Document Everything

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is documentation. And yes, I’m thinking a little bit about legacy—documenting our life, and the things we make. However, I also mean documenting our process.

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding what we do. I remember being a newcomer and feeling overwhelmed by everything it seemed that I needed to learn. This is where I think documentation can help us a lot.

As an industry, we’re getting comfortable with doing things in the open. Open Source Design is trying to do this, a project which I happen to be a contributor on, and there are other people doing it.

But what about being open about what we charge for services? What about talking about how much designers should be making in a beginning job? Medium level? Senior level? Should we negotiate for a signing bonus? Do companies still do this? To be very honest, I only learned about some of these things a couple months ago when I had dinner with my friend Bermon. Why is this such a mystery?

On a more personal level, what about our process? I have no documentation of my personal design and development process. All of it lives in my head, which quite frankly, isn’t useful for anyone. Pricing projects could be so much simpler if I had a process to run them through.

In a lot of ways, I don’t know what I’m doing. Yet, at the same time, I really do. But that knowledge is wasted if I don’t share it with others. Not to mention, there will always be people that can benefit from something I’ve learned. We’re all in different places of our career.

In the past month, I’ve met so many smart people who are saying nothing. They have great ideas, but they don’t tell anyone about them. Then, there are others who are content with believing in mythical gatekeepers that prevent them from having a voice in this industry.1

It’s rubbish.

If you want to have a voice, if you want to contribute, document everything. Tell people about what you’re doing, why you did it that way, and why others should think about doing it the same. We need your voice, but no one is going to beg you to use it.

As cliché as it might sound, anyone has the power to make our industry better, and personally that’s why I love our industry and working in the open. When many minds come together and collaborate and share, the end result is one-hundred times better. When more people share, we have a more diverse group of people to admire, to interview, to invite to speak, etc.

Step up. Document everything.

Further Reading

How To Blog About Code and Give Zero *****

  1. This particularly makes me mad. It’s so high-school drama. If you want to do something, do it. Complaining isn’t productive. 


The App Store Problem

Stephen Hackett on 512 Pixels:

The bottom line is this: developers should be able to work on their product in a sustainable way. Realmac are some of the good guys, and to have to backtrack on a business decision is a damn shame, especially in a world where people pour money into IAP-based games day and night.

This is a real problem. We can obviously see a huge hole in the App Store ecosystem. Honestly, I have no idea if Apple will ever implement upgrade pricing. Signs point to no.

Apple desperately needs to examine this problem, and understand that the beautiful ecosystem it’s created, could crumble because of issues like this. And as the person purchasing software, I need to understand that developers are in their right to charge money for new software. I love what Marco Arment said:

Upset about @realmacsoftware asking for another 3 dollars for a big update to Clear and going universal?

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Deployments with GitHub and SSH

I had no idea that deployments could be this easy. Which surprises me, because I thought I had explored my deployment options. Kennedy was kind enough to make a video too.

Obviously this route is a bit nerdy, so if you want something that’s managed for you, I recommend Beanstalk or Deploy.


Marco Arment’s Latest Project: Overcast

If you need tons of features or anything I’m choosing not to do, you’ll probably be happier with one of the others. (Before I started using Overcast full-time, Downcast was my podcast app of choice.)

I’m adding some new stuff that I haven’t seen before in podcast players, and implementing what I think is the best set of core features from the existing apps. It’s my ideal podcast app.

This is why I love Marco Arment. It happens to be the reason he’s also very successful. He trusts his gut, which I think is one of the most difficult things to learn how to do.

Marco isn’t given enough credit as a designer. He may not create the visuals for all of his products, but he is very deliberate with his design decisions. Can’t wait for this app.

James Christie on Sustainable Web Design

At 1.4MB, today’s average page is 15 times larger than it was 10 years ago, primarily due to images (881kB) and script (224kB). Plain old HTML totals just 54kB—but when’s the last time you saw an HTML-only site? This average page also makes more than 100 HTTP requests. Whether they fetch a big object or a small one, these add up to more delay and more power wastage. The average site is also slow: Alexa’s top 2,000 retailer sites now take an average of more than seven seconds to load—much longer than users consider acceptable.

We published a great issue today, but this particular article written by James Christie caught my eye. I’ve been doing a lot of research into performance, but I’d stupidly never thought how slow sites can have an impact on our environment. Site performance matters; not only to visitors, but to our planet.


Apple iPhone Touchscreen Faster than Android Devices

Apple’s iPhone 5 is 2.5 times faster at responding to touches than Google Android devices, according to a benchmark test by game and app streaming firm Agawi.

This doesn’t surprise me at all. The level of care and detail Apple spends on this type of stuff is the reason people line up in the rain to get their devices. The article goes on to explain:

the iPhone 5 responded to touches at an average time of 55 milliseconds…. The closest Android device was the Samsung Galaxy S4 at 114 milliseconds.

It’s almost ridiculous to be examining this at the millisecond level, but tell me you’ve never noticed this delay when borrowing an Android device from a someone.1 Those small details matter.

  1. Because you don’t own one do you? 

Netflix First to Win Emmy Award for Online-Only Shows

Netflix made history tonight, winning three Emmy awards for House of Cards, becoming the first company to win the awards for online-only shows. Original shows produced by Netflix had received 14 nominations — 9 of those for House of Cards alone.

This is huge. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Netflix gets it. They’re making entertaining shows, and minimizing piracy. Traditional television hasn’t been able to nail both.

BlackBerry Receives Buyout Offer

BlackBerry has officially filed a letter with Canadian holding company Fairfax Financial, an offer that could lead to it returning to private ownership.

This could be a good thing for them. I remember when BlackBerry was on top, and then fell to the pits of irrelevance. Personally, I hope this helps them get their act together. I believe that the smartphone market will only continue to get better with better competition.

Apple Sells Nine Million iPhones in a Weekend

Apple® today announced it has sold a record-breaking nine million new iPhone® 5s and iPhone 5c models, just three days after the launch of the new iPhones on September 20. In addition, more than 200 million iOS devices are now running the completely redesigned iOS 7, making it the fastest software upgrade in history.

Every time the worlds says Apple is done, they come and do something like this. It’s also interesting to note that Samsung sent out a film crew to the iPhone lines. None of the competitors get why people are so passionate about Apple’s products.

Dear Reader,

Welcome to The Bold Report!

I’ve been pondering the creation of a blog for quite some time now. In the past few months, I’ve felt that the goals I have for my writing have outgrown my personal site, and it was time to move it to its own home.

The Bold Report is that new home. If you were a fan of my personal blog, you’ll see most of the same content on here. There will be long form articles which address topics that are on my mind, and links which point you to great content or exciting news around the web. As I have before, the links will have my commentary, which I’ve found that people appreciate.

The purpose of this site is not to report on breaking news—there are many other sites doing that—rather to inform you of exciting new technology, products you should keep your eye on, or what I happen to be learning at the moment.

We live in fascinating times. The evolution of technology is not only influencing how we design and develop experiences, it is changing the way we interact with others and our surroundings. Whole industries have been re-imagined, and that will only continue to happen. If nothing else, I want this blog to document that, and show my predictions as false or accurate.

It is my hope that you’ll join me on this journey. You can find the different ways to subscribe on the subscribe page. Although there are no comments on this site, please feel free to reach me via Twitter or email me at

Thank you for reading, it means a lot to me.