You're reading Sentences, etc., a design and development blog by Justin Michael.

Friday Links

February 17, 2017 • Link to this Entry

🗣 Five-and-a-half powerful minutes of black parents telling their kids how to deal with police. If you only look at one thing here, please make it this one.

🔍 Claire Lew pens a fantastic piece about why a company’s vision matters, and how to figure out what your vision is.

🍰 Carl Erik Fisher writes a thought provoking piece about willpower.

🌐 Dan Luu shows us exactly how much the web sucks on a slow connection (and reminds us that millions of people around the world are still stuck with very slow connections).

📱 Mark Stanton provides a surprisingly interesting deep dive on the nuances of rounded corners. Now I know what a curvature comb is!

🎛 Jason Fried writes a case study that shows how complexity can creep in and cause problems.

🌈 Alex Denisov decides to alter the Stickies app that comes with macOS in order to change the colors. A fantastic look at reverse engineering.

🔴 Ken Segall shares an entertaining look behind the scenes of Apple’s HAL ads from 1999.

🖥 Stephen Hackett talks about some of his favorite Apple displays. That 17-inch ADC Apple Studio Display is quite the looker.

🗺 Apple announced WWDC pretty early this year due to a change of venue from San Francisco to San Jose. John Gruber has a nice writeup about it.

🏊‍♀️ Jason Kottke shares and writes about a delightful short film by Maximilien Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson called Ten Meter Tower.

🍽 And, finally, Sarah Kay talks about Table Games.

Struggle

February 14, 2017 • Link to this Entry

What was the last thing you did that challenged you? What was your last struggle? Are you struggling now?

Struggling, believe it or not, is often a good sign. Struggling means you’re pushing yourself. Struggling means you’re not resting on your laurels. Struggling fuels growth.

If you haven’t felt challenged recently take it as a warning that stagnation is setting in. You might be making progress, but you’re not growing. You don’t have to grow all the time, but you should be a bit outside your comfort zone on a regular basis.

Success feels great, but if that’s all you feel it will provide diminishing returns. You need challenge and accomplishment in equal measure, as the former enhances the latter. A hard-fought victory is more rewarding than an easy win. Easy accomplishment lacks substance, but challenges have lessons to teach.

Bring challenge and accomplishment into balance. Too much struggle will drag you down into a dark place. Too many easy wins will hollow you out. Harmony and happiness are found, as usual, somewhere in the middle.

Friday Links

February 10, 2017 • Link to this Entry

Ire Aderinokun provides an excellent explanation of the critical rendering path in web browsers. If you do any kind of front-end work on the web this is required reading.

The Public Domain Review showcases a number of stunning hand-drawn infographics showing the state of Black American life in 1900.

Alex Q. Arbuckle provides an incredible look at The Terra Nova Expedition of 1910, including some breathtaking photos from over one hundred years ago.

Bertrand Jayr shows us that anything can be whimsical, even toilet paper storage.

Lucas Zimmermann shows us that anything can be beautiful, even traffic lights. Don’t miss part two.

Jason Fried writes about the value of time and the importance of not letting other people steal it.

Julia Love gives us a peek at the incredible attention to detail Apple is demanding during the construction of their new campus.

Gordon Mah Ung performed some extensive battery tests on the new MacBook Pros.

Federico Viticci provides an in-depth look at the new Magic Variables in Workflow 1.7 for iOS.

If you enjoy bookstores you’re going to enjoy these photos.

Work from home? Read this.

Augmented reality + Portal = nothing would get done, ever.

GIF of the week.

I was about to put a warning here about the political links below, but these links aren’t political. The current state of affairs in the United States stretches well beyond the realm of politics. These links are about life, how people are being impacted by what’s happening in this country, where things might be going, and what we can do about it. So, warning, links about life are below.

Jason Kottke provides both an excellent summary of, and comment on, the senate stopping Elizabeth Warren from reading Coretta Scott King’s letter by invoking Senate Rule XIX.

Cecilia Kang pens a story about Trump’s F.C.C. pick targeting net neutrality rules.

Jake Fuentes shares his take on what might really be going on with the current administration. He hopes he’s wrong, and I hope so, too.

Under 35, progressive, and want to run for office? These people want to help.

Arianna Huffington writes about escaping the cycle of outrage many of us are trapped in right now.

And, finally, here’s a link to a tweet from the dictionary.

Qualifications

February 7, 2017 • Link to this Entry

What aren’t you doing because you don’t feel qualified? Are you not writing a book? Not creating art? Not building something?

Let me ask you this: What would have to happen for you to feel qualified? There’s no magical qualification fairy that’s going to flutter down and tap you on the nose with their magic qualification wand, so that’s not a valid answer.

Seriously, think about it. What would make you feel qualified? In some cases, for some jobs, it’s an easy answer because there are exams or boards to pass. Doctors and lawyers, for example, can be labeled as qualified once they’ve completed a certain series of tasks and trials.

Creative work, though, is a bit different. There’s no board certification you have to obtain before you start teaching someone how to write code. There’s no bar exam to pass prior to creating a beautiful piece of art. Most endeavors lack officials standing by to proclaim your qualified status to the world, or endow you with a sense of being worthy to do something.

So how do you get qualified? You do the work. You practice. You get started, even though you don’t know what you’re doing. No one knows what they’re doing in the beginning.

Think of someone doing what you want to do, someone who you feel is qualified. Why do you feel that way about them? Is it because of their accomplishments? Their body of work?

Do you think you would have considered them to be qualified back when they were first starting out, before they had any work to show for it? Do you think they, themselves, felt qualified without any evidence of their abilities to point to? A common refrain among accomplished creative people is that they had no idea what they were doing when they got started, but they got started.

People you see as qualified all have one thing in common: They didn’t let anything stop them from getting their work done. They achieved something, and now the world can see it and proclaim them qualified. They, themselves, can also look back at their work and feel the same.

Feeling qualified is the result of work and practice, not a prerequisite to it. You will not feel qualified to do something until you do it multiple times. You don’t start out qualified, but starting is the key to being qualified.

So are you going to continue to feel unqualified for the rest of your life, or are you going to get started?

Friday Links

February 3, 2017 • Link to this Entry

Marc Edwards shares his app icon design workflow, which contains a lot of interesting detail and links to some useful resources and concepts.

Tobias van Schneider pens a thought provoking piece about motivation and environment: The Broken Window Theory in Product Design.

Jonas Downey urges us all to remember that we’re creating things for people, and advocates designing with heart.

Some interesting thoughts and ideas relating to the constraints of working with non-profits and other clients that are resource constrained from Ethan Marcotte.

Lewis Wallace wrote a piece about the impossibility of true objectivity and neutrality, then got fired for writing it, which resulted in some interesting commentary and observations from Felix Salmon.

A great video about putting people in boxes from a TV station in Denmark.

I’m a bit late with this, but The New York Times has some great pictures of the women’s marches from around the world.

A great little story.

And, finally, step zero of the development process, illustrated.