Pimp my Type, static site generators & inversion

Welcome to the 12th edition of Growing the Stack!

This week we’re following typography class, learning all about static site generators, and turning problems upside down.


🖨 Pimp my Type

Oliver Schöndorfer started a new YouTube channel: Pimp my Type, where he scrutinizes typographic concepts and decisions.

In the first episode he talks about the time display in iOS, and why the numbers’ alignment “jumps” whenever the time changes.

In the first episode I cover something that drives me crazy for a long time now: the time display in iOS. Every minute when the time is changing all numbers shift around and this just annoys me. Find out why Apple made this decision, how we could improve it, and what to learn from it for your own designs.

I’m linking to the article here, but I highly recommend watching the video embedded instead! It’s a ton of fun to watch, and the production value is great.


⚡️ What is a static site generator?

I came across this article while looking for getting started guides for Eleventy, the static site generator.

While this is the first part of a series about Eleventy, it’s not your average introduction. Tatiana Mac dissects the entire concept of a static site generator, and the spectrum between static and dynamic.

The article is so well rounded I can’t even cherrypick a paragraph to preview here. You’ll have to read the whole thing!


🙃 Invert, always, invert

Anup Jadhav talks about the principle of inversion, a mental model to look at problems from another perspective.

The algorithm for inversion is very simple:

  • Define the problem - what is it that you’re trying to achieve?
  • Invert it - what would guarantee the failure to achieve this outcome?
  • Finally, consider solutions to avoid this failure

Instead of asking how do we increase the adoption of a product or feature? You could instead consider - what are some of things preventing adoption? This would lead to a list like this that you could potentially fix:

  • Slow load time i.e. performance issues
  • Not enough marketing, or marketing on the platform, or to the wrong audience
  • The user guide instructions are not clear … you get the idea


To close off this week’s issue, here’s a scary accurate representation of me on our Monday morning team meeting.