You must start pinning, starting listening, start writing, start shooting. Start realizing that to make truly great things it won’t ever be easy. But the privilege we have to help make the world more beautiful, to inspire others toward goodness, to try and put back together the things that have fallen apart is truly a great one - one we must take seriously.– Blaine Hogan
Every element you add to a design must have a purpose. The purpose may be purely emotive. This is fine. We are, after all, emotional, irrational, unpredictable creatures. But it must have purpose. And that purpose must be a valuable one. Remember, every element you add either contributes to your product being more useful and easier to understand or makes it less useful and more confusing. You should no more be adding visual elements willy nilly to your sites than you should be adding code snippets and components without at least understanding their motivations, purpose, and effects.A terrific article on the design process in development from Aral Balkin.
I like New Year’s. Not necessarily the going out and staying up until midnight and drinking champagne when the clock sounds - although, as holiday traditions go, that’s more my style than others. I’m not religious and I have no extended family, so I really don’t celebrate holidays in general. But I like the idea of celebrating a new year. Sure, it’s an entirely arbitrary designation of time. Who cares? Why not take the opportunity for introspection, reflection, focusing on the future, and, if it’s your style, champagne?
2012 was a good year for me, all the better for coming on the heels of 2011, which sucked in many ways. It’s almost unbelievable how much progress I’ve made in the past year. Which is exactly why I want to enumerate it and wrap my head around it and remind myself I might not be doing too badly after all.
Overall, I met amazing people and had even more amazing conversations, connections and experiences. I’m still kind of flabbergasted I got to spend time with the people that I did and that I got to do everything I did. There aren’t many people who realize this, but it was only seven short years ago when I was a lone single mother on public assistance. In the years since, I’ve gone through financial hardship of all kinds, disastrous relationships and losing my mother to cancer. I’ve pretty much worked my ass off to get where I am now. It’s been a hard, stressful time. It’s nice to be able to take a breath and a look back and realize how far I’ve come.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this year, whether it was talking at a conference or interacting online or teaching me something I didn’t know or learning something new from me or just putting some positive energy into the world I got to pick up on. You’re all gorgeous people and I wish you all sorts of shiny, happy things in the new year.
I already have some big, big things planned for 2013 but I can’t announce them yet. Feel free to speculate wildly in the meantime.
The thing is, I really like saying yes. I like new things, projects, plans, getting people together and doing something, trying something, even when it’s corny or stupid. I am not good at saying no. And I do not get along with people who say no. When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I’ll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about all the no’s you’ve said. No to that opportunity, or no to that trip to Nova Scotia or no to that night out, or no to that project or no to that person who wants to be naked with you but you worry about what your friends will say.
No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message.