Podcast Awesome

Nerd Show and Tell: Meet Lindsay Miller

June 04, 2024 Font Awesome Season 2 Episode 8
Nerd Show and Tell: Meet Lindsay Miller
Podcast Awesome
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Podcast Awesome
Nerd Show and Tell: Meet Lindsay Miller
Jun 04, 2024 Season 2 Episode 8
Font Awesome

Episode Summary:

In this episode of Podcast Awesome, we chat with the Lindsay Miller, the first brave soul from the Web Awesome team to take the hot seat on the Nerd Show and Tell. 

Beginning with a look into the inception of Lindsay's career and her interaction with Font Awesome before joining the Web Awesome team, we discuss the significance of a design system — a topic often shrouded in industry jargon yet fundamental to cohesive digital experiences. Lindsay also recounts  being part of the recent Web Awesome Kickstarter campaign, which hit the 700,000 milestone.

Timestamp | Summary

0:00 | Chatting Design, Tech, and Font Awesome with Lindsay Miller
3:14 | From Solo Designer to Font Awesome Enthusiast
4:13 | Embracing Company Culture and Innovative Products
6:53 | From Childhood CSS Fascination to UX/UI Professional
10:32 | Landing the Dream Job (While Experiencing Imposter Syndrome)
14:56 | Addressing Inconsistencies in Development Practices
15:54 | Design Systems: Building Blocks for Developer Efficiency
19:47 | Developing and Perfecting Thematic Web Design Systems
23:47 | Kickstarter Success Brings Exciting Yet Daunting Challenges
24:36 | The Complexities of Building an Accessible Date Picker
27:59 | Icon Design Delights and the Font Awesome Possum
32:37 | Homeownership Inspires Mario-Inspired Wall Art
34:59 | Nostalgic Reflections on Star Wars and Creative Inspirations


Stay up to date on all the Font Awesomeness!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Episode Summary:

In this episode of Podcast Awesome, we chat with the Lindsay Miller, the first brave soul from the Web Awesome team to take the hot seat on the Nerd Show and Tell. 

Beginning with a look into the inception of Lindsay's career and her interaction with Font Awesome before joining the Web Awesome team, we discuss the significance of a design system — a topic often shrouded in industry jargon yet fundamental to cohesive digital experiences. Lindsay also recounts  being part of the recent Web Awesome Kickstarter campaign, which hit the 700,000 milestone.

Timestamp | Summary

0:00 | Chatting Design, Tech, and Font Awesome with Lindsay Miller
3:14 | From Solo Designer to Font Awesome Enthusiast
4:13 | Embracing Company Culture and Innovative Products
6:53 | From Childhood CSS Fascination to UX/UI Professional
10:32 | Landing the Dream Job (While Experiencing Imposter Syndrome)
14:56 | Addressing Inconsistencies in Development Practices
15:54 | Design Systems: Building Blocks for Developer Efficiency
19:47 | Developing and Perfecting Thematic Web Design Systems
23:47 | Kickstarter Success Brings Exciting Yet Daunting Challenges
24:36 | The Complexities of Building an Accessible Date Picker
27:59 | Icon Design Delights and the Font Awesome Possum
32:37 | Homeownership Inspires Mario-Inspired Wall Art
34:59 | Nostalgic Reflections on Star Wars and Creative Inspirations


Stay up to date on all the Font Awesomeness!


0:00:00 - (Matt): Welcome to podcast awesome, where we chat about icons, design, tech business and nerdery with members of the font awesome team. In this case, we're actually talking with someone from Webosome and Lindsay Miller was the first person from the web awesome team to be brave enough to chat with me. In this episode, we chat a little bit about the work that she has recently done with web awesome, including building a design system.

0:00:24 - (Matt): We chat a little bit about her obsession going all the way back to childhood with Super Mario Brothers, and she.

0:00:31 - (Matt): Lets us in on her favorite fun awesome icons. Lindsey, it was great to meet you in person at the snuggle for the first time. Yeah, finally. Yeah, that was fun. It's almost like summer camp with your nerdy friends for a week. It's like, oh, I ate too much. I stayed up too late, you know?

0:00:54 - (Lindsay): Yep.

0:00:55 - (Matt): Yeah. It's always a great time, though. Congratulations on reaching 700,000 for the web awesome Kickstarter. It's amazing. When I got up this morning, I knew that we only had a few more hours left and we had that like one, we had one more milestone to hit and it's like, come on, come on. It was like so close that I didn't know if we were going to hit it. I jumped in the shower and came back out. When I came back, it was 700,000, which is amazing.

0:01:22 - (Lindsay): Yeah. Yeah. People really showed up. It's so cool. Like, it's not an easy ask to, you know, ask people to support a product that doesn't exist, but it shows a lot of trust, I think font awesome track record and it shows just how cool this product is and that I'm so excited about it. I'm glad other people seem to be excited about it, too. But, yeah, it's amazing. It's amazing.

0:01:44 - (Matt): You are the very first web awesome guest for the Nerd show and tell, which is exciting. And as you know, we talk with folks a little bit about their background, professionally or otherwise, just to get to know folks so that our listeners can kind of get a sense for who our team is, the things that we're working on. And sometimes we talk about the personal nerdy stuff that we do outside of work, which is always fun. We put a huge emphasis on sharing your nerd, which is something that was on full display at the snuggle.

0:02:18 - (Matt): So I guess, first of all, tell us a little bit about maybe your relationship, say, to font awesome. Was font awesome on your radar as far as some of the tech stuff that you had been working on? Did you have an awareness of font awesome.

0:02:32 - (Lindsay): Oh, boy, did I. Yeah. Huge, huge font awesome fan. My first company was actually the last company I worked at. I worked at one place, and then I ended up coming to Font awesome. And when I got hired at my last job, I was one of a hiring group that brought up the company to 30 employees. So also a pretty small company at the time, but I was also the only designer on staff at that time. So for a software company like that, as the only designer, you're responsible for everything, like graphic design through UI, from simple graphic, like, even just for marketing, marketing graphics all the way to the software itself. Like, that was all part of my responsibility at the company.

0:03:14 - (Lindsay): I was always a huge fan of font awesome because we used font awesome in that product, and it meant that was one less thing that I had to design on a daily basis. So it just made my job that much easier. So I knew I had this really complete, well designed set of icons that I could pull from and use in any of our designs and was really just a huge fan. Once our company grew bigger, I started following along with the Faun awesome blog, the Faun awesome podcast. As soon as that came out and was just really paying attention to the company culture at Faun awesome, because at that point in my company's history, it was getting pretty big. We, I think when I left, we were up to, I think, above 200 employees. I can't remember at that point, but in the time that I was there, really just exploded. There's a lot of growing pains along with that. So I really looked to fawn awesome and the content that Von Ossen was putting out at the time, or you were putting out at the time, especially about the company culture.

0:04:13 - (Lindsay): Using splits to organize work, using the shape up system, hearing about the snuggles, hearing about just how people operated in this company, I'm like, that sounds amazing. Like, I wish, are there any ways that I can bring this here? And then it turns out I just came to you guys instead, and that was absolutely thrilling.

0:04:33 - (Matt): Oh, that's awesome. I love that. It's really cool because I think you're the first person that we've heard from with any detail of how you were able to engage that. We're so heads down making stuff that we just wanna make sure people understand that there are people and we're not robots. There's people behind this company. And so it's really great to hear that it connected. Did you have any kind of relationship with Shoelace?

0:05:02 - (Matt): Prior to coming on board, were you aware of what Shoelace was doing or used their products at all.

0:05:08 - (Lindsay): I was aware of Shoelace through font awesome. So once Corey joined and when Shoelace 2.0 was released, I think it was like January of last year, I remember getting an email from Faun awesome saying, talking about the release of Shoelace 2.0. And I immediately texted my partner, who at the time I was leading a development team with, and I was like, this is a proper web components library. Like, we had been working to build our own design system at the time with web components.

0:05:40 - (Lindsay): And if we would have had shoelace at our disposal, that would, we probably would have still built our own because we built a rich text editor and more complex things. But we were sharing so many of the same values and goals that Corey was trying to steward with shoelace. And I just think that was pretty incredible. I was amazed when I saw it. I'm like, this is such a cool product, and it's associated with one of my other favorite products. And what a time to be alive.

0:06:05 - (Matt): Oh, that's awesome. Well, tell me a little bit about your background in tech. Did you specifically go to school to learn this stuff? Was this a hobby that you had when you were younger? Tell me a little bit about that.

