Stopdesign https://stopdesign.com Creative outlet of Douglas Bowman Sun, 03 Jun 2018 13:57:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A love letter to Twitter https://stopdesign.com/archive/2014/05/09/a-love-letter-to-twitter.html Fri, 09 May 2014 16:44:31 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/?p=2524 Since its inception, our generation has struggled to pin down an answer to the question, “What is Twitter?” I’ve seen attempts at describing Twitter as microblogging, a messaging platform, a broadcasting tool, a social network, an information network, an interest graph, and real-time communication.… Continued

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Since its inception, our generation has struggled to pin down an answer to the question, “What is Twitter?” I’ve seen attempts at describing Twitter as microblogging, a messaging platform, a broadcasting tool, a social network, an information network, an interest graph, and real-time communication. Twitter, itself, has used phrases such as, “the world in your pocket,” and more recently, “a global town square.”

That it hasn’t (yet) been holistically and easily describable in a single phrase is part of the beauty of Twitter to me. It does so many things for so many people. Whatever adjective or metaphor used, I think of Twitter as a service. Because that’s how I’ve always seen it. It’s a service driven by the people and operated for the people. And it is literally in service to people around the globe.

Twitter is people-powered. It has always been about people. The way people connect to each other, they way they converse and interact, what people share, what they’re doing, what they’re thinking… and what they love. Twitter is unique and wonderful not because of the service itself, but because of the people who use it, and how they use it.

That over 500 million tweets get pushed out each day is a technical marvel. But so much more amazing are the stories of how Twitter has been (and continues to be) used. I’m enamoured and fascinated with these stories that continuously unfold on Twitter. Yet none of them would happen without the people who unite together around particular moments of time, big or small, and share those moments with their friends, their followers, and the world.

A series of moments

Small moments on Twitter are fascinating, because they reveal tiny bits about the people who share them, and in aggregate, reveal entire patterns of human behavior and emotion. Whether it’s the mundane update about what someone had for breakfast, or that they’re late for school, or that they had toilet paper stuck to their shoe for an hour before a friend pointed it out… Those small moments are real, humanizing, and pings to the world that a person is alive, is functioning, and is a normal human being.

Big moments on Twitter are also fascinating, either as a participant, or as a passive observer. Celebrations, sports matchups, popular entertainment, or newsworthy events bring massive amounts of people together. Twitter sees huge spikes in activity as people share in those moments together. Through Twitter, these moments offer the reinforcement that even if you’re watching an event alone, you’re not alone in experiencing it. In these moments, we share in the roar of the crowd in moments of victory, we unite in hope or heartbreak in moments of tragedy, and we make and record history together.

I love how people can gain a new voice with Twitter. It has given me a louder and farther-reaching voice than I ever thought possible. And while I can only physically be in one place at one time, I love how Twitter distributes my awareness of what’s going on nearby or far away. At any moment, I can instantly know what’s going on in the next room, in the next town, or in a country halfway around the world.

My history with you

I joined Twitter, the service, two years before I interviewed at and joined Twitter, the company. So I was familiar with the ins and outs of the product before I joined the team. When the idea of leading design at Twitter was first pitched to me, my thought was, “What would a designer do with 140-character text messages?” That’s basically what I knew it to be. But once I got to speak with @ev, @biz, @goldman, @gregpass, and @bs, I realized the vision for Twitter was much bigger than simple character-constrained status updates. And that it had the potential to become something big and meaningful within the world. With those realizations burning in my mind, I had no doubts that I wanted to help shape what Twitter could become. Even though at the time, it felt like I was joining the company “late in the game,” almost three years after the original idea of twttr had hatched.

As a Twitter user, I have witnessed this simple communications tool used to help unlock long-locked doors, to promote cultural awareness and sensitivity, to tear down walls of oppression, to alter the way businesses attend and respond to customers, to connect people in ways never before thought possible, and to democratize the creation and flow of information around the world. I have met and interacted with so many incredible people because of Twitter. And I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible from simply observing and occasionally participating in the conversations that unfold here.

