In October, I gave a talk at WordCamp Baltimore on assembling better project requirements through analysis and user focus. The talk was fairly well-received and the video recording was just posted on wordpress.tv for viewing!
Month / November 2014
Mobile Only: How to build and launch a website from your phone
As a thought experiment, I wondered if it was possible to design, develop, and launch a custom website from my phone, without touching a tablet or computer.
Spoiler alert: I could.
In fact, not only was it possible to build a website from my phone, but I was able to do it in less than a couple hours of research and work, using only free apps. The following post will give you the step-by-step on how to launch your own mobile-only website.
For this experiment, I used an iPhone 4 running whatever the last version of iOS was it supported. I didn’t use any external displays or input devices. Continue reading →
Mobile Only: Rise of the computer-free web designer
Around twenty-five years ago, I was resting my right hand onto my first computer mouse. A cognitive bridge formed between an external input device and an Apple IIe monitor, positioned on an upright plane. I utilized that unnatural mental model to create digital pictures in MacPaint, followed by Kid Pix. Little did I know, that intimacy with the mouse and its keyboard sibling would be foundational to my career as a website designer all these years into the future.
With that, I’m humbled and amazed that within the last five years, my lifetime of personal computer training has been upended by today’s handheld, touch devices—and that within the next five, our industry of “desktop” designers and developers will be eclipsed by tweens designing and deploying websites from their wrists. They’ll publish as such, because they’ll have not formed the same cognitive bridge as we contemporary adults did.
By 2020, many of our interactive design competitors will have never owned, touched, nor seen a personal computing device as we know them today.
The age of the designer in a task chair will have effectively rolled out the door, into obsolescence. Ludicrous? Science fiction, even? Let’s review the trend… Continue reading →
Geeks eat more pizza in smaller groups
Back in 2008 or so, I got involved in DC’s burgeoning tech meetup community. Fast forward a couple years to 2010 when my office moved into a new space with a great venue for hosting my favorite meetups. We started with DC PHP and immediately after, WordPressDC. Then DCjQuery (now DCJS), followed suit.
With three related meetups going, we were getting a lot of traffic and cross-pollination of members. There was also no shortage of sponsorship for food and beverages—though we were typically, BYO. Pizza is common fare for a meetup, just because it’s easy and doesn’t require too much in the way of incidentals like plasticware. Continue reading →
The Coffee Drinker’s Dilemma
Setting default stroke preferences in Photoshop CS6
Adobe’s last native version of Photoshop includes an obnoxious default stroke setting that puts a 50px dot border on every shape you draw. It’s tremendously annoying to have to remove it in every layer you create.