Words of Wisdom That Still Ring True

This article links to CouchDb wiki, which appears to have flushed the page, but the truths inherent in the ideas expressed here pretty much cover technical documentation. You have to be tenacious about extracting real information, and you have to organize it properly.

Giving up and passing the buck aren't answers. They're just excuses for not doing your job.

A Restaurant Menu for The Grit in Athens, Georgia

A menu for a restaurant in Athens, Georgia shouldn't really be the subject of a post on technical writing, should it? Well, guess again.

This menu is an amazing piece of graphics, typography, and design. It has so many things happening in it that it's really difficult to know where to begin because there are so many smart design choices that appear, as if by magic, all at once. I think what stands out is the font, and the shading of the letters to the sides and the wonderful choice of colors. I'll just link to it and let you decide.

Check out their regular menu and the brunch menu, and you can see for yourself how the organization and the bare bones, minimalistic approach gives the user an easy, flowing experience.

Google's Penguin Update Infographic

I really like the intention of this infographic, but it fails on two key levels with me.

First, it's simply too vertical. I love the design elements and the illustrations are exceptionally well done, but it suffers from being difficult to read. In order to review it, I had to blow it up and scroll through it.

This is not a dealbreaker, however. In many cases, the size and scale are perfect for tablets and phones, but, again, I have a hard time believing it would be legible on a phone.

Second, it covers a subject that I don't care about. Black Hat SEO is nothing I'm concerned about because I don't use those practices. This infographic is wasted on an audience that simply doesn't care about user experience or ethics. Why create a wonderful graphic for a group that simply doesn't care whether you or anyone else is able to read and enjoy content on the web? They want your hits and your clicks and they don't care how they get them.

I think the bottom part should have been condensed and that it should have been wider and fatter, like a cartoon penguin ought to be.