Brian Ball

Brian is an award winning cookie baker. He writes to think and share ideas. When not writing, coding, or baking, you can find him on Twitter @brianball

52 day writing streak

Do Not Pass Go - Do Not Collect $200.

Monopoly the multi-player, board game has a simple turn cycle. You roll the dice, move your token, and take action based on the underlying spot on a square board. This square of four sides with 40 corresponding spaces is the game loop. The loop starts at Go -and each passing...
2021-02-07 06:42:30

If at first you don't succeed...

I invited her on Slack into a shared Figma document to practice. She agreed. We'd done it once before and silently moved some shapes around the screen. We iterated on contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity. The standard design crap. This time was different.

I suggested we riff on somebody else's work...
2021-02-05 16:32:23

We do things with people like us. as reply to Get a fuckin favicon

If more than a single person recommended a favicon, there's a reason. If more than one of us thinks it's important to do things in a certain way, another reason. Our values shape us. These shapes are the ultimate puzzle the product manager needs to solve.
2021-02-04 16:35:53

Tap & Click Memories

As she opened up the drawing program on her computer, her attention picked up the sound of the taps on the keyboard and the click of the mouse. It startled her for a second because she remembered those specific sounds coming from the other room where her dad was working...
2021-02-03 16:59:57

Writing without focus.

Ever show up and not feel like writing? No sparks in your brain seem to be catching. The kindling is wet. The fuel is covered and won't ignite.

It happens. In that moment, it's okay to reflect on the situation. Maybe try metaphor and analogy to connect your feelings to imagery....
2021-02-02 22:28:15

Massive Progress NOT REQUIRED as reply to January is over

It's easy to think we need to accumulate results to have proof.

I'll do X when I accumulate Y amount of Z.

I'll sign up for the marathon when I have put in 500 miles of training.
I'll clean out the garage when I get my room organized.

Vinyl record scratch.

The logic doesn't work.

2021-02-01 15:59:43

Egg-timer Attention

The 3-minute timer has started. It's an egg-timer really. If the water was boiling and I dropped in an egg, what might I get?

Does it matter if the egg is at room temperature or near-freezing temperature directly from the fridge? 
What will happen? 
Does the water have to be at a rolling...
2021-01-31 18:03:18

Hold My Beer - in 10 Languages

There are numerous spoken languages but most people successfully live a life knowing one or two. Unless you live in a part of the world with lots of international trade and your livelihood depends on being able to transact with a multitude of travelers, your time is better spent on...
2021-01-30 13:02:57

I/O -- Can You Connect

Inside the machine you're typing on -- there is only data. The 1s and 0s in green cascading on the black background of the matrix -- yeah, that's all just data. The data, it turns out, are created by electrical signals and are then grouped into recognizable patterns. This is...
2021-01-29 14:14:30

The Story of Before & After

In 2021, the resume is dead. People in their 20s have never used one and never will — especially in a Zoom educated world. Why? Proof.

It's too easy in a full-video / no-code / free-tier world to not just create something that proves you've got the requisite skills. 

You want a...
2021-01-28 17:12:56