Day 2: Learned the Web 2.0 Thing, For Better or Worse

11 Aug Me and One of My Configurations

I don’t know why I was so frustrated earlier about Web 2.0 techniques, but I had to go for a carrot walk! A carrot walk is when I walk by the river and eat a carrot. It helps me deal with my frustration! Radishes help too, but don’t always provide the needed crunch.

Today in Illustrator I made artboards of all shapes and sizes, primarily for making personal proof sheets. These are artboards where I line up similar designs I have made in order to compare them.

I understand difference clearly only when the objects of comparison are close to each other in space and time. If I eat a good olive now, and a good olive in a year, I won’t be able to know the similarities and differences between them. But if I eat two different types of olives one after another, voila!

I highly prefer Illustrator over Photoshop. Thankfully, my Illustrator punchout, or letterpress, tutorials came out better than my Photoshop ones, so I can Illustrate away.


SexyCool Graphic Design

11 Aug

Today I learned a common web design technique: Put white highlights on a gradient, punch something out of it, add a drop shadow, and include a video of cool people having sex.


Day 2: Diligent, Wait For the Unexpected

10 Aug

Got an unpaid gig that I have to start and finish by the end of the week, finished two tutorials (one with 55 steps), and watched about 15 video lessons. Biked 15 miles tonight in one hour. Too busy right now to post more. Will post better soon, PROMISE!

❤ your future favorite web designer.

Day 1: Success?

9 Aug

I don’t know!

I kept a meticulous time log today, and I just calculated my time spent working, and OUCH! Out of ten hours, I worked six and a half! Where did the other three and a half go? Well, a half hour was taking a shower and making breakfast, which apparently when you work from home, is an okay thing to do in the middle of your workday! Another half hour was spent looking for the damn cat, who I thought escaped outside, but was in fact under the bed in the blue room the whole time. And an hour and a half was my lunch, which for pretty good reasons that shouldn’t happen too often, went longer than my expected hour lunch.

So then, where did the other hour and a half go? Oh, you know. Customizing my workspace, dealing with technical issues, going to the bathroom, playing with my dog outside to wear off frustration at an agonizing Illustrator tutorial.

Today’s Irreplacable Resources:

How to Use the Opacity Mask to Make High Gloss Icons and Reflections
Reflections Done Right – Creating a Money Roll Icon
The Principles of Design
The Elements of Design
Video Interview with Paul Rand

Some Stats:

2 Tutorials

12 Lessons

11 Good Surprises

4 Moments of Intense Stress

1 Bowl of Oatmeal

6 Radishes

1 Technical Snag

1 Impromptu Yoga Mini-Session

1 Aborted Task

6.5 hours

2 Questions:

1. What colors can I safely use in HTML these days? 65 million?

2. Do our brains interpret two dimensional surfaces as three dimensional? In terms of foreground, background, size, perspective, etc? Is graphic design a flattening trick!?

Day -1: Little Sleep, Timelogging and Metrics, Super-Excited

8 Aug

Last night I imagined a social marketing plan. I sought advice from a social network savvy friend, and now have a social strategy that I will implement slowly over the first week, whilst figuring out more details, and as of week two, integrate it as a scheduled part of my workdays.

In addition to Toggl, I am using a Notepad Log to track my time at first. I have used the Notepad Log before and found it quick and convenient. It automatically inserts a timestamp and a new line every time you open it, so you can just mash away the details of what you’re doing and close it within seconds.

Jakob Nielsen uses advanced scientific equipment to realize principles already understood in design circles for decades. However, I do find his work helpful. His explicit focus on web design makes some web design considerations easier than having to extrapolate the web applications of traditional design-speak on my own. That being said, I react to his works with mixed considerations.

There are some unplanned aspects of my pursuit; some holes. But at least for the first month, I understand 70% of what I am going to do. My plan for the following months is more vague—around a 30% understanding. But I have enough information to act on.

Conditions are not ideal for my first day, but when are they? I slept only four hours last night, and I cycled twenty miles today. But I am so excited! I am ready to begin! And end in success!

Need to do:
  • Decide on metrics representation  (Google Charts API)
Today’s Irreplacable resources:

Eyetracking Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice

Listening to: Butterfly by Weezer; The Way We Get By by Spoon

Day -2: Preparing My Computer and Being Scared

7 Aug

I reinstalled Windows so that my computer runs smoother. I have bookmarked some typography tutorials to investigate first. I worry about viewing web pages that turn out to be a waste of time. But there will be good ones. Just like books—yesterday I read a wonderful design book, but today I read an awful one. And strangely, the bad one was twice the price! At least bad web pages don’t cost money?

I worry that I won’t get a good ‘traditional design’ education on the Net, so I keep considering buying a couple books a month. But my desire to buy something is often a sign that I am trying to buy my success rather than work for it.

I have created an outline of the beginning of my graphic design education. It includes traditional design and technological application, but it unfortunately does not include marketing.

Need to do:
  • Decide on note-taking medium. (Microsoft OneNote! 🙂 )
  • Decide on time-logging method. (Toggl)

Listening: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside