A whimsical, cartoon-style drawing of a person playing a keyboard. The person has a round head with exaggerated features, including large, droopy eyes and a small goatee. Their hair is a vibrant purple, styled in a fluffy, voluminous manner, and green, triangular shapes surround their head, possibly indicating sound or movement. They are wearing a white shirt with a pink sleeve, and their hands are positioned on the keyboard, which extends across the bottom of the image. To the left of the person, there is a green speech bubble containing musical notes, indicating that they are playing or creating music. The background is a plain white, with the scene framed by a rough, hand-drawn rectangle, giving the impression of a digital or screen-based environment. The overall style is playful and colorful, with a focus on bold lines and vibrant accents.

In a remote only job, one of my favorite parts is when we get joined in a meeting by someone’s kid. Usually the parent is quick to get rid of them, but I love visitors so I try to get them to stay by quickly setting up a shared drawing board and seeing if I can get them to sketch with me.

in Photos photography photooftheday

I’ve been watching several of these OpenAI ChatGPT 4o demos and, for some reason, anytime the presenters interrupted long responses I felt like they were being rude to ChatGPT. Stop interrupting and let them finish

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Do you find yourself spending too much time sifting through articles on UX, Product Design, and HCI just to realize you didn’t learn anything new? I’ve been pretty annoyed at home much time I’ve sunk into reading the same article on why it’s important to create journey maps or how to write personas. So annoyed, in fact, that I’ve taking to trying my hardest ingest real research papers in the field.

Why take that time if it isn’t worth sharing with the rest of you. So in an effort to make us smarter, send us down rabbit holes of interesting ideas, and maybe stop paying for that medium subscription, I’ve started a venture to share some of what I’ve found on Substack and hopefully find a paid subscriber or two.

So if you feel the same way I have about the current state of the shared knowledge that is being created online, check out the first (very free) issue of academiUX.

in Notes ux research hci

At some point during my life, I decided to never buy anything other than black socks so that I wouldn’t have to spend time matching them. What actually happened, is that I spend more time now looking at subtleties between them… This one is ultra low, this one is rust regular low. This one has stitches at the toe, this one has stitches above the toe. This logo is the old brand, this one is the new one. It’s much too complicated, I think from here on out, I’m just going to wear sandles.

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4 Muppets from a Christmas Carol looking joyous, but holding guns. The 'Happy Holidays' is scratched out with 'Merry Christmas' written over it.

It has been a few years since I’ve made a holiday card. In 2020, right in the middle of covid, I posted a woodcarving of ancient Greeks celebrating Saturnalia Festivas, all while wearing masks. The one person bowing to the Festivas pole still cracks me up when I look at it. Check out my 2020 Holiday Card.

So what the hell is wrong with me this year, you might be asking? I think it’s pretty straight forward. I’ve seen way too many politicians posting cards with their families holding guns. That’s weird right? It’s not just me?

There’s nothing more wholesome than the Muppets and they have brought me and my kids a lot of joy over the decades. But look how quickly the tone of the image changes with the addition of some assault rifles. This was supposed to be kind of funny, but it’s not. I’m sorry on behalf of the rest of humanity.

For anyone of any religion or those of no religion, I hope that during this time of year we, while a lot of the world is celebrating, can stop with the hatred, killing, suffering, and sadness and be better humans to each other. I’m looking forward to a different 2024.

in Notes holiday christmas

For the last couple weeks I’ve been really focused on things that don’t create output that’s worth sharing online. I haven’t posted a photo in a while and I sure haven’t been writing as much as I should be.

This year, both my kids (15 & 16), who have been doing home-school for nearly 7 years have gone back into the public school system. It was a big transition for both of them, my daughter thrived, but my son revolted. After weeks of trying to inspire him, motivate him and reprimand him, he said he was the most unhappy he’s ever been - and that was tough. He’s a lot like me - not a big fan of people, not a big fan of bathroom policies and I was able to pull some strings and get him into a remote version of the same school. So although he’s back to doing school from home, he has access to the public school’s resources for guidance counseling, extra-curricular activities, and even tutoring and study groups. The biggest issue with the transition to remote learning was that he needed to make up the previous 8 weeks of work, nearly doubling his workload.

So every night, after nearly 8 hours of work for me and 6 hours of schooling for him, we’ve sat down for several hours - practicing math, studying history, and putting time into catching up. He’s never once complained, he’s thriving again, and is giving it all his energy to never have to go back to in-person school. How can I argue with that, I made the same proclamation about work - Why should anyone force him to go back when he knows what works for him…

in Notes homeschool remote

I’m not sure how it feels like the time has gone by really fast yet has taken so long, my youngest is turning 15. His level of maturity and inappropriate humor is on par with me now and it’s a comedic blast.

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For years I was an unofficial spokesperson for #Figma. I tried my best to convince everyone that it was the future of design and, for a while, people resisted. There wasn’t a tool out there that could do what Figma did. For anyone that’s been watching, it has somehow become the de-facto tool for interface design, for good reason. One of the reasons I loved it so much was that it wasn’t #Adobe, but I’m not going to get into that here.

Almost every piece of software I use in my work (outside of my day job) is open source, with Figma being the one exception. I’ve played around with a lot of different options for open source #UX, but there just wasn’t anything that could compare.

And then came PenPot. I’ve been watching from afar as it has developed, played around to get a feel for the features, but never delved deep into using it in my regular workflow. Today, however, as I start a new freelance project, PenPot is where I’m starting and I plan on doing all my freelance/personal work from here on out with it.

Figma, I appreciate you but I have to move on. Team #PenPot!

in Notes figma penpot ux design adobe open-source

I’ve been a bit quiet on the intertubes the last couple of weeks, work and life have been pretty exhausting. For the long weekend, I might get out and take some photos or work on some art, but likely I’m just going to stare at the wall until I’ve recovered. I hope the extra time will be enough…

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