Don’t pull the plug!

For the past two going on 3 days I’ve felt something was missing and that’s because something is, I‘ve been without my trusty iPhone for the past 48 hours and it’s not a fun feeling. What I’ve learned from this is how plugged in we are and how powerful mobile is, at the moment my social interactions are limited. If I’m on the go I cannot interact with anyone between points A & B. No phone calls, emails, tweets and I can forget about using any location-based GPS apps like Foursquare! I’ll probably lose mayorship’s because of this mishap?!

I thought in the spirit of research for all you designers I would like to ask that others experiment with the idea of not being “plugged in”. Put your mobile phone away and try to resist using it for the rest of the week. I guarantee you that you will feel a sense of disconnect and will experience uneasiness. You really do not realize how addicting mobile can be until something like this happens.

I’m quite confident that I will reunite with my iPhone and feel a sense of wholeness once again, but until that happens I must say that it sucks plain and simple! I probably used it so much that my phone needed a well-deserved vacation and decided to get up and go. So iPhone until we meet again I bid you a fond farewell!

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design+development=webbuilders?

There’s so much going on right now as it relates to the web 2.0, digital is everywhere whether it’s a website, mobile app/site, e-commerce, video games or interactive experiences. What all of these platforms have in common is that they all need to be built by someone. This brings me to a current thought I had concerning designers and developers, the very people who make all of these wonderful and hopefully useful innovations happen.


Both play an integral role in the process.


Designers are responsible for making the site or application LooK the way it does with their knowledge of, color theory, typography and UI design. In addition to using production tools such as adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks including web languages (HTML/CSS, javascript etc.) They also layout how the site will navigate when users interact with it.

Developers are on the other side of the coin sort of. A good developer is well versed in computer languages like the above mentioned and many more… They also tend to delve deeper. Writing clean functional code is what matters most to developers so that the created site will function properly and is maintainable either by themselves or someone else, which usually relates to coding it in CMS if the latter. Another piece of the dev side that needs to be considered is front-end development (client side) or back-end development (client facing). That then brings to languages being broken out for specific uses, html/css, javascript, xml etc…are generally front end client side languages while PHP, SQL, C etc.. are back end server side languages.

I started to ponder how the line between both disciplines are so blurred now to the point that there’s no true blue distinction anymore really, unless an agency is looking for something specific. If you browse today’s job listings whether it’s for a designer position or developer most agencies ask for the applicant to know code from basic html to complex server side languages. Today’s web designer must get into coding and on the other side of the coin developers can make themselves more valuable by getting into design &

motion graphics(Flash, After Effects, Maya 3D etc.)
even though now with html5 canvas tag you can convert flash objects into native web applications. This in itself makes developers more useful and takes a little away from web designers giving designers more reason to study and learn code further blurring the line.

I feel that the line is so blurred and skewed at this point even titles should change in my opinion. I think at this point the term “web designer” or “web developer” is null in void, it’s probably more appropriate to just merge the two and title them web builders.

There’s no secret that I love designing for the web and mobile space and as I continue to do so my love for it grows each day. But…it didn’t start out that way. In-fact before I fell in love with digital I couldn’t stand it. Even though at the time I wasn’t into digital and web design I was still into technology. Like a teenage girl I would glow with joy anytime I acquired a new video game or any other gadget. I’m also into illustrating comic books, growing up I’ve always been into Marvel & DC Comics and followed each the same way a couch potato would dedicate each day to their reality TV, parish the thought that I would miss an issue of Batman or X-Men.

I am aware that I have an intro post but I thought to re-post or better yet delve more deeply into how I managed to find the road I now travel. I started out probably in a typical manner reading and drawing comic books, I would wake up in the morning toss on some tunes and create my own from morning to night. The only time my mom would get a glimpse of her son would be if I was starving and in need of food, or to make a pit stop @ the bathroom. I was a crazy kid with a crazy dream of working in one of the better known comic book companies, that pretty much meant Marvel or DC comics, as those were and still are the two top dogs.
As the digital space grew I became more interested, now as a web designer I cannot imagine not tweeting, checking in on foursquare, writing on a facebook wall or most recently sharing with my circle of friends on Google+. Digital (social media) has become so integrated into my life that I don’t realize how much I tend to use it on a daily basis. I sleep with my iPhone right next to my head for christ sakes and am checking my phone each time I get a notification! I must be sleep deprived?! But who cares there’s a digital revolution happening and I’m playing a part in it, I’m not quite sure how big or small just yet, only time will tell that tale.
Regardless of anything I’m super grateful of all the people I’ve come across in this industry, I’ve connected with genuine people who are willing to help in any way they can. It’s really cool to share the same passion for an industry with so many others. Last night I attended the monthly social networking eventDigital DUMBO for what’s you status run by Carrot Creative and sponsored by Bigfuel.

