Hi. Welcome to my design blog. Below are the last 5 things I've posted. For more info, read about this site. -Michael


I’ve hinted at starting to play with music for a little while now. I’ve gotten past the point of just being overwhelmed and uncertain about whether I can learn to create music, and am now immersed in learning. Here’s the story, and why you may start to see me blog about music now.

In 2013 I committed to teaching a mixing (DJing) workshop to a group of colleagues, having rediscovered mixing with digital music. I mixed house and electronic music as a teenager (because Filipino) and college student, and then bedroom DJ through the years until I settled into an IA/IXD career, had kids, etc. I returned to bedroom DJ status when I acquired Traktor, and that’s rekindled the love I have for electronic music.

In the year since I started mixing again, I’ve rediscovered a love for deep house, techno, ambient, and electronic music in general. I found a wonderful piano teacher where I live and have been taking piano lessons and learning music production. This year I made a commitment to start making my own music with the goal of putting it on the Internet.

There’s something gratifying about the beginning of a new project. Learning a new skill from zero feels daunting. I have some history and references to draw upon. I’ve begun to study and do research to become steeped in the language and tools of the craft. I’ve started to read everything I can find about creators in that field, and yearn to know how they create. I realize with excitement that there is a lot to learn.

I think some people find it odd that I’m starting this new pursuit this late in life. The best way I know how to deal with an itch is to scratch it. So I’m starting this music blog to share my thoughts in this new pursuit. I’m already finding a lot of spillover into other creative work as I do this, so maybe that will be interesting to others. For some, this may be a reason to stop following this blog, and I fully understand.

For those that stick around, thanks for taking the time to read this and explore with me. -Michael

Balsamiq Mockups Version 3 Released

We released version 3 of Balsamiq Mockups today! There's plenty to see including an updated interface, new file format (single packaged project files), better asset and symbols management, the addition of FontAwesome icons, and plenty of improvements under the surface. We point out some of the highlights in the video below.

There's plenty more under the hood, and lots of new stuff on deck. You can read all about it in the announcement. It's a free update to existing users. Download it here.

Special thanks to all of the great customers giving us feedback over the years, and particularly those who we talked to in our forum, in our Beta group, our usability test sessions, and in the hallways at Interaction 15 this year. Much more to come!


Astropad: Use iPad as Mac Graphics Tablet

AstroPad turns your iPad into a Mac graphics tablet, mirroring a section of your Mac’s screen when connected via WiFi or USB. Once connected you can sketch/draw on the tablet with an iPad stylus or finger. It will operate pretty much like a Wacom graphics tablet when you’re using a Desktop graphics app with a drawing tool like Pixelmator, Photoshop, or Sketchbook Pro.


Want More?

Check the blog for the latest findings first. The Tools section is where you'll find my OmniGraffle Wireframe Stencil, UX Template, Printable Graph Paper and a DIY Sketchbook Tutorial.

The Wiki holds resources like my listing of Conferences and Events, Job Sites, and The Sketch Book, my presentation on UI sketching. Dig even deeper by Searching or Browsing Tags.