A week later than planned (sorry,) on this week’s Unfinished Business, I’m joined by returning special guest, designer Dan Edwards. And because you wait all day and then two Dans come along at once, joining us is creative director, founder and director of the SuperFriendly agency in Philadelphia, Daniel (the Dan) Mall. We talk about plans for the next Geek Mental Help week in October first. Then, because I’m currently deep into a redesign of Stuff & Nonsense, why working on your own site always feel harder than working on a client sites. We discuss using our portfolios to attract the ‘right’ type of projects and if case studies are the best way to demonstrate what we do.
I’ve been looking forward to speaking with Cennydd Bowles for months and for Unfinished Business 113, Cennydd joins me and my other special guest, product designer Noah Stokes. We kick off by talking about Richard Rutter’s web typography book, but soon the conversation switches to whether, and why, current web designs are lacking ‘soul.’ This is something Noah and I have been speaking and writing over recent months and something that I partly blame on our fixation with user-experience and product design. Does Cennydd agree? You‘ll have to listen to the show to find out.
I want Unfinished Business to be, above all, entertaining and it makes me incredibly happy when entertainers take time to talk to me. This week, and after literally months of trying to set this up, my very special guest on Unfinished Business episode 112 is, actor, comedian, star of Vic and Bob’s ‘House Of Fools,’ Ellie White.
We start by talking about spice jars and car boot (garage) sales, but unsurprisingly our conversation soon veers wildly off topic as we discuss how Aaron’s struggling to keep up with demands on his time, how designers can make money selling merchandise and more, much, much more. If you know either Aaron or Brendan, you’ll also know that you’re in for a fast-paced, fun-filled sixty minutes.
This week at Smashing Conference in New York, I had the very great pleasure of meeting Chris Lilley. I recognised Chris’ name, but it took me a day to remember that he had been the chairman of the ‘Style and Formatting Properties Working Group’ at the W3C, a precursor to the CSS Working Group. Chris is a hugely important person in the history of the web.
When we were in Australia earlier this year, we stopped in Sydney to speak at John Allsopp’s Respond Conference and to teach a workshop. A few weeks before those events, John emailed me:
The folks at SydCSS are fantastic supporters of our events, and last year we did a couple of shared events with them. I’ve dobbed you and I to do a short presentation (it will be the night of Respond.)
Last week was Jeffrey Zeldman’s website’s 20th birthday, so this week he joins me and Jeremy Keith on Unfinished Business 110 to talk about the anniversary. We start by discussing Jeremy’s 100 words for 100 days writing project and how it’s inspired me to change the way that I think about writing on our blog and posting to our portfolio. We talk about the importance of writing for yourself as well as for others and why writing on your own website is important. With it being the twentieth anniversary of Jeffrey’s own site, we also talk about whether it’s important to archive older designs for posterity.
Oh, and please don’t skip this week’s after show segment as boy-oh-boy (girl-oh-girl, man-oh-man, woman-oh-woman) do the sparks fly! We discuss Mad Men, Mad Max and whether advertising can ever be considered as important as a book or a film and, let’s just say, things get very heated.
I’ve always enjoyed attending the Shropgeek (R)Evolution events in the past and been slightly jealous of the people that Kirsty’s asked to speak. This year, I couldn’t be happier that she’s asked me to do the final talk of the final (R)Evolution conference on September 25th in beautiful Shrewsbury.
I imagine if I told people in advance that I was talking to director of UX at MailChimp Aarron Walter and Founder of User Interface Engineering Jared Spool on Unfinished Business this week, they’d imagine we’d talk about user experience design and possibly education. Instead, they and I talk about action figures and Action Man and whether fighting Nazis is cooler than fighting aliens.
Fresh from our adventures at Smashing Conference in Santa Monica, on this week’s Unfinished Business I’m joined by user-experience professional, author (of some CSS book or another) and director at ClearLeft, Andy Budd. Joining us was one of my favourite people; designer, author and founder of Authentic Jobs, Cameron Moll.
I know very few people who curate better conference line-ups than Marc Thiele and I was proud to speak at his first event in Berlin last year. It’s great that he’s written up how he thinks about conference schedules so that hopefully others can learn from him.
