iPhone 6s

I got a new phone the other day. I almost went with the 6s Plus, but it was just way too big for my liking. In fact, the 6s is a little too big, but manageable.

A few initial thoughts:

  • Touch ID is way cooler than I thought, but unfortunately can’t be used for _every_ password field. I’d love to sign in to those annoying iTunes popups, Twitter, or my favorite website with Touch ID.
  • Touch ID has one major flaw. Its awesome to press the home button and instantly unlock my phone—but often times I’ll press the home button to read notifications on the lock screen. But Touch ID is too fast and I instead see my home screen, and my notifications are no where to be found. I guess I’ll need to change my habit to press the side button.
  • 3D Touch is interesting. It works pretty well, though I sometimes don’t push hard enough to trigger certain gestures. The press-and-swipe gesture for switching apps is a prime example—I can’t reliable trigger it.
  • I love the rounded edges of the phone, its more comfortable than the sharp edges of my previous iPhone 5. Still, I wish the phone was slightly smaller.
  • Double tapping the home button helps my short fingers reach the top portion of the screen, but it always feels like a hassle.
  • Battery life is amazing. I spent a good chunk of the day reading/working on my phone, and didn’t hit 20% until late afternoon. And then, with Low Power Mode I didn’t need to plug in until after dinner.
  • Live Photos are mostly useless. The only purpose they serve is to make browsing photos slightly more entertaining—and I honestly love all the work that went into making my experience slightly better. Using 3D Touch to “watch” a Live Photo is kind of creepy—is more of a fast slideshow than a video, and it tends to create an uncanny valley effect on photos of people.
  • The speakers are way louder. Still crap, but at least you can hear it now.

The Feel Good Loop

Despite my best intentions to stay on track and accomplish my goal, I get sucked in. Suddenly I’m checking my own notifications, looking at what’s been recently posted and generally forgetting why I came to Facebook in the first place.

This isn’t entirely by accident. There is science and psychology that explains why so many of us are glued to Facebook.

— Courtney Seiter on The Secret Psychology of Facebook

This is a pretty great explanation of the role of Likes in the “feel good loop“—that thing that keeps you going back to your favorite site or app.

  1. Write a post.
  2. Get a like (and notification on your phone) from Bob.
  3. View Bob’s latest post and like it—sending Bob a notification, and starting a whole new loop.
  4. Repeat.

On Threaded Comment Design

Rian Van Der Merwe has an excellent write up on designing comment threads, comparing Reddit, Facebook, NY Times, and more.

I really dig the explanatory graphic he made to show the different approaches:

We’ve been working on the comment design for WordPress.com’s Reader, and this post falls in line with our thinking. Here’s some of the early concepts we pondered as we built the latest version of Reader:

Facebook-Like Minimal UI

Commenting Flow Take 2


A Whole New Web

I installed the Safari extensions for AdBlock and Ghostery yesterday. My internet suddenly feels significantly faster as sites load without any annoying ad junk. Its kind of amazing. Hell, even The Verge is loading fast for me now.

Apparently these types of junk blockers are available now in iOS 9; Apple calls them “content blockers”—which seems a little disingenuous, since the point is to block everything but the actual content.

Unfortunately this new feature of iOS isn’t supported on my aging iPhone 5—which is often unable to keep a charge for longer than 2 hours. A fancy new iPhone 6s is likely in my future.


I bought eggs at the grocery store. Like, a lot of eggs.

I made sure to ask the cashier/bagger to bag them separate.

I took extra care when putting them in the cart on my way out of the store.

After loading the groceries into the van, I brought the eggs into the passenger seat to be safe.

I pulled into the driveway, grabbed the eggs, opened the door, and the bag breaks…

…eggs all over the driveway. I salvaged 3 of 24. Good times.