Poster: The Fountain

05 Mar 2013
the fountain

I wanted to design a minimal poster of my all time favorite film, The Fountain. This is the result.

Expedit by IKEA

03 Mar 2013
notes on ipad

I thought it would be fun to pay homage to the most versatile shelf ever designed. All pixels pushed with my Photoshop/Illustrator alternative, Sketch.

Instagram Didn’t Need The Web

07 Feb 2013
notes on ipad

Instagram’s desktop news feed rollout may be the beginning of a growing trend of apps that start on a mobile device then proceed to the desktop as an afterthought. “Mobile-first” has been a buzzword in the design community for the last few years. Instagram is one of the first successful companies to start a social network on one platform, iOS. It leveraged the popularity of the App Store to become the most popular photo sharing service. It did not need the “open web” to become successful.

Ironically, iOS started without an App Store, only providing native-apps created from Apple. 3rd-party developers could only make web apps which rely on HTML5 technologies that have proven to be laggy. Think of the Facebook mobile experience before Mark Zuckerberg decided to go native iOS. It made me not want to use Facebook on my phone. In an alternate universe, Apple could have kept the App Store with web-only apps which makes me believe that Instagram would have never become the behemoth service it is today. The change to 3rd-party native apps have provided a rich, lagless experience for iOS users. Many have argued that this “walled garden” approach to apps are detrimental to the open Internet. Instagram’s success proves otherwise. They’ve just taken an upside-down approach to gaining millions of loyal users. Mobile app first, desktop site later, if you even need it. Instagram did just fine without the web.

Bye Bye, Skeuomorphic Design

31 Oct 2012
notes on ipad

Jony Ive to Lead Software and Hardware Division at Apple

From a Huffington Post article:

Ive, Apple’s celebrated industrial design chief will now look into both hardware and software designs, following the departure of Scott Forstall after years of friction with other top executives.

As many of you Apple followers have heard by now, Scott Forstall, Jobs protoǵe and skeuomorphic design lover, is out as head of iOS. Apple has reshuffled and consolidated its divisions, most notably coining a new division in which Jony Ive is the chief of Human Interface. This is exciting for everyone who is tired of stitched leather hogging up screen real estate. Ive is now controlling pixels that are displayed from the physical objects he meticulously oversees. His minimalistic approach to product design will surely translate to the user interface, but by how much? It definitely will not go so deep into Microsoft’s “Metro” approach. However, we will see updates to software in the next few years that will eliminate problematic elements that obstruct user productivity. If I had to choose three, my votes would go to Calendar, Reminders, and Contacts.

Hello Universe.

24 Oct 2012

Hello Universe.

NerdyHippo is a much needed update to an outdated, patched-up portfolio put together last year while frantically job-hunting. Despite being slapped together in a few days, I landed several interviews at some well-known tech companies. It was good for what it was; an advertisement that said, “I need a job. This is what I did before and can do for you.” I wanted to do more. NerdyHippo is my platform where I show off my work, but more importantly, voice my opinions as a design thinker.

My road to being a designer came with many detours, but in hindsight, all makes sense. I grew up as an only-child in a single parent household, which gave me plenty of alone time with pencil and paper. I would draw my favorite sports heroes and spend countless hours shading and coloring in every detail. I would sit at my desk for hours not worrying about anything but drawing. This love for drawing transferred over to the digital era.

My first experience creating art on a computer was drawing characters pixel by pixel with Microsoft Paint. I would translate paper drawings into RGB pixels and save it in the old school “.bmp” format. I remember thinking that this was way cooler than drawing on paper because I could save it on my hard drive and share these drawings immediately via email or AIM (AOL Instant Messenger for those born in the “Like” generation). Ironically, this process sounds familiar to what I do today as a UI designer,  except for the bitmap part.

Discovering at an early age that computers could be used as a tool for creating art, hugely influenced my interest in design as an adult.

In high school, I took an interest in architecture but quickly realized I was terrible at model-making. Being creative with my hands did not come as naturally when I wasn’t clicking around with a mouse. In college, I dabbled in computer science, studio art, animation, filmmaking, and design. I can’t say for a fact that these fields have made me a more well rounded designer, but can say that I’m glad to have eliminated the things I’m not interested in.

Design is where I feel the most passionate and I look forward to sharing my thoughts and work with you.

Welcome to NerdyHippo.