The personal journal of Chris Brummel, who is currently evaluating his pizza-in-a-cup options.
GOOD Magazine’s guide for reducing your water footprint. I need me some low-flow toilets. FYI: Getting local WA State apples in Seattle doesn’t use as much water because of the lack of transportation.
Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can’t operate in an environment like that.
This particular point set off Mr. Stevenson to put into words concepts that I’ve always been aware of, but have always struggled to articulate as well as he did in his post:
The most contentious point between software engineering culture and visual design culture is the question of whether important things can be always seen in absolutes. The engineering approach values measurable, reproducible results which can be represented in a graph or a checklist. Unit tests and benchmarks illustrate progress. [...] Visual design is often the polar opposite of engineering: trading hard edges for subjective decisions based on gut feelings and personal experiences. It’s messy, unpredictable, and notoriously hard to measure. The apparently erratic behavior of artists drives engineers bananas. Their decisions seem arbitrary and risk everything with no guaranteed benefit.
Through out my career, I’ve regularly been in similar environments; and one of my biggest problems has been figuring out how to hurdle that divide. I feel that part of my role is as a visual taste maker. You might test to find the most crowd pleasing shade of blue at the first pass, but I might come up with a blue that might not be your instant choice, yet will grow on you when taken in holistically. Like Henry Ford said, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a better horse.” There is a point with visual design where logic starts to breakdown in ways that only experience can answer.
These are huge!
The coolest way to find out that the weather is shit in Seattle. The site uses Twitter status messages in various vicinities to draft a picture of not only how crappy it is outside, but what people think of it. Make sure to use a modern browser.
I don’t think that I tweet enough to get as thorough of a journal of my life (and thank the Maker™ for that), but I love the idea. I post too many shortened URLs for it to make any sense. Maybe one day…