Author Archives: Ryan

1-800-Contacts: Great Customer Service or the Greatest Customer Service?

It’s not often I feel compelled to write about a customer service experience, but 1-800-Contacts is so far beyond any other company I’ve ever dealt with, I think they deserve some credit. Quick note: this all happened a couple months ago, so quotes are not exact and largely paraphrased. I’ve been a customer of 1-800-Contacts for […]

Photoshop Shortcuts with Your Mouse

Think you’re a master at Photoshop keyboard shortcuts? Sure, they speed things up, but in Photoshop you also have your hand on your mouse pretty much all the time. What if you could launch some really common shortcuts without moving your hand off the mouse? I use BetterTouchTool with my Apple Magic Mouse, but the idea […]

Terrible UX of the Day: Thanks for the Panic Washington Healthplanfinder

I received the following automated email yesterday from Washington Healthplanfinder, our state’s insurance exchange: “Please log into your Washington Healthplanfinder account to view your Washington Apple Health Termination Notice notice.” And yes, “Notice notice” is theirs. Anyway, seeing the words “Termination Notice” sent me into panic mode, reading it as “Your insurance has been terminated, log […]

New WordPress Theme, Plugin, and Directory

Qwerty Last week I released Qwerty, a minimal, responsive, longform writing theme for WordPress. Currently it’s available to download on GitHub, but it’s in the queue for as well. Great care was taken to remove all unnecessary elements. You won’t find any external javascript dependencies*, complex image sprites, or heavy web fonts. I wanted to build […]

It’s Cool Seeing Your Creations in the Wild

Shortly after I made Mercury, I was contacted on Twitter by Justin Jackson about doing some small customizations. Last night I noticed he’d put some screenshots on the home page of Product People Club that featured Mercury. It looks great, and it’s cool knowing that in some small way I’m helping entrepreneurs get their products off the ground.

The Redesign of

I’d seen Scott speak at AEA Seattle in 2011 and had been following him on Twitter for some time, when this tweet popped into my timeline: Last call for web designers who want to work on a redesign of scottberkun-com #design #ux #webdev — Scott Berkun (@berkun) April 23, 2014 Working with someone with as much experience and expertise as Scott sounded great, and I was […]

Sony’s PS4 Parental Controls Protect Exactly No One

Don’t ever, ever put PS Plus on a Playstation 4 sub-account. When setting up my sons PS4 account, I did the right thing and entered his correct age — 16. I added it as a sub-account under my master account. I set the parental control levels I thought were appropriate. We go and buy a PS […]

Slate: A WordPress Admin Theme

Today I’m releasing Slate, a clean and simplified admin theme for WordPress 4.0. My goal was to simplify the visual design of the default admin theme, with a primary focus on the content writing experience. I’ve always found the default theme to be too busy, with separate boxes, background colors, borders and minimal padding between them. By […]

Uploading a Child Theme to the Theme Directory

I wanted to give a short overview of my experience uploading a child theme to the Theme Directory. I’m sure a decent amount of this advice is documented somewhere, and most of it was first-time-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing user error, but hopefully this might help someone avoid the goofy situation I experienced. When I first zipped and […]

Photographer Interviews at

Introducing, a little side project I started last month. I love photography and I’m always wondering how photographers capture their photos: tips, tricks, planning, gear, post processing, etc. is an effort to scratch that itch. I like reading the stories, and hope it can give others the inspiration it gives me.