Jun 25, 2015
Even as a professional designer, I ask myself that sometimes. There are days when my work feels inconsequential. After I've spent an hour agonizing over a button's pixel alignment, or vacillating between two indistinguishable shades of gray, I find myself wondering if anyone will even notice. On those days, I have to remind myself that the smallest details can have the biggest consequences.
Jun 22, 2015
The Roman poet Virgil died before completing his magnum opus, the Aeneid. Since it
hadn’t yet been edited, he asked his friends to burn the manuscript.
Jun 19, 2015
Last week, Bloomberg published a 38,000-word behemoth entitled
What is Code?
It took up an entire issue of their print edition, though to really appreciate the
piece in all its glory, it needs to be experienced digitally.
Jun 18, 2015
Joel Califa, a product designer at Digital Ocean, makes a compelling case
for bringing back
:visited styles on links.
Links used to be beautiful, I recalled, perhaps not aesthetically pleasing,
but those bright blue underlines were so clear, so succinct. I always knew where
I was going and what would take me there. Just as important, I always knew
where I’d been.
Sacrificing usability for superficial beauty is the opposite of what good design
is all about.
With this in mind, I’ve reintroduced
:visited styling for links within the content
of posts on this site, and am working on introducing better behavior for post
titles that is both functionally useful and visually consistent. (Joel’s
solution is brilliant, isn’t it?)
Incidentally, after a period of dormancy, I’ve finally redesigned this site and will resume
posting frequently. It’s now running on Jekyll and hosted
on GitHub Pages – more on that another time.
Apr 29, 2015
The transcript of a talk I gave on the nature of beauty, creativity, and how they relate to the modern Church.
Mar 24, 2015
Fame is fleeting, and even the designers who speak at every conference are no more recognizable to the outside world than Earth’s mightiest dentists, or the guys from Daft Punk without their helmets on. We should have a healthy and correct view of our own significance, approaching our craft with the humility that comes from having confidence in our work.
Jan 26, 2015
Design is no longer an esoteric discipline, but is the domain of everyone who’s ever downloaded an app onto their phone. Everyone and their grandma is an armchair designer — Facebook changes the size of a button, and suddenly everyone is offering design critiques. Our field is entering the mainstream, and if we want to preserve the public’s recognition of its value and legitimacy, we need to gently defend a proper understanding of what it is that we do.
Jan 22, 2015
Being an interface designer is no more a "tech" job than being a novelist is a "paper" job. The medium in which we work informs our work, but it doesn’t define it. A person isn’t a “tech worker” just because they use a computer a lot; by that logic, accounting is more of a tech job than design.
Jan 16, 2015
I recently went from app idea to working iOS prototype in an hour and fifteen minutes, thanks to the magic of Meteor and Cordova. hough I’m not a professional developer — design is my job, while coding is just a hobby — I’ve always preferred a code-heavy workflow, and am always looking for better ways to develop working prototypes quickly. Here’s a step-by-step guide, with code samples, of how I’ve been using Meteor for rapid prototyping.
Dec 12, 2014
Secondary state changes should be tethered to the associated primary state, not the behavior that caused it. (It’ll make sense with further reading, I promise.)
Sep 30, 2014
A rousing quote by Johannes Kepler to Galileo, quoted in an interview with Elon Musk. "Let us create vessels and sails adjusted to the heavenly ether, and there will be plenty of people unafraid of the empty wastes. In the meantime, we shall prepare, for the brave sky-travelers, maps of the celestial bodies."
Jun 24, 2014
I got robo-called recently, but the caller was so eerily human-sounding it took me a few moments to catch on.
Jun 24, 2014
Design is largely about deciding how to categorize things properly. It doesn’t matter if I design the prettiest screen in the world – if the buttons aren’t arranged logically, the user won’t care how much lipstick I put on that pig.
Jun 23, 2014
There are few front-end tasks I like better than refactoring code. CSS in particular is a joy to refactor. There’s something about taking a twelve-line style and cutting it down to ten lines, and then eight, and then six. Sometimes, thanks to inheritance, it can disappear completely.
Jun 20, 2014
Interface design requires a different mode of thinking than traditional design. To help ease the transition between them, I’ve compiled a list of principles that differ between the disciplines. These are meant to be used as a quick-and-dirty guide for getting traditional designers up-to-speed on the tenets of interaction design, but may be helpful to anyone who does UX/UI work.