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All posts by date

  1. 2021

    1. September 2021

      1. Locus.

        What’s better, where, and for whom.

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      2. Splits.

        For now, I’ve got my feet under me. And I’m grateful.

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    2. August 2021

      1. Notes from a week.

        Hello. It’s been a week. (A little more than, if I’m being honest.)

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    3. June 2021

    4. May 2021

      1. Union.

        Tech workers, it’s time we unionize.

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    5. April 2021

      1. Design-ish systems.

        “Why create a design system?” It’s a good question, if a hard one.

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    6. March 2021

      1. Au revoir, mon AMPmour?

        Last year, Google announced AMP will no longer be a requirement for prime search placement. This is good! But I still have questions.

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    7. February 2021

  2. 2020

    1. December 2020

      1. Beacon.

        Looking for a few bright spots in everyone’s worst year.

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    2. October 2020

      1. My design systems reading list.

        A friend asked me to share a few favorite resources on design systems. I thought I’d share them with you, too.

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      2. Before dawn, and after dusk.

        I spoke at two events yesterday. I drank a lot of coffee. I talked a lot about design systems. Good day.

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    3. September 2020

      1. Speaking, remotely.

        Here’s how I think about my speaking fee for remote events.

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    4. August 2020

      1. Hello, Autogram.

        Karen and Jeff and I have launched a little strategic consultancy. We’re calling it Autogram, and I’d like to tell you why.

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    5. July 2020

      1. Replyin’.

        I’ve added “Reply via email” links to my RSS feed. Hope you find it useful.

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      2. Notes from a hill.

        She asked, “Are you looking forward to your birthday?”

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    6. June 2020

      1. The design systems between us.

        It’s often suggested that design systems would improve the way organizations work. I’ve been wondering about that.

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      2. Takin’ five.

        I’ve been lucky enough to work with Aquent Gymnasium on a series of short video tutorials. I hope you like them.

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      3. On context.

        I read these two essays some time ago, and I keep returning to them. I bet you’ll like them too.

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      4. Power.

        Individually, there’s little we can do; but collectively, there’s not much we can’t.

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      5. A programming note.

        I’m pausing my email newsletter for a bit. More importantly, here are some organizations doing important work right now, and some resources I’ve found helpful.

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    7. May 2020

      1. Responsive design: seams & edges.

        In some ways, responsive design was an attempt to move past the idea of a “page.” How’s that worked out for us?

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    8. April 2020

      1. Gardened.

        On JavaScript, frameworks, and how giving a damn doesn’t scale.

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    9. March 2020

    10. February 2020

      1. The design systems we swim in.

        When was the last time a design system empowered you to make a decision? (I’m honestly asking.)

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    11. January 2020

  3. 2019

    1. December 2019

      1. Getting to work.

        It’s time for us to organize our workplaces, my loves.

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    2. October 2019

      1. The World-Wide Work.

        A talk on automation, power, justice, and labor in the tech industry.

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    3. August 2019

      1. Amphora.

        I tried navigating some of Google’s featured AMP Stories in a screen reader. And then I wrote this.

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    4. July 2019

      1. Three bowls.

        Saying good-bye to our littlest kitty, Rorschach.

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    5. May 2019

    6. April 2019

      1. Trainers.

        How the data gets made, and by whom.

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    7. March 2019

    8. January 2019

      1. A new adventure.

        I just got home from attending—and speaking at!—last week’s New Adventures conference. It was an inspiring, marvelous day.

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      2. Sonnerie.

        I come not to praise 2018, but to bury it.

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  4. 2018

    1. December 2018

      1. Azeban.

        Let’s talk a little about automation, design, and work.

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      2. Release.

        I went to Demo Day for the latest Resilient Coders bootcamp. The students left an impression on me.

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    2. November 2018

      1. It’s not about the device.

        It can feel overwhelming to design for a new device, a new context. Maybe there’s an alternative?

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      2. Syenite.

        I’ve attended a few community sessions at Resilient Coders. It’s a wonderful organization; maybe you’d like to support them, too.

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      3. Vox pop.

        I’m working with the team at Vox Media on their design systems. I’m very excited.

