A new logo for KeyboardPlaying

I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time and now the time has come: KeyboardPlaying has a new logo. Which means it will soon have a new website too.

You can find it on Github. Fork if you have any way to make it better (either better looking or just a better construction of the SVG).

Now, this lays the foundations of the future graphical style of the website. The colors were inspired from the Material Design Lite, which I’ll use for the next version of the homepage. It is also flat as I like the current trend to minimalism and flatness. I find it much more soothing than all the fashion of imitating reality, making things 3D like with shadows and so on (though I loved it in that time too, but I was a bit younger; time to be an adult… Or maybe not totally).

No, for the website, just a bit of patience, please.

Monoid is a perfect font for coders

When you are a coder, you use a monospaced font. But finding one easy on the eyes is not that easy.

Andreas Larsen did his best to find a solution and he has come with something pretty interesting. In a few keywords, it is clean, sharp, a bit geeky, …

With more words:

  • It does not have Courier’s serifs.
  • Every character is easily recognizable. In Java for instance, you need to be able to distinguish without mistake an o from an O or a 0, or an l from a 1. After all, 42l and 421 are not the same thing at all. Riddles are based on this single possible confusion.
  • The character spacing is smaller than the usual, allowing to see more on your screen when you have long code lines (which I do not recommend though).
  • It’s Open Source and alive, with a Github project, issues and therefore the chance for the people who use it to make it better over time.
  • Purely geeky: it comes with funny ligatures. Take a look at the HTML comments in the sample below.
  • Edit (2015-08-01): The authors have integrated FontAwesome as ligatures into a variant of Monoid called Monoisome. Useful when you develop web projects with FontAwesome.
  • Tailored to your preferences: you can download it with different line height, character spacing, with or without ligatures, …
Monoid, HTML sample
Monoid, HTML sample

This takes the place of Ubuntu Mono as my favorite monospace font for coding. Way to go, Monoid!

Go to the Monoid website to download it.

Source: Found via Lifehacker

Some thoughts on UX

A year ago, our company tried to put up a team specialized in UX — we dubbed ourselves the UX Avengers, hence the illustration for the post — and wanted its members to trigger some awareness in other developers about the associated issues. This post is translated from the introduction I wrote for the first newsletter we sent.

What is UX?

This notion is sometimes blurry and often confused with UI. UX is the short for User eXperience. According to Wikipedia and the ISO 9241-210 standard, it is “a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service”. The name defines the notion.

Obviously, better the experience is, better are the satisfaction and acceptance of the application.

What should you focus on to make your app’s UX better?

The interface

There is a reason UI and UX are so easily confused: the interface is the only thing the user perceives of the application (the look-and-feel). He might be more willing to spend some time on a sober and aesthetically pleasing screen than on a colorful and overloaded screen.

Dilbert designed a UI

The ergonomics

We just spoke about it, though you may have failed to realize it: a screen, as beautiful as it is, cannot be crowded with controls. Your application must be easy to apprehend and understand if it is to capture the users. It is the biggest secret of some well-known companiesā€¦


The technology

Even if you have the vision, you need the tools to make it concrete, preferably in an elegant way. The arsenal at your disposal is very wide and evolves rapidly. One of the purposes of this newsletter is to allow you to keep in touch with the latest evolutions.