I’ve been enjoying—and a little jealous of how he can write every day— Jeremy Keith’s 100 words series. Today he wrote about A List Apart’s 15 Years of Dao and I could not agree more with what he said here:
I fear that today we run the risk of treating web development no different to other kinds of software development, ignoring the strengths of the web that John highlighted for us. Flexibility, ubiquity, and uncertainty: don’t fight them as bugs; embrace them as features.
Also, as I said in 2006 at John’s Web Directions conference, “the web is not a power drill.”
It’s amazing to think that John Allsopp’s oft-quoted article, A Dao of Web Design was published fifteen years ago today. A List Apart asked me what John’s article means to me now, but rather than focus on Dao’s flexible design principles, I wanted to talk about a passage that never seems to get a mention.
I have more than a soft spot for Australia. It’s where I’d live if that were possible and where I can see myself retiring to in, you know, twenty or so years. Luckily, I’m going back to Australia long before that, this March in fact, to speak at the fabulous Respond conference and to take my CSS For Responsive Web Design workshop on the road to Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, as well as Sydney itself.
If you’re a fan of my Unfinished Business podcast, you’ve only a few more weeks to wait until the next episode. It will be back (with episode 101) on the ninth of February and when it does, things will be a little different.
I care a lot about the things that I use everyday. I need them to be the nicest that I can buy, or at least afford. This means that I care a lot about my computer, phone and the sleeves I keep them safe in. I also care about the pen I write with and most recently about the mug I drink from every day.
I know that my taste in country music’s mainstream. Mainstream enough that some country aficionados might criticise my ‘this Englishman’s’ lists for not straying far enough from the top of the country charts. The truth is, I like catchy country pop, and while next year I will try harder to discover music that’s further from the stereotypical southern dirt road, this year I’m happy to listen to songs about beer, cut-off jeans and cowboy boots, fishing in lakes and trucks and tractors.
This week is the one-hundredth episode of Unfinished Business and who better to join me than the person who helped me start it all, almost two years ago, Anna Debenham. We celebrate by talking about what went right and wrong in 2014 and our resolutions for 2015. Then we talk about meetings and how we can improve them.
This being the final episode of the year, I’d like to say an enormous thank-you to everyone I’ve spoken to on Unfinished Business, this year: Ashley Baxter, Benjamin Hollway, Brendan Dawes, Christopher Murphy, Cole Henley, Clare Symons, Harry Roberts, Jeremy Keith, John Davey, Jon Hicks, Jory Raphael, Laura Kalbag, Liz Elcoate, Paul Boag, Rachel Andrew, Relly Annett-Baker, Sara Souidan, Sean Johnson and Trent Walton.
I’d also like to say thank-you to all the companies who’ve helped make Unfinished Business possible through their sponsorship. Antetype, BigBoard, dConstruct, DeviceLab, DotYork, Espresso, GatherContent, Ghostlab, Forge, Hover, Logical Elements, Native Summit, ShropGeek, Simply FixIt and Shopify. I want to say a special thanks to Perch and Perch Runway for supporting the show from our very first episode. Please continue to support Unfinished Business by supporting them.
Unfinished Business will be back in February 2015 and I hope you’ll all join me then. Until then, thanks for listening and I’d like to wish everyone a happy Christmas holiday and a prosperous new year.
On the penultimate episode of Unfinished Business of 2014, I’m joined by my design hero Trent Walton to talk about if an integrated responsive design and development workflow makes working out what and how to charge more difficult. We discuss Paravel, the three person studio that he helps run, how their business works, how they charge and if they negotiate on price. Of course, this being Unfinished Business, I couldn’t help talking about burgers and this week’s stupid cheeseburger stuffed crust pizza.
Conference impresario John Davey joins me again on Unfinished Business this week. We talk about anticipation and scarceness, how some cinemas create an experience around watching a film, how looking at album artwork in a record shop enhanced the experience of buying music and whether the experiences we’ve lost were valuable enough to revive in new and different ways.
It’s a special week this week on Unfinished Business as I’m joined by not one, but two regular co-hosts, Ashley Baxter and Laura Kalbag. In a bumper episode, we talk about cakes, brightly coloured fizzy drinks and Yorkshire pudding burgers. We discuss podcasting, sounding good as a podcast guest, then whether we allow Christmas decorations in our offices. Finally we talk about what we’ve achieved this year and what our goals are for 2015. It’s a fast and fun episode. I think you’ll really enjoy it.
