Notes

Redefining colour systems across design and code is easily the most complicated work I’ve done all year.

04 Aug 2021

Notion is great because it does everything I need it to with just enough friction that I don’t actually want to do any of it.

02 Aug 2021

Watching TV this week, someone on screen described themselves as a “nerd” for watching anime. My fiancée dismissed that claim, instead turning on me and insisting I am a “real” nerd because I like coding and have a mechanical keyboard…

31 Jul 2021

An em dash is just three hyphens in a trenchcoat.

29 Jul 2021

Backlog prioritisation is just managing the rate at which you burn social capital.

29 Jul 2021

Absolute silence in libraries so a bunch of strangers can look for books? Unquestionable.

Keep it down in an open plan office so your coworkers can help keep your employer in business? Unheard of.

28 Jul 2021

Carousels are the Lazy Susans of the web.

27 Jul 2021

What if calendar meetings weren’t required to have durations or end times? If the only expectations people had were start times and agendas, would meetings be shorter or longer?

27 Jul 2021

“View less” collapse buttons are my biggest UI pet peeve, especially when the user has just expanded the thing. If they don’t want to see it anymore, they’ll just scroll or navigate away. Nobody is cleaning up after themselves.

27 Jul 2021

Sometimes I find myself using “accessibility” as an explanation for why something is important to do. I feel like “usability” would carry more weight.

“Make sure to include these attributes so it’s usable,” with an implicit “for everyone.”

23 Jul 2021

Normalise replying to “LGTM” PR approvals with “damn right it does”

21 Jul 2021

The Nine States of Design that “apply to all designs and all components”: Nothing, loading, none, one, some, too many, incorrect, correct, and done.

https://medium.com/swlh/the-nine-states-of-design-5bfe9b3d6d85

19 Jul 2021

What’s more is this applies both within and adjacent to your team. Any bad apple within 1–2 degrees of collaboration can spoil the bunch. Gotta have an interest in maintaining high standards across the org.

19 Jul 2021

I feel like many managers underestimate the impact of a bad hire. Not only do you get a jerk or under-performer or whatever, but they also eventually push away all of your lovely high-performers.

19 Jul 2021

Two week sprints invite bad estimates, drifting team alignment and focus, and high work-in-progress. Just be careful of burdening yourself with too many meetings during one-week sprints. Experiment with (for example) weekly planning, async standups, fortnightly retrospectives.

09 Jul 2021

Hot take? Two-week sprints are too long.

You can do anything in two weeks. It feels like forever. One week is better. You can see the free time on your calendar and plan more accurately.

09 Jul 2021

A couple of thoughts:

  1. Depth over breadth. Shipping quick features is fun but some satisfying problems take years to solve.

  2. I’ve seen enough shit to know what I absolutely won’t put up with again, and switching companies always poses that risk.

06 Jul 2021

Everyone I know who has hired product designers recently has despaired at the applicant pool. You either get marketing designers with no product experience or UX designers with no visual design skills. This helps explain why.

https://stuffandnonsense.co.uk/blog/design-systems-dont-kill-creativity-but-that-wasnt-the-question

06 Jul 2021

One cool thing about tennis is that crowds will support anyone who is playing well. Britain’s favourite Andy Murray got whomped at Wimbledon last week and the player who beat him was being cheered on the whole way, capped by a standing ovation.

05 Jul 2021
04 Jul 2021

“A mess is not a technical debt. A mess is just a mess. Technical debt decisions are made based on real project constraints. They are risky, but they can be beneficial.”

