It’s not on his list of recommendations, but his recent review of War Made New is also worth reading.
By chad on 10 Nov 2006
- Order a Viva Le France (spiced hot chocolate) at Filter. Sit and compare the peculiarities of their hipster clientele to that of your own neighborhood coffeeshop.
- Visit U.S.#1. Admire the vintage western shirts and boots, but instead get the leather jacket — your wardrobe already has more snaps than buttons. Besides, it’s cold outside.
- Go to a 40th birthday party, followed directly by a 30th birthday party. Collectively discuss only babies and sing a Raffi song together at the first (make sure you’re at a reasonably nice restaurant first), then drink heavily to celebrate the Raffi-free state of your life at the second.
- Get a serious hankering for red meat. Skip all typical steakhouses (sorry, Morton’s) and go to Fogo de Chão, a Brazilian churrascuria. Order a good cabernet sauvignon, then eat. And eat. Commune with your fellow carnivores: wolves, saber-toothed lions, and those horrific dinosaurs with scythe-like claws. Order increasingly rare cuts until you upend the table with a roar when they won’t bring it to you raw. Wake up with a stomachache.
- Meet an old friend at the University of Chicago. Discuss the legal ramifications of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (make sure they’re a nuclear policy expert first) while admiring the Oxford-esque architecture, built with the finest of oil tycoon money. Buy some Goffman at the first-rate Seminary Co-op Bookstore. Try to justify to yourself that, academically speaking, your great-grandfather is John Dewey. Feel increasingly pretentious until you throw up in your mouth a little bit, then go take goofy pictures of yourself — by yourself — in front of The Bean in Millennium Park.
By chad on 8 Feb 2006
Finally another one of my projects goes public: instant messaging in Gmail. Here’s some official coverage from the Google Blog and the Talk Blog. And here are a few blog posts that review the new feature in-depth — most of the press articles were cursory.
As always, credit where it’s due. Adam came in halfway through this project to help with the design and brought all kinds of new life to it. Some designers like to do the solo deal, but I love collaborating, and Adam’s great. Darren is my cubemate and gave tons of feedback. The chat interface we eventually settled on is the result of a brainstorm we had on the shuttle home one evening. And the engineers all did amazing work to make this work as well as it does, and with good humor throughout.
There are plenty of fixes and additions we’ll be making, but I’m pleased with what we launched. Hope you are too.
Posted in Personal
By chad on 3 Nov 2005
I’ll be at the DUX conference for the next couple days. If you’re there, look for me or drop me an email and we’ll meet up.
Posted in Events
By chad on 20 Sep 2005
Jeff Howard, a recent CMU Interaction Design alumna and friend, just put together a set of Amazon Listmania booklists that cover the primary readings for the graduate program, along with a couple of selected courses. They’re all good, but I especially recommend the Graduate Design Seminar and Design Management lists. Both were taught by Richard Buchanan, who’s one of the smarter people I’ve met.
It’s a little sad though, seeing the lists. Like all CMU Design grad students, I took the seminar. The list looks like a network without the nodes. Much of the value I got from the classes was from the frameworks he taught, and the connections between Dewey, Goffman, Weiner, Ekuan, Burke, Rand, Simon, etc are missing. It’s still valuable to have the list, but it’s a bummer that Buchanan hasn’t sat down to write it out all out….
By chad on 24 Aug 2005
Designers rarely get to work on their dream projects. When I was researching instant messaging in grad school, the prospect of designing a new instant messaging product was fanciful at best. When I came to Google, the odds improved a bit. When I became the designer on Google Talk, it still didn’t quite seem real until we launched today.
Google Talk is far from perfect, but it’s a start, and we chose to start with simplicity. Big plans are in the works, but for now I’m enjoying it for what it is. Hope you do too.
More details on the product from Joe Beda and David Bau, two of the many rockstar engineers on this project. If you use a Mac (yes, we’re working on it), definitely try it out on Adium or iChat for now.
By chad on 29 Jul 2005
Guilty admission: I can’t remember which of the Google founders is which. Terrible, I know, but true. Ever refer to a person by the wrong name? What a faux pas. I almost did it yesterday.
I was in a meeting with both of them. Me, them, and just a couple others. I was talking to one and had to refer to the other, who’d already left. “He” or “him” would no longer work. I said, “yeah, Larry had mentioned that earlier”, held my breath, the gods of luck smiled, and conversation continued as usual.
Next time I’m bringing a cheat sheet…
By chad on 12 Jul 2005
Oh how this city makes me proud.
Burritoeater.com aims to be the Web’s most complete source of information on San Francisco taquerias – where they’re located, what they look like, if they’re open late, whether they serve breakfast, what the SF Department of Public Health says about them, which ones double as cell phone retailers, etc. etc. And while we realize that food may be one of the most objectively regarded things in life, we’re not shy about offering our opinion on any given burrito shop in town.
By chad on 20 May 2005
I’m no hardcore type geek. I mean, I love my humanist sans serifs (Syntax, Scala Sans, you make my heart go pitter-patter), but like most designers for web and software, my daily world rarely extends beyond a few universally-installed regulars. But I thoroughly enjoyed Typographica’s Our Favorite Fonts of 2004. It’s a concise summary of what’s interesting and contemporary without having to slog through the snarky typography forums for interesting bits.
Random request: if you know any good typography classes in the Bay Area, drop me a note. I’m more interested in the page layout side of things than actual construction of typefaces, but I’ve looked and haven’t seen anything with much promise.
By chad on 27 Apr 2005
I had to admit a tiny ping of melancholy when Molly mentioned that she was heading to the Microsoft Social Computing Symposium. The irony here is that I’m up here in Seattle right now, working with engineers in our Kirkland office.
Between the people I met at IBM Research, grad school, conferences, and then all the papers read, I recognized most of the names on the list. There are times I miss the chummy, heady world of academia: when a good design gets thoughtlessly overruled in a design review, when there’s no time to really think about a design problem, when the folder of articles I’d like to read becomes a dumping ground.
That said, I love making products that people actually use. As much as I enjoyed school, it’s just practice for the real thing. Furthermore, and sadly, the seepthrough from the knowledge produced in the academic world at conferences, symposia, etc. into the world of digital product design is pretty insignificant. Few academics really speak the language of design, and, thrilling as I found a lot of that to be now, I generally find myself more inspired by elegant design solutions (even if from completely different domains) and conversation with other designers.
This post isn’t meant to end on a sad or bitter note. Academia’s a great place, and school was a home for a while, and people often have conflicted and complex feelings about formative places. I read The Corrections when I was back in Iowa a couple weeks ago. Same idea.