RIP Dick Clark
New Years won’t be the same without you.
New Years won’t be the same without you.
It’s a common question amongst us designers. When was the first time you opened Photoshop? To be honest, I have no idea. I know it was around the age of 9-13, but as for the exact moment – blank. However, I could take an educated guess. It had to have been the day I realized that there was something beyond Photoshop Elements. After all, I was sure designers weren’t making those fancy gradient buttons in a retouching software, right?
Now I do remember my first experiences with Photoshop. It was terrible. I saw all these buttons, but had no idea what they did. I’d click the brush tool and drag, but nothing would appear. I’d draw something with the shape tool and ask myself, that’s it? So I turned off the computer and returned to my sketching book. I’d given up without even trying. “It’s not for me,” I thought. But I was wrong. It was. I just didn’t know it yet. From childhood, I was always the kid that would rather draw in class than open the textbook. In fact, I got in trouble for it – a lot. But I saw nothing wrong. It was just my way of expressing the things around me – with good ‘ol pencil and paper.
Some time passed and I learned about some site called Lynda.com. It promised to help me learn my way around Adobe Photoshop. So naturally, I begged and wailed until my mom gave me the crown jewel – her credit card. After hitting a few buttons, I was listening to my first video and forgetting homework altogether. I was hooked.
One week later, I canceled my account and told myself, “I can handle it from here.”
Skip forward a few years and I too was making those fancy buttons with the extreme gradients, odd patterns, and serious border-radii. Then, I went through the business card phase (didn’t we all) and started “designing” for money. But I made one major mistake. I got too comfortable. You see, the beautiful thing about this thing we call design, is that it’s “unmasterable.” There’s no end of the line. No point where you can sit down and tell yourself there’s nothing more to learn. If you think there is, you’re in serious need of a reality check.
I got out of my comfort zone when I asked myself, “how did those sites get there anyway?” Once again, I followed the pattern and googled it. I ended up at W3Schools. Within two days, I was “speaking” XHTML (I’m not old) and CSS like they were my native tongue. Then, I started “building” for money. And surely enough, I once again became too comfortable. It was becoming a trend: ask the how, look for the why, learn the what, and get comfortable. But if I’d taken a step back, I would have realized that there was no end to this design circle. There’s no beginning, nor end.
Fast forward to the present. Every once in a while I get comfortable. But now I’m able to quickly realize and snap myself out of it. My newest design endeavor? Programming. Although not technically aesthetic, it’s still an art form. I’ve chosen Codecademy as my teacher. Hopefully I’ll be programming away in the coming months. Hopefully I won’t get too comfortable. At this point, I think it’s safe to say there’s only one quote to plug.
Stay hungry, stay foolish. – Steve Jobs
Don’t think to much about the quote. It’s quite literal actually. The “getting comfortable” I mentioned a few times earlier, is feeling like you’ve done it all. On the contrary, you’ve simply conquered one hurdle. Go out and find more. If it’s fear that’s holding you back from continuing, stare it right in the face and cross through. Just like my friend Bobby Ghoshal and his dog Avi explained.
It’s that red circle with a numerical value inside. It’s cool, it’s effective, it’s annoying.
“The Apple Push Notification Service is a service created by Apple that was launched together with iOS 3.0 on June 17, 2009. It uses push technology through a constantly-open IP connection to forward notifications from the servers of third party applications to the Apple devices; such notifications may include badges, sounds or custom text alerts.” – Wikipedia
I love push, to an extent. It gets the job done. It reminds me of the crap I have to constantly take care of: email, to-dos, calendar events, etc. However, there occasionally comes a point when I really feel like throwing my iPhone out the window. Let me explain.
1-5 – ain’t no thing but a chicken wing 6-10 – okay, okay, I’ll take care of it 10-20 – gosh, I’m so busy now adays 21+ – #FML
I’m now learning that you have to handle Push Notifications like email. Get them done and out of the way because they’re capable of evoking the same stress email does. But shouldn’t that be a problem?
