Maxwell White

The Web Is Full of Teleports but We Still Make People Work for Content

First, what do I mean by that?

I think links are underrated. From your favorite sites to the chapters on ebooks, they act as teleportation devices—anywhere you can click or tap. And it ultimately saving you time.

So why document steps to get from A to Z when you could send people to Z (or, maybe more accurately, Y—a single click from Z)?

At the time of my writing this, one example of documentation that gets under my skin a bit is Etsy’s “How to Close Your Etsy Shop”.

To close your Etsy shop:

1. On Etsy.com, click Shop Manager.
2. Click Settings and select Options.
3. Click the Close Shop tab.
4. Click Close Shop. Please answer our short survey before closing your shop.

Simple enough, right? Sure, it’s not many steps. But if I’m a shop owner, which I was, and I want to close my Shop, why not say something like:

To close your Etsy shop, visit the Close Shop tab in your Shop Manager.

From there, they’d see any further instructions—instead of having to remember steps or repeatedly swap tabs. That’s a little more approachable to me. What do you think, though? Let me know with a comment, if you’d like!

New Bones by Lucille Clifton

we will wear
new bones again.
we will leave
these rainy days,
break out through
another mouth
into sun and honey time.
worlds buzz over us like bees,
we be splendid in new bones.
other people think they know
how long life is.
how strong life is.
we know.

Kara Swisher mentioned this on episode 215 of Pivot & I really dug it.

Hello, Photos

I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, and so I went back a few years and picked some of my favorites! More to come, I expect, but I thought it’d be fun to dig through some of what I’ve taken or digitized and share them.

I’m pumped to finally be posting here on my blog. If you enjoyed these any, check back before long for more! Thanks for visiting.

Tools I Use

Over the years, I’ve worked on many different projects, all bringing their own sets of tools intended to improve collaboration between all of the folks involved.

From time to time, this has proven that juggling applications can get sticky—not everyone uses the same tools, requirements change, and in some cases, we’re not even aware of what tools are available to use. To try and make this easier on those who work with me, I wanted to create this reference-able list of what apps I generally use, why I do, and (eventually) even some alternatives that might work better for your specific use-cases.

UsecasesPreferred ToolsLeading Alternatives
Text, voice, & video messaging with support for groupsSlack, DiscourseSignal, iMessage
Version ControlGitHubGitLab
Design & Visual FeedbackFigma, MarkUp
Handling passwords & other sensitive information1PasswordBitwarden

Why do I use these in particular and not [insert your favorite application here]?

I mostly prefer what I’ve listed based on years of experience working with them in various work landscapes. I have tried to gravitate toward accessible, free, or inexpensive tools that are supposedly the most secure. But these aren’t the only things I’ll use; I’m open to trying new things, especially if you want to collaborate but already have something in place that works for you and your teams!

Have thoughts on this? How can I improve my utility belt? Let me know with a comment!