Two weeks ago, I went to a lovely Italian restaurant in Palo Alto. I had pizza margherita and Diet Coke. The waiter was nice. The service, the atmosphere and the food were good. It was a pleasant lunch out, but earlier today I’d forgotten most of the experience. I returned to the Italian tonight for tea, and as soon as I sat down the waiter’s eyes squinted, focused, then lit up. “Diet Coke, for you?” I looked at him; the confusion clear on my face.
What I’m about to tell you is a secret, so do not tell anyone. Keep this page to yourself. Keep it hidden and don’t let anyone know about the information here.
There are things we don’t discuss; faux pas we keep to ourselves. We are afraid to discuss them incase we show weakness or display in any way that we are not perfect humans. In general we don’t like to share these things because we don’t understand them, we don’t know how people will react and we don’t know how to discuss them if people bring the topic up with us. The problem is we are scared.
You are a person. It seems to me that people don’t know what that means. There’s a persisting attitude that to be successful and fulfilled a person must be attractive, how you look must be appealing to others and yourself. Physical beauty isn’t happiness, it is the reduction of a person; it is saying that if you look good then you are good. But what is the value of living for visual aesthetic when human beings are more than that? If you are living for beauty then you are living to be observed, like a flower, beautiful and purposeful but certainly not entirely meaningful.
In this industry, you hear lots of terms being thrown around; so much so that sometimes it seems like they have no real meaning. Everyone does UI, UX, development, branding, content marketing, social media… The list goes on. But what do those things actually mean? I believe that one of the largest barriers in this industry is buzzwords. Sure, they roll off the tongue, but they don’t help anyone. They confuse clients and they make the expectations of designers unclear. In order to clear this up, here is exactly what I do.
Take time to do the things that matter to you. Focus. Choose three things in life to give your full attention to; no more. Keep things simple and work like a checklist. Move from one task to the next and always have something to do. Keep things <ul>. Aways know what you should do but never constrict timings. Be productive.
You my have noticed over the past few months that my online presence has declined quite significantly. I have been much less active on Twitter and have found that I seem to be losing contact with the tech industry slightly. For your benefit (in case you are interested), but mainly mine, I’d like to write a little about why this is the case.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been building a little app. Before now I’ve only ever designed UIs and built simple HTML, CSS, JS websites with no log-in system and no form of stored data. This new one, which I called Depiction.co has both. (Try it out so you have some idea of what I’m talking about in this post.) It’s a web app that allows each user to log in with Twitter and save a status update with a colour, which are then written to a database with their Twitter username and some metadata. Each user has a profile page which displays their current status and colour. It’s simple, and largely useless, but it was a nice first project to convince me that user management and data storage isn’t as horrific as I first thought.