Facebook 2009: FarmVille
Facebook 2022: FarmVille but 3D
Facebook 2009: FarmVille
Facebook 2022: FarmVille but 3D
Realised I passed the 6 month mark at GitHub last week. Somehow feels like it’s been longer.
One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” is the opposite of The Streets’ “Fit But You Know It” send tweet
Visual design is 90% trying things that don’t work. Sometimes 100%.
The Next.js docs are ridiculously good.
Beavis and Butt-Head was the original Gogglebox.
Signed up for a new social media platform today, then very quickly realised I absolutely don’t want another social media account and deleted that shit. Feels good.
Always go for the joke.
Wishcycling our way to a greener planet
Finally learned how to drop in on the big quarter pipe before work this morning. 🛹💨
If you think about it, an apartment building where a stranger sleeps 12 feet directly above you is sort of like a really big bunk bed.
Developers will wish their notes app had one tiny feature and build a whole new notes app to solve for it.
Adam Mosseri would piss on you and tell you it’s raining.
Wish I could remove link previews from Slack messages in the iOS app.
Be so polite that security apologises for having to kick you out of the skate spot.
Also be in your mid-30s and still getting kicked out of skate spots.
💡 A Slack app that detects when two people are typing back and forth in a channel and posts the “how to use threads” help article
I added a moka pot to the coffee gear collection and I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would.
Still haven’t lived down last week when a waiter extended his mostly-closed hand to take my empty plate but I mistakenly thought he wanted a fist bump…
Finally decided to let the https://craigbootsfarringdon.com domain lapse. I haven’t been to the Farringdon Boots in years and don’t even know if Craig still works there. We had a good run, though. I hope I helped that guy get a raise.
Slackbot is really the last DM notification I want on my first work day after two weeks off.
Who’s eating all the caviar in airports?
He’s a 10 but he doesn’t write meaningfully descriptive alt text.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
[walks on left side of pavement while everyone else is on the right]
Resisting the urge to Copilot my way through all these React tutorial lessons.
Hot take and/or design confession:
I can’t be the only one who finds prototyping in design tools tedious as hell. Copy the frame, hide some layers, change the text, drag the arrow… humans weren’t meant to spend their time this way. It’s soul-destroying work.
Deploying to prod never gets loses its excitement.
When old pals surprise you with a work Slack DM on their first day ✨
My design review style is “corrects grammar and asks sugquestions.”
It’s fascinating to watch card-carrying Democrats realise that just because their politicians aren’t the bad guys, doesn’t mean they’re the good guys. Truly a benign tumour of a party.
I have like a decade of professional experience but more than three decades of unprofessional experience.
Companies be like “flexible schedule so you can work whenever you’re most productive,” but here’s a tip: remember to save some of those good hours for yourself, too.
Learning budget shopping spree 💸
Too Tired to Attend the Meetup: The Dylan Smith Story
I have a problem where I will buy any book recommended to me while I’m drinking.
And that’s why I’m currently reading 164 pages about a Céline Dion album.
You should have to be prescribed a car in order to drive one.
Forgot about American portion sizes and now I’m drinking a “large Americano” from a soup bowl with a handle on it.
I hate when restaurants serve chips in a little cup. Why do they do that? Is it so they can have a bunch of chip cups sat under the heat lamp ready to go?
All linen, all summer long
The term “hip flexors” always reminds me of something a MySpace rawr kid would say.
HR that’s 1px wide and kinda tall?
background-color hack on a grid/flex parent with a 1px
gap? Something weird with a div or span? It depends.™️ What about when the divided elements stack on smaller displays? One of the most annoying things to code.
I feel like such an asshole whenever I use a vertical divider in a design because I know how much they suck to implement.
Do you know how easy it is to get nerd sniped when the Slack has over 6,000 channels?
Top of my @Figma wishlist is prototyping that supports multiple flows using the same frames. Different coloured arrows, maybe?
ex: If you got to a screen from a blue connection, you can take actions that have other blue arrows. But there could be a totally separate green flow.
Gotta love how Tory PMs only lose their jobs if their own MPs turn against them or they feel too disgraced to continue. We’re a populace held hostage by the party’s dodgy moral compass.
The US time format should be MM:SS:HH.
Baby’s first rotator cuff injury
So many meetings get sidetracked when the presenter’s environment doesn’t work, they hit an unexpected bug, etc. Finding those problems on your own saves everyone else’s time and lets you polish your presentation so you look better. As a bonus, you have recordings ready to share to those not on the call.
Meeting tip for engineers: Never demo live!
Instead, record short videos for each feature or scenario and play the those during the call.
