Jots is a collection of bits from inspiring pieces.

When reading to master something, there are four keys to keep in mind.

[…] Translate and synthesize: Instead of using the author’s language, establish your own terms. This exercise in translation bridges different authors’ concepts and arguments.

Jotted on July the 5th 2024, at 19:10.

“Listen bub,” I say, “it is very impressive that you can teach a bear to ride a bicycle, and it is fascinating and novel. But perhaps it’s cruel? Because that’s not what bears are supposed to do. And look, pal, that bear will never actually be good at riding a bicycle.”

Jot 344 : Frank Chimero in The Web’s Grain, from Frank Chimero’s Site.
Jotted on the 11th of Jun 2024, at 20:00.

We just add a second parameter to the function call called “explanation” and give it a succinct description. GPT will create an answer to our new question, fill it in the answer parameter and then explain how it arrived at that answer in the explanation parameter.

Jotted on the 17th of May 2024, at 12:15.

Given the opportunity, players will optimize the fun out of a game.

Jot 342 : Soren Johnson in GD Column 17: Water Finds a Crack, from Designer Notes.
Jotted on the 4th of Apr 2024, at 20:30.

The software I build seems to work okay. It won’t impress a Google engineer, that’s for sure. But it serves its users and the business reasonably well.

Jot 341 : Anton Golang in I’m a programmer and I’m stupid, from Anton Golang’s site.
Jotted on the 26th of Mar 2024, at 11:05.

It became a hidden project in our task-tracking system called Monsters Under the Bed, and whenever we’d have a few minutes, we’d open the Monsters, contemplate one of them, and find a novel way to kill it.

Jot 340 : Luka Kladaric in Shipping quality software in hostile environments, from Luka Kladaric’s site.
Jotted on the 6th of Mar 2024, at 00:10.

“This work in the alpha phase would have been really hard to parallelize. You can’t hire a bunch of engineers to make that go faster […]. Hiring a bunch of people would have made it harder to be nimble and change the direction of that foundation,” he says.

Jot 339 : Todd Jackson, Andrew Ofstad in Airtable's Path to Product-Market Fit—Lessons for Building Horizontal Products, from First Round Review.
Jotted on the 4th of Mar 2024, at 11:40.

Most importantly: how is this wall of text more maintainable than a class name like “primary”?

Do I need another wall for the white button?

Jotted on the 22nd of Feb 2024, at 21:40.

You could use a collection of utility classes for that, but I find creating a group class is just more practical.

Jot 337 : Chris Ferdinandi in HUG CSS, how I approach CSS architecture, from Go Make Things.
Jotted on the 22nd of Feb 2024, at 21:30.

In mathematics, the four color theorem, or the four color map theorem, states that no more than four colors are required to color the regions of any map so that no two adjacent regions have the same color.

Jot 336 : Ted Goas in Four color theorem, from Wikipedia.
Jotted on the 7th of Dec 2023, at 12:00.

Design leaders need more than just design skills. Understanding business and strategy is one the most impactful things designers can learn to lead teams and attain meaningful results.

Jot 335 : Ted Goas in “Doing strategy” as a product designer, from UX Collective on Medium.
Jotted on the 14th of Aug 2023, at 17:30.

This is enshittification: surpluses are first directed to users; then, once they’re locked in, surpluses go to suppliers; then once they’re locked in, the surplus is handed to shareholders and the platform becomes a useless pile of shit.

Jot 334 : Cory Doctorow in Pluralistic: Tiktok's enshittification, from Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow.
Jotted on the 5th of Aug 2023, at 14:05.

But these new generative tools help you with the first half of the process, taking you from nearly zero to a lot of initial ideas.

Jot 333 : James Currier in Generative Tech Begins, from NFX.
Jotted on the 13th of Jun 2023, at 12:30.

