Wrestling With Pigs

Wrestling with pigs, Emerging from Hell

I’m about to emerge from nine months in hell. I’m not out yet – there’s still work to be done – but I’m at least back in control of this aspect of my destiny.

It was a simple thing, really; all I wanted to do was fix some issues with this blog site design. The original designer tinkered with some code, which made updates impossible and crashes common.

So I was recommended to another fired-up firm who would definitely be able to help me. (I won’t blast them publicly here – that’s not my style. I will gladly steer you clear of disaster upon request. My good friend who recommended me to this firm has also pulled all of his work from this firm for similar – and worse – problems. ‘Nuff said.) (more…)

Birth of an App, Part 7

Birth Of An App

Pictures chosen and edited – check.
Stories written and edited – check.
Categories (finally) decided and named – check.
Music composed and optimized for the iPad – check.
App optimizing and troubleshooting completed – check. (Although there were some pesky crashes on the iPad 1 that needed some serious analysis and work. All stable now, thankfully.) (more…)

Birth Of An App, Part 6

The Ipad Experience

My first experience with the app on an iPad was amazing! The vision I had months earlier was actually a living, breathing, application. The diagrams, sketches and words on paper had changed into animations and transitions I could touch. I could actually play with the app and see what the experience was going to be for the users.

Now it was crunch time. Five yet-unnamed categories were needed with around 20 images and stories each. I had completed one story to date… I had a bunch of ideas scattered across scraps of paper, emails, my iPad and my laptop but they were often incomplete thoughts and in need of illustration. (more…)

Birth of an App, Part 5

The Shaping Of Creatalyst

The app was starting to take shape – ideas for sequences, transitions, animations, colors, formats were shared and discussed and played with. Screen shots gave us a sense for how the app would look and initial animations were looked at first on the pc and then an iPad. An entire wall was covered in the architecture of the app, with navigation through the various sections. Where would this action take the user? How would they get back to where they had been? Was it intuitive? Would they get lost? Where there some surprises? Some interesting reveals? Did the experience serve to stimulate creativity? Was it an enjoyable experience? How true was it to the original vision? (more…)

Birth of an App, Part 4

The Brief

After playing with dozens of apps, I had a clear picture of what I thought would work and not work for my app. The brief I wrote ultimately communicated my vision to get the design going and outlined several key things the app needed to deliver. Based on my original thoughts of this being a creative catalyst using my photos and stories, I knew that:

This app needed to be cool without being obnoxious.
The user interface had to add to the experience, not detract from it.
If there was going to be music as part of the app, it would have to enhance the experience and not drive users crazy.
It needed – to the best extent possible given a two-dimensional tablet environment – to deliver a five-senses experience. (more…)

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