This site runs best with JavaScript enabled.

What I'm Doing Now

Last tended Aug 07, 2021

A sporadically updated log of what I'm currently interested in and focused on. More stable than a twitter feed and less permanent then the

page. Now pages are a
growing thing.
Make one for yourself!

August 2021

With lockdown easing in London I've spent most of summer outside throwing tennis balls around in the park, rather than sitting in front of screens writing words. It's been a good break, but I've missed researching. The British winter will descend again soon and I'll be back inside tending to the digital garden.

We finally launched

after 2 years of work. It's an interactive book that teaches JavaScript through visual mental models. Created with
Dan Abramov
and the team at egghead.

I've become enamoured with

End-user Programming
over the last 6 months. The
Future of Coding
community and
Gordon Brandon
's newsletter have been particularly valuable hubs of insight.

Chatted to a few podcast folks;

  1. Adam Wiggins and Mark McGranaghan on
    about visual programming.
  2. Scott Francis and Evan Payne on
    Frontend Heroes
    about a little bit of everything

Currently preparing a talk for two conferences in October;

in Amsterdam and
React Advanced
here in London. On various ways to visualise React, why visual representations work so well, the pros / cons / wicked historical problems of adding graphical and spatial affordances to programming interfaces, and why we should keep trying despite the challenges.

September 2020

Digging into the work of

and reading the literature around
embodied cognition
. I've been a long time fan of
George Lakoff
so much of it us familiar. Tverksy's new book
Mind in Motion
builds off many of the same themes.

Delaying a part-time Masters degree in

at UCL until next year when we'll hopefully be less Covid-y


by Nadia Eghbal

Exploring the connections between technology and magic through the writings of

. Specifically enjoyed the paper
The Technology of Enchantment and the Enchantment of Technology


– A game that challenges players to collaboratively and competitively describe objects from a range of alternative futures.

Want to share?

Join the newsletter

For weekly notes on visual thinking, ethical technology, and cultural anthropology.

Maggie Appleton © 2021