishments like app launches, and personal milestones like marriage and travels. A couple months ago, I, Jack Bouba, was tasked with getting the ball rolling for the 2012 Year in Review. I felt this was right up my alley because (1) I love being in charge and (2) I’ve been rolling balls since childhood.

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Photo  |  Studio

Foosball gets spooky

31 Oct 2012

Foosball gets spooky

Happy Halloween, boys and ghouls! (I bet you never heard that one before) Go eat lots of candy, and by all means accept baked goods from strangers.

Article  |  UX

Improving performance with the modern website tune-up

29 Oct 2012

Your website, just like your car, is often due for a bit of maintenance. Fortunately, tuning up your website is less intimidating than that familiar experience of standing next to your vehicle, nodding your head dumbly while handing your mechanic (who, by the way, is much more ruggedly handsome than you) a wad of cash. And that is even less daunting than attempting to work on the car yourself- you’ve tried that before, and you still have nightmares and stained pants.

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Link  |  Misc

Fun interactive web-based visual toy

10 Oct 2012

Article  |  Studio

How to design a company picnic t-shirt that everyone pretends to tolerate

9 Oct 2012

Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated our 2012 summer picnic at lovely Irving Park. Now, as the mercury drops and the giraffe-fur coats come out of their cardboard boxes with puffs of toxic mothball dust, we ease into our creaking rocking chairs, reflections of the waning summer dancing in our minds like so many whistling embers leaping from the nearby hearth. “Why didn’t I go to the river more often, goddammit?” we contemplate; or, “I squandered this whole summer sitting at my desk, eating cookies, listening to the sound of my muscles atrophying, and now it’s dark when I wake up and where did I put my raincoat?” Oh, tut-tut, you silly goose! It’s only October- the weather’s still gorgeous and the leaves in your backyard make such a delightful crunching sound.

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Link  |  Misc

Now _THIS_ is a job posting.

18 Sep 2012

Quote

The continued shift toward mobile

27 Jun 2012

17% of cell phone owners do most of their online browsing on their phone.

Key Findings from Pew Research Cell Internet Use report

Crazy! A bit more math and we can determine, since 88% of U.S. adults own a cell phone, that 15% of American adults are using their phones, more than any other device, to browse the web. 88% is a significant increase even since April, when I pegged that same statistic at 83% in my Mobile Web Statistics article. This percentage is even larger for young Americans- 45% of 18-29 year olds who access the internet on their phones, compared with 31% for adults in general, use their phones for the majority of their web browsing. What does this mean? For web professionals, mobile should most definitely not be an afterthought. Yes, many people are using their phones as an additional web-capable device but, as these numbers reveal, tons of Americans are using their phones as their primary internet device. The landscape is changing- whether we're ready or not.

Article  |  UX

14 Things I Learned at WebVisions - Day 1

23 May 2012

I visited sunny Portland, Oregon (I’ve lived here for 7 years but let’s pretend, shall we) to attend this year’s WebVisions conference. Did you know that Portland has over 400 days of sunshine per year? Don’t attempt to do the math- it’s complicated. To extrapolate from my WebVisions experience, I’ve determined that Portlandites predominantly use MacBooks, are all men, wear ill-fitting trousers, and smell kinda funny. Besides that, I’ve compiled a list of 14 THINGS I LEARNED AT WEBVISIONS, the first half of which are presented here in no particular order. Enjoy!

Convention Center hall

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Quote  |  Strategy

comScore provides mobile social media insights

15 May 2012

The 25.6 million Twitter mobile users had an average engagement of nearly 2 hours during [March]. By comparison, people visiting on their computers spent just 20.4 minutes on Twitter.com…

Mobile Metrix 2.0 findings from comScore's latest press release

In terms of mobile trends, what is perhaps even more significant than the above statistic is this: The average U.S. smartphone subscriber spent 441 minutes engaged with either the Facebook app or mobile site. This is in comparison to the 391 minutes that the average Facebook user spends interacting with the desktop site. Yowza! Mobile! I expect to see the same trends when I check the analytics of my soon-to-be wildly popular dating site, OkDeluded (OkStupid was taken).

Article  |  UX

The Mobile Viewport, Short and Sweet

17 Apr 2012

Peter-Paul Koch, of quirksmode fame, recently gave an enlightening presentation about the mobile viewport which, quite fortunately for all of us, is available in video and slide form. “A pixel is not a pixel”, clocking in at just over an hour, is quite thorough and enjoyably dense, so watch it. But, if you don’t have an hour to spare, this is the gist of it:

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Article  |  Strategy

Mobile Web Statistics - Short and Sweet

11 Apr 2012

In preparation for the launch of Planet Argon’s Mobile Web Development Services page, I set out to find some current mobile phone and mobile web statistics. One blog led to another, which led to a few different articles, which eventually led to comScore’s 2012 Mobile Future in Focus report. comScore, a self-described “global leader in measuring the digital world,” released the report in order to examine “insights into the mobile and connected device landscape in 2011 and what they mean for 2012.” Here are a few such insights:

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Link  |  Development

Pairing Devices and Debugging With Adobe Shadow

7 Mar 2012

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