iOS AND ANDROID
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I like the bank. One of the problems with direct deposit is I don’t get to go to the bank as often as I would like. Sure it saves time, but I miss interacting with the friendly tellers, and who can pass up a free lollipop or dog treat (if you are a dog of course, or you are into eating dog food, not that there’s anything wrong with that). I was enjoying one of my rare trips to the bank the other day and the teller, a sweet woman in her 50s who seems to love her job, was full of questions:
Bank Teller: “Hello Mr. Spedaliere, how are you today?”
Me: “I’m great, how are you?”
Bank Teller: “ I’m just wonderful. It’s a pleasant day isn’t it?”
Me: “It certainly is, but if you are stuck inside what better place to be stuck than in a bank with all of this money.”
Bank Teller: “So very true. What kind of work did you say that you do Mr. Spedaliere?”
Me: “ Huh?”
Bank Teller: “What kind of work did you say that you do?”
Me: “I am a web curator”
Bank Teller: (look of confusion followed by an awkward silence)
Me: “I am a website guy…”
Bank Teller:“Oh, oh yes. Would you like a lollypop?”
This isn’t the first time a perfectly good round of small talk was railroaded by an inquiry about my job, and I suspect it will not be the last.
As the internet grows and the websites on it grow as well, someone needs to be tasked with making sure they grow up right, like a website farmer, with digital overalls and a binary pitch fork… well you get the point. Large companies with large websites put their best communication teams to the task of wrangling in these digital heavyweights, but let’s face it: comm teams need to be busy communicating, not worrying about widgets, learning HTML or translating IT. In steps the Web Curator.
Who is this person of mystery? Able to leap massive portals in a single bound and save kittens from burning trees? Let’s take a look:
A thorough knowledge of technology and how it is used makes the curator the ideal strategic partner. They are also fun at parties.
Sometimes initiatives require multiple teams and buy in from multiple stakeholders, in steps the curator with her project manager hat on.
What makes the curator/wed designer different from the traditional print designer is he must be able to design specifically with the technology in mind. Sure we can DESIGN our site to project holograms, but we still can’t BUILD our site to project holograms.
Have you spoken to the IT department lately? What the hell language are they speaking? Just let your curator handle them.
It’s 5:15 PM on a Friday and that “planned” communication really needs to be posted or else your director will be eating your liver for tomorrow’s lunch. Thank goodness we have a curator!
Digital Handy Man
Susan from marketing just called and that widget on the homepage seems to be displaying curse words instead of the Q3 marketing strategy. It’s a good thing we have a website curator to fix it up!
Happy Client Maker
The most important thing a website curator can do is make their client happy, and we commit ourselves to doing so everyday.
Lead Curator @ Local Wisdom
This was shared by a collegue of mine, Justin. The concept for this site is simple, but extremely useful. If you need to take screenshots of a website on various devices, but don’t want to go through all the devices manually, this site is your answer. Basically the way it works, the site has an iframe for each of the device resolutions. Since the mockups of the devices on the homepage overlap, you can click on each device and bring it to the forefront if you need to. You can also grab each device on the site and move them around. Pretty cool and simple site that helps save a lot of time.
A recently funded Kickstarter project by the name of 3Doodler is boasting its capabilities as the world’s first 3D-printing pen, and based off of its video introduction, I have no reason to doubt them. As soon as you see the pen seeming molding plastic in mid-air, you immediately want to pick one up and start doodling. The only downside from my perspective is that there is a lack of interface with a computer to create these models, but a major plus is that you don’t need one, as you are the “computer” in this sense!
Found out about the news of Makerbot making a 3D scanner to go along with their 3D printers. As a user of a Makerbot Replicator, but with zero ability to build 3D models of my own, all I have to say YES!!!
If it wasn’t for RJay, we’d never be able to print out anything at all. Looking at the pictures from Engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/08/makerbot-3d-scanner/), it follows the same basic balsa wood build as their 3D printers but they’ve attached lasers and a spinning platform.
Besides the price, the inability to create these 3D models to print out easily, is the biggest barrier to getting people to purchase and use these printers. Also, there’s still issues even printing, as the bigger the object you’re printing, the more likely it will fail. RJay has been working on getting better results with the printer and he’s found a few tips that have helped (I’ll see if I can get him to follow up with a blog post). It’s an exciting time as you can see the progression being made with these printers and as they become more stable, the more inexpensive prototyping and manufacturing there is. This leads to more choices and better solutions for various problems around the world.
It’s got LASERS!!!!
When I got a chance to represent Local Wisdom as a mentor and judge at the recent HackRU Hackathon, I became a little nostalgic.
You see, even though I’m the UX/Design guy, I’ve always had my hands in technology and I’ve always been supportive of the “Just try it out and see if it works” mentality that the hacker ethic represents.
We got this in last week, and found this video I wanted to save so we can keep up with our makerbot.
