Blockbuster files for bankruptcy

It was only a matter of time.

Top-aligned labels make forms faster to fill out

Anthony at UXMovement (emphasis his):

Top aligned labels have proven to be faster and easier to fill out than left or right aligned labels. This is because top aligned labels require half as many visual fixations than left or right aligned labels. Top aligned labels also allow users to move down the form in one visual direction, instead of two visual directions with left and right aligned labels. This makes filling out forms quicker and easier.

Even though he doesn’t provide the proof to back up his claim, this is a generally accepted concept and one that Luke Wroblewski writes more about in his excellent book Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks.

It’s worth mentioning that speed isn’t always the best thing for your forms though. For a registration form, sure, get through it as quick as possible. But there are times when you might want to make your users slow down and think about the information they’re entering—like a bank’s bill payment form for example.

SublimeVideo Player to be released as a service

Looks like it will work similar to Typekit. The beta will be free, but the full version will be a yet to be determined pricing model.

The Wilderness Downtown

An online music video by Chris Milk and Google featuring “We Used To Wait” by The Arcade Fire built in HTML5. Very impressive and a sign of things to come I wager.

Gmail Priority Inbox

Doug Aberdeen, Software Engineer for Google:

As messages come in, Gmail automatically flags some of them as important. Gmail uses a variety of signals to predict which messages are important, including the people you email most (if you email Bob a lot, a message from Bob is probably important) and which messages you open and reply to (these are likely more important than the ones you skip over). And as you use Gmail, it will get better at categorizing messages for you.

This really does look like a great feature and I can’t wait to try it out. I finally made the full-time switch to Gmail a few weeks ago and have found myself spending more time using it directly over Mail. This feature just might make it my main email client.

John Rust reviews the new Sharpie Liquid Pencil

John Rust:

For each pencil or pen, I simply picked it up and started writing. I didn’t scribble the pens beforehand to get the ink flowing, and I didn’t deliberately apply any extra pressure when writing. As is to be expected, the generic pen took a few letters to start writing properly, while the G2 pen worked perfectly from the start. The pencils both worked perfectly. The Liquid Pencil, however, barely wrote at all: the flow of the “ink” often skipped as I wrote, and the experience was not at all fluid.

Not a particularly great review but I’ll still probably pick one up to give it a try.

/via Shawn Blanc

How to Run a Meeting

Michael Lopp just has a way of nailing this management stuff for us geeks and he does it again with meetings:

I bag on meetings because like any nerd I expect the universe to be efficient and orderly and there is no more vile a violation of this sense of orderliness than a room full of people randomly bumping into shit and calling it a meeting.

If you ever sit in meetings—or especially if you run meetings—this is a must read.

Announcing the jQuery Mobile Project

John Resig:

Absolutely critical to us is that jQuery and the mobile UI framework that we’re developing work across all major international mobile platforms (not just a few of the most popular platforms in North America). We’ve published a complete strategy overview detailing the work that we’re doing and a chart showing all the browsers that we’re going to support.

Right now we’re working hard, planning out the features that we want to land and doing testing against the devices that we want to support — and hoping for a release later this year.

Brent Simmons: Flexibility and Power

A nice article on where the focus of software is heading. This bit really rang true with me:

You don’t spend your time skinning your audio player anymore, in other words. You just play music. And you do other things while the music’s playing.

Way back in the day I used to do a lot of app skinning. Hard to believe I used to have time for something so trivial.

/via Shawn Blanc

New Sharpie Liquid Pencil

Writes like a pen. Erases like a pencil. Becomes permanent after three days. Can’t wait to try it.

Gestalten.tv: All the News that's Fit to Post

A behind the scenes look at The New York Times graphics department and the methodology behind the creation of their superb graphic work.

Netflix on PS3 Going Disc-Free This Fall

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, in a recent earnings call:

"Before our next call in October, we expect to be launching a major new version of our Sony PS3 user interface which doesn’t require a disc and is dynamically updated continuously with the latest Netflix UI improvements," Hastings said.

Great news.