I've been using and experimenting with the Amazon Echo for a little over two weeks now. Echo is a cloud-connected, wireless speaker from Amazon, currently in limited release. Overall, it's been an outstanding addition to my home as well as an all-around neat gadget. I love to watch Amazon continue to grow as a company by bringing offerings into so many, varied fields. As usual, Amazon delivered a quality product, at the right price here. It seems as though Amazon has correctly predicted the evolution of the wireless speaker, and beat all competitors to market with an outstanding product.
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.
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.
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.
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".
As the graphic design community is painfully aware, Squarespace recently released their web-based logo creation tool. The tool enables users to create minimal logo designs for small business using a combination of free fonts and icons from The Noun Project. This enraged many in the design community and sparked lots of interesting conversations. I've attempted to recreate a few of the great, iconic logo designs of our culture using the tool.
All skills will be forgotten without regular practice. When I think of all the facts and skills I've memorized at some point in my life for a test or one-time exercise, it's truly baffling. While I'm sure this knowledge is rolling around in my gray matter somewhere, my knowledge of the path leading to it has been lost for years.