This Machine Kills Pixels: Khoi Vinh on Design & Design Tools

Khoi VinhKHOI VINH (@khoi) is my guest this week. Khoi is a a Principle Designer at Adobe, design chair at Wildcard, and former design director at He blogs at Over a cordial hour, we discuss the surprising results of his recent design tools survey; how to watch TV; being creative on the iPad; the inspiration behind Adobe Comp CC; juggling multiple projects to stay fresh; choosing an extracurricular project; how design has changed in the past two years; and more. Enjoy Big Web Show Episode № 134: This Machine Kills Pixels.

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@khoi on Twitter
The Tools Designers Are Using Today
Sketch digital design software
Design Tools: What Are You Using
Khoi’s latest book
Kidpost – Photo Sharing for Families

HTML5 Video Player II

JOHN DYER’S MediaElement.js bills itself as “HTML5 <video> and <audio> made easy”—and that’s truly what it is:

For complete information, visit

Hat tip: Roland Dubois.

HTML5 Video Player

  • Free & Open Source
  • Lightweight. NO IMAGES USED
  • 100% skinnable using CSS
  • Library independent
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to understand & extend
  • Consistent look between browsers
  • Full Screen & Full Window Modes
  • Volume Control
  • Forced fallback to Flash (even when there is an unsupported source)

HTML5 Video Player | VideoJS.

Advanced web design links


Okay, that last one isn’t a web design link and the Apple comment could go either way, but that’s how I roll. Follow me on Twitter for more snarkeractive funucation!

Responsive Web Design – The Book

SOME IDEAS SEEM inevitable once they arrive. It’s impossible for me to conceive of the universe before rock and roll or to envision Christmas without Mr Dickens’s Carol, and it’s as tough for my kid to picture life before iPads. So too will the internet users and designers who come after us find it hard to believe we once served web content in boxy little hardwired layouts left over from the magical but inflexible world of print.

I remember when the change came. We were putting on An Event Apart, our design conference for people who make websites, and half the speakers at our 2009 Seattle show had tumbled to the magic of media queries. One after another, CSS wizards including Eric Meyer and Dan Cederholm presented the beginnings of an approach to designing content for a world where people were just as likely to be using smart, small-screen devices like iPhone and Android as they were traditional desktop browsers.

Toward the end of the second day, Ethan Marcotte took what the other speakers had shared and amped it to 11. Suddenly, we had moved from maybe to for sure, from possible to inevitable. Ethan even gave us a name for his new approach to web design.

That name appears on the cover of this book, and this book represents the culmination of two years of design research and application by Ethan and leading-edge design practitioners around the world. Armed with this brief book, you will have everything you need to re-imagine your web design universe and boldly go where none have gone before. Happy reading and designing!

Jeffrey Zeldman,
Responsive Web Design

Own Your Data

Captured from Twitter, here is Tom Henrich’s partial reconstruction of my conversation with Tantek Çelik, Glenda Bautista, Andy Rutledge and others on the merits of self-hosting social content and publishing to various sites rather than aggregating locally from external sources.

via Own Your Data / technophilia

Science illustrations, cost and royalty free

The IAN symbol libraries contain over 1500 custom made vector symbols designed specifically for enhancing science communication skills. The libraries are designed primarily for use with Adobe Illustrator (requires version 10 or better), however we also offer eps and svg versions for non-Illustrator users. The symbols allow diagrammatic representations of complex processes to be developed easily with minimal graphical skills.

Our aim is to make them a standard resource for scientists, resource managers, community groups and environmentalists worldwide. Currently downloaded by 58747 users in 239 countries and 50 U.S. states.

The libraries are provided completely cost and royalty free.

via IAN Symbol Libraries (Free Vector Symbols for Illustrator) – Integration and Application Network.

Cure for the Common Webfont, Part 2: Alternatives to Georgia

For nearly fifteen years, if you wanted to set a paragraph of web text in a serif typeface, the only truly readable option was Georgia. But now, in web type’s infancy, we’re starting to see some valid alternatives for the king of screen serifs. What follows is a list of serif typefaces that have been tuned—and in some cases drawn from scratch—for the screen.

Stephen Coles, December 6, 2010:
Cure for the Common Webfont, Part 2: Alternatives to Georgia

Episode 29: Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress

Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress, will be our guest Thursday December 2nd, 2010 during Episode No. 29 of The Big Web Show (“Everything Web That Matters”), co-hosted by Dan Benjamin and recorded at 1:00 PM Eastern before a live internet audience.

Matt is, well, Matt is awesome, and you can read about him here.

The Big Web Show records live every Thursday at 1:00 PM Eastern on Edited episodes can be watched afterwards, often within hours of recording, via iTunes (audio feed | video feed) and the web. Subscribe and enjoy!

Finally, cross-browser visual control over forms.

Now we have something else to be thankful for. Nathan Smith of Sonspring has created a library that gives designers and developers “some measure of control over form elements, without changing them so drastically as to appear foreign in a user’s operating system.” Smith calls his new library Formalize CSS:

I’ve attempted to bridge the gap between various browsers and OS’s, taking the best ideas from each, and implementing what is possible across the board. For the most part, this means most textual form elements have a slight inset, and all buttons look consistent, including the button tag.

For more, including demos, options, screenshots, thanks, and the library itself, read Smith’s write-up at SonSpring | Formalize CSS. Hat tip and happy Thanksgiving to my good friend Aaron Gustafson for sharing this gem.