Sofa 2.13 - Apps, Audiobooks, Board Games, and More

March 16, 2021

Hey gang, I’ve got a fun update for you today. This release brings the first non-digital data type to the app, a complete rethinking of data management, and some fun new themes. Hope you enjoy it!


Consistency and Cohesion

March 12, 2021

In software, consistency and cohesion tend to get lumped together as the same thing. I’ve found this leads to painfully tedious arguments around product and design decisions.


Sofa Work Log - Apps, Audiobooks, and Board Games

March 10, 2021

Apps, Audiobooks, and Board Games are coming soon to Sofa. This brings the number of unique data types to nine! Sofa 2.0 launched in 2017 with movies, TV shows, and books. It’s come a long way.


Work Log - Deeplinks and Creator Themes

February 23, 2021

This week I talk about how I’m improving data management in the app, details of a promotion I did recently, and some feedback from the community.


Data Management and Sofa Roadmap

February 16, 2021

This week I talk about how I’m improving data management in the app, details of a promotion I did recently, and some feedback from the community.


Improving Sofa’s Data Management

February 08, 2021

This week I talk about how I’m improving data management in the app, details of a promotion I did recently, and some feedback from the community.


A Place to Discuss Sofa

January 19, 2021

I have little control over how and where people talk about Sofa. I’m perfectly happy, and lucky, for anyone to talk about Sofa in any way, shape, or form. That being said, I would like to have an official place for people to discuss Sofa and their downtime.


Sofa 2020 Year in Review

December 29, 2020

2020 has been one long shit show. Focusing on the good things in life has been difficult to say the least. Sofa was a positive outlet for me this year, and gave me a place to take a break from everything else going on. I’m thankful I have it.


The SwiftUI Detour

December 01, 2020

I recently released version 2.12 of Sofa. That release brought new features, but more importantly, included a major refactoring of the app.


Sofa’s iOS 14 Update

November 17, 2020

2020 has been full of surprises for all of us. For Sofa, I only planned on one major release this year followed up by a bunch of smaller releases. Things didn’t turn out that way. This iOS 14 update is big.


Why Your Design System Isn’t Working

August 10, 2020

This is a webinar I did with Amanda Kalk back in the spring for Think Company. About When it comes to implementing a design system, success is an eternally-moving target. Evolution and maintenance are critical over time, but how do you recognize the catalysts and symptoms that mean your system might be failing?


Creators Campfire Podcast Interview

August 01, 2020

I was interviewed for the Creators Campfire podcast the other day and had a great time. We chatted about Sofa, app development, and more.


Understanding Design Systems

July 08, 2020

As part of my work at Think Company, I did a webinar for people new to design systems. It goes over what design systems are, the value they bring to teams and organizations, and the foundational knowledge you’ll need before starting your own system.


Thinking through custom items in Sofa

July 01, 2020

I recently added the ability for people to save custom items to Sofa. This post outlines the thinking behind the feature and how it works.


Moving from Gatsby to WordPress

June 28, 2020

For the past year or so this site has been running on Gatsby.js. Gatsby is a static site generator built with React. I had built some stuff with it at work and decided to give it a try for my personal blog.


A More Well-Rounded Sofa Experience

June 08, 2020

Back in December of 2019, I wrote how I'm focused on making Sofa a more well-rounded product. There are a number of compromises that people have to make in order to feel comfortable using the product. Well, today a bunch of those compromised get squashed.


Sofa Year in Review 2019

December 24, 2019

I’m a fan of doing a “year in review” exercise. It’s easy to forget all the work that’s been done, which results in me feeling like I haven’t made enough progress. In fact, a lot of work has been done, which makes me feel good!


Sofa Updates for iOS 13

October 16, 2019

There are a bunch of new features in iOS 13. To bring Sofa up to date, I focused on three things: dark mode, context menus, and bug fixes.


Implementing iOS 13 Dark Mode Settings in Sofa

September 07, 2019

In iOS 13, people will be able to choose a light or dark “theme” that will apply system wide. Regardless of what you think about dark mode, apps that don’t adopt this will stick out like a sore thumb.


How to Make Expandable Elements Less Confusing

September 01, 2019

Expandable elements are extremely common across desktop and mobile apps. So common in fact that you might be wondering why I’m spending time writing about this. Things that are common are not always well understood.