As a Twitter employee, I have witnessed a growing family of co-workers who care deeply about their craft, their teammates, the integrity and purpose of the service, and the people around the world that Twitter serves. One of Twitter’s core values for the past several years has been, “Grow our business in a way that makes us proud.” I couldn’t be more proud of the way Twitter as a company has conducted itself as its presence and impact around the world has grown. I have seen this core value demonstrated over and over and over again through the tireless work of my colleagues, and their desire to always do right by the very people who use, depend on, and are delighted by the service every day.

My, how you’ve grown

Fast forward to today. This day. My last as an employee of Twitter. But far from my last as an active participant in this global ecosystem. It’s been an honor to serve as Twitter’s creative director for the past five years. To join at what I now see as a relatively early time period. To form and grow a design team and establish the principles on which it operated. To attract and hire and get to work with people more talented than me. And to see a team, a company, a service, and millions of people using it grow into the beautiful wonder that Twitter is today. This. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And I still can’t believe how fortunate I am that it was offered to me.

It’s a cliché in our tech industry that companies and founders start with a vision that includes the grandiose notion of changing the world. What Twitter has enabled, is enabling, and will continue to enable is nothing short of just that. As Biz says, Twitter is not a triumph of technology, it is a triumph of humanity. It all comes back to people like you and me who use the service, and what we continue to do with it. There is no other platform that offers what Twitter offers, and there is no other service that continuously reveals the collective pulse of our planet.

Twitter, the product, has a ton of momentum behind it. The teams at Twitter are in great shape, and the people on these teams are thinking of and executing on some of the best ideas I’ve seen in my time here. So it’s a good time for me to call my leg of the journey complete. To step out of the way. To let go of something I love so dearly. And to let it thrive and grow into something even bigger.

Thank you, Twitter, for allowing me to help guide you for a small portion of your big and wondrous journey. There’s a great distance ahead of you. And you’ve only just begun.

Yours,
@stop

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Growing Twitter Design https://stopdesign.com/archive/2012/12/18/growing-twitter-design.html Tue, 18 Dec 2012 17:19:30 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/?p=2465 First, the whole point of this post. We’re expanding the Twitter Design Studio. Whether you’ve ever thought about working at Twitter or not, think about it now. We have a few open spots that we’re looking to fill in the next couple months.… Continued

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First, the whole point of this post. We’re expanding the Twitter Design Studio. Whether you’ve ever thought about working at Twitter or not, think about it now. We have a few open spots that we’re looking to fill in the next couple months. One of the desks in this photo of our studio could be yours. If we run out of space, we’ll make room for you.


Critiquing by @design

What we’ve been up to

We post samples of recent work on our Dribbble account. We’ve started posting photos of the studio and the team on 500px. (Some are embedded here in this post.) And, of course, we tweet too, from our team account, and all our personal accounts. Want to know more? Ask me or anyone on the team anytime. Here’s a tip: the service on which we all work makes us all easily contactable. We’re a pretty open bunch, and we’ll answer any questions as openly and honestly as we can.

A perspective on Twitter and @design

Next March, it will be four years that I’ve been working with Twitter, leading and directing the Design team. People ask me all the time if I still like it. My honest answer: I love it now more than I did when I started. Anyone I work with can confirm that.

It’s not that I don’t have fond memories of my early days at Twitter. I do — those first couple years were really good. The people I worked with then, the experiences we had together, and the challenges we faced on a regular basis as a small company were inspiring. But we have a sizable team now, and exponentially more people using the product every single day.

Design has multiple researchers who help us understand how people think about and use the product. We have prototypers and devs who help us rapidly build out and gut-check experiences. And we have a great blend of experience designers who think through and work on problems from concept through to production. We can finally get ahead of big design problems and attack them more strategically.


