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

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


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.

Noted, October 2023

Collected bits and pieces I’ve noticed this month.

Ben Evans and Om Malik on the fall of the social web.
I’ve been bummed about the fall of Twitter*†, but I’m beginning to think I should not be.

*And Tumblr before that, though it has somewhat recovered and found a good parent in Automattic.
† And the deterioration of reddit after it.


Austin Kleon in Defined by Negatives:

I’ve long been inspired by the punk band Wire’s rules of negative self-definition: “No solos; no decoration; when the words run out, it stops; we don’t chorus out; no rocking out; keep it to the point; no Americanisms.”

I think it’s often best to start by deciding what you won’t do and set up boundaries and constraints and guardrails.


Stephanie Smith writes on the Wise Design Medium… um… blog, about making better colour choices that are accessible and also on brand: “Accessible but never boring (Part 1)”


“I make things because I enjoy making them. I share them when I have a sense that those things are exactly the sort that would inspire me had I not made them myself. This is not the way to build a large audience, to achieve fame, or to amass wealth. But it is the way to be seen (a very different thing from being validated) that also creates a way for someone else.
The best thing that could happen when I share something online is for someone else to experience it and think, “If he can do that, then I can __.””

The View from Here - Christopher Butler


River, a visual connection engine. "Clear your mind and surf laterally through image space."
Via Kottke

Finished software

This piece by Jose M. Gilgado got linked to on several blogs and it got me thinking.


When we buy a physical product, we accept that it won’t change in its lifetime. We’ll use it until it wears off, and we replace it. We can rely on that product not evolving; the gas pedal in my car will always be in the same place.

I’d argue that the great thing about software is precisely that it’s never finished, that it can be changed for the better without throwing it out and buying a new one.

But I see where this is coming from – software changing for the worse, from being tired of constant feature creep and ever more bloated software we often have no choice but to use.

To borrow Gilgado’s analogy: stop moving the gas pedal around.

Thelma (Joachim Trier, 2017)