“Geeks are a very large and influential market. As one big example, if not for geeks, Firefox would never have started to catch on in 2004 and broken Internet Explorer’s reign. We installed Firefox on every non-geek’s computer we could find. And while we were there, we set everyone’s search engine to Google instead of Yahoo or MSN, and we made fun of their AOL email addresses until they switched to Gmail. Our preferences matter.”
– Marco Arment, It’s not just the geeks like us
- A singular ha is the smallest amount of jocularity that retains the properties of laughter. It is the atomic level of laughing. Used infrequently to indicating grudging laughter, such as from an unfunny joke delivered by one’s employer, or when the typist is upset but forced to concede the source material is funny.
- Like the atomic ha, heh indicates the lowest levels of amusement, but unlike the frequently reluctant ha, heh indicates honest enjoyment, albeit a small amount.
- The most common form used, haha communicates that something is genuinely funny. It can be assumed that this is a quiet, inward enjoyment. If you could see the typist, they would likely be smiling, but not laughing out loud.
- Similar to haha, hehe is used to indicate general amusement, though perhaps declining. Useful when a friend has been saying funny things for awhile, but the typist is losing interest and needs to get back to work. [ref. Figure 1]
- Infrequently used by men, since it seems feminine. Primarily used in reaction to titillating source material or imitating schoolgirls.
- Used when a joke is unreservedly funny, often as an escalation from an earlier use of haha to indicate a greater level of enjoyment.
- Anything over four ‘ha‘s is equivalent, and represents uncontrolled laughter, frequently audible.
- Although it technically stands for “laughing out loud,” use of lol frequently indicates the opposite. Due to early overuse on the internet, lol is now often used ironically, or as a general shorthand for mocking laughter.
- Used exclusively for laughing at memes.
I’ve just finished reading the latest short book from the A Book Apart series. It’s called Design is a Job, by Mike Monteiro. Mike is the owner of Mule Design, though if you’ve heard of him, it’s probably from his ascerbic twitter account, @Mike_FTW. Even more likely, you saw the video of a talk he gave about the importance of having a contract before you do any work, titled “Fuck You, Pay Me.” If you haven’t seen it, drop everything and go watch it now.
First thing first: If you’re already dismissing this review with “I don’t have time to read a book,” know that this book is only 130 pages long. You can read it in just a few bus rides. It costs $18, or you can just come borrow the copy that’s on my desk. (I’m not kidding, please do borrow it, I’ll be thrilled you’re reading it.)
Second thing: If you’re dismissing the book because you’re not a designer, you should know that this book isn’t really about design. It’s about how to be a professional in the design community. It is about how to interact with clients, and how to avoid getting burned when things go wrong. It’s about why clients behave the way they do, and what you can do to keep things going smoothly. It’s aimed at designers, but the lessons apply to everyone. I guarantee that everyone in the sales department will benefit from reading this book just as much as everyone in the development pit.
Here’s a brief quote:
I am tired of seeing you get your ass kicked because no one taught you better. I am tired of you not getting paid. I am tired of you working nights and weekends. I am tired of you doing spec work because someone has convinced you it will look good in your portfolio. I am tired of you sitting by and hoping the work sells itself.
So I wrote you a book. It has a spine, and by the time you’re done reading, so will you.
Companies love talking a studio out of the process that got them to hire them. Which is akin to signing Roy Halladay and then asking him to play the outfield. (Yes, it’s a baseball metaphor — I’ll walk you through it.) Roy Halladay is possibly the greatest pitcher of his generation. He’d be a terrible outfielder. But imagine some VP in the organization decided that since they’d just sunk a lot of money into signing him, they’d better get the most use out of him. So they should put him at a position that plays every day, instead of having him pitch. (Starting pitchers go once every five days.) In this metaphor baseball is standing in for design and the stupid VP is still the stupid VP.
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. It’s a quick read, and it’s funny. As you’ve no doubt noticed, Mike writes in a very conversational style, with a liberal sprinkling of curse words. The overall tone is that of a seasoned veteran sharing his hard-earned life lessons. Mike has made all the mistakes he writes about, and he wants to help you avoid them.
In a nutshell, this book will make you better at your job.
I just stumbled across a cache of notes for a blog post I never wrote. It was crammed full of funny things my then-three-year-old daughter was saying. Here they are for posterity’s sake.
“Mama, don’t whine.”
“What are we gonna do today? We can go to the mall, or the zoo or OMSI. OMSI is a great place. OMSI even has bathrooms!”
There’s a note here that just reads “I smell like…” which was how Zoe announced that she smelled something for a long time. If I gave her a kiss after eating some candy, she’d say “I smell like chocolate.”
Zoe: “Tonight I’m going to dream about being a stop sign.”
Me: “What’s it like being a stop sign?”
Zoe: “Stopping people.”
“Santa has a gun in his pocket, so he can shoot down the chimney real fast.”
Zoe: “I want some chapstick, Momma!”
Annie: “Zoe, no, hang on, do you know what we’re doing right now?”
“I want to play a game.”
[Uncle Sean turns on a card game on the ipad]
“No, I don’t want that game, that’s a grown-up game. I want to play Plants versus Zombies.”
A couple weeks ago, I gathered my coworkers in the big conference room for a design critique. Instead of reviewing one of our own projects, however, I put up the websites for each of the current candidates for president. The process was fun, but also illuminating. It quickly became clear that in addition to overall aesthetics, political design carries its own set of considerations. Keep reading…