Reader's Corner No.17: Typography Matters, Time Tracking, Lab Color, and Internal IT

And just like that, it’s March. Our reading topics this week include: why typography matters, is time tracking beneficial, using Lab color, the cost of a typo, and why you need internal IT.

Why Typography Matters — Especially At The Oscars

Jeanette Larsen

Source: freeCodeCamp

Takeaway: At the recent Oscars, the wrong movie for best picture was announced causing quite a stir in the media. Perhaps the announcer would have caught the error beforehand if the typography of the card was better. “Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed” — Wikipedia.

Typography plays a part in many of our daily interactions. The author, Benjamin Bannister, claims, "The importance of typography is an absolute skill to know, and people — not just designers, should consider learning it."

Tags: #Typography, #Oscars

Can Time Tracking Apps Improve Your Team’s Performance?

Michael Nicholson

Source: Wrike Project Management Blog

Takeaway: "Tracking time is a necessary function in nearly all production companies. Whether it's tracking payable hours, billable hours, or just time spent on specific tasks, knowing the resources used to accomplish goals is necessary to making informed business decisions.

The article points out that in order to get positive results out of tracking time, there are some prerequisites:

  • Team buy in
  • Clear communication about what time is being tracked and what that information is needed for/will be used for

Additionally, it is important to look at larger trends and not focus on specific occurrences; anyone can get distracted, or take longer on a task than expected. However, if it's common for an employee, or a group, to spend more time than expected, there may be a process that could be improved leading to a more productive environment."

Tags: #BusinessEtiquette, #Email

What are the pros and cons of using Lab color?

David Gouch

Source: Graphic Design Stack Exchange

Takeaway: We use different methods for storing and representing color. On websites, that’s primarily RGB. In a graphics app, you might use HSB. But the least supported method is my favorite: Lab.

Unlike other systems that are based on light levels in a monitor, Lab is based on how light actually looks to a human eye (e.g. if you compare green and blue at the same *technical* brightness, your eye will perceive the green as brighter). Working in Lab opens up a new way of seeing the interaction of colors. And it makes choosing colors that work on light *and* dark backgrounds just plain easy (see: Solarized).

Tags: #ColorTheory

Amazon’s $150 Million Typo Is a Lightning Rod for a Big Cloud Problem

David Minton

Source: MIT Technology Review

Takeaway: Last week large parts of the Internet stopped working for about four-hours. Analysts estimate the outage may have cost S&P 500 companies at least $150 million in lost revenue. The reason was traced back to a failure at Amazon’s cloud services linked to a single incorrect command entered by a staff member while attempting to undertake routine maintenance. This stands as a scary reminder that no matter who you rely on for infrastructure, even the world’s largest cloud computing provider, nobody is infallible. Systems are not robust enough in light of the threats out there from criminal hacking to cyberterrorists if they can be taken down by a simple error as we just experienced.

Tags: #Internet, #CurrentEvents

The Billable Hour

Jay Roberts

Source: The DailWTF

Takeaway: Increasingly, in some capacity every business is an IT business. Companies should see their internal software development as a core part of their business rather than a cost center.

Tags: #Development

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