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All Posts in Design

August 23, 2011 - 1 comment.

My latest project: HD Widgets for Honeycomb tablets

Mike and I are launching a new app this week: HD Widgets. This is our first paid app, following up on Cloudskipper, our free music player which has skyrocketed to over 425k installs in just three months.

HD Widgets follows our Mixwit formula: take something simple, make it attractive and fun, and make it easy for users to be able to customize and personalize it. The app includes a dozen widgets with a variety of clocks, backgrounds, layouts, and options. The UI of the app itself has a lot of slide-based navigation - the pages can be swiped, the menu, and all of the options - so it's fun and really intuitive to use.

There were a few challenges. First off was the design challenge of dealing with portrait/landscape layouts for both widgets and apps on a 10:9 screen. Another was figuring out how to build a platform to allow hundreds of widget designs and styles without flooding the OS widget menu. As such we needed dynamic widgets even though they require static layouts. We also had to deal with matching our look and feel to the new Honeycomb theme while still making the app intuitive ;-)

The next challenge for us is making it work on smaller screens: scaling down the app while still providing the same fun, swiping experience. We also have to deal with differences in the different OS versions. We avoided stuff like fragments, but there may be other differences we're yet to uncover.

Anyways, that's my intro. I'll try to put something together on Honeycomb UI/UX shortly. I'm crammed for time so it will either happen immediately or not until much later.

In the meantime, please download HD Widgets for your Honeycomb tablet and have fun with it.

Last and least, here's the logo/icon I made for the app using Illustrator and Swift3D:

November 4, 2010 - No Comments!

New vj.tv website featuring HD videos

Going on it’s third layout, the new vj.tv website focusses on presenting HD video in a LARGE format.

The previous site design and layout (done in 2008) allowed for large 640px wide videos, which was extraordinary back in the day. The new layout now provides 1024×576 feature videos, and 768×432 in-line videos (both of which conform nicely to 16x pixel depth resizing). More important, the new layout works effectively for mobile devices and tablets, avoiding the extra effort of mobile-view CSS.

check it out...

October 17, 2010 - No Comments!

Goodbye old friend… retiring my five-year-old portfolio

After five years, I'm finally retiring my old Flash-based portfolio. This portfolio has kept me well employed almost non-stop since it's inception back in 2005. The only major update was in 2006 when I converted it from static content to dynamic. It's built with Actionscript 2, XML, and SwfAddress for browser-based navigation (which was cuting edge back in the day).

Why did I keep it around so long? Two reasons - first I was busy. Very busy. Enough that I never had to make a new one. Second reason, I discovered that it was okay to keep an old portfolio around since it implies that perhaps I'm just too damn good to care anymore, like these guys.

Why so minimal? When I inherited the SilvaFUG website last year, I didn't have a lot of time to do a real redesign, so I cheated and threw together blue and orange text on white. Took maybe an hour. It looked fine at the time, whatever, but over the past year it has really grown on me. It just works: not only for my laptop but also really well on my iDevices.

Will I keep the look? Can't say for sure. But it's certainly something to play with...

You can view my old portfolio here.

March 31, 2009 - No Comments!

Swift3D Plug-in for Photoshop

Electric Rain has upgraded their Swift3D plugin for Photoshop to streamline processes and take advantage of Adobe Configurator.

For those who may be having a huh? moment - Swift3D is an old school, powerful, noob-level 3D modeling and animation package for creating 3D for Flash. I've used Swift3D with great success in the past, but it's been a long time since I've done design/animation work.

Recently (in the past couple of years) they've integrated more with Papervision to export ready-to-go Collada models and it looks like the have a an express plugin for Flash (Windows only, meh). 

Nevertheless, definitely something to check out. The app is so easy to use it can fill in quickly for print & web graphics.

 

Link to product

(via John Nack @ Adobe)