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.

jorge-soler-hr-ws2

Braves win 1st World Series title since 1995

Like a lot of 90s kids, I watched the Atlanta Braves because they were on TBS every day after school and became a lifetime fan when Sid Bream slid home safely to beat the Pirates in 1992. From the age 11 until I was 25 years old they, remarkably, won their division every single year but only managed to win a single World Series title in 1995 . Yesterday, they finally won the whole damn thing again*.

I really hadn’t watched many Braves or MLB games in general since the mid 2000s, but during 2020 when most everything else was shut down baseball returned without fans and I watched pretty much every Braves game on MLB.tv. It was quite a respite and some sort of pseudo normalcy/reminder of my youth to be able to put on a Braves game every day in the background of my not currently normal life. I watched almost every game this year as well and it was quite special as fan to be able to root along as the Braves made an improbable late season and playoff run.

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.)

The Games UI Database is a collection of screenshots of the user interfaces of various video games, filterable by a number of different categories. Definitely interesting to look through and possibly useful reference as well.

Steam Deck

Valve Announces Steam Deck portable PC console

Ok, I was already starting getting the itch to buy a gaming PC and then (thanks to watching a lot of LTT) and then today Valve announced the portable PC Steam Deck console.

It looks extremely cool and the price (compared to desktop PCs or even just graphics cards) is surprisingly affordable at $400 for the cheapest model. It looks like a big ass Nintendo Switch with a bit of a kitchen sink approach to control inputs. The claims of power/performance look solid for the tradeoffs of portable hardware and battery life.

As someone who has trouble finding time to sit and game in front of TV, the Steam Deck may be the thing that finally lets me catch up on a huge backlog of games I’ve been missing out on as a console gamer. We’ll see if I pull the trigger tomorrow when preorders open up.

Google unveils Material You

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.

Lifecycle of a Design System

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.