Tag Archives: Graphic Design

Job Hunting, Bird Box Science, and Coding Dojo

Merry Christmas!

Since graduating in June I’ve been on the job hunt. I went to Startup Weekend in October to network with people, which lead to the birth of a new project for me: Bird Box Science. Bird Box Science is a project where people with bird houses equipped with sensors contribute data to an online database and social networking community. It’s a great activity for kids and bird enthusiasts.

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Being a bird enthusiast myself  I’ve had a lot of fun with it, especially when I got to go help make the Kickstarter video and I got to meet a live Barn Owl named Gus.

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We ended up taking first place at Startup Weekend, which was awesome! I totally wasn’t expecting that. Trying to find a job can be depressing at times, so seeing my work accomplish something was very encouraging.

Part of the prize from Started Weekend was a free seat in one of Coding Dojo‘s coding bootcamps.

I’ll be starting the bootcamp on January 5th, and will finish on March 27th. I’m excited to learn more about web development. Right now I’m really just a front end dev, but soon I will have full stack skills and be able to do way more cool things. The only thing I’m nervous about is driving around on not enough sleep…

 

 

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Redesigning my Portfolio (sort of a tutorial)

So, as I posted previously, my domain got deleted.

This is actually sort of ok with me because I’m already in the habit of doing a visual redesign of my portfolio website every few months. New designs keep popping themselves into my head and I can’t resist!

Web design is pretty simple if you follow these steps:

1. Clarify the goals and user needs for the website (don’t forget that the people using the site and the people managing the site often have different goals). This step is important because it saves a lot of confusion and hassle later on, and it reallllly helps in the design process too. I won’t go into a ton of detail here.

2. Do wireframes. It’s very helpful to do these separately from the rest of the visual design. That way you can focus on basic interaction and layout before visual hierarchy and overall “atmosphere” and feel.

I’m using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

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Each of the small boxes here is a portfolio item. I chose to prominently display them on the home page like this for maximum viability. I also chose to include my email address in the header so that contacting me is an easy, one-click process.

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Another reason I really like doing wireframes before the rest of the visual design is that I can lay out and visualize how I am going all my margins and paddings when I do CSS. This helps me avoid mistakes later.

3. Do visual designs. This is pretty easy after doing wireframeing. I (loosely sometimes) follow the wireframe as a guide, and overlay my design.

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It’s a good idea to do more than one design iteration.

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Personally I like my second design better, but I think I will implement the first design since it will be easier to code up, and I need my portfolio back ASAP since I am looking for a job.

So, that’s it for design. Next I’m going to use this and whip up a WordPress Theme.

My Capstone Project

This is a project that I have been working on for school. Basically even though I haven’t written about it I did reading, research, lots of ideation, designing, redesigning, and several late Monday nights with my team to produce the following video. Enjoy:

I haven’t made any posts about this project because it has it’s very own blog!

Check it out: Project STEM Play

Information Visualization Final Project

In my info vis class we are now working on our final projects. My team is building a visualization of Seattle skyscrapers. Planning out how and when we are going to get everything done has been a pretty big task in itself… I started to put together a paper prototype for doing user testing.

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Figure 1. Paper prototype

I wish I had more time to work on my 3D printer. Everything is going fine with that, except that one of the potentiometers on my Brainwave board keeps getting super hot, no matter how much I adjust it. Arg.

Mobile App Prototyping

As mentioned briefly earlier, I am in the midst of a group design project for my Introduction to Human Centered Design and Engineering class. Our project proposal is to design a system (which the group narrowed down to mobile app) in which students can find out what foods our campus residential dining halls and restaurants are serving any given day. On Saturday night the user research half of my group informed the design half (me and two other people), that we should have a working prototype of our app for our presentation on Monday.

So, over Sunday between doing other things I managed to put together a prototype. I tried out using Axure, but in the end used Muse, since I am familiar with that program. It’s far from perfect, but I’m pretty happy since I had no idea how to go about making a working prototype two days ago.

That being said, here is a screenshot.

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I won’t go into detail about the design thought process here, but I may come back to this project after we finalize our design and give our final presentation.

And finally, a note about Grawmet. As of this week, the second edition kit (which I am going to be building) should be out by spring quarter.

Research Group! (and some graphic design)

Professor Davidson and I were talking about the Traffic Light Arduino again, and that project has now been set for Spring quarter. This may seem like a bad thing initially, since I won’t be getting started on it for another few weeks, but the good news far outweighs the bad. I am going to be in a research group! Professor Davidson  decided that the Traffic Light project was cool enough to make it, and some other projects, into a research group. In this group we will be exploring physical computing and get some hands-on experience building software and hardware. We will be developing a couple things that, like the Traffic Light, can be used for teaching demonstrations. I am pretty excited since teaching and building/designing are both things I am passionate about and love doing. If you want to know more about professor Davidson’s research group, see the link: http://hcde.uw.edu/research/davidson

As for other things that are going on right now, I also have a small design project going for my Fundamentals of Human Centered Design and Engineering class that has to do with navigating places to get food on the UW campus. I’ve been doing graphic design for that, as well as a bit of user research. Once it is finished at the end of the quarter I may post about it.

And speaking of graphic design, this morning I was talking to a friend about a concert that I couldn’t go to. To make up for this regrettable fact, I spent about 2o minutes rebuilding their logo in Photoshop.

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