work archives
“Studies show that commuters are on average much less satisfied with their lives than noncommuters. A commuter who travels one hour, one way, would have to make 40% more than his current salary to be as fully satisfied with his life as a noncommuter, say economists…

People usually overestimate the value of the things they’ll obtain by commuting – more money, more material goods, more prestige – and underestimate the benefit of what they are losing: social connections, hobbies, and health.”
Quoted from a Business Week article in The Commuting Paradox on SvN this morning. Matt adds, “Who wouldn’t want a team that’s filled with folks who are less stressed and more satisfied with their lives?”

posted by jason on Friday, Apr 02, 2010

“Do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle.”
Love this quote from President Thomas S. Monson. Applies at work, at Church, and at home.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010

The Mormon Channel

I’m happy to announce the launch of, our site for the Mormon Channel radio station. I led the design efforts, while many dozens of others contributed to the development and implementation of the site.

While not without its flaws, the site is a big success internally for a number of design-related reasons:

There are dozens of other great features behind the scenes on this site, and again tons of other people helped make it happen. Congrats to our IT teams, and the AV teams and production crews on this huge cache of new content that’s now available worldwide.

posted by jason on Monday, May 18, 2009

Joel Splosky’s How to be a Program Manager is a near spot-on description of our Design Manager / Interaction Designer position here, minus the pesky HTML/CSS role we keep clinging to.. UE + functional spec + customer liaison.

posted by jason on Monday, Mar 09, 2009

“A person who works six hours a day but with total focus has an enormous advantage over a 12-hour-per-day workaholic who’s ‘multi-tasking’ all day, answering every phone call, constantly checking Facebook and Twitter, and indulging every interruption.

It’s time we upgraded our work ethic for the age we’re living in, not our grandparents’ age. Hard work is still a virtue, but now takes a distant second place to the new determinant of success or failure in the age of Internet distractions: Control of attention.”
Mike Elgan, in Work Ethic 2.0: Attention Control

posted by jason on Wednesday, Dec 31, 2008

We’re happy to announce the new today, the newest Church website launch from our group. Pepe Sustaita and I worked on this site, with hours of help from many other designers on our team.

This project will definitely be written up for a case study at some point, as we encountered so many crazy problems and challenges. This final product represents over a year of hard work, and includes thousands of design decisions and compromises based on technology, client taste, feasibility, content constraints, and other unique circumstances.

The site also represents the work of not only many designers, but our excellent teams of Java developers, QA engineers, Flash developers, program managers, product managers, infrastructure teams, and many others. All in all, over 50 people had a hand in getting this product off the ground and in front of the millions of monthly visitors.

Challenges aside, Pepe and I definitely can stand behind our work and we believe it will bring our church’s most basic beliefs to the world in ways it never has before. One huge feature is the ability for any visitor anywhere in the world to chat live with a member of our church, any time of day. The site is also designed to coordinate with a national print and broadcast advertising campaign around the “Answers to Life’s Questions” theme.

Pull it up and take a minute to browse through it, and please let us know what you think. More details and insight coming soon, for sure.

posted by jason on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008

“The point of the 4-day work week is about doing less work. It’s not about 4 10-hour days for the magical 40-hour work week. It’s about 4 normalish 8-hour days for the new and improved 32-hour work week. The numbers are just used to illustrate a point. Results, not hours, are what matter, but working longer hours doesn’t translate to better results.”
Jason Fried nails it again. Emphasis: results are what matter.

posted by jason on Wednesday, Aug 20, 2008

Nerdy or not? In response to Jason’s post the other day, I present my workspace, cars and all. So, is this really nerdy? You be the judge.

posted by rick on Saturday, Aug 16, 2008

Wanted: LDS Web Designers

Just to make it clear: we are hiring. We have open positions for both Senior Designers, with 5-7 years experience, Junior to Mid-level designers, with 0-4 years, or genius college students with our paid summer internship. All positions are located here in Salt Lake City, with amazing benefits and possible relocation. We are also interested in exploring telecommuting options for remote HTML/CSS experts. Interested?

To apply online, please visit our jobs website at and see the listing for Interaction Designer. Or get right to it and shoot us an email with your resume and portfolio link.

posted by jason on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008

Jason Fried (from 37signals) suggests that you question your work

“These are questions we ask each other before, during, and sometimes after we work on something. That something can be as small as a couple-hour project or as big as something that takes a few weeks or more. Either way, it’s important to ask questions like this in order to make sure you’re doing work that matters.”

posted by aaron on Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008

“Establishing a bond of brotherhood is critical. If those who serve with you feel this mutual love and trust, the work of the Lord will thrive and heaven will aid you in your efforts. Fail to establish this bond, however, and you may find your work tedious, toilsome, and unproductive. Average leaders used the carrot and the stick to motivate those around them. Great leaders communicate a vision that captures the imagination and fires the hearts and minds of those around them. Average leaders inspire people to punch a time clock. Great leaders inspire industry and passion. You can get people to work by using threats or by promising rewards. But if you want to create a band of brothers, you must inspire those who work with you and encourage them to give their all in a great cause.”
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, in Band of Brothers

posted by randy on Sunday, Feb 24, 2008

“At the level of detail I think is necessary to make them what they are, they simply can’t pay for themselves. In purely business terms, it’s an irrational enterprise. And it’s also the best work I do.”
children’s author Sandra Boynton, on making and publishing children’s music, in the excellent piece The Power of Whimsy

posted by jason on Sunday, Feb 17, 2008

“It’s the Department of Redundancy Department.”
jokester Bill Luker, poking fun at the many councils and committees at the Church

posted by jason on Thursday, Nov 01, 2007

Some like it hot, but everyone likes it in color

As a designer, you’ll likely run into some interesting if not humorous situations while toiling over your work. Recently a few designers and I presented some ideas to one of our project leads, to rave reviews and precisely the feedback we sought. But after the meeting, we were chided by some for spending too much time “making it pretty,” as they say. We shouldn’t have put so much time into these comps, they said, as just a few of the many comps were approved (a side note – comps that are rejected are just as profitable as those accepted, as you gain much from learning what won’t work).

After the next round of design, and against our better judgment, we presented some wireframes to help communicate the new ideas. As we knew would happen, the same people who wanted less had a very hard time understanding less. In fact, one guy had me in stitches as he said something like, “I really think we need less text and more images inside these boxes here.” Of course, that preceded several emails back and forth discussing the intention of the wireframes and yes, “depiction of the Savior” would actually be replaced with an image, and no there wouldn’t be so many 1px box outlines in the final comp.

Most importantly, the ideas we wanted to present were lost. Even those who understood wireframes were uninspired by the bleakness of the PDF, as the grays and text had no power to engage or stimulate. Little discussion of the core ideas ensued.

Lesson reiterated: if you want to communicate, put the time into it, and make it good. Most people, including designers, have a really hard time understanding your creative ideas without color and imagery. Boxes, shades of gray, and text labels do very little to communicate the vivid landscapes in your head. Put it in color and put your heart into it if you want people to react and be inspired, enthralled, or completely disgusted with it. Because even throat-cutting rejection is better than the silence that can only come from a wireframe.

posted by jason on Monday, Oct 29, 2007

“We moved the meeting to yesterday.”
a coworker of mine, responding to my inquiry about a meeting today

posted by jason on Thursday, Oct 11, 2007

“The abnormality of our time, that which makes it contrary to nature, is its deliberate and stated determination to make the working life of men & the product of their working hours mechanically perfect, and to relegate all the humanities, all that is of its nature humane, to their spare time, to the time when they are not at work.”
Eric Gill, in “An Essay on Typography (1936)”, describes the situation of the working man in the Industrial age. His description seems to paint a pretty good picture for where we are today (80 years later).

posted by john on Thursday, Oct 04, 2007

Sometimes the best way to kick off a project is to get up to 11,000 feet for some fresh air.

Working here is full of variety and excitement.

posted by clifton on Thursday, Jun 21, 2007

Here at work, like many organizations, we have a slew of acronyms. Thanks to Randy, we can finally narrow down the possibilities. Click for definitions: FMAT, IMOS, ICS, TADD.

posted by jason on Wednesday, Feb 07, 2007

“If you don’t let people grow and develop and make more decisions, it’s a waste of human life. Using the technology to its full potential means using the man [or woman] to his full potential.”
Worker quoted by Shoshana Zuboff, In the age of the smart machine

posted by ted on Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006