Nerd Alert: Issue Three


Half of the nerds are visiting INN's glamorous LA offices this week. They are probably stuck in traffic eating avocados at this very moment.


What we're reading this week

  Adam: The user experience and research teams at Huge published the first in a series of posts subjecting common design elements to rigorous user testing. In this first installment they look at the myth that your most important content needs to be placed “above the fold” because users don’t scroll. Their findings might surprise you.

 Ben: President Obama’s GitHub account doesn’t have the code he wrote for Hour of Code, but it does have nine months of tickets on sunlightlabs/us-laws, one for each bill passed since March 25.

  Kaeti: I love seeing how people work. This behind-the-scenes video shows designer Aaron Draplin tackle a logo challenge for a fictional construction company. You get to see his process from sketches to Illustrator mockups (with a lot of great advice along the way). It’s so worth the 16 minutes.

  Meredith: User experience research lives under a large umbrella. The Nielson Group’s framework and methods review may be useful both in identifying questions to pursue and designing studies.

  Will: If you’ve never heard of — the advent calendar for web geeks — you’re in for a treat. Written by some of the best developers out there, it’s a great way to catch up on best practices and new technologies that you might have missed during the year. Get caught up this month and keep a look out for new articles published each day in December.

  Bert: Margaret Atwood really gets me.

This week's guest contributor: Tom Nehil, MinnPost

Vi Hart and Nicky Case’s Parable of the Polygons is not only a timely reminder of the way small biases can create big effects when multiplied across society, it's also a great example of using interactivity to tell a story in a way that's more effective than words alone. Interactivity with a purpose, not just because it's cool. (h/t: @zzolo)

Each week we ask someone from outside our team to contribute a link, tool or idea. Are you our next guest star? We think you might be. Send us a note at


Our projects, manifest

This week we hosted our News Nerd Book Club about Charles Wheelan's Naked Statistics. Read Meredith's recap post, and then vote about which book we should read next.

Want to know more about the book club? Check out this introduction and join us next month!


Work we admire by our journalism peers





Congratulations to the Chicago Tribune’s News Apps team on the 1.0 release of Tarbell, their static site generator.


Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: Visit NPR's Songs We Love for some of the best tracks of 2014. (Bonus, they open sourced the code for the app!)

GIF: 2014 is almost over.