adactio / Jeremy Keith

An Irish web developer living in Brighton, England working with Clearleft.

I built Huffduffer.

There are thirty-eight people in adactio’s collective.

Huffduffed (3777)

  1. 047: The Web is Neither Good or Bad…nor is it Neutral. It’s an Amplifier with Jeremy Keith – User Defenders podcast : Inspiring Interviews with UX Superheroes.

    Jeremy Keith reveals how the web is neither good or bad, nor neutral, but an amplifier. He inspires us to not let the future be just something that happens to us, but rather something we make with the small things we do today. He encourages us to build software ethically with our users’ psychological vulnerabilities in mind. He motivates us to not build on rented land, but to publish using the superpower of our own URLs. He also shows us how looking to the past is just as important as looking to the future.

    Jeremy Keith lives in Brighton, England where he makes websites with the splendid design agency Clearleft. You may know him from such books as DOM Scripting, Bulletproof Ajax, HTML5 For Web Designers, and most recently Resilient Web Design. He curated the dConstruct conference for a number of years as well as Brighton SF, and he organised the world’s first Science Hack Day. He also made the website Huffduffer to allow people to make podcasts of found sounds—it’s like Instapaper for audio files. Hailing from Erin’s green shores, Jeremy maintains his link to Irish traditional music running the community site The Session. He also indulges a darker side of his bouzouki-playing in the band Salter Cane. Jeremy spends most of his time goofing off on the internet, documenting his time-wasting on, where he has been writing for over fifteen years. A photograph he took appears in the film Iron Man.

    Iron Man Photo Story (4:43)

    On Net Neutrality (13:31)

    What’s “Adactio”? (20:44)

    Is the Internet Good or Evil? (24:41)

    Hippocratic Oath for Software Designers (35:51)

    Resilient Web Design (49:06)

    Why do you Love the Web so Much? (54:26)

    The Power and Generosity of the Community (63:05)

    What Comes Next? (71:34)

    Listener Question? (73:44)

    Last Words to the Builders of the Web (74:18)

    Contact Info (80:15)

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Progressive enhancement and the things that are here to stay, with Jeremy Keith | Fixate

    Published Feb 8, 2018

    Jeremy is the founder of ClearLeft - a passionate group of UX and digital strategists based in the UK - where Jeremy now heads research and development. He is the author of a number of books on web development, including his latest book, Resilient Web Design, has been seen on stages like An Event Apart and South By South West, and is also the creator of the world’s first Science Hack Day.

    Time Stamped Show Notes

    1:00 – Jeremy plays in a band in Brighton called Salter Cane. He also enjoys traditional Irish music and goes to Irish music sessions with his mandolin in tow.

    1:42 – What excites Jeremy most about development is when he can accomplish something that makes somebody’s life easier and improves their day.

    3:11 – Jeremy discusses the difficulties of the contradicting goals among the various parties involved in a web project; namely business, designer, developer, and user goals.

    3:37 – Jeremy uses the example of an e-commerce site to demonstrate how tricky it can be to balance competing goals. For example, if the designer only cared about the user’s experience, everything in the store would be free! However, this is obviously not in line with the business goals.

    4:51 – Jeremy got to know Andy Budd and Richard Rutter through their blogs and books about web standards. In 2005, the three got together and founded Clearleft.

    6:22 – At the time, only a few other companies were focusing on user experience. Adaptive Path in America was one of them.

    8:38 – Jeremy thinks design sprints work well. Clearleft blocks out a few days for a group of people to be fully committed to solving a single, defined problem.

    9:21 – Clearleft uses roughly the same sprint structure as the five-day model advocated by Jake Knapp and Daniel Burka of Google.

    10:56 – Jeremy likes the intensity of a sprint as long as it’s followed by a break. He advises against doing design sprints back to back.

    11:16 – Clearleft works with two different development mindsets: a production mindset, and a quality mindset. The production mindest is for transient products like prototypes, whereas the quality mindest is used when creating production-ready code.

