Author: Joshua

  • I Am Mother – My movie review

    As a post-apocalyptic story, this film explores themes that dig into what it means to be human, and how humanity affects the world around us; all this against a backdrop that isn’t the exact world we live in, but something similar. I Am Mother begins with a brief text description of an event that has…

  • Getting a grip on my digital life

    I’m too closely intwined with my digital life. I have a problem. At times it holds my attention more than my real life, and some days it’s hard to tell the two apart. Technology has been wonderful for me. As a teenager, with unknown prospects for where I could take my life and career, technology…

  • My illustration process

    Recently I did an illustration for Jonathan Wold for an article he wrote on his site. In this post I wanted to share a bit of the process, and hopefully inspire others with how messy it can be to get from the beginning to the end. We’ve worked together quite a bit in the past…

  • My current setup, 2019 edition

    For traveling If I’m working at a coffee shop for the day (I like to do that 1-2 days/week, even though I work from home), or if I’m on a trip, I’ll likely bring some combination of the following. Backpack – My current favorite is the Bullet Ruck 15L. It fits a 15″ laptop quite…

  • GORUCK Bullet 15L mini review

    Or, another title could be, my quest for my perfect backpack. For quite a few years I’ve tried backpacks of all types. It’s a funny hobby for me to research different backpacks and see what makes the most sense for me. I wrote previously about a trip I took with the Bullet 10L (shown at…

  • What does “Not” crazy at work look like?

    I’m just a few weeks into a new job, and I have a few observations I want to share. I’ve been inspired by a new book, It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. This book, combined with Deep Work, has encouraged me to explore ways to focus and get things done, without tons of…

  • Moving to Automattic

    Tomorrow I’ll be starting a new job at Automattic as a Product Designer. I’m both excited and reflective as I think about what’s ahead in 2019 and beyond. For the past 3 1/2 years I’ve worked full-time at XWP. I started as a Team Lead, then brought the role of Product Owner (while learning it…

  • Why design matters in your team

    Over the past few years I’ve been privileged to work with some amazing designers and engineers! When you can bring design and engineering together in a true partnership, great things can happen. If either of them are treated as second class citizens, you’ll fall into deep ditches that can sink teams and companies. “Without a…

  • iPad Pro in 2019

    Since January 2017 I’ve been an iPad Pro user. For a short period I even made it my primary computer. It’s become one of the most important tools I have as a Product Designer. Each week I use it to create sketches during the research and conceptual stages of a project. There are some situations…

  • A brief journey into blocks

    WordPress 5.0 has finally launched. It’s been a long time coming, and provides a huge update and change to how the editor works in WordPress. I was privileged to be able to contribute to this release, spending several months in 2017 contributing to design ideas and concepts for early work on Gutenberg. Earlier this week…

  • Beachbody Editorial UX

    In 2016 our team at XWP was able to work with the Beachbody on Demand folks to create a new editorial workflow for the content creation staff. You can read the case study to learn about the work that was done. During this process I was covering the role of Product Owner for our team,…

  • Save/Publish in WordPress

    You can check out the original Trac issue. This was such an eye opening feature for me. Several of my team members were discussing the the need to save drafts in the Customizer. I got pulled in and was able to lend UI/UX support to the project. Over the course of about six months we worked on…

  • WordPress Contributions

    I spoke about this at WordCamp Seattle 2018, but I wanted to dive into a short post to talk about some of the contributions I’ve been able to make. Since 2016 I’ve been involved in one way or another, helping out in a number of issues related to the WordPress admin experience. Here’s the thing,…

  • WordCamp Seattle talk, with slides

    On November 11, 2018 I was able to speak at WordCamp Seattle  on my experience contributing to WordPress Core as a non-developer. In 2017 I wrote about my initial experience, and now now I’ll be planning to expand on what’s happened since.  Let me tell you, it’s been an amazing ride! For years I’d had interest…

  • Quality time over clock time

    Jonas Downey, from Basecamp, shared an article this morning about his experience in creative work. I agree 100%. You can read his full article, which I highly recommend.  “Start thinking about productivity in terms of quality time instead of clock time. You might end up making the same progress with only 20 energetic hours that you would…

  • Breaks

    When you enjoy your work there can be a natural bent towards encouraging it to become all absorbing. This can also happen if things are going very wrong at work.  Last week I was really inspired by a book from the guys at Basecamp. This, along with the writings of Cal Newport, has given me…

  • Building AMP Stories in WordPress

    A few months ago our team at XWP was tasked with the challenge of building AMP Stories in WordPress. We began working with the team at Google to come up with an initial minimum viable product. Following are some of my messy sketches showing our process and what it took to move from the initial…

  • 31 Candles

    Tomorrow I’ll be turning 31. Instead of writing about being 30 at the start of the year, I want to share my thoughts on the last day of it. I could speak directly to experiences in my life (I’ve had many wonderful ones!), things I’m thankful for (the list is long), or people who mean…

  • Pausing

    Anxiety doesn’t generally come from making decisions, but rather from the time spent deliberating on whether to make a decision.  At a certain point there’s enough information gathered, and a choice should be made. That choice isn’t always Option A vs Option B, but could include Option C all the way to Option Z.  If…

  • On good communication

    You can tell someone what you’re thinking, and convey that in a way that you believe is correct. But that’s only a very small part of what it means to communicate something.  Communication happens through the words you choose to say, the words you leave unsaid, the way your words are shared, and the language…