Local Wisdom brought home two awards from this year’s annual competition held by The Art directors Club of NJ. This non-profit organization is comprised of professionals whose creative services bring excellence and knowledge to the design world. Since 1961, the goal of the ADCNJ has been to discover new ideas and techniques while providing an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work.
We are proud to say that this year Local Wisdom won honorable mentions within the categories of Self Promotion and User Interface Design for localwisdom.com. Internal projects work a bit differently, we are able to communicate openly and often to adjust architecture, design, and copywriting based on progress. This is how the concept of the “slices” of content came to be.
This is the second year in a row that Local Wisdom has been awarded distinction in the ADCNJ competition, last year for our mobile app Weatherwise, and we will continue to submit new projects in the future. Entering these competitions is important because it gives us the chance to show off our talents while being vetted against industry experts. We feel that winning these awards helps our company grow with confidence and notoriety.
We have great respect for what the Art Directors Club does for the design industry in New Jersey as well as what they do for the next generation of talent in educational institutions. To find out more information about the ADCNJ visit http://www.adcnj.org/.
To read about the awards Local Wisdom took home from last year’s competition visit Two Gold, Two Silver, One Bronze…Five Awards Line the Shelves at Local Wisdom!
We would like to thank Pinaki Kathiari (Architecture), RJay Haluko (designer), Tracy Severino (copyrighter) and Melissa Penta (developer) for their creative genius and hard work to make localwisdom.com a success.
It’s that time of year again, when allergies and Hackathons run rampant. This weekend Mike and I had the privilege of judging another hackathon, this time at Rutgers University, our Alma mater. Unlike the Hack Princeton hackathon we judged, the HackRU event lasted only 24 hours and included project submissions from 18 groups.
The hackathon started with API presentations from a number tech companies which allowed students to interact with the company representatives. Mike and I were thrilled to see such a diverse group of hackers with different ideas and a range of skill sets. You could definitely feel the air charged with creative electricity.
While a hackathon can be a great place to network and meet people from different areas and backgrounds we noticed that they also serve as a great opportunity to learn from one another. Sharing information about different platforms or software was a huge part of this weekend’s event and many of the participants, sponsors, and organizers knew a great deal about a number of different technologies.
Some of our greatest achievements at Local Wisdom are the apps we’ve created. Nothing feels better than seeing a final product that you’ve worked so hard to create come to life. Hackathons offer this same feeling because you not only develop the concept for your application, but you build it and present it. This puts your coding skills to the test and also encourages you to think outside the box both in the application’s creation and presentation. This type of thinking can only help in the future.
We were thrilled with the projects that the teams created. They ranged from a web app that helps a person learn a the definition of words to a mobile app that uses information from Nextbus and Google Maps to calculate whether the user will make it to class on time. The concepts for this hackathon were not only unique, but well thought-out and quite intuitive.
In the end, the project Get Mad Hipster Points Yo, an app that uses the accelerometers in smartphones as controllers over wifi to simulate a table tennis-like game, came in first place. Stereo Laser, used two Arduino boards to control laser light shows for left and right channel audio input and took second. Following closely in third place was FriendTrend that allows users to see what’s trending with only the people they follow rather than everyone on Twitter. See the full list of the projects we judged here.
Overall, we had a fantastic time and got to meet some awesome people. We can’t wait for the next one!
When I first pitched photomash they either loved it or it was met with a “huh, you do what?.” Photomash lets an iOS or Android user take a photo and erase parts of the photo. After erasing a part of the photo you can see through the hole revealing what the camera sees. At that point you line up your shot again mashing the two photos together. You can keep erasing and mashing. It’s extremely simple yet a bit confusing to explain.
After getting the app prototyped it became obvious to me that some users needed some creative help to understand what was possible with Photomash. The idea of a tutorial seems kind of annoying. So, I had the idea of showcasing all the stupid and wacky things my colleagues and I came up with while testing the app. We built a system that solved two problems, making it social and teaching users how to use the app in creative ways.
The challenges ranges from simple things like replacing someone’s face with someone else’s, then sharing it. Others get crazier like creating a “Frankensteined” version of someone. Overall the challenges needed to be simple tasks that only took a minute or two.
Many of the challenges like teabaggin came from playful explorations. I stumble upon the teabaggin challenge while testing. I happened to take a picture looking down at my nethers while I was sitting. I erased a bit then pointed my phone at a developer and started to laugh uncontrollably. Slowly while testing challenges began to show themselves organically.
One night me and my fiancé were taking turns playing around with ideas. She ingenuously came up with my favorite, the lollipop head. Take a picture of someone, then erase a huge area where their head was and move closer to take a shot. The results are hilarious and super simple.
Another one of my favorites was inspired by people defacing signs and billboards. The sign anagram challenge introduces people to the idea of taking a picture of a word and erasing letters to make a new word.
“ Bubny loves fairies,
and him have that
in common ”
The icons for the challenges were inspired by xbox achivement icons. Conveying the challenge in the icon was pretty funny in a few instances like man baby and teabaggin. The icons also servers a purpose of letting users know which challenge they are on while taking photos.