The disruption paralysis

How the idea that you’ve got to change the world leads to paralysis instead of action and inspiration. Just like analysis paralysis — overthinking a situation so that no action is ever taken — is real, the general idea that you’ve got to change the world and disrupt things is equally paralyzing. Making something useful is not enough anymore, you’ve got to change the world. Turn…

How we built table support for Trix Editor

Or how we worked around Trix’s Document model to display tables within the editor and make them editable. Trix is a great text editor, but for the sake of keeping it simple and enjoyable to use, has some limitations. One of those limitations is the lack of support for HTML tables. Paste a table in Trix, and gone is the table. For…

I must be using bad user interfaces every day

I’m sure you’ve seen this quote before. It seems particularly popular on LinkedIn, where sharing it unlocks the I know what makes a great user interface, constantly name things right and perfectly position every button status symbol. There’s this toxic binary view of user interfaces, where designing a UI has two rigidly fixed outcomes: good or bad. And if that wasn’t enough,…

Spending the right amount of energy on the right problems

By recognizing the now, future and hypothetical problems There are the problems you have now, the problems you’ll have and the problems you might have. You can’t work simultaneously on all of them. Spend too much time on the now while ignoring the future and you’ll hit a wall eventually. Spend too much on all the things that might happen and you’ll…

The Great Deception

It’s inevitable. It happened in your last project and it will happen in the next one. It’s that moment when excitement and romance get replaced by questions, doubts, frustration and deception. I call that phase The Great Deception. It turns out that as human beings, we’re the only species with a brain capable of running simulations and feel emotions for things that…

Making things right

Product or service, sometimes things don’t go as expected. Maybe you’ve taken too long to deliver, delivered over budget or made a mistake that cost your client a significant sum of money. Maybe your product didn’t meet expectations or was lost or damaged during shipping. Maybe a weird bug prevented some of your customers to use your software for a few hours…

Judging past decisions based on today’s facts

While it’s good to regularly reconsider and rethink the way things are done, judging decisions from the past based on the knowledge we have today is far too easy, far too common and quite useless. “Why is it this way? It doesn’t make sense!” “It’s ridiculous, why was this built like this?” “I wouldn’t have done it this way!” Decisions are usually…

The voices killing simplicity

Bill can’t find the document he’s looking for on the Intranet. Clearly it isn’t visible enough, so let’s add it to the home page for everyone to find it. Someone told us he couldn’t find the contact button on the site. Let’s make the button bigger, change its color and add an additional link to the sidebar. We don’t generate enough sales…