Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Yuri Victor

Yuri Victor

Developer, user experience designer (Vox Media)

Posted in designer, developer, journalist, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

Howdy. I'm Yuri Victor.

I once made a website to help people on furlough that went viral and the story ended up being played on NPR with a single quote from me. Something like "I got pretty drunk." There's that.

Sometimes if you mention a silly idea, I might go build it.

Right now, I'm a senior user experience designer at Vox Media. I spend most of my time in the Vox newsroom melding design, programming and journalism.

I like newsrooms and have worked in almost every role (reporter, editor, page designer, photographer) and in multiple departments (editorial, IT, marketing, advertising) and even had a stint pushing 600 pound rolls of paper around the pressroom.

I most recently worked at The Washington Post where I helped introduce a new CMS and worked on some cool projects: The Grid, Liveblog, Know More and Truth Teller.

I also sometimes help build stuff for ONA and SND and contribute to open source projects like WordPress.

What hardware do you use?

My hardware standards are low.

Until 2010, I used an overclocked 486, frankensteined from computer graves, that blinked, buzzed, whirled and sounded like my entire apartment might at any moment propel into space. At one point, someone who didn't appreciate the screaming fan cut its wire. This led to a spark that caused a fire that caused me to buy a new computer.

I now mostly use a 2010 13-inch MacBook Pro. I don't use peripherals. I try to degrade my personal hardware experiences to increase my empathy.

I use an iPhone. It's OK. I just recently upgraded to the latest model.

And what software?

I spend most of my time on the command line full screen 4 windows at once opened with a hotkey, but use Mac OS X because I can type things like "open Photoshop," which I use mainly for making funnies on Twitter.

I use Mathias Bynens' dotfiles for a lot of handy shortcuts and impromptu for a sensible command line. Homebrew and cask are a must for installing software, Glances is a pretty sweet monitoring tool and grunt-init automates my coding to the robot overlords.

I heavily use spaces with color coordinated backgrounds for quickly finding where I'm working. Since I design in the browser most of my life is switching between a text editor and waiting for the browser to refresh, crying because it didn't work, and back and forth just a few more times, and back and fist pumping "IT WORKED." Sometimes I browse the web at a really small width to remember not everyone has a wicked huge screen. As far as text editors go, I'm not picky. I typed half this in vim and half in Atom and I'd type in pico if you wanted. What you build is more important than the text editor you use and the people you build with most important of all.

The Internet is enough of a distraction so I hide most of the Mac OS chrome starting with the desktop and dock and use Nocturne for hiding the menu, while Airmail and Fantastical keep my email and calendar well hidden. When I need a user interface for Mac OS, I use a hotkey to toggle Alfred.

Slack and Tweetdeck are mostly how I keep in touch with the world.

Speaking of fires, all my files are synced on Dropbox and I save very little to my machine itself.

Almost done.

I spend about half of my day on my iPhone. I use Zite, Circa, Al Jazeera America to stay informed. Mailbox is a life saver for managing email. Dark Sky helps me plan trips around DC's weathery swings that I can tweet about using Tweetbot.


What would be your dream setup?

I wish I had a smaller everything. Smaller iPhone, smaller MacBook. I want a computer I can code on that hooks up to 4G that fits in my pocket or at the very least the front pocket of overalls.

I really wish it was easier to program on the iPad, but the keypad setup hides a lot of programming keys one or two screens away, which means an extra keyboard is necessary, which is basically a poor non-multi-tasking laptop. Essentially my dream setup is a smaller Microsoft Surface running Mac OS X.

Also, you're a star and I love you. Follow me on twitter maybe: [@yurivictor]( "Yuri's Twitter account.").