Usability: Delete Confirmations Done Right

Here is a great way of implementing delete confirmations in web app interfaces. It’s intuitive and usable. It’s done within the same “delete” button but with an extra click. This is how it works, you click once on the button and it will change its state to confirmation button, you click again to confirm deletion.

It’s way better than the overlay popups in the middle of the screen or other too creative ways that go counter-intuitive to the usability of the web app.

It’s from Zapier.com, kudos to them for making their UI user-friendly.

OhLife Alternative

It’s a shame that OhLife is shutting down. If you didn’t know what it was, it was a service where it periodically (eg; daily, weekly, monthly, depending on what you choose) sent you an email asking “How was your day today?”. You would just reply back to the same email describing your day, week, month, and it would save it in your account in OhLife.com.

And one of my favorite bits of the service was, it would include a random post from your life, saying; “Oh snap, remember this? 175 days ago you wrote…” (see above screenshot).

What I liked about the service was, it was not a burden, it was very easy to use, it didn’t force you to write. If you didn’t want, you would just ignore the reminder email and just enjoy the random post from your life.

Well, now that the service is shutting down, how can you record your life in a similar fashion?

OhLife Alternative via IFTTT

If you are not familiar with IFTTT (if this then that) service, then please check this post first. I have created a recipe in IFTTT that will do the following: Everytime you send an email with the subject #OhLife to trigger@recipe.ifttt.com it will save that email in your GoogleDocs. New entries will be added as a new row in the spreadsheet. Date and email content will be saved in the document.  Continue reading

How to Find Pro UI Designers for Your Startup

Say, you have an idea for a startup which you would like to build MVP (minimum viable product i.e most basic version) of it but don’t know any decent UI designer who can visualize your idea and turn it into this amazing User Interface; the likes of Instagram and other similar cool apps.

If you have done web or mobile app projects of your own before, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – it’s a challenge to find pro User Interface designers.

Most of the time, prior to deciding if you should hire full-time developers and designers for your startup, optimal and cost-effective thing to do would be to outsource MVP version to freelancers. Hiring of full time staff can come later, once the app achieves product/market-fit.

For this reason, you would normally want someone who is pro and available for freelance work. Many sites like oDeskFreelancer, Elance, DesignCrowd etc have these kind of resources. But it’s really a pain to find the right person.

Melting pot for Great, Pro Designers

But there is a great platform where all the professional designers hang around, and that is on Dribbble. It’s a place where designers showcase their work and peers feedback and “like” each others’ work. It’s also a great place to find the right designer for your startup idea.

Continue reading

How to Watch Netflix and Hulu Outside of US

Netflix and Hulu are popular VOD (Video On Demand) services in the United States. Unfortunately it takes ages for these services to come to countries like Malaysia. Spotify took more than a year after it launched its services in the US in July 2011.

Luckily, with little bit of tweaks here and there, you can watch these US restricted services anywhere in the world. In this post, I will cover how this can be done. You don’t have to be technical person to do this.

1. Get a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

What this means is that, you connect to a server that is based in the US, and all your connections to sites like Netflix and Hulu and the internet in general will be treated as if your computer is located in the US. That is because, you will be connecting to internet via the US server and not directly from your own computer which has a Malaysian IP address for example.

Free vs Paid VPNs

There are a lot of free VPNs out there. However you need to be cautious when you are using these free services. Because you wouldn’t know if they are really secure and private as they claim to be. Or some of the services could be setup with a malicious intent – that is to steal people’s data. For this reason, while you are connected to VPN, never ever do online banking or check your emails or login to Facebook etc. Especially, when you are using the free services.

Another disadvantage of the free VPN services, since they are free, many people will be using them. Therefore, the connection might not be very stable as the bandwidth gets clogged and connection might get disconnected often. This will definitely spoil your Netflix experience.

Below we will cover three types of VPNs; Continue reading

How to Backup All Your Instagram Photos

In light of the latest brouhaha over the Instagram Terms of Service, this might be a good time for you to back up all your Instagram photos. Just to be safe, you know!

Below I will address two ways to backup your Instagram pictures; 1 – your existing Instagram pictures and
2 – a way to auto-backup all your future Instagram pictures as well.

Backing up all your existing Instagram photos

Instaport is a great way to backup all your existing Instagram photos. It’s very simple to use, all you need to do is to connect using your instagram login and all your Instagram pictures will be zipped and ready for you to download.

Website: http://web2.instaport.me

How to auto backup all your future Instagram Pictures

Using two great tools, IFTTT and Dropbox, you can auto backup all your future Instagram photos to your Dropbox as they are posted by you in your Instagram account. I have previously blogged about ifttt here. Continue reading

Tweet links to your Delicious.com account

Problem

Often times I come across a great resource on the web and I want to bookmark it. I usually use Delicious.com to save and manage all my bookmarks. However, sometimes when I’m browsing the web via mobile, I can’t really save the links to my Delicious account, especially when I’m using a specific app, so normally I will do one of the following:

  1. Send the link to myself via email, so that I can bookmark it later when I check my mail on my notebook.
  2. Send to Readability app, if it’s something I want to read later.
  3. Tweet the link (if it is something that will benefit my twitter followers) so that I can favorite it and it will be thus bookmarked on my Favorites list. Yes, I use Twitter’s Favorites list as my bookmark page :) That’s why I suggested to @twitter to do something about it.

The Solution

Luckily there is a solution from Delicious’ side that they have introduced few months back. Basically what it does is that, it connects to your Twitter account via oAuth, and pulls all the tweets with hashtags #d. You can also select few other options, such as pulling all favorited tweets etc.

To set this up, login to your Delicious account and go to Settings > Continue reading