Arif Widianto musings on development, design, and craftmanship

axinside

My interest and passion to wireframing world began when I worked on a small wireframe project for this particular U.S. company. The task was to make registration process flow for their huge member base more easier and more efficient. It was March 2007. I was paid $1,500 for finishing that project.

Axure 4 First Project

Since worked on that project, I learned a new software for doing wireframe project, it called Axure. It was Axure 4.4. And the rest is history.

Today... I am proudly announce a site with this statement:

It aims to be the resources for wireframing and prototyping topic, especially for Axure software, and user experience and information in general.

It's called axinside.com.

Axinside, Aug 20

I have the idea for this site since early this year, then I bought the domain on March 22. I tried to build some basic foundation for the site: CMS—which finally using Jekyll, a bit premade design with little customization, and setting up and managing hosting stuff. Later it was getting delayed due something here, project this, that travel, and so on, so on.

When Axure announced that they are about to launch new Axure RP version 8 last June, I decided that was the time I have to focus on this thing, seriously. So here we go.

Yesterday I published my first long post, about my first impressions of Axure RP Pro 8 Beta.

Wish me luck.

Journaling

I kept few diaries way back since my high school. Apparentley I have no success even tough I desired to do more with them. When digital lifestyle came into my life since 1997, this journaling habit of me getting much worse.

Until the last three or five years ago, I started to begin to love the journaling activity. I put some serious efforts to make journaling into my daily life.

I really glad to have diaries when I read some old records from our family travel to Thailand at 2013, or some notes around our experiences on moving to this place which we agreed to call it home, or some notes of my second daughter's birth.

There were some interesting things to look back and I think we can refer to the notes more to make some future travels, future life events, more enjoyable.

Journal makes me realize that I am human. I feel this journaling habit keeps me sane, it makes me feel more closer to myself by knowing how at certain time doing or planning something, or what I didn't do, or how I failed, or how I succeed at some things.

With repetitive tasks programmed to our life every day, the way journaling enabled me to feel this thing is extraordinary. Love, memories, and experiences. These are what I look for when I grab the pen and staring down to the clean page on my desk. And I really love that feeling to really write again, with hand, with pen, in a sheet of paper.


There are various ways to make journal, either via analog notebook (ala moleskine, but cheaper price), or using digital methods. I've tried some of them, but to be honest, I think my rate of success is decent. Some of my favorite journaling apps are iA Writer app, Notes app, Evernote, and Day One app (only trying the iOS version, got it free).

Today I find a journaling method called Bullet Journal. This framework seems workable and promising. This framework offers a way to jot down tasks, notes, and events methodically easy. This framework providing a way for us to record and look back our records through various indexes, future reminders, all the way, I believe, just enough for making daily, weekly, monthly log, and yearly log.

Actually I've tried some methods like this, such as: separating some entries in my journal for working stuffs, family, notes, etc. And then I also tried to reschedule some list to other days, or a way to look how long I managed to do something, or how's my performance for certain times. I also tried to make some signifiers and reminder to certain date. But, due to some lack of disciplines or not consistent process, then I easily get lost. I'm sure I will try this framework and see what comes next. This makes journaling even more useful.

Developing iOS 8 Apps with Swift 

I am late into Swift—the new programming language for developing Apple Apps. I've read debates about it, yeah, those praising vs those who complained. Since I still busy working on other project, I'm waiting.

I'm very excited now I can learn it, for free, from Stanford's Developing iOS 8 with Swift course on iTunes U. It currently on Lecture 3, so it's best time to hop on.

Apple WatchKit 

Apple released WatchKit:

WatchKit apps have two parts: A WatchKit extension that runs on iPhone and a set of user interface resources that are installed on Apple Watch. When your app is launched on Apple Watch, the WatchKit extension on iPhone runs in the background to update the user interface and respond to user interactions. WatchKit provides three opportunities to extend your iPhone app to Apple Watch: WatchKit apps, Glances, and actionable notifications.

See also, Apple Watch Human Interface Guidelines.

A whole new toy.

Using Github to Learn Real-World Code Programming Tricks 

Justin Weiss:

When you want to go beyond the documentation and see real-world uses of a library or feature, use GitHub’s code search.

For example, say I just read the Rails guide on Conditional GET Support. I feel like I understand it, but I want to see some more examples before I use it for real.

I could hop onto GitHub search, and look for "if stale?":

Why I never think of this before? Nice trick.

Old Masters 

John D. Rockefeller in his 80s was known to his business associates as a crazy old man possessed by the stubborn and ferocious will to know why the world wags and what wags it, less interested in money than in the solving of a problem in geography or corporate combination. By sources reliably informed I'm told that Warren Buffett, 84, and Rupert Murdoch, 83, never quit asking questions.

Men and women, at old ages—from author, filmmaker, actor, actress, artist, painter, singer, drummer, runner, fund manager, lawyer, senator, naturalist, illustrator, and architect—all are at their good time.

Interviews are accompanied by an essay by Lewis Lapham, himself on the cusp of 80.

(via Kottke)

Bad UX?

I recently have an opportunity designing wireframes for a mobile commerce site. I communicated through a project manager for this work. In the final review of the project, I got an email like this:

...this is bad UX for add to cart functionality, the user should stay on products page when he taps on add to cart, and when he is done he should click on cart icon to go to cart.

I shocked. I'm not complaining the tone of her message. It's just business as usual. I care more about the thing we discussed, how's a bad UX? I raised my concern because I felt it was interesting case to be explored.

