Life. Pain. Joy.

On March 22nd of 2009, her baby (me) was found unconscious in the wreckage of an almost-destroyed car, which flew off the ground about 12 feet up in the air and allegedly flipped over 10 times. In a coma for nearly 10 days, my injuries were very severe but the most painful of it all was losing a friend. I was fighting for my life.

“Life is unfair.” I said it many times, and probably did you. At some point in life, we ask a lot of questions; questions that most often remain unanswered. I lived through several days with a strong feeling of distress, misfortune, and deep sorrow. When I woke from coma, I couldn’t accept where I was, how I was, and what had happened. Unable to move, eat, walk, and even scratch my own leg, I thought life was over.

Today, March 25th, is my birthday and my life is definitely not over, yet. Four years ago, I celebrated my birthday in the ICU with a lot of tubes down my throat. More precisely, I didn’t celebrate it. My friends celebrated for me. I was unconscious. When I woke, I saw pictures of my “birthday party” in the hospital. Family and friends had balloons all over the ICU bedroom. For some reason, they were happy and most importantly confident I’d be okay. It wasn’t easy, but, as my father told me, God won’t give you more than you can bear. It’s true and you have to believe in it; I did. That’s what makes the difference. It was all about me. In the midst of difficulties, I knew nobody could help me; it was my problems, my challenges, it was all on me. Friends and family can only help you so much. You’re on your own. I understood that. I knew I needed to endure a lot, and I was willing to do so on my own.

I’m going to carry a strong feeling of loss for the rest of my life. Losing a friend is not an easy thing to accept but I am okay with it. I can't change that. Unfortunately, I can’t change the past but I surely can change the future. I’m very grateful for all of you who in one way, small or big, have helped me become a stronger person.

Life has hit me pretty hard but joy is only a couple blocks away. Go get it!

Mobile First Talk

I have to admit one thing: meetup groups are awesome. I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of a small community (nearly 900 members so my definition of small can be bewildering) of great web enthusiasts. Our group reminds me of how connected I was with like-minded friends in Brazil. The group is growing exponentially and we're planning to make an even bigger impact in our community this year. You should be part of it!

Last Monday, Josh Becerra and I had the opportunity to share a little of what we've learned throughout our careers to the Web Design Group at the Minneapolis Community & Technical College. Josh's topic was "Conversions: A Web Designer's Best Friend," and mine was "Catering to our Customers with Responsive Web Design." The focus of my talk was about responsive web design (RWD), mobile first, performance, and more importantly, how we make an impact in so many people's lives through carefully designed websites. Web design is much like music in a way, because an experience on a website, just like music, can leave a long-lasting impression on people, whether it’s positive or negative.

My talk was centered on building responsive experiences with a mobile first approach. Based on a flexible foundation, I shared with the group my redesign (which should go live in the next few weeks) and my process of using conditional loading (RESS) as I progressively adapted for higher resolutions. I shared how my design came about from the onset, from brainstorming and sketching design mockups to designing on the browser and utilizing Photoshop to adjust a few components of the design. This is important because Photoshop and a browser are the new covenant for great design. I also talked about how we're still in the print era for design deliverables. The old print process still has a meaningful influence on how we think and design our web experiences. I also discussed why we should shift away from a fixed process and embrace the ever-changing flexibility of the web.

In summary, designing for mobile first forces us to thoughtfully rethink what's important on our web pages, because it makes us aware of the entire design and development process. As Josh Clark pointed out during SXSW 2013, we're not just web designers anymore; we're industrial designers designing for physical devices. RWD is a subset of the web which expands outreach through various devices from mobile and desktop to TV sets and soon-to-be-launched devices. The possibilities are endless and exciting. What a great time to be a web [industrial] designer, don't you think?

Presentation Deck

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