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Articles, columns, and blog posts for people who make web sites.

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Human-Readable JavaScript: A Tale of Two Experts

Everyone wants to be an expert. But what does that even mean? Over the years I’ve seen two types of people who are referred to as “experts.” Expert 1 is someone who knows every tool in the language and makes sure to use every bit of it, whether it helps or not. Expert 2 also knows every piece of syntax, but they’re pickier about what they employ to...

Now THAT’S What I Call Service Worker!

The Service Worker API is the Dremel of the web platform. It offers incredibly broad utility while also yielding resiliency and better performance. If you’ve not used Service Worker yet—and you couldn’t be blamed if so, as it hasn’t seen wide adoption as of 2020—it goes something like this: On the initial visit to a website, the browser registers...

Keeping Your Design Mind New and Fresh

“Only a fool knows everything.”— African Proverb Since March 2020, most of us have been working from home, and the days blend into each other and look the same. This is not the first time I have experienced this type of feeling.  My commute — New York to New Jersey — is what folks in my area call the reverse commute.While going to the...

How to Get a Dysfunctional Team Back on Track

Maybe you’ve been part of a team that you’ve seen slowly slide into a rut. You didn’t notice it happen, but you’re now not shipping anything, no one’s talking to each other, and the management’s Eye of Sauron has cast its gaze upon you. Maybe you’ve just joined a team that’s in the doldrums. Maybe the people who used to oil the wheels...

The Future of Web Software Is HTML-over-WebSockets

The future of web-based software architectures is already taking form, and this time it’s server-rendered (again). Papa’s got a brand new bag: HTML-over-WebSockets and broadcast everything all the time. The dual approach of marrying a Single Page App with an API service has left many dev teams mired in endless JSON wrangling and state discrepancy...

Designing Inclusive Content Models

In the 1920s, Robert Moses designed a system of parkways surrounding New York City. His designs, which included overpasses too low for public buses, have become an often-cited example of exclusionary design and are argued by biographer Robert A. Caro to represent a purposeful barrier between the city’s Black and Puerto Rican residents and nearby beaches. ...

The Never-Ending Job of Selling Design Systems

I’m willing to bet that you probably didn’t start your web career because you wanted to be a politician or a salesperson. But here’s the cold, hard truth, friend: if you want to work on design systems, you don’t have a choice. Someone has to pay for your time, and that means someone has to sell what you do to an audience that speaks value in an entirely...

Navigating the Awkward: A Framework for Design Conversations

We’ve all been there. A client or coworker shows us this amazing thing they (and maybe their entire team) have worked on for hours or weeks. They are so proud of it. It’s new or maybe it just looks new. They may or may not ask you what you think—but you’re there to experience it. And your brain quietly screams. As an experienced designer,...

Webwaste

The Web is obese In 1994, there were 3,000 websites. In 2019, there were estimated to be 1.7 billion, almost one website for every three people on the planet. Not only has the number of websites exploded, the weight of each page has also skyrocketed. Between 2003 and 2019, the average webpage weight grew from about 100 KB to about 4 MB. The...

Connecting the Dots

Two plans: one for design, one for culture. What I’ve found is that the DNA between both dynamics must be inextricable from one another. Creating with compassion in an environment fueled by compassion means we never lose sight of what it’s all about: people. Beyond functioning in this manner because “it’s the right thing to do,” quality of...

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