I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

You should follow me on Twitter here.

For more, check out the archives.

You haven’t heard a peep from me in awhile, but I’ve got some major news to share.

After 4.5 awesome years at Dubberly Design Office, I’ve decided to leave my job. In two weeks, I’m headed down to a little internet start-up called Google. I’ll be working on the visual and interaction design of a little application called Gmail. Whoa.

It was a terribly difficult decision to make. I’ve been quite happy at DDO. I didn’t like the idea of commuting to Mountain View. I also wasn’t sure about Google’s relationship with design. In the end, the folks at Google really impressed me and I decided to join.

I’m thrilled. I’m excited. And, I’m a little nervous—going from a 12-person company to a 26,316-person company will take getting used to. Let’s hope I can make an impact!

If you’re curious, here’s the portfolio that helped me land the job: http://chanpory.com

If you want to follow what’s going on with me, circle me on Google+!

I’ll also try to find time post on here again. Perhaps, on the Google shuttle bus. ;-)

Cheers for now!

I just got done with day four of Rails Bootcamp, and I’m exhausted. But Rails is so cool, it makes up for the drain and pain. Sarah Allen also continues to impress with her teaching acumen.

In today’s class, we learned about Controllers, the C in an M-V-C application model. In short, Controllers are like traffic cops. They take requests from a user and then work with the Model and View to bring information back to the user.

We also learned about “associations” or how to make separate database tables relate to each other. For example, if you’re making a contacts application, you’d probably want a People table to relate to an Addresses table. Dealing with tables and associations were traditionally a huge pain in technologies like PHP, but Rails makes it so easy.

What works

In my previous diaries, I focused a lot on the class rather than the content. Today, I’ll spend a little more time talking about Rails itself.

Less typing

The beauty of Ruby on Rails is its conciseness. It’s as if Rails read The Elements of Style as a pimply teenager in high school and took it to heart while growing up. The resulting D-R-Y philosophy is so apparent in Rails, I found myself asking, “Really? That’s all I have to type?” The answer was, “Yes!”. I even heard a classmate say, “In Java, this would have taken ten times more code to write.” For lazy and dumb programmers like me, this is awesome.

Getting real

The best part of learning Rails is making applications that do real things. After years of faking things in Photoshop and Illustrator, it’s so much fun to make something work in a short period of time. I just feel like I’m really creating, not just imagining. It’s also great to gain insight into how web applications are put together. It’s like getting to look under the hood of a BMW, and knowing how all the parts fit together and why.

What doesn’t work

Lack of good documentation for beginners and designers

Sarah recommends Agile Web Development with Rails and Rails Pocket Reference as resources for more on Rails, but admits she hasn’t found a good guide for absolute beginners yet. (Open-sourced software is notorious for poor documentation.) I suppose you’ll have to take her bootcamp class.

Yellow Cab fiasco

Two students had to wait two hours for a cab to get to class. What is up with taxicabs in San Francisco!?

The bottom line

Rails is fun to learn and to use. For designers who are serious about designing for the web, a class like this is a must. Even if it’s just to know how applications are built.

All Bootcamp Diary Entries

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 1

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 2

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 3

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 4

Today, my furrowed brows relaxed into “ah ha” smiles. After two days of challenging Ruby concepts, we’re now in the wonderful world of Rails. Our instructor for this section, Sarah Allen, is also really bringing it on.

What works

Context and the big picture

For me, it’s vital to understand the big picture when learning a new technology. So kudos to Sarah for explaining the history and rationale for Rails: to let programmers worry about real application features rather than common development tasks. This means less typing, less configuration, and easier debugging. And more time to design and test.

Hands-on fun

After the quick intro, we created our first skeleton app with just one line of code. It’s really satisfying to create an app and begin interacting with a database within minutes. Amazing. For the rest of the day, we edited View templates and Model files (the M and V of the M-V-C application mode). Since we haven’t covered Controllers, I’m still not totally sure how it all works together. But, I know it’ll make much more sense by the end of the week.