I’ve been very pleased with reactions to my latest ‘CSS3 For Responsive Web Design’ full-day workshop. Attendees at ‘The Web Is…’ in Cardiff and ‘Beyond Tellerrand’ in Berlin really seemed to like its mixture of design and technical content. I’ll be hosting this workshop again in several cities in various countries throughout 2015 and there’s still one more opportunity to join me in Oslo next week.
Marc Thiele’s started posting videos from his excellent Beyond Tellerrand event in Berlin last month.
People sometimes ask me about what I listen for when I’m choosing guests to talk with on Unfinished Business.
Artist and designer Brendan Dawes is back on Unfinished Business this week. We get started by talking about past popular pop princes and princesses S Club 7, The Handsome Family and Bren’s one day trip to Argentina. For the remainder of the show, we talk about when it’s acceptable to give our time for free and when we should say no? Why every project should include a ‘goodwill’ budget and what the heck are those party paper and whistle things that come out of Christmas crackers called?
2014 has been a year of web design anniversaries. In May 2004 I wrote the first entry on this blog. This coming December my CSS Zen Garden submission was accepted and exactly ten years ago today my Invasion of the Body Switchers was published on A List Apart.
Ten years is a very long time in technology and so much has changed for me and for the web since then.
For someone who hasn’t travelled or done much conference speaking for the last two years, this past three weeks have been pretty busy with both. I’ve spoken at three conferences and hosted two workshops and I enjoyed every one.
This week on Unfinished Business, Paul Boag, Jon Hicks and I dispense with any pretence that this is a show about business and spend 90 minutes talking about something much more interesting. Peter Capaldi’s first series as Doctor Who. We talk about our thoughts on Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and the best (and worst) episodes of the season. Then we finish up by discussing the series finale, Clara and Danny Pink and of course Missy. If you haven’t seen the final episode of this season, there are spoilers galore.
The week’s Unfinished Business was recorded live at The Web Is… conference in Cardiff, as part of Geek Mental Help week. I was joined on-stage by Christopher Murphy, Cole Henley, Relly Annett-Baker and Dr. Clare Symons to talk about a wide range of mental heath and mental illness issues.
I put the lower audio quality this week down to everyone wearing lapel, not using condenser microphones, (sorry about that,) but recording live in front of an audience was fun, and I’ll definitely do it again. Thanks to Craig and Amie Lockwood for recording this episode from the mixing desk for me.
There are no sponsors this week, as it didn’t seem appropriate.
I really like Norway and the Norwegian people are among the friendliest I’ve met, so I never need convincing to visit them. While I was in Oslo in October, speaking at the Making Web conference I met the wonderful people at IGM and when they asked me to take my CSS3 For Responsive Web Design workshop back to Oslo on December 3rd, I jumped at the chance.
This week is Geek Mental Help week and on Unfinished Business I’m joined by Liz Elcoate, one of the people who helped to spark the idea. We ask if our industry attracts people with issues or cause them, does our working environment add our problems and what we hope the outcomes from this week will be? But not before we talk sport, Liz’s obsession with wrestling and my Uncle Haystacks.
Next week, starting October 27th, is Geek Mental Help Week:
A week-long series of articles, blog posts, conversations, podcasts and events across the web about mental health issues, how to help people who suffer, and those who care for us.
Our friends at Code Enigma relaunched their website at DrupalCon in Amsterdam. The launch included the branding we designed for them.
A few days ago was the fourth anniversary of our publishing Hardboiled Web Design. Four years since some friends and I wrote, illustrated and published a book.
Brighton-based developer Benjamin Hollway loves a burger in a brioche bun and joins me on Unfinished Business this week to talk about how young people feel excluded from some industry events and how conferences and meet-ups should cater for people who don’t want to or are too young to drink. Benjamin was shortlisted for ‘emerging talent of the year’ at the Net Awards and oh, did I mention that he’s only sixteen?
I’m researching advertising successes for a new talk that I’m writing and of course that means PG Tips and their famous chimpanzees campaign that ran for 32 years from 1956 and within two years made PG the number one tea brand in Britain and kept them there for decades.