UX/UI Decision

I hope we agreed to conclusion that a very very bad UX decision, is definitely bad. Bad UX is bad. You know it is a bad UX when it certainly, is bad.

But we're here to discuss other case. What about the case above? A shopping cart workflows. May be figures below can explain better.

Many ways to shopping cart
Many Ways to Shopping Cart

While viewing the product page, after he taps "add to cart" icon, these could happened next:

  • Interaction A, user brought to shopping cart page showing the product has been added, and presented with the summary of the order.
  • Interaction B, a flash message showed that "the product has been added to cart". The flash message disappeared after a while. User continue shopping in the same page.

Priority

I disagree if my solution is said to be bad UX decision. I think the final decision on the UX part should be about client's priority.

Actually the flow pattern I use is so common. Amazon, Apple, eBay, and many more you can name it, many sites using this pattern. The pattern is so easy to understand. The focus of this flow is giving user current state of their order by showing products in their shopping cart, and tells customer how much money they have to pay.

I agree the other solution seems more modern, more dynamic, or could we say flashy? But, is it appropriate? Does it add more value to the shopping experience? Could it add more revenue opportunity to client? I think the interaction of "add then continue browsing" seems appropriate for cheap merchandise, in the believe that users could purchase more items to make additional revenues. So, I make my final remark, for the client which happens to be an eyeglasses retailer, which sells mid-range price merchandises, I believe the pattern is more to my solution.

Here I think some other things that taken into consideration before making appropriate add-to-cart UX decision:

  • what's the expected shopping experiences?
  • focus on more shopping items?
  • focus on quick shopping turn around?
  • trends on buying pattern also could affect this decision, whether user buy more products, or user average buying is no more one item per purchase (such for luxury items).

Priority is the key.

Admire someone? Write them an email, you might be surprised 

This isn’t a unique story, either. Before I started working at Basecamp, I would occasionally email Jason – just to say hello and to thank him and the team for Basecamp. Eventually those individual emails turned into conversations. And those conversations ultimately turned into my dream job.

Our friend and current CEO of Highrise, Nate Kontny, has written about a similar story. He’s cold-emailed hundreds of people over the years. And while most have been ignored, some have started some really important conversations (like the one that led him to become the CEO of Highrise!).

Even DHH did that:

Around the same time I wrote @martinfowler and asked if I could redo the PoEAA online diagrams using OmniGraffle (http://t.co/LmEGqYxjgy). — DHH (@dhh) October 15, 2014

I sent few thank you note emails to open-source libraries authors, tough without ever getting any returns yet. But I am happy to sent those emails because I felt obligated to do so, they helped us a lot. But I never send emails just like this. Reminds us that we are human.

The New Face of Indonesian Democracy 

A New Hope - Indonesian President Joko Widodo is a force for democracy
Indonesian new president-elect, Joko Widodo, has made Time's cover this week. Registration needed to read whole article.

The last Indonesian presidential election was held on July 9th, 2014, was the proudest moment for all of us here at Indonesia. As the largest muslim nation in the world at edge of the harshest transition period, we finally able to elect our new president, peacefully, tough through a lot of drama, and we seems will have a lot battle to come.

Why matter? Let me introduce a bit. Mr. Joko Widodo a former major of Solo city that recently took seat as Jakarta governor, has beaten Mr. Prabowo Subianto, a former general from the latest regime, which by himself has a lot of notes—who also the son-in-law of the latest dictator Soeharto, known as reigned Indonesian presidency for about 32 years. Just imagine, the general was backed up my major parties that made coalition more than enough to win over Mr. Widodo coalition, about 60% vs 40%. In the campaign, Mr. Widodo's opponent have tried all the brutal ways, conducted some series of serious attacks: from races, religions, corrupt allegiation—all proven to be wrong—all resulted public polarization, surprisingly this also invited public involvements through political activities. Me and wife included. We actively campaigning Mr. Widodo through social media and off media, via phone, and going to street. What a time we recalled them all now. All of these public encouragement in the last week drove Mr. Widodo popularity, that made Mr. Widodo won with 8% margin, about 8 million people votes. Followed the election result, Mr. Subianto claimed the election has many problems, he then filed an appeal to constitutional court, the court delivered a unanimous 9-0 verdict in favor of rejecting all aspects of the appeal. Seems enough, well not, it seems the gang planted holes on some new legislations that we Indonesian feels capable of destroying our democracy, for example the latest new legislation on choosing local leaders.

I promise this is the latest political message I put on this blog, because it's matter. Unless there seems new things matter I might post other. Mr. Joko Widodo presidency is our biggest hope to get this 230 million people nation to the brightest future, well at least, he is going to try his best to solve the biggest problem we have: corruption, inefficiency in bureaucracy, and making a lot development progress, and giving many bright ideas where to lead this nation. And if not him, the opposition seems ready to attack from many sides. Thankfully, Indonesian seems have a many hope, there seems a lot of new leaders that proven to be able to got people trust and willing to bring Indonesia move forward to a better future. But this start by Mr. Widodo is important. If he can manage his job well for the next 5 years, we have a lot more hope.

At October 20th, 2014—next four days—Indonesia will have new president. His name is Joko Widodo.

On Getting Feedbacks

Questions:

  • Do you know how…
  • Is it easy to…
  • How can we make it better?

Three don'ts:

  • Argue
  • Defend
  • Dismiss

(via WWDC 2014 Session 223)