My first 30 minutes with Photos

I’m on vacation right now and I left my personal computer, with my Lightroom library on it, at home. So when I sat down this afternoon to clear out my sd cards so far from the trip I figured I’d give the new Apple photos a go. I’d already set it up to sync my library, but hadn’t ever tried to use it for RAW files off my SLR.

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You are not your work

One of the best things I learned in art school was the ability to listen openly to criticism of things I had made. Every two weeks I had to come to critique and put my work up on the wall for everyone to talk about. Classmates and professors all looked at it hard and tried to make it better.

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Why you should learn SQL

If you’re a product person, it’s hard to figure out exactly where to put your shovel in the ground when it comes to learning technical skills. I think it’s a given at this point that most people who make things on the internet should know HTML and CSS, and probably some javascript (at least jquery). Knowing these tools gets you an enormously long way towards being able to make small ui tweaks, wordsmith UI copy, and even design in the browser.

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Some thoughts about Brooklyn Beta 2015

I tried to dump out my brain from Beta 2015. Highglights for me were John Maeda, Elle Luna, and David Hiut. And of course all the other humans in attendance.

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Going back to school

Today I got totally schooled, and it was amazing.

I should start by admitting that I’m a perfectionist. And not a “B.S. answer to the ‘what’s your biggest weakness’ interview question” kind of perfectionist, but an “I just spent 20 minutes pooping around the internet trying to avoid starting something because it might not turn out perfect” kind of perfectionist.

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There is no framework for empathy

Frameworks and automation exist for virtually every aspect of building a web app. From HTML5 Boilerplate to Heroku we’ve abstracted a lot of the repetitive parts of making things on the web. These frameworks allow us to focus on crafting delightful experiences.

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My Mentor Sarah

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This post first appeared on the BOMB Blog on July 17th, 2013

If we are lucky, we get a couple of mentors who shape and disrupt our views during the course of our career. I’m lucky to have had Sarah Charlesworth as one of mine. Many can, will, and have spoken about Sarah as an artist and about her incredibly important contributions to the field. Sarah was an equally important teacher for many of the reasons she was a great artist.

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What if Retina is the best thing that's ever happened to the internet

There’s been a lot of handwringing in the last week about how badly the resources served up for iPad will crush the internet. There’s no doubt that higher resolution screens are going to lead to increasing download sizes of media (movies &c.) 1080 streaming on the Apple TV is going to be nearly as big a culprit. There are going to be a lot of horrific hacks thrown together to retina-tize existing sites.

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Prototype Power

I proved the value of prototyping to myself a while back. A product manager and I had a disagreement about the way an interaction should work in an iPhone app. We agreed to disagree until after I made some wires to show the two different possibilities. Rather than making wires that sat inside the image of a phone on an 8x10 page, I made phone sized PDF wireframes for him to look at on his phone. He sat down in the meeting, put his phone on the table, opened the wires, and the decision was made. Even with a stupid simple static pdf, just being able to see it in context was the answer.

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