“You will feel good. You will feel as good as I do right now.”

I came across this job listing from Bandcamp and it took me by surprise. We’ve all heard the old adage “designers should code” and while I agree with some of that sentiment, the way companies are forcibly wielding this phrase is startling. First off, if you want your designers to code there should be a damn good reason for them to be taking a dip in your developer environment. Secondly, a massive list of hard production skills is more of a sign that the organization doesn’t know what they want or need.

Here’s a list of a few of my…


Blast from the present

I used to pay upwards of $72 a year to run my media center and NAS seedbox. Now I’m paying only $2.50.

Even though the Chromecast is my favorite way to watch content on my TV, it struggles to play video files on my network and I’d prefer not to use another computer to stream. I was using a gaming PC I built in 2012 as my main entertainment system for a while but the power consumption was too much to justify the means. The power draw was between 78W at idle and up to 326W while gaming which according…


At an inappropriately late hour, we’ve glued ourselves to the television’s static. Noise that makes no sense as it pounds into our ears and whites of our eyes. Why is the signal so shitty? Adjust the ears, fiddle the knobs. Is this even the right channel?

It’s 3am, the ‘oriental’ cutlery-set infomercial is followed by dead air. Frequency noise. We habitually wait for the next moment. What’s coming after. The gamble we play against ourselves. How long do we wait for the song to air? We don’t really care because we’re exhausted and bored insomnias.

Finally, we’re greeted by our…


Each month I spend far more money than I should on a dead medium, but I just can’t help myself when it comes to overt displays of hipster-douchedom. I’m an avid collector of vinyl records and have been since I was 10 when my dad gave me a few Black Sabbath and ELO records (and a few Village People records he insisted where his sister’s). Since then I’ve hauled what felt like hundreds of pounds of wax up and down stairs, jammed the backseats of compact cars (ruining the rear suspension of one 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer), and into my girlfriends…


Qualified VR Technician

If you’ve never donned a TopGun-like VR headset or cardboard strapped smartphone, you should check it out. The experience is like watching Avatar at the IMAX theater for the first time: incredible but fleeting.

I personally own an HTC Vive and converted my upstairs loft into the VR cave so I have a bit of experience within this realm. In my opinion, if VR was treated like prose, it would be best suited to a Twitter-like approach. Short, constrained ‘get-in-get-out’ moments. The initial shock and awe of VR is undeniable but try spending more than a half hour in this…


Teleportation device

This weekend my 1983 KZ550 and I undertook a quest to find a mythical plot of land in Bastrop I heard about from a friend. Bastrop experienced a hellish wildfire a few years back (34,00 acres) and lots of charred remains are on sale for peanuts. I adorned my road-warrior motorcycle gear and set out, hoping to find a little piece of investment property I could call my own.

Let’s just say the property was a bit of a letdown. Thankfully, the good folks in Bastrop took to the plot as a dumping group for deceased relatives furniture that didn’t…


During the intense summer we had here in Austin, I was fortunate enough to partner with a husband and wife team on their dream product at Funsize. Together, they used their years of unrelated professional experience to create something entirely new, essentially acting as co-owners and project managers.They came to Funsize looking for several things, most importantly validity through constant evaluation. Working with Rick from Funsize as our own pair, we helped them take their ideas and shape them into something tangible, ready to test. Because of the unique relationship our client partners had with each other, we were faced…


And neither are our users. Our work should never stop at Photoshop. It’s meant to be touched, played with, broken, etc. Designing a product without including the users in the design process is like building a way-finding system without ever stepping foot onsite. We can only rely on intuition and experience for so long before we forget why we started designing in the first place.

Kathy Sierra puts it simply in her book Badass: Making Users Awesome:

We’ve been looking in the wrong place. The key attributes of sustained success don’t live in the product. The key attributes live in…


How I learned to take criticism

I graduated from college in communication design about two months ago. Everyday I saw how design students do not understand how to take criticism. Even more, they don’t know how to give criticism. Criticism is the corner-stone of what we do in design. I want to pose a personal example of how I learned how to take (and how to give) good criticism.

I started my college career as a viola performance major. It was pretty much the only thing I knew how to do. I played a wooden instrument with a long stick made of horse hair in front…

Jim Jordan

American designer and native texan.

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