Christopher Butler

The Accountability of Reality

Do you like working with data? I’m guessing your answer was a quick yes. So I’ll ask again: Do you really like working with data? Before you answer, let me clarify something. What I don’t have in mind is the kind of data visualization work that we all probably dream about, the kind that...

Your Website Is Not for You

You know that old gag where the husband gives his wife a bowling ball for her birthday? Or the much-reviled (but sadly true) stereotype of the overzealous soccer parents who are one outburst away from joining the game themselves? Each of these are classic examples of what happens when you make the mistake of...

Why Are You Building This Website?

The picture you’re looking at is a broken promise. I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you; on the contrary, you’ve probably come to expect disappointment from products like these. You’re not alone. Our low-level, day-to-day state of marketing-induced jadedness—the kind that deflates even the laughter (and then, outrage) that should erupt over the reality depicted...

Money First

Talking about money can be awkward, which is why it’s often brought up too late. But no other diagnostic question you ask matters unless your client can afford to pay you for the work they’re hoping you’ll do. And oh boy does that mean that you had better be charging enough. But that’s another...

What are Web Projects Actually Like?

Imagine being a child again, or, for those of you truly in touch with your inner-child, simply imagine sitting on the living room floor, surrounded by blocks. In your mind is a grand vision for a tower unlike any other known to the world—one which only imagination could realize and wooden blocks can only...

A Permanent Work in Progress

Way back in 2007—and believe me, three web years is a long time—I read a column by Harry McCracken, the editor-in-chief for PC World, that I’ve not been able to forget since. In marveling at the pace of technological change, and its increasing scope of reach across the world, he wrote: “More than any...