Hello, world.

I make things for the cyber and the hoomans.

May 21, 2017 · Post

Codebase update

For a long time, my site was built using Bootstrap (1 or 2, can’t remember) and Jekyll/Github Pages. Well, I finally got around to overhauling my codebase to lean things up – and switched to Foundation!

February 05, 2017 · Post

Brand colors don’t need to be your UI palette

A lot of people think that the interface for their product needs to use the same colors as their brand. In reality, the color palette used for a brand (logo, etc) has different goals from a UI, and being forced to use the same palette can be limiting and have unintended consequences.

February 02, 2017 · Video

Sparring with Ambition

I often say that I wish this video had been around when I first started my design journey. There have been several low points in my career where, instead of being inspired by good work, I was discouraged – thinking my abilities would never match my taste.

October 27, 2016 · Post

Filtering ideas and inspiration

I was listening to a conversation (eavesdropping) about inspiration and thought to myself, “Does inspiration happen more frequently when you’re not as experienced at your craft because it’s easy to have lots of bad ideas?” Then, as you grow in experience and craft, inspiration happens less frequently – not because you’re having less ideas, or a decrease in inspiration, but because your brain is less receptive to bad ideas. It filters through the cruft more efficiently and rejects the bad ideas before you’ve had a chance to even register them.

September 14, 2016 · Post

Fighting Flies

I’m always turned off by the way some MMA fighters gloat over their opponents when they get a submission, TKO, or KO. I always think “Have some humility and respect for your opponent!”

October 01, 2015 · Post

Designers don't (just) make things pretty

In some ways, this post is definitely a rant. It’s about being frustrated by (what seems like) an industry-wide misperception. As a designer, but my job isn’t to make things pretty. My job is to make sure users are delighted by the product, app, or website that I’ve worked on. It’s to make software that’s humanly relatable.

July 05, 2015 · Post

Notes: Customizing My Ruby Environment on OS X

This post is as much a note for myself as it is sharing my setup and experiences with others.

December 27, 2014 · Post

Book and Audiobook List for 2014

I almost kept my New Years resolution for 2014: read a lot more fiction, and read a couple of books about design. I nailed the fiction part. I only partially read some books about design.

May 03, 2014 · Post

Password Friction

We’ve all dealt with this: Horrifying password creation experiences. I was trying to set up an account with a service that’s mandatory for me to use… I followed their instructions for setting up a password, but this error message came up each of the 7 times I tried submitting the form:

January 20, 2014 · Post

Scientist, or Artist?

So a friend and I walk into Press Coffee, which is spectacularly close to the 29th Drive office. While waiting in line, an older gentleman notices my beard, which at this point is long enough to attract attention. Now, it was quite noisy, and this gentleman had an accent which made him hard to understand at first. I’m quite American in that I only fluently speak American English, so accents are sometimes impossible for me to understand (Never mind the fact that my hearing has been damaged from far too many Punk Rock shows in my youth). He commented on my beard, and since I couldn’t quite understand, I replied with “Oh, thank you.”

January 04, 2014 · Post

I Can't Read This

The Starbucks app for Android has it’s fair share of issues, but the worst I’ve found is when you log out of the app. I might be wrong, but it looks like some kind of character encoding issue.

December 20, 2013 · Post

This Is Not a Touchscreen

Here’s another UI fail… Windows 8, running in VMWare Fusion, insists that my iMac is a touchscreen device. It’s impossible to dismiss this dialog without restarting, and eventually it shows up again. Go home, Windows. You’re drunk.



Paul Van Tuyl's Gravatar

Trying to balance craftsmanship with minimum loveable product on the daily. Design Team Lead at Tallwave. More info