• Credit where it's due, part II

    Truth as I know it: this design would not be what it is — nor would I be the designer I am nor care as much about what I do — without the inspiration, critiques, guidance, mentorship, contributions, camaraderie, encouragement, ~600 words

  • New year, new design

    With a bit of humility and even a little nervousness, it’s time to take the wraps off a new design I’ve been working on for nearly a month. My hesitation comes not from revealing the new design, but from my ~1,400 words

  • Inside view

    A little over a month ago, just before Web Directions North, John Allsopp asked me a few questions over email about what I’ve been thinking and doing lately. Digital Web Magazine was kind enough to publish the exchange between us. A few friends have emailed me, having discovered the interview by other means, asking why they never saw mention of it here. Somehow, amid preperations for the conference, then ultimately, my back injury and cancelled appearance, I never got around to mentioning the interview. ~100 words

  • Insult to injury

    Last week was supposed to be a big week for me. As John Allsopp put it, I had been lured out of a self-imposed retirement from speaking, and was scheduled to appear at Web Directions North in Vancouver. I was really looking forward to speaking again, along with seeing old friends, making new ones, and the general camaraderie experienced at events like that. ~400 words

  • Not so Heavenly

    Last weekend, Cam and I drove up to South Lake Tahoe for a couple days of snowboarding and escape. Tahoe is too far from us for a one-day there-and-back trip. But it’s close enough (~4 hour drive, sans traffic) for a weekend getaway. It was Cam’s first attempt at boarding. I say, she did remarkably well given her lack of any prior experience skateboarding or surfing. ~300 words

  • Swing low

    Getting back into the swing of writing regularly here never really happened in 2006. When I look back at my archives, I see I only posted 11 times the entire year. And that includes three posts (1, 2, 3) that weren’t really writing-based, as much as they were simple design and code experiments. ~400 words

  • Going to Google

    The cat’s out of the bag. I made the announcement here in New Zealand at Webstock, so I’ll confirm that, yes, the rumors are not just rumors. After a bit of negotiation and a lot of internal debate, I recently ~300 words

  • Fours

    Cameron Adams thinks I need an excuse for a blog entry. As if three months off dried me up. (He also apparently thinks Eric could actually throw down enough to do any damage. Punk.) ~300 words

  • Returning from a hiatus

    So what do I write about when it’s been over three months since my last entry? When I intentionally haven’t opened up my feed reader in over two months. When casual readers start to notice a lack of updates, and add comments or send emails asking, “is everything is OK?” When Aussies are still asking if I need more Tim Tams? ~600 words

  • A musical baton

    Not one to let an interesting meme die, here’s my part. I’m normally not a fan of chain mail. But when a topic is good, and I can follow the chain back to different blogs and discover a few new artists, I’ll contribute too. Credit/blame Veerle for passing it on to me. ~300 words

  • Jet-lagged

    Once again, I find myself in Hong Kong on business. Out of the fourteen hours of our flight last night, I slept for about seven of them. Never very solidly, as we kept hitting patches of mild turbulence every half hour or so. I drank plenty of water during the flight, and am continuing to do so. Nevertheless, jet lag is already punishing me in full force. ~400 words

  • Staying organized

    Joshua Heyer wrote me today with a question which I’ve never given much thought. Writing out my answer surprised me in how much I could articulate that which I do almost subconsciously. Joshua wrote: “I have a simple question for you. How do you stay organized? I’m struggling with keeping things on point and I’m wondering what you use. […] Any thoughts on how to improve my organization with software, practices, etc… are much appreciated.” ~1,100 words

  • My new obsession

    Best taken while suspended upside-down, dangling by a rubber band strapped to your ankles. Begins with intense anxiety. Guaranteed rush to the head follows. Heart continues pumping for at least 30 minutes after. ~100 words

  • Me against the rope tow

    On Friday, Mt. Hutt was still closed, and I had almost given up hope of boarding in NZ. But we learned after walking around Methven that one small club field was actually still open: Broken River. Not willing to forfeit another day of boarding, we jumped at the chance. ~900 words

  • Strange days

    As I sit at a gate at SFO, waiting for a hop down to LAX where I catch the Time Travel Express to Sydney, the fact that I’m leaving for a whole month doesn’t seem quite real yet. It’s a strange feeling. No anxiety or stress, but an odd feeling that I’m not prepared to be traveling for a month. Sort of like those dreams where you show up to school or some public place, then realize you’re wearing nothing but underwear. ~300 words

  • Web Essentials approaches

    My goodness, it’s only a little over a week until Web Essentials 04 kicks off. How does time go by so quickly? This looks to be (easily) the largest web standards event in the southern hemisphere this year. John Allsopp wrote me last week, informing me they’ve got loads of attendees coming from all over Australia, New Zealand, and even Japan. ~300 words

  • Get well, from WV/04

    Q: What happens when you’re scheduled to appear at two conferences back to back to give a total of four presentations within six days, and you end up cancelling your appearance at one of the conferences because you’re unsure if your lower back, with a disc that herniated a month prior, might not do so well with the combined stress of preparing for and travelling to both events? ~300 words

  • Café en Madrid

    Café en Madrid

    The second of a series, the header image from the Articles section originates from a photo that conjures up great memories with international friends. This is Café en Madrid~300 words

  • Drive by

    Drive-by shooting

    In the first of a series, I present the original, undoctored photo used for one of the header images on Stopdesign. This one: the home page. This photo was taken while visiting Miami in November 2002 for the AIGA I|O: Interaction Only Conference. I dubbed it… The Drive-by. ~200 words

  • Old email

    After a bit of drilling down through numerous folders of mailboxes, selecting all, then marking as unread, my unread message count is back to normal levels. For the record, there were 280 .mbox files in ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes, totaling 211MB in size (without attachments). Since that’s 8 years of email for me, at this rate, Gmail’s current size limitations of 1GB could maintain me for about 32 years. ~300 words

  • You've definitely got mail

    Ever felt like you just can’t keep up with unread email? ~600 words

  • Life in the slow lane

    Only when I’m forced to do something a new way do I recognize the variances in habits, routines, and expectations when it comes to living and working online. It’s sort of like being thrown back in time, taking with me the invisible knowledge of what’s possible today. High-speed access — and now, prevalent wireless high-speed access — is changing our use of the Web and our lives in ways that aren’t always immediately obvious. ~1,100 words

  • SwitchBack

    Remember that confession I wrote a while ago? A sobering story of a designer who grew up on Apples and Macs, but gave into the dark side, jumped ship, and began using Windows. Well, it’s coming up on a year since I wrote that piece. Some of my friends were beginning to wonder if I was serious about shaking the Windows addiction. ~800 words


    If you have a notebook computer, most likely you use (or have been looking for) something of quality to tote said portable. If you’re like me, you want something well-designed, with convenient pockets in all the right places, and a sturdy construction which protects your investment. ~700 words

  • Phases

    Sometimes, I go through phases where I just want to design. ~300 words

  • For posterity’s sake

    Seven years ago, yesterday, I packed up everything I owned, left many friends behind in San Diego, and moved to San Francisco, (where I knew absolutely no one) to start my job at HotWired. ~200 words

  • View, sans fog

    A couple of readers wrote to me wondering what my normal view — described yesterday — is like. Yesterday’s photo was actually taken from a street corner behind my apartment building looking toward Twin Peaks and the fog-obscured Sutro Tower ~200 words

  • Morning, fog city

    Early on a Sunday morning. I wake up and open the living room blinds to a sea of white. On most clear days, I have a view of half the San Francisco skyline, a portion of the Bay Bridge, and ~300 words

  • Changing wings on the plane, mid-flight

    I’ve been talking about it for what seems like forever. Over the past week, I finally started to make the jump. If you’re reading this entry, the DNS changes have propagated to your neck of the woods, which means you’re ~700 words

  • It don’t mean a thing…

    If you know the six words which complete that phrase and come straight from The Duke himself, you already know what this entry is about. In addition to a passion for design and fine art, friends who know me well ~600 words

  • On office space

    No, haven’t yet seen the movie, but considering the constant prodding of friends to do so, I’m likely to see it some day. What I will note, however, is that having (and enjoying) office space in downtown San Francisco ~800 words

  • Treading water

    Keeping up with client projects and balancing an increasing amount of social activity makes me feel sometimes like I’m barely staying afloat. So far, I’ve been able to maintain a moderate pace without pulling too many all-nighters to catch up ~200 words

  • Lingering evidence

    It didn’t take long for the person (or group) behind the website I mentioned on Friday to pull down or move the site to another address. Perhaps they were too embarrassed, or never intended the site to be seen — ~300 words

  • Pause, shuffle, new disc

    How quickly an intended 2 or 3-day break from writing entries can turn into a 2-week hiatus. Viewing my entries by day displays a monthly calendar I implemented over the holidays. It sadly reveals a very sparse January so far. ~300 words

  • They say imitation…

    is flattery. But I’m not sure what I think about this recently discovered copy. It’s obviously a work-in-progress. Remnants of my content still poke through in places. I don’t know how long it will stay up, but I’ve taken a ~600 words

  • Middle of the road

    Confusion seems to have surfaced around the Confessions piece I posted last week. Some think the article was wishy-washy and were hoping for a more definitive ending proclaiming loyalty to one OS or the other. Questions were asked like, “So ~400 words

  • The game has changed

    New rules govern my play. My professional environment is suddenly different. No one expects me to be “in the office”. There are no looming deadlines. I have no voicemail waiting for response. No conference calls planned for the day. Just ~300 words

  • Changing chapters

    After 6 years, 3 months, 3 days, my employment with Wired comes to an end today. What a ride it’s been. Jumping back in time, I remember picking up an interest in bulletin boards in ’92 while I was still ~800 words

  • Strip it down

    How do we say more with less? When I write, I tend to be wordy. Four long convoluted paragraphs that could probably be summed up in one short sentence. As a designer, I was never trained to be a writer ~200 words

  • What matters?

    Late last night, I got a call from a very good old high school friend from Ohio, Jon Hamilton. Jon started out soon after high school as an EMT, went back to school to become a paramedic, and is now ~400 words

  • Portfolio/database work

    Progress on the redesign continues. I now have the entire portfolio entered into a sortable, reusable database. I’ve created a bunch of server-side scripts (ASP) to create each portfolio page dynamically based on two templates. One template drives the ~200 words

  • Written word

    A lot of ideas exist in my head which I wouldn’t be able to do justice with a 2 or 3 paragraph entry. In the process of a site redesign of October 2002, I’m setting aside some space to dedicate ~94 words

  • How to Build a Portfolio

    I’ve been debating how to build out my portfolio pages for the last few days. The current pages are all flat files that required a ton of work to create, and have been a nightmare to update. I’d like to ~100 words

  • Time for major surgery

    I started batting around ideas for a redesign of a few weeks ago. Today, I actually made progress by sketching out some rough ideas and planning a simple architecture. The site has basically remained untouched in the four years ~200 words

  • Labor Day break

    I’m in San Diego for the extended weekend, spending time with good friends, trying not to labor too much. We spent some time last night enjoying phenomenal Italian food at one of our favorite Point Loma restaurants, Old Venice. ~200 words

  • Something new

    It’s with great humility that I hammer out this first post. Humility, because I enter the game way after many others. Humility because others have been practicing and polishing their writing on a daily — or somewhat daily — basis ~300 words