Containerization & API

Interesting video on containerization and how it can explain what an API is. I loved the graphic approach to describing it and it’s definitely a helpful analogy to break down what is really happening when companies share APIs.

Containerization from MAYAnMAYA on Vimeo.

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What I’ve Been Reading

There are an enormous number of blogs, newspapers, journal articles, post-it notes, etc out there. At times it becomes hard to sift through and keep up with everything.

Here are a few that have stood out recently:

Artistic Distance

An article by A List Apart about the need to step away from your work every once in a while and look at it from a new perspective. It reminds me of a drawing class that I took freshman year at RIT (where we got our charcoal drawings erased after 4+ hours of working on them). We learned quickly to step away and become unattached from our work. That is not to say that a designer or artist should not be fully invested in their work, but they need to recognize when there are mistakes or when they need to rework parts.

Information is Beautiful – Designing the Cover

Information is Beautiful. If you haven’t heard of this book before, you should definitely go check it out. It’s an entire book of interesting information graphics. This article goes into detail about how the cover was chosen and shows all of the various iterations along the way. In total, there were over 90 covers that were considered at one point or another. As someone who picks almost all books by their cover, it’s interesting to think about what it could have been.

And last but not least, Real Chat Over Socialed

It’s an interesting read that bring up the question of whether or not we’re too connected. When was the last time you had a real conversation face to face without the distraction of tweeting/texting/checking in? There are definitely situations where we need to be reminded to focus on the present and not have distractions coming in from all sides.

Of course, these three articles far from cover what is out there right now but they’re just ones that have stood out.

What have you been reading lately? 

Go Vedgy

One of the projects I’ve been working on this quarter is “Vedgy” which basically looks to brand vegetarian as something other than simply for hippies. I’ve gone through tons of different color variations, logo designs, names, etc to end up where I am right now.

Example 1: Where I started out 8 or so weeks ago…

Example 2: Where I’ve ended up now with the Vedgy app…

 

There are a lot of different components that are included in this screenshot (not shown) including more pages & functions in the app, a website that functions similarly but not entirely like the app, a cookbook (both digital and print) and social media components (Facebook & Twitter). Funny story about the twitter page was that I actually set it up simply to take a screenshot of it for my portfolio… except then people I didn’t know started adding it and talking to me (well, to @GO_Vedgy)! So I’ve kept it up and have continued tweeting some. I might see what I can do more to it next quarter, might be fun.

Twitter vs. Facebook

I’ve been hearing a lot of hate towards Twitter lately. Likewise for facebook but less so due to the fact it’s been around longer and people better understand it’s purpose. Regardless of what anyone says, I’m becoming a huge Twitter fan and finding that I’m spending way more time on that than Facebook.

Reasons Why Twitter is Better:

1. Less Distracting. Facebook has so many additional apps, games (ie. unnecessary ones like Farmville), pages, groups, etc. In terms of time management it’s awful; like a black hole of procrastination. Twitter on the other hand updates regularly but is far less overwhelming.

2. Networking. Twitter hands down is the definition of what it means to network. I’ve gotten in contact or “retweeted” by many people I would probably never have contact with if it were not for twitter (ie. Wilsonart last week or Allan Chocinov from Core 77). Clearly, these are not life long friendships spawned from a single tweet but the connection platform is there. A simple #hashtag will get you recognized.

3. Feeling of recognition. Everytime I go to Foodlink a local foodbank in the area with my Design Thinking class I’ll give a little shout out to @FoodlinkNY talking about how we’re looking forward coming back again or afterwards to sum up the experience. It’s always nice to get that tweet back from an organization that otherwise seems quite easy to get lost in due to the huge number of volunteers they have going in and out.

4. Concise. 140 characters. That’s it. It’s really easy to determine if you’re going to be interested in a tweet or not which makes it easier to scan through.

5. Just because someone follows you doesn’t mean you have to follow them back. Easy.

6. Facebook is just like another platform for email/chat, Twitter is for having quick conversations and sharing information with a wide audience.

7. Microblogging. Sometimes a topic doesn’t necessarily require an in-depth explanation, a simple link to a website or 140 character description will do.

8. The news. Hands down best way to get real time news. Want the score of a game? Just follow that team’s hashtag, it will be updated far faster than any website ever could. Personally I follow hockey teams, great goal by goal action that can be forwarded through twitter right to my phone. Major world event? You can pretty much figure out what is going on just by watching trending topics.

I think Twitter is definitely headed in the right direction. It offers a platform for people to share ideas, links, etc in an easy format. It’s part CNN, part Facebook, part online chat room, and part blog. Twitter’s last update to their system helped a lot due to the fact that you can now easily view someone’s profile and tweets on the right-hand side without losing your spot. For now, I’ll remain on both Facebook and Twitter but who knows what the next few years will bring.

Sticking with Facebook? Switching completely to Twitter? Or staying with both? What’s your opinion?