I attended the event with my good buddies/RobRobCreative team @robertfpeterson and @awayofart upon entering the event we were given t-shirts to write on indicating our status and contact info. It was pure genius on the part of Bigfuel! Everyone had a complete blast, plenty of drinks and opportunities to be social. We shot the breeze with Mike Germano president of Carrot Creative which was an honor, he’s a super cool dude and someone so full of passion for creative that it’s coming out of his pores class act all the way! Avi Savar of Bigfuel is another individual who’s also a gentileman and worth getting to know. We also hung out with  fellow creative @RonnieLordi a graphic designer out of New Jersey, it was his first digital dumbo and he told us how awesome the event was and will continue to attend future events. Good for you Ronnie we always welcome anyone new creatives to the digital district.

All of this is but a small fraction which makes what I do so rewarding. As a creative I love being able to creative new exciting innovations that are functional, useful and fun to use. I realize how lucky I am to be able to do these things on this scale and I look forward things only getting bigger and better. When you love what you do and can do it on a professional level, that is the best feeling ever!

Think

The Trickster’s Way. When your word holds no merit.


in·teg·ri·ty 

[in-teg-ri-tee]

–noun

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.

3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.

The advertising world is unrelenting and a fast paced industry, all that is involved in it must go with the flow or risk drowning. Understandably so in order to keep pace with all the new trends an everything, when you think about it as a whole picture it’s pretty nuts. The ad game must stay on the latest trends in web technologies/mobile, fashion, entertainment, automobiles, food etc… The list can go on forever! And with that unrelenting fast pace you can be assured that you will run into a few maybe more who are just as unrelenting, unrelenting in a good or bad way. For the purpose of this post we’ll concentrate on the latter.

We dabble in a creative industry full of ideas and collaboration, we also partner with clients to create deliverables in order to innovate new things to be placed out into the world. Not every time the partnership is going to work which is ok, there’s not an agency out there that can say they’ve never lost an account or something got botched up. It happens to the best of us. Maybe the client was a difficult one who was too stiff in the creative process, or the agency wasn’t the right fit for the project? In any way all of those scenarios are good and can actually aid you in learning, you can just chalk it up to life’s experience.

What I did want to mention is how you conduct yourself under those circumstances is what’s important! An example would be giving false information. I know of a story in which a person let’s call him “Jeff the strategist” approached someone let’s call him “Mike the developer” claiming he was commissioned by a client for a web design project. A few exchanges of words and contact information and a meeting was set to take place the following week (Wednesday @ 3:30pm), the night before Jeff contacted Mike asking for examples of work for a “pre-meeting” 1st mistake. Jeff should have asked for examples a lot sooner than the night before. The day of the meeting about an hour and a half before it was to take place Jeff cancelled claiming the work shown was not too his liking, now at this point Mike never had a chance to speak with the “client”.

The next piece of information is when integrity’s name was thrown into the mud. Mike did his research on Jeff the strategist and his “client” it turns out that there never was a client in-fact Jeff the strategist was a full-blown partner (Manager) to the client and he led Mike to believe that he was commissioned by the client, and was on the lookout for a web designer. So at this point how can anyone take Jeff the strategist word as truth? Your word is part of your brand as an individual in this industry, if you burn bridges word in this industry travels fast and you can pretty much kiss your career in the ad game goodbye! No agencies will want to hire you or any creative’s will want to partner with you as well.

Your word carries tremendous weight not only in this industry but life in general. So take heed and don’t dig yourself an early grave.

Think!





Did you just do that, no like really?!

Living in NYC there are certain things you just expect, there’s the usual hustle and bustle fast pace, the crowded streets. There’s also countless amounts of tourist hitting all the touristy spots like Times Square, Grand Central, Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty among many other popular locales. New York City is also known for restaurants, theaters and its beloved Yankees.

But most people who don’t live here don’t know the dark-side of the city they might think they do but they really don’t. Living here I’ve experience all sorts of crazy things so vast and countless to remember them all but I’ll try. Let’s see there’s the time I was in a particular neighborhood in the Bronx and saw hookers roaming its streets stark naked they had on all but stilettos and a hand bag , all the while police cars drove past as if this was completely normal.

