Category — General

Creating Notebook Style Post Images

I’ve had a few people ask me how I designed the blog post images in my rebuilding Wardrobe series and in this post I wanted to outline the simple process I use for doing it. Continue reading

6-plus-thumbzone

A great graphic via mashable to keep in mind for building new iOS apps and for optimizing your mobile sites. I haven’t seen a plus in person yet, but being a short person this seems worrisome. The pictures I’ve seen make it look like an iPad mini mini.

This update cannot be installed because it requires at least 6.9 GB of storage. You can make more storage available by deleting items in Usage Settings.

— iOS 8

EVERY iOS UPGRADE, EVER!

The Sketchnote Workbook

As a developer I am constantly taking notes while reading, planning features, and attending conferences. Conferences are the hardest for me because of how fast the talks go. If I’m writing then I have to be quick and my notes end up being illegible. Continue reading

Care and Feeding of a Robot

I had the honor and privilege to speak at the first ever Laravel conference. After my talk I had a few people ask me about my slides so I wanted to share those and give little insight into them.

First off I was doing my presentation on a actual product. So I wanted to be sure that it wasn’t presented as a sales pitch. Instead I wanted to just share some good tips and some of the things we had learned throughout the process of building it. So for that I wanted to step away from all the branding that we currently use for Snappy.

For the design I based everything around two fonts. Veneer as the primary and Thirsty Script as a secondary font. Once I locked in my fonts I decided on using the color scheme that Yellow Design had in the font screen shots. I knew it would compliment the fonts nicely and look professional. From here I just made everything match and be super big.

Slides

Video

Presentation Design for Developers

I am excited that I will get to speak at the first ever Laravel conference next month. I am in the process of building my presentation and I wanted to share a lot of tips, tricks and resources that I have found along the way. With the goal it will help you if you are ever presenting and just need a quick start.

Presentation Planning

The first step is plan your presentation. I use pen and paper for this. Stepping away from the computer allows me to gather my thoughts better and not get sucked into just doing research and browsing. I found this really helps.

Next I take my brainstorming notes and opened up a markdown app. From here I actually write out everything in story form. From what I have read presentations are better if they tell a story so this helps me get all my thoughts together. Almost like I am writing a blog post.

Presentation Design

This is the hard part for me. I am not a strong designer but I feel like I have a good grasp of what good design is. In other words I know it when I see it. The problem is everything I create I never see it being any good. So I am sticking with the classic big font and single color background.

For the color scheme I like to stay away from common white or black backgrounds. I found a lot of great color schemes from kuler, colourlovers, and even dribble. Of course there are many more sites that offer color schemes. Just pick something that has good contrast so your words will “pop”.

Fonts are a real struggle for me. There are millions of fonts and I have wasted about 5 nights just this past week looking and searching for the perfect one. I personally only like at most two fonts and I usually go with two that have a big contrast. Something like a sans-serif for big bold titles and handwriting for subtitles. A good site for finding free fonts is fontsquirrel.

I save images to the very end because I am constantly changing things as I go. Since I am not really to this point I wanted to share a great site for finding creative commons images on Flickr. The site is CompFight. If you do want to go with a commercial offering istockphoto seems to be fairly inexpensive.

In the end visit SpeakerDeck and browse their Featured Presentations. Most of those look great and will give you great ideas.

Keynote Tips

I am far from a keynote expert but here is a few tips I have picked up while doing my design.

First open the color picker box and get the color you want. Next drag this color down into the little swatches box. By doing this you can get all the colors you are going to use and have quick access to them. Here is an example:

keynote-colorpicker

I have found working with fonts a chore. I choose the generic white template as a base and it always reverted to Gil Sans. So any text box I add I then had to go and change the font manually. To change the font for all new text boxes all you have to do is first create a new text element. Pick your font, and finally go to format -> Advanced -> Define Text for all Masters.

I was honestly about to throw keynote out the window until I discovered this.

See it Live

Designing a presentation is only half the battle. The actual speaking part is what most fear. I have seen surveys where people say they would rather die than speak in front of a room full of people. I think that is a little extreme but everyone has their quirks. On a positive note if the talk bombs you can always share your beautiful slides and people will think you did an awesome job. :)

If you want to see my finished presentation there is only one way. Attend the first ever laracon. It should be loads of fun and nice to finally get to meet a lot of the Laravel community. I want to give big props to UserScape for getting the ball rolling on this.