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So i’m like… and then she goes… and he’s all…

July 10th, 2011

Doesn’t it make you furious to see the way that language is maligned and mistreated these days? How it’s sullied by misguided masses of commoners who don’t even know what a past participle is?

Not me; nor Stephen Fry, neither. And he’s so proper and British!

What this post is really about, though: Why “like” as a replacement for “says,”  is perfectly valid and possibly preferred for effective communication. Really.

Basically, it’s verbal punctuation.  Read the rest of this entry »

border-radius, judgement, the fringe

July 2nd, 2011

I feel like WordPress’ corners are looking rounder as Google’s just became square. I prefer the latter change, whatever scientists say about the psychological benefits of border-radius.

Thought I’d mention some things going on here; try to keep this place a little more lively!

I didn’t make it past the voting round on the DiabetesMine Design Challenge I mentioned last month. I wasn’t particularly surprised; And I don’t want to sound like a whiny boy, but I felt a little bit like the voting system they implemented encouraged voting more for entries that fell earlier in the alphabet (by requiring every voter to select 3 choices of a list of 20 options with no inline descriptions; I don’t guess most people were watching all the videos/reading all the design docs).

I got a pretty awesome surprise though, after assuming I was out of the running completely, Sanguine ended up being awarded Judges Honorable Mention! It’s a great honour. I hope to continue work on Sanguine at some point and am looking at pursuing some opportunities in that direction, but it’s taking a back burner for the time being as I work on a few other projects.

I got to wear my english/theatre hat last week, reviewing shows for the London Fringe Festival on behalf of theatreinlondon.ca.  I did it pro bono last year, but this time I got a media pass and all that. I saw some rather excellent plays, a few that weren’t as good, but it was a really cool experience, that I’d love to relive next year. I appreciate the opportunity to try and have some valuable opinions about things. At the same time, it’s an uncomfortable feeling tearing something up when you know the creator is going to read it. I’m a strong believer in the value of constructive criticism, though. Encouragement is great, but honest evaluation is greater. If you’re so inclined, you can read my reviews here.

And life goes on.

Diabetes Mine Design Contest

May 16th, 2011

I mentioned briefly in my last post I was planning on submitting Sanguine, my thesis project in Advanced Multimedia, for the Diabetes Mine Design Contest, and indeed I put together a video and sent it in!

The contest is for novel ideas to help people living with diabetes (like me) have an easier life, and they award 3 grand prizes of $7000 to help those ideas become reality.  It’s an awesome idea, because I feel like technological (Web, App, Mobile etc) support for things like that tends to lag behind where it could be given the technology we all have at our fingertips. I imagine it’s largely a logicky, market-share thing, so I love that Diabetes Mine is giving helping to encourage this.

Anyway, the exciting news is that Sanguine was selected from the 95 entries to be one of 20 semifinalists! Now those 20 are open to the voting public to determine which will move on to the final 10.

So, I’d obviously be pretty thrilled if you headed over to the Diabetes Mine contest page and put in a vote for Sanguine! Maybe even try and get all your friends voting! And have a look at the other entries as well, there are some really cool ones! (Voting is open until May 26)

 

First Day of the Rest of my Life (again)

April 25th, 2011

This past Thursday was the Advanced Multimedia (soon to be Interactive Media Specialist) thesis showcase. We got to show off our thesis projects to invited dignitaries from the web/development industry, prospective students, and our teachers.

So we were handing in our final assignments and getting them marked, talking to potential employers and definitively marking the end of school all at once. I finally got to see what all my classmates had been working on all term. It had a nice Yes! We did it! finality. And despite that I made silly of myself by mistaking pumpernickel for a 2-bite brownie and forgetting my proper shoes at home as I scrambled to be ontime after squashing a last minute bug, I’m feeling good about it.

I’ve been a bit off the map trying to turn my thesis project into everything I hoped for it to be. And while it’s not all that, it looks very good, and does quite a lot of what it ought to. Read the rest of this entry »

Audition Poster for Possible Worlds

March 14th, 2011

This was a very quick job, but I’m pleased with how it turned out. I’ve learned a lot about typography in the last little while, and it’s somewhat nice to only focus on text and layout without worrying about texture and colour and all that. Simple proportion and type can really make something that looks pretty good when you don’t have enough time to be doing it in the first place.

I have to say.. choosing Scala Sans from the font list was the most satisfying typographic maneuver that I’ve experienced. I didn’t quite know what I was looking for font-wise, just that I wanted a separate font to distinguish the play from the auditions… and that sans was exactly what I needed.

There Will Be Blood… Test

January 30th, 2011

File under: Failed branding ideas for Sanguine. Thanks to Valerie for the idea and PT Anderson for the original movie.

Sanguine: Diabetes Management Evolved

December 23rd, 2010

No that’s not the real tag-line. And maybe not the real name, either. But it’s what I’m going to be spending most of my life doing for the next 5 months or so. So I gotta call it something.

A highly intuitive desktop application for entering, reviewing and analyzing information associated with the treatment of type 1 diabetes.  Geared specifically towards users of insulin pumps, with the option to import data from Medtronic Minimed pumps.

I’ve never been quite satisfied with the software available to help me manage my diabetes and my insulin pump (official or otherwise), so I’m using the Advanced Interactive Media thesis project as an opportunity to correct that. I have quite a few very exciting ideas for how to use the power of computers to really streamline the process of analyzing and keeping track of blood sugars and you’ll probably see more on that here as I develop things further.

Here’s a pdf summary of the project at its inception stage, given as a handout for my thesis presentation this past week. It won’t entirely make sense without me to talk through it, but I am unleashing it upon you regardless.

Pdf version of Sanguine leave-behind

Getting the right Debug Player in Flash Builder 4

December 17th, 2010

We’ve been transitioning from Flash Pro to the eclipse-driven Flash Builder at school, and it sure has a lot of benefits. One thing missing, though, was the console. Where do all those traces go in Builder?  Flash Builder definitely lets you look at traces, and a whole lot more (like inspecting the value and structure of all your variables at any given point; standard debugging stuff). You just need to run it in debug mode. Problem is, everyone I talked to in my class was having trouble getting it to run. Read the rest of this entry »

A Calendar Cometh

December 2nd, 2010

The last few days, instead of working on the 3 large projects due next Friday, I’ve been designing the exterior and interior of a Calendar.  The concept is pretty straightforward: 12 actors from the London theatre community playing 12 of Shakespeare’s best female characters, photographed by Echo Gardiner.

Cover for Arcana Theatre's Women of Shakespeare Calendar

It’s to support Arcana Theatre’s upcoming production of John Mighton’s Possible Worlds. Which I contributed a quick teaser poster for. I did it quick, but I’m pretty pleased with how it shaped up.

Arcana Theatre presents Possible Worlds by John Mighton. July 26 - August 08. The Arts Project

Since it’s being produced and directed by my life-partner Valerie, I expect I’ll continue to have a lot to do with this production. Which is thrilling. I miss the theatre a little bit, and this particular play is really good.

Smart Kart UI Design

November 7th, 2010

This is a few screens from a Smart Kart user interface. Basically a little computer that goes on your shopping cart and makes life amazing. Shopping cart accidents and fatalities will skyrocket, but so will store profits!  The main thing is that my design likes to highlight related products, specials, and recipes to keep people shopping. I was also sure to keep the total cost of the cart’s contents only on one screen. No way you’d keep shopping if you saw that total price steadily climbing!

Read the rest of this entry »