User Research Explained by @design

Now, more than ever, our team is really humming, and it’s finding a great groove. We’re fortunate that the team is filled with smart, funny, talented folks who care passionately about Twitter and the product experience. There’s a great, positive energy in the design studio, and it’s contagious.

We recently added Mike Davidson as our VP of Design. I’ve known and respected Mike for ten years, but I’ve never had the chance to work with him directly until now. I’m really happy he’s here to help fight for and defend great design throughout the company, and create the space for Design to push and innovate on Twitter’s experience.

Add to this the impact that Twitter has had and is having all over the world. Connecting people, some who have never met. A pulse of the news, events, and human perspective as it’s unfolding. Distributing awareness of what’s happening in the next room, the next neighborhood over, or around the other side of the world. This free exchange of information is changing the world, and I don’t state that lightly. I’m humbled that I get the opportunity to contribute to the Twitter experience on a daily basis.

We’re just getting started

Built up over the past few years, we’ve seen an incredible evolution of Twitter. It’s a service that many of us value on a daily basis. But our team’s work is not even close to being done. In many ways, we’re just getting started. While Twitter gets tons of exposure and coverage, there’s so much work to do to make it simpler, easier to understand and use right away, and a more beautiful and consistently delightful experience.


Video… That Way! by @design


Mobile First by @design

Be one of the team members in these shots. Come help us with some of the most interesting challenges a designer can face today. And contribute to a world-changing service whose impact has only just begun. Join the flock.

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Wired.com: Ten years later https://stopdesign.com/archive/2012/10/11/ten-years-later.html Thu, 11 Oct 2012 19:24:51 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/?p=2442 Ten years ago today, we pulled back the curtains on a redesign of Wired.com. The actual design and the code that rendered it are long gone. But they were significant in their time.
The redesign of Wired News in 2002 marked the first time a large, well-known, daily-content publisher had dropped tables for layout, and embraced the separation of markup and style in a rather new (at the time) approach to web design.… Continued

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Ten years ago today, we pulled back the curtains on a redesign of Wired.com. The actual design and the code that rendered it are long gone. But they were significant in their time.

The redesign of Wired News in 2002 marked the first time a large, well-known, daily-content publisher had dropped tables for layout, and embraced the separation of markup and style in a rather new (at the time) approach to web design. Several prominent blogs, and niche content sites (zeldman.com, meyerweb.com, alistapart.com) had broken ground, and were already using and evangelizing a greater adoption of Web Standards.

Halfway through the redesign process, I started plotting how Wired could support the standards movement not just by publishing stories about it, but by adopting it outright. If pure, valid XHTML to mark up the content and simple CSS for layout and style was enough for other sites, it should work for Wired too. I contacted Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer to let them know what we were up to. Their excitement over the prospect of Wired jumping on board hinted that this might be a big deal. We dove in head first, and never looked back. Not long after Wired took that leap, many other large, well-known sites and companies began following suit.

I note the tenth anniversary of this redesign, not because of what it was then, but because of how far we’ve come since then, and everything that has been set in motion since. Ten years is a good chunk of time to take note of progress, large and small. Some folks say common tools like HTML and CSS haven’t evolved much. But that misses the point of everything we’ve been able to do and experience because of our use and adoption of them.

Governments, news organizations, retailers, and individuals all around the world use our inter-connectedness in dramatically different ways, compared with ten years ago. Shopping, storing, organizing, and interacting online is now second nature to a massive global population. And increasingly, we’re doing all of this with small devices that fit in a single hand or a pocket.

As I look back on the past ten years, I can easily see how the path of my career, interests, friends, and professional connections were partially shaped by a little redesign in 2002 (now insignificant by today’s standards). A cascade of events and opportunities followed that point in history for me. It was just a matter of spotting them, and jumping on a few.

Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing, and what was your craft like then? Who do you know now that you didn’t know then? What brought you to where you are today? It’s fascinating to think of the journey from the events of ten years ago, all the way up to today. Just think of the next ten years…

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Taking flight: a new Twitter logo https://stopdesign.com/archive/2012/06/06/taking-flight-a-new-twitter-logo.html Wed, 06 Jun 2012 20:11:24 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/?p=2435 I wrote a post for the Twitter blog today on our new bird:
Starting today you’ll begin to notice a simplified Twitter bird. From now on, this bird will be the universally recognizable symbol of Twitter.
Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibility.… Continued

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I wrote a post for the Twitter blog today on our new bird:

Starting today you’ll begin to notice a simplified Twitter bird. From now on, this bird will be the universally recognizable symbol of Twitter.

Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibility.

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Testing tweet embeds https://stopdesign.com/archive/2011/12/11/testing-tweet-embeds.html Sun, 11 Dec 2011 14:45:22 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/?p=2337 The Long and Short of It – super simple tweet embedding in WordPress wp.me/pf2B5-2pL
— Doug Bowman (@stop) December 8, 2011… Continued

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The Long and Short of It – super simple tweet embedding in WordPress wp.me/pf2B5-2pL

— Doug Bowman (@stop) December 8, 2011

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Cranking (by Merlin Mann) https://stopdesign.com/archive/2011/04/25/cranking-by-merlin-mann.html Mon, 25 Apr 2011 16:01:57 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/?p=2331 Merlin writes so beautifully.
“And, although I’m confident that I will always think my daughter is The Greatest Thing in the Universe, I’m also all too aware that this feeling will not always be reciprocated in quite that same way or with quite that same enthusiasm that we both enjoy right now.… Continued

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Merlin writes so beautifully.

“And, although I’m confident that I will always think my daughter is The Greatest Thing in the Universe, I’m also all too aware that this feeling will not always be reciprocated in quite that same way or with quite that same enthusiasm that we both enjoy right now.

She won’t always run to my bed in footie jammies.

I’ll only get that particularly noisy and personalized wake-up call for a little while. And, I only get a shot at it once a day. At almost exactly 6:00 AM Pacific Time.

Then one day? I won’t get it any more. It will be gone.”

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Simple is not easy https://stopdesign.com/archive/2011/03/30/simple-is-not-easy.html Wed, 30 Mar 2011 15:27:35 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/?p=2432 Simple is not easy.
— Doug Bowman (@stop) March 30, 2011… Continued

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Simple is not easy.

— Doug Bowman (@stop) March 30, 2011

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30-Second Rule for App Success https://stopdesign.com/archive/2011/03/01/30-second-rule-for-app-success.html Tue, 01 Mar 2011 15:58:04 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/?p=2326 Those of you who saw my talks at either Future of Web Design in NYC, or at Webstock in Wellington may remember a segment where I urged delivering value as quickly as possible. In that segment, I compared the act of taking and sharing a photo with Hipstamatic, and the same in Instagram.… Continued

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Those of you who saw my talks at either Future of Web Design in NYC, or at Webstock in Wellington may remember a segment where I urged delivering value as quickly as possible. In that segment, I compared the act of taking and sharing a photo with Hipstamatic, and the same in Instagram. I posited that one of the biggest reasons for Instagram’s runaway success is how quickly you can snap a photo, apply a filter, and share it with the world. It delivers value in three short steps, and it’s fun.

Here is Instagram’s founder and CEO, Kevin Systrom, validating this deliver-value-quickly notion as a key to Instagram’s success:

“Products can introduce more complexity over time, but as far as launching and introducing a new product in to the market, it’s a marketing problem,” Systrom tells Fast Company. “You have to explain everything you do, and people have to understand it, within seconds.”

“In the mobile context, you need to explain what you do in 30 seconds or less because people move on to the next shiny object. There are so many apps and people are vying for your attention on the go. It’s the one context in which you’ve got lots and lots of other stuff going on. You’re not sitting in front of a computer; you’re at a bus stop or in a meeting.”

