All Posts in 2014

12/19/2014 - No Comments!

Learning Git

github basics

I've been learning a new skill over the last few weeks, Git. A new project at work has given me the responsibility to write and maintain a Style Guide for our main web application project. This, along with some freelance projects I'm working on, have made this new skill a very necessary one for me to pick up, as I'm working remotely with multiple teams on shared codebases. Here, I'm posting my initial notes and new concepts I've picked up while learning Git. Connect with me on GitHub @ll_coolray.

Read more

12/15/2014 - No Comments!

Introduction to Markdown

Markdown Illustration

I've noticed more and more text-based web applications have been integrating support for the Markdown language over recent months. Most notably the project management software I use in my daily work week Pivotal Tracker. I attended a team Tech Talk on the subject hosted by my coworkers and what follows are my takeaways and notes from learning this new skill.

Read more

11/15/2014 - No Comments!

From iOS to Android

ios-to-android illustration

A Fanboy is Born

In a sea of clunky PC plastic, it was easy to fall in love with iOS upon purchasing my first Mac Mini in 2006. Upon entering my college dorms, my newfound love for iOS quickly grew as a new friend happened to be an Apple employee and was able to unleash the power-user within me. After years of fighting with PC machines, I warmly welcomed the sleek product design, artistic applications and delightful user experience.

Read more

11/11/2014 - No Comments!

Profile Not Found

default It has been roughly two years now since I decided to close down my personal Facebook profile. This little experiment of abstinence from the social media platform was initially meant to span a few simple months, but has become a permanent change for me. There was no major event that spurred me to flip off the switch, more of a slow realization of a need for some change in my "social" interactions.

Read more

09/03/2014 - No Comments!

Treehouse Review

As a self-taught web designer and aspiring front-end developer, I'm always on the lookout to learn something new. My knowledge of web design and basic coding began with HTML email designs using inline CSS styles. This starting point led to many many books being read along with hours of troubleshooting on forums, bringing me to the sphere of hacking together my own webpages. I've since gotten a fair amount of formal training in the web languages of HTML & CSS and corresponding preprocessed languages. I personally learn best by doing, as do many others in this field, which is why I decided to try out the online code school, Team Treehouse. It's branded as a lighthearted web application, with some serious content.

Read more

08/18/2014 - 1 comment.

Sass for Web Designers

Wow - another great book from the folks over at A Book Apart. After reading most of the series up until now, I was more than excited to hear of their newest release - Sass for Web Designers. If you’re not familiar with this series of books, I cannot recommend them enough. They are, as told by ABA themselves, brief books for people that make websites. They act as quick, concise reads that can ramp up a new skill for a web designer of any skill level.

Read more

08/14/2014 - No Comments!

This is Material Design

Google is not traditionally known for their design prowess. When discussing tech companies and their design aesthetics, many would shift their conversations towards Apple. Google has always prided itself on simplicity, clarity and accuracy. As our industry is shifting towards a higher understanding of the importance of these principles, Google has a head-start of leaps and bounds. Their design departments have recently published their principles on interface and product design, aptly named "Material Design".

Read more

07/12/2014 - No Comments!

Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf

For our monthly "designer forum" meeting this month, the team decided to get together and watch Jeff Gothelf's introductory presentation of Lean UX. While we've all read the book at some point in time and practice these methods daily in the office, it's always great to get a refresher from the man himself. The presentation was given at the UX Immersion conference in 2012 and is now available to watch on YouTube here: After the video, we all discussed together what we are currently doing and how we could improve our workflows and introduce new practices. Overall, this was a great team building activity and everyone left with a few new strategies to better integrate our UX design with the agile software development teams we support. My notes from the video and our discussion follow.

Read more