Like that first solution with the diluted potions, designer Wyatt Cheng says “we weren’t totally thrilled with this solution as we were putting it in, but we did it anyway. We knew that even though this might not be a solution that we’re willing it was something that was going to teach us a lot more about the problem”.

Jot 332 : Mark Brown in How Game Designers Solved These 11 Problems, from Game Maker’s Toolkit.
Jotted on the 11th of Mar 2023, at 11:50.

This is vague, but important. You should be deliberate about absolutely everything in your design. This means whitespace, alignment, size, spacing, colour, shadows. Everything. If I point at a random part of your design and you don’t have an explanation for why it looks that way, you’re not finished.

Jot 331 : Anthony Hobday in Visual design rules you can safely follow every time, from Anthony Hobday’s site.
Jotted on the 1st of Feb 2023, at 12:30.

“I tend to think an item lives in a particular folder. It lives in one place, and I have to go to that folder to find it,” Garland says. “They see it like one bucket, and everything’s in the bucket.”

Jot 330 : Monica Chin in File Not Found, from The Verge.
Jotted on the 29th of Jul 2022, at 12:20.

The biggest lie we tell ourselves is “I dont need to write this down because I will remember it”.

Jot 329 : Kevin Kelly in 103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known, from The Technium.
Jotted on the 11th of May 2022, at 11:10.

Given this crucial aspect of scientific production—that early exploration is indispensable but typically has little impact on the wider scientific community—an excessive reliance on citations in the evaluation of scientists effectively punishes the exploration of new ideas.

Jot 328 : Jay Bhattacharya, Mikko Packalen in Stagnation and Scientific Incentives, p. 4, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020.
Jotted on the 27th of Apr 2022, at 00:00.

For the vast majority of our species’ history, those were the two principal categories of human relations: kin and gods. Those we know who know us, grounded in mutual social interaction, and those we know who don’t know us, grounded in our imaginative powers.

But now consider a third category: people we don’t know and who somehow know us. They pop up in mentions, comments, and replies; on subreddits, message boards, or dating apps.

Jot 327 : Chris Hayes in On the Internet, We’re Always Famous, from The New Yorker.
Jotted on the 26th of Apr 2022, at 23:30.

Finally, the team noticed one user that was particularly flummoxed by the dialog box, who even seemed to be getting a bit angry. The moderator interrupted the test and asked him what the problem was. He replied, “I’m not a dolt, why is the software calling me a dolt?”

Jot 326 : Andy Hertzfeld in Do It, from
Jotted on the 21st of Mar 2022, at 10:30.

It is impossible to test against all the version combinations of all components in the library. Is Button v3.4 compatible with Accordion 1.2 and Modal 5.3? Library maintainers can’t guarantee quality, which means when issues arise consuming teams and maintainers have go on an easter egg hunt to pin down where compatibility problems are occurring.

Jotted on the 22nd of Feb 2022, at 14:10.

A focus on building the solution “right” means you do not let debt you take on stay around for long. You keep it visible and eradicate it fast as you deliver new features. And you do this because you recognize the longer the debt lives on, the more the interest hurts.

Jot 324 : Todd Lankford in Three “Right” Ways to Develop Your Product, from Serious Scrum.
Jotted on the 20th of Dec 2021, at 15:00.

Splitting Product Discovery and Delivery across two teams is a form of a functional silo.

Jot 323 : Todd Lankford in We Need One Complete Product Team, from Serious Scrum.
Jotted on the 20th of Dec 2021, at 14:30.

Instead of thinking of the daily stand-up as a ritual for the people, think of it as a ritual where the Work Items Attend (e.g., User Stories in an Agile context) and the people attend only to speak for the work items… since obviously the work items can’t actually talk.

Jotted on the 17th of Dec 2021, at 18:40.

Discovery work often results in killing ideas. At the end of every test you’ve got a decision to make: build it, kill it, or keep learning. Yes, what I’m really saying here is discovery work can and should result in killing ideas. Not everything goes forward.

