1st June, 2018

Living with a conversational object

I feel awkward talking to machines, and I always will. My comfort zone ends at the ATM or self-service checkout, where I’ll conclude transactions with a whispered ‘Thank you’ (my wife will attest to this). It’s a simple courtesy born of a generalized fear of machines; specifically, their inevitable rise. When that day comes, I hope my long appreciation of their servitude will be recognized, and that I’ll be spared.

10th May, 2018

Data watching

The digital trail led me to an electricity substation near Walmart, and my first encounter with its globetrotting tenant. In documenting the moment, I joined a community of far-flung onlookers crowdsourcing her story.

8th March, 2018

Existing in four dimensions

The expansive views from the hard-won summit deserved my full attention, but cognitively I was elsewhere; present in multiple locations by way of a weak but welcome signal.

21st December, 2017

Little goat of the air

There it was again: a mysterious humming vibrato piercing the silence, then gone. Whatever the source, it was close, and moving at high speed. The twilight made these sudden whirrs seem unnerving yet also fascinating, a puzzle to be solved.

3rd October, 2017

Early connections to nature

As I began researching the ways digital tech helps us discover our world, I considered nature’s influence on my formative years and wondered what I might’ve lost.

1st September, 2017

I'm writing again

Buoyed by experiential optimism, I want to highlight the ways digital technology can benefit well-being, and strengthen our connection to the natural world.

25th July, 2012

Bauhaus at The Barbican

Just a quick, hastily-written post urging any UK designers to brave the Olympichaos and catch Bauhaus: Art as Life at The Barbican in London before it ends in mid-August. I’m somewhat obsessed, so I popped along yesterday, and was not disappointed.

24th January, 2012

When we build

On the morning of Thursday 10th November 2011, I was excited about closing the day’s talks at Build. Then, just before lunch, something happened. Something unexpected and incredible, care of Wilson Miner.

22nd January, 2012

New Adventures newspaper 2012

Right now, I’m resting hard after a very successful second New Adventures in Web Design conference, and I’ll write an overview of this overwhelming experience soon. For now, I just wanted to say a little about this year’s newspaper.

6th January, 2012

We are the explorers

Back in November, I was lucky enough to speak at the wonderful Build in Belfast. I reflected on over two years of specific investigation into our craft, and I think it’s one of my stronger talks. I certainly stand by the messages.

21st December, 2011

Taming Complexity

This article was commissioned for 24 Ways.

I’m going to step into my UX trousers for this one. I wouldn’t usually wear them in public, but it’s Christmas, so there’s nothing wrong with looking silly.

6th December, 2011

My digital preservation utopia

At Build last month, Jeremy Keith gave a presentation about preserving our websites, documents, and personal timelines. He talked about avoiding data loss and shared his fears for the future. I really soaked up his thoughts, even though I had to get up and speak directly after him.

6th October, 2011

Don't settle

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks at Stanford University’s 114th Commencement on 12th June, 2005.

21st September, 2011

My recommended reading

During my talks and subsequent conversations, I often mention numerous books that have influenced my thinking. As a result, I’m getting an increasing number of emails and tweets asking for a full list. So, to deal with that, I’ve pulled together the following list.

19th August, 2011

Maturity and the Weight of Learning

This article was commissioned for the first edition of The Manual.

As the web matures, great designers are distinguished not by conviction but by the ability to look beyond the tools at hand, to inquire deeply, and to define a lexicon for the field.