Adobe XD CC.

Adobe's answer to Sketch is now on version 1.0

Sketch was* my tool of choice for wireframing and prototyping, so I never gave Adobe XD a chance. (This coming from someone whose career was built on an Adobe product is quite something.) Since it came out of beta, I thought I’d give XD a long-overdue test drive.

Adobe XD is lightweight and fast as hell, uses familiar Photoshop shortcuts, and has some nifty features like Repeat Grid. But I couldn’t resize symbols & had to create new symbols for every screen size. More importantly, it doesn’t have a plug-in ecosystem (yet).

I don’t know if I would use XD for commercial work just yet–the thought of prototyping a responsive site without an Auto Layout equivalent makes me shudder. If you’re already on an Adobe subscription, Adobe XD totally makes sense.

* Educational licensing is a ponderous thing in academia.

Measuring success with online learning…

We have to realize that outputs like completion rates tell us very little about genuine outcomes. You optimize for completion and eventually you end up creating cat videos. And as much as I love cat videos, they won’t enable people to live better lives; they won’t equip changemakers to have greater impact in their communities. We can do better than completion.

On computation, code, and correctness…

Human intuition is poor at estimating the true probability of supposedly ‘extremely rare’ combinations of events in systems operating at a scale of millions of requests per second… That human fallibility means that some of the more subtle, dangerous bugs turn out to be errors in design; the code faithfully implements the intended design, but the design fails to correctly handle a particular ‘rare’ scenario.


The Coming Software Apocalypse is a fantastic read on how in a software-reliant world, the tools to create software itself need to be better designed to enable better, more robust software. The article also comes at a time when I find myself thinking a lot about how the proponents of ‘Computational Thinking’ out there (especially in the realms where education and profitability overlap) might just make the software apocalypse a hard landing for humanity.

While it might sound like gloom and doom, it’s exciting to know that there are fantastic opportunities out there to re-invent the way we design the heart of the machines that help us live, work, and play.

The future’s orange.

This is like a very slick, sophisticated mashup of the iRobot and the Hogwarts Sorting Hat. Maybe one day, the little orange fellows can just take off and deliver it to the addressee like Hedwig.