One downside to remote work is the guilt I feel for having an unproductive day or week. I’m all for “output over hours” but, when it’s not clicking for me, demonstrable hours are good for my conscience.
Every time email development as an industry makes up its own terminology or processes instead of aligning with web development standards, it further segregates itself — making it easier for others to continue to ignore and devalue.
You either begin planning your wedding immediately after your engagement, or never.
Years ago someone told me that you can tell the quality of a bottle of wine by the depth of its thumb dimple thing in the bottom. That can’t be accurate but I’ve gone most of my life subconsciously judging wines that way.
Find and befriend the coworker who will approve your Easter egg pull request without asking questions.
I guess that’s “thought leader” as in “my thoughts are with any of my employees who expected to be paid before I skipped town.”
Hopping on the @obsdmd bandwagon. 🧠
I’ve been trying to book a flight through Concur for so long I’m worried the plane is going to depart without me.
Renting and tech jobs are similar in that, if you stay for multiple years, you don’t have to leave your comfort zone and the pay only goes up £50/month.
OH in design crit: “It just occurred to me that this is one of the highest stakes screens on the entire internet.”
I receive (and ignore) so many bad recruitment DMs on LinkedIn that when someone from @Productboard sent me a great one this week, I had to reply and let them know. Apparently it’s now their “favourite rejection message.” 😅
My naive designer CI/CD take is that if I want to tweak a line of copy in production but dealing with the deployment process doesn’t seem “worth it,” just maybe you’ve overcomplicated things.
I just remembered when I was at @TaxiForEmail and we had the most British rule of not booking the same business flights to avoid the awkwardness and obligation of travelling together.
You know how some product teams lack vision and never say no and end up crushed by the maintenance burden of too many features? That’s where I’m at right now with having to water all these houseplants.
Those screenshots people post where they have like 38,615 unread emails, except it’s DMs from Slackbot.
Finding it hard to believe Jesus would die for my sins but not do anything about my hayfever.
You know that feeling when you’re having a good day and then you need to write or edit a table in Markdown?
If a design pattern doesn’t conform to the design system but already exists in production, you’re allowed to use it in new designs. Them’s the rules.
I kind of want to make a set of trolley problem Slack emoji so I can up my shitposting game.
The quickest path to creating good design work is creating bad design work and asking for feedback.
Three em dashes in a trenchcoat: ⸻
Hot UX take? I don’t really think it matters if buttons and links in web apps are styled alike. From the user perspective, both
<button> elements can represent possible actions to take. The URL changing is an implementation detail.
But I also strongly believe URLs are UI and that navigational links should generally be underlined so 🤷♂️.
Hex code bingo: When you find all the greys that repeat a single digit in the same codebase.
#FFFFFF #EEEEEE #DDDDDD …
Felt myself hit a turning point at work this week where I’m starting to be able to answer others’ questions and give more meaningful feedback. Still lots to learn but nice to have things clicking.
The only thing I miss about Sketch is the scissor tool for editing paths.
💡 Browser extension that flags any items on your online grocery checkout page that are produced by Nestle or its subsidiaries so you can buy from a non-evil brand.
That sinking feeling when you crack open an old side project and realise you wrote it in CoffeeScript…
I had to sign up for an Adobe Illustrator trial today and can’t wait to end up in dark patterns hell trying to cancel it.
Still scared of CMYK.
I’ve talked to a lot of designers and engineers lately who are leaving their jobs in part because their teams aren’t actively and frequently shipping work. So easy to lose motivation when you lose sense of purpose or feel underutilised.
Work-life balance hack: Work for a company where everything requires two-factor authentication and never have your YubiKey near your phone.
Gonna starting pronouncing SVG as “savage.”
Going through a midlife crisis but instead of a sports car I just want to buy a skateboard and destroy what’s left of my knee cartilage.
First day at GitHub ✨
[Radioactive Man voice]
The caffeinated under-eye creams to reduce dark circles! They do nothing!
I have this idea for presenting recipes in a way I’ve never seen before and way better matches how my brain works when cooking. But I’m headed to the pub so leaving a note to self here.
Everyone with a greyscale Slack profile photo looks like they’ve been deactivated.
Twitter web now adds a second URL param to share URLs. I can’t send “?s=20&t=mGMOrhdSeqGW8Qzz05mzvA” to someone in good conscience.
It’s mesmerising what a person can do with just an electric fan, a loop pedal, and a barcode scanner.
It’s amazing what a ghost town Farringdon is at 5pm on a Friday compared to two years ago.
Finally upgraded my site from Jekyll 3.8.5 to 4.2.1. 📈
macOS clamshell mode is so finicky and frustrating. It feels like there’s a 50/50 chance each morning that my laptop has crashed, my accessories are no longer being recognised, etc.
