Jots is a collection of bits from inspiring pieces.

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 July the 13th 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.

Eradicating these impostor tactics is possible, but it would require tech companies to admit that the design of their systems aids and abets media manipulators.

Jot 297 : Joan Donovan in Trolling for Truth on Social Media, from Scientific American.
Jotted on the 17th of Feb 2021, at 23:15.

Even though your plan is liable to become immediately irrelevant, you still need to invest in writing it up. Why? There are two reasons. The first is to surface disagreements that may otherwise remain hidden. […] The second reason is that it provides a platform from which change can be leveraged.

Jot 296 : Graham Kenny in Strategic Plans Are Less Important than Strategic Planning, from Harvard Business Review.
Jotted on the 16th of Jan 2021, at 23:00.

Any time you break up a story based on functional roles (back-end/front-end, for example), you are diluting the story and creating a dependency management game.

Jot 295 : John Cutler in Where Do We Put The UX Tasks?, from John Cutler’s Medium.
Jotted on the 14th of Dec 2020, at 10:00.

If you’re tasked with writing microcopy, first learn as much as you can about the component you are writing for, particularly its constraints. When you finally sit down to write, don’t worry about getting it right the first time.

Jotted on the 26th of Nov 2020, at 10:30.

[…] think about reiterating significant changes in one-on-ones, group settings, via email, and in passing. Change is scary, but the more people hear about something, the less scary it tends to be.

Jot 293 : Karl Hughes in A Day in the Life of an Engineering Manager, from Karl Hughes’s Site.
Jotted on the 25th of Nov 2020, at 22:20.

It is certainly the mark of the internet: email, chat forums, social media and comment threads have all engendered a culture of multiple exclamation mark usage and abusage. It’s really interesting!!! The more you use them, the more you need to use them!!!!!! The more you need to use them, the more you increasingly make no sense!!!!!!!!!!!

Jot 292 : Philip Cowell in What overusing exclamation marks says about you, from BBC Culture.
Jotted on the 10th of Nov 2020, at 16:30.

(A.) The map could be incorrect without us realizing it; (B.) The map is, by necessity, a reduction of the actual thing, a process in which you lose certain important information; and (C.) A map needs interpretation, a process that can cause major errors.

Jot 291 : Shane Parrish in The Map Is Not the Territory, from Farnam Street.
Jotted on the 26th of Oct 2020, at 11:30.

We can’t be afraid of a tale if no one lives to tell it. More survivors can make something seem more dangerous rather than less dangerous because the volume of stories makes them more memorable.

Jot 290 : Shane Parrish in What Sharks Can Teach Us About Survivorship Bias, from Farnam Street.
Jotted on the 26th of Oct 2020, at 11:20.

Using a custom element from the directory often needs to be preceded by a ritual of npm flugelhorn, import clownshoes, build quux, all completely unapologetically because “here is my truckload of dependencies, yeah, what”. Many steps are even omitted, likely because they are “obvious”.

Jot 289 : Lea Verou in The failed promise of Web Components, from Lea Verou’s Site.
Jotted on the 20th of Oct 2020, at 12:30.

Ads are digital goods. What else are ads? Spiritual goods? They are the digital good. They are what is driving the digital economy in the first place! And, yes, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on do have direct transactions built into the apps. And, no, they do not pay any fees to Apple for these in-app transactions.

Jotted on the 3rd of Oct 2020, at 11:50.

An option is something you can do but don’t have to do. All our product ideas are exactly that: options we may exercise in some future cycle—or never.

Jot 287 : Ryan Singer in Options, Not Roadmaps, from Signal v. Noise.
Jotted on the 25th of Sep 2020, at 14:30.

[…] it’s concerning that the Hoover Institute will freely give you Richard Epstein’s infamous article downplaying the threat of coronavirus, but Isaac Chotiner’s interview demolishing Epstein requires a monthly subscription, meaning that the lie is more accessible than its refutation.

Jot 286 : Nathan J. Robinson in The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free, from Current Affairs.
Jotted on the 11th of Sep 2020, at 11:05.

The result would be an asynchronous retrospective spread across multiple days in order for the team to collaboratively build off each others ideas and eventually come to an action plan without requiring anyone to wake up in the middle of the night to participate.

Jot 285 : Danny Varner in Distributed Retrospectives with Slack, from Danny Varner’s Site.
Jotted on the 8th of Sep 2020, at 16:00.

