From my private notes penned about a month ago.
it’s a dull ache
pacified upon entering
a deep breath that’s held for many hours
a sleepy lull
fucks not given
closest to an office drone I’ll be
Last night I read Winnie’s blog, fragmented thoughts.
The stories she wrote resonated.
For other reasons, I looked for my old notes.
For this reason, I saw this one old note of mine.
These were written as story points in an autobiographical infoviz project I luckily never did.
I copy and pasted some snippets here. And I just deleted them.
If you’re a friend, you can ask me for them. It’s not pretty, but it was me. And I want to figure out how to best communicate about these issues to you, you, and you.
design by susan -
The more formal version of my work.
I’m thinking of it as the Dungeon Map for people who just learnt about my existence. To be iterated, of course.
Meta. Two nights of procrastiwork; an excuse to toy with Neat (There are SO MANY grid systems), Fluidbox, and animated GIFs. I’m not famous, so hosting it on Github has been rad! I’ve also learnt about sub-folders with index files will make subdomains, so Raincat and this old art school animation are online too. Started using iTerm2 and it’s nice as well. Entypo icons are still probably my favorite set on the web. Heavy use of Sass math for line-heights this time. e.g. $p*2 for default and $p*2.25 on inverse backgrounds.
I’ll remember heading to a meeting and seeing someone I’ve never met before using this Paper Marker drawing as their desktop wallpaper. She distinctly said, I always wondered if I’d get to meet you.
You’ll see this post is all about people, which when we say the most clichéd “My favorite part of the job is the people,” it’s very true.
There are two great designers who influenced the way I do design today - Sean & Sha. They fundamentally changed the way I approach creative problems, taught me the value of knowing the medium, inspired me to keep looking outwards, and gave me what is now my stance on what I believe in today. The two of them always do amazing things out of work too which makes me aspire for great things out of work as well.
I had opportunity to learn how to charm. We built a mini MHCI alum circle with Sunny and Drew. Then there’s also this unity — Sunny and I had with Donna which confused some with our like-desks. I know they will continue to do great things with the Trulia product. I also want to thank David and Lee who despite my minimal fulltime experience back in June 2012, treated me as a full fledged search designer when I first started.
It’s here where I gained a deep appreciation for the people who build. The OOCSS project in conjunction with Search is where my minimal level CSS evolved into working knowledge of complex styling systems. I had the fortune of working with Nicole and Fiona, incredible front-end developers in the industry. Then there was August who kindly spent at least a week’s worth of time setting up my dev environment and explaining everything to me. At the height of it all — I was empowered with enough knowledge to hold the attention of a crowd for 20 whole minutes on the topic.
Through the time we all worked together, I realized it wasn’t about the pictures, but the people you worked together with to bring it beyond pictures. I just kept getting more excited about the things we could build.
For my first major project, Suggestions, I will remember getting to work with Skulski and Matt. And all the strawberry wafers I tried to give them in exchange for buttons.
It was with Brandon we learned a lot of hard lessons about complicated product and the village it takes to get it together. What patience it took sometimes.
I found myself in mobile and polished Android with Alice. I was humbled by the thought in the platform and the team who cared so much for it.
In rentals, we moved quick. I’m thankful to have spent time with Sol and Susan. And also, Vaughn, Puru, and Shane (plus August) who all were awesome and didn’t need much guidance from me to get the UX.
There were so many lulz and GIFs in unofficial. Thanks for a good time Evan, PJ, Grace, Skulski, VLam, frambot.
The first holiday season, I even made felt grumpy cats. A boston terrier. (I’m bummed I just started really working with Louis, but I’ll remember his strong vote of confidence of how I could work with the whole stack had I really desired.)
I’ll remember my first day and the kindness Azi extended. He showed unprejudiced pride in his work even so it was just his first day. it’s people like him who make your day.
Board games night is where I met Rishi and Chris, the one responsible for me having a giant box of Dominion. Ivan put together an epic Mario Kart night and DS brigade. I’m still planning to invite myself to both of these.
I also had the fortune of meeting and socializing with great people by virtue of the ones I did work with. Specifically, I’m incredibly lucky to later meet Derek, Glen, and Damiano, even so we’ve technically not worked together, I feel like we have.
Of course, I can’t finish this post without mentioning JD. (Sorry I left you out earlier, because three mentions would be too much!) He worked with me on the Search / OOCSS projects and we crossed paths during board game nights. There are so many reasons I’m thankful that I had this job, but of course, I’m totally biased when I say he’s at the top of those reasons.
Corollary. My favorite thing about Sha is he would always lift up friends. And that’s what I hope to do too. I hope we’ll still be friends and that goodbye isn’t actually goodbye. That we’ll always find a reason to lift each other up, centralized or distributed. That we read posts like this and not feel sad, but happy because everything was so beautiful the way it happened.
Man, this piece ended up really sobering. At the end of it all, what I meant to say is that I’ll miss you guys!
Use of Abril Fatface & Lato -
on Model View Culture
This year I’m going small. Instead of a new lofty grand mission, I’m continuing the streak of doing things that scare me and adding small habits.
I’m keeping track of four selected top small habits of the moment to work on via Lift. They are currently –
The decision of four is both arbitrary and intentional. I wanted a finite number and four happened to be the number which fits on the screen of the app without scrolling.
While habits like reading or writing more are always in the back of my mind, I’m giving myself clarity in how I use my time by focusing on the four listed.
That being said, one thing I’m anticipating is that some habits will be more regular throughout the year. Soon, I won’t need the app to be the main motivator anymore. I hope I’ll be able to retire habits and bump up more small habits to facilitate.
While I’ve figured how to throw myself at accomplishing the big things, I haven’t done so at the expense of my health or my social life at times. I think of this similarly to bad user experience by the hand of 1,000 paper cuts. The analogy meaning, without taking care of the small things, the big accomplishments won’t be as awesome as they could be. Thus, this year’s emphasis is taking care of myself beyond career and taking care of my friends.
Use of Source Sans Pro -
I really dig Minnix’s simple site.
Whilst yoga. I tend to like the 90 minutes classes the best. For about minutes 0 to 40 minutes, I’m still rather antsy about being there. “So much to do, so little time! Why am I standing still tormenting my weak frame to ups and downs?” But, about 45 minutes in, I stop thinking about what’s going on outside the studio, right around when the tougher poses kick in, and suddenly, that stuff doesn’t matter as much anymore. And it also means about 50 minutes worth of focused appreciation for being alive.
Whilst abroad. Vacations work like this too. For the first half, I’m always worried about what I’ve left behind. There’s always something left undone (the messy room, the unfollowed-up email). During the second half, all of that fades away, and the focus becomes the immersion. The appreciation that we could even hop on a plane and be taken somewhere across the globe. The fact we can walk on our feet and walk along strangers. The welcoming we’d get despite our strangeness into an open door somewhere out there.
I don’t know if there was any lesson to this post aside from Hold Out, It’s Worthwhile. It’s not my most flowy post as well, but I’m holding out for that too whilst being okay with publishing this one.