NABBC Highlights September 2022
Several months ago we began our Not-A-Book-Book-Club team discussions in which we discuss articles, podcasts, videos, and more that either directly or tangentially inspire the way we work. We have enjoyed our semimonthly conversations and wanted to share a few recent highlights.
From Carla: Most components should NOT be reused by Tomek Mularczyk
Components can be incredibly helpful units of code, however just because a component CAN be created does not mean it SHOULD. Mularczyk notes the pitfalls of creating too many components and explains how to best identify what code should be promoted to component and what should remain disposable code. With an end goal of good abstraction in mind, minimizing components makes code reviews easier and minimizes risk in the long run.
Group Topic: Beyond "Good Job": How to Give Impactful Feedback from the Spotify.Design blog
Want to congratulate your team member on a job well done? Strive to say more than just "looks good!" (we found ourselves to be VERY guilty of this one!). Especially when no changes need to be made, it feels quick and convenient to toss out a brief compliment and move on to the next thing. However, by not getting specific, the process and effort of what made the positive result are lost. Offering specific feedback drives repetition of the specific behavior that led to success. Allowing a brief conversation to happen can lead to sharing of best practices and implementation of stronger processes. The team really enjoyed discussing this article and how its principles could be applied within the team, across teams, and with clients.
From Geoff: An Accessibility-First Approach To Chart Visual Design from Smashing Magazine
Information should be universally accessible, and unfortunately data visualizations are largely ableist. By considering accessibility in design from the onset, visualizations can become more usable for everyone - not just those who have visual impairments. The article offered an excellent physical example in the Guggenheim Museum in New York - the entire museum's architecture is based on a large, spiraling ramp that creates an aesthetically pleasing experience while also allowing for integrated wheelchair accessibility. From there the article steps through the journey to make latency data more legible for developers, showing that a little extra effort goes a long way in making information digestible.
Group Topic: Product Judgment: How some people can repeatedly create product success from the Intercom Blog
Product judgement - the ability to not only understand a customer's wants and needs but to act on them appropriately through the product's design and delivery - is a valuable, hard-won skill. It can only be acquired through direct experience with the customer, and helps with roadmapping, scoping, and designing products. The Mile Marker team voiced strong support for the recommendations in this article, citing the value of product owners and developers getting direct experience with the end users. This connection, as well as the experience of using the product, help developers to become more invested in ensuring value is delivered.