More Axure Fun

So I have been using repeaters in a couple of prototypes in Axure. Repeaters allow creating a single element that then is linked to a data table and will repeat content based on how many rows are in the data table. This can make it much easier to automatically simulate a list/grid of search results with real content. You can also then add controls to filter and sort and paginate the list. There is also the ability to dynamically load images from an external source. All of this awesome functionality was making it fun to build out some prototypes that I had intended to do some remote/unmoderated usability testing.

Unfortunately, complex repeaters (6+ columns, external images, links/refernce pages, etc) with more than around 12 rows can substantially slow down the loading of a prototype in a browser. It gets even worse from the axshare server. Also, having more than 1 repeater widget on a page can also slow down a prototype to make it basically unusable. So I fell back to using dynamic panels with states to represent more limited simulation of filtering.

There are some ways to optimize repeaters including using the pagination functionality to load a smaller set of content. However, even after this optimization I still found my prototype pages with repeaters taking upwards of 8-10 seconds to load locally. Viewing pages from the axshare server which can be slow on its own, was often pushing 20+ seconds to load a page. For all the power they offer it was a big dissappointment to not be able to use repeaters in the prototypes for the usability testing. I am still looking further in to how to optimize things. I think it would be helpful if we could make a repeater load asynchronously and perhaps have a place holder image or group of elements.

Axure Interactions on Grouped Elements Reminder

This is a note to remind myself that interactions applied to a group folder do not work if any of the enclosed elements have an interaction. Also AxureEx is an incredibly useful set of methods for including javascript in an Axure file:

AxureEx can be found here:
http://www.dejongh.dk/wiki/doku.php?id=interaction:axure.ex_api

And the downloadable file is here:
https://github.com/Sam-Hepworth/Axure.Ex/releases

Credit to Sam Hepworth

iPhone X: Face ID

Well after having the iPhone X for over a few months now I have completely adapted to using faceID for access. In many ways I like it better than touchID. It is a simpler and seemingly more direct interaction to just swipe up and the phone opens. Overall, I really like the smaller form factor, but decent sized screen which is only slightly more narrow than the 8plus.

I am still wanting to get something to cover the camera when I am not using it, but need it to be flexible enough to not make unlocking more complicated. I’ve tried a few different customized tape configurations with a tab, but they just do not work well. It was awkward bending the tape over and then it would eventually not stay back in place. Ultimately with all the privacy violations of sites like Facebook I don’t feel I am being too paranoid to want the camera covered. So, I’ll keep working on this until I can design something that just works without looking like a kludge.

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iPhone X

So I was able to pick up an iPhone X on the launch day Nov 3rd. I had been vacillating between getting the 8+ or the X for over a month now. Despite all the talk of how expensive the X is, the 8+ is nearly just as expensive at $949 for the top end version with 256GB of storage. The thing that was really putting me off of the X was the lack of touch ID. I had a 6+ and really love the touch ID. The new Face-ID is not a substitute in my eyes as I usually put a tape flap over the camera for privacy reasons. Using face-ID would make that a pain to deal with multiple times a day to unlock.

However, I am now coming around to this and I am thinking I will start using the face-ID. I just have to find something that will allow me to have the camera covered and easily uncover to unlock. The tape worked well enough for the rare occasion I wanted to take a selfie, but it will not work for everyday unlocking. I otherwise really like the smaller sized device with a large screen.

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Call me Uncle

Well, I am now an uncle. My younger sister had her first baby just after noon today. It was a long labor (24+ hours) as that little guy just did not want to come out.

My kids are older now, so it’s been a while since I’ve been around a baby. Babies are amazing to watch how they learn about the world around them. And it will be fun to watch my sister and my brother-in-law learn how to be parents.

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Site outage

Apparently, my personal site here was down a week ago or so, and I had no idea. I don’t check it every day and it seems my host does not have a notification of when a site is not working. Regardless, when I did get things restored it looks like I lost some articles. Checking my back-ups I realized I had not refreshed that in over a year. So it looks like I lost anything I posted in the last year. Actually, I’m not sure I posted anything as it has been a crazy busy year.

At any rate, things have been restored and I need to think about getting a system notification check service as well as a better back-up strategy other than manually copying posts into text files or doing irregular sql dumps.

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Yard work, yard work, yard work… Never seems to end

It’s been a while since I last posted. Work has been incredibly busy and my personal life has had a number of events in the last year. The one thing that gets me the most is all the yard work I have to do here. I can barely keep up with the grass, which due to all the rain this year, seems to need cutting every 5 days. Then I have the bushes in front that need trimming, and on the side of the house is a bunch of old flowers that are nice when they re-bloom, but look ugly and overgrown the rest of the year. There is also a small tree that keeps sprouting up on the side and I keep hacking it down, but never get around to pulling the roots out. I have to take a vacation just to do all the yard work. Sigh.

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