Tag Archives: experiments

Learning from TED

I sort of left out something from the monthly review that I forgot to mention. For the past month, I started watching through a bunch of TED videos at a time on the Adobe Media Player. I wanted to see what some of the smartest and and most successful people have done and can inspire me with. Some were hits, while others misses.

I am often amazed at how some of these presenters think so differently and creatively to solve their particular problems. I’m sure some of it was BS in their presentations, but the rest is quite impressive.

This evening, I watched IDEO CEO Tim Brown’s presentation on creativity and play. He explained how as children grow up, they learn to self-edit and develop judgment of their actions, thus the ability to create freely and to brainstorm diminishes.

I certainly feel that way. Based on the environment in which I grew up, it’s practically inevitable that I’d learned to be all about perfection and accuracy. But I’ve also since learned to pull myself away from that and am now finding a balance between entropy and order (this explains my equal love for visual design and programming).

At the same time, my head is constantly filling with so many ideas about everything, it’s ridiculous. For the past few years, I’ve used many tools to download those ideas, with different levels of success. Currently, I have this blog Flush, though you can tell how much success I’ve had with it as my ideas-unloading medium (but hopefully that will all change now that I’ve switched to WordPress), I have my GTD “Someday/Maybe” system that safely stores my ideas for a later time, and I have Twitter, to my followers on which I apologize, for the thoughts there are less design and more… unusual.

And now, I am working on another medium that is the most related to design, the Experiments. It’s one of the main sections of my website that I am redesigning, similar to what I’ve done to Flush, and hopefully, this will be an easy medium for me to work with and that the convenience will encourage me to finally do experiments on a regular basis. Here is a screenshot of the design I’ve worked on today:

Yes, it’s going to be blog-based, but the individual categories will be in a slightly different format. This is going to cut down on the programming but still have room for me to be creative and explore with code and design.

So with the opening of the Experiments section in the coming days, I am optimistic that I can more easily take Tim Brown’s advice to explore and to play, and to keep creativity regular.

Flush.

Cookies Basics

Portfolio section, Show/Hide Panels button

I can now write cookies. I had been avoiding it for a while because I knew it would be a little more complex than basic JavaScript, and that I don’t like how cookies are used for “evil” sometimes. Cookies have a bad rap of taking personal information and whatnot, and I want to avoid that for my sites as much and as long as possible. And now I’m using it only to enhance visitor experience and it does not collect personal information.

I created an experiment with cookies in my Experiments section. It involves taking a name and storing it into the browser cookies, and then also created a switch button that just makes a setting go on and off. I did it for my portfolio section, where I want the visitor to have the option to show the “panels” of navigation within the portfolio section or to hide them, and not have to keep setting it every time the visitor returns to the site.

It’s a basic function, and it’s non-intrusive, and it still works without the function or JavaScript. In fact, if the browser disables JavaScript, the button disappears! You can test it yourself with your browser. And like I said before, the portfolio page exists; follow my site’s navigation format and you’ll get there.

Flush.

Background Change By Time

Been a few days since posting an update on the web site. Before you make snap judgments on the image below, hear me out. That’s not how the site is going to look, exactly. Think of the idea, the concept behind it. Concept, concept, concept.

The point is that I figured out how to control color using time, as well as brightness and saturation control just like the HSB panel in Photoshop and the like. This might be a sarcastic BFD for geeky programmers, but I’m still proud that I figured this out in one night, part of it without power because of some storm.

Background Change By Time

Three versions of the beta site with a different background color at different time of day.

I may or may not continue applying a time-based background color on the home page. This is actually the same saturation and brightness as the original dull blue background color, but I guess it’s just too bright and saturated-looking in other hues.

Shaun Inman

The idea for this came from Shaun Inman’s site, which I heard about from a (relatively) recent BADG podcast interviewing Shaun Inman. His site has a changing background that repeats every year, and on top of that, his older articles fade to white as a metaphor that writings on web programming and such get outdated very quickly over time, even stuff written in 2002.

I will continue to play around with the background color; I’ll probably make it darker and muted if I was to keep the script on the home page, because frankly, I don’t really have a strong concept and reason like Shaun’s to have the script on the home page.

The process of writing the script is documented under Experiments > Web > JavaScript.

Flush.