A behind the scenes look at my work in progress, design inspiration, questionable creations, & random life updates.
The design process recently came up with my team. Some engineers were reluctant to add feedback as they were worried about being perceived as too negative.
I think this was a failing on my part - not encouraging or giving them space to contribute and feel comfortable asking questions.
Big or small, these questions are always beneficial. The can serve as jumping off points for larger discussions, or point out obvious problems from an engineering perspective that design is ignorant towards. The reality is I rarely have all the answers.
I think the Simpsons nailed it… I’m just Homer designing a car. Without meaningful contributions from your team your project is on a path towards some form of failure, either in the near future or down the line.
Picked up a reMarkable tablet during the week. It’s a e-ink tablet with a focus on sketching. In fact, sketching is about all you can do with it.
That said, wow is it good at its job. The sketching is remarkable. It’s a joy! Feels just like paper, but with the obvious benefits of digital editing. I can see it slotting nicely into my workflow.
I was at a bit of a loose end when Lock Down Ireland Part 2: The Lock Down Strikes Back, happened. Needing something to sink my teeth into during the evenings, I got thinking about the music player I added to Browso, which was built on the Sound Cloud Widget API. I was curious about ways in which I could push working with this further.
Does anyone else have music that they only listen to when they are working? For me, specifically with coding, I’m all about Retro and Synthwave. Dancy, minimal vocals, high BPM. Perfect coding music!
I started wondering what would a UI inspired by this kind music look like, exactly? Over a weekend I mashed some 80s influences together and arrived at code with me. Built with three.js and anime.js, it’s my take on a retro future UI. Maybe I’ll have a future skinning winamp players.
Musings on mastery by Jonathan Rowson. Thoughtful article about the game of chess and the art of concentration.
In chess, concentration usually unfolds in quick succession through perceiving, desiring and searching. But it’s recursive, so I often find something I didn’t expect in a way that leads me to see my position differently and want something else from it. My perception is pre-patterned through years of experience, so I don’t see one square or piece at a time. Instead, I see the whole position as a situation featuring relationships between pieces in familiar strategic contexts; a castled king, a fianchettoed bishop, a misplaced knight, an isolated pawn; it’s a kind of conceptual grammar. The meaning of the position is embedded in those patterns, partly revealed and partly concealed, and my search to do the right thing feels fundamentally aesthetic in nature.
Comprehensive list of design tools in use this year. No surprise to see Figma coming out on top.
Most days in 2020 I added one or two tracks to this playlist. Mixture of chillout, jazz, hip hop and dance.
Not many brands know how to have as much fun as Mail Chimp. Go for the game, stay for the music.
Great piece by Ahmad Shadeed on handling content with CSS. It’s easy to fall into the trap of only designing for those “perfect” states with the ideal amount of content. Reminder that those states rarely exist in the real world.
Have to start somewhere, right? This ‘work in progress’ is inspired by Brian Lovin’s site and nifty use of a personal timeline. Seems like a great way to keep track and share the odds and ends I come across on the internet, interspersed with some random work. It’s also refreshing to have complete ownership over this, and not rely on yet another social network. Enjoy