Design Systems and the source of truth

An article, posted 6 months ago filed in atomic design, design, design system, system, css, html, components, @bradfrost, collaboration & work.

Some excerpts I created from the transcript of the Design System Podcast, hosted by Chris Strahl, which in Episode 11 featured Brad Frost and Evan Lovely.

Hand-over of comps

The traditional process starts with the design of comps, comps, non-interactive previews, which are generated by the design team and undergo a rigid design review process up to a design director or VP, and is only then passed on to the developers who need to implement that initially static comp pixel perfect. But Evan Lovely notes that while there is nothing wrong with comps, there is something wrong with mistaking it for the final product. That’s why he likes tools like pattern lab, storybook or knapsack, because they really allow someone to quickly mock up a comp that actually works within the final environment.

To some companies this is a problem; because the formal approva…

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Highlights from the Atomic Design book by Brad Frost

An article, posted 11 months ago filed in atomic design, design, design system, system, css, html, react, components, @bradfrost, organization, collaboration & work.

Since his talk at Fronteers I was interested in the thinking of Brad Frost, his blog posts, etc., but never actually read his book Atomic design until recently, as it got more and more relevant to an internal discussion at an organization I was working for. A few notes:

  • Most importantly, what it is not: Atomic Design is not about being a practical guide for implementing design systems (although it has some examples in Pattern Lab, which was originally built by him). I was also hoping it would also give guidance on naming things / structuring CSS when building atomic design based design systems, but it does not. But don’t mind, plenty of good content(!)
  • Atomic design sounds like an too obvious idea and while I didn’t dismiss it because of that, I realized I also didn’t try to understand it thoroughly enough. Reading the book helped me to better understand it and especially thinking about the intermediate forms (molecules) was actually despite its o…

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Wat een beetje murb al niet kan doen.

An article, posted more than 11 years ago filed in company, experience, interaction, product, user, verbeteren & work.

Mensen vragen mij wel eens wat ik doe. Zo’n gesprek loopt vaak uit in schaamte weglachende opmerkingen over dat zij ook zo veel moeite hebben met het gebruiken van de nieuwe apparatuur (veelal oudere mensen), waarop ik gelijk op kan reageren dat dat nou precies is waar ik mijn bijdrage denk te kunnen leveren. Jongere mensen reageren vaak zo van, uhuh… (ze zijn immers alleswetend) en beginnen over coole gadgets, waarna ze in de loop van het gesprek er ook achter komen dat de techniek toch eigenlijk niet zo werkt zoals ze wilden dat die zou werken. Techniek frustreert toch nog steeds te vaak. En dan kan dat ene apparaat wel perfect werken, toch moet er vaak ook informatie van het ene apparaat (lees ook b.v. software) naar het andere apparaat. En daar gaat het, ondanks dat we in dit moderne leven zo vaak informatie uitwisselen, nog vaak mis.Dus. Wat kan ik voor uw organisatie betekenen? Wel, volgens mij kan
een bedrijf op de lange termijn alleen maar succes…

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Why I stopped using OpenOffice.org

An article, posted more than 11 years ago filed in ipad, work, app, internet, mac, office, openoffice.org, productivity & simplicity.

As promised. There was a time when I was a true OpenOffice.org fanatic. I even helped actively promoting it by redesigning the homepage . Although I'm still a fan of opensource and open document
storage which ideally should lead to a world in which anyone can use
open software and exchange documents freely without any barriers. Still, I'm no longer typing this in opensource software. I'm typing this in Google -how evil- Docs (update may 2017: Google Docs has been replaced by Apple's notes and iAWriter / Notational Velocity, the latter being markdown based).

It's not that I'm a big fan of Google Docs, but it makes a difference that OpenOffice.org, and other Office systems for that matter, aren't able to make. Not stand alone, nor in a usable way in combination with a proper operating system:

  • Relieving me from worrying about storage
  • Boot insanely fast (…

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"CBS, Ork ork ork ork, soep eet je met een..."

An article, posted almost 13 years ago filed in experience, work, science, interview, questionaire, statistics & volunteer.

