Bookmark Beat: EP 19

New year, new me!

It's been four months since my last newsletter. For those who just recently subscribed, you probably didn't notice… but I know a lot of you early subscribers did! So thanks for sticking with me. I've done a bit of reflecting and decided that it's time to recommit to staying on beat. (If you're just here for the bookmarks, feel free to skip to the first header)

First off, a bit of a change to the format. In the past 18 EPs of this blog, I've tried to string together all the bookmarks into one cohesive narrative. This sometimes led to buried links, stretches to string unrelated bookmarks together or even just pushing me to write something that I wasn't super excited to write about.

From now on, all the links will come in the first section! Some of them will have a bit of a commentary as to why I picked them out of my bookmarks, others will just be the link.

Secondly, about the cadence. I'll admit that promising a weekly newsletter with a full-time job, a bunch of active art projects and a family was maybe a bad idea to start… but I don't think making this newsletter a “if I have time” thing is a good idea either.

Going forward, I'm committing to releasing at least one post a month. That might mean one at the end of the month and one at the beginning of the next - or maybe just about four weeks apart this time. Despite attempting to choose links that should stand the test of time, being somewhat timely is pretty important on the internet. And I can do monthly.

What won't change: the puns. If you came here for the music jokes, I'll keep ‘em coming. Music puns are the key to a good laugh (okay, that one was bad. I'm sorry)!

Want to know what podcasts and music I'm listening to? Or maybe you just prefer more frequent updates on my latest bookmarks… if so, check out the “I am” page on my website.

If you'd like to receive updates whenever I write this newsletter, you can do that by subscribing on Substack 📬

“A” Section: This Month's Bookmarks

Design & Product Building

  • Pairing for Designers by Mariko Frost. A good reminder that the best way to learn and do is (usually) together.
  • The Pivotal Labs Practices Site is back online and more accessible than ever! These phenomenal resources on how to start and succeed in any software project was graciously saved from the potential corporate sinkhole of the VMware/Broadcom acquisition.
  • Seeing Interview Structures by Lisa Koeman. This is an absolute must-read if you do any sort of structured interview. Whether you talk to users, stakeholders or journalistic sources, it's worth taking a step back and thinking about the tradeoffs in your lines of inquiry.
  • ASPECTSS* Architecture For Autism are principles for designs spaces that incorporate the needs of autistic folks. If you'd like to learn more, I highly recommend this episode from 99 Percent Invisible.



Music & Games


  • How much electricity does AI consume? by James Vincent. AITA for citing this during the Q&A section of a conference talk about AI?
  • Building reliable systems out of unreliable agents by Maciej Gryka. I've been prototyping and building quite a few new products based on AI lately. Maciej has articulated how I've been thinking about the design of an AI-based product better than I ever could.
  • People + AI Guidebook for a less-technical guide (compared to the link above), Google's team has been capturing patterns, practices and problems with building products with AI.
  • Fable Prism is terrifying and I don't like it.

“B” Section: Making room for thought

As I mentioned at the top of this EP, I've tried not to string everything together into one huge narrative. Reading through this new bulleted format, I can definitely say I like this approach more. And yet, I still feel like this curated list of links tells a story.

Over the past few months, I've obviously been interested in the way designers are involved in building products. Most notably, I'm still trying to wrap my head around where my role as a designer might fit into a team who is focused on building AI tools. Should I be writing prompts as well as interface copy? Do I need to understand all the underlying details of the models the same way I've tried to understand how CSS, HTML and JavaScript work? I'm still not sure…

And, of course, I'm still interested in (vegetarian) food, music, video games and the way society is changing since the advent of the internet. I'm glad I can share more of these interests in this new format and don't have to stretch (or write thousands of words) just to connect the dots between them all.

Coda: Books I'm reading

I've heard y'all still like to know what books I've read. There were a lot in the last four months, so here's just some highlights:

That's it for this Bookmark Beat! Thanks everyone for all the feedback on the previous EPs. I promise not to leave you hanging for too long again!

Catch ya next beat 🥁😎🥁