Speaking of podcasts, the latest episode of Guy English and Rene Ritchie’s Debug is well worth your time as Don Melton—former Director of Internet Technologies at Apple—and Nitin Ganatra—former Director of iOS Apps at Apple—talk about presenting to Steve Jobs and offer a wonderful insight into working at Apple.
Designer and artist Brendan Dawes is back on episode 90 of Unfinished Business this week to talk about his recent commission by Mailchimp, Six Monkeys, which explores interactions with email through physical objects named after six famous chimpanzees. Before that though, we talk more about what’s happening with Geek Mental Help Week, including whether the word ‘geek’ takes something away from the project and is somehow derogatory.
People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you're not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.
Something tells me that Jeremy will approve of this.
I’ve been over the moon with messages of support and offers of help for Geek Mental Help Week. I’m going to write personally to everyone who offered to design and build the website
Jeremy pointed me to this. I supppose he likes it because it fits his dislike of advertising. I like it because it fit my dislike of awards.
After talking with Laura on Unfinished Business this week, about burgers in donuts, we moved on to discuss the Geek Mental Help Week that I’ve been thinking about and planning for the last few months. Something that I sincerely hope will help those of us who suffer from mental health issues and the others who support us.
This week’s an emotional episode of Unfinished Business. After talking about why a burger in a donut should never, ever have become a thing, Laura Kalbag and I discuss mental health issues in our industry. We talk about my own struggles with depression and depersonalisation disorder, issues that stem from my father’s own mental health issues and suicide.
This week on Unfinished Business, Harry Roberts and I have some pretty big, Boag-shaped, boots to fill after last week’s episode. Harry takes the opposite view to Paul about sharing personal struggles in a work context and worries about the impression that sharing give to prospective clients. Then we talk about how clients’ commissioning process for creative services is largely broken, the differences between an open conversation starter, an RFP and a brief and how we, as designers and developers, can help clients to commission what we do better.
This week on Unfinished Business, I had planned to talk with Paul Boag about client briefs and managing expectations. But when we sat down to talk, we were both in the mood to talk about something much, more personal. We discussed how we feel about how Twitter has changed, Erin Kissane’s ‘Ditching Twitter,’ Dan Edwards’ ‘Treading through treacle’ and our general sense of melancholy about our industry. Then we talk about how, contrary to what we often hear, our industry is filled with acts of kindness.
We discuss how we maintain our optimism and the steps we take to protect ourselves emotionally. If you think you know Paul and I from our public personas, I think that you’ll be very surprised by this episode. If you haven’t listened to Unfinished Business for a while (or at all) I urge you to listen this week.
Last years’ Handheld Conference in Cardiff was an incredible event. A bearded me even got to push a dalek with my friend Jon, as well as deliver a talk and host a sell-out workshop. This November I’ll be back in Cardiff for Handheld’s successor, The Web Is… I’m a last minute addition to the speaker line-up (again) and back workshopping with a new ‘CSS3 For Responsive Web Design’ workshop.
We don’t develop with Wordpress, I’ve never used Wordpress and I can’t see myself starting this late in the game. So I was surprised when Troy Dean asked me to talk with him on his WP Elevation podcast. I was sure that he’d confused me with someone else, but he convinced me that he hadn’t and we spent a fun hour talking about designing content/mobile first, why we write content for our clients and ultimately why I don’t use Wordpress.
Troy normally hosts video podcasts, but my internet connection is so poor at home that we had to switch to audio only. We recorded at 8:30am so that was probably a blessing. If you’re not already sick of the sound of my voice on Unfinished Business, I think you might enjoy this one.
In the second part of our icon designer double bill, this week on Unfinished Business, I’m joined by designer, illustrator the and iconographer behind Symbolicons, Jory Raphael. We talk about how we feel about the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus announcement, the design of the Apple Watch software and whether it looks at home on the watch’s hardware. We discuss Jory’s illustration work including his artwork for the 5by5 podcast network and of course, those long shadows. Finally we talk about making a business from making and selling icons.
