I’m a major Formula 1 fan. I have Seat Licenses for the USGP at COTA, I listen to F1 podcasts (even in the off season), and my weekends revolve around practices, qualifying & races. But I have a gripe: it’s nigh on impossible to get F1 content. There’s no way to learn about F1 history by watching old seasons. If one’s DVR misses a race (outage, rain delay, etc.) one is out of luck.
This happened with the 2015 Monaco GP. I avoided spoilers all day and sat down to turn the TV on only to find the recording was incomplete due to an outage. I found myself in a position where I’d pay an (un)fair price because all I wanted to do was watch the race. I searched the Internet, credit card in hand, looking for a place to watch with no luck. All this is very similar to Matthew Inman’s experience with Game of Thrones…
Formula 1 currently has strategy groups dedicated to expanding the sport as well as the brand. In my opinion, a lot of what they come up with is gimmicky when they already have what they need: great content.
I want (read: will pay for)…
- A way to watch practices, qualifying, races wherever and whenever I want
- In-Depth coverage that isn’t limited by networks or broadcasting licensing
- Access to older seasons so I can binge watch
With this type of content availability, they’d gain fans for life. F1 can have the sparkiest skid plates, the loudest engines, and the most immersive1 website, but if I can’t consume F1 content, how can I be fan? Please, F1, make this stuff readily available. These words from Karen McGrane ring true:
It is your mission to get your content out, on whichever platform, in whichever format your audience wants to consume it. Your users get to decide how, when, and where they want to read your content. It is your challenge and your responsibility to deliver a good experience to them.
P.S. F1, let us know if you’d like help2.
Fontstand is a new service + Mac OS X app that introduces a new way to license desktop fonts. Even though 99% of my work is web-based, Fontstand immediately appeals to me.
Too many times have I purchased a font, used it for a little while, and realized it’s not working. Testing this way is laborious and expensive. Fontstand has a “Try free for 1 hour” option, which will be a godsend. I tested it out, and just like Typekit’s desktop syncing, they automatically populate the font options in your app. No activation or file management required.
Naturally, I’d love for something like this to extend to webfonts. Even just being able to filter by fonts with a webfont option would be a huge win for my workflow.
Unless I’m mistaken, Fontstand isn’t meant to replace font management software like Font Explorer (yet). It’s sorta like the store side of iTunes (you can’t import/manage fonts you own). That’s fine by me. Fontstand is a great way to find fonts, test them out, and pay a fair price for what you use—which, as I’ve said before, is important. With 21+ foundries on board so far I think it’s safe to say the licensing model has a fair level of support within the type community. It’s going to be fun to watch Fontstand evolve.
I’ll be leading a workshop (for WRKSHOP) on responsive layouts & prototypes in Austin this April 4th. I didn’t feel confident as a web designer until I got comfortable with CSS layouts, so that’s exactly what we’ll focus on.
We’ll start with a single column of text and talk about everything that can go right/wrong with that. Then we’ll increase complexity (adding another column, imagery, grid, etc.) one step at a time, discussing as we go. There will be a series of CodePens for each step, so attendees can follow along & hack live code. Typography will be fine-tuned! Multiple devices will be happy! You will conquer the responsive layout with ease! Register here.
Brent Jackson (http://jxnblk.com) has been building some really great tools recently. Colorable helps you test color combinations/palettes with WCAG accessibility guidelines in a visual way.
He’s also built a text version with a crazy-simple UI.
And if you haven’t spent too much time playing with those, he’s also built a visual gradient explorer called Shade.
I really like the new “Mobile-friendly” labels Google is putting on search results…
A page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
Even more exciting to me is the potential for mobile-friendliness being a factor in search result ranking…
We see these labels as a first step in helping mobile users to have a better mobile web experience. We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.
Use the Mobile Friendly Test to check your site.