Web usability / design update attempts (April 2018)

Web usability / design update attempts (April 2018)

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I must admit; throughout all my years as a creative. Little else frustrates me more than customising every bit of a web page design.

Consider that my tagline being Multi-Disciplinary – that I am a Humility of many, yet a Master of none. It is both a mark of love and loath as my own symbolic proof – for persistence of the trade.

Whether it be (refreshing) my memory on how Inheritance Tag works in Cinema 4D’s Mograph to overcoming Apple Motion 5’s multiple parametric-rigging limitations with FCPX. All the way now to troubleshooting layers of code – still unaware how changing one line will affect a SERIES of anothers’ often without any hints of guidance how they relate from one to another. How one rule behaves, from one screen size to the next.

I would not be surprised if this impresses nobody – for the fact that it took me not mere hours but days alone without prior coding or development background.

I can only hope that these humble set of changes I’ve brought for this (the least visited sites of the world wide web) This Is™ Humility –  brings a renewed sense of faith amongst us few designers who knows how to tread that fine balance between non-coding pragmatism vs outcome based aesthetics / usability.

…If somewhat also – a hair pulling experience inbetween nights and days – in its process. With all this on top – alas, nobody would believe me that I am actually surviving (albeit just “able-to”) on multiple bouts of $25 LC+IF weekly budgets. INCLUDING carb re-feed days. Next write up on this would certainly be in order!

Web usability / design update attempts (April 2018)

Emphasis on Typographic texturing and separations.

I am an advocate for prioritising typography as a “segregated logistics” away from other nearby elements. That is, by implementing a lot of margins and paddings on any readable content – away from surrounding pictures, images or any other visual elements.

More often than not, a lot of people demonise white space as wasteful, redundant evil. Strange to say that I do not call myself a “printer” biased graphic designer – but I still have a somewhat print-based mindset when it comes to typographic prioritisation (read: Legibility) via allowing white space; to comfortably revolve around each line’s leading and each paragraph’s texturing. Texturing – as in how each paragraph looks as a compositional feature as we read from top to bottom. Does it look as though it tries to be intrusive to its neighbours? Or does it look calm, peaceful or collected as though it sits happily on its own accord? 

Thus, the biggest change you will see would be in reading my blog articles – is the expanded real estate canvas. No more “cramped-up” clogging around the headers and all of typography against tight or narrow canvases.

I have learned far more from remembering what my MOTION GRAPHICS (that’s right, not Advertising, or even Typography,  or Illustrator) lecturer – quoted this to me than any other books on typography, layouts and graphic design: “It is not what you draw. It is what you DO NOT draw that is important.” I find this hugely relevant to almost anything. How you interpret is less upon what you put in, it is the effects it impose on everything else outside of it. From illustration to branding identities. From letterheads to (soul-draining) 200+ pages of annual reports.

All this may seem visually simple. Yet required an intense re-coordination. Days if not week – of scrutiny and readings across multiple resolutions (both simulated and real devices).

11 years of conceptualisation history.
11 years of conceptualisation history.

Responsive Set Rules Revisited.

I have learned much thus; thanks from my recently completed folio project (within Squarespace® platform) – on implementing @media screen set of CSS rules to devise a set of typographic scalability across a range of screen resolutions.That project alone took me nine days, and ninety (90) genuine hours of my own time. Just to prove my own humble mastery of none at front-end customisations within facing one limitation over another.

I really do care how typographic proportions look on larger and smaller screens. As well as how pleasingly isolated they are in relative to everything else. Legibility via dominance here is key as I design Responsive Set Rules towards larger screen resolutions. But also hardly forgetting too – that smaller screens have their own virtues and thus – restrictive parameters I must set these rules to duplicate but manually re-adapt.

You will witness; depending on what resolution you are in as the following changes:

  1. On VERY high desktop resolutions (I’m talking about 4K resolutions) – you will see much larger body font, and heading sizes on both my blog entries and that of my manuscript front page. The sidebar widget’s labelling and its contents you see on the right also becomes enlarged. You’ll get a “wider” white viewing