Icon designer Jon Hicks joins me this week on Unfinished Business to discuss our experiences of recent conferences including dConstruct (me) and An Event Apart (him.) We narrowly avoid talking about our predictions for the upcoming Apple event and instead discuss how to keep work and home life separate, whether it‘s right to be connected to work outside work hours and how having an office can help with work/life balance.
Of course, all of this is just a thinly disguised ruse for what we really want to talk about, Doctor Who. In the after-show section, we look back at Matt Smith’s final episode, talk about Peter Capaldi’s new Doctor so far and if Doctor Who needs longer than one hour per episode to tell a good story. Oh. And Clara bloody Oswald.
I spent last Friday in Brighton attending the tenth, but my first dConstruct. It was a fabulous conference, in an elegant venue, thoughtfully organised by Clearleft and masterfully presented by Jeremy Keith. Every talk was excellent in different ways and all of them had been brilliantly curated by Jeremy, following, loosely in some cases, the theme of ‘Living With The Network.’ I’m writing a new talk and dConstruct was exactly the inspiration I needed.
This week on Unfinished Business, I’m joined by Cole Henley, technical director at Mud. We discuss his latest Freelance rates survey, how the results have changed over the last three years and what he’s learned from making the survey. I admire Cole’s Mud very much, so we talk about how to grow a business, when to hire new people and the importance of regular advice from someone on the outside. If you like the business side of Unfinished Business, you’ll love this episode.
What’s an episode of Unfinished Business without some talk of comics or films? In an after-show special, starting at 1:11:30, Cole and I talk about vintage 2000AD comics, Harlem Heroes, Flesh and of course, Judge Dredd. I want to know if Stallone’s Judge Dredd film a guilty pleasure and why, oh why, doesn’t Hollywood make films from classic 2000AD stories?
Like, I guess, everyone else, I now know more about ALS than I did before the Ice Bucket Challenge. The campaign has been hugely successful, has raised awareness and ten times more money than was raised last year to help combat the disease. Of course charity didn’t start and doesn’t end with the Ice Bucket Challenge and so my friend Paul Boag challenged me, Rachel Andrew and Carl Smith to:
Over the last few months, we’ve been working with a client on the design of a mobile analytics ‘web app.’ I’ll show more of it when we add it to our portfolio, but because lately one or two people have asked me about how we choose colour palettes, I thought I’d share how we came up with the colours for the Elemez app.
I knew from the moment I heard the news that Craig and Amie Lockwood taking over at the helm of Five Simple Steps was a good idea. They have exciting plans for the brand, the first of which is a physical book store at their Foundershub in Cardiff City Centre.
Next time you’re in Cardiff, pop in. The book to buy is second from the right on the bottom row. And as of now, you can get the fabulous paperback and ebook for only £12.80.
Last year, when we took a month-long holiday away from work, Anna Debenham was still a regular on Unfinished Business and she and guests took over the podcast. Since Anna left I’ve steadily built up a small group of regular, rotating co-hosts including Ashley Baxter and Laura Kalbag. So it made perfect sense to leave Unfinished Business in their capable hands for the three weeks I wasn’t around to record because of this year’s holiday.
In all my travels I’ve not yet been to Berlin. That’s changing in November when I’ll be appearing at the fabulous beyond tellerrand.
While I’m away in France, Ashley Baxter and Laura Kalbag are back again for this week’s episode of Unfinished Business. They talk about the common myths around working for yourself and working from home. Then they answer listener questions including what they both want to achieve before they retire, which, considering they’re both only 27, is a very, very long time away.
As much as I love being en vacance en France, I also miss making Unfinished Business, but this year I thought I’d leave the show in two very capable pairs of hands. (When they weren’t available) I asked two of my regular co-hosts, Ashley Baxter and Laura Kalbag to taking over the running of the Unfinished Business for the next three weeks.) What could possibly go wrong?
This week is a really good episode. It’s more business focussed than my normal episodes and a refreshing change for that. They talk about business insurance, including public liability, professional indemnity, business contents and copyright infringement. “C’est un bon épisode” as we say in France.
I’m a Fireworks man.
Before we go any further, I need to let people know that there is absolutely zero business content in the show this week. (Thousands of people are thinking now, “when is there ever?”) That‘s because this is a spoiler filled ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ cinema special episode with my guests and film buff friends Brendan Dawes and Jeremy Keith.
