Moving to Austin


After spending the last eleven years in San Francisco and Seattle, we decided it was time to get some more sunshine and get closer to our families to the east. Tomorrow we move to Austin.

Almost My bad play on words aside, really is almost famous. I say “almost” because it’s a closed beta and there are several things that might hold it back. It appears that it doesn’t work on any version of IE yet and it’s not clear if that’s in the plans or not. It also gets its performance from making an end-run around a lot of CSS, using matrix3D transforms to GPU-accelerate various operations. The end result is some code that is pretty obtuse looking and not very semantic. You can’t argue with the results though. I’m speaking in broad terms here but you can google for a preso they did late last year that delivers a good overview of what they’re up to. The other big question in my mind is how the more standards-focused folk will feel about this.

But what is It’s a javascript library that brings optimized performance to the types of apps that we were building in Flash, WPF, and Silverlight years ago. I was surprised by how excited I was to see this today. More than ten years ago, I was building some pretty advanced UIs in web pages using Flash that even now are impossible with pure HTML and CSS. looks to be a way to bring UI innovation back into web browsers without plugins. If so, I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only one excited about the possibilities.

I’m curious how this will all play out with Responsive Design and Progressive Enhancement though. It’s still a beta so we’ll have to wait and see.

The Rise of the UX Expert

User Experience

Hot on the heels of the New York Times article last week, we have this computerworld article about the rise in demand and salaries for UX experts. The article talks about all the usual suspects: Apple, mobile, designer/developer hybrids, the difficulty finding and hiring such folks, and—oddly enough—all the perks that are supposedly being lavished on UX designers. Sounds great, where do I sign up?

Seriously though, it warms my heart to hear such talk. Designers of all type have long been under-appreciated by corporate America. Here’s to hoping that all of this leads not only to more and better employment for designers but also to better products for businesses and consumers.

Design Trends: Nouveau Vintage

Scary Noises vintage logoI can’t resist the trend in design right now. You know the one I’m talking about—everything looks like it’s 1911 all over again. Technically, there are more geometric and grotesque typefaces, more of an emphasis on lettering (and type that looks like lettering), and lots of monochromatic design. I’ve temporarily ditched my site logo mark (the exclamation point with sound waves emanating) and just gone with the flow for now. Trends come and go but when one swells up that you happen to personally dig, you have to jump in before the wave is over.

What’s the significance of 1981? That’s not when I started this blog (that was 2004); it’s when I designed my first apps.

New York Times: Design more important than Technology

Nike fuel band leads with design

Bits, the New York Times’ technology blog, ran a post today claiming that design is now more important than engineering or technology. I can’t say I was sad to see this article in the New York Times. Of course, the situation is more complex than represented—without tech the design is only an idea—but this is yet another confirmation that design is finally being recognized as being a major (and sometimes the) differentiator in modern products and services.

Making Technology Work For People