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HTML5, Assessing Fit, Animated GIFs, and Data Visualization: What We’re Reading 7.11.2014

By Steve Singer

HTML5, Assessing Fit, Animated GIFs, and Data Visualization: What We’re Reading 7.11.2014

Once again Aquent sets your weekend reading agenda with this collection of posts on HTML5, math as a way of assessing morality, animated GIFs, crowdsourcing beautiful experiences, and effective data visualization. If you read something this week that you think we should be reading, let us know in the comments!

85 amazing HTML5 examples

HTML5, the fifth iteration of the web’s fundamental markup language, is technically still in development, as this article states, but it's already creating the next generation (post-Flash?) web experience for many users. While you might not make it through all 85 examples listed here, even if you only make it through the first three you will come to appreciate the power and richness of HTML5. And you might just get inspired to do something new with your own website! 


All hiring managers struggle with one simple question: Will this person be a good fit for my team and our organizational culture? Since this question involves a prediction about future behavior, it is inherently tricky. To answer it we essentially rely on structured interviewing, reference checks, and our gut (which can be notoriously fickle). But what if we could be more scientific about it? This intriguing article starts with a discussion of PageRank, the initial idea behind Google’s algorithm, and then raises the possibility of using linear algebra to determine the morality of people, with morality being defined as the willingness to cooperate with other moral people. Could it become a useful tool for assessing job candidates?


As this post states, “Since the dawn of the internet the world has been asking: ‘Why are hover interactions so boring?’" Well, apparently that problem has been solved by the creation of a JavaScript library that allows you to replace an entire page with an animated GIF when a user hovers over a link. This, um, innovation is a definite game changer!

Forget the Shortest Route Across a City; New Algorithm Finds the Most Beautiful

In his book Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon described the pleasures of “shunpiking” – taking back roads instead of turnpikes to get to know places better and appreciate the beauty that can be found off the highway. The researchers in this study have begun to collect data to help users turn off their GPS and find the most beautiful routes through a city. Intriguingly, they used Flickr to find beautiful locations (based primarily on how many pictures had been taken at those locations), applied an algorithm to map out routes between these locations, and then asked people to evaluate the beauty of the routes—a cool illustration of how crowdsourcing, math, and user testing can create new experiences for people. 

America's UFO Sightings

Einstein said “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That quote applies to graphics and design as much as it does to scientific theories. Simplicity helps clarify what could sometimes be complex ideas, and this infographic is an excellent example of using simplicity to get a straightforward message across quickly.

Photo Credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

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