    12:54 – Don’t get attached to prototypes and never evolve them into the finished product. Throw the prototype away once it has answered the question, “will it work?” From there, build the product from scratch using the quality mindset.

    17:38 – It’s easier to write code than it is to convince someone to change their mind. “Computers easy; humans hard.”

    18:16 – Jeremy admits to being an awful procrastinator. However, he says it sometimes works in his favour as he often comes across useful content for his blog whilst “goofing off on the internet”.

    19:53 – Jeremy has an “inbox zero,” but only because people know not to email him and because he archives his mails!

    20:12 – Jeremy mentions Jessica Hische’s term, “procrastiworking”. Jessica believes that, “the work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life”.

    21:01 – Jeremy gets frustrated by the sheer number of development tools available. Whereas before you could just open up the text editor, save some html and CSS and build something that works, now you have to set up a build chain, NPM, Webpack, Grunt, Gulp, Unicorn etc.

    21:58 – Tools are supposed to help you work faster. If you find yourself spending more time on the tool than actually doing the work, then it’s not really a tool at all.

    22:26 – In a talk by Anna Shipman, she suggests thinking of your servers as cattle as opposed to pets. Jeremy likes this advice. Don’t get too attached to your servers or to your tools.

    23:03 – Frank Chimero says that working in the web over the past two decades doesn’t feel like twenty years. Instead, it feels like five years done four times over because of how often devs have had to overhaul their way of working.

    23:47 – Although tools and approaches in the industry are often transient, Jeremy is convinced that progressive enhancement is here to stay. Persistent principles like this are what get him excited about development.

    24:55 – Jeremy is excited about service workers and how they lead to faster sites, offline capabilities, and in turn, an improved user experience.

    31:48 – Progressive enhancement starts with the lowest common denominator – the simplest technology to accomplish what the user needs to do. Jeremy says that the trick is not mess it up as you layer elements on top.

    35:01 – Although progressive enhancement focuses on technology rather than the user, the result is often a much improved user experience.

    Quickfire Questions

    35:38 – Best advice about programming

    Jeremy agrees with Hemingway’s advice: “write drunk, edit sober,” as well as Anne Lamott’s concept of the “shitty first draft”. When writing, get everything out of your head first, then go back and edit later.

    36:49 – Habits for writing better code

    Feed your brain effectively and you’ll produce better work.

    Although Jeremy believes that “produce more than you consume” is great advice in general, he says it depends on the type of material you expose yourself to.

    38:51 – BookThe “A Book Apart” series. Jeremy thinks it’s terrific.

    In 2017, Jeremy didn’t read any two fiction, or any two non-fiction books back-to-back. He believes fiction gives you a kind of empathy that non-fiction doesn’t.

    “A Dao of Web Design” by John Allsopp. Although it was published in 2000, the ideas in it are still relevant.

    41:05 – Inspiring devsHarry Roberts, Sarah Soueidan, Sarah Drasner, Jen Simmons, and Rachel Andrew – not only for the great work they’re doing, but for the fact that they’re sharing it too. To Jeremy, this is what’s great about the spirit of the web.

    Alice Boyd-Leslie, Zara Syversen, Amber Wilson, and Cassie Evans for the amazing work they do at CodeBar in Brighton. CodeBar is a great initiative for introducing a more diverse range of people into the world of building for the web.

    44:07 – How to learn to code from scratchCodePen, Glitch, GitHub, John Duckett and Shay Howe’s books, CodeBar: Being in the same physical space as somebody sitting down with someone who’s going to show you this stuff is going to help you.

    46:32 – How to work smart

    Share what you know.

