in the late 2000s there was a failed academic landgrab in the digital humanities called "critical code studies", where non-programmers tried to conduct critical readings of code snippets. it went about as well as you would expect gonna post some of my fav quotes in this thread

"Efficiency is more than the end of computational practice, more than a God, more than an exquisite delight, it is the chimera, the holy grail, the pwnership, the rad ollie, the be all and end all of most programming challenges"…

"colonize code's virgin soil"…

"I suggested Quicksort as a metaphor for social organization in communities, drawing out an analogy for the way a neighborhood street or even highway may serve to divide and conquer a demographic"…
(this is the official CCS manifesto)

this was later dubbed "the programmer's objection" so that it could be dismissed without actually addressing it…

tbh, even when the point they are trying to make is totally inane, they can still write…

a critical reading of the Anna Kournikova virus…

this is a fun critique of the whole project, which of course was completely ignored…

1:46 PM · May 28, 2023

David R. MacIver

I remain extremely confused that people are under the impression that Apple is good at UX.

"Which of the three modifier keys do I have to use for each of the five different ways of switching between open windows, none of which actually do a reasonable thing?" is not a question you have to ask on an operating system made by people who are good at UX.

Anyway I've recently finally given in and switched over to a mac and it's mostly more or less fine and the hardware is very nice, but the window switching system(s!) seems to have been designed by some sort of insane sadist who thinks switching windows is a sin.

This sortof reminds me of how people think mercurial has better UX than git, which is true if you measure UX by lack of sharp edges and the presence of round corners and pastel colours, but false if you think having five different conceptually distinct notions of branch is bad UX

I'm aware that everyone's solution on the window switching thing is to give up on using the keyboard and just use three finger swipe but: 1. I hate this, for a variety of reasons. It is much worse than good keyboard navigation.
2. Having so many bad ways is still not good UX.

BTW I settled on ctrl-left and ctrl-right to navigate between spaces and manually putting my spaces in the right order as the least offensive option. It's nearly but almost not quite half as good as the way alt-tab works on any civilised operating system.

ctrl-left and ctrl-right are of course a ridiculous choice for this, which should clearly be cmd-left and cmd-right, both conceptually and so as to not clash with the significant amount of other usage of ctrl-left and ctrl-right.

That's OK! I'll change it. I'll just go to the unified place where all your operating system level keyboard shortcuts are managed. A thing that definitely exists... right, Apple? I don't have to magically intuit the feature name and use your broken settings search to change it?

I'm aware that all of this is because I'm new to the system and that I'll at some point get used to all this crap. But that's exactly the point where you notice bad UX. The fact that you can get used to bad software doesn't make it good. I mean FFS we're on Twitter aren't we?

BTW the answer on the ctrl-left/ctrl-right thing is that you need to go to the mission control settings, select keyboard shortcuts, and then expand the submenu in the mission control settings named "mission control" and then you can change the shortcut.

(Don't worry BTW, I'm not going to claim Windows or Linux have good UX in the general case. They're bad too. But they're bad in different ways, and I'm just astonished that keyboard shortcuts and basic window management are not something Apple thinks it's worth being good at)


kelly p.

interesting (is it?) that the tab key and the browser tab are conceptually and etymologically completely separate.

checkmate, haha
– Fanny Guillotine

9:38 PM · May 5, 2023


my lukewarm take is that we see so many digital product brands with colourful gradients as a core part of their visual identity because their branding was done by UXUI designers who work primarily in Figma. And what's super easy to create in Figma? Nice looking blurry gradient!

"We shape our tools and then our tools shape us" etc etc

I see it in my own workflow; when I start working on a small illustration in Figma vs in Illustrator, it definitely pulls me to different visual expression (AI pen tool, path editing vs figma shapes, gradients, layer blur )

What tools do you think we should play with that enable different types of low lift brands? I sometimes use CAD software to make intricate line work I can't do in figma
– Adam Lukasik

Good q! My predictions - we will see more photography as a core part of the brand id. Thanks to generative AI, designers will get rid of the tiresome browsing of stock photo sites and persuading clients to buy licensing. -> Art direct and generate a synthetic photo in seconds

Your Daily Horoscope is Not Like Anything You've Seen Before!
– Astrology Daily

What are some good products designed in illustrator
– jordan olmstead

products: any brands: many

yep, i think when sketch came out initially there was similar criticism about art styles coming from the norm being largely bitmap to largely vector. a lot of what came out of that shift was the vector illustration styles with funky character shapes. was everywhere
– Helen Tran

Omg I hated the new style but it was shaped by our tools. The same holds true for architecture styles. There are entire buildings out there that look like cad renderings because it was easy.
– Jake Krajewski

damn. you’re right.
– Frank ☼ Bach

As they say, the medium is the message. We use tools to shape the world, and they, in turn, shape us.
– Dave Kim

That’s a really interesting take! I have noticed that brands now look very samey-samey but haven’t quite chalked it up to the tools. It sounds like it’s coming from people just jumping onto the visuals without actually thinking abt what the brand is trying to say abt the biz.
– Adeline Leng 凌素恵子

It's all gray When colorblind or Printed in B&W
– Great2BNate

Discover the secrets of your future with a FREE daily personalized horoscope!
– Astrology Daily

I went to CalArts we have been doing gradients the hard way (screen printing) for the last 25 years. I believe the rest of the design world is catching up now
– Aastha Gaur

I have such mixed feelings about gradient logos (and branding, in general) most likely because I've spent so much time in print, and saw lots of gorgeous gradient logos that when translated to B/W became blah instantly.
– iAmLocke

I had a similar prediction but damn did I underestimate “generative”I’m out of the game right now but I’m putting a marker down: between the 90s coming back and mainstream design tools having easy API access (e.g. Figma) we are going to see a shit ton of generative stuff in visual design trends.
– Nicholas Macias

10:01 PM · May 3, 2023

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