Juan Sanchez

Thinking out loud.

Jul 4, 2012

Earlier today, Brandon mentioned he was creating a theme for Scriptogram. I thought it'd be interesting to do the same, but try using the latest version of Foundation.

I signed up for Scriptogram, downloaded Foundation 3 and started merging the default theme with the capabilities of Foundation. I use hosted resources of Foundation, Google Fonts and other bits used for customizing the theme.

All in all, the process was relatively painless.

Oct 24, 2011

Why is the process of recycling so hard? Paper, plastic, trash, compost, etc. and all their respective bins can drive me crazy.

I was recently at a local CostCo doing a user interview and had to skip lunch beforehand. On the way out I thought I'd grab a hotdog to curb my hunger. After devouring my meal I went to throw away my trash and I was confronted with different colored recycling bins.

How clever, I thought. There's some nice color-coding, instructions and silhouettes to help me map what items need to be discarded where. This should be a piece of cake, but then things broke down.

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Jan 31, 2011

A while ago, like so many others, I started using Instagram as a quick and easy way to capture and share photos I took. The functionality was great; quick and simple to use.

With the posting to Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc. it felt like the photo only existed for those who initially saw the link or image. This seemed appropriate since these photos were in fact a moment in time with an expiration.

Eventually, I wanted to share my Instagrams with others who weren't following me and after I had posted them. I wanted a gallery.

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Jan 1, 2011

A month ago I received a Google TV by way of the Adobe MAX conference. The point was to get people to start developing apps for the hardware using AIR for Android. For me, I was just excited to get something for free to play around with.

Once my Google TV arrived I went to set it up thinking it would take no time at all. Just hook it up to my TV and that's it, right? Well, it was a bit more complicated than that. The first time I set it up I kind of half-assed it cause I just wanted to start messing with it. I accomplished that and then kinda forgot about it for a day or so.

My attention turned back to the Google TV after I had heard about the iPhone app and some of the other interesting things people were saying about it. This time I reworked my entire stereo, TV and set top box setup around the Google TV.

After all that there were some things that I really liked and other that were pretty flawed. I'm not going to get into those things in this post, but one of those things that caught my interest was designing/developing web apps optimized for TV.

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Dec 19, 2010

In iOS 4.2, Apple introduced the ability to access the accelerometer via Mobile Safari. Other native iOS applications offer a feature of auto-scrolling forwards and backwards when an iOS device is tilted. With access to the accelerometer data, I wanted to see if I could recreate this same feature in Mobile Safari.

The initial implementation only took about 4 lines of code and was fairly simple. I just updated the top scroll position of the page based on the y tilt of the device. From there I just added things like reseting the initial tilt of the device when you load the page and allowing to to reset it manually with a button.

Oct 29, 2010

This week, RJ Owen, Leonard Souza and I presented a multiscreen app we built for Adobe MAX. The app was a "social jukebox" that lets party attendees play a role in DJing the party. That is, they can vote for the songs they want to hear at the party and songs with the most votes get pushed higher in the song play queue. We built a touch-enabled desktop app that acts as the "host" for the music and then there is a mobile app that allows people to interact with the desktop application.

The apps were fun to build and we used a number of Adobe technologies to pull them off. We're hoping to keep pushing the multiscreen experience to include TV using Adobe AIR and an app for iOS. In the meantime, you can check out the images of the app in this post, our slide deck and our presentation on Adobe TV as soon as it's available. We hope to follow up with a series of blog posts on how we built these apps.

Jun 11, 2010

WWDC 10 is over. I'm at Starbuck's waiting to grab a cab to the airport and am reflecting on the last week. It was great learning about the new technology that was just skimmed at the keynote, but one thing is missing. It's something a lot of people were hoping to hear about; an update to AppleTV. However, I think to a certain degree we've seen the components that could make Apple TV an entirely new TV experience. In the end, the TV may be the last screen Apple attempts to dominate and they may succeed. Let me explain.

Think about your current television. What's great about it? Well, a great thing about it is that it can provide an awesome viewing experience. You can be instantly immersed in that experience with very minimal distraction.

Now, what sucks about it? For me, it's finding content. Endless scrolling lists, crazy remote controls and complicated set-top boxes. Granted, I only look forward to a few shows a week, but still, when I'm looking to watch something and tune in I immediately get overwhelmed. I just want to view stuff that's relevant as quickly as possible.

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May 2, 2010

If you have an iPad you know that on the Lock Screen there's a button you can tap to turn your iPad into a digital picture frame. I was thinking, why limit it to just pictures? What if you could turn the iPad into a jukebox, clock display, etc. right from the Lock Screen?

Basically, instead of tapping the picture icon, there would be a more universal icon. When you tap on that you would see a popover with options for apps that support the Lock Screen. These would be optimized views that did very specific things. For example, selecting "iPod" would shuffle songs like a jukebox.

Any app could be packaged with the optimized Lock Screen view. These views would do one thing and provide no options besides switching to another Lock Screen version of an app (and unlocking your iPad).

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Apr 28, 2010

As I've been working with the iPad I've been intrigued by some of the UI differences between it and the iPhone. One of the first things you notice when playing with the iPad is the popovers that display in context of the element you've interacted with. On an iPhone, the same interaction would take you to a new view.

This got me thinking about how popovers might be used outside of applications and on the Home Screen where your app icons live. Specifically, I was thinking of how I could use popovers to peek at specific content from an app instead of launching the entire application. For example, peek at recent emails, see what AIM buddies are online, etc.

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Apr 3, 2010

Communicating thoughts and ideas can be one of the biggest challenges in an industry that relies so heavily on visual interpretation and recognition. If you're working on an idea by yourself, with a colleague or a client, it's one thing to see an idea in your mind and another to get it out for others to evaluate. As a UX designer, sketching is a daily necessity. It's one of the most valuable tools you can wield.

At EffectiveUI, we recognized just how important sketching is that we made custom EffectiveUI sketchbooks. They've evolved over the years in design and purpose. These sketchbooks were extremely popular within the company and beyond. When we'd visit clients they'd come to meeting with their EffectiveUI sketchbook in hand.

Then, along came the iPad. Everyone at EffectiveUI was excited about this new magical device. In fact, the concept for Ideate was born when Jonathan Branam gave me a call out of the blue exclaiming, "I want to build an iPad application". After some brainstorming we decided to bring all the usefulness of our EffectiveUI sketchbooks to the iPad. We named the app "Ideate".

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