    Tools, Tips, and Books Mentioned


    Resilient Web Design

    An Event Apart

    South by Southwest (SXSW)

    Science Hack Day

    Salter Cane

    Adaptive Path

    Google Design Sprint


    Progressive Enhancement

    Service Workers

    “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott

    A Book Apart

    “A Dao of Web Design” by John Allsopp

    Brighton codebar

    Jeffrey Zeldman and Sarah Parmenter’s, “Ask Dr. Web”


    Smashing Magazine


    A List Apart



    John Duckett’s books

    Shay Howe’s books

    Contact Jeremy

    Twitter: @adactio

    Jeremy’s website:

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Episode 95: Blade Runner 2049 with Denis Villeneuve and Rian Johnson

    Director Denis Villeneuve discusses his new film, Blade Runner 2049, with fellow Director Rian Johnson. Picking up thirty years after the events of Ridley Scott’s classic Blade Runner, the film follows K, an LAPD officer, who discovers a long-buried secret that could plunge what is left of society into chaos.

    Original video:
    Downloaded by on Sun, 04 Feb 2018 10:35:54 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. Ursula Le Guin & Margaret Atwood - Literary Arts

    Ursula Le Guin begins her lecture with Margaret Atwood by saying, “I emailed Margaret about six weeks or so ago and said, ‘What are we going to talk about?’ and she replied, ‘I expect we will talk about 1) What is fiction?; 2) What is science fiction?; 3) The ones who walk away from Omelas—where do they go?; 4) Is the human race doomed?; 5) Anything else that strikes our fancy.’” The two women proceed to examine these questions and talk through their answers. They delve into their writing processes and motives, creating many humorous analogies for the act of writing, whether they connect it to naked chickens, salted slugs, or dark boudoirs.

    Margaret Atwood is a poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, and environmental activist. She has written over 40 books and is best known for her fiction, including The Blind Assassin, which won the Man-Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood has used her public profile to advocate for human rights, the environment, and the welfare of writers. She has been president of PEN International and helped found the Writer’s Trust of Canada. As a public intellectual, Atwood is known as a brilliant thinker on a huge range of subjects who has a wry and ironic sense of humor and who is willing to call out platitudes and other forms of lazy thinking.

    Ursula K. Le Guin sold her first story over 50 years ago and has been writing and publishing ever since. Tackling various modes, including realistic fiction, science fiction, high fantasy, children’s literature, screenplays, and essays, her work has challenged traditional understandings of gender roles, politics, race, and identity. She is best known for her fantasy series Earthsea and her science fiction novel The Left Hand of Darkness. She has influenced several generations of writers, including Junot Díaz, Kelly Link, David Mitchell, and Jonathan Lethem. Throughout her career, she has continuously met criticism with courage, causing one critic to note, “It’s been hard for reviewers to cope with Le Guin. She’s often seemed like a writer without a critical context. But that may just mean that the context is still to come.” Among her many honors, Le Guin has received a National Book Award and, most recently, The National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

    If we knew everything ahead of time, we wouldn’t write the book. It would be paint by numbers and there wouldn’t be any discoveries.” – Margaret Atwood

    “Rereading a book is much better than reading it. A good book reread is better than a good book read.” – Ursula Le Guin

    “All doors are doors to the future, if you go into them.” – Margaret Atwood

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. 011 - “AI is not the only answer” ft. Andy Budd

    Back for 2018 with a blast, this episode features ballistic missile shenanigans, Intel’s security faux pas and a robot bear. We’re joined in the studio by the amazing Andy Budd, CEO of Clearleft, to talk through his pioneering work on the Juvet Agenda and his thoughts on the future of work, AI and humanity. — Alexa Stop is supported by Manifesto and Wirehive, recorded live in London, UK.

    Original video:
    Downloaded by on Fri, 02 Feb 2018 10:42:57 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. Don’t forget the humans, with Jake Archibald | Fixate

    Published Feb 1, 2018

    Jake is a developer advocate for Google Chrome where he speaks regularly about Service Worker, application performance, and offline-first apps. Before joining the team at Google, Jake worked at Lanyrd honing his performance skills, and before that worked at the BBC creating an inclusive experience for users with disabilities.

