Ced Funches on the Responsibility of Being Better Than Advertised

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I’ve always wanted to be a designer.

I grew up drawing and painting (traditional artist) and knew I wanted to be able to do that for the rest of my life. I was good. I still am, I think. When I was 9 years old my mother gave me an art school test booklet she saw on TV. It had a turtle or pirate character and a couple other exercises to test your ability.

Like so many other talented young black artists in my neighborhood, I mimicked the examples, found different pencils to replicate the shading and ended up with exact replications of the tests. Then, I drew a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo for those who know the deal) in a perfect pose to top it off. Read More

Justin Dunn on Coding A New Path to the Championship

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Photo by Patrick Dunn.

Growing up, I had one dream and one dream only—that was to play ball. While my friends were gearing up for summer breaks filled with swimming and barbecues, I competed in basketball tournaments across the country. I was a star in my region and flourished against guys that were nationally known. My commitment to basketball as a means of success is not a foreign concept in the inner city. Like most Black males, my only exposure to the achievements of men who looked like me was through watching sports. When I saw Allen Iverson or Tracy McGrady play, instinctively I saw myself. Therefore, basketball for as long as I could remember was all I knew. Read More

Ashleigh Axios

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Design Exponent / <1 (less than 2 months) at Automattic / Image Editor: Photoshop for photos, Illustrator for vectors, Sketch for layouts / Code Editor: Sublime / Washington DC

Open Source frees information and ideas for community ideation, collaboration, and iteration. It’s a faster track to better results and a more united design and tech communities.

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Scott Evans

Hybrid: Designer & Developer (a.k.a Pixel Co-Ordinator) / 2 Years at Automattic / Image Editor: Photoshop / Code Editor: Atom / Hampshire, England

Hybrid: Designer & Developer (a.k.a Pixel Coordinator) / 2 Years at Automattic / Image Editor: Photoshop / Code Editor: Atom / Hampshire, England

When I first plugged my computer to the telephone line it was rather magical. Those sweet chirping modem sounds connected me to a place full of knowledge, optimism and collaboration. With every link clicked I would learn something new. I had found an exciting place to call home.

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John Palfrey on The Paradox of Tolerance

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Photo by Dave White.

Co-Editor’s Note: Two weeks ago, I was lucky to be introduced to John Palfrey’s open note to his campus. It has stayed with me as the clearest piece of creative writing on the vital topic of inclusion. —JM

We teach more than just mathematics, science, writing and reading, languages, the arts, and other academic topics in our schools. We also teach character and moral development. Many schools do so explicitly, through the lessons that we choose; all schools do so implicitly, through the personal examples that teachers, coaches, and principals set for our students. Whether parents like it or not, there is no way for teachers to avoid teaching character to some extent; after all, our students are watching us as they learn. Read More

Alisha Ramos: Embracing My Mixed Race, Hybrid Identity

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This piece was originally published in my weekly newsletter on mixed race, Mixed Feelings.


In high school I was president of the Asia Club for two years. The club had members from various Asian backgrounds such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Indian. We were the crown jewel of every international/cultural event or competition at our public high school in suburban North Carolina. We would really bring it—from colorful dance performances to amazingly delicious, aromatic foods. Everyone knew the Asia Club was a force to be reckoned with, and I was damn proud of that little club for those two years. Read More

Lauren McCarthy on Building an Inclusive Open Source Community for Creators

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What I appreciate most about being an artist is the community. While some might imagine the lone artist toiling in their studio, what I have experienced is artists coming together on the internet and in-person, sharing ideas and questions, and finding ways to work together. One way this happens is through the creation, modification, and sharing of tools for artmaking. Read More

Sarah Cooper on 9 Tricks to Appear Smart in Brainstorming Meetings

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The following is an excerpt from Sarah Cooper’s new book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings (Andrews McMeel)

In a brainstorming meeting, the pressure of coming up with incredible new ideas can be debilitating. Luckily, the last thing most corporations want is new ideas.

Here are 9 tricks to make you look like you’re the creative force on your team. Read More

Dom Goodrum on Why Measuring Design Isn’t a Terrible Idea

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Embracing measurement puts yourself and your team out there. It openly says that we aren’t perfect and perhaps we could do our job better.

Through my experience of building the design team at Percolate, my perspective on measurement has changed. I’ve gone from thinking measurement is all about understanding the performance of a solution to measurement being a tool that can be used to improve our teams, our design process, and the business we are building.

Measuring design hasn’t come naturally to me, though. There have been many occasions where I brushed requests for measurement under the carpet. This was partly due to my natural instinct to focus on the work, and partly because I didn’t want to expose our imperfections.

As disciplines like marketing, engineering, sales, and finance have evolved at our company, I’ve been exposed to the measurement methods they use to understand their impact on our business. Because of this, I started looking more critically at how we could measure the contribution of design. Read More