February 27, 2021No Comments

Leaving Amazon

The last year at Amazon was up and down, work wise. People tolerate bad organizations and management for a multitude of reasons, but what’s unfortunate, and disgusting, is when those organizations treat you expendable to your face. No goodbye, no wishing you well, heck, it’s standard practice to ask your employees why they’re leaving, what they can improve on, but nope, not even that. The labour management organization deserves every bit of the awful reputation they have in the world, and then some more.

I realize it’s frowned upon to air your grievances of your past employers — and this is only a small fraction of it — but this had to be said.

Best of luck to the small but mighty Alchemy team that was in many ways the highlight of my Amazon career. We’ve built, as far as I’m aware, the only design system in the world that’s fully AA accessible in both light modalities, and localizable on top of that. Plus, it’s the only design system that’s given some love to Arabic/Farsi speakers, with most of the site having Farsi examples to demonstrate the component’s embedded RTL switches.

Most of the time it was like a second job for me on top of the things I was officially working on, but it’s been worth it. Now to get a bit of rest before the next thing.

May 19, 2020No Comments

Delusion

Why is it that every single design conference focuses on topics pertinent to cultural issues in the US? I just saw this talk on my feed from Interaction20 that focuses on the history of how we arrived at today’s Industrial/UX design patterns. And 5 minutes later it transitioned to whether UX is a right or a privilege ... what? What does that even mean? Why? (Video of this talk is embedded below)

It seems to me that in trying to do something noble (intentions aside), the design community comes across as pompous and delusional instead. If the intention here truly is to help those in need, then we should be encouraging more data-driven decision making, and teach others how to read information without being affected by propaganda and other types of nonsense that people and media (intentionally or otherwise) spew at us.

People who can't afford to go to school or can't afford healthcare won't be saved or cured by debating things like "Is UX a privilege or a right?" That's downright insulting. For example, this article from Stats Canada published in 2017 shows that men & women with bachelor's degrees earn 40–60% more than those with high school diplomas. Now that we know this, we need to figure out how we can help more people get bachelor's degrees. Figure out why those who dropout do so, and how we can help improve schools so that they don't. How we can make it easier for those who struggle in school. These are problems that we can, in part, try to solve with technology. But pretending like a crappy user experience on some random product is somehow tied to "privilege" is irrelevant at best.

May 18, 2020No Comments

Spinning

A while ago I'd came across this track by the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians. I wonder if it was recommended to me because I'd been listening to a bit of Gorillaz (Damon Albarn features on this song) and Egyptian music. The track is called "Out of Time", from the album called "Africa Express presents ... The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians and Guests." The whole album is great, it's mostly composed of covers featuring some of the vocalists from the original songs. Oddly enough I didn't actually know that the original "Out of Time" is from the album "Think Tank" by Blur (also a Damon Albarn band). The cover is so wonderful though, that it feels like an entire separate song from a different place.

May 17, 20201 Comment

First post.

Took a while to get this thing running. For anyone wondering, I'd been searching for some headless CMS (a content management system that would make it easy to write and edit posts) for a while. I didn't want anything PHP based, and I didn't want to run through a bunch of terminal commands to install it. Most important of all, I wanted some easy mobile editor so I could write on the go.

Well.

Turns out I just went with Semplice, which is a WordPress variant, which runs on PHP. I'm running Semplice 5 and I've been pleasantly surprised at it's ease of use. So far so good.