A lil’ time with… Timoni


Who are you, and what do you?

I am Timoni Grone, former-Nebraska-farmgirl-now-Californian-city-dweller, and I design web interfaces. I’m currently a UI/visual designer at Flickr, which is a totally rad gig.

What hardware are you using?

At work, I have a 2.15Ghz Core 2 Duo 15″ MBP, a 24″ external monitor, the short Mac keyboard and a Mighty Mouse. At home, I have a 2.67GHz 15″ MBP and a Magic Mouse. I forget how much RAM I have, but both computers are fast enough.

I also have an old Mac Mini working as a media center (hooked up to my absurdly ginormous television), a 2TB Lacie Quadra for backups, an Airport for network stuff, a 16GB wifi iPad and an iPhone 4.

I briefly had a Wacom Cintiq 12WX earlier this year. I excitedly used it for a few weeks, then left it untouched for months, and finally sold it. It was too much of a pain to switch back and forth between the tablet and my laptop.

And what software?

For web dev, I like TextMate, though I was on a strict Coda diet for a while when it made sense to have seamless FTP integration. If I’m using TextMate, I use Transmit. Current browser of choice is Chrome, cause it’s super-fast, though I prefer Firebug to Web Inspector for development.

Day to day, I use Photoshop and Illustrator all the time. I’ve been trying to switch to comping in Fireworks for a while, but for some reason it was never installed on my work computer, so I default back to Photoshop. The way it handles smart objects is a pain, but Save For Web in Illustrator can be effing tricky sometimes (also, the way Illustrator renders text below a certain size makes my eyes hurt).

I have Skitch, the Last.fm scrobble app, and Dropbox running at all times on both of my MBPs. I use Dropbox to sync my work folder and one of my iTunes libraries. Works like a charm and it’s only ten bucks a month.

For print work, I use InDesign. For small things like bills & letterhead, I use TextEdit. I try to avoid halfway-done word processors like Pages and Word; the way they handle style sheets drives me batty.

I just started using Notational Velocity for my to-do lists (thanks Daniel!). I use Google Calendar for scheduling, and have SMS reminders sent to my phone (a total lifesaver). When I want to write, I use Ommwriter, the nicest little text editor out there.

On my iPad, I most often use NetNewsWire, Instapaper, the Kindle app, and Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro.

What would be your dream setup?

We’re at a really fascinating point in hardware development right now, which makes it difficult to answer this question. My knee-jerk answer is that I want the Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer combined with an iPad combined with the Cintiq combined with, you know, a Cray supercomputer or something else equally powerful.

The problem is, really, handwriting recognition; if you’ve ever tried to use the iPad with an external keyboard, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Switching from typing to writing or drawing and back is a fucking pain. Regular notebooks allow you to draw and write without changing your hand position, which doesn’t seem like a luxury until you try actually working on a tablet and then find you need to input text.

SJ may think that styli are inelegant, but the fact is, using a pen to write or draw on paper is both comfortable and easy; it’s just not as fast as typing. Most people are content with inputting data via a keyboard, and this makes sense for a lot of jobs: marketing, business development, finance, and programming, for example. But for the designers, there’s a big gap between starting the creative process and executing the product design *because* it’s much easier to sketch out your ideas on paper, with a pen, than a computer. And this is unfortunate; in the future, we should have computers that allow us to keep contexts for different stages of product development. The iPad and ThinkPads are steps in the right direction, but they’re still awfully clumsy, which is why, in part, people criticize the iPad as a product for mere consumption.

I want a Moleskine that is a blindingly superfast computer. That’s my dream setup.