Used a curved monitor at the office today for the first time. Seems silly/obvious now that I've used one, but it didn't really occur to me that horizontal lines on the screen are slightly curved and I'm not sure I like it. Won't be rushing out to buy one anytime soon.
I find engineering videos like this fascinating. But it was the video thumbnail that piqued my interest because it just looks so wrong.
In the 1950’s Robert Thomas Jones, a brilliant NASA engineer, began developing a radical new wing arrangement called an oblique wing (also referred to as a skewed wing). The wing design was characterized by a wing that could pivot into a unique angled configuration in relation to the aircraft’s fuselage. The design offered several advantages over more conventional swept wings. An oblique wing’s ability to pivot into a straight wing made it ideal for low speed flight (improving efficiency and take-off/landing performance), but at transonic and supersonic speeds, the angled orientation minimized both wave and induced drag, leading to improved overall aerodynamic efficiency. With lower drag at higher speeds, oblique wing aircraft would require less thrust to maintain a given speed, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and operating costs. Compared to other variable geometry wings, oblique wings would also be lighter, less complex and have fewer drawbacks like a shifting center of lift.
A shoutout to the production quality of the Mustard YouTube videos, too. Well worth a subscribe.
I love this recent note from Adam Stoddard about generalist designers because it describes me so accurately:
A generalist designer, axiomatically, is someone who doesn’t specialize in any particular area of design. They’re not UX designers, UI designers, content strategists, illustrators, product designers, copywriters, graphic designers, front-end developers, or animators, even though their work may touch every single one of those roles. The proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none”.
I'm curious to know if generalists suffer more regularly than specialists do from imposter syndrome. It's something that I have experienced a lot (and still do, to be honest) because when working with specialists I constantly think I'm less knowledgeable or skilled than they are.
However, as Adam mentions in his full post, working as a generalist is satisfying because of the variety of jobs that you get to do. I think one of the biggest benefits is that being a generalist also makes you more valuable to a company. I can think of many occasions during my career where being a generalist has allowed me to keep my job when specialists were losing theirs. For example, during COVID-19, a lot of the specialist designers I was working with were put on furlough and were eventually let go because there wasn't enough billable design work coming in for them to do. Fortunately, there was always plenty of dev work to do and I was able to switch to doing front end and keep myself busy.
Elon Musk has been in charge of Twitter for a week. In that time, he has axed nearly 3,500 jobs (50% of its staff) and removed entire teams, such as the vitally important accessibility team.
Many of those that I follow have already announced that they're leaving the platform. Cohost and Mastodon seem to be the most popular destinations and both sites are no doubt doing well from Twitter's current exodus.
Interestingly, those I see leaving aren't just talking about moving to another social platform, they've also said they'll be reinstating or focusing more on their personal sites and blogs, too.
That makes me happy. I believe we should all have our own little corner of the internet. A place to experiment and find our own voice. It doesn't matter if that site is popular or not, the important thing is that it's ours and the content that we put there is 100% our own.
Sites like Twitter will come and go, with some lasting longer than others - I joined Twitter in 2009 and didn't expect to still be using it in 2022! As users, we'll keep hopping to the next big shiny thing each time it emerges. However, our personal sites will always be there, living as long as we want them to.
This week, I reached a new streak milestone on Duolingo: 100 days of Spanish! 🇪🇸
According to my Duolingo profile page, I started using the language learning app in 2017. However, my usage in those first few years can only be described as 'sporadic' at best.
In 2022, I've made more of an effort to make learning Spanish part of my daily routine and try to do at least one lesson a day (usually before I go to bed). Attempting to spend more time using Duolingo, I put the app icon front and centre on my phone's home screen. Whilst that has made a difference, I still struggle to avoid reflexively opening Instagram, TikTok or Twitter each time I unlock my phone.
Frustratingly, I let a 60-odd day streak slip away from me earlier in the year. But, knowing that I've spent at least 160 days learning Spanish this year is a big step toward becoming fluent (however far away that may be).
A couple of weeks ago I received a cool email from Google saying that for the first time, my site reached 350 clicks from Google Search within 28 days.
That might not seem like a lot to some but my posts are basically notes for myself. So it makes me happy to know that people are finding them because hopefully, it’s helping them out, too.
Now, I don’t necessarily like having analytics on my site. I know that a lot of people refuse to include analytics on their own sites and I respect those that don’t. I just find some of the insights fascinating.
Most searched queries
For example, I had no idea that some of my CSS grid posts were performing so well for the following search queries:
And check out that average page view duration, too. People aren’t just clicking through to my posts, they’re also reading them too. That makes me happy.
Posting stuff online is daunting. So many of my posts never see the light of day because there's always that nagging thought that someone more knowledgeable than me has already written about this.
Whilst I’m not going to suddenly start reviewing my site analytics every day, seeing that some of my posts are performing well has been a great positive feedback loop for me.
I know that I need to post more and this is encouraging me to do so. I have a huge backlog of saved articles and tweets that I want to post about, so I best get crackin’.
As a huge fan of the Chris Sawyer Transport Tycoon games, I added Sweet Transit to my Steam wishlist as soon as I watched the trailer. Coming sometime in 2022, this strategic city building game from Team17 is no doubt gonna be a massive time sink for me.
This past month has been an absolute blur. Seriously, where has August gone? Part of me is glad that the weather has been pretty poor for this time of year, because I wouldn't have wanted to be that busy whilst also melting.
What's interesting is that today, the first day I've had in weeks without a deadline, has been a terrible one for productivity - It's like my brain never got out of bed this morning. "Diamonds are formed under pressure", as the saying goes. And now, without the pressure of a deadline my mind has completely switched off.
This is also my first post since 30th June, which is disappointing as prior to that I was on a bit of a roll, posting a couple of times each month. It'll be good to get back to writing about CSS again and finally (fingers crossed) start writing some longer articles about design.