    Time Stamped Show Notes

    0.56 – Jake started working at the BBC straight after university. He spent most of his time creating a Javascript library where he worked primarily on accessibility.

    1:15 – Jake’s journey with offline-first applications started when he joined the team at Lanyrd in 2012. One of the reasons the Lanyrd team wanted offline capabilities was to address poor wifi conditions at conferences.

    4:04 – Jake is passionate about the web platform. He loves that you can write something once and it runs on OSX, Windows, Android, as well as other obscure operating systems. He likes that someone can experience an app without any kind of install steps or too many compatibility issues.

    5:13 – He finds it exciting going to conferences and hearing people talk about progressive web apps. He likes that people are choosing to build PWAs instead of native apps.

    7:03 – Jake was in Bangalore a couple of years ago. He found a lot of local dev teams were using Angular 1 to build mobile apps. Angular 1 isn’t suitable to build mobile apps as the framework is really big and slow. It’s especially not suitable for apps in India.

    7:54 – He is amazed that in just a short few years dev teams in India are now more focused on performance. Many are using Preact because it’s a smaller library than ReactJs or Angular. It also does server rendering which makes things run much faster.

    8:09 – At a conference Jake ran, he did a site clinic where he and some Google team members did a performance audit on the participants’ work. One participant in particular builds sites for the US, however he builds them as if his target market is a village in India. His resulting sites work really fast in the US.

    9:04 – Jake feels it would beneficial to bring US and UK dev teams to Bangalore to learn how to better site performance.

    9:30 – In promoting offline-first Jake believes more privileged individuals need to be given use cases that are more relatable to their lifestyle. For example expressing that an app should still work when a person is on a plane with no access to data.

    10:56 – Jakes says “luck” and “being in the right place at the right time” has helped him get to where he is today.

    11:56 – He went to university in Middlesborough where he did a course in multimedia and trained as a Flash developer.

    11:40 – In the third year of his course, he had to organise work experience. Jake found a job at Reuters in London where he learnt how to work for a company and communicate with less technically minded people. He was offered a permanent job after graduating.

    13:22 – After Reuters Jake went to work for the BBC for four years where he learnt a lot about accessibility.

    13:38 – At the BBC Jake got to engage with more developers and also started speaking at small meet ups.

    13:51 – Jake’s big break was at his first conference talk while working at the BBC where he spoke about writing a JavaScript library at the BBC. The library had to support more browsers than usual and had strong accessibility guidelines.

    14:41 – The following year, Remy Sharp got Jake to talk at the Full Frontal conference in Brighton. From there he started to do more and more talks.

    15:50 – He was then invited to join Lanyrd where Jake learnt about offline-first and web standards.

    16:37 – He was contacted by Google to assess and give feedback on the new Chromebook. When giving feedback at the Google offices he met up with some people including Paul Irish and Eric Bidelman. Whilst having dinner with them he was invited to interview with Google.

    18:03 – Once he got the job at Google they asked him to work more on offline-first technologies. Jake said “No, I’m just the problems guy, I’m not the solutions guy!”

    20:12 – Jake talks about how they deployed the Javascript library at the BBC using FTP. It wasn’t secure FTP, it was just FTP drag and drop. There was also a shared password! He remembers one experience where they had an issue with deployment. This resulted in BBC’s iPlayer crashing during prime time.

    23:07 – Jake doesn’t feel particularly religious about tooling, although he likes Visual Studio Code.

    24:35 – Jake would feel lost without Github. He spends a lot of his day on Github issues. He prefers Github to mailing lists.

    25:47 – He feels there is a disconnect between developers and standards authors. He’d like to see this divide removed.

