Notes

Interesting and/or cool stuff I've come across from art, design, technology, photography, movies I've watched and liked and, occasionally, my thoughts.

Noted, May 2024

Collected bits and pieces I’ve noticed this month.

The Bento method of productivity – pick 3 things, large, medium and small, to work on today, and complete them one by one in whatever order. Done, done, done.

~

User Hostile Experience is a bit ranty, perhaps, but who doesn’t feel ranty when slapped in the face with a “subscribe to my newsletter” the first time you meet someone.

~

Every day for the past 21 years, photographer Noah Kalina has taken a selfie. He’s compiled them all into a video titled “7777 days” that condenses half of his life into 2 minutes.

via Kottke

~

I loved this description how poet Ruth Stone “catches” poems. I remember Rick Rubin talking about a similar thing in his book The Creative Act – how art, be it poetry or music or painting or a photograph, exists in the world and the artist merely captures it.

“As [Stone] was growing up in rural Virginia, she would be out, working in the fields and she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape. It was like a thunderous train of air and it would come barrelling down at her over the landscape. And when she felt it coming . . . ‘cause it would shake the earth under her feet, she knew she had only one thing to do at that point. That was to, in her words, “run like hell” to the house as she would be chased by this poem.
The whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it and grab it on the page. Other times she wouldn’t be fast enough, so she would be running and running, and she wouldn’t get to the house, and the poem would barrel through her and she would miss it, and it would “continue on across the landscape looking for another poet.”

via Design Matters

~

Actually the line that I think was the most telling but that she said like a throw-away qualifier was “I didn’t know anyone in New York when I moved here…”
I think that is such a huge factor. To move to a city where you are not afraid to try something new because all the people that labeled who THEY think you are (parents, childhood friends) are not their to say “that’s not you” or “you’ve changed”. Well, maybe that person didn’t change but finally became who they really are.

The Sartorialist
via Kottke

Noted, April 2024

Collected bits and pieces I’ve noticed this month.

Jasmin Paris became the first woman ever to complete the Barkley Marathons.

~

VWFNDR Keirin. I find this concept camera interesting on a few levels. On one, it’s part of what seems to be a resurgence of niche but fun-looking devices with cool design and an attitude like the Playdate game console with its single colour screen and fun crank arm, or the Rabbit R1 (not the best-reviewed, putting it mildly) – intentionally limit the funcionality and tech and force yourself to come up with novel ideas to get around these giving the device tons of personality in the process. Design loves constraints. On the other, it leverages the relative freedom a large touchscreen gives to play with new interface design ideas. I was immediately reminded of the soviet Horizon panoramic camera that utilised a unique swiveling lens to take awesome panoramic photos on regular 35mm film stock. I’m rooting for Keirin to graduate from a concept to a product.

~

I enjoyed this interview with Stefan Sagmeister on the Design Matters podcast.

~

Eye on Design has published an oral history of how the Processing programming language came to be and evolved. I made this 2001: A Space Odyssey poster with Processing.

~

Makes sense, the Helsinki Bus Station Theory of Creativity.
See also: the polish paradox.

~

“Let’s make the indie web easier” by Giles Turnbull on making it easier for people to make and run their own sites rather than installing WordPress or simply giving up. I was so put off by the “it’s easy, just (insert tech acronym salad here)” when I tried to see if some modern web tech would make building and publishing a site like mine easier.

~

And, found via Gilest, here’s Good Enough. I always like when a small team is making fun stuff.

~

I learned a few things from “12 Figma tips to work more efficiently”, maybe you will too.
via sidebar.io

Birth (Jonathan Glazer, 2004)

Noted, February 2024

Collected bits and pieces I’ve noticed this month.

In “Rethinking the startup MVP: Building a competitive product” Linear co-founder Tuomas Artman argues how it’s more and more unlikely your MVP has to prove an idea, but rather that it has to execute an idea better than the others have.

~
Legendary car designer Marcello Gandini has passed. He was the designer behind for the iconic Lamborghini Countach, an even more shard-like Lancia Stratos Zero concept car and played a part in shaping one of the most beautiful automobiles, the Lamborghini Miura.
via Wallpaper

~

“The job is not to invent, but to curate” says Josh Clark from Big Medium in “The Most Exciting Design Systems Are Boring”. Design systems should take the boring, the mundane off your (and your colleagues) hands so you can solve some new problems instead.