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First Autistic Presidential Appointee Speaks Out https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/10/11/first-autistic-presidential-appointee-speaks-out.html Mon, 11 Oct 2010 22:20:59 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/10/11/first-autistic-presidential-appointee-speaks-out.html Go, Ari.
In December, he [Ari Ne’eman] was nominated by President Obama to the National Council on Disability (NCD), a panel that advises the President and Congress on ways of reforming health care, schools, support services and employment policy to make society more equitable for people with all forms of disability.… Continued

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Go, Ari.

In December, he [Ari Ne’eman] was nominated by President Obama to the National Council on Disability (NCD), a panel that advises the President and Congress on ways of reforming health care, schools, support services and employment policy to make society more equitable for people with all forms of disability.

And Ari’s open call to those of us who work in technology:

If we put one-tenth of the money currently spent on looking for causes and cures into developing technologies that enable autistic people with speech challenges to communicate more easily — so-called augmentative and alternative communication [AAC] — we’d have a vast improvement in the quality of life for autistic people and their family members.

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Avoiding the Uncanny Valley of Interface Design https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/08/26/avoiding-the-uncanny-valley-of-interface-design.html Thu, 26 Aug 2010 17:30:07 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/08/26/avoiding-the-uncanny-valley-of-interface-design.html From Francisco Inchauste, on the topic of UI that imitates realism:
It is so easy to love a certain effect and want to use that everywhere. Not all projects need to have the selections sitting on a perfectly lit wooden bookshelf.… Continued

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From Francisco Inchauste, on the topic of UI that imitates realism:

It is so easy to love a certain effect and want to use that everywhere. Not all projects need to have the selections sitting on a perfectly lit wooden bookshelf. On one hand we want to be creative and make something that is appealing and can sell the product. On the other side we have to question the cost of that approach on the experience itself and balance style and function with purpose.

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The Future of Self-service Banking https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/08/17/the-future-of-self-service-banking-2.html Tue, 17 Aug 2010 21:00:08 +0000 https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/08/17/the-future-of-self-service-banking-2.html Spotted this link to an intriguing ATM prototype experiment by BBVA in the comments on Khoi Vihn’s post on ATM design
ATMs were first introduced over 40 years ago and since then many features have been incrementally added to the machines, in order to fulfill the dream of a truly “automated teller”.… Continued

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Spotted this link to an intriguing ATM prototype experiment by BBVA in the comments on Khoi Vihn’s post on ATM design

ATMs were first introduced over 40 years ago and since then many features have been incrementally added to the machines, in order to fulfill the dream of a truly “automated teller”. Modern ATMs offer a wide range of banking transactions; nevertheless the actual interaction has remained largely untouched.

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My Measures & Dimensions https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/07/20/my-measures-dimensions.html Tue, 20 Jul 2010 15:00:00 +0000 https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/07/20/my-measures-dimensions.html I just discovered an iPhone app named My Measures & Dimensions that lets you take any photo and quickly draw dimensions on top of objects or spaces in the photo. Typically, I use a piece of scrap paper for this, and end up forgetting to bring it with me when I need it.… Continued

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I just discovered an iPhone app named My Measures & Dimensions that lets you take any photo and quickly draw dimensions on top of objects or spaces in the photo. Typically, I use a piece of scrap paper for this, and end up forgetting to bring it with me when I need it. After photos are marked up with measurements, they can be emailed to anyone, or added to the iPhone’s photo library.

So far, this app seems incredibly useful for several purposes. I’m using it to quickly record the measurements of rooms in our house. It’s also handy to note the dimensions of some bookshelves in our daughter’s room, so we’ll know what can fit inside. I can easily imagine several other uses too. Here’s a direct link to My Measures in the iTunes Store.

