Dell is making a new 2022 laptop with all the drawbacks of the now deceased MacBook Touchbar and none of the benefits. No real keys, but not customizable at all. 🤦🏻♂️∞
Fanatics, a company that doesn’t make trading cards, got exclusive rights to make MLB cards and drove Topps out of business on their 70th anniversary. Fanatics has now acquired Topps.
My brother and I have a Topps baseball complete set of every year back to 1987. Unnecessary money grab by MLB and MLBPA to end 7 decades of history.∞
New Braunfels grew and changed a ton while I grew up there until I left for college at 18. Both of those things have only increased in the 20 years since.
The New York Times did a profile on why New Braunfels is one of America’s fastest-growing cities and talks of course about it’s German roots, Schlitterbahn, and Gruene Hall but also how being situated directly between Austin and San Antonio has resulted in explosive growth and change.
(In a sign that the small town roots are still there, there are also several quotes from my middle school principal and friend’s dad who is now the current mayor.)∞
Along with Android 12, Google debuted their new design language Material You this week at their annual I/O conference. They are going extremely heavy on dynamic colors and on end user personalization of the user interface and the results are pretty striking.
It certainly is different.
While my first impression is not exactly positive, I’ll reserve final judgement until more details are out and it is actually on phones. It is good to see Google trying something interesting and new, and it’ll be interesting if they pull back from the monochrome app icons or anything else before the final release.
With some recent changes at work, I’ve taken the lead on organizing our UX-centric content for our LevelUp live webinar series. The latest session was a overview on design systems from two of our experience architects and it is definitely worth a watch if you’re a designer interesting in getting started with design systems.
I am transitioning to a new role soon and will be leading up a design system team within a gigantic organization so have been spending a lot of time getting my head around various related topics. Design system governance and contribution models have been of particular interest, and of course Nathan Curtis’ writings have been particularly valuable.∞
For the last few months Sony and Microsoft have slowly been revealing more and more information about their next gen consoles, but we hadn’t seen anything at all yet on what the PlayStation 5 would look like once you booted it up. Last week, Sony released a brief video detailing the new experience and some of the new features coming with the PS5 in November.
A prominent feature of the new user experience is a cards-based interface that appears when you press the PS button. The cards allow quick access to recent and suggested content and features and leverage a new concept called “Activities” that Sony hopes will help gamers discover new gameplay features. Some of the activities shown off include party features, social sharing, and highlighting particular in game objectives complete with tasks list, percentage complete, and (for PlayStation Plus users only) in game video hints.
While the cards UI looks great, the success of the feature will be heavily dependent on developers to come up with creative and useful ways to utilize the game-specific activities. I’m not sure yet whether it’ll take off beyond Sony first party titles or if it will be useful for all game genres. If it doesn’t take off within games, the cards could still turn out to be good ways to provide quick contextual options for access system features but only time will tell.
For me personally, as long as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X allow me to get in and out of the games I want to play quickly I am happy to see them experiment with what “next gen” could mean for the rest of the user experience.
ESPN has a fantastic, difficult profile of Texas running back legend Earl Campbell and his life during and after college and pro football. Longhorn fans have seen Earl unable to get out of the golf cart on sidelines for years, but the reasons were a lot more complicated than just a career of hard nosed running.
Turns out, the player known for being one of the toughest runners in the history of football was unknowingly playing with spinal stenosis his entire life, a diagnosis that today immediately ends careers. A wrong hit any time in his career could have sent him to a wheelchair 30 years ago.
So happy to know that Earl has gotten the medical help and counseling help he needed and like the article title says, has gotten back up again.
This upcoming new phone from LG looks hilariously stupid at first glance, but The Verge’s hands-on actually shows some decently real use cases where the form factor could be nice. I was surprised by the thinness of both the front rotating screen and over the overall device.
I can’t imagine how this thing will hold up after months of use, but pretty cool to see some of the ways companies are reimagining phones thanks to some cool new tech.
It’s been over six months since the day I left the office, leaving for Spring Break family vacation and the world falling apart before we returned. While unexpectedly working (and parenting and educating) from home as a family has certainly brought new challenges, I’ve found leading projects and managing a UX team to have been the areas where I have needed to be most intentional about the ways I manage differently in “our new reality.”
This article on how to adapt to the things you didn’t expect when managing remote teams during COVID has some tips I’ve found valuable in my day to day. In particular, as a person who prefers to avoid stepping into unnecessary bear traps I have had to be very purposeful in asking (repeatedly) how people are doing. I’ve found myself being more open in my own struggles (and occasional successes) as well to make the team feel safer opening up.
Not sure how long we’ll be doing this without any choice, but feeling better now than ever that working remotely can be successful for both delivering great work and mentoring great designers.