0:06:53 - (Lindsay): More so the latter than the former. I was exposed to CSS through Zanga, which I think is a now defunct blogging platform. Sorry if it's not defunct, but I don't think it exists anymore. Yeah, and they had just a look and feel like section of their blog editor where you just entered CSS. And I remember being showed that the first time and I was absolutely obsessed. I was probably in like fourth or fifth grade at that time. I was like, what a cool little thing that you write these snippets of code. And it's pretty simple. It's not like a hardcore programming language like other things are, but these little snippets and you can just change an entire look and feel of a site. That's pretty awesome.

0:07:33 - (Lindsay): So I made myself probably a dozen different Zanga sites with no intention of blogging on them. I just wanted to see what different designs I could come up with as a. And then I had some other dabbling in design more on the graphics side, because that was what my older brother, that's what he was very interested in when he was young. That's what he ended up going to school for. He also ended up transitioning from a graphic design career into development. So that's a neat parallel in our lives. But took a web design course in high school as an elective did an independent study on what I called advanced CSS.

0:08:11 - (Lindsay): Looking back on it now, it was not very advanced, but for me at the time as a high schooler, it was stuff that I hadn't learned before.

0:08:17 - (Matt): Yeah.

0:08:18 - (Lindsay): So then of course, naturally I did not go to school for tech or design, which I think retro like thinking back, I ended up going to school for communications, which in its own way was a huge help in being a primer for user experience and usability, which is a part of that. This whole discipline that I didn't necessarily get from just learning the code or learning the visual design was how do you actually meet people where they are? How do you write for an audience in that particular degree? But I think that translated pretty well into design and set me on a path towards software.

0:08:54 - (Lindsay): So I initially was hired to be a part of the marketing team at my first job, but then when the CEO solved my design experience, he's, we actually need a designer. Do you want to try some of this stuff out? And then the rest is kind of history. I just got more and more ingrained in the tech startup kind of culture into software as a service and all that kind of good stuff ended up here.

0:09:17 - (Matt): I love hearing stories about how folks have different experience in different fields or interests and how it all sort of connects. Because when you're talking Ux and UI and how copy works alongside of that, really all you're trying to do is communicate to a user what they should do next. So their experience is intuitive, you know, and so the words and the visuals, obviously, that's all going together.

0:09:46 - (Lindsay): Yeah, it's. A lot of things center on the basic idea of how to connect with people. And visual design, like UI design, like writing, like all of that just centers on how do we meet these people, where they are, how do we connect with an audience.

0:10:00 - (Matt): Agreed. I'd love to hear the story. Story about when you saw this job listing. I've heard Dave say that you basically just took that job, you know, and we had a lot of response from folks inquiring about that. So I'd love to hear the story about like, when you saw that listing, was it like the superhero moment of like, I was made for this? I'd love to hear that story.

0:10:32 - (Lindsay): It was the superhero moment of I was made for this, but with some imposter syndrome mixed in. I know I'm right for this, I just don't actually know if that's true kind of thing. I had worked in my last job for a little over seven years, and I suppose you could say I was starting to get seven year rich. I just lost two really brilliant dev leads that were working on me with the design system project that we were kicking off. It was kind of a bummer, but I was committed to the work and ready to go anyway. But just over time, I was just starting to feel like perhaps I should just look, see what else is out there.

0:11:06 - (Lindsay): And pretty much just when I had the thought, before I even really started looking, I get an email from font awesome that says, hey, we're hiring a product designer. I'm like, well, that's interesting. Let me, let me check out what this is all about.

0:11:22 - (Matt): Yeah.

0:11:23 - (Lindsay): I'm like, oh, it's a design systems product designer. I'm like, that's literally my favorite thing in the whole world and what I'm doing right now. So I'm like, okay, tell me more. It's a niche that I wasn't confident even existed for a designer because the rack that font awesome had put out specifically specified, that's redundant. The rack that font awesome had put out had specified this product designer should be more technical. They should have extensive experience with HTML and CSS.

0:11:51 - (Lindsay): And I was like, that's something I, that's a skill I love that I have and I love to practice, but not really one that I get to use that much except in the specific design systems like theming space, which I work on, the theme API for the last company that I worked for, the last design system that I was working on and wanted more of that, wanted to explore more of the code aspect of everything, wanted to be more involved technically and all that kind of stuff.

