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Designing a Montross T-Shirt

I grew up in a teeny little town in the Northern Neck of Virginia called Montross. Not much happens there: there’s one stoplight that they installed when my wife and I were in fourth or fifth grade, there’s a few gas stations, and the rest is stuff that’s pretty much just for the locals. I …

Is This Violence? At First, You Might Not Think So…

This is an incredible website (https://itsnotviolent.com) by the government of Quebec (but the content’s in English, so not to worry, non-Francophones) that gives real-world examples of relationship violence in the frame of a text conversation between a young person and their romantic partner. The graphic design conveys a fun, emoji-style interface…but the content is much, …

Cassette Adapters: We Stan a Legend

Vice did a really neat little write-up of the old-school aux cable cassette adapter and the pang of nostalgia it brought on hit me in the chest like a sucker punch. In the glory days of the late 90s, my family decided to make the jump from cassettes to CDs. It was a bold choice …

Dad Tape

I have been a father for either twenty-one months or sixty years, depending on how much sleep I’ve had when you ask me. It’s wonderful, really and truly. It’s incredible how much it changes you. My daughter is either the best baby ever or a Government sleeper agent sent to break my will. Time will …

The Lifeline of Empathy

A surplus of compassion could mean failing to truly help someone, or failing to design something that can. I’m sitting in a conference room with my business analyst. It’s eight forty-five in the morning and I’m two hotel-breakfast-buffet-coffees in for the morning. I’ll follow it up with a third from the machine in the kitchen …

The Gangster Sandwich

Imagine going into a deli and seeing “Gangster Sandwich” on the menu. You ask the person behind the counter, “What is the Gangster Sandwich?” They tell you, “Oh, it’s a pastrami on rye.” The end. That’s what’s on the sandwich. “What makes it ‘Gangster,’ exactly?” you ask. “Well, Gangsters eat sandwiches, don’t they?” the counter …

The Age Appropriate Design Code

The following is a list of sixteen standards that the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK came up with for collecting and managing children’s online usage data and personal data. They’re not bad guidelines at all. In fact, I think they could be applied to adults just as easily. The idea of removing “Likes” or …

Andrea Drugay on “Bringing the Light”

It’s our job to offer solutions to poorly worded experiences, but it’s also our job to maintain the integrity of our writing by refusing to write copy that deliberately misleads users. If you’re a writer in a situation where you need to push back, here’s some language that could be helpful to use, depending on …

A cartoon dog sits in his burning house, insisting that the situation around him is "fine".

The UX of Fire: Some Meditations on a Crisis

My wife, baby and I recently stayed in a decent hotel. We wanted a suite, as it helps us have a life after our baby goes to bed. We got this suite at a pretty reasonable price and at a hotel that was recently renovated and well-reviewed. As we sat there in the other room, …