031: Getting Scrappy with Mat Marquis

User Defenders "Muscles McTouchdown" Mat Marquis

Mat Marquis reminds us that web design is scrappy business. He inspires us to fight for what we truly believe in. He shows us how we can take our designs and skills further by learning a little code. He motivates us to continue to hone our communication skills by writing a lot. He also encourages us to surround ourselves with people who inspire us, and make us better.

Mat Marquis is an Inclusive Web Developer at Bocoup where he makes fast, accessible and responsive websites. He’s the Chair of the Responsive Issues Community Group where he spearheaded the effort to bring native responsive image solutions to the HTML5 specification. He’s the author of A Book Apart published “JavaScript for Web Designers”. He’s a former editor at A List Apart, and member of the jQuery team. Mat is a frequent speaker at one of my favorite web conferences, An Event Apart. He’s an ex-carpenter, amateur boxer and also bakes a mean batch of croissants.

  • Secret Identity/Origin Story (7:25)
  • Biggest Superhero (15:35)
  • Second Career Choice (17:17)
  • Biggest Failure (18:55)
  • Awkward Testing Story (21:49)
  • Design Superpower (27:11)
  • Design Kryptonite (29:00)
  • Design Superhero Name (34:25)
  • Fight For Users (39:58)
  • Future Of UX Design (43:00)
  • Habit Of Success (53:54)
  • Invincible Resource (55:37)
  • Book Recommendation (59:55)
  • Best Advice (62:52)
  • Most Excited About (70:12)
  • Contact Info (71:27)

LINKS
Mat’s Twitter
Mat’s Github
[RESOURCES] Sketch
[BOOK] If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript


SUBSCRIBE
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SUPERPOWER OF SUPPORT
Here’s your chance to use your superpower of support. Don’t rely on telepathy alone! If you’re enjoying the show, would you take two minutes and leave a rating and review on iTunes? I’d also be willing to remove my cloak of invisibility from your inbox if you’d subscribe to the Bi-Weekly Bugle for my best UX/Personal Growth tips and superguest announcements.

SUPER-CRED
Artwork by Eli Jorgensen | Editing by Chris Combs | Show Notes by Darryn Goldsmith


SECRET IDENTITY/ORIGIN STORY
I was a carpenter a hundred years ago and the bottom fell out of the family business so I ended up working at a CompUSA for a while. I did that, was a line cook, a bouncer, and was also a mall booth worker for Cingular. Things weren’t on the upswing so I gave my two weeks’ notice and took The T as far south as I could go and then just started walking. I hitchhiked down to Florida to my friend’s place where his girlfriend ended up asking me to make her website. Somehow I worked out a deal to receive 10 percent of whatever the site made. I took my paltry earnings, went back to Boston and did an internship. That was my first ever job with a desk and now I’m at Bocoup.

BIGGEST SUPERHERO
Ethan Marcotte

SECOND CAREER CHOICE
I’d move to the woods and make chairs. I’ve also been thinking of maybe a food truck. Of course it would have French cuisine. The differentiating factor would be that I do antique British motorcycle repair inside the truck. I’d adjust your timing and whip up some baguettes for you. How about a nice potato leek soup while I adjust your points?

BIGGEST FAILURE
Web standards has had some solid results, but is a constant exercise in failure. I’ve also bombed a couple of projects.

AWKWARD TESTING STORY
There’s the occasional mistakenly sent Slack message. I haven’t run into a lot of user testing weirdness. I don’t do a lot of the user testing so I don’t get much of the juicy stories.

DESIGN SUPERPOWER
If anything it’s living somewhere in the middle. Like a Blade thing. Somebody hands you a comp and you make the comp. You have a few tense conversations where you don’t like something and say, “This won’t work.” If there is anything I can take professional credit for is being pretty good at that conversation. That has benefitted me huge.

DESIGN KRYPTONITE
It’s the opposite side of that coin. It’s the waterfall type process where there are things that could have been riffed on but you can’t because the communication just isn’t there.

SUPERHERO NAME
Muscles McTouchdown

HOW DO YOU FIGHT FOR YOUR USERS?
I don’t super care about making websites but I do need to move the needle a little. The goal is to have someone use the site and think it’s okay. Nobody gets psyched about the effort put forth by the web developer and say to themselves, “I find this to be a functional and usable experience!” I want them to say, “This website doesn’t suck!” because a lot of websites aren’t that great. I’m passionate about a good result.

FUTURE OF UX
I’m looking forward to us getting a little more jaded. There are so many new tools or the latest cool things that I’d like to see a more we’ll-get-to-it attitude. Yeah there’s a new thing. We’ll try it out. Maybe it’s good. Maybe it’s not. I feel like we build and lose momentum too many times in this field. Sometimes the new thing is a detriment to the end product. Jaded probably isn’t the right word but a considered approach to technological decisions.

HABIT OF SUCCESS
My addiction to caffeine.

INVINCIBLE RESOURCE
I’m officially Sketch people. I’ve removed the Photoshop icon from my dock. Sketch is the jam. I’ve started using Canvas too. It’s a collaborative markdown editor. It is pretty rad.

BEST ADVICE
What has benefitted me the most in my career is being good at writing. Being able to write a good email and get the message across. Being able to express the plan clearly. So my advice is to write a lot.

MOST EXCITED ABOUT
Working at Bocoup. And I’ve got the 2017 talk coming up.