04 Jul 2021
I’ve managed to move my website note syndication from GitHub Actions to a Netlify deploy function. Also fixed a bug where multiline notes would error out. And added support for replying to tweets (this very note/tweet is that).
03 Jul 2021
It should be a table stakes feature for notetaking apps to resurface old notes, quotes, bookmarks, etc. at a regular cadence.
01 Jul 2021
I want a code editor plugin that creates a new SCSS file with empty rule sets for every class name in a given markup file.
07 Jun 2021
What’s the one thing your team would literally never figure out how to do if you stopped showing up to work? Go write that down in a shared doc somewhere.
02 Jun 2021
I knew better and I still started to back the Maple Leafs this year. Fool me 30 times, shame on me.
01 Jun 2021
A minor UI thing I hate is action menus with a single option. This often happens when additional items are hidden by permissioning — like Edit/Delete, where only admins can Delete. If a user has no choice, just give them a button and render the menu for those who need it.
31 May 2021
My most NIMBY opinion is that ice cream vans should not be allowed to idle their engines — not in neighbourhoods and definitely not in parks. Maybe they should have to be electric. I’d love to see more e-bike ice cream vendors.
29 May 2021
Testing a lil something https://twitter.com/dylanatsmith/status/1378787544716959744
27 May 2021
Baby’s first IntersectionObserver
27 May 2021
I love a good header logo :hover or :active state.
24 May 2021
My favourite new-ish CSS feature might be `gap` for flex elements. So nice to not have to mess around with fussy margin rules, and `flex-wrap` is way more manageable now.
19 May 2021
I recently started hiding my macOS dock after years of being a dock-always-visible person. My workspace feels much calmer without the distraction of app icons and badges. (I’m also becoming an Alt+Tab convert.)
18 May 2021
Designers, please, no more modals.
18 May 2021
HTML & CSS contribute so deeply to user experience that if they’re being ignored, your product is going to suffer big time. And so is your developer experience.
17 May 2021
💡 Free startup idea: Designer-developer handoff app but it’s just a trap door into a Zoom meeting where they can speak to each other.
13 May 2021
If you want to ruin a designer’s day, drag their artboard about 30% narrower and say, "now what?"
12 May 2021
Absolute positioning corrupts absolutely.
12 May 2021
Linters are just awkward PR discussions that scale.
27 Apr 2021
Somehow came down with every side effect in the pamphlet.
24 Apr 2021
App dashboard widgets are just carousels for product managers.
21 Apr 2021
One down...
20 Apr 2021
Make your design system’s components as easy as possible to use and as difficult as possible to misuse.
19 Apr 2021
Thirteen months and I still haven’t learned to just keep a mask in my jacket pocket.
17 Apr 2021
I moved five static sites off an old shared hosting account and onto Netlify this week. Super easy, took about half an hour to make the switch and update DNS records.
15 Apr 2021
I’ve stopped my site’s notes (which I now tweet from) from being added to my RSS feed by default to help out anyone who might be following both. Kept the option, though, so I can still RSS "important" ones like this.
14 Apr 2021
Putting the group chat on Slack seemed like a fun idea as fresh-faced 20-somethings but now we’re jaded 30-somethings checking fucking Slack all night.
12 Apr 2021
It’s one thing to feel sad for the impossibly rich and powerful man who lived a long, fulfilling life of racism while you footed his bill, but imagine admitting it publicly?
09 Apr 2021
If you’re just staring at your screen with no energy or focus, go take a nap or call it a day. The work will be there for you on Monday.
09 Apr 2021
Spent the day on proper product design after three months deep into design system and frontend work. Happy to report that I’ve still got it.
08 Apr 2021
Sometimes it feels like half my job is going around replacing 10 divs and 100 lines of CSS with 3 semantic elements and 10 lines of CSS.
07 Apr 2021
Opening my eyes to collaboration as a buy-in tool. “We’ll reach the same conclusion whether I do it alone or we do it as a group, but the group will accept it more easily if they feel like they’ve contributed.”
07 Apr 2021
Anti-pattern of burgeoning design systems: Letting design improvements get in the way of componentising and documenting what you already have. A perfect component isn’t as good as the one you can use today and improve centrally later.
07 Apr 2021
I’ve come to realise that my happiness at work is directly proportional to how often I ship to production. This seems... not great.
06 Apr 2021
If this works, I've successfully tweeted from my own website.
04 Apr 2021