Refresh Seattle: fixies

Speaking tomorrow night at Refresh Seattle with Kevin Tamura from Blue Flavor:

Design the Ordinary like this Fixie – This presentation is a study in the simplest of objects, their usefulness, and how they become part of our culture. It relates to web design and our tendency to overcomplicate, to play drum solos when a tight and crisp backbeat will do. Learn how to find inspiration in the ordinary and pause before adding that flair to your next project.

Globe Bikes: Roll

Fixies are form and function. They are bikes built from ordinary parts into useful machines that do what cyclists need them to do. That’s a good lesson for web designers and developers because we tend to overcomplicate our work.

Globe Bikes: Roll

What if consumers, like bike messengers making fixies, made a website to do one thing? What would that look like? Probably more like Google and less like

Kevin and I are also presenting this talk at Microsoft Mix10.


It’s a good thesis, but the proper analogy would be to a single speed bike.  A “fixie” website would be one that was too narrow/stripped of features to be useful to the majority of users.

That’s a good point. We’ve got single speeds to show as well in the talk and I wrestled with that comparison. I ride single speeds mostly and decided to use the term “fixed and fixie” because it’s more well known in pop culture and media than single speeds, but the purpose is the same. You could even take it to “internally geared.”

And a fixie blog would be dangerous in too much traffic :)

A truly good design will be so simple people will say “damn, that’s so simple I could have done that”.

my browser has no brakes, wait that’d mean a memory leak.

The slides from the talk are available [online now](

Used that line in [Slide 6]( of the presentation.

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