It’s easy to get so siloed in our specialities that we often don’t take a step back to look at the bigger picture. Recently, I was part of a large redesign and one of the things I needed to focus on was making sure all of the UI components being designed were accessible regardless of the user’s physical capabilities. Accessibility is one of those many things we often think of as an afterthought, something that someone else can review when the design is in it’s final stages, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

If I asked you to…

When you’re use to a certain workflow it can feel a bit uncomfortable to switch things up. Often it’s some pain point in your existing workflow that finally gets too uncomfortable that you push to find other options. As someone who is fairly comfortable with the command line I still enjoyed using MAMP Pro because it gave me a quick way of just getting a site online locally. With that convenience however came some annoyances, like making sure to edit my http.conf with each update so that it continued to point to the latest FastCGI to help reduce performance issues…

I tend to experiment a lot when it comes to building Craft CMS sites and part of that is setting up a lot of various sites on my local machine while I’ve learned the platform over the years. After a few though it can feel a little bit tedious to download, delete unneeded files, and create the local database for the project. So after awhile I decided to automate the process.

I should note that at this point there are several ways people have solved this problem, including nystudio107’s Yeoman generator which is incredible. …

I originally heard about the concept of T-shaped skills from Tim Brown at IDEO, most likely from one of his books. To summarize the concept, if you consider a person’s job skills in the shape of a “T”. The vertical line representing the person’s depth of knowledge in their specialized area while the horizontal line represents their ability to work across other disciplines that might not be their specialty. I’ve also heard this defined as “versatilist” as well.

I define the horizontal line as a way to represent the breadth of knowledge someone might have within a particular industry (in…

I don’t think I’ve ever talked to anyone who doesn’t want to be a better communicator. Particularly around management and leadership, good communication is a skill that continues to fascinate me. There’s been one skill however that I’ve found over the last decade that really drives a lot of my clear communication within an organization.

What if you took responsibility for both sides of the conversation when you need to make sure something is communicated clearly?

Often when communicating important information to someone we make assumptions on their interpretation of the material and it’s in those assumptions where the communication…

Technology moves so fast that it’s tough for most schools to maintain a curriculum which addresses current trends. At least a reasonable curriculum that would extend what a student could learn themselves with a bit of passion and ingenuity to succeed. But not all kids are so lucky. Many students don’t have the luxury of a home computer. In Sarasota, there are plenty of students in low-opportunity settings with an unexpressed passion for technology.

I was lucky to be invited to participate in a recent community hackathon, with exactly those students, organized by the Education Foundation of Sarasota. What’s a…

Like martial arts, leadership is rarely just the aspects you can see.

At the office I’ve earned the title of the company’s very own ninja. A playful title, though I do hold a second-degree black belt (nidan) in Kasumi-An To-shin Do, a modernized form of what we know as the ninja martial art. Even before that, studying martial arts in general has been a big part of my life since 1993. As I’ve grown older the training has influenced not only how I interact in my personal life but also in business.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” ~Mike Tyson

Many business executives have a fascination with…

When something about your code just isn’t right, refactor it for clarity

It was just a few months ago when I wrote my concept for a Dead Simple Sass Mixin to Handle Responsive Breakpoints and as I continued to use it, I realized there was something that didn’t feel right — hidden complexity in the form of cleverness.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
~ E.F. Schumacher

When I first wrote the mixin I was trying…

Simplifying syntax and responsive code organization

UPDATE: I’ve further outlined a refactoring of this concept in another post.

Mobile web use continues to grow and responsive design as a solution isn’t going anywhere any time soon. But I have a dark secret. While I love building responsive sites, I find remembering and typing the syntax for media queries frustrating. It’s not difficult really, it’s just tedious and it feels messy. Using Sass can simplify the process not only in making breakpoint management easier and abstracting syntax, but Sass has features to make the organization of your code better as well.

Building Off of Bootstrap

I’m a Bootstrap user so most…

Taking control of those generated links in mobile emails

It all started as a discussion between two friends of mine, “I wish people wouldn’t use images for your phone number in your email signature, it’s a pain when I have to call them and can’t just click on it.” Which was quickly followed by, “I just don’t like how it automatically styles the links in a way that isn’t consistent with my design.”

As I listened, I immediately knew there had to be a better way and although many email clients do not support modern features, the ones that automatically add links would likely support what I needed.

It’s All About the Attribute Selector


Tim Knight

Dir of Product Design @ Mad Mobile. Former Dir of UX @ GravityFree. Organizer of St. Pete Frontend Meetup. Product Designer. Prototyper. Design Leader.

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