Saturday, December 3rd, 2022
Frameworks come and go. They are transient. Web standards, on the other hand, are the reason the Web is good now and it will become even better in the future.
Today was Salter Cane band practice day with our new drummer, Matthew, who is excellent—it felt soooo good to play as a four piece again!
I’ve been feeling exactly what Colly articulates here:
I’m aware that smart friends still tweet passing thoughts without a care, and I can’t understand why. Some seem happy to repost damning articles about the situation and then carry on tweeting without a care.
Thursday, December 1st, 2022
(And, by the way, I really, really, really appreciate all the work that you and others have done for years that has led to this!)
It was, I believe, said in anger but not in malice.
I’m just kind of stewing on the way that, of all the comparisons to make, it’s the one that gets increasingly more insulting as events unfold.
A few weeks back, a friend likened something I said to what Elon Musk would say.
They retracted, but with each of Musk’s unhinged proclamations, the insult grows like a virus.
I’m honestly not sure our friendship can get past it.
Fourteen years ago on this day I wrote about how one of my Flickr photos ended up in the first Marvel movie:
Links for Declarative Design
At the end of next week, I will sally forth to California. I’m going to wend my way to San Francisco where I will be speaking at An Event Apart.
I am very much looking forward to speaking at my first in-person AEAs in exactly three years. That was also in San Francisco, right before The Situation.
I hope to see you there. There are still tickets available.
I’ve put together a brand new talk that I’m very excited about. I’ve already written about the prep for this talk:
So while I’ve been feeling somewhat under the gun as I’ve been preparing this new talk for An Event Apart, I’ve also been feeling that the talk is just the culmination; a way of tying together some stuff I’ve been writing about it here for the past year or two.
The talk is called Declarative Design. Here’s the blurb:
Different browsers, different devices, different network speeds…designing for the web can feel like a never-ending battle for control. But what if the solution is to relinquish control? Instead of battling the unknowns, we can lean into them. In the world of programming, there’s the idea of declarative languages: describing what you want to achieve without specifying the exact steps to get there. In this talk, we’ll take this concept of declarative programming and apply it to designing for the web. Instead of focusing on controlling the outputs of the design process, we’ll look at creating the right inputs instead. Leave the final calculations for the outputs to the browser—that’s what computers are good at. We’ll look at CSS features, design systems, design principles, and more. Then you’ll be ready to embrace the fluid, ever-changing, glorious messiness of the World Wide Web!
If you’d a glimpse into the inside of my head while I’ve been preparing this talk, here’s a linkdump of various resources that are either mentioned in the talk or influenced it…
- Declarative design on adactio.com
- Utopia by James Gilyead and Trys Mudford
- Every Layout by Heydon Pickering and Andy Bell
- Be the browser’s mentor, not its micromanager by Andy Bell
- Layout Land by Jen Simmons
- Designing Intrinsic Layouts by Jen Simmons on adactio.com
- A declarative Web Share API on adactio.com
- A polyfill for button type=”share” on adactio.com
- The reason for a share button type on adactio.com
- Share Button Type explainer on Github
- How to (not) make a button by Tomas Pustelnik
- The CSS Mindset by Max Böck
- Contextual Spacing For Intrinsic Web Design by Stephanie Eckles
- The CSS mental model by Peter Paul Koch
- CSS Forces by Tim Brown
- Our web design tools are holding us back by Vasilis van Gemert
- Traditional Web Design Process is Fundamentally Broken by Jason Grigsby
- Web Design Tool Wish List by Jason Grigsby
- Declarative Design Tools (archived) by Jem Gold
- Cascading HTML style sheets — a proposal by Håkon Wium Lie, 1994
- A Dao of Web Design by John Allsopp, 2000
- Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte, 2010
Wednesday, November 30th, 2022
Oh, my notes have always worked like that. Different to my blog.
That’s got to be your new profile pic.
The canonical URLs you mean? I only add them to the syndicated versions (they don’t appear in the original note on my own site). I started adding them when Twitter changed its character limit from 140 to 280 characters.
Had coffee and a good chat with a talented young UX/UI designer who recently moved to Lewes from Ukraine:
If you know of a UK-based opening for a junior role, let her know!
Tuesday, November 29th, 2022
UX London 2023
I am very excited to announce that UX London will be back in 2023!
We’re returning to Tobacco Dock. Save the dates: June 22nd and 23rd.
Wait …that’s only two days. Previously UX London was a three-day event and you could either go for all three days or get a ticket for just one day.
Well, that’s changing. UX London 2023 will be condensed into a two-day event. You get a ticket for both days and everyone shares the experience.
I’m very excited about this! I’m planning to make some other tweaks to the format, but the basic structure of each day remains roughly the same: inspirational talks in the morning followed by hands-on workshops in the afternoon.
As for the who’ll be giving those talks and running those workshops …well, that’s what I’m currently putting together. For the second year in row, I’m curating the line-up. It’s exciting—like a planning a heist, assembling a team of supersmart people with specialised skillsets.
I can’t wait to reveal more. For now though, you can trust me when I say that the line-up is going to be stellar.
If you do trust me, you can get your super early-bird ticket, you’ve got until this Friday, December 2nd.
The super early-bird tickets are an absolute steal at £695 plus VAT. After Friday, you’ll be able to get early-bird tickets for the more reasonable price of £995 plus VAT.
Keep an eye on the UX London website for speaker announcements. I’ll also be revealing those updates here too because, as you can probably tell, I’m positively gleeful about UX London 2023.
See you there!
Monday, November 28th, 2022
Designing a Utopian layout grid: Working with fluid responsive values in a static design tool. | Utopia
James describes his process for designing fluid grid layouts, which very much involves working with the grain of the web but against the grain of our design tools:
In 2022 our design tools are still based around fixed-size artboards, while we’re trying to design products which scale gracefully to suit any screen.
If you’re thinking of signing up to Hive or Post:
If posts in a social media app do not have URLs that can be linked to and viewed in an unauthenticated browser, or if there is no way to make a new post from a browser, then that program is not a part of the World Wide Web in any meaningful way.
Consign that app to oblivion.
Sunday, November 27th, 2022
I don’t like making unpaid contributions to a for-profit publisher whose proprietor is an alt-right troll.
I can see no good arguments for redirecting my voice into anyone else’s for-profit venture-funded algorithm-driven engagement-maximizing wet dream.