I’m excited to have been asked to take part in the .net magazine design challenge. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a monthly challenge where three designers are given a brief description of a site and it’s their job to create a site based on those directions. It’s my favorite web design magazine that does a great job at giving out info for both designers and developers.
I’ve always wanted to do one for years, and I was excited to be asked to take part in it. I’m not sure how it goes though. Three designers get published, but maybe they ask about a dozen and the best three get picked? The fact that they had to at least comb through my portfolio and say “Ya, this guy looks decent enough to not fuck it up entirely” makes me happy. I’m not sure what issue it will be in, or how long it’ll take before it hits this side of the ocean, but I’ll make sure to post it across my social media feeds for all to see!
People have side hobbies and that’s pretty cool. My side hobbies include AR, VR, video games and a video game channel on youtube. On occasion I also stream games on mixer with friends or just when I get a new game. One of my favorite series is coming out soon for the Xbox One and that’s Forza Horizon 4. The Horizon series has been my favorite racing games since it’s based around a music festival and you drive in a HUGE open world area over different terrain. I was super stoked about it and even had the Ultimate Edition pre-ordered months ago to make sure I get to play 4 days earlier before it’s official launch.
My excitement didn’t stop there because I knew I was going to stream this game. I just downloaded the free Adobe XD program that I use for work, on my home PC and wanted to practice some site designs. I also wanted to see how our developers used it on a day to day basis after they take it from us designers. So this was my chance to try to design then collect and use XD to develop a site. I decided to create a website splash page announcing that I will be streaming this game and all are welcome to watch! I got started right away with some sketches to see what I wanted and how I wanted it to look. Here are some of the sketches created:
If you were following my on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/cliffnow/ you got the sneak peeks of it all!
After I had all the sketching done, I broke open Adobe XD and went to town. I tested some ideas out and realized that due to asset issues of finding what I wanted in a good enough quality, I had to make some changes. I also began to look more into the development side of things and realized that there were a few things I was unsure of, or would take more than a day to put it all together. This was meant to be a quick weekend project, and I didn’t want it getting out of hand. Make it simple stupid!
The final design created was this:
The final design isn’t that far off from what I developed! You can view the design on my behance here. Once I was finished, I had to decide how to put this together. I wanted quick and simple, so my two choices were to use a quick pre-made grid framework from Bootstrap or Foundation. Why those two? Those were the two frameworks I’m familiar with and I’m not going to “challenge myself” when I need something done in a day. I went with Bootstrap since I’ve used it the most. Since I only needed the grid, the new Bootstrap 4 had a grid only css file, which worked great to keep load speeds at a minimum.
My original idea was to offset items, but then realized that wasn’t going to work for a mobile version. I was able to find some quick solutions to the problems. The process of using Adobe XD’s design spec helped to a point, but I found myself going back to the original XD file for correct sizing between objects which was kind of a pain, new respect for our teams developers. Batching out the images was super fast and easy and I’m glad that’s a feature! It took some tweaking here and there, but I got the images just right.
Everything looked great on desktop, now it was time to add some media queries to it looked great on the phone. I didn’t have to spend too much time, which was great as it was a super simple page. After I tested on my Chrome browser, I did some testing on Firefox as well as my Pixel phone. Everything laid out nicely and turned out smoothly. I put it out there on the internet, and now it’s time to wait and see if anybody will watch me play Forza Horizon 4 on September 28th, at 9pm.
View the full complete site here.
It was a nice fun exercise in sketching, designing and developing within a few day span. I feel that the move to using Adobe XD for my full design process was not only a smart move, but a good one that helped my workflow rather than using Photoshop to layout a website.
Welcome to another quick recap of my AR/VR life, which has been super fun with momento360 and 360 images.
This is an easy upload are to put your 360 images up and check it out online through the browser, or through your phones VR headset. I’ve been playing around at work with this, so I don’t really have anything I can show as of right now, but I’m working on it. Super fast and easy to upload and share.
I literally came across this site thinking the following plugin “Flexify 2” was called flickr 2 for some reason. Either way, it was a happy mistake. Flickr VR is Flickr, but with only 360 images to view. This helps you check out all the cool stuff on your headset without getting stuck with a normal image. It’s been fun checking out some of the breathtaking images.
Flexify 2 – Photoshop Plugin
This is a plugin I found online for the equirectangular grid that takes that grid, turns it into something manageable, and lets you built a cube VR room from there. What exactly is an equirectangular grid? It’s a grid use to proportionally show align everything in a 360 image. The process is simple. Take a flattened image of your grid, use the plugin to turn it into a “horizontal cross”, insert what you want or hatch together your photographs, and reverse the process. This easily puts it in an image ready to upload to your favorite VR image area.
The only downside is that it’s pretty pricey at $55. Is it worth it? You can check it out for yourselves with a free trial. I tried doing a warp in Photoshop myself, and I seem to do a real hack like job. This plugin makes it super easy to put it all together. If this becomes a thing or I find a niche in it, this plugin will make its way onto my computer.
That’s all I have for this week. Stay tuned as i continue a few more things and post them up to Momento360. I’ll be making sure to put the up on my twitter as well as post here for a more complete version.