Blog.

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The Poverty Mindset

My dad really nails it from time-to-time.

Give me a stake in the future,

because I’m focused on the present.

People dream about the future, but their concerns are usually in the present.

Last night I attended Boulder’s annual TEDx Event. The very first speaker, Brady Robinson spoke about this phenomenon as it relates to the environmental and conversation movements. The average supporter of an organization like The Nature Conservancy is in their 60s. Part of the reason we don’t see younger people donating/supporting the conservation movement is because the movement has done such an excellent job of communicating to outdoor sports enthusiasts that they not only harmful to the environment, but in direct opposition to the efforts of these organizations.

If I’m a mountain biker in my 20s or 30s, I want to ride my bike today. If I’ve been told I can’t be a part of the solution for tomorrow because of my love for mountain biking, I’ve got no reason to support conservation efforts.

Tram

In Amsterdam

Tram

I’ve been in Amsterdam for the last couple weeks, working, and exploring a new city. This is one of my favorite photos, so far.

I came out in time for Asymconf and I’m hanging around through this week to drop in on The Next Web. Overall it has been a great trip. I really love this city (it’s my first time here), and while my work schedule is full, leaving little room for tourist activities, I’m enjoying the change of scenery.

I’ve been lazy about updating my Flickr or Tumblr accounts, but I’m @gb on Instagram if you want to follow along there.

Thinking Ahead

We’ve turned politics into a career, which means it’s a career focused on getting re-elected…

I’m not sure I’m as optimistic about the voting public, as a whole, but I do agree that—outside of dogma—the average, informed citizen is thinking further down the road than the average politician. And that saddens me. Our system essentially necessitates it. We’ve turned politics into a career, which means it’s a career focused on getting re-elected (short-term) rather than doing hard, good things for the country (long-term).

The Era of Code

Or, rather, The Dark Ages of the Web

Frontend coding is a waste of time.

Something I’ve said privately for awhile, but I guess I haven’t been brave enough to post publicly: frontend coding is a waste of time. I know, audacious, right? But it’s true. I’m a designer who can code (full stack no-less, not only frontend) and while I highly value writing good frontend code, and often go to painstaking lengths to do so, it’s the most base level part of my process, and most in need of a replacement or alternative.

Let me explain

With few exceptions, a finished design in InDesign or Illustrator is ready for the press. This is not true of a finished web design in Photoshop.

I have a background in print design. In print, as I’m designing, I’m also creating/producing. With few exceptions, a finished design in InDesign or Illustrator is ready for the press. This is not true of a finished web design in Photoshop. I’ve started achieving the same parity in my web work, but only by designing in the browser, with live or prototype code. This process is quicker than the normal Photoshop > Frontend Code route, but it’s still a far cry from the direct creativity-to-production efficiency a print designer is able to achieve.

The Enlightenment

The web is also becoming more complex. Do you really envision hand-coding complex CSS animation, with gradients, and 3d transforms, and other whizz-bang features in a production setting? Sure, it’s fun to experiment, but when it’s your clients dime for the amount of time you spend on a project, with deadlines staring you in the face, you’ll end up simplifying the pitch—likely before you even talk to the client, let alone at their behest. Is that a good reason to constrain ourselves from using some of the amazing new features we have in our toolbox?

Youthful Indiscretion

I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re among the last of a generation of web designers who hand-codes all or most of our design work.

The web is young. Someday we’ll look back on this period in the web’s history and realize how little control we had over design, how underpowered our rendering engines were, how rudimentary hand-coding was, and how much work it took to get from idea to clickable execution. It won’t happen overnight, but the tools will continue to evolve. While the end result may not look exactly like InDesign for the web, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re among the last of a generation of web designers who hand-codes all or most of our design work. After all, I’m sure somebody hand-coded some of the first postscript to ever make it’s way through the first digital plate-maker and onto a press.

2011

January ends today, which I believe means that the statute of limitations on posts reflecting on the past year ends as well. I felt it would be remiss for me to not at least highlight a few things that I spent my time on last year.

2011 was a big year. As the year started, I was currently working on an as-yet unannounced, top-secret project for Threadless, alongside Good Apples.