In Dutch, there is a small joke that people tell to children: "ork ork ork, soep eetje met een…" (which translates to: "ork ork ork, you eat soup using a…" Most children will initially say 'vork' ('fork'), but of course the right answer is 'lepel' ('spoon')… and while most children know this, most answer incorrectly. The example above is a typical example of how order of presentation can influence an answer in a questionnaire.

Not so long ago I was phoned by a representative of the Dutch bureau of statistics, CBS. It was an interview about the volunteer work and my willingness to do more. After about 6 or 8 questions, like "Do you volunteer in work for a sports society?", "Do you volunteer in work for elderly? " … etc., a question was asked whether I'd like to do more volunteer work. Well, hell yes! I was feeling guilty after having answered so many times 'no' to 'little' to each of the questions she was asking. Yes, I think everyone has a responsibi…

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My first JSF: Stateless vs. stateful

An article, posted about 13 years ago filed in web, design, work, frameworks, java, jsf, programming, stateful & stateless.

I've started working in a company that creates web applications. I discovered a new way of looking at websites, that of websites as an application…."Hello, have you been sleeping? Wasn't 'RIA' (Rich Internet Application) one of the buzzwords (a few years ago)?"Yes yes yes, but only recently I found out that the application view differs quite a lot from the view, my initial view, that websites are in essence only a source of information. In my opinion, information should be bookmarkable (and thus be unaffected by the state of things; stateless). But what about applications running on the web, which are essentially still sites on the world wide web?JSF, a tool I only recently started working with is a tool that is focussed at creating webapplications… and it definitly seems to prefer the stateful approach in creating such web applications (the resulting html pages rely on a session managing the state of things). Originally, I found the output of JSF rather …

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Working @ the Bean machine

An article, posted about 13 years ago filed in experience, design, interaction, work & scrum.

For little over a month, I'm working at a start up named 'the Bean Machine' based in Enschede, The Netherlands. It's a fresh new startup with a clear vision on project management: doing it with scrum. So if you were wondering where murb is hanging out, its over there. My ideas about agile development and how my passion of user experience/interaction design can be integrated in this development method are mainly posted at the beanblog (sorry, in Dutch only). I will try to post the interesting things on this blog as well… especially when I'm at a stage that I can really share best practices (I'm still learning).

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[PREVIEW] Stories of Life project

An article, posted more than 13 years ago filed in work, freelance, imagineic & stories_of_life.

For some time now, I have been working on converting an old final year's project (that I did at the EMMA programme at the Utrecht School of Arts) to the web. It is the so called 'Levensverhalen' project (or 'Stories of Life', in English). It is now time for a pre-launch, to make sure nothing is severely broken. So please have a look at: http://www.imagineic.nl/levensverhalen/.Note that this site relies heavily on Windows Media. Although it was not my video format of choice, hosting in this format was offered to us for free via the Dutch Institute for Image and Sound. Additionally, non-Dutch visitors should be warned that, although the interface mainly icon based, subtitles are only offered in Dutch. Immigrants were allowed to speak in their native language.The website should work on all popular browsers running Windows or Mac OS X, with the proper codecs installed. The main challenge was to convert the Macromedia Director based offline front end to something …

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The refreshed OpenOffice.org website

An article, posted more than 13 years ago filed in web, design, work, openoffice.org & opensource.

Sometimes you need an excuse for not doing the work you should be working on. I should be working fulltime+ on my graduation project, but I can't, my Excuse is the new OpenOffice.org website

I joined the guys at the dev@website.openoffice.org mailinglist (well, never left them really, just started to reply again), and it was clear that there was work to be done. The previous website, which I had designed, was getting outdated. And not only that… Although the previous site was a necessary step to make, it has never been a great step. It was the result of endless debates between 'dev'ers' and people, like me, who wanted to turn it more into a promotion website. Anyhow, compromises never lead to great design… so it was time for a new one. Also I never think of myself as a graphic designer, Ivan Miskovic is a much better graphic designer than I am. For now I'll leave you with the original posting at OOo news (always good for your ego, isn't it?):

Led by M…

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