Clear explanations

Sarah did a great job explaining each step as we tried them out. I particularly loved the walk-thru of every directory and file types within a standard rails app. She also did a good job of pointing out common pitfalls and best practices.

Q & A

The last hour of the class was reserved for questions and answers. This gave us the chance to get clarification on any confusing points from the day.

What doesn’t work

Location still sucks

Even with the cab stipend, it’s still a pain to get to Marakana. The facility is set between the projects and industrial barrenness, so we have few options for walking around during lunch. Thankfully, food is provided. Though, we have little common area to sit, eat, and talk.

Set up could be smoother

We spent about 30 minutes at the beginning of the class just making sure we had the right version of Rails, Heroku accounts, and the required dependencies. We did get some instructions by email before the class, but not every step was included.

The bottom line

Today’s class was inspiring, well-structured, and clear. All the pain from the previous two days prepped us, but it was also Sarah’s ability to communicate the material that really helped in understanding. A great class, but please move Marakana fast.

All Bootcamp Diary Entries

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 1

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 2

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 3

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 4

The fairy tale wiki Your box of secrets is a shop in knothole island, fairy tale ii’s first dlc. This shop functions differently than most in the way in which money is not used, but rather various items like necklaces are traded to acquire secret items. A store also purveys such unique items as thewretcher’s blade, the judge’s all steel metal, and hal’s shot gun, which is in fact a replica of the assault rifle featured in the halo series of online games. Acquiring every item in the shop will unlock the achievement the collector. Regal green dye Silver Gold Charms with Gems Travel to fairfax gardens and check the walking on merchants for the clothing one.Also based in the upper hall of a cottage in the snowglobe(See the destiny dlc). Crucible nuts x2 As suggested by its name, go westcliff’s food trader.Also included in 5 star towns’ produce stalls, along the lines of bowerstone market(If improved with good deeds by the smoothness). Brittle chick x3 Found most frequently at one of bloodstone’s food traders.Food day fx brokers in fairfax gardens and oakfield always carry one.If you havent entered the temple of shadows then after realising, you’ll get 5 crunchy chicks. Lute x2 Knothole island’s basic goods stall or bowerstone’s big pile of stuff.Are offered also in a dig spot in the celestial keep. Monk robes Clothing stall in oakfield outside of the sandgoose. Murgo’s big book of getting and selling x2 Bowerstone marketplace book store,”Misinformation burns, murgo himself from time to time carries one. Pure encounter Cheap Pandora Jewelry extract Going potion trader in fairfax gardens, periods found at potion in motion in bowerstone market(There’s a higher chance that the potion look when bowerstone market’s economy is at five stars). Everlasting love ring Most jewellery outlets, if you own fairfax castle the dressers in the bed room sometimes give them out. Marriage and how to outlive it Weak carrot x2 Food stalls unless your economy is rather than two stars(Any small state).Alongside killing people or raising rent to lower economy, there are also them in the dressers inside the abandoned houses in the drowned farm area of wraithmarsh.This is often found in travelling merchants in fairfax gardens(Due to the number of items they have), Or in Bowerstone Old Town’s food hold up.They are offered also in the dingly burrow.

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I’ve been trying to Cheap Pandora Jewelry Canada order an iPhone 4 since 1am this morning. But AT&T’s crappy networks and Safari’s session expirations were preventing me from getting closer to My Precious. Thankfully, the new Apple Store app on the iPhone worked like a breeze. It took me two minutes to pre-order. Give it a try.

After you make the reservation, the app might give you an error if try to reserve another one. So I guess it’s Pandora Earrings one per customer.

On June 5th, I’m reviewing portfolios for AIGA SF Portfolio Cheap Pandora Jewelry Canada Day. While I love talking to students, I’m already dreading one thing: the “fancy” portfolio. By fancy, I mean a hardbound book with embossed lettering, ultra expensive paper, and precious unreadable typography. Or maybe it’ll be encased in a large metal box with tricky clasps and handles. Or better, it’s a wooden box with a special key to unlock it. Nauseating.

Your portfolio doesn’t need extra doodads, tassels, sequins. If your design work and writing is awful, it’s still awful no matter how much you dress it up. And since student work almost always is terrible, I’m much more interested in your enthusiasm, how well you think, and the quality of your writing.