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Hovers (and power users) still have a healthy future https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/06/09/hovers-and-power-users-still-have-a-healthy-future.html Thu, 10 Jun 2010 03:33:19 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/06/09/hovers-and-power-users-still-have-a-healthy-future.html Ryan Singer on the power of hover states and non-tablet computers:
But to the geeky or trained, the desktop is a fount of power and speed. Documents are side by side, text flies from here to there, IMs are answered and dismissed, mockups reloaded, batches processed, all with tiny movements of the fingers.… Continued

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Ryan Singer on the power of hover states and non-tablet computers:

But to the geeky or trained, the desktop is a fount of power and speed. Documents are side by side, text flies from here to there, IMs are answered and dismissed, mockups reloaded, batches processed, all with tiny movements of the fingers. For those of us who work all day on computers, touch interfaces are not an impending disruption.

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Better Screen, Same Typography https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/06/08/better-screen-same-typography-2.html Wed, 09 Jun 2010 04:00:07 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/06/08/better-screen-same-typography-2.html Khoi Vinh on Apple’s lack of full commitment to excellent typography, despite creating oft-superior devices seemingly capable of perfection:
Steve Jobs’ vision for Apple, repeated in yesterday’s keynote address, posits that the company operates at the intersection between technology and the liberal arts.… Continued

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Khoi Vinh on Apple’s lack of full commitment to excellent typography, despite creating oft-superior devices seemingly capable of perfection:

Steve Jobs’ vision for Apple, repeated in yesterday’s keynote address, posits that the company operates at the intersection between technology and the liberal arts. I think it’s reasonable to regard fine typography as falling within that mandate, but unfortunately, they are falling short of that promise. Building a great display for typography without building great typographic tools is a dereliction of duty.

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The Death of Depth: Less and Less of More and More https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/06/05/the-death-of-depth-less-and-less-of-more-and-more.html Sat, 05 Jun 2010 14:14:58 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/06/05/the-death-of-depth-less-and-less-of-more-and-more.html Good article on attention spans and what’s affecting them.
As any experienced meditator knows, the mind has a mind of its own. Left free to wander, that’s just what it will do. When we manage the infinite demands on our attention by trying to juggle them all, we literally weaken our capacity for absorbed focus.… Continued

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Good article on attention spans and what’s affecting them.

As any experienced meditator knows, the mind has a mind of its own. Left free to wander, that’s just what it will do. When we manage the infinite demands on our attention by trying to juggle them all, we literally weaken our capacity for absorbed focus.

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SFpark https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/06/02/sfpark.html Wed, 02 Jun 2010 23:00:07 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/06/02/sfpark.html Concept sounds good. But I’m concerned about more people checking their phones while driving in the city.… Continued

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Concept sounds good. But I’m concerned about more people checking their phones while driving in the city.

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Ball Pool https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/05/27/ball-pool.html Thu, 27 May 2010 21:55:59 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/05/31/ball-pool.html Love what creative minds are producing, no Flash required.… Continued

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Love what creative minds are producing, no Flash required.

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Responsive Web Design https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/05/26/a-list-apart-articles-responsive-web-design.html Wed, 26 May 2010 21:55:58 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/05/31/a-list-apart-articles-responsive-web-design.html Ethan’s “Responsive Web Design” is an eloquently worded, logical evolution of modern, responsible web design.… Continued

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Ethan’s “Responsive Web Design” is an eloquently worded, logical evolution of modern, responsible web design.

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An Inconvenient Drop Shadow – Brand New https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/05/06/an-inconvenient-drop-shadow-brand-new.html Thu, 06 May 2010 21:55:47 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/05/31/an-inconvenient-drop-shadow-brand-new.html Brand New notes the new Google logo. This change was years in the making. We proposed similar changes in 2007.… Continued

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Brand New notes the new Google logo. This change was years in the making. We proposed similar changes in 2007.

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A Book Apart, Home https://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/05/04/a-book-apart-home.html Tue, 04 May 2010 21:55:46 +0000 http://stopdesign.com/archive/2010/05/31/a-book-apart-home.html Started reading an advance copy of HTML5 for Web Designers. As with previous works by @adactio, it’s clear and concise.… Continued

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Started reading an advance copy of HTML5 for Web Designers. As with previous works by @adactio, it’s clear and concise.

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