Saturday, 11 June 2016

Using two factor authentication with GitHub on Windows - the easy way

Two factor authentication is great but until recently I’ve had numerous problems getting it to work with repositories on GitHub. Happily I’ve found the easy way. This only applies to Windows users and only works over HTTPS, not SSH.

First install Chocolatey.

Now open a command line as an administrator and install two Chocolatey packages.

cinst git -y
cinst git-credential-manager-for-windows -y

That’s it. Git credential manager is where the magic happens. When you take an action on your repository, over HTTPS, you’ll be asked for your username, password and your two factor authentication code. Credential manager then automatically creates a personal access token with read/write permissions on that repository and stores the token. All subsequent git commands for the repository use the stored access token, no further authentication is required. Simple.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Book review - Don't Make Me Think

If you do a Google search for “best web design books” you will find “Don’t Make Me Think, A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” by Steve Krug. It’s been on my reading list for a long time. While I’m not a web designer I do build web pages occasionally so it’s good to have some appreciation of the wizardry that is web design. Fortunately Don’t Make Me Think is very easy to read and very concise. I highly recommend it.

What stuck with me the most were the chapters on usability testing. In particular the point that focus groups are not the same thing as usability testing. To quote UX Myths:

Focus groups assess what users say: a number of people gather in order to discuss their feelings, attitudes and thoughts on a given topic to reveal their motivations and preferences.

Usability testing, on the other hand, is about observing how people actually use a product, by assigning key tasks to users and analyzing their performance and experience.

This stuck with me because recently I worked on a project that introduced some significant changes to a web site registration page. I was concerned that some of the elements we changed were not as easy to understand as they were previously. But we had done many many rounds of focus testing which gave me some confidence. However now I understand the distinction between focus testing and usability testing I’m not so confident. In future I will suggest using both forms of testing.

Don't make me think

I read the second edition which is from 2005. I believe all the content is still relevant but I suggest reading the latest edition if you can.