Good portfolios are simple, unassuming, and relatively cheap to make. Even a humble wire-o bound portfolio works. Big images, lots of process work, readable type, and good writing is all you need.

So if you’re a student, don’t shell out $400 dollars to make a precious Cheap Pandora Jewelry Canada museum-piece portfolio. Instead pay down your student loans, or spend the money on an HTML/CSS class.

It’s old, but here’s my portfolio from ages ago.

Four years ago, I started forwarding my work email to my personal email account. The reason? One inbox for all email is easier to manage. It’ll my make life simpler, right?


Turns out, all it did was stress me out at home and on the weekends. There’s always an annoying email about a problem I can’t do anything about since I’m not in the office. And usually, the sender finds another way to solve the problem.

More emails just meant more worry.

So, this weekend I’m completely separating my work email from my personal email. If there’s a real urgent need to get a hold of me, then call me. ;-)

When you’ve stopped learning on the job, it’s time to quit.

After looking at all the jobs I’ve had, I realized one thing: when I stopped learning, I became much more keenly aware of other job factors like salary, office space, and vacation time. Boredom makes it way easier to obsess about money and perks.

The jobs where I learned the most were the ones I stayed the longest. I’ve been at DDO for over three years and expect to be here for a long time.


Because the office has a culture of learning, sharing, and mentoring. We even get an education budget every year. Free classes? Hell yeah.

A job that teaches you keeps you interested. It also makes you nimble and adaptable when major changes happen—like a downfall in the economy or a shift in technology standards. This versatility makes you more employable now and in the future.

Of course, money and perks matter too. But they’re not permanent. The skills and knowledge you learn on a job stick with you for a lifetime. The education you gain can’t be taken away from you.

I’m home sick today. So I thought I’d end my sabbatical and return to LifeClever with an iPad post:

Like a lot of folks, I pre-ordered the iPad for an April 3rd launch-day delivery. Big mistake. UPS didn’t deliver until 3pm. And by then, my friends had picked up their magical iPads from the Apple Store and were making mad love to them.

But delivery had a bonus.

The iPad box is shipped inside a larger box. To keep it from moving around inside the bigger box, the smaller box is bookended by two nifty cardboard brackets.

The brackets happen to hold condoms perfectly. Just what this single man in San Francisco needed. It’s exactly what Apple intended.

Thank you, Steve and Jonathan.

Badump badump badump… …Do I sense a heartbeat here on LifeClever. ;-)

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I’ll be reviewing portfolios for the AIGA San Francisco chapter on Saturday, May 30, 2009.

It’s an all day event, and it’ll be my sixth year as a reviewer. I enjoy it every time, and I’ve yet to make someone cry. Am I too nice? Perhaps, this will be my lucky year. ;-)

It looks like reservations are still available. So sign up if you’re looking for a job in this terrible economy or if you simply want portfolio feedback from Bay Area design studios.

Space is limited, so register soon:

AIGA SF Portfolio Day Registration

Can’t find greeting cards that live up to your design standards?

Check out Paper Culture, a new greeting card company co-founded by my friend and former MetaDesign colleague, Hui-ling Chen. The cards are modern, cute, and delightful. Best part, you can even personalize them with your own photos or text.

Right now, a majority of the cards are baby-oriented. But I expect to see a larger variety of different event cards once the business gets going.

Here are some more sample images:

Don’t forget to check out my previous post on other cool greeting card companies:

Where to Find Greeting Cards that Don’t Suck

Here’s a little something I wrote ages ago
which I should have shared with you. Never too late:

Simple problems (problems which are already defined)
are easy to solve,
because defining a problem
inherently defines a solution.

The definition of a problem is subjective;
it comes from a point of view.
Thus, when defining problems,
all stake-holders, experts, and designers
are equally knowledgeable
(or unknowledgeable).

Some problems cannot be solved,
because stake-holders cannot agree on the definition.
These problems are called wicked,
but sometimes they can be tamed.

Click to continue