Friday June 19, 2015


An amazing screenshot hero-making tool. If you do any kind of mobile design or build websites for apps, this is a must-have. Run, don’t walk.

Saturday June 13, 2015

• The Future of User Interface

Designing Better Things

Cult of Mac on my talk this week at AltConf:

But interaction designer Dave Wiskus is prescribing an attitude adjustment for his fellow creative types, especially those who seem to be engaged in some sort of bitchy competition to come off as the smartest person in the room.

That sums it up pretty well.

The Talk Show Live From WWDC

The Talk Show Live From WWDC 2015.

A thing like that.

Tuesday March 3, 2015

Welcome to Macintosh

An excellent new podcast from Mark Bramhill about the the past, present, and future of Apple. This is really good, well-produced stuff, and I’m thrilled to be included in the first episode.

Mark emailed me a few months ago (after my now-infamous Podcast Intervention), saying he had an idea for a podcast but he didn’t feel he had the experience (Bramhill is only 19) or connections to make it what it should be. I insisted that his fresh perspective might be exactly what this subject matter needed.

He proved me right.

Wednesday February 25, 2015

Designing for Humans

Wednesday February 18, 2015

Behind the App

Back in November I released a video called Podcast Intervention, where I called upon my friends and colleagues in the tech podcast community to do something new, to push the state of the art forward. When it came out, there was a bit of a kerfuffle. People assumed (incorrectly) that I was attacking’s Myke Hurley specifically, or tech podcasters in general. My position was and is that we’re very smart people, and we could be making more thoughtful things.

A couple days ago, Myke sent me a copy of Behind the App, saying, “This is my response.”

Behind the App is a documentary-style podcast by featuring some thoughtful, edited discussion and a genuine narrative. I think this new approach is going to really put on the map. Reaction has already been deservedly positive, and there’s potential to have a much larger impact.

I’m impressed with the thought and effort Myke has poured into this. It’s neat to think that my spurring may have done some good.

Tuesday February 17, 2015

Better Elevation on Reddit

I’ve created a subreddit for Better Elevation videos and discussion. The YouTube comments have been remarkably civilized, but Reddit is a better venue for thoughtful discussion.

Thursday February 12, 2015

Social Skills

I’m the guest on Social Skills, a new podcast for introverts, talking about how I survived making smalltalk with guests on Unprofessional. Kudos to Scott for going a level beyond podcast, though. The video stuff is a great touch.

Wednesday January 28, 2015


From the folks at Need comes Foremost, a small-batch clothing company.

Foremost will be providing wardrobe for future episodes of Better Elevation, so if you like what I’m wearing, talk to them.

Tuesday January 13, 2015

Inspiration for 2015

Saturday January 10, 2015

• A Brief History of User Interface

Saturday December 27, 2014

The True Meaning of Christmas

Unprofessional Holiday Special 2014

As a special Christmas surprise for Unprofessional fans, we got the band back together for a 2014 Unprofessional Holiday Special. Join me, Lex Friedman, and Jaimee Newberry for an hour or so of laughter and old friends.

Tuesday December 23, 2014

• Gatekeepers

Jason Snell on selling ads:

Being the sole proprietor of a web site means you’re not insulated. By accepting weekly sponsors for this site, I put myself in a position I’ve really never been in before, of having to decide if a sponsor is appropriate for my audience—and turn away business if I feel that it’s not a good fit with what I’m trying to do.

It’s a funny problem to have. My primary job at Standard Broadcast is that of curator — I don’t sell ads so much as I make sure they don’t ruin the shows on which they air. I take that role very seriously, and I have no problem turning away sponsors that don’t fit the spirit of the shows.

I also try to consider context. For Better Elevation — a video show focused on design and interaction — I only work with companies that make physical products. Partially because it makes for better visual content, but mostly because it better fits the spirit of the show: exploration and experimentation. As viewers and listeners we see lots of ads for software and services. Things we can touch and feel are different, and require different levels of thoughtfulness. For Standard’s shows, I consider the audience, what they like, and how sponsors pair up in a given episode.

Ultimately I’d argue that the sort of strong taste and editorial voice required to regularly make content of substance will also serve well in the curation of sponsorship. Whenever you’re letting someone else put their logo on your work, trust your gut. After all, whether you like it or not, ads are still part of your content.