0:12:15 - (Lindsay): So I went really ham with the COVID letter because I was like, if I don't get this job, nothing's, it just sounds like nothing's going to top this. Like, this just sounds like the fit for me. I just need to prove to fawn awesome that it's also the fit for them. And here I am. So I guess that worked out pretty well for everybody. I tidied up my portfolio really quick. I made a specific page on the portfolio, password protected just for the font awesome cover letter so that I could use shoelace components on it to demonstrate. Look, I know what this is. I know how to use them and they're really cool, so I'm going to use them. I used font awesome icons everywhere. I remember how to toggle at the top of the page where it was just make it awesome was the label of this toggle and you clicked this toggle, which was of course SL toggle from Shoelace.

0:13:04 - (Lindsay): It would change a bunch of keywords in the COVID letter to font. Awesome icons with little shoelace tooltips to show like, the name of that icon when you hover it over it. It was a project I really love to do anyway, just making that small user experience, because I don't know how often people get interactive cover letters like that necessarily.

0:13:22 - (Matt): That's really cool.

0:13:24 - (Lindsay): It was a pretty long time from between writing that cover letter and actually hearing back from anybody because like you said, there was a big response to that position and they had a lot of stuff to go through. So tried to just wait patiently, but eventually, you know, I got to talk on the phone with Dave and Corey and Travis, which was just like meeting your heroes for the first time. It's like, I've been watching what you guys have been doing for open source software for a long time now, and it was just an amazing experience.

0:13:50 - (Lindsay): Got to work with Corey and Dave a little bit on a project and thankfully they likes me enough to bring me on. And now I get to work with you guys every day and it's just the best. I love it.

0:14:04 - (Matt): Oh, that's great. I love that story. Tell me a little bit about your love of design systems.

0:14:10 - (Lindsay): What initially got me into it was recognizing this kind of usability gap where not a lot of people were talking about or considering and let alone actively working on the user experience for developers who are using a product, who are consuming code. And that just struck me in a way that I ended up getting into a lot of like project and product management at the job that I was at last. And just between different development teams, especially as an organization gets larger, you see people implementing things different ways, even though the requirements are the same that you're actually asking for are the same, but they're being implemented differently, then they're getting pushback from their own product representation or their bosses or whoever because they didn't do something the right way.

0:14:56 - (Lindsay): And I'm thinking to myself, like, how would they know what the right way is? Why is that an expectation that there's a right way to do something? There really is generally a so called right way to do something, or a proven way to do something, whatever. But if it's not documented, if it's not not distributed, if it's not well understood in some way between everybody that's working for you, you can't really put that kind of burden on them.

0:15:21 - (Lindsay): My boyfriend, who is a lead developer, and I'm like, we can do something about this. Why don't we ask for a team to build? We didn't actually know the term at the time, but a design system, essentially some kind of way that developers can just pull from a pile of bricks and assemble things together and you know it's going to work the way you expect it to. It's going to be consistent according to the brand, just going to have all the styles you need, it's going to be really easy to build with and then you'll get less of this like frustration from product to development and vice versa about things not being done, quote unquote. Right.

0:15:54 - (Lindsay): So for me it was very much driven by the developer experience. How can we make the experience of actually developing a product a lot better, a lot more fun, a lot easier, less prone to error and mistakes? That's kind of where my love of design system started. And the fact that just as a designer, you get to be really nitpicky about how specific little components and building blocks work like that satisfies a lot of my need to dig into the details of things. So that's really fun.

0:16:25 - (Lindsay): And it's just something I fell in love with along the way. And I'm thrilled to get to work on, really a design system that anybody can just pull off the shelf and start using and know it has good usability and all that, all the things that you would expect to have in a design system. It's really cool.

0:16:40 - (Matt): Yeah. Maybe we could back up a little bit. Maybe certain folks that are listening in that maybe don't have a background in this stuff. What is a design system and what's the purpose of a design system?

0:16:53 - (Lindsay): Oh, that's like, I haven't had to answer that question a long time. It's just been so ingrained in my being that I don't think about it every day now.

0:16:59 - (Matt): It's just what you do.

0:17:01 - (Lindsay): A design system is essentially a set of building blocks and guidelines that help developers create cohesive on brand experiences for software. A lot of people envision this as something that's more built into a prototyping tool like Figma, where it's really just design and they've started to introduce more code centric tooling to it, but where it's just kind of flat, it's not functional yet, but a true design system in my head and what web awesome represents and the kind of design system that I love to build is one that you're actually building components that work out of the box.

0:17:42 - (Lindsay): And there's that suite of technologies called web components that makes that possible. It's essentially just standard HTML that has this consistent, usable functionality built into it. So you're really just extending the library of native HTML elements into things that do more and in some cases improve the usability of the native HTML elements. But it's really at the core of it, a design systems, a set of building blocks that you can use to build something consistent, cohesive and usable.

0:18:11 - (Matt): I would say, yeah, I would imagine too that if you had a company that maybe had lots of sub brands and things like that, it would get very complicated. To make sure that you are following a brand guideline and that you're keeping consistency and compliance and documentation could be such a nightmare for the person that is tasked with that. That would be really hard keeping things on track.

0:18:36 - (Lindsay): Yeah.

0:18:37 - (Matt): And if you didn't have, I don't know if the right word is a library or like a, you know, a set of usable things that you can always go back to.

0:18:45 - (Lindsay): Yeah.

0:18:45 - (Matt): But then also you don't want to start from scratch. Why don't you use something that you know is going to work and be on brand?

0:18:53 - (Lindsay): And a big part of that too, I think, is telling or helping people understand how to use them. The, the guidelines that go along with the design system, I think are what really transform it from just being a component library, which is essentially a bucket of tools with no instructions, to having somebody that's actually there to teach you how to use those tools where they're best suited for and all that kind of good stuff. So making sure that there's guidance on how everything in your design system should be used, and that really helps bridge that gap between just having a collection of tools and no instructions and giving the potential to misuse them and actually being able to use them, so called, correctly in a way that's gonna result in a successful product at the end of it.

0:19:47 - (Matt): So now that we are 30 minutes past the deadline of this Kickstarter, which we are so excited about, I'm sure that's very much on, well, it's very much on my brain still and sort of feeling the excitement of that. So you've been keeping on top of the Kickstarter and communicating with folks and things like that. Leading up to that, I imagine you are building a lot or at least planning for, you know, what's to come for web. Awesome.

0:20:14 - (Matt): Can you tell us a little bit about what you've been working on and maybe the parts that you've liked or maybe some of the challenges you've come across?

0:20:22 - (Lindsay): Sure. The biggest thing that I've had a hand in so far is the concept of theming for web. Awesome. So one of the biggest things that we're changing from shoelace is what do we have to do to make all of these building blocks easier to make your own? I've been working on what we're calling the global theming API. So all of the set of CSS custom properties that you use to change once, and it affects all the components in the library.

0:20:49 - (Lindsay): And I've also been updating the components to use more custom properties just at the component level, so they're scoped specifically to, say, the button component. What custom properties do you need if those global ones aren't achieving what you want it to, how do you get more granular? And it just makes it a little bit easier to hook into those themes. So that's, that's been a big part of what I've been working on, have loved working on it so far, has had a ton of help from the rest of the team in getting everything just right and going back and forth on a lot of things, at least in my own head about it, because it's definitely a challenge to have to make something that's inherently opinionated, somewhat generic.

0:21:34 - (Lindsay): So a lot of people have opinions about what theming is in a design system, what those custom properties should be named, how it should work, and you kind of have to make and impose your own opinions in a very generic product, and that's kind of scary. So trying to make sure that every single one of those names is recognizable, every single one of the properties that you're trying to change is just enough to get what you want, like get you 90% or more of the way towards making your brand exactly how you want it to.

0:22:04 - (Lindsay): And that's been a fun challenge to tackle. It's how to navigate that balance between imposing opinions on people and also keeping it like something, opinions that they would make themselves. And then the theme builder has been a big part of that. And web awesome pro. So I've worked with Noah and Francis especially, who are on the fondlesome team as well, on creating the starting themes for the theme builder, making sure it works. Corey, Kelsey and Connor have all had a hand in helping out with the functionality of that, so that's been really cool to see that come together.

0:22:37 - (Lindsay): Still a lot of work on both the theme API and the theme builder to do, but really happy with where we're at so far. And then most recently trying to shift focus away from how do we prove that we can do all these things that we're asking people to contribute money for in the Kickstarter two, what do we need to do to get an alpha version of web awesome free out the door very soon? Is touching up the docs a lot, making sure our documentation is clean, well understood, really easy to navigate news, adding some web awesome branding to aid in that transformation from shoelace, and then also dabbling with I can't let go of the theming API and getting that perfect. So still trying to like, tweak that along the way. But between the docs and still doing some iterations on that, that API for global theming, those have been the two things that I've been focused on, like, most recently or most immediately.

0:23:30 - (Matt): Well, man, we've got our work cut out for us after this Kickstarter. It's kind of like, oh, man, we have so much stuff to build and like, we hit all these stretch goals. I mean, I don't have to build it, but I sense that it's sort of like, wow, there's a lot to do. This is going to be fun. Let's get to work.

0:23:47 - (Lindsay): You know, there's definitely a lot to do and that's a little intimidating, but it is really exciting. Like, we not, I don't think any of us were hoping we wouldn't meet any of these stretch goals. It's like, these are all things we wanted to build anyway and now we have the perfect excuse to do so. You guys want it? Here you go. We'll do it. And we'll do it right. Unfortunately, the doing it right part of it is quite a challenge.

0:24:09 - (Lindsay): You know, bearing that all on our shoulders can be a little bit scary, but we can do it. We have a really cool team of really talented, skilled people behind it and really excited to get people exactly what they're looking for. I think everybody's going to be really excited to see the end result.

0:24:25 - (Matt): Yeah, definitely the last stretch goal, if I'm remembering right. So we hit 700,000 and that stretch goal was the date picker. Isn't that right, date picker?

0:24:36 - (Lindsay): Yes. Very popular one. We've heard from a lot of people.

0:24:40 - (Matt): Yeah.

0:24:40 - (Lindsay): And we respect that.

0:24:42 - (Matt): Yep. Yeah. They were like, hey, I don't know if this is worth it unless I have a date picker. Well, guess what?

0:24:47 - (Lindsay): You get one. Now.

0:24:48 - (Matt): You get one. And I've heard a little bit behind the scenes, too, from you guys. There's something about that is a little bit complicated to build. Can you speak to that a little bit?

0:24:58 - (Lindsay): I can't speak to just the development complexity of actually implementing all these things. But I can definitely speak to just the accessibility and usability concerns of date pickers. If you think about how hard it would be to build a calendar application, you're doing that as a very small component on a page. You're building a full calendar that you can navigate, you can select future, past, present dates, whatever.

0:25:25 - (Lindsay): So you need all of that kind of date logic baked into the component. And then because of that, you're introducing a full calendar as a pop up to text input or something like that. Keyboard accessibility gets really tricky with that. Screen reader. Accessibility gets really tricky with that. How do people know exactly where they are? How do we make this not cumbersome to use? How do we make sure that if you are using a keyboard, that it's just as efficient to move through months or years or whatever with that tool or any other input mechanism as it is with a mouse? And if you're fully sighted, or if you're not sighted, how do you make sure that it's reading properly but not being too cumbersome or verbose about where you are in this little calendar picker?

0:26:12 - (Lindsay): So there's just a lot of considerations. There's a lot of, it's a very much a composite component in that there's buttons involved, there's links involved, there's all sorts of things that are tucked into the seemingly innocuous little tiny calendar that pops up out of a text input. That's. It's just really hard to get right. And we want, really want to make sure that we get it right.

0:26:31 - (Matt): Yeah, I remember reading something in, I think it's actually in the shape up book where the 37 signals slash basecamp folks, they showed an example of some kind of calendaring feature and they. It's probably a very different situation, but something that seems as simple as a calendar and I'm not a software or UI person, but like, reading about that project and what they had to go through just to add a very simple feature to it was so complicated. I was like, wow, there's so much that goes into these little features and these products. Like, it's kind of mind blowing.

0:27:12 - (Lindsay): And once you get into adding time on top of those dates, you get to time zone math, which is. That's no fun. Yeah, that's no fun.

0:27:20 - (Matt): Complicated. But hey, we're gonna gladly create a date picker for these or.

0:27:26 - (Lindsay): Yeah, absolutely.

0:27:27 - (Matt): Yep.

0:27:28 - (Matt): We got one on the way, folks, so don't you worry. We got you covered. Okay, so now it's time to move into some of the light hearted stuff. Let's say. Do you have a favorite icon category or favorite icon?

0:27:59 - (Lindsay): Okay. So I knew this was a question you always ask, so I went perusing the entire, entire collection of 30,000 font awesome icons last night. Well, I love looking at them like they're all my favorite. Realistic. Well, and it's amazing. Just the biggest possible shout out to Noah and Jory for making just such a delightful set of icons. So I stumbled, it's not my favorite, but I stumbled across the washing machine icon, which I don't think I had ever made a note of before in my head, but I'm like, that is, and there's like, tire flat. And I'm like, these are the washing machine and the flat tire. They're not two things that I enjoy in real life.

0:28:42 - (Lindsay): Yeah, but like, looking at these icons, I was just absolutely delighted to see them. I'm like, what a well designed washing machine. What a well designed flat tire. This is amazing. But my, probably my favorite. There's so many. I saved screenshots of all of the ones that could be a contender, but probably the crow. I love crows, and I love that there's a crow icon. So the crow's probably my favorite.

0:29:07 - (Matt): Yeah, that's a good one. Being new to this whole world, I love hearing the designers talk about the challenge of creating an effective icon. And you just have this tiny little space to communicate something and how are you going to simplify it, but how are you going to make it clear enough to be readable? And it's just so neat how much goes into it. And to hear you and other folks like, reflect on that an icon is delightful to look at, you know, because all those things come together, that there's a readability aspect to it, but even the feel of what it looks like, I love to that. The fact that there's been talk among the team, it's possible that there are little works of art that been, that maybe have been viewed worldwide as much as any famous piece of art.

0:29:58 - (Lindsay): When you think about it, we've joked about at the snuggles getting like tattoos, your favorite icon and get tattoos. I have no hesitation. I would absolutely do that. Calling it a work of art. They're brilliant. I love them.

0:30:13 - (Matt): Yeah, it's funny too. Also, when you consider you would put them in Ui or maybe you might see them in wayfinding map situations or whatever, they're almost ignored. They're like so ubiquitous. They're everywhere and at the same time in the background, which is such a strange, like, combination of things.

0:30:35 - (Lindsay): You know, good design is invisible, as they say. You shouldn't notice it.

0:30:39 - (Matt): Yep. It's a.

0:30:40 - (Matt): It's a humble art, for sure. Those are great choices. So is there an icon or an icon category or pack that you think should be a part of the faun awesome canon that doesn't currently exist?

0:30:53 - (Lindsay): I think we're due for a possum.

0:30:55 - (Matt): Yep.

0:30:56 - (Lindsay): Yep.

0:30:57 - (Matt): The font awesome possum, the web awesome possum.

0:31:00 - (Lindsay): Yeah.

0:31:00 - (Matt): Yep. There's. There was talk. I think that's a great one. There was talk at the snuggle. Is it important that we have some kind of mascot? And the fawn awesome possum, the web awesome possum makes 100% sense.

0:31:14 - (Lindsay): It's perfect. I love possums. It's North America's only native marsupial.

0:31:20 - (Matt): I mean, it is perfect for all of those reasons. Outside of work related stuff that we all nerd out about, do you have any particular nerdy interests outside of work that you maybe obsess about, or do you have interests that bring you a lot of joy that you'd like to share?

0:31:52 - (Lindsay): Well, there's been one recently that is connecting my recent move into homeownership and that sense of more permanence with probably one of, if not the most enduring fixation that I've had in my life, which is illustrations from the manuals of old Super Mario games. As a kid, I spent a long time, or I should say I spent many minutes, probably hours of my life, just leafing through, like, Super Mario Bros. Three instruction manual, Super Mario All Stars. Like, all of these different Super Mario world was a big one, perhaps my favorite.

0:32:37 - (Lindsay): All of these different instruction manuals, and I have distinct memories of just sitting on the floor and looking at all the illustrations in there, and they are just so brilliant. I have just such an obsession with them and always have. And it's been renewed in my new home because now I have some kind of ability to paint my walls and not have to repaint them when I move out. Yeah, and that's really exciting.

0:33:03 - (Lindsay): I only have two up so far, but I've been painting little Mario characters on the walls of my office. So right now I just have a Bob omb buddy and then a parabom. Also a buddy, though, which I know is not a real character, but it fits my color palette, so that's what it is on the walls of my office. And I have plans to do at least a couple of more, but using that illustration style from, like, the Super Mario World Instruction Manual, because there's just something about, you know, you design these characters and the, I'm talking about the people at Nintendo, but they designed these characters with knowing that they need to present them in very limited screen real estate, as far as pixels go, with a very limited color palette. I think for the sprites, at least on the NES, you could only use a dozen colors on the screen at the same time for any of your sprites, any of the things that actually moved and that you can interact with in the game.

0:34:00 - (Lindsay): So you have this need for simplicity, but also this need to kind of bring some additional life to them in the instruction book. So they have to be a simple base design, but then you get to add this. Just speaking of delightful, again, talking about fauna, some icons, it's the same kind of delightfulness in these little illustrations of Mario, of Yoshi, of whoever, especially the enemies. Pretty much any piece of art I've done in my spare time for most of my adult life has been drawing some kind of version of a Mario character just because I just love that kind of simplicity and how they, again, just bring it to life and those, those manuals and always wanted to just be able to carry a piece of that with me, to be able to experience what it's like to create those characters in some way. So I've done that on a wall sized scale, and that's been really exciting, and I get really happy every time I walk into my office. So I think it's paid off. And that's what I've been nerding out about recently.

0:34:59 - (Matt): Oh, that's amazing. I would love to see pictures of that. That's so fun. That reminds me kind of different, but I am remembering now, as a kid, I used to get, I don't know what you would call them, but they were books that sort of cataloged how the folks that were working on Star wars came up with creatures or the spaceships and things like that, and they would throw out these ideas, and they had these, like, kind of rough drawings, and I used to just pour over those things and obsess about it.

0:35:30 - (Matt): I loved looking at stuff like that. And it's funny how as a kid, like, I was obsessed with those movies. And then in my twenties, I probably thought, like, Star wars is dorky, and I didn't, you know, didn't think about it. And then, like, closer to middle. Yeah, now, like, closer to middle ages. Like, well, there's a reason why that, you know, those storylines stuck with me. And when I hear people talking about this stuff, I'm like, yeah, like, I remember having that kind of obsession as a kid, and I. Yeah, I love to see that kind of stuff now.

0:35:58 - (Matt): Just seeing those things come to light and how much heart and thought goes into creating something that ends up being so memorable for so many people. You know, it's funny. So the one. The one gripe I would have about, well, there's a lot of gripes that I have, but I do love all the Star wars movies with Return of the Jedi. One of the things that stands out to me now is that the creatures on Endor were supposed to be wookiees, not. Oh, yeah, there was.

0:36:27 - (Matt): So those were some of the drawings where they, some of the artists were drawing, like, these wookiee colonies or whatever. And, um, I was like, oh, man, they kind of. Yeah, they kind of double crossed us on this. It would have been better.

0:36:41 - (Lindsay): I like e walks.

0:36:43 - (Matt): I like e walks, too. Yeah. Yeah.

0:36:45 - (Lindsay): Should have been both.

0:36:46 - (Matt): Yeah, it could have been both. They could live in harmony 100%. Thanks, Lindsay, for being the very first web awesome er on the nerd show and tell.

0:36:57 - (Lindsay): Yeah, thanks, Matt. Gotta get those other guys on here.

0:37:00 - (Matt): That's right. We'll work on Corey a little bit. Every time I ask him, he's like, ah, nobody wants to hear from me. I'm like, no, man, they want to hear from you. So we'll work on it.

0:37:08 - (Lindsay): He's enjoying not being in the spotlight. Yeah.

0:37:12 - (Matt): Yeah.

0:37:12 - (Lindsay): His whole life has been in the spotlight.

0:37:15 - (Matt): Yeah, we're never, we're never going to force anybody into this, but we'll, we'll give him some little friendly nudges. We'll see how it goes.

0:37:21 - (Lindsay): Yeah.

0:37:26 - (Matt): Thanks, Lindsey, for coming on the show. And it's great to have our very first web awesome person on the nerd show and tell. And thanks to all the folks who contributed to the web awesome kickstarter. We're really excited to dig in and start making you awesome stuff. As always, this podcast was produced and edited by this guy right here, Matt Johnson. The Faun awesome theme song was composed by Ronnie Martin, the musical interstitials were composed by Zach Malm, and the audio mastering was done by Chris Enz at Lemon Productions.

Lindsay Nerd Show and Tell
Celebrating a Milestone: The 700,000 Kickstarter Triumph
Introducing the First Web Awesome Guest
A Deep Dive into Design and Personal Passions
The Journey to Joining Font Awesome
Exploring the Intricacies of Design Systems
Behind the Scenes: Building Web Awesome
The Art and Challenge of Icon Design
Nerding Out: Personal Passions Beyond Work
Wrapping Up and Looking Forward