All posts by David A. Kennedy

I work as a Design Director at Automattic on Jetpack, focusing on the front end experience.

Iceberg in Arctic Ocean.

Make the Levers

This quote from a WordPress.com customer caught my eye recently: It just really helped me to solidify what I really want my business to be. I don’t need this big huge gigantic “American dream” of […]

A young dark-haired woman playing acoustic guitar while sitting on grass.

Playing the Right Chords

No matter what type of work you do, you can easily focus on the details too much. Let’s say you’re learning guitar, and you worry about your strumming technique or type of strings you use […]

Multicolored window tiles on the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener, Canada.

Front End Design, WordPress Themes and the Future

Say goodbye to the themer. If you’re not familiar with the WordPress world, that term may not mean much. But in that space, it’s a role, usually with a front end design skill set, filled […]

Brick wall.

An Hour with Gutenberg to Create an Image-Rich Story

Today, I spent an hour recreating a post from Longreads in the Gutenberg publishing experience to gain some empathy for our customers. You can check out the video, and see a screenshot of the final […]

Driving More Traffic to Your Site with $20 and Pizza

Yes, the secret is pizza. 🍕 Let me explain. As a customer empathy challenge, the designers at Automattic have dove into coming up with a plan to drive more traffic to a colleague’s post. With […]

Staying Positive When Your Product Causes Pain

I make and think about WordPress themes all day with the WordPress.com Theme Team. They control the appearance of a WordPress website, and it’s a heck of a fun job. Most of the time. What […]

Themes are Mission Control

When we think of space flight, we often think of the thing that gets us there: the shuttle, module or rockets that take us out of this world. However, in the early days of space […]

The Next Chapter for Themes

Every few months I read a post about how the WordPress theme business has shrunk. The authors always reach a similar conclusion. Sales have dwindled. Competition has increased. Putting food on the table, finding a […]

How to Know When to Walk Away from a Project

This week, I published a post about how the Theme Team at Automattic decided to retire one of our recent experiments: