Ask Me Anything

Just for fun! Questions will be visible after I’ve answered.

What are the best resources for a developer who wants to have a better knowledge of design?

Check out Refactoring UI!

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Updated 4 weeks ago

When you were a newbie designer where and how did you learn to code?

A mixture of side projects and on-the-job learning. Side projects: making WordPress themes and learning to tweak the HTML, CSS, and PHP to get what I needed. Then at Buffer I was introduced to JavaScript in a production environment, Backbone, and more PHP. Eventually I picked up React and it really helps things click into place. For newbies: CSS and HTML fundamentals are a great place to start.

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Updated 4 weeks ago

What do you think is the biggest lie that designers tell ourselves?

I think too many designers (myself included) fall into the trap of designing for our peers, and not for the target person. The really important, hard problems aren't usually that glamorous, and won't make a big splash on Twitter.

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Updated 4 weeks ago

When did you decided to start the podcast? What was the goal/trigger behind it?

This episode of Design Details might cover more of that backstory. But we started in late 2014 after I had been writing the Design Details Blog series for a while (now called App Dissection). People seemed to find those posts valuable, so Bryn had the right idea to interview the designers who were making great UI decisions, and try to understand how they make their decisions.

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Updated 4 weeks ago

How do you cope up when you feel too distracted or when you find yourself with low motivation on certain days?

I either take a break, or try to find some small (and fun) project to build a bit of momentum. Even if it feels like procrastinating, I find that the small wins quickly snowball and I can find myself in a groove after a few minutes that ends up fueling my "actual work." But the more honest answer is that I take a break and rest.

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Updated 4 weeks ago

At what point did you consider yourself a "designer who codes"?

I don't think there's a point, really. It's probably as simple as: the day I wrote "hello world" in some REPL input. I still feel pretty weak on the code side, but it has been helpful to have some baseline.

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Updated 4 weeks ago

What was your biggest lesson learnt from Spectrum?

We built too wide, too fast. We wanted to build every feature people asked for, and we ended up with a lot of half-baked UI and a buggy core product. We should have said "no" more, and put as much energy as possible into building a really smooth and fast core chat experience.

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Updated 4 weeks ago

I was going through your recent post about using Ghost as a headless CMS. Does that mean to implement it we need to pay for Ghost subscription? Are there any free open source alternatives that you came across?

Yes, I pay for a Ghost subscription. WordPress would be a free alternative, or you could poke at any other static content CMS!

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Updated 4 weeks ago

If you were starting a new Next.js project now, would you choose styled components again or go with CSS modules?

I'm so comfortable with styled-components that it's going to take some huge improvement in another library to get me to switch. But I admit I haven't been paying too much attention lately, so maybe there is some cool new tech that I should be playing with instead.

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Updated 4 weeks ago

What's this AMA built with?

Firebase, Next.js, GraphQL - all the code is here!

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Updated 4 weeks ago

Why is the header nav on your site not visible in the home page.

Didn't feel super necessary, as the main page content links out to all the sub pages. I might reconsider this though!

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Updated 4 weeks ago

Why is @mxstbr the best?

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Updated 4 weeks ago

Can you do more app dissections? Love those

I have a few in mind, just haven't quite found the time or motivation. Thanks for the +1 though!

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Updated 1 month ago

What’s your favorite video game? And what are you playing these days?

Overwatch mostly these days. I'm hard-stuck Gold, a filthy casual, but it's a ton of fun. I've been working on deliberate practice and trying to climb, it's a good challenge.

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Updated 1 month ago

What do u think of having hamburger menu buttons in iOS apps. I've noticed this happening a few iOS apps and cant wrap my head around this. Is there a right way to do this ?

You can use one, but just know ahead of time that few-to-no people will ever tap on it. Tab bars are the preferred tool for primary navigation. A hamburger menu for "navigation overflow" is just less obvious. It's a hard problem.

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Updated 1 month ago

What is something not many people know about you?

I have a fairly addictive personality, and I’m constantly battling it. That can manifest itself in productive ways - like building side projects or learning some new skill - but also it can really be ugly when I go on multi-day video game and TV binges. I’m still trying to figure this one out, but I suppose many of my friends might not realize this.

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Updated 1 month ago