It’s a wild show. We ask whether there should be a new Oscar category for performance capture and if Andy Serkis should win everything? We talk about the other seven Planet Of The Apes films, starting with the original five and if Tim Burton’s 2001 reimagining is a guilty pleasure. Then we get in deep with the new ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ before asking ourselves the important questions; When will apes wear clothes? When and how will humans become mute, and why should you avoid watching an apes film in Rhyl?
Even if you’re not an Apes aficionado, I think you’ll enjoy listening to this episode of Unfinished Business as much as we enjoyed making it, which was a lot.
While we’re on the subject of podcasts, a couple of weeks ago Joel Hughes invited me to talk with him on his The Business Of Web Design podcast—you know, because we need a podcast that actually does talk about business.
I’ve been looking forward to speaking with Sara Soueidan on this week’s episode of Unfinished Business for a long while, not least because I’m a huge, huge, fan of her work. She’s been writing what I consider to be the best articles about CSS and SVG. We talk about those, yes, but we also talk about what it’s like for her, living and working as a web developer in her home country of Lebanon. We discuss the preconceptions and misconceptions that people in the West have about Lebanon, its people and its customs. I think you’ll find what she has to say fascinating. I know I did.
Ashley Baxter’s back on Unfinished Business this week. We talk about the reasons why she’s speaking in public more and how it may help her to promote her new business. Speaking of promotion, we discuss her $99 tweet sponsoring experiment, how buying tweets works and whether it worked for her. We also talk about how to move on when you feel like you’ve reached a plateau, in business as well as in the gym.
This week on Unfinished Business, impresario, organiser of Flash On The Beach and more recently Reasons To Be Creative, John Davey offers me some fatherly advice on how to handle a personal dilemma and what not to wear at Alex’s upcoming graduation. We talk about the Reasons To Be Creative conference, how he finds and why he chooses so many new speakers and his unusual elevator pitch approach.
Swearing: I mostly bleep out swearing on Unfinished Business, but I think that this week’s episode is funnier with our cussing intact. I hope you won’t be offended by a couple of ‘f’ words, one ‘b’ word and a dozen jokes about Brighton.
We’re half-way through a project, designing a web ‘application’ for a client. This means writing lots of HTML and making plenty of template pages.
Designer and artist Brendan Dawes joins me again for the 75th episode of my “one-sided, biased, poor quality personal soapbox.” We talk about the people who have inspired us the most in our working lives and Bren tells me all about how the famous designer and filmmaker Hillman Curtis helped him to get started. It’s an inspiring story.
I’ve also reinstated the after hours film talk spot that Anna and I started in the early episodes of Unfinished Business. This week Bren and I talk about briefly about Her, the fabulous Stalingrad (2013) and Luc Besson’s totally terrible 3 Days to Kill starring Kevin Costner. It’s a funny segment although I’m clearly no Mark Kermode and this show is obviously nowhere near as good as something on the BBC.
This week on Unfinished Business, Sean Johnson and I talk not only about Laura Nevo’s “Dear Visual Design” letter but also how wrong the people who thought I’d criticise Laura are. While I disagree completely with Laura’s message, I appreciate her writing it, not least because it helps sum up everything that I think is wrong about how we talk about web design today. Sean’s not just along for the ride, he has plenty to say about user experience, the Net Awards and why he hates football. The berk.
Jeremy Keith joins me on this, episode 73 of Unfinished Business. Although I try to steer clean of provoking him by not talking about moon landings, we disagree about just about everything else. Fish tacos, things that scientists haven’t done yet and I think they should’ve and what makes advertising fascinating to me and hateful to him. It’s a lively show. There are sparks. I think you’ll like it.
When Sue and I were a young couple with a four year old boy, we didn’t get the chance to go out very much. An evening meal while a babysitter watched our son Alex was a rare treat.
Regular Unfinished Business co-host Laura Kalbag’s started to work with her partner Aral Balkan on their Indie Phone project. She wanted to hear about Sue and mine experiences of working together for sixteen years, so she emailed her some questions. I hadn’t heard her answers until Laura read them on the show, but I think that made for interesting listening.
We didn’t get through all the questions and answers on the show, so here are her complete answers. I think they offer some insight into what it’s like working together at Stuff and Nonsense for as long as we have.
A slight change of format for this week’s Unfinished Business. Laura Kalbag wanted to know our experiences of working with our partners—she’s just started working with hers—so she emailed Sue some questions. I hadn’t heard her answers until Laura read them on the show, but I think that makes for interesting listening. I’ll publish Sue’s full answers on Stuff and Nonsense later on in the week.
Spoiler alert: I’m discussing a theme from the first half of the latest series of Mad Men, season 7, but I don’t mention what happens to major characters.
Towards the end of the 1960s, technology had begun to creep into advertising and in ’68, Mad Men’s Sterling Cooper and Partners agency (SC&P) install their first computer, a room-filling, low-humming IBM System/360.
I wrote a lot more a decade ago than I do now and with the ten year anniversary of this blog just past, it’s fascinating to see what I was interested in and sharing back then.
Ashley Baxter is back on Unfinished Business this week and we start the show by talking about why she started a podcast with some other fella. We discuss how businesses should be authentic on Twitter and if a brand can justifiably spend 45 days planning a tweet about cheese. (Mmmm, cheese.) We round off this week by talking about how working with other people can affect your fitness and diet and why working from from home might be the best thing for some people. And let’s not forget Ashley Baxter’s Scottish Slang Word of the Week. “Heffer.”
Illustrator Josh Cleland joins me for episode 70 of Unfinished Business this week. We discuss about how I’m struggling with an idea for the next version of the Stuff and Nonsense header and I baffle Josh by talking about vintage British adverts, including the PG Tips chimps and Cadbury Smash’s famous Martians.
On Unfinished Business this week, I’m joined by designer and artist, the one and only Brendan Dawes. Bren and I talk about data inspired art and his Cinema Redux pieces. As we can never get together and not discuss films, so we talk about the greatest westerns of all time, the True Grit remake and Django Unchained. Plus, being ‘men of a certain age’ we reminisce about childrens’ TV from the seventies and why the writers of The Banana Splits must have taken a lot of drugs.
On Unfinished Business this week, and with us both fresh from the Net Awards, Laura Kalbag and I talk about our experiences there. I explain why I don’t feel at home in the web design industry as it is today and how its conversations no longer reflect my interests in design.
After last week’s ‘giant’ misunderstanding about speaker fees, we also talk about the responsibilities that speakers have to themselves, to an audience and to an event and the people who’ve organised it. It’s a lively discussion. We talk about swearing, why private agreements between speakers and conferences should remain confidential and why speakers should play their part in supporting an event, before, during and after it.
Laura, I and everyone who makes Unfinished Business, wants to say an enormous “thank you” to everyone who voted for our show and put it in the final five top podcasts of 2014 at the Net Awards.
I couldn’t be happier than my friends Craig Lockwood and Amie Duggan, those wonderful people behind events like Handheld Conf, Besquare, FoundersHub and, later this year, The Web Is… have taken over at Five Simple Steps.
On this week’s (early) episode of Unfinished Business, Ashley Baxter’s back to talk about her brand new business, Insurance By Jack. We talk about why she started the business and some of the challenges she’s already faced. No ‘Ashley’ episode would be complete without her “Baxter’s Scottish Slang Word of the Week.” What is it? You’ll just have to listen to the show to find oot.
Dan Davies is back on Unfinished Business this week to talk about what he’s learned in the five months since he switched from front-end development to user-experience design. We discuss how his agency is improving communication between designers and developers, his interview series about workflow and more and how he was once replaced by a fibreglass rhino.
Last week, Cennydd Bowles wrote his Letter to a Junior Designer. It was widely shared and commented on, but while I enjoyed Cennydd sharing his experience—he is, after-all, an experienced product designer—I felt that his message and tone were profoundly negative.
This week on Unfinished Business I’m joined again by Elliott Kember to talk about Speedos, fitness tackers and—one day before Nike announced they’ve stopped making hardware—my Nike Fuelband. We discuss Cennydd Bowles’ Letter to a Junior Designer and if there are differences between designing a website and designing a digital product. I ask if designing with data is just an excuse for not having enough confidence in an idea and suggest that banging on about ‘empathy’ deserves a punch in the face.