While we all hold an opinion on almost everything, how many of us do the work required to have an opinion?

Jot 284 : Shane Parrish in The Work Required to Have an Opinion, from Farnam Street.
Jotted on the 4th of Sep 2020, at 00:00.

Instead, consider a hundred years as a minimum threshold for long-term thinking. This is the current length of a long human lifespan, taking us beyond the ego boundary of our own mortality, so we begin to imagine futures that we can influence but not participate in ourselves.

Jot 283 : Roman Krznaric in Six Ways to Think Long-term: A Cognitive Toolkit for Good Ancestors, from The Long Now Foundation’s Blog.
Jotted on the 1st of Sep 2020, at 12:00.

Can stories reproduce? Well, yeah, not spontaneously, obviously—they tend to need people as vectors; we are the media in which they reproduce; we are their petri dishes—but they can, and they do.

Jot 282 : Neil Gaiman in How Stories Last, from The Long Now Foundation.
Jotted on the 20th of Aug 2020, at 00:30.

It’s not that you can’t do something it’s that unless you have literally done everything, you’re choosing not to because the price is too high. Stop lying to yourself.

Jotted on the 10th of Aug 2020, at 11:15.

The key is that the “green path” isn’t set out as a predictable trajectory. It is hacked out of the jungle as you go. You know you are going, are confident you can get there, but aren’t sure of exactly what issues will be encountered along the way.

Jot 280 : Mark Rosenthal in What is Good Product Strategy?, from The Lean Thinker.
Jotted on the 30th of Jul 2020, at 13:50.

When we lock ourselves into planning to build a set of features (ehem, Roadmaps), we rarely stop to question if those features are the right things to build to reach our goals.

Jot 279 : Melissa Perri in What is Good Product Strategy?, from Medium.
Jotted on the 30th of Jul 2020, at 13:30.

[…] Angry Alice only sees feedback from extremists, so she doesn’t receive more nuanced signals that might actually cause her to reflect on her behavior. If no reasonable people give feedback, only the unreasonable people are left. From Alice’s perspective, the only people who disagree with her are jerks.

Jot 278 : Devon Zuegel in The silence is deafening, from Devon Zuegel’s Site.
Jotted on the 21st of Jul 2020, at 14:50.

Bruce Leslie: […] he said in most traditional kind of set up superhero comic books, you have to think of the hero as the antagonist and the villain is the protagonist because it‘s the hero who‘s trying to defend the status quo while the villains trying to come in and rock the boat so to speak.

Jot 277 : Eric Molinsky in My So Called Evil Plan, from Imaginary Worlds.
Jotted on the 2nd of Jul 2020, at 23:25.

When society cannot enforce prosocial human behavior, the antisocial primate may come back into power. And thus the troll is created.

Jot 276 : Adam Bell in Why People Become Internet Trolls, from Adam Bell’s Site.
Jotted on the 24th of Jun 2020, at 00:10.

Melanie Mitchell: And this is something that comes up again and again in natural language processing systems, is that they don’t have the kind of knowledge about the world that we humans have and so they make mistakes.

Jot 275 : 99% Invisible in The ELIZA Effect, from 99% Invisible.
Jotted on the 23rd of Jun 2020, at 23:45.

Roman Mars: So if you ever see someone wandering around Stratford, carrying a pug and looking confused at their phone, don’t worry. They’re probably just chasing a ghost geotag on the hunt for the most Instagrammable wall in the world.

Jot 274 : 99% Invisible in Instant Gramification, from 99% Invisible.
Jotted on the 23rd of Jun 2020, at 00:00.

By using testing to avoid design by committee and focus stakeholders on the right assessment criteria, it almost guarantees a better design in the end.

Jot 273 : Paul Boag in How To Test A Design Concept For Effectiveness, from Smashing Magazine.
Jotted on the 18th of Jun 2020, at 12:10.

This kind of invisible, hidden labor, outsourced or crowdsourced, hidden behind interfaces and camouflaged within algorithmic processes is now commonplace, particularly in the process of tagging and labeling thousands of hours of digital archives for the sake of feeding the neural networks.

Jot 272 : Kate Crawford, Vladan Joler in Anatomy of an AI System, from Anatomy of an AI System.
Jotted on the 29th of May 2020, at 11:45.

