I finished my Presidential Innovation Fellowship six months ago, and I feel like it’s taken that long to process the journey. For those of you who are considering government service, considering the Innovation Fellowship specifically, or merely curious, I offer these reflections on my year as a PIF.
On occasion, I write about technology, civic tech, and design here. You can also read my work in other places, such as:
The 18F blog
- 18F’s best practices for making distributed teams work
- User-centered design at 18F: a design studio for natural resource revenues
- See all my 18F blog posts
- Little rules for designing with data, presented at
- 18F Lean Product Design Guide (with Nick Brethauer and Colin MacArthur)
- The standard retro method and doc used across 18F
- Using a GitHub wiki to put user research and project documentation together with code
Uncle Sam Wants YOU...to be a Hero Hacker
Round Three of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program is now accepting applications from creative, energetic policy hackers, entrepreneurs, user experience experts, designers, frontend developers, backend developers, system architecture wizards, data wranglers, and more to serve their tours of duty to radically improve the delivery of government digital services.
Why should you (yes, YOU) take time out of your busy schedule to apply (deadline: April 7)? Three important reasons:
Drag-and-drop In-Browser Dev Tools Review
Wouldn’t it be great if we designers/developers could just move bits of website around visually and get beautiful, well-structured code to work with out the other end? The stuff of dreams! If this is your dream, then this might be your year! In service of The Future, I tested (or attempted to test) four of the current front-runners: Webflow, Divshot, Froont, and Jetstrap. Read on for a summary and full reviews.
NIHSA Website 2.0
Way back in the winter of 2011-2012, I did a fast redesign of the NIH Sailing Association (NIHSA) website. It went from this to something much better, but still not there, in a weekend, more or less, to move it from “fairly difficult to use” to “somewhat functional” in time for spring online registration for the 2012 sailing season.
Happy holidays at approximately 8km/sec
Now that the holidays are over, I’d like to share the illustration I did for our office annual holiday email – I’m very pleased with it! I should mention I work in international affairs for a satellite office. I was going for ‘holidays’ without a specific religion or world region focus. Also tried to come up with something not too overdone. And so we have: bird’s-eye view of an abstract world with a stylized aurora!