The Wilson Project
Blog of Front-End Developer/UX Engineer Ivan Wilson

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  • The Long Game

    The past is the beginning of the beginning and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.
    – H. G. Wells

    I’m marking a special anniversary today.

    And all this started because I loved Vancouver.

    After my first visit in August 2008, I decided to plan another trip. Somehow, I found a conference that I hadn’t heard about called IxDA Interaction 09. Never knew anything about interaction design nor was it my first concern. All wanted was to get back to the city again. But instead, I learned from all the talks and people about interaction design.

    That was not only an introduction to interaction design. It was a gateway to me learning about user experience design and later information architecture.

    I decided to return the following year for Interaction 10 in Savannah, Georgia. At that conference, I attended the lecture Designing for the Web in the World by designer Timo Arnall.

    That and his film Wireless in the World a year earlier really influenced me. This is where re-evaluated my work as a front-end developer, viewing my work as dealing with information and not just coding.

    And after years of conferences, events, reading and self-study, I ended up working with an excellent UX team at CQ Roll Call and now the growing team at FiscalNote.

    And all this because I want another trip to Vancouver… 🙂

  • Remembering Aaron Copland (1900-1990)

    This morning, CBS Sunday Morning gave recognition to Aaron Copland, who died today in 1990. They showcased the familiar list of works such as Appalachian Springs (1944), Fanfare for the Common Man (1942), and ended the segment with a pianio/violin duo briefly playing Hoe-down from Rodeo (1942). His sound is so iconic that it’s become a soundtrack for America.

    But my favorite Copland work is one that is rarely played, even in its orchestrated version – Nonet for String (1960). It’s a slow, tense, yet gentle work, written at the start of his last period of composing. If I were to describe it to someone hearing it for the first time, the best description would be the following:

    Imagine Copland writing Appalachian Springs again 20 years later. But instead of the vigor and confidence of the former, imagine someone who has 20 years of experience. A person with less vigor and bits of doubt creeping here and there. Representing an America that has also changed during those 20 years.

  • Starting Point

    Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.
    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
    – Lao Tzu