‘Living on’ nodenogg.in

Article published on: Apr 17th, 2020

Updated on: Jun 3rd, 2020

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Peter secan kKXBw9Exn30 unsplash

unsplash-logoPeter Secan

As nodenogg.in progresses, I keep seeing flashes of how it would help to organise, or be used in, my own thinking practices, and so I occasionally get frustrated with the speed at which I’m able to advance its capabilities. Still, I have to remind myself that I’m not running a research lab, and that I can only devote so much time to the project in the part-time allocation I have.

Whenever I discuss a concept or an approach to interacting with the nodenogg.in data I know its possible and could be fun yet I cant program as fast as I want, I have never professed to be a coder and whenever asked I always advise I’m not a coder I’m a hacker.1

50% of computer programming is trial and error, the other 50% is copy and paste. – Pawan Sharma

Testing of version 0.0.X with students has been excellent, and the next phase of 0.X.X is all about incorporating the ideas generated and feedback received from that version. So the jump in the semantic versioning as a minor update is in part due to the need to rewrite the code from scratch.

In order to take advantage of the realisation that I could–and should–build with proper semantic HTML in mind, as well as all of the Vue.js learning I’d personally undertaken coupled with a number of excellent conversations with Toby, I felt that a complete re-write was very necessary. This has instantly started bearing a lot of good fruit, as can be seen in these progress videos:

I know that the sooner I can start using nodenogg.in for my own thinking, the more the project will advance with regard to the core principles of delight, whimsy and serendipity.

Of course, the goal is to test this within the design studio thinking process as soon as possible, although the COVID-19 lockdown will negate that to some degree for a while!

Thinking about testing, I was reminded of Ken Kocienda’s book Creative Selection. He was an engineer at Apple who worked on creating Safari for macOS and the touch keyboard for what would become the iPhone (the ‘Purple’ project). It was a revolutionary piece of touch design that could, if gone awry, derail the whole project, as the Apple Newton’s hand recognition software had. When describing working on ‘Purple’, Kocienda mentioned the idea of ‘living on’: the day-to-day routine of using in-progress software as if it were a real product.2

So, as part of our new weekly chats, Toby and I have set aside some drivers to get us ‘living on’ nodenogg.in as soon as possible, which I hope will eventually lead to more people testing the alpha release. Regarding how we’re “living on”, I’m trying to keep the list of drivers as short as possible, as the intent is to release often and iterate. We don’t want to fail quickly, but this is a human-centred design process and thus the more humans involved, the better.

Keep an eye on the main site for the latest alpha alpha build, and please do give any thoughts or feedback any thoughts via the discourse below.

Main take aways

  • ‘living on’ nodenogg.in asap is going to key to pushing forward delightful design choices.
  • Note that trusting software is also important, this needs to be considered.
  • Will people put data into an alpha app (see point 2)

  1. I also really like the term tinkering

  2. Other technology organisations have tended to use the terrible term ‘dogfooding’ for this concept.