Try to say nothing negative about anybody for three days, for forty-five days, for three months. See what happens to your life.

– Yoko Ono


Artwork by Sergio Ingravalle

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 23!

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In response to my thoughts on ‘green’ web services, I received a lot of interesting linkage I‘d like to share with you. (Thank you!)

First off, Mira pointed me to some alarming articles that predict data usage will be one of the globe’s biggest polluters in the next seven years. Some governments – I was surprised Australia is one of them – started rating data centres for energy efficiency. (HT James)

Andrew shared a whole bunch of interesting sites, including Serving Green which offers a great overview of the issue and some actionable advice, and this book on Designing for Sustainability. Tom and his agency developed a carbon calculator for websites which they will present at SustainableUX: design vs. climate change – happening online today!

Jens pointed me to an interesting project called the Low Tech Magazine, a solar-powered website. Here’s how and why they built it. Jonny tells me that many of the green web hosts make use of carbon offset schemes. And my mate Dylan in the UK just switched to a green phone provider.

In the face of the complexity of the problem, your responses are a hopeful reminder that there is something everyone can do – at the very least educate others about the issue. In the future I’d love to see some sort of global certificate/rating that gives consumers an idea of how proactive a tech company is about going green. – Kai

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Ueno is a creative agency hell-bent on creating the world’s most wondrous brands and products. Young-ish but maturing, small-ish but growing, we’re looking for more good people to join us. In SF, a design lead, a producer, a technical lead, a strategy director. In NY, a creative director. Just to name a few. Finding good people is hard, even for one of Ad Age’s ‘Best Places to Work in 2019’. So take a look at our open positions and say hi.


Apps & Sites

Coda →

Blend text, tables, and forms

Coda is a new document type that aims to blend text with tables and interactive form elements. It’s a bit like MS Access but without requiring programming skills. Impressive: when accessed on a mobile device, the document behaves almost like a native app. I can think of a ton of use cases already...

Prismic →

API-based CMS

Prismic is a so-called 'headless CMS'. This means you edit your templates on your own server, but the backend runs on the cloud. This presents a few advantages such as being able to use an API to feed your content into external apps.

Recordit →

Tiny screen recorder

Recordit is a small MacOS (and Windows) app that lives in your menu bar and helps you create sharable screencasts in video or GIF formats.

Haptic Touch Bar →

Add haptic feedback to your touch bar

I use BetterTouchTool to completely customise my MacBook Pro’s touch bar which also includes the ability to enable gentle vibrations when pressing a ‘button’. If you want just that feature, this little tool does the trick.


Idle Knowledge


Icon by Petai Jantrapoon

The incredible history of Nintendo

Nintendo started out as a small Japanese company founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in the year 1889. Based in Kyoto, the business sold sets of hand-made playing cards. Two generations later, between 1963 and 1968, Nintendo set up a taxi company, a ‘love hotel’ chain, a food company (trying to sell instant rice, similar to instant noodles) and several other things, including a vacuum cleaner. All these ventures failed, and the company returned to solely making toys, eventually electric ones. (Source)


Goods & Accessories


Slate →

Graphics tablet with real paper

The Slate works similar to a traditional graphics tablet, but instead of drawing on plastic you use your own pen to draw on real paper which is then transferred to your desktop or mobile device.


Porter →

Wifi auto-connector

A bit of a novelty, but perhaps useful for shared offices and those who have a lot of guests: Porter is a little device that automatically shares the wifi password through a tap with your phone (newer devices) or by scanning the QR code on the back.


Overheard on Twitter

A QA engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 99999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a ueicbksjdhd. First real customer walks in and asks where the bathroom is. The bar bursts into flames, killing everyone.



Food For Thought

We’ve Married Technology and Divorced Each Other →


‘Instead of our devices being a distraction from our relationships, our relationships seem to be a distraction from our devices.’ Agreeing and openly admitting here that technology (especially social media and the omnipresence of my phone) has had a substantial negative impact on my relationship. (Possible paywall)

What’s all this fuss about ‘digital detox’ – and does it really work? →


It’s good to generally be sceptical of the word ‘detox’ these days but this article does a good job at listing the various things we can try to cut down on screen time. Whatever you decide to do, it’s usually just a starting point for an ongoing lifestyle change that requires some level of self-discipline.

How Silicon Valley Puts the ‘Con’ in Consent →


‘If no one reads the terms and conditions, how can they continue to be the legal backbone of the internet?’ This kind of blew my mind: ‘Reading Amazon’s terms and conditions alone out loud takes approximately nine hours.’ (Possible paywall)


Aesthetically Pleasing

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A colourful, optimistic brand with a custom typeface for Debrecen 2023 European Cultural Capital of Culture.


I really like the quirky details in the typefaces by Icelandic type foundry Or Type.

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Jordi Canudas dipped glass spheres into layers of semi-translucent paint to create the beautiful Dipping Light series.

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Here’s something you don’t hear me say often: exciting news from USPS! Their announcement about these 2019 stamp designs make me want to become a collector.



Design Tomorrow is a critical but optimistic podcast about design, technology, and being human born from the belief that what we do and think today can create a better tomorrow.

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