September 19, 2022
Week of September 11–17
Back to working on Real World Learning project
I switched gears this week and turned my attention from the Energy Efficiency Hub project back to the Real World Learning project for the Kauffman Foundation. We had to put a hold on that project after some stakeholder feedback in August. Our team made design changes to address the feedback. My task for the week was to implement those changes into the site build.
Most of the updates were to the homepage. There were several layouts that needed to be adjusted or created. I also needed to replace SVG elements on each of the pages. These elements are animated on scroll. I had to create new animation paths in Affinity Designer and adjust the animation script using GreenSock. I am using PNG images as SVG masks using a technique that I blogged about back in June.
I am excited that this project will be launching soon. It was my second project built with Gutenberg blocks. I improved upon many things that I learned the first time around and have applied that knowledge with the Energy Efficiency Hub build that will launch next month.
I used container queries for the first time as a progressive enhancement on the Real World Learning project. And I used the SVG masking technique for the first time in this project. It is always a thrill to take stock and see how I have been able to learn new things or incorporate new techniques and tools in project build.
We are looking to launch this project at the beginning of October. I am excited about how this new site is going to equip both educators and employers to help students gain real-world skills and experience in my hometown of Kansas City.
Adobe acquisition of Figma
The big controversy in the Web development community this week was the Adobe acquisition of Figma. Many creatives are worried and concerned about what the sale will mean for the Figma platform. Figma has become a very popular online collaboration tool for user interface design. My team, LGND, moved to Figma from Sketch in 2020.
One of the things I liked most about Figma is that the files are stored in the cloud and I always had access to the latest design file. When we used Sketch, I would have to ask the designer to put the latest version on Dropbox. Figma allows for more real-time collaboration.
There are a few reasons that most people are concerned about this acquisition.
- Future – What will the acquisition mean to the future development of Figma?
- Price – Will Figma become part of Adobe Creative Cloud and therefore mean having to pay a higher subscription price? Adobe’s software has traditionally cost more than other independent software companies. Right now, the price of a Figma subscription is $12 per month per editor (user). That is compared to Adobe Creative Suite which is about $21 per app per month or $55 for access to the entire Cloud of apps.
- Performance (bloat) – Will the software become bloated like a lot of other Adobe products?
- Adobe does not have the greatest history when it comes to product acquisitions. Personally, I felt burned by Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia in 2005. I loved creating graphics in Macromedia Fireworks. Once it came under Adobe, little was done to develop it further and it died. Fireworks was created to be easy to create Web graphics. I never liked trying to use Photoshop because it was not made for that purpose. My creative director bemoaned how Typekit no longer is a place to find random and cool foundries like when it was curated by Jason Santa Maria.
Many creatives liked the fact that Figma was not an Adobe product because of many of the reasons that I outlined above. A lot of creatives have tried to move away from Adobe using products like Figma, Affinity, Sketch, and others. So the news that Figma was coming under Adobe was not welcome news.
Right now, Adobe is committed to keeping Figma autonomous according to Figma founder, Dylan Field. Unfortunately, I have seen too many of these types of deals run their course in the past. It starts out continuing as autonomous but in the end, either it gets shut down or it gets sucked into the larger company. And I cannot think of a success story of when that happened. I hope I am wrong. I would like to see Figma continue to be a lightweight tool that creatives can afford and continue to reach for.
Personally, I still use Adobe Photoshop. It is great for what it does best – edit photos. I stick with it because I have built up a lot of experience with it and I am happy with it for now.
Articles I read
- Cool Things People Do With Their Blogs – The article gave me some ideas of things I could do on this site.
- Detecting CSS Selector Support – Feature queries have been a massive win for my development. I use them as progressive enhancement.
- CSS in 2022 (and beyond) (2022.09.09 @ Fronteers Conf) – This article gave me ideas as I prepare a presentation for my team in November.
- The console.log() of css – Short video from Kevin Powell.
- Spacing, Grids and Layouts – I have been thinking a lot about this subject recently after watching Andy Bell’s, Be the browser’s mentor, not its micromanager, last week.
- So your designer wants stuff to overlap – I have been using Grid to accomplish this for several years.
- Just Write – My writing has improved as I have disciplined myself to write these weeknotes over the last 4 years.
- Better accessible names – Naming is one of the hardest skills in software development.
- CSS Grid trick that’s worth remembering – Another short video from Kevin Powell
- Performance is the Moat – An interesting perspective about the Adobe acquisition of Figma
- Sovereignty, Humility, and Confidence
- Who Wants to Play? — The Bee Hive
- Let’s get logical
- What to do when a beloved employee quits
- Adobe is buying Figma, and creatives have… concerns
- We Are Not Disposable – This article gave me a lot of food for thought.
- How to successfully onboard remote engineering staff in four weeks
What I watched
- Making the Cut (Prime)
- She-Hulk (Disney +)
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, A Jedi’s Return (Disney+)
- Junior Baking Show (Netflix)
- The Rings of Power (Prime)
- The Forgotten War (Netflix)
- Bernie Mac Show (Peacock)
- Chiefs/Chargers game (Prime)
- Rays/BlueJays (Prime) – I watched a couple of innings of the game on Monday night.
- Cobra Kai Season 5 (Netflix) – I started this on Saturday.
What I am reading
- The Discerning Life
- The Coddling of the American Mind
- The Proverbs of Middle Earth – I decided to reread this one after watching The Rings of Power
Podcasts I listened to
- The Shop Talk Show #528: Alex and Andrew on Working in an Agency – I finished listening to this one that I started last weekend
- The Shop Talk Shop #520: Conferences, Search Engines, Anonymity, CSS, :Has, and the Future with Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman – I started listening to this episode on Saturday. I am listening to the rest of the episode as I write this. I always enjoy hearing from these pioneers of web design and development.