Prototyping With Ratchet

One of the roles that I really enjoy as part of my job is that of the prototyper. I love Axure but using it to prototype for mobile or tablet can sometimes feel clunky. Fingers crossed, the next version will improve upon this! Proto.io is another prototyping tool I’ve been trying out and one that I’ve been impressed with. It feels really slick on mobile devices and supports a number of transitions and gestures to simulate interactivity.

Prototyping in code is something I’m very much a fan of and I’ve been using Ratchet to prototype mobile apps with HTML and CSS and JavaScript components. Below is what I’ve mocked up with Ratchet so far (or click here). Although working this way is fun (and somewhat addictive) it does take much more time to build a prototype but is using lightweight code the best way to produce a fair representation of the interaction design you’re trying to get across?

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This article was written on 20 Nov 2012, and is filed under Blog.

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Concept Mockup

A while back I came home to my room wrecked following an afternoon of some wicked Irish weather. So I packed my stuff, kicked back and waited in a hotel while it was being repaired. I used this time to explore an idea for an app I had rattling around in my head. It was just an idea and it needed structure, and lots of it. So, inspired by Paul Adams and his talk at UX Week I got to it with a fist full of sharpies and my UXPin kit (sure what more would I need).

I sketched what I had in mind and played out some of the possible user journeys. My boxes and arrows weren’t as clear to others as they were to me so I refined the lot in Axure to make the concept clearer. I also looked up some APIs that could be used as part of this and Skyscanner‘s looks like it would work well. At the moment this is just an idea which needs to be explored further, so until next time…

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This article was written on 20 Oct 2012, and is filed under Blog.

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Responsive Web Design

After some great advice from Mark Crossey and reading Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte and Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski, I finally made a start at making this site somewhat responsive. I foolishly jumped into the CSS without really knowing how I wanted the site to be structured. So I took a step back and mocked up an example of the landing and about page, as well as a post and something to display my portfolio items.

From there, I made the grid somewhat fluid by changing divs from pixels to percentages. I then added img { max-width: 100%; } to make the images flexible. After giving media queries a go, the site was much more readable but still pretty much all over the place. However, despite how it looked there was progress made behind all that mess. I then sent the mockups to Luke Alford (the dude is a genius) to work on the rest of the CSS. He also made a PHP template to display the blog and portfolio items. The site was really coming together so much so that I was starting to prefer the mobile version better than the desktop version! Anyway, check out danielbeere.com on your mobile and tablet device and feel free to let me know what you think.

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This article was written on 12 Jun 2012, and is filed under Blog, Portfolio.

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Mobile Web App

During Ultimate Kendo, a sport where coders and designers take part in hackathon-style duels on their own, or in teams, I worked with Fionn and Jules and Larry to design and develop a mobile web app. The app is a to-do list app and allows users to add and delete list items, add details to each item, and delete an entire list. It works on mobile and tablet devices, as well as desktop. Click here to view the app.

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This article was written on 11 Jun 2012, and is filed under Blog, Portfolio.

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Design Jam Limerick Photos

Below are just a few of the photos that were taken at Design Jam Limerick this year. Some of the ideas derived from the day were based around social care, interactive trails, and storytelling. This was my first Design Jam to organise and I was delighted with how it went. However, it would not have gone so well if it wasn’t for our mentors, Mark Congiusta, Kathryn Parkes, and Cristiano Storni. Click here for more photos.

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This article was written on 17 Apr 2012, and is filed under Blog.

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Design Jam Limerick

This year I am organising Limerick’s very first Design Jam with William Kennedy. Design Jam Limerick is a one-day design session during which people will team up to tackle an engaging user experience (UX) challenge: how to make Limerick become Fab City. User experience design is the practice of creating positive experiences of technology for people. Design Jams are being held internationally to promote the idea that technology has to be designed with a concern for positive user experience.

The event is organized by William Kennedy and I, both final year students in Digital Media Design at the University of Limerick. Design Jam Limerick aims to get designers, developers, and members of the public together to learn and collaborate, while working on actual design problems. We are really excited to bring Design Jam to Limerick and about the great support we are getting from the local chapter of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) and the department of Computer Science and Information Systems in UL.

The theme of the session will be how to challenge and change the negative perception of Limerick city using Emerging Technologies and OpenData. The city has very rich archives and a lot of public data sets are available online. However, they could be put to better use for the benefit of locals and visitors using emerging technologies. Design Jam will be a great opportunity to propose creative designs to this effect. The session will champion open-source thinking and sharing.

The Design Jam will be a fantastic opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds passionate about the present and future of Limerick. And we are lucky to have secured three excellent mentors for the session, Mark Congiusta, Kathryn Parkes, and Cristiano Storni, all experts in User Experience Design.

Design Jam Limerick will take place on the 28th of April from 9:30am to 5:30pm, at the Strand Hotel (City View Suite) in Limerick. Participation is free for everybody, but requires ticket reservation via Eventbrite. In order to cover the costs, sponsorship would be greatly appreciated. Sponsors can contribute via Eventbrite as well.

 

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This article was written on 17 Apr 2012, and is filed under Blog, Portfolio.

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Demo Day

Demo Day offers people the chance to experience some of the Final Year Project presentations and demonstrations. For my project, I designed a mobile phone application for an online intermediating service, Tradesmen.ie. The design process carried out throughout the project was based on a user-centred design perspective, involving a number of stages such as identifying user requirements and testing developed prototypes, as well as completing this cycle a number of times until the right design is achieved. As well as a presentation, I also demonstrated the prototype I developed in Flash.

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This article was written on 01 Apr 2012, and is filed under Blog.

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