~

In more sad news, Tiny Letter was shut down. I miss Pome.

~

And in even more sad news, A Book Apart also closes.

~

Chris Coyer shares his thoughts on what’s going on with CSS Tricks post selling it to Digital Ocean. I learned so much from CSS Tricks and the tone of the site was so friendly and approachable, what a bummer.

~

And wrapping it up with CSS, Richard Rutter rebuilds a Creative Boom article page with no media queries, just fluid type. Cool.

More bike.

"And on and on — bikes. Why? Because as any bike lover will tell you, to be ensorcelled by the bike is to crave one and only one thing: More bike."

Craig Mod on (electric) bicycles.

Noted, December 2023

Collected bits and pieces I’ve noticed this month.

Like many other platforms, Letterboxd posted their 2023 Year in Review.
Maybe I’m not using as many services anymore that can compile personalised a wrapped-style look back at a year, but I feel like I’m seeing fewer of them each year, which is a bit sad.
~
Speaking of movies, here’s an over-analytical analysis of the styles (authors words) of two batman movies – The Dark Knight and The Batman – by P.J. Onori.
via Sidebar
~
What I’m seeing more of than before is lists of 52 things (one for each week) someone has learned over the past year. Last year I found a list by Kent Hendricks, most probably via Jason Kottke who this time published his own, via which I discovered Tom Whitwell's.
~
For even more lists, here’s The Atlantic’s 81 Things That Blew Our Minds and a of The Best Articles We Didn’t Publish jealousy list by Rest of World.
~
I was watching the 25th Anniversary of Half Life documentary and found Gabe Newell’s “Late is just for a little while. Suck is forever.” version of a quote often attributed to Shigeru Miyamoto – “A delayed game is eventually good, a rushed game is bad forever.” – funny and no less educational.
~
Lightbeam by Anton Repponen is a beautiful photo essay.
via Readymag

What if I fumble and tap the "End ride" button when locking the doors? Will I lose the car to the next customer with the radar feature on? I get a bit anxious every time even though I know there's a confirmation dialogue preventing that from happening.

Making the "End ride" action require a slide gesture would lessen the worries of accidentally triggering it.

That being said, this is a concept design and I'm sure designers at Bolt have considered this and have their reasons for not using this interaction pattern here. Because a slide gesture is required to unlock the doors when starting a ride and this would run the risk of muddying things too much – slide to unlock or tap to cancel at the start, tap to unlock or slide to end during a ride.

Keane (Lodge Kerrigan, 2004)

Noted, November 2023

Collected bits and pieces I’ve noticed this month.

In “Improving The Double Diamond Design Process” Andy Budd writes about how the “Double Diamond” design process is an ideal that does not match how design actually happens in many (most?) organisations and how it could be improved to be more usable and useful in reality.

~

Christopher Butler:

Interaction design is two things.

  1. managing attention
  2. persuasion

Once you come to the realization/acceptance that no one – not even the interested, motivated, and committed  –  has the kind of focused attention available for your thing that you assume they have, you will have a much better chance of capturing and sustaining any of it at all.

~

In “Why note-taking apps don’t make us smarter”, which is well worth a read if you care about thinking and note-taking and note-taking for better thinking, Casey Newton links to researcher Andy Matuschak’s site on note taking. Wow. I got lost in there, in a good way, for quite some time and still keep it open in a tab.

~

On a related note, ahem, I love how Readwise is approaching highlights and sidenotes in their Readwise Reader reading app.

~

Good career advice from Julia Evans: Get your work recognized: write a brag document
via kottke.org

~

On good line length based on research: “Line length revisited: following the research” by Mary Dyson

This is a mockup of an idea I had. It is for a UI interaction for recording video on your phone while editing it in a way.

To start recording, you tap and hold the “Record” button.
Move your finger off the button to pause and back on to resume recording. To stop, lift your finger, and the video is saved to the camera roll.

The button is circular for a good balance between surface area and the distance required in every direction to move your finger off it. It also grows larger when tapped, so you don’t accidentally pause when you move your finger a little.

Whether a kind of fluid blob of a button that “sticks” to your finger a little before letting go and pausing would be a neat way to indicate the threshold between recording and pause or be a flaw instead could be discovered with an actual prototype. But I have a hunch there might be a sweet middle ground somewhere.