Programmers have been using syntax highlighting to improve their code for quite some time. Highlighting syntax provides you with a more structured view on your code and it helps you spot typos. Can highlighting adjectives, adverbs, verbs, nouns, and conjunctions improve your writing style?

This year, we increased our blogging activity. This allowed us to test how much we can influence our sales by blogging more than just every couple of months. We had a lot to say, and so we blogged almost every day, got better traffic, and indeed that resulted in more sales.

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More traffic, more sales, nice!

Nice! As the traffic started going up from in January, sales started going up, too. Okay, maybe we need to blog more regularly then? Daily, even? Well, we also noticed that if we throw lots of traffic at the Store, we get punished, too. The App Store algorithm started downranking us in the charts and thus throttle sales from within the App Store. …

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Saving money short term can waste time long term. In the long run, bad quality can get expensive. A molded chair from Ikea may look nice and cost a fraction of a Eames chair, but chances are that it breaks in a couple of years and you need to buy a new one. Eventually, you lose money buying a bad quality chair and compared to buying a good quality, more expensive chair. In the end, you wasted money and, that means: you wasted time.

Investing time can save money if you invest it in quality. This is a popular argument for selling handcrafted goods, brands and luxury merchandise. “It’s more expensive, but you will own it much longer!” Unfortunately, not everything that is more expensive will last longer. Sometimes you just pay for the brand. Sometimes a product is purposely more expensive to trick you into believing it is of superior quality. Often, it’s a mix. It’s worth investing your time before you spend money. …

Step by step, Facebook has cut the news from its feeds. Yesterday, they confirmed that they will focus on content from friends and family while de-emphasizing news. How come? Here is the take of someone that has been designing and consulting news sites for the last 10 years.

As an early startup, we were giving our best building up both our Facebook and Twitter community. Things were going well for startups that were willing to share know-how in return for attention. At times, we had over 100’000 unique users per day on our site reading about web design and typography — through Twitter and Facebook. …

iA Writer is a clean, focused writing space that has redefined writing on Mac and Android. Now, the original app is coming to Windows.

Go check it out:

The takeover of artificial intelligence seems to be a done deal. The open questions are: When will machines outperform us? Will they annihilate us? And: Should self-driving cars kill one pregnant woman or two Nobel prize winners? Artificial Intelligence is a complex riddle for all sorts of experts. It’s full of magic, mystery, money, mind-boggling techno-ethical paradoxes and sci-fi dilemmas that may or may not affect us in some far or near future. Meanwhile, information technology already shapes our everyday life. Things already go wrong. And no one is responsible.

Why do we build artificial intelligence? What are machines supposed to do? …

Hell just froze over. After seven years of offering no font options to write, iA Writer now comes with a choice. Next to the monospace Nitti you will now find a brand new duospace font. Duospace?

Duospace is a notion familiar from Asian fonts where there are single and double width characters. Our candidate is a bit different. It offers single and four 1.5 width characters.

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And what makes it more writeable than nice proportional or a classic monospace font? Get the full nerdsplanation, download it from GitHub and try it for yourself.

iA Writer 5 for iPhone and iPad is here. What’s new?

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  • Quick Search finds files and actions from the keyboard
  • Configurable keyboard
  • New Library with Favorite and Smart Folders
  • iOS11 Files integration
  • iPhone X ready
  • Improved URL Schemes
  • 3D Touch in Library and Quick Search
  • GitHub template added to defaults
  • TeX Math support in all templates
  • Smart Tables

…all as a free update to iA Writer 4. Our major next step is set to work on iA Writer 5 for Mac. You can learn more about iA Writer 5, update your iPhone and iPad apps, love us on Product Hunt, or Get iA Writer 5 on the App Store.

Inspired by Roger Federer’s icon-only approach, we created a font that turns the 2,000 most used English words into emoji. It was just an experiment — until Apple opened the door to their Messages app…

The Iconic font extends the standard emoji set to cover the most common English words. It lets you type symbols that can be reversed into words. While Iconic makes riddles out of messages, these riddles can be easily deciphered as the text is not lost in Unicode: if you don’t understand a symbol someone sent you, tap on it to convert it back. We tested it in-house, and it’s great fun.

We now have a raw public beta that simulates how the writing part works. It has a couple of glitches. Don’t expect too much when typing past tense, conjunctives, and fancy lingo. You can play with it on our site.

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Icons save space. Icons look crisp. Icons give quick answers to hard questions: How do we make it nicer? How can we brand it? How do we make it more fun? We ♥ icons. Until they start messing with our minds.

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