    29:12 – At a W3C meeting in late 2017 Ryosuke Niwa from Safari presented an idea called template instantiation. Jake is really excited about it. Template instantiation provides a special way to use mustache-like templating inside a template tag. It takes a lot of cues from hyperHTML and lit-html. It also allows you to make updates without the overhead of “diffing”. Mozilla and Google are also getting involved to improve it.

    31:37 – Jake likes to keep up to date with web standards and browser features. He keeps up to date with web standards through @intenttoship, by reviewing issues on the HTML spec and discussions in the YCG.

    32:10 – Jake tends to wait until libraries and frameworks are popular before he uses them.

    33:25 – The interesting part of ReactJS is the state and props model as well as the lifecycle of components.

    33:37 – He likes the single direction data-binding that ReactJS offers.


    Quickfire Questions

    35:06 – Best advice about programming

    Jake’s school art teacher said to him “you get better at painting with every painting you paint”. He believes everything you build, every library you write and every experiment is not wasted time.

    35:40 – Habits for writing better code

    He thinks coding makes him a “worse human”. He believes if you get trapped in coding, you can end up forgetting the humans behind it.

    38:40 – Book MDN helped Jake get more proficient in JavaScript. It continues to help him today.

    39:35 – Inspiring devs

    Jake admires Remy Sharp due to the amount he has achieved. Domenic Denicola and Anne van Kesteren for their involvement in web standards. He also looks up to Sarah Drasner‘s developer outreach, as well as her creative coding. He also admires Paul Lewis for his ability to design and code.

    42:16 – How to learn to code from scratch

    Use the MDN “Javascript Guide”, it will help you get into JavaScript. Also use Glitch. Glitch allows you to build quick demos of your apps. Read Jake’s blog. He says “it’s a back-up of his brain”.

    44:07 – How to work smart

    “Don’t forget the humans”. Think about your users! When using platforms like Twitter, don’t forget you’re communicating with another human.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  7. Presentable #38: Design vs Capitalism - Relay FM

    My good friend Erika Hall returns to the show. She’s a founder and principal at Mule Design, and author of the forthcoming book "Conversational Design."

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  8. You will love this conversation with Jaron Lanier, but I can’t describe it

    Oftentimes it’s easy for me to describe these conversations. This one is on Trump and Russia. That one is on health care. But not this time.

    I want you to listen to this conversation, because Jaron Lanier is brilliant and his mind is unusual and spending some time within it is a privilege. But I don’t know how to describe it to you. It begins with the story of Lanier tripsitting Richard Feynman, the famed physicist, when he was dying from cancer and decided to try LSD, and it goes from there.

    Lanier is a VR pioneer and a digital philosopher. He coined the term "virtual reality,” founded one of the first companies in the space, and has been involved in both the practice and theory of creating and living in virtual worlds for decades now. He’s one of the most trenchant critics of Silicon Valley’s business model, and the way it’s screwed up both the internet and the world. And somehow, all this has made him a much more humanistic, insightful analyst of what it’s like to live in this world, too.

    His latest book, “Dawn of the New Everything,” is one of my favorites of the last year — it’s thrilling to read a memoir that smart, and that strange, in an era that is so focused on making us dumber and angrier. And in person, Lanier is just as exciting — every answer has an insight worth hearing in it.

    This is one of my favorite conversations I’ve had on the pod. Give it 15 minutes. If you don’t love it, I’ll give you your money back.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  9. Did You Get the Memo? | Dell Technologies United States

    Communication’s come a long way since the days of Samuel Morse. We crack the code on how it’s evolved in this episode.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  10. 292- Speech Bubbles: Understanding Comics with Scott McCloud — 99% Invisible — Overcast

    Cartoonist and theorist Scott McCloud has been making and thinking about comics for decades. He is the author of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. This classic volume explores formal aspects of comics, the historical development of the medium, its fundamental vocabulary, and various ways in which these elements have been used. Scott McCloud breaks down some of the universals in comics and guides us through some of the comic books that pushed the art form forward. Then we use that lens to look at graphic communication in the world at large.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

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