Thursday, February 6, 2020

San Francisco sunset

After the conference I went back to the hotel and melted into a chair. I thought the importance of balance, between work and life, between technology and analog, and the value of comfortable shoes.


Config was the first user conference for Figma—a collaborative design tool that’s built to work inside a web browser. Imagine if Adobe Illustrator or XD was mashed up with Google Docs and had intelligent, sharable components.

I go to conferences, oh… about once every five years. Before this it was SXSW in 2010 and XOXO in 2015.

(I also went to a mommy blogger conference in Salt Lake City in 2011, but that was to hang with Wendy so it doesn’t count.)

I wanted to come to this event for several reasons:

  1. Craig Mod was speaking. I’ve been following his path for many years and he’s on to something. He’s all about the journey and he documents it in lovely, meaningful ways.
  2. Figma is an amazing application. I don’t use it in my professional workflow, yet… but I most definitely will. I’ve been using it to create side projects and it is a delightful new take on design that favors systems, components and collaboration. I’m a fan and want to get proficient.
  3. California. It’s been too long since my last visit. I immediately regretted not making the trip extra long.

The conference itself was dandy. Craig’s talk (which you can see in it’s entirety here) reinforced many of the ideas that have been swirling around my head about how to find harmony between the digital and analog worlds.

There were also talks about the application’s future, a presentation by Devon Zuegel showing the correlation between cities and open source software and a conversation with Tycho and his journey from designer to musician. The afternoon had breakout sessions that brought community members together with conversations.

I had some hopes to learn some practical aspects of the program, but what I got was far better: an introduction to a burgeoning and active community and an understanding that design systems are incredible beasts. Besides, learning the program is easy online. The Figma Youtube alone channel has TONS of tutorials.

The event wasn’t all sunshine. It felt beyond capacity—a good problem to have. Just took a deep breath to contend and it never went off kilter, the vibe kept the ship steady.

My excitement for this software is just beginning. What I love most is that it makes me think about design at a meta-level and begin to consider code more deeply. Too long I’ve made design decisions based on a single instance, which is fine for some things, but not for others. The additional bonus I’m foreseeing is the ability to work better with teams of developers and designers.

It’s nice to be excited.

For a WAY more thoughtful take on Figma’s approach to multiplayer software, I highly recommend Raph D’Amico’s Thigmotaxis on the infinite canvas.

Config 2020 Figma Conference

Config 2020 Figma Conference

Craig Mod at Config 2020

Config 2020 Figma Conference

Config 2020 Figma Conference

Above? The Config Quilt. Before the event everyone was invited to submit a tile to the quilt using a template with defined colors and the challenge to represent what community means to you.

Out the window

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

view from plane of fields and river

I wonder if flight attendants have better behaving passengers these days. With all the seat back entertainment, wifi and mobile devices that can be used anytime, just seems like folks might be more placated (kids included).

All well and good I suppose, but it’s a bit sad to see all the shades down when there is such beauty out the window. I wonder when we’ll have bigger plane windows.

mountains and clouds from above from airplane

view from plane of California foothills

view from plane of California foothills and suburbs

San Mateo Bridge from above

Quote on seatback screen with Rainer Maria Rilke quote

Quote at the end of Jojo Rabbit. (Worth the watch)

View of San Francisco skyline from Virgin Hotel rooftop bar

Closed out the evening meeting members of the Gay Scouts over a cocktail at the Virgin Hotel rooftop bar. Lovely light reflected from the sunset.

She knows

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Cat in distance

Edie is keenly aware when travel is nigh. She sticks a bit closer and eyes me with more than the usual suspicion. She even tries to prevent packing.


Monday, February 3, 2020

No real context for this one. Still enjoying the reflective nature of our desks at the studio. Thought it’d be fun to take a moment from a jam packed day and fiddle with these geometric shapes.

First drone test

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Erik let me borrow a drone so I could scratch the itch. I’ve been wanting one for some time but reticent to have another device collecting dust. Months later I still hadn’t fired the thing up and I was about to head out to California where I could safely return it so it was now or never.

We had a glorious break in the gray weather so I charged it up, watched some videos on usage and was airborne within the hour. Which way is up? What if I hit a tree? What if it falls on a car or a person? Geez it’s FAST! How do I take a photo? My heart was racing.

I didn’t figure it all out, but after scrambling back home to review footage, my heart raced in a different way and I was ready to do it again.

Here’s a bit of what I filmed below. It’s… rough.

Bonus? “Carmen Fantasy – Danse Boheme” performed by Joseph Tomasso & Jiwon Choi (Thanks to Joseph for letting me use it as a soundtrack)


Building a better Target

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Means a radical reduction in the media section, which makes room for more beauty products.

Because phones.

A new meal-kit service and Miss Americana

Friday, January 31, 2020

Plated shut down their meal-kit delivery service over Thanksgiving. I really looked forward to that box of recipes and ingredients each week. Before that I was quite happily with Kroger kits, then they bought out Home Chef and things got weird.

For Christmas I got a gift of Sun Basket* from Joseph and was cautiously optimistic.

So far? So good! The recipes vary in complexity, the flavors are impressive and the packaging seems a bit less wasteful.

Kathryn came over on Friday brought a salad and I cooked a steak and roasted sweet potato with scallion-ginger relish kit.

Sidenote: She brought over this homemade Maple Sherry Vinaigrette dressing and it was awesome.

Then we settled in to stream the new Taylor Swift movie. I had forgotten how truly gross that Kayne West award show moment was. I dig Taylor’s music and her journey, so the whole thing was delightful.

Plus also? I really wonder if Edie would like this backpack…

* That link gets me a referral credit

Listening: “The Man” (lyric video) – Taylor Swift