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    3. October 2018

      1. The tool and the task.

        Our design tools change the design of our products and, at times, they can change us. How do we talk about that?

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    4. September 2018

      1. Revamp.

        Google’s Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP) has announced it’s moving to a more open governance model, which is great. I still have some questions.

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    5. August 2018

      1. Accessibility is not a feature.

        Lately, I’ve been reflecting on some of the language I use to talk about accessibility. It might be language you use, too.

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      2. Izakaya.

        When a dollar becomes ten.

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      3. Weft.

        About the patterns underneath the patterns.

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      4. Bits.

        What we talk about when we talk about what we talk about when we talk about web performance.

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    6. July 2018

      1. In the pocket.

        “The first level of reality is that nitty-gritty stuff, the direct action and immediate experience, the sort of thing I like to call vernacular reality.” — Ursula Franklin

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      2. Fractional.

        The more I work with CSS Grid, the more I’ve realized I’m a big fan of the fr unit. And it’s subtly changed how I think about grids.

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    7. June 2018

      1. Just work.

        How I work, and how I want to.

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      2. My three steps.

        I’ve been thinking about how I learn new technologies.

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      3. World wide wrist.

        WebKit’s coming to the Apple Watch, in some fashion. In my own fashion, I’m excited to see what that means.

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    8. May 2018

      1. Bundt.

        Here’s what happened today, today.

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      2. Kumiho.

        Thoughts on bots.

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      3. When patterns get weird.

        Usually, you’ll get rid of design patterns that don’t contribute much to your design system. But sometimes, you won’t.

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    9. April 2018

      1. Notes from a conference.

        I just flew in from Florida, where I’d spoken—and workshopped!—at the 2018 Front End Design Conference. And boy, are my arms tired/sunburnt.

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      2. Spinning jenny.

        A few thoughts on the task, and the tool.

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      3. Framed.

        When offering advice, be careful how it’s offered.

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    10. March 2018

      1. Campaign.

        The Google AMP team has announced they’d like to make the web faster—even for folks who don’t use AMP. That’s wonderful news. But I have some questions.

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      2. Notes from a sidewalk.

        She stood back up, running to catch her friends, her sign held high.

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    11. February 2018

      1. I, for one.

        We’re used to corporations stepping in to fix the problems they see on the web. But what would happen if we could fix the web?

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      2. Design, system.

        Your design system’s more than the sum of its patterns. (It’s all about the people, maaaaannnn.)

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      3. AMPlified.

        I don’t think there’s much you or I can do about Google’s AMP project. However.

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    12. January 2018

      1. A little advice.

        On occasion, people starting a career in web design ask me for advice. Here’s what I currently say to them.

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      2. Cardigan.

        Farewell, Dean. And thank you.

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      3. War rig.

        I come here not to praise 2017, but to bury it.

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  5. 2017

    1. December 2017

      1. Rated zero.

        Google AMP, and services like it, are a kind of “zero-rating.” I worry about that.

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      2. Entitled to.

        A few thoughts about losing net neutrality protections in the United States, and what happens next.

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    2. November 2017

      1. A new bag.

        On a friend’s recommendation, I bought a Tom Bihn backpack for traveling. I really like it.

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    3. October 2017

      1. In range.

        Three outlines, each smaller than the last.

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      2. Seven into seven.

        A few more thoughts on AMP, on Ursula Franklin’s questions, and on just technology.

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    4. September 2017

      1. My foreword for Design Systems.

        I was asked to write an introduction for Alla Kholmatova’s new book on design systems, which I loved. (I think you’ll love it too.)

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    5. August 2017

      1. AMPersand.

        There’s a price to using Google’s “Accelerated Mobile Project.” I’m not sure the web can afford to pay it.

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      2. At dawn.

        Waking up, half-dreaming, before the sun’s up.

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    6. July 2017

      1. Upward and worn.

        The new Legend of Zelda is a gorgeous, fun game, but it’s also an isolation simulator. And I love that about it.

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      2. Designed lines.

        Designing a lightweight, inexpensive digital experience is a form of kindness.

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    7. June 2017

      1. A responsive spotlight.

        We’ve been trying something new on our little responsive design podcast. I’ve enjoyed the experiment; maybe you will, too.

