Doctor Ivo Robotnik

Drawing of Doctor Robotnik

I’m not sure why, but I recently started sketching villains from classic video games. This was the first, drawn absent-mindedly while looking at a classic Robotnik figure that sits on my desk.

Feature Queries Follow-Up

Back in February (eons ago in internet time), I brainstormed a possible alternative to vendor prefixes I called feature queries. After receiving a collective “meh” from my close collaborators, I assumed the idea was a misfire. Perhaps it was too verbose, too repetitive, or maybe it missed the point entirely. I accepted the concept’s shortcomings and moved on.

So imagine my surprise when I saw Stuff and Nonsense link to a Chris Mills post titled “Native CSS feature detection via the @supports rule.” A brief excerpt:

This article looks at the CSS @supports rule, part of the CSS3 Conditional Rules Module Level 3, which provides a perfect mechanism for selectively applying CSS based on feature support.

Here’s how this “perfect mechanism” works:

@supports (display:flex) {
    section { display: flex }
}
@supports not (display:flex) {
    section { float: left }
}

Looks familiar, right? I got the name wrong, my query syntax was shorter (but less straightforward) and I failed to consider operators (as detailed in the aforelinked post), but otherwise my “feature queries” came surprisingly close to the real thing.

To be clear, I’m not saying my post inspired the contents of the W3C’s working draft for this module. That would be presumptuous.

What I am saying is that I clearly possess a very specific kind of clairvoyance. With that in mind, I’d like to make a few more CSS “proposals”…

  • A new value for the font-smoothing property, use-common-sense-to-render-predictably.

  • The pill: red rule, which would specify that targeted elements are ready to face the painful truth of reality. (Default value would be blue to avoid freeing users of outdated browsers.)

  • The @pizza mechanism would reward designer-developers for well-written styles with delicious, piping-hot pizza delivered right to their door.

Your move, W3C.

I’ll be discussing team management at PDX Interactive tomorrow

PDX Interactive is hosting “An Open Discussion on Managing Interactive Teams” at The Art Institute of Portland tomorrow night at 7pm. I’ll be on a panel with folks from McAfee, The Good and SuperStar Media to chat about our experiences as managers of interaction-minded people. Admission is free (yay!).

I started managing designers in an agency environment with large, corporate clients. I recently transitioned to a remote position at a stealth startup, working on products with collaborators who are often thousands of miles away. The shift has reinforced some of my preconceptions about creative leadership while disrupting others. I’m excited to discuss the topic.

(I’ve heard through the grapevine that the moderator will be Dan Chapman, who was one of my professors in college. He taught me how to make my first prototypes for Ramps. So, bonus positive vibes.)

Event info and RSVP

Lotsa Blocks, my second game for iOS, is available now!

Man, what a crazy year! I got married, started a new opportunity and, as of today, launched the second game from Backabit, Lotsa Blocks. You can buy it for your iPhone or iPad right now!

We started working on Lotsa Blocks around the time we were finishing the universal update for Ramps. Our intention was to make this a much smaller game, something we could finish in about three months. Once we got into it, we were having too much fun to hold ourselves back! In the end, I designed about 278% more design assets for Lotsa Blocks than I did for Ramps. This one really stretched my cartooning muscles! You can take a peek at that process on Dribbble.

Like Ramps, we really made this game for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want others to dig it. Please give it a try and let us know what you think.

If you’d like to see the game in action and hear a bit of the thought that went into it, Tim posted this nifty hands-on video on the Backabit blog earlier this week:

Something new!

Today I say “au revoir” to Waggener Edstrom’s digital services design team. Starting Monday, I’ll be Lead Creative Designer at a shiny new startup building nifty apps for mobile platforms and the web.

The past three years have been incredibly rewarding. I gained a ton of experience working on a variety of different projects with many different clients. I learned how to provide leadership and creative direction while maintaining my role as a contributing designer, a notoriously difficult balance to strike. Most of all, I benefited from the talents and personalities of my collaborators… without a doubt, one of the best teams I’ve ever had. Thank you for such a wonderful journey.

This new opportunity will allow me to focus on designing for iOS, Android and the web while combining my interests in interface design and character animation. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and I’m excited to show what we’re cooking up in the coming months.

If that sounds fun to you, too, we’re hiring.