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The Jounce Cahier

Cahier: (kä-yā) a loosely bound notebook or pamphlet, or a report of some kind (french)

The cahier is my spot for writing opinions, reviews, thoughts, etc. It largely covers topics dealing with user experience, the DC web community, and the like. Yeah, it's just a blog.

Avatar of M. Jackson Wilkinson

I'm M. Jackson Wilkinson, a technologist, designer, speaker, educator, and writer in San Francisco. I'm the Founder of Kinsights. I'm from Philadelphia, went to Bowdoin College in Maine, root for the Phillies, and love to sing.

Consider the Product

The best thing about product design is its inherent contradiction. The best products think of everything, but at the same time, they’re focused on exactly one thing. If you can wrangle that, you’re almost there.

The Shackles of Simplicity

Though simplicity is the darling of the web, we’ve now long outgrown it. Life is complex, and tools to conquer life’s complexity need to instead embrace it, rather than ignore it.

Far from the Shore

Incremental improvement is the shoreline of safety: if you can see it, you’re sure to be okay, but you won’t be discovering any new oceans. Google and Apple are willing to move away from that shore and explore the risks and reward potential of innovation. Microsoft? Not so much.

Playing to the Strengths of the Academy

Society should have learned from experience that trying to make academia do what industry wants it to do seldom works in the long-term. By concentrating our resources on providing and embracing a career path that doesn’t require moving mountains, we create a stronger work force and a stronger, more multi-talented industry.

There’s No Meaning in “Multimedia”

It’s easy to see why it’s become common practice: your organization (business, blog, whatever) builds a site, and your initial focus is on text content, since that’s what you’re used to producing. At some point, you start to expand into other media types like audio, video, slides, etc. So now you’ve got this text-centric site and this existing or potential load of content in some other format, and the question appears: where does all this stuff go? One hint: it’s not the “Multimedia,” “Audio,” “Video,” or “Podcast” sections.

Change

Two weeks post-launch of my new design, I take a moment to look at how well Savoy, HTML5, and my new strategies have worked out. Some good stuff, some not-so-good stuff.

Inside Out Design

If you’re spending your time designing for the homepage first, you may be sacrificing your time and your design’s quality in the process. I talk about “inside out” design and how it can help you as a designer and your client’s budget in the process.