Mark Wyner

Sign in

That’s Lou Ferrigno, not my father.

I think I was six, which would have made my brother four. We were avid fans of The Hulk TV series, starring Lou Ferrigno. My dad, like most 70s dads I suspect, had a crush on Lou because he was manly and buff. For my brother and me, though, we just loved that he was green, wore purple pants, and beat the shit out of bad guys for doing bad things.

One day my dad tells us that the Hulk is going to be at this toy store near our house and that we can go meet him. While I…

Working to-do list that includes parent categories labeled “today,” “next up,” and “soon.” Each comprises items with prefixes for “client/project name,” “studio,” and “personal.”

To-do lists can be as overwhelming as they are helpful. But it feels SO good to check something off. Always. If I accomplish a task that isn’t on my list, I will literally add it only to immediately cross it off. Why? Because it helps me feel a sense of accomplishment. And because I experience symptoms of OCD, which are softened with a proper to-do list.

I use Apple’s built-in Reminders app for my to-do list. It’s simple, free, and syncs between my MacBook and iPhone, making my list accessible when I need it. …

Collage: bowl of finished dish, chili oil being held up, shot of fried veggies/nuts, raw veggies on a cutting board
So much goodness

Cooking is fun. Most of the time. My wife is better than I am, but I have mastered a few things. Mostly tofu-based things.

I don’t really have recipes for the food I make. I have a process, which is both methodical and flexible, and everything else is to taste/liking/availability. If that doesn’t work for you, you’re in the wrong place. Also, if you don’t like words like “fuck” you’re also in the wrong place. This isn’t “Cooking with Mary Poppins,” though I really do like Mary Poppins. And Mr. Rogers. Fight me.

Some people asked for my vegetable Thai…

Sketches on notebook paper of ominous symbols and the word “godspeed”
YouTube screencapture

Etymology is a meaningful part of my profession. Especially when working on Information Architecture and information design. It isn’t always a factor when considering language usage, but it does come into play. In any case, for a grammar enthusiast like myself it’s super fun to dive into the etymology of any given word, rabbit holes and all.

Recently I was curious about the religious connotations of “godspeed.” Etymology tells us that its original use was a contraction of “God speed you,” meaning “may God bring you success.” So, yes, it is rooted in religion. But there’s another potential ambiguity in…

The forthcoming MBUX Hyperscreen, via Mercedes-Benz.

Back in 2013 I gave a talk about design usability which included a slide about the then-new Tesla touchscreen dashboard. Everyone was super hyped about how cool it was, but I was there to ruin the party with my criticism about a lack of tactile feedback.

In this case we’re talking about the role of muscle memory, which involves the consolidation of motor tasks into memory.

Take for example the adage “it’s just like riding a bike.” Once we’ve learned to ride a bike but haven’t done so in a long time, we can quickly pick it back up again…

U-11 girls soccer team photo with goofy faces
The 2019 U-11 soccer squad, “Solar Eclipses” / Photo: April Castillo

These are my girls. With the help of my skillful coaching partner, I’m trying to prepare them for the 2027 World Cup. And while their silly-putty faces may lead you to believe that we’re the Bad News Bears of soccer (we kind of are) they are complete badasses.

Last fall we finished our third season together, losing only a single game en route. We certainly dominated some of those matches, but we also had to claw our way back from halftime deficits in more than a few.

The thing is, my girls know how to fight. They know how to…

(Illustrator unknown)

Not all of us are okay. Nor are we prepared to answer the question genuinely. The world is overwhelming in myriad ways. It feels like a betrayal to the pain and suffering felt deep in the soul to reply with “okay, thanks.”

But we ask. And they ask. Clients, peers, neighbors, co-workers, cashiers…every fucking day. “Hello, how are you?”

I want to say “well, I’m a complete fucking mess. There are racists everywhere, cops are murdering Black people in droves, fascists are running around in public spaces with guns cocked/loaded, I’ve recently learned just how terrible it is to breathe-in…

In high school I was often found listening to records in my living room, air drumming, trying to reverse engineer what I was hearing on my favorite records. Mostly I was trying to learn records by Mötley Crüe, Metallica, Slayer, and Rush.

One day I went over to this guy’s house who said he had a drum set. I hadn’t ever played a real kit but was dying to get behind one. He said he could show me some stuff and let me play a little.

We get there and he says he can play “Tom Sawyer.” I was salivating…

Alice in Chains, Dirt Tour — Tucson, 1993

Every once in a while this story resurfaces in conversation. It’s pretty cool, so I thought I would go ahead and write it down for posterity.

Chapter 1: Moshtoberfest Takes the Stage

April 13, 1993 was the day I went from “Tucson famous” to “more Tucson famous.” Back then, my time was primarily split between delivering pizzas and playing drums in death metal, punk, and hardcore bands (including a band with Bryan Giles from Red Fang, called Iscariot — a story for another time).

One of my bands, Cadaverous Quartet, was commanding the Tucson metal scene and was beginning to get international attention in underground music…

Mrs. Smith and me at our personal reunion

This is “Mrs. Smith.” She no longer goes by that name, but that’s what I called her when she was my World Literature teacher during my senior year of high school. I enjoyed coffee and conversation with her on the morning this photo was taken, after a series of interesting events. I want to share this story as a way to help us paint a picture of teachers that doesn’t include arming them for battle in schools. Because gun control isn’t just about the people pulling the triggers.

This journey began in her classroom during my final year of high-school…

Mark Wyner

Meditator, experience designer, technologist, international public speaker, writer, family man, soccer addict, activist ✊🏻

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store