Cap Watkins

Cap Watkins

VP of Design @ BuzzFeed Joined over 9 years ago

  • 12 stories
  • Posted to What is up with Eli Schiff?, Jun 11, 2016

    I've been avoiding this issue hoping it'd die out, but since it's clearly not:

    I'm confused by the question. The design community has consistently and regularly promoted this person's work because it's incendiary even while being, so often, misinformed or willfully ignorant of context. These threads about "the latest incendiary thing Eli said" only serve to stoke the fire. If people called this person's work out for what it is (mean-spirited and purposefully incorrect analysis) and then ceased linking to and promoting it he'd either eventually stop or fade out.

    Reading and promoting stuff like this doesn't create a strong, healthy community. It doesn't promote the kind of constructive critique that should be held onto dearly by all creatives. Instead it praises a kind of grandstanding, holier-than-thou attitude that isn't in service of the greater good. It encourages and rewards self-promotion at all costs. I'm sure Eli will find this thread and say something snarky and people here will upvote it because lols, but just remember that with every link, click, RT and upvote you are shaping the culture of the design community. Make sure it's the kind of culture you want to live in.

    The community created this problem. The community should own and collectively fix the problem.

    135 points
  • Posted to Interview with VP of Design at BuzzFeed, Cap Watkins, in reply to Thompson George , Feb 10, 2016


    8 points
  • Posted to Interview with VP of Design at BuzzFeed, Cap Watkins, in reply to Alex Chan , Feb 10, 2016

    We do photo shoots like this every day, honestly. :) Not much to do at our globally-distributed media conglomerate.


    8 points
  • Posted to Solid: Buzzfeed's CSS Style Guide, in reply to Pete Miller , Dec 04, 2015

    I don't understand the question. The majority of our classnames are responsive.

    1 point
  • Posted to Solid: Buzzfeed's CSS Style Guide, in reply to Jonathan Simcoe , Dec 03, 2015

    Our engineers requested we add that to the immutable classes to make them harder to accidentally override (since they should never ever be overridden).

    1 point
  • Posted to Solid: Buzzfeed's CSS Style Guide, in reply to Daniel Fosco , Dec 03, 2015

    Hi hi!

    "Millions" is something of an overstatement. :) Brent Jackson and Adam Morse covered this pretty well in their individual Design Details appearances, but I'll do my best rendition here.

    Historically, I've been in many codebases where the CSS basically just gets bigger and bigger over time. It's not cleaned up, not maintained, and even if you break up CSS files by page or feature, you're still taxing the user with loading what amounts to a new CSS file with every pageload, or with one gigantic CSS file (I've seen them in the hundreds of kb range).

    Funnily, if you wrote all of CSS as classnames, it's actually pretty small. And if you want to make those classnames responsive, it's still pretty small (relatively). Brent's Basscss is even smaller than our version. Also, now you're working with pretty DRY CSS most of the time, since you wouldn't write float:left; again and again. You'd just use the classname.

    Solid, when gzipped, is currently 12kb. On a site with as much traffic (mobile traffic as well) as Buzzfeed, that's a HUGE gain over trying to write specific CSS for every part of each of our pages/articles. Once we get this implemented across the entire site, our users will be loading very, very little CSS. And even if we do have to write some page-specific CSS, it'll be way smaller than it would have been without this.

    Additionally, we've seen a significant increase in our front-end development speed. We regularly get comments from our engineers about how powerful this methodology is and how much better its made their lives.

    Obviously there are pitfalls we need to watch out for, but those seem worth the risk so far.

    If you haven't yet, try building a couple side projects with Basscss. I was pretty skeptical of the approach, personally, until I did that and realized just how fast it was to build with and how small it was to load. Pretty rad.

    Hope that helps!

    -- Cap

    5 points
  • Posted to Favorite iOS News App?, Jul 28, 2015

    I know I'm super biased, but the BuzzFeed News app has kept me pretty engaged. Our editors are pretty economical with push notifications (and you can follow specific stories/categories as well) and the content's a good mix of our original stuff and good stories from other news outlets.

    4 points
  • Posted to Should a Product Designer know code? , Jul 22, 2015


    Can I write a bot to just auto-respond to every one of these threads?

    13 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Working for a B Corp. Would love your input, Jul 16, 2015

    Etsy is a B Corp and is pretty magical. Not sure what else to say. They live their belief system. Highly recommend.

    1 point
  • Posted to Bloomberg killing it again: Paul Krugman Goes for a Knockout Against Scrappy Austerians, Jun 25, 2015

    Seems like they're getting their design vs. content priorities a bit mixed up.

    0 points
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