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.

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? 

Spring Quarter – RIT

This next quarter is my LAST one at RIT. Kind of crazy to think about, considering in my head I’m still a sophomore.. or applying for college. I’m definitely going to be taking advantage of these next 11 weeks to make some sweet work & really get all that I can out of the rest of my time here.

Today I had Career Search class which deals with personal branding, our website, promotional pieces, etc. It’s always fun to redesign my own collateral because it’s the one time you’re the boss & get to decide everything without asking! Plus it’s like having a client around all of the time (I believe I’m on redesign numero 4?). Also had my Advanced Design Networking class this morning which is in New Media design + will be focused on iPhone/website interactivity. Super pumped for that class.

    

I did get a chance to work on my own personal website over break but I’m still not 100% happy with it (I’m starting to think that’s a reoccurring theme..). But I’ve noticed the more I redo it, the more comfortable I am getting with coding. Win-win?

 

source / source / source

Tips + Tricks

Met with the lovely Carolyn from Composing Nows yesterday to help with some blogging & wordpress tips (which was hopefully helpful?!). I consider myself far from an expert on the matter considering half the time I want to do something I just end up Googling it & hacking something together until it works (as long as it meets the goal, right?).

I decided that I’m going to start sharing some more of my tips & tricks for building websites, figuring out WordPress + other fun things. After all, there are so many out there it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks.

The first being Subtle Patterns. Seriously, if you haven’t found it yet.. go check it out. Now.

You’re able to access & download hundreds of different patterns for any use. Easy to use, best thing ever.. You get the idea.

Next up is Coda. It’s basically a stripped down version of Dreamweaver. I’ve become quite accustom to working in Dreamweaver, however I LOVE the interface for Coda. I’m actually considering buying a year subscription to it (It’s only $99). It’s way less clunky than Dreamweaver which means you can actually open multiple applications while working on websites & not have to worry about crashing your (somewhat old) computer.

It does take some getting used to because it’s all code view (there is a preview button) but I’m a huge fan of the split code/design view in Dreamweaver. The whole instant gratification thing in coding makes me happy. There is a 16 day trial period or something like that so definitely check it out & see what you think.

Finally there is Google Web Fonts. Chances are you’ve probably run across this one before but just in case…

A wonderful library of 466 (+ growing) font families free to use! They make it super easy to embed any typeface you want on your website and they even provide the amount of load time it takes so your website isn’t slow. Easy to use + makes typography on the web so much better!

Those are only 3 of many things that I find myself using on a daily basis. Will post again soon with more helpful hints!

What typography/design/development web tools do you find helpful? Have you used any of these before?

How to Survive – iPhone App

As I talked about earlier, I’ve been working on an editorial spread for a while now. The topic I decided on early this quarter was “How to Survive 16 Hours in the car” as that is the length of our typical road trip to Wisconsin each year for Thanksgiving.

For Interactive Design we were required to animate an app in After Effects. Being unfamiliar with the software, I wanted to choose something I already had assets for rather than worrying about both the design AND the new software. Turn out I completely changed my mind on the overall design of the piece in the process so I ended up redoing everything anyway – but it was worth a try!

The app features various games that can be played on the car ride. Ideally it would be a more in depth app but this was a pretty quick deadline. I featured the “Are We There Yet?” part of it where a user can insert their intended destination and then anytime the “Are We There Yet” button is pushed the app updates you with a “Nope, not yet. Still have ____ miles to go” or some other similar saying. There is also a “States & Plates” part that acts as a digital checklist for finding license plates.

Unfortunately the final movie clip is a little large to embed on here right now. After Effects is definitely going to take longer than the 2 weeks I spent on it to get used to! I’m pretty happy with the progress that I made on it so far and definitely a lot happier with this direction compared to where I was going with it earlier in the quarter. Everything always seems to smooth itself out in the end!