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Sorry, But I’m Indecisive

Sorry again my one reader. I changed my theme again. I think I found one that works better now though. I wanted a theme that wasn’t so stylized that it was hard to read. This theme is pretty straight forward so I think it will be easier to use.

I am currently working on developing a new portfolio for myself, I have been neglecting it for a while. I hope to have it done by the end of the month. The domain of this blog will change, no longer will I be at the mercy of wordpress.com.

Categories: Random Stuff

Flash Crashes?? (Best Tool for the Job)

01/04/2011 2 comments

Okay, Flash has never ever, ever crashed on me, not once. So why is it that every Apple lover I know complains of Flash crashing their browser? Is this Stockholm Syndrome? The “Turtleneck” just kidnapped you and you fell deeply in love with him, but you have no reason why… then he took you wallet.

You’re a Tool

Mac, your a tool. Your the best tool I know for web development. Your the best tool I know for design. Your the best tool I know for making most awesome things. But you’re still just a tool, you have your strengths and limitations just like any other tool. Development tools, software and languages all have their purpose. Each one has very specific attributes because not one of them can accomplish every task. Plus, using different tools and languages are a good way to separate task, for example, you’d never use HTML to design because that is what CSS is for. Each tool has its own particular set of skills just like people. So when a powerful company like Apple decides, for no other reason than to make more money, throws another company under the bus by calling one of their most revolutionary products “buggy”, it smacks of ignorance.

The Flash wars have been ginned up by a company who wants to generate more revenue by limiting web app access. Think about it. Apple takes a 30% cut of all the revenue generated from any app and Angry Birds is the number game on iTunes. Angry Birds is basically just a simple Flash game. Flash games are incredibly addictive, we all play them. So what if Angry Birds was just a simple web application that could run on every browser in every platform? The maker of Angry Birds would be 30% richer. Apple isn’t dumb though, by restricting Flash on its mobile platform, Apple gets to claim that 30% because it knows that the success of iPhone is based in its apps. Apps are the best selling point for the iPhone and iTouch, with out them, its just another smart phone with lame Blackberry like apps. If Flash were able to run on the iPhone, then we could all build really sweet games and apps in Flash and keep our 30%.

It’s About Using the Right Tool

I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of a war zone. I use Adobe products all day, my career is dependent on them and for the most part (except Fireworks) each piece of Adobe software is the far and away the leader. There is no other equivalent to Photoshop and in my eyes, there is no other equivalent to Flash (at least not yet). From design stand point, Flash still remains the heavy weight for web animation.  Its awesome for designers because you can easily build clean, fast animations that will run on any browser without being some super Javascript developer.

Despite my feelings with Flash, it does have it’s limitations (and some big ones) and that’s why we have other wonderful tools like jQuery, Scriptaculous, etc. I love using jQuery, it has a lot of power and can do a lot of the same things as Flash, plus, you can still use live text in an image slider or any other animation. But as of today, there are still thing that jQuery can’t do as easily as Flash. Knowing the limitations of each is key to using the best tool for the job.

Its our job as designers to learn and understand what tools we can use for what particular job we are doing. I would never use wire cutters to change my spark plugs, there are better tools for that. The best mechanics know which tools make their jobs easier and more efficient. The same goes for the best designers, they know what tools should be used to create the best product that will meet the client’s needs in the most efficient way. Flash is still widely important to the digital world. Let’s not forget that the innovation of Flash in web development sparked the dynamic web design movement. As Android continues to take over the mobile smart phone movement, Flash will still play a big role because smart app development firms will capitalize on its ability to run Flash.

Choose Wisely

Whatever Apple says, Flash still plays a key role in today’s digital development. It’s not something that will go away anytime soon, despite what all the wannabe turtle neck wearing fan boys say. I think the better choice is not to jump on the “Turtleneck’s” bandwagon, grow up, and then learn to use the best tool for the job. I wonder is Steve Jobs has ever seen Handy Manny?

The great Adobe V Apple war continues…

Categories: Design, Random Stuff

I’ve done this before… so stupid

Categories: Random Stuff

You make the decision for me

I am a user as much, if not more, than a designer and a indecisive one at that. I have a hard time making a decision over where I’m going for lunch. Now, I’m  not saying that users are just as indecisive as me, but why not make the important decisions for the user instead of making them decide.

At a recent WordCamp, Matt Mullenweg talked about how WordPress has focused on user centered design and that one key thing in designing for the blogger (user) was to take the important decision making away from the user. He gave many examples of when the crew at WordPress had to make touch decisions on what plugins and features to add to the WordPress core or leave as plugins. One being the WYSIWYG, but the decision was made to add the text editor to the core. The decision was made to add it because they felt that the text editor was to important for the user/blogger to have to find and install themselves.

Making tough decisions for the user allows the user to experience and use the website/app more easily. Its the basic, “don’t make me think” mentality. Web users don’t generally spend a lot of time on a site so they won’t have the time to spend on making tough decisions. Plus, users (like me) don’t want to deal with consequences of choosing the wrong option or get ‘buyers remorse’ if they find a better option later. Matt and the WordPress crew choose what text editor would function best for the user and added it, we should do the same. We need to make the choices before hand so that the user is confronted with a painful decision.

Drupal, unlike WordPress, doesn’t make any decisions for the user. It has a really big open source development community which is great, but this kind of large developer base creates a lot of options and a lot of options means that the user needs to make those critical decisions on what modules they will need to set up a simple website. Where WordPress is more user centered, Drupal is more community centered and this can be difficult for a first time user of Drupal to build and set up a simple website. Drupal is a powerful CMS and will, in general, have more options than WordPress so it is somewhat unfair to compare the two, but Drupal itself could make some important decisions for the user to simplify the creation process.

My New Blog

10/25/2010 Leave a comment

Its about freaking time

Alright, I finally got to it, I started a new blog. Along side my portfolio, I needed a nice little place that drop ideas, articles, posts and any other things that I want to show without having to add them into my portfolio some how. Since I am lazy and I didn’t really want to invest the time to custom build my own blog I just decided to find a nice wordpress theme that is already built for me. Maybe in the future, if this blog is something that I will actually use and you will actually view, then I will take the time to custom build something truly awesome. But for now lets enjoy the Fusion WordPress theme by DigitalNature.

Whats the purpose

So what am I trying to accomplish with this new fan-dangled blog??? Well, three things really:

  • Share my favorite design articles and design concepts with you and your friends.
  • Write original articles and posts about visual design and the user experience.
  • Post ideas, thoughts and have polite conversation about the world of design.

That’s really my plan, pretty simple. So if you are into visual design then come along with me and enjoy the ride. I hope that I will be able to create a nice corner of the web where we can all share thoughts and ideas on design. I also hope that I can publish frequently, that is gonna be the hardest task me. Twitter is hard enough to post and that is only 140 characters… its gonna be a lot harder to write something around 500 words!

Oh, before I go, if you have any ideas of what I should be posting about hit me up, I’ll even do the research and present something nice and professional for you.