Week Three: Jekyll, Haml, Sketching, and Tech WeekJuly 25, 2011
This week I began using Jekyll and github pages for blog posts and got to play with Haml a little bit. Using Jekyll with github pages is very cool and I can't wait to really get the hang of it. I'm currently using it for my blog, and I just started using it for the 8th Light blog posts being migrated to the new website.
Haml is interesting. I prefer plain old HTML, however I'm really glad I've had the opportunity to try it out and understand some of the syntax.
I've been reading a little more this week. I just finished Thinking with Type. A really great book that I will probably use as a reference for quite a long time. There are so many things to know about type and Ellen Lupton's book was a lovely, well written, burst of information.
I also started reading Simple and Usable: web, mobile, and interaction design Thursday Night. Perfect book to start right now. I've been trying to come up with layout ideas and researching typefaces for an app I'm helping with and this book points out a lot of things that you should be thinking about when designing, well anything, really.
Learning the design process
Sketching has been one of the most helpful steps in the design process for me. I can get feedback from a simple sketch before attempting to go further.
Billy taught me to take a look at what I'm designing, understand what it does, make a map of it, then stop looking at the screen for a while and sketch.
I tend to get a little too excited and sometimes skip to the type, colors, and layout. Learning to take it slow, consider the audience, and practice usability is a goal of mine.
Tech Week, Startup Weekend, and S.P.A.R.K.
Saturday I spent part of the day at Tech Week which is taking place at Merchandise Mart. It was my first time ever being in the building. I can't believe how big that building is.
I listened to Billy's talk titled On web Typography: Choosing and using fonts on screen and took some sketchnotes and photos, which I may post later this week.
I really enjoyed his talk and the audience seemed to get a lot out of it also.
Afterward, I went over to Tech Nexus with Ryan to check up on the teams doing Startup Weekend. He had been there Friday night and spent all weekend there mentoring teams and offering feedback on their ideas and what they were trying to accomplish.
It was a really great experience seeing the teams work so passionately toward their goals. Listening to them practice their pitches and realizing how much work they had done in just over 2 days was inspiring.
Sunday afternoon I went with all of the teams, 11 in total, over to Merchandise Mart where they gave their pitches to the judges.
Three teams were selected to move on to S.P.A.R.K. and they will be working extremely hard for the next 3 days with three software development companies in Chicago and one will win. (Good luck!)
My goals for the week
- Finish reading Simple and Usable: web, mobile, and interaction design.
- Find typefaces for a couple of projects I'm working on and start out with a grid.