Stand Up To Work Or Die

Stand Up To Work Or Die

You would be amazed at how rewarding it is to work on your computer while standing on your own 2 feet. About 6 months ago, I built a stand up desk in my home office. The idea was first planted in my head as a tiny seed by a co-worker who has truly earned my respect over the years. A few years ago, I visited our main office in Berea, Kentucky for a team wide conference and first laid my eyes on a colleague standing behind his desk in the corner of the room. My first impression was, “What are you thinking!”. I figured that it would be tiring to stand at your desk all day. Later I found out that it is just the opposite. Here is a great info graphic on the detriments of sitting all day. The Benefits Standing up to work allows me to keep moving during the work day. Standing back from my screen to review a design, moving between screens on my desktop, or even just taking a quick walk break to keep fresh. Before I built this desk, I was finding that my back was aching after every 10 hour work day due to the gravitational push on my spine. My posture was pretty much non-existent and was causing problems in other areas of my life. I now have more energy at the end of the day, my posture has vastly improved and I am even more productive in my work. When I stand during video meetings with clients, it gives me a feeling of power and confidence. This even comes across...
Is It A Great Time To Be A Designer

Is It A Great Time To Be A Designer

Wow, it is a great time to be a web designer! Why? It is said that a website has a shelf life of 2 years before you need a refresh. If you asked me, I would say that time is more like 1 year. With all the changes in technology, design trends and conversion tactics, you should really keep an eye on your site every week. You should test, re-test and tweak your site to be optimal for conversion, no matter what kind of site you maintain. But in the end, normal people don’t have the means to keep up with such an arduous task. So they hire “designers”. But I design things! I don’t watch the stats, conversion, bounce rates and all that boring stuff. As a designer, why do I need to worry about these things? I just want to make things pretty and drink lattes. If you think like this, you are the definition of a modern day starving artist. Throughout time, artists have created beautiful works of art and reveled in the ideal that they are making the world better just by applying paint to canvas. Singing songs to the trees. Writing poems for lovers. Now I ask, did any of those artists leave a lasting impression on society? Yes, a few did exactly that! But those few knew how to convert! Michelangelo convinced the church that they needed his art to persuade the masses to convert to Christianity. Dali knew that people wanted to break away from reality and find a fantasy world that he could provide. Monet gave subtle beauty to a picture...

The Future Is In Your Pocket

I once had a dream that I would own a phone that allowed me to access my email, read websites, send photos and do all sorts of things that I could only do chained to my desk. Now that Apple has made my dream come true, it is time to dream on. I constantly think about the absolute best way to live and work at home and on the go sans throwing out my back. Working at home has its advantages, but when I need to take it on the road, I have to lug around a HUGE laptop, mouse, cables, iPhone, bag, camera, storage device, etc. etc. Now here is what I want, and I want it now! Think about this. Stick a 1T SD card in my iphone, I would actually have 2, one for back up. Make the operating system a full Snow Leopard or whatever animal is in stock at the time. Allow me to dock this powerhouse into any monitor and the touch screen becomes the trackpad or a mouse. Of course I would have to figure out a solution for the keyboard, but hey what else do they have to do over in Cupertino? Now this awesome piece of craftiness would be my main machine, my phone, my mobile computing device and a little slice of FREAKING WICKEDNESS! I would always be online if needed by way of 8G or whatever network AT&T decided I should be on. I would also have my work with me at all times just in case a needy client was to call me while I was chillin...

Thoughts On CMS

I am a big proponent of using content management systems to build and update your website for several reasons. The biggest reason is the ease of updating your design every year without having to move all of your content every time. The smallest would be convenience in the general maintenance of the site without having to rely on a professional that may be very busy at your time of need. The main CMS that I have become relatively comfortable with is WordPress. I use thematic to design my projects due to the child theme capabilities. This allows me to alter the theme without destroying the main theme code base, which may need to be upgraded at any time during the life of the website. WordPress has a huge developer and plugin base to choose from currently and can be customized to fit your needs from a small sites to large sites. One thing that you must keep in mind is that these developers are not all controlled by WordPress and do not always work together to create a seamless product. I have found that many of the plugins may or may not work with other plugins running or with new updated versions of WordPress. You have to be very careful when adding new functionality into your site as well as when you update to a new version. It is truly best to know a well versed PHP developer to help you sort out some of these issues. If you use WordPress, you need to also be aware of security issues and how to prevent someone from hacking yours or...
Blender 3D Mac Program

Blender 3D Mac Program

I love modeling in 3D. I have always had a skill for understanding 3 dimensional space. Knowing what the other side of the fence should look like. I currently downloaded a great bit of software that is open source for the mac called Blender. Blender is an open source program, but they do accept donations. It seems to be very robust in modeling and also has animation capabilities. Even though it took some time to learn the interface, there are plenty of tutorials up on YouTube. I have included my first model of a disc golf basket here. I modeled this after Innova’s Discatcher Pro basket. I used materials found on the Blender materials website to create the metal and paint effects. If you would like to download my Blender file, click...