On 34th street and 5th avenue one day I’ve seen a man running from the police and tackle right in front of me, it was something straight out of the TV show Cops. In addition to all the other nutty stuff we’ve come to love about NY, the occasional unruly person, taxi cabs running people down, smokers puffing smoke in your face, 20 something year old guys and girls going clubbing/drinking and then puking their guts out in the street afterwards, bar fights etc…

While I’ve witness all of these things and tons more nothing has tested the very fiber of my being than what happened yesterday when I went to meet my developer/friend. We needed to check out a client of ours credentials in mid-town for a current website we are in the middle of designing. After we headed back down town on the N train and he and I are in the middle of a conversation and from afar I see a homeless man walking up the train car begging for money, a completely normal occurring activity for NYC. As he made his way past me out of sight I continued to converse, not after a minute passed did this homeless man take it upon himself to commence spitting on someone in close proximity to me. This liquid of filth then ricochet’s off of this person and I receive two specs landing flush on my left cheek. As if in that moment I possessed the speed of Flash I wiped my cheek and felt and unstoppable rage flow within me. It coursed through my veins like a rebel force going from 0-100mph in an instant.

I’m proud to say that I completely restrained myself and didn’t cause any bodily hard towards this homeless person who is completely out of his mind. And even though it would have felt good to pound him into a bloody pulp I didn’t. Thankfully I live close by and rushed home to take a shower, and even though I live close by every second that passed seemed like an eternity. I came home took off my clothes and gave them to be dry cleaned in addition to two showers, after the first one I still didn’t feel absolutely clean. My question is this why does the MTA allow for homeless people to ride and live on the trains?

Yes in fairness if a homeless individual can scrounge up enough money for train fair and ride it’s train system I can understand how they are allowed. It’s not like the MTA can remove them if so because that can be a lawsuit waiting to happen, and I’m sure plenty of lawyers would be aching to take on a case like this, the homeless person would probably walk out a millionaire? Have to love our justice system. But on the other end of the spectrum we as citizens have to pay ridiculous fares which increase every couple of months it seems, only to deal with these types of issues. Nice huh? Thankfully it was a crazy homeless person’s spit and not some knife wielding maniac psychopath. But who’s to say that this won’t happen in a way it already has just that the maniac wasn’t a homeless person.

The moral of the story is if you live or are planning to live in NYC or any other major city always be ready to be tested because you will, its what you do in that moment the defines your character as a person. And to the MTA come on man, do something to ensure that its riders have a more pleasant experience I mean it is your reputation when people choose to use your services.

Think!

Unravellings of the sexy.

Today as I made my way across town to catch the 6 train to work I descended the stairs and came across one of those newsstands. Nothing special really these newsstands are all over New York City. Upon walking by while glancing at my twitter feed I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. A good majority of the magazines this newsstand was selling had post it notes sprayed here and there, it was hard to miss really. Then as I peered more closely I noticed a few things, first thing was why these magazines had post it notes on them? Was it because it was covering women’s body parts? Ok I can understand that.

Then the second thought was were these magazines are considered provocative? They must be Playboy, Hustler or Black Tail (for the homies) but they weren’t at all, not one single magazine that was blotted out was of the porn industry so what gives? The magazines were all normal everyday run of the mill magazines like Vogue, Elle, Sports Illustrated SwimsuitVanity Fair etc… I don’t get it?

Ah I see now it’s because we as a society have said that this sort of material is inappropriate for public viewing. But I would have to disagree with this sort of thinking, I don’t think those mags put out any material any more sexy or provocative than if you took the day off and went to the beach. In fact you would probably see some more smut at a public beach or movie theater at night, ever been to 42nd Street Times Sq?

Our society has seem to be putting the cloth over our eyes more and more, and while I agree that porn and smut should be held under the table. I don’t feel the same action should be taken against such publications. Have you ever taken a look at what broad-casted on TV? There’s much more provocative shows and spots on there but you don’t see any authorities running in with both guns blazing. I’ve been to Europe, Japan and Canada on more than one occasion besides other parts of the United States, and those countries are far less close minded or maybe it’s better to say uptight than here in the good old U.S. of A.

I see this type of censorship more hurtful than helpful. I realize that we aren’t anything like North Korea but look how they are closed off from the rest of the world, being forced feed whatever their dictatorship says is suitable for consumption. To me that’s brainwash at its finest, don’t think or choose for yourself we will make that decision for you for everything that you do or your lives consist of! I’m sure North Korea didn’t start out this way it had to be built up and become what it is today, of course our country (USA) is nothing like that and I hope it never will be, but sometimes shielding people from the outside world or things on a much smaller scale like this can be a step backwards not forward.

Think!