Jot 321 : Jeff Patton in Dual Track Development is not Duel Track, from Jeff Patton & Associates.
Jotted on the 17th of Dec 2021, at 18:00.

After all that work, after establishing all that shared understanding I feel like we pull all the leaves off the tree and load them into a leaf bag–then cut down the tree.

That’s what a flat backlog is to me. A bag of context-free mulch.

Jot 320 : Jeff Patton in The New User Story Backlog is a Map, from Jeff Patton & Associates.
Jotted on the 17th of Dec 2021, at 13:30.

The idea is to test as many solutions as possible during discovery and discard all the wrong ones during this phase; this way, only the right solutions are developed during delivery.

Jot 319 : Emanuele Bolognesi in Introducing Dual Track Agile—the theory, from UX Collective.
Jotted on the 16th of Dec 2021, at 10:30.

Playing a videogame for someone is a far more elaborate skill than just playing to win.

Jot 318 : Edwin Evans-Thirlwell in Playing videogames carefully, from Eurogamer.
Jotted on the 11th of Dec 2021, at 22:40.

You’ll want to focus on nouns that might represent objects in your system. If you are having trouble determining if a noun might be object-worthy, remember the acronym SIP and test for: Structure Instances Purpose.

Jot 317 : Sophia V. Prater in How to Sell UX Research with Two Simple Questions, from A List Apart.
Jotted on the 10th of Dec 2021, at 10:20.

When the return sweep does not reach the beginning of the new line (undershoots), it is followed by a small leftward saccade to move back towards the beginning of the line. This is described as a corrective saccade.

Jot 316 : Mary Dyson in Line length revisited: following the research, from Design Regression.
Jotted on the 8th of Dec 2021, at 10:30.

Dependencies suck; dependencies rule. Other people’s code is like getting other people’s work for free. The downside is that it comes with their opinions, hobbies, and hygiene attached. All code comes bundled with a code smell. Usually, there isn’t anything you can do to prevent it from stinking up the place.

Jotted on the 3rd of Nov 2021, at 11:00.

…and even if you have all of that, something being unique does not automatically grant it quality. NFTs operate on the principle that being one-of-a-kind grants something value by default.

Jot 314 : Ed Zitron in The Internet of Grift, from Ed Zitron’s Where”s Your Ed At.
Jotted on the 12th of Oct 2021, at 12:00.

In the classic buildup-climax-resolution structure of drama, the JoJo pose is not the climax. A crucial moment has already happened when characters assume their stances. That’s why I think it’s part of the resolution.

Jot 313 : Ruben Ferdinand in An essay about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and queer masculinities, from Ruben Ferdinand’s Medium.
Jotted on the 12th of Oct 2021, at 02:15.

In other words, solutions should only be considered if they help us deliver on one of our target opportunities. If they don’t connect to the tree, they should be considered a distraction.

Jot 312 : Teresa Torres in Assessing Product Opportunities, from Why This Opportunity Solution Tree is Changing the Way Product Teams Work.
Jotted on the 19th of Sep 2021, at 11:00.

But the problem with not doing anything and just jumping right into the product is that it is generally a good idea to look before you leap. The challenge is to do this in a quick, lightweight, yet effective manner.

Jot 311 : Marty Cagan in Assessing Product Opportunities, from Silicon Valley Product Group.
Jotted on the 18th of Sep 2021, at 11:00.

When engineers build ad retargeting platforms, they build something that will continually funnel more content for the things you’ve indicated you’re interested in. On average, that’s the correct thing to do, Seyal said. But these systems don’t factor in when life has been interrupted.

Jotted on the 16th of Sep 2021, at 11:00.

The goal with this step is to exhaust every effort of identifying harms your product could cause. You aren’t worrying about how to prevent the harm yet—that comes in the next step.

Jot 309 : Eva PenzeyMoog in Design for Safety, An Excerpt, from A List Apart.
Jotted on the 15th of Sep 2021, at 11:00.

This is the impact of entertainment on real life. People assume that what they see in movies, tv shows, and social media is real. And they try to mimic it.

Jotted on the 14th of Sep 2021, at 11:40.

Everything is sales also means that everyone is trying to craft an image of who they are. The image helps them sell themselves to others. Some are more aggressive than others, but everyone plays the image game, even if it’s subconscious.

Jot 307 : Morgan Housel in Harder Than It Looks, Not As Fun as It Seems, from Collaborative Fund.
Jotted on the 10th of Aug 2021, at 23:25.

Disabled buttons don’t explain what’s wrong. They communicate that something is off, but very often it’s just not good enough. As a result, too often users are left wondering what’s actually missing, and consequently locked out entirely.

Jot 306 : Vitaly Friedman in Frustrating Design Patterns: Disabled Buttons, from Smashing Magazine.
Jotted on the 6th of Aug 2021, at 14:30.

Should they engage in the journalistic practice of building information around a strong central narrative, leading with a protagonist or an anecdote like the one that began this piece? Or should those hoping to accurately communicate science stick with a drier approach to persuasion, one that’s less likely to use the same rhetorical tricks as misinformation campaigns?

Jotted on the 13th of Jul 2021, at 14:00.

When Catherine the Great, the Empress of Russia, heard of Diderot’s financial troubles she offered to buy his library from him for £1000 GBP, which is approximately $50,000 USD in 2015 dollars. Suddenly, Diderot had money to spare.

Shortly after this lucky sale, Diderot acquired a new scarlet robe. That’s when everything went wrong.

Jotted on the 24th of Jun 2021, at 11:10.

If you want to make sure your application works as expected, is inclusive to as many people as possible, runs efficiently, and is well-designed, then testing needs to be a core part of your workflow, whether it’s automated or manual.

Jot 303 : Evgeny Klimenchenko in Front-End Testing is For Everyone , from CSS Tricks.
Jotted on the 7th of Jun 2021, at 12:25.

When I say em size is absolutely arbitrary and is not related to anything in the font at all, it’s not an exaggeration. It actually is not!

Jot 302 : Nikita Prokopov in Font size is useless; let’s fix it, from Nikita Prokopov’s Site.
Jotted on the 11th of May 2021, at 11:05.

Instead of thinking of design as a procedure, think of it as a toolbox. For different projects, you need different tools. If you’re asked to pound in a nail, grabbing a screwdriver isn’t ideal.

Jot 301 : Jordan Bowman in What No One Explains About the Design Process, from UX Tools.
Jotted on the 18th of Mar 2021, at 10:45.

I make a window bigger when I want to see more information, not the same information presented in a larger size. […] I have no data to back this up, but my intuition says that it’s the amount of available space, not the size of visible content, that people are playing with when they resize windows.

Jot 300 : Elise Hein in Why should type be fluid, anyway?, from UX Collective.
Jotted on the 15th of Mar 2021, at 11:00.

As for the lyrics, I tried to get all the languages I could find and wrote down interesting words in katakana. Then I changed these into words that Japanese people would find cool, so that people could not recognize individual words of any particular language. I had invented my own language.

Jot 299 : Jem Alexander, Tsutomu Kouno in TGS07: Interview with Loco Roco’s Tsutomu Kouno, from Engadget.
Jotted on the 28th of Feb 2021, at 17:00.

Spotify is focused on “capturing the share of time listeners spend elsewhere.” This is why Ek talks about “audio” generically, because it doesn’t matter specifically what those listeners are doing elsewhere, Ek just wants them doing it at Spotify instead.

Jot 298 : Damon Krukowski in A Tale Of Two Ecosystems: On Bandcamp, Spotify And The Wide-Open Future, from NPR: National Public Radio.
Jotted on the 22nd of Feb 2021, at 11:15.