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      2. A working pattern library.

        The value of a pattern library is tied directly to how much—and how easily—it is used.

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      3. Left to our own devices.

        For me, the real value of a device lab isn’t in testing. A device lab is a design tool.

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    8. May 2017

      1. Notes from a chair.

        They work kindly, quickly but steadily, under lights cold and bright.

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      2. Going offline.

        I’ve started taking parts of my site offline. Here’s how it works, right now.

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    9. April 2017

      1. Device intervention.

        Done right, a device lab’s a pretty good empathy engine.

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      2. The work I like.

        I’ve been thinking a lot about why I work the way I do, and how.

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      3. MOA—

        And yet.

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    10. March 2017

      1. A sticky situation.

        Ran into a little design bug, involving position: sticky and Chrome. Maybe it’d be of interest to you.

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      2. Notes from a couch.

        I’ve got a week of rest lined up, so here’s what I’m reading and watching. (Riveting stuff, I know.)

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      3. On container queries.

        A number of prominent web folks have been asking for “container queries.” I think they’re right to do so, and here’s why.

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    11. February 2017

      1. New work: Source

        A new design for Source, a non-profit that makes journalism code more visible.

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    12. January 2017

      1. Free, faster.

        Many of the free web themes I’ve seen recently are…slow. How can we fix that?

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  6. 2016

    1. December 2016

      1. The good by.

        A few notes on farewells, and on coming home.

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      2. Pattern patter.

        On the web, can our patterns be more than just front-end code?

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      3. Hyper text.

        A few notes on political anxiety and Twitter, and how sentences turn into paragraphs.

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      4. Thread.

        Welcome to my new website.

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  7. 2015

    1. November 2015

  8. 2014

    1. December 2014

    2. August 2014

      1. A Responsive Design Podcast.

        Along with Karen McGrane, I’m getting into that “pod-casting” game! (Guess what it’s about.)

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    3. February 2014

      1. Platformed.

        The web isn’t a platform. When we design and build for it, we should remember that.

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    4. January 2014

  9. 2013

    1. November 2013

      1. Speaking? Pack a plan.

        If you’re doing any public speaking, I have a few small (but useful!) tips.

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      2. Keynote, Magic Move, and you.

        One of my favorite features in Apple’s Keynote is “Magic Move.” I bet it might be yours, too.

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      3. “Offline First”

        I’m so excited about building more offline-friendly experiences. (You should be, too!)

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    2. February 2013

      1. Hello, Editorially.

        I’ve cofounded a startup with some dear friends. It’s called Editorially. I’d like to tell you a little about it.

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  10. 2011

    1. September 2011

      1. The Boston Globe

        The first large-scale responsive website just launched, and I helped. Here’s how we did it.

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    2. June 2011

    3. March 2011

      1. Henry.

        A few words I quite like.

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      2. Toffee-nosed.

        Many criticisms of responsive design are based on faulty logic. Let’s look at a few fallacies.

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  11. 2010

    1. October 2010

      1. With good references.

        Every responsive design begins with a reference layout, either small- or widescreen. Which should you choose?

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    2. September 2010

      1. Oversewing

        I’ve moved on from working at Happy Cog, and I’ve started up my own design practice again.

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  12. 2009

    1. March 2009

      1. On fluid grids.

        I have a new article on A List Apart. It’s about creating complex grid-based layouts that are fluid. I hope you like it.

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  13. 2008

    1. October 2008

      1. Bradley.

        A story about my late uncle, who I didn’t know as well as I wish I did.

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  14. 2007

    1. February 2007

      1. Squee.

        I’ve written my first article for A List Apart. I’m so excited.

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  15. 2005

    1. August 2005

      1. Day zero.

        Last Friday was my last day at a full-time job.

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  16. 2004

    1. August 2004

      1. Stairwell.

        Starting a new job.

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  17. 2003

    1. July 2003

      1. On emergency rooms.

        We were in the process of haggling over which desserts my grandmother should order when the seizure hit.

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    2. June 2003

      1. In progress

        A former teacher and his former student, and a house to paint.

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      2. She.

        Happy anniversary, to my one and lovely.

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