I saw him die, and it was the greatest day of my life.

I never witnessed someone die before. Oddly enough, I don’t recall many details of his passing, apart from it being shockingly underwhelming. He just sat there, and then he laid there. Who I assume to be his wife next to him. What I assume to be his espresso, judging by the size of the cup, unstirred on the table. The beach in the background.

He died, and it didn’t seem to mean anything. An ambulance came and went. I’m not sure if the woman went with him or, with his remains, to be more accurate. …

Person leaving a trail of footsteps on a sandy beach.
Person leaving a trail of footsteps on a sandy beach.
Photo by nikldn on Unsplash

The thing with sayings is that they’re all catchy and fun and make you look a little smarter than you are, but they’re often complete nonsense. They probably made sense decades or centuries ago, on a boat or an epic quest somewhere remote, and now they’re just thrown at every situation by people who don’t know shit.

“You are as good as your last performance” is one of those sayings.

Within the realm of creators, it means something along the lines of “If your last work is great, doors will open, and you will dust-bathe in cocaine. However, if your…

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Brace yourself. We are going to cover a lot of ground in a very short time. Design is the rationale-driven process of creating something to serve a specific purpose. That purpose can be anything — it can be to be functional, decorative, eye-catching, hard to notice, amusing, provoking, cheap to produce, easy to ship, impossible to pick up, etcetera. Regardless of what it is, the purpose is always clear before the design process starts. Design is, therefore, not art. Moreover, the quality of a design can, contrary to popular belief, be measured and quantified. The better a design serves its…

A screenshot of CSS-code.
A screenshot of CSS-code.
Photo by Pankaj Patel on Unsplash

Like most UI designers, I began on the design side of things before learning about the technical aspects of user interfaces. I have always been eager to understand how things work, and UI was no different. Before I knew it, I was programming complex front-end applications. Starting back in the day with ActionScript in Macromedia Flash followed by Adobe Flash Builder, HTML, CSS, jQuery, all the way to fully search engine optimized JavaScript web applications combining Next.js, React, and headless content management systems such as Contentful — which is fantastic.


ActionScript 2.0, 15 years ago.

When working with…

Update, after barely surviving the experiment: I went to dark places, but I’ve stumbled upon my ultimate weight loss diet. Low maintenance, big results, and easy to sustain. It’s… not what I had in mind, though.

Pink foam texture resembling a milkshake.
Pink foam texture resembling a milkshake.
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Eating is fundamental to who you are. Not only are you literally made of the things you eat (and some carbon you inhale), but your eating habits are also directly tied to your social upbringing, your cultural heritage, and, as a result, to your whole identity. The cliché “you are what you eat” is true in many ways. …

Hashtags, despite being almost synonymous with “social media,” will disappear from Instagram soon. No, I do not have inside information. Nevertheless, I am absolutely certain it will happen. Here’s why.

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

Using tech history to predict the future

Search Engine Optimisation has been a source of confusion, debate, and obnoxious scams for over a decade now. SEO is the practice of optimizing websites so that they rank better in search engines. These optimizations involve both the technical aspects of a website (such as server speed and how it was coded) as the content on the website: text, hyperlinks, video, and images.

Search engines use complex computer programs (consisting…

Stylish photo of mountain tops in different colours, symbolising “layers”.
Stylish photo of mountain tops in different colours, symbolising “layers”.
Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash

There are infinite ways to get stuff done. Drawing a circle in Adobe Illustrator can be done in under a second — but you can also spend three hours on it. For most simple things that you create, there is a very predictable, perhaps even “best” approach. But as tasks and projects get more complex — even a little — more and more options to achieve your goal present themselves, forcing you to choose one path over the other. Shocker: you are probably making bad choices all the time. These choices may seem harmless, but they are slowing you down…

In billion-dollar construction plans (and heart surgery and space flight), the stakes are staggering. Because of this, not much is left to chance. Plans are made, risks are managed, and the best approach is carefully chosen. Imagine a board room with a bunch of people discussing a project that involves building an enormous bridge over a complex delta in a remote location. An hour into the meeting, one of the attendants says: “This is all too much hassle. My uncle has also built a couple of bridges, and he usually just starts on the left and finishes on the right…

Early in their careers, chefs learn to keep their workspace tidy. It’s not a matter of personal preference or style: it is a must. Non-negotiable. And boy, do they learn the hard way. I have no verifiable data on this, but I suspect that one or two kitchen apprentices are ritually sacrificed for not keeping a tidy workspace every other month. It makes sense — the keeping tidy, not the ritual sacrifices. To prepare great, tasty food, you need a clean, sterile workbench. …

We can be tremendously protective of our creativity. Vigilant, almost, as if our creative process is a mysterious force that resides somewhere beyond a mere mortals’ grasp. Magical as our creativity may be, we look for hacks, ways to increase our productivity, and, ultimately, nurture our creative output. We read, listen, learn, practice, and talk to become better at what we do. To become better creatives.

It is at the very core of these undertakings where the most vicious creativity-killer of the entire spectrum lives. …

Reinoud Schuijers

🏳️‍🌈 He/him. I create brands people love. Founder (2008) & creative director of srj.agency. I take care of my body because it carries my mind. 💉 Vaccinated.

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