When I got word that the FDA had approved and were starting to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, I should have been a little happier about it — people are dying, struggling to pay their bills, and/or dealing with mental health.

I hope this vaccine will help prevent the deaths of more people and will get businesses (especially small ones) back up and running. I do.

But, selfishly, I was a bit disappointed that I have to think about transitioning back into a routine that includes going back into an office every day (or more than I am now). I love my coworkers and I love the work that we do, but I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on how remote work has complexly changed the way we work and interact with each other — and it has been almost all for the better. …

An old payphone that is spray-painted pink with grafitti and stickers all over it.
An old payphone that is spray-painted pink with grafitti and stickers all over it.
This is not the phone I used. Photo by Cameron Rainey

I’ve never worked in sales, so I’ve never had to cold-call anyone before. Being on the other side of a telemarketer phone call, I had a perception of how terrible those people are and questioned how that strategy ever worked — except for scamming old people. I was never going to fall for a cold call and wondered why they ever bothered trying. I just assumed everyone handled cold calls the same way I did — by slamming down the phone while yelling “stop calling me!”

But, one day it dawned on me. I was a tad desperate after one of my largest clients was putting their business on hold — which meant I needed to land some new clients real fast, or I might not be able to eat after a few weeks — not to mention rent. …

Nearly 15 years ago I attempted to buy a used car thinking it would be a quick trip to setup a monthly payment and walk out with an inexpensive car that might last me a couple years. Instead, I ended up walking out with a gentleman’s agreement for website design in exchange for a car that lasted me nearly 10 years.

I had driven by this one particular used car dealership a countless numbers of times over the years and paid no attention to it. …

This post originally appeared on borkdoy.com (ipfs). Go check me out there.

This is my obligatory coronavirus update.

I’ve been working from home due to the coronavirus, and yesterday my governer put NJ on lockdown. I think I’m on day 7 of socially distancing from the rest of you all. Although I’ve gone out quickly to pick up some supplies from the grocery stores, and yesterday drove around the city looking at how deserted it felt, I’ve pretty much stayed put. As an introvert, this isn’t a big adjustment for me. I’m not getting antsy to go anywhere and I’m not getting cabin fever. …

Now that I have a couple weeks of arduino experience, I was tasked to create a physical device that took inspiration from my earlier work on the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom game that I made using p5.js.

Given that I have such little experience with an arduino so far and a limited amount of hardware to work with, there’s a low expectation of what I can accomplish in the 1 week assignment.

But that’s never stopped me before.

Taking inspiration

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The game I previously made with p5js

In the p5js game, I randomized the alphabet onto the screen and had players touch each letter in ABC order until the game ended. …

How have I never played around with hardware before? I’ve had some ideas in the past, but who has the time to sit down and learn electronics? They’re kind of complicated.

I had my first Arduino class about a week ago — two hours of learning that is outside of my wheel house. I have read some basic schematics and can tell the difference between a resistor and a capacitor but actually putting them to practical use and building circuits proved pretty tricky to wrap my head around quickly.

When I walked out of class, I had built my first circuit — a working LED. It was glorious. 3 days later and I sat down to rebuild it at home without instruction and I was perplexed, but I made my way back through it. Feeling a bit more confident, I set out to create 3 new projects in 1…

I had the idea that I was going to take a photo that was worth sharing everyday for a year straight. I set up a new instagram account to be accountable for posting every evening, curated from the random photos that I collected through the day.

I was religiously taking photos and capturing the mundanity of signs, post-it-notes, cell phone towers, patterns and anything that caught my eye. I wandered slower, took my time to look up and look down and pay attention to the details that are overlooked and passed by.

When I was tasked with creating an interactive story based on a children’s book that had to include some form of randomness and build on some of the things we’ve learned in the first 2 weeks of my class on p5.js — Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was the first thing that came to mind — so I ran with it.

tldr; Made a game that you or your kids should play: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Game

The setup

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a children’s book that helps kids to learn the alphabet by turning the letters into characters and telling a story of how they go to a party and fall out of a tree — something like that. …

After going through a bit of history on using computers to make art, my second class on p5.js had us attempt to be inspired by geometric artwork and write code to make something cool.

In about an hour and a half of coding, I ended up with this — randomly generated triangles in all kinds of colors.

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Random triangles

We were tasked to continue working on it until we were happy with it — play around with shape, size and color.

I spun some things around in my head during a long commute — I’m determined to get all these triangles to be all connected and not overlap. It was something we discussed before starting the project but we deemed it too difficult to do consider we’re only 3 hours into learning p5. …

I graduated from college 15 years ago. Why did I decide to go back to school to pursue my masters in User Experience? I’m still solidifying that answer so I won’t be telling that story today.

Instead I’ve been asked by a professor to document some of my learning along the way. I wish this was required of me early on because it has been a very interesting and fun experience. I have worked on some incredibly cool projects and have worked with a number of other talented UX designers and researchers. So far it’s been worth it and there’s plenty of valuable insights I could share that I wish I had during the process. …



I’m Brad Cooper — UX Practitioner. A11y Evangelist (CPACC). Blockchain Enthusiast. Web Theorist. Find out more on how I work at https://uxBrad.com.

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