Things to Keep in Mind When Designing Native Mobile Apps

August 28, 2019

Sofa was suffering from a tight-coupling problem between view controllers. I discovered this while trying to refactor my massive controllers. I stumbled upon the coordinator pattern, which ended up being a great solution.


Design System Resources

August 26, 2019

This is a list of resources for design systems. Hopefully it will be as helpful to you as it is to me.


Tom Bihn Synik 22 Research

August 25, 2019

I’m looking at purchasing a Tom Bihn Synik 22. These are resources I’m collecting to help me decide if I should purchase.


New in Sofa: Reorder Sections, Lists, and List Items 🎉

July 24, 2019

Reordering of sections, lists, and list items has been the most requested feature for a while now. You may even be thinking, “Why the hell did it take so long?”. First, it’s trickier than it appears to be to implement well. Secondly, I’m only one person who works on Sofa in my spare time. Things naturally take longer.


Fixing Sofa’s Tight-Coupling Problem with Coordinators

April 21, 2019

Sofa was suffering from a tight-coupling problem between view controllers. I discovered this while trying to refactor my massive controllers. I stumbled upon the coordinator pattern, which ended up being a great solution.


Sofa 2.7: Adding More To Your Lists

January 16, 2019

There are an enormous amount of ways that you can spend your downtime. So far, Sofa has been able to help you with a few of those: books, movies & TV, and podcasts. Today I'm adding a few more to that list.


Sofa 2018: Year In Review

December 26, 2018

Throughout 2018 I’ve shipped updates, conducted research, and introduced many new features. I thought it might be fun to take a look back at what was accomplished in 2018.


What’s New in Sofa 2.5

July 17, 2018

Sofa 2.5 is a BIG release. It addresses a lot of issues I’ve been hearing over of the past few months. Some of the issues I’ve been aware of for a while, and needed time to think them through.


Bringing Podcasts to Sofa

April 17, 2018

I’m excited to announce that you can now save podcasts to Sofa 2.4. This is another step towards making Sofa the place for remembering things to do later.


Sofa: From Free to Paid

March 12, 2018

Today I’m changing Sofa’s price from Free to $4.99. In a world were people don’t pay for apps, you may think that I’m an idiot. While very possible, there are a few good reasons to do this.


New in Sofa: Quick Add, 3D Touch , and Peek & Pop

February 14, 2018

I was hearing from people that sometimes they wanted to search for a book, movie or tv show before deciding which list it should be in. In hindsight this seems obvious, but also easy to miss. Well, now it’s here.


Announcing Sofa 2.0

December 13, 2017

Imagine you’re chatting with a friend and they tell you about a new tv show you must watch. The show sounds interesting and you say “I’ll have to check it out.” How do you remember to watch it?


Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 & Co-Pilot Combo for 2 Week Italy Trip

December 29, 2016

I recently took a two week trip to Italy & France. We visited 4 different cities: Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris. For transportation, we traveled on three planes, fours trains, six taxis, two water taxis and TONS of walking. This lead me down the path of packing lightly and gave me a good reason to finally purchase the Aeronaut 45.


Sofa with 3D Touch

December 21, 2015

Now all you 6s & 6s Plus users can quickly jump to Discover, Search, or My List directly from your home screen. Cool beans.


The Road to Sofa 1.0

December 16, 2015

When we started working on Sofa, it was very different from what you see today. In fact, it wasn’t even called Sofa. It was called many things: Movie Night, Movie List, and Movie Pal just to name a few. I wanted to share a little bit of the story about how we got to Sofa 1.0.


Sofa 1.0 is here!

September 11, 2015

If you love movies and have an iPhone, then today is a good day.


Some Thoughts on Facebook Paper

June 17, 2014

Facebook has a lot of users from all over the world. Can they design a single experience for a billion people and have them all be happy with it?


My iPad Use

December 03, 2011

I got the iPad 1 the first day it came out. The feeling I got when I first used it was great. It felt like I was using something from the future. It didn’t seem possible that this big, thin piece of glass could be real.


iOS Notifications

March 07, 2011

Currently, when I get a text or push notification on my iPhone, it interrupts whatever I’m doing and shows me a dialog box that I must interact with. It’s insanely annoying. After thinking about how it could be implemented on the iPhone, I think I have come up with something that solves this problem.​​


© 2021 Shawn Hickman