Recently by Spencer Critchley

A long time ago, I had to learn from scratch how to manage visual designers, after having started out as a composer and audio producer, with no training in graphic arts -- back then I thought of it as "the blind leading the deaf." Luckily, I found that most of the skills I'd developed while working with sound carried over to other disciplines, too. There's one skill above all that I believe managers need to master in order to get the best work from a designer, or any creative professional: Talk about why, not how.
In most design fields it's conventional wisdom that you should give a client three versions or "comps" of an idea, so they can choose their favorite, or maybe combine what they like best about two or all three of them....
Continuing my effort to spare newcomers to Drupal from falling into this powerful content management system's most common traps, this time I look at a frequent cause of white screens - the sudden and scary devolution of a previously healthy Drupal site into a blank browser window. This can be caused by coding mistakes, such as neglecting to conclude a line of custom PHP with a semicolon.
The Drupal Content Management System keeps getting better and better. But the learning curve is still steep and the interface is still tricky - even after working with it for several years, some gotchas keep tripping me up. That tells...
I was just looking at yet another vacuous presentation graphic, this one purporting to illustrate the SMART test for defining objectives. It looked something like this: This is of course rubbish. Infographics guru Edward Tufte would object strenuously to its...
Apple earns enough goodwill with its usually beautiful design and usability that every now and then it gets away with murder. Case in point: the Airport Express. I recognize that many people are happy with their AE's. I've found that...
Microsoft Songsmith, designed to be a software aide for musical composition, has instead proved to be a great tool for comedy, as early adopters have exploited its bent for generating hilariously inappropriate accompaniments to famous artists' vocal tracks. This is...
Microsoft Songsmith has been stuck in my mind lately like, well, a bad song (follow that link at your own risk). It's got me reflecting about the long trend towards using music technology to increase productivity, but not creativity. And...
For me, what's wrong with Songsmith is not that it's so uncool. It's what's wrong (though maybe not so egregiously) with a lot of music technology: the underlying premise that productivity is an absolute good.

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