Tagged: inspiration

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What I learnt today: framed thinking

Today I came across this tweet from @StarbucksUK:

I really like this clever use of the false frame illusion and I realised, how often I tend to “think” in frames and boxes. I suppose writing CSS and dealing with the box model for a couple of years somehow clouds the view for design delighters like this one. I’ll have to remind myself not to think in boxes and frames all the time. At least that’s what I learnt today.

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Indie Web Camp Brighton 2015

When I booked the flights for Indie Web Camp in Brighton, I couldn’t wait for it to happen. After attending my first Indie Web Camp in Düsseldorf, I was curious what to expect this time.

It has been such an inspiring weekend. There were lots of interesting discussions like sharing location data and checkins, security issues concerning webmentions and how to make publishing on the web easier for people that are just starting out – a subject that I’m particularly interested in.

But what struck me most this time was the beauty of simplicity that the basic building blocks of the indie web are built upon. Instead of reinventing the wheel, things like microformats and webmentions use already existing tools and techniques like classes in HTML and HTTP requests to enhance the functionality of our websites. As a result, these things are really easy to implement and in my opinion it’s that pure simplicity which makes these things so powerful.

Being in a room with people who also care about this stuff for two days is both encouraging and inspiring. Getting people interested and helping each other out is key to move the indie web forward. Jeremy and Charlotte were even thinking about some kind of regular meetup in the spirit of the Homebrew Website Club.

I’ve also been inspired to have similar regular meetups in Germany and maybe someday even an Indie Web Camp in Heidelberg. I’m leaving Brighton this afternoon, full of ideas and things to do.

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What I learnt today: learning happens everyday

In a recent episode of the unfinished business podcast, Andy Clarke is joined by Jeffrey Zeldman and Jeremy Keith to talk about writing on the web. Jeremy explains his 100 words project and stresses the importance of writing for yourself on your own website. They also touch briefly on the subject of learning and how we sometimes feel we stagnate in learning new things.

This very inspiring conversation got me thinking. To be honest, I’ve been guilty of holding back and self-censorship when it came to writing, although I’ve always wanted to write more. And the reasons are always the same: either I thought the subject I was going to write about wasn’t interesting enough, or I assumed someone else had already written about it.

But when it comes to learning, I don’t really have the feeling of stagnation. Although I’ve been working in web design and development for about 8 years now, I’m picking up new things every day – not to mention the stuff I’m learning outside of work.

I think it really depends on what we define as learning. If we’re talking about picking up a new skill then sure, we don’t learn new things everyday, simply because it usually takes more than one day to do something completely new with confidence. But for me, learning is much more than familiarizing myself with a new technique. In it’s essence, I see learning as a gaining of knowledge. I think people are constantly learning new things, however small they may be, but they’re not really aware of it anymore.

To overcome one issue and appreciate the other, I decided to write about the things I learn everyday. This may be something web design or development related or something completely different. The point is, to recognise that learning happens every day and to be conscious of it.

And that’s what I learnt today.

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Beyond Tellerrand 2015

I first came across Beyond Tellerrand because of a video of Andy Clarke’s talk in Berlin 2014. Since I also heard him recommend the conference on his podcast unfinished business, I was really excited to attend this year.

First of all, it just blows my mind how much attention to detail is spent on every aspect of this event. Everything is taken care of and you feel very welcome and well looked after.

Marc Thiele is organizing the conference on his own, which— after the two days I’ve spent here—seemed to me like a Herculean task. But as he mentioned in his opening statement: he does it just because he loves doing it. And I’m sure everyone who was lucky enough to have been here wouldn’t have the slightest doubt about that. Just amazing.

The selection of the speakers couldn’t have been better. The wide range of topics was just incredible and I enjoyed every single talk.

For me, the most interesting notion of the last two days was to take a step back and look at the basic building blocks the web is made of and—even more important—why that is the case. A notion of quality over quantity – not running after the latest innovation but instead building and caring about something that’s here to stay. In that regard, the talks of Jeremy Keith and Christian Heilmann stood out for me.

I enjoyed the more “techy” talks as well, like Sara Soueidan’s take on common problems with SVG or Scott Jehl’s approach to deliver sites responsibly. And Petro Salema’s talk about our attention capacity in an ever increasing stream of notifications and stuff thrown at us by digital platforms was just mind-bending.

I’m leaving Düsseldorf tomorrow morning, fueled with stuff to think about. And I wouldn’t hesitate a second to come and attend Beyond Tellerrand again!