Monthly Archives: January 2016

Material Pompousness

I have a minor in Graphic Design and for quite some time UI/UX work was my bread and butter. My work was well appreciated, got me accolades and I enjoyed doing the work for a long time. I even focused on UI/UX in grad school. However, these days I’m much more at home doing things like security work where if I make a mistake I could only cost a company millions of dollars because and I mean this with total sincerity, it’s so much less stressful.

What got to bothering me the most about design work is the pompous language that made me feel like I was being talked down to or I would be talking down to someone else if I used the terms. “Meaningful Transitions”, “Material Response”, “Consistent Choreography”. To my ear, these are phrases that are to sound good and make the speaker sound savvy. Now backend work has issues too with non-words like “performant” but they don’t seem to crop up as often there. But no matter where they occur to my somewhat jaded mentality after being in industry for over a decade, I’m prone to dismiss the speaker as someone who knows jargon on hearing these words and phrases. And they may know what they’re doing too but, outlook not so good.

In industry these days I often feel my expectation for professionals to know their tools, to talk to each other like professional peers and break new ground to solve problems or create a distinct identity in design is wanting too much. Indeed, making websites just another user of Twitter Bootstrap seems fine for many. B-U-T I look at those sites and I see the next generation of the the I-barely-know-HTML-but-I’m-building-a-website-anyway sites from geocities. I didn’t give them my money back in the day, and I don’t give these new websites my money today either.