As of this writing, I have a badge count of 171 on Sparrow, 2 on the App Store, 7 on Wunderlist, 33 on Instacast, and others. The mail count is natural; I’m not mentally capable of achieving inbox zero. The App Store count falls into the “ain’t no thing but a chicken wing” club, so it’s, you know. But take a look at Instacast, it’s 33. That categorizes as #FML. But funny enough, Instacast, my podcast hub, is supposed to be my leisure time. You know, the time I don’t feel stressed out. Oh, the irony.
I guess this is just heading in the information overload direction. I’ll save that post for another time.
For now, how do you handle your badge counts? Do you deal with everything on the spot? Is there a hierarchy of importance set in place? Do the numbers not phase you at all? Or do you have them turned off entirely? If you feel the sudden urge to reply to my rhetorical questions, the email link is on the left. Knock yourself out.
I’m quite superficial and weigh most things equally. I know the simple solution to my dilemma is to turn off the notification badge, but I’m, you know, complex.
Once upon a time, music could only be heard by making it yourself. Then, inovation upon inovation brought us to the record player (phonograph). Then came the casette, compact disc, and now, straight up digital baby! With services like Grooveshark, iTunes, Rdio, and Spotify, listening to your favorite song is now a mere click or two away.
That introduction was solely to mention Spotify, my personal favorite. They have finally brought out the embed feature.
Simply add the Spotify Play Button to your blog, website or social page and light it up with music. You can feature any song, album or playlist. All your fans have to do is hit play to enjoy the music. Totally free. Totally legal. Totally awesome.
Just testing it out.
It’s okay everyone, the white space won’t be flooded with ads.
After a quick chat with my good friend Morgan Allan Knutson, a designer at Google, I finally understood the #whitespace. He said, and I quote,
We’re working on it (iterate, iterate, iterate). We’ve also thoroughly enjoyed becoming a whitespace meme.
There you have it folks.
Now, if you want to read an interesting guess at the new meme, check this out. Nifty stuff.
But you know what’s cooler than $600 billion? $1 trillion.
Well, the inevitable has happened. Instagram has been acquired. By who? Facebook. For how much? Reportedly $1 billion. Am I surprised? No. I’m I glad? Not sure.
Every day that passes, we see more experiences being shared through Instagram in ways that we never thought possible. It’s because of our dedicated and talented team that we’ve gotten this far, and with the support and cross-pollination of ideas and talent at a place like Facebook, we hope to create an even more exciting future for Instagram and Facebook alike.
Before today’s acquisition, Facebook’s last purchase was Gowalla. It no longer exists. I believe this was the first fear that popped into the minds of many as they began to see the headline “Facebook Acquires Instagram” make its way through their Twitter stream. I also believe CEO Kevin Systrom thought the same, hence this statement.
It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network.
Heh. Instagram is completely worth the $1 billion, if not, more. Yet, it’s beyond me why, as of late, applications feel the need to be acquired. Then again…
Nevertheless, congrats to you, Kevin, and best wishes – seriously.
Codename: Google Glasses has become the new hot tech news (that doesn’t exist). While I believe the idea is great at its core (technology working for you when you need it, then disappearing when you don’t), there are some practical problems to having a circle appear in front of your eye every 17 seconds – on the streets of SF or NYC.
I made the Google Project Glass team a new commercial. I don’t think they’ll like it. – Tom Scott
This parody on YouTube by Tom Scott, shows the current flaws in the system – humorously. Hopefully, before we inevitably order ours in white, these issues will be ironed out.
Okay, okay. I won’t [enter verb here] about The Industry everyday. However, today we hit a milestone – 100 articles. Just saying.
December 12, 2011, Drew Wilson and I launched The Industry – an online media source that covers design focused startups & people. Each month, the site has seen significant growth both in traffic and design community presence.
Today, we’ve partnered with Pulse to include The Industry across their apps. Cool stuff. I’m ecstatic.
© 2013 SVBTLE