Because the format of job stories includes contextual details, they are portable. In other words, a job story should make sense without having to know the larger JTBD landscape or job map. As a result, job stories have a more “plug-and-play” versatility that is often required for Agile designs and development teams.

Jot 271 : Jim Kalbach in Jobs to Be Done, from A List Apart.
Jotted on the 6th of May 2020, at 11:35.

Product managers should have an equivalent peer for engineering. Product managers should be accountable for the prioritization of work. Engineering managers should be accountable for the engineers’ execution, which includes being able to negotiate speed and quality tradeoffs with the product manager.

Jot 270 : Jeremiah Lee in Failed #SquadGoals, from Jeremiah Lee’s Site.
Jotted on the 6th of May 2020, at 11:35.

Relentlessly prune bullshit, don’t wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have. That’s what you do when life is short.

Jot 269 : Paul Graham in Life is Short, from YouTube.
Jotted on the 14th of Apr 2020, at 11:15.

If you’re struggling to come out with something new […], change the way you’re doing things and you’ll end up with a different result. Not only that, but have the courage to do so. I say courage, not confidence. Confidence comes from doing the same thing over and over and over and over again. It takes courage to change that.

Jot 268 : Mick Gordon in DOOM: Behind the Music, from YouTube.
Jotted on the 5th of Apr 2020, at 13:20.

We had this realization that basically, we had added a dimension, so the simplest strategy was take out a dimension, but take out different dimensions in some way.

Jot 267 : Andy Gavin, Ars Technica in How Crash Bandicoot Hacked The Original Playstation, from YouTube.
Jotted on the 31st of Mar 2020, at 11:10.

Howard Scott Warshaw: E.T. commits the ultimate video game sin: to disorient the user. And you have to understand the difference between frustration and disorientation, right? Frustration in a video game is essential. Right? A video game must frustrate a user, but you should never disorient them.

Jot 266 : 99% Invisible in The Worst Video Game Ever, from 99% Invisible.
Jotted on the 12th of Mar 2020, at 12:05.

Howard Scott Warshaw: I thought, you know, what I need to do is turn sleep into an asset. I would work until I ran into a problem. And then I would go to sleep.

Jot 265 : 99% Invisible in The Worst Video Game Ever, from 99% Invisible.
Jotted on the 12th of Mar 2020, at 12:00.

But the point of these phrases is to fill space. No matter where I’ve worked, it has always been obvious that if everyone agreed to use language in the way that it is normally used, which is to communicate, the workday would be two hours shorter.

Jotted on the 12th of Mar 2020, at 10:55.

The wider trend is known as the “privatisation of auditory space”, says Dr Tom Rice, a lecturer in sonic anthropology at Exeter University. “It’s often said in sound studies that we don’t have earlids. We don’t have any control over what drips into our ears and collects in them. Earphones are the closest we have to that.”

Jotted on the 3rd of Mar 2020, at 10:40.

Whether or not you immediately know its history, run away from any typeface that purports to represent an entire culture.

Jot 262 : Senongo Akpem in Cross-Cultural Design, from A List Apart.
Jotted on the 2nd of Mar 2020, at 10:40.

There’s this idea that output randomness essentially becomes input randomness for the next turn, because you’ll be dealing with the consequences of whatever just happened.

Jot 261 : Mark Brown in The Two Types of Random, from Game Maker’s Toolkit.
Jotted on the 20th of Jan 2020, at 23:20.

Modern society loves multi-tasking. The myth of multi-tasking is that being busy is synonymous with being better. The exact opposite is true. Having fewer priorities leads to better work. […] The reason is simple. You can’t be great at one task if you’re constantly dividing your time ten different ways.

Jotted on the 20th of Jan 2020, at 10:40.

When you don’t want to do something, you often build it up in your mind to be worse than it really is. But once you get started, you get to realistically appraise how long and hard the task is going to be.

Jot 259 : Anne-Laure Le Cunff in The ten minute rule of productivity, from Ness Labs.
Jotted on the 20th of Jan 2020, at 10:25.

A design manager’s energy is better spent overseeing the decisions behind the work setup and managing the teams themselves, unblocking members and bridging gaps across teams, not managing or owning the design output and strategy.

Jot 258 : Tanner Christensen in Where do IC designers go once they peak?, from Tanner Christensen’s Site.
Jotted on the 12th of Jan 2020, at 22:50.