Out here tripling the garlic in every HelloFresh recipe.
I wish Slack exposed a JSON settings config so it would at least be possible to copy preferences across workspaces.
I’ve started working my way through Eric Haugen’s Where to Start With Music Theory videos and already the concepts are clicking with me in a way they never have before.
I can’t believe I’m tweeting about TV. Really need this pandemic to end soon.
Finally made the leap to VS Code after years and years on Sublime Text. After setting up extensions and config, I’m disappointed I didn’t do this earlier.
Finished reading Land of America by Ben Pobjoy.
“Instead of a person being the source of truth on a subject, the document becomes the source of truth.”
It really is amazing how white western “expats” managed to gentrify immigration.
I love reading DIY posts and learning from the comments everything the person did wrong.
Christmas is over!
If you want it.
(A good a day as any to take your tree down.)
“How sweet – now artists can become little capitalist assholes as well.”
And, perhaps worse, capitalist assholes masquerading as artists.
All I want for Christmas is to get the front seat on the DLR so I can pretend I’m driving.
I just found out Curb Your Enthusiasm is on one of our streaming services but only for another month, so there goes my holiday break.
My fashion sense is “40 year old B-list celebrity who obviously wasn’t expecting to be papped today.”
House dream: A bookcase full of candles. A whole library of scents to choose from.
“Your being ashamed only hurts you.”
If the Tories didn’t already exist we’d never let them happen.
[To the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas]
On my 34th birthday, the postman gave to me A letter from HMRC 🎶
The Seinfeld episode when Elaine stockpiles discontinued birth control and has to decide who is “spongeworthy,” but for lateral flow tests.
There are so many tools and methods for generating colour palettes because people are desperate to take the guesswork out of it and know they’re doing it “right.” These can be great helpers but I think it’s still part science, part art. Still judgment to be used.
Love the rush of getting a bug report and being able to have a fix live in under an hour.
The most annoying thing to ever have to do is prove to somebody “official” that you are or were self-employed. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Unpopular opinion: I hope Twitter never gets an edit button.
If you’re planning your own Grand Design and want to get absolutely roasted by Kevin McCloud, please visit our website.
A marketer from the Hass Avocado Board just joined Email Geeks Slack and is doing an impromptu avocado AMA. In case you were still waiting for a reason to sign up.
That one coworker who thinks they’re being sneaky typing on Cherry greens unmuted…
Design systems are the ultimate product challenge: Complex personas and use cases, competing user feedback, technical constraints, iterative releases, never finished…
Twice in the past month I’ve looked up old friends just to obituaries from this year. 😔
Just having a Twitter account and following some industry people can be such a designer/engineer superpower.
When I see that someone is engaging with the community through likes etc, that’s a huge green flag in the hiring process.
Weekend project: Move email.geeks.chat from shared hosting to Netlify so I can save £10/mo. Tens of thousands of form submissions have come through this site since 2016 and it’s barely been touched. Same Bootstrap grid and PHP all these years.
I’m just a boy, sitting in front of a Slack channel, asking people to review my pull request.
Friday at 5pm at I‘m headed to see my old friend ohshitgit.com.
If you’re going to call your coworkers “resources,” at least try not to do it when your resources can hear you.
I can’t think of the last software feature I was actually excited about. GitHub’s merge queue is going to free up so much time and mental energy.
Every tech company on Earth decided to hold their online conferences this week.
Should designers use tabs or spaces?
Many companies failed to figure out remote work in the last 18 months, went back to to the office, and backtracked to let some employees stay remote as a retention play. I worry about how well those employees are integrated moving forward.
I was messaging my coworkers in the other room asking what to do. They couldn’t believe it. I think we all just laughed and joked about it until he woke up and I was so green I just tried to let him think I didn’t notice.
I just remembered about the time years ago when the agency I worked at hired a new sales guy. We were in a meeting room where I was walking him through some stuff. I looked up from my laptop and… he was asleep. Out cold.
TIL the terms “regrettable” and “non-regrettable” employee turnover. Basically a way to categorise whether someone leaving will have a negative, neutral, or even positive impact on the team.
I recently registered a Twitter account for a not-yet-public thing. It follows no one.
So far I’ve received five notifications for suggested tweets: one sponcon from Holly Willoughby, and four from weird cops with thin blue line avatars. Cool algorithm we have here.
TIL you can escape Markdown with
\. For example, if you’re starting a line with
# but don‘t want it to render as a heading, you can use
\#. (I ran into this using a comment in a non-fenced Ruby snippet.)
Nothing like discovering an edge case, wondering how you handled it in that similar thing you built earlier, and then discovering you just… didn’t.
My worst fear is that I’ll get fired and not have time to save my custom emoji collection.
How to identify a healthy team:
Find out how they’re improving — at their skills, at working together, at working with others.
Is there a hands-on manager? Empowered peer leadership? Regular knowledge-sharing? Training opportunities? Processes? Retrospectives?
If none, avoid.
Got the Baby Bottle Pop jingle stuck in my head somehow.
Apple’s product line is a mess. I thought about getting a new iPhone. I don’t know which model I have, how old it is, why the new ones are better (aside from more cameras), or the difference between normal and “Pro.”
The best process is the one your team will actually follow.
I’m starting to believe that most websites, if they don’t support both light and dark modes, should default to dark.
Friday night doc. Nostalgic for the years I spent in a van asking myself this question.
“Flash content was unsemantic and was holding back web standards like HTML5 and CSS. That it got away with this for nearly fifteen years is, in retrospect, remarkable.”
It’s been so long since I kerned anything…
No man is an island. Except me when I’m trying to get a pull request approved.
I don’t know who needs to hear this but using Slack doesn’t count as your company having an async, written communication culture.
Working with Facebook in 2021 makes a far better secret than it does a tweet. Yikes.
What cop shit do we tolerate in the modern workplace? The obvious like timed breaks, screenshot surveillance, etc. but what about story points, time tracking, fixed working hours…
Anecdata: I don’t think I’ve ever used Apple’s native Mail app. Today I switched over to take advantage of the impending MPP features.
I’m at the “not only do I not want to go back to work on Monday but I also believe capitalism should be abolished” stage of having a week off.
We’re 18 months into “what you believe to be a personal decision has a negative impact on everyone around you” and now we get to do it all again with Facebook glasses.
Product design is 10% giving new features your best effort and 90% dealing with edge cases caused by designers who have since quit.
Designers will write shit like “eternally curious” in their bios but not even wonder how their mockups get coded.
“The wheelchairs used in Para sports are suited to fit athletes’ bodies and their impairments, depending on their sport, and allow them to maximise their performances in competitions.”
If I don’t get to relax on this week off I’m going to burn out so hard I’ll just become ash by October.
If you decline an opportunity for feedback on your design work, you might as well just say, “I don’t want this getting any better.”
The hardest job in design systems is telling designers “no.”
I would go as fat as to say that if you don’t have a high-level understanding of how your designs get built, you’re not doing your job.
If I tried to explain to a non-tech person that some days I go to work and spend 8 hours just deleting stuff and everyone is really happy about it I have no idea what they’d think.
I started working like this after one too many times suggesting ideas that stalled out, waiting for everyone else’s input or for someone to tell me it was okay to begin. Now I say exactly what I’m going to do dare people to stop me.
❌ “Here’s a proposal. Any feedback?”
✅ “Here’s a proposal. Please provide any feedback by Friday. If there are no blockers, I’ll begin Monday.”
xor operator. One expression must be true, but not more than one.
# This is true
true ^ false
# This is false
false ^ false
# This is also false
true ^ true ^ false
Cycling through Central London is cool because you can ride from Bow to Hyde Park almost entirely in protected lanes and then Kensington actively tries to kill you.
This @adambsilver article is my go-to for explaining why tooltips suck.
Two reasons you might introduce processes:
If you find your team has too many of the second type, process might not be the answer.
Here’s me co-admining a community of 12,000 email industry professionals for over 5 years and still being shocked when someone who authored some of the earliest email standards documents is interested in joining.
I’m just a boy, sitting in front of an empty Figma file named “website redesign,” asking it to love him.
If, when faced with obstacles that impede your business to protect others’ privacy, your reaction is to seek exploitations and workarounds, you are an asshole.
Never trust anyone who wears a suit in their profile photo.
Design systems work is so fulfilling because every day I get to prevent full-stack developers from trying to write CSS.
Redefining colour systems across design and code is easily the most complicated work I’ve done all year.
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.
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…
An em dash is just three hyphens in a trenchcoat.
Backlog prioritisation is just managing the rate at which you burn social capital.
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.
Carousels are the Lazy Susans of the web.
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?
“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.
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.”
Normalise replying to “LGTM” PR approvals with “damn right it does”
The Nine States of Design that “apply to all designs and all components”: Nothing, loading, none, one, some, too many, incorrect, correct, and done.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A couple of thoughts:
Depth over breadth. Shipping quick features is fun but some satisfying problems take years to solve.
I’ve seen enough shit to know what I absolutely won’t put up with again, and switching companies always poses that risk.
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.
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.
“The decision to make a mess is never rational, is always based on laziness and unprofessionalism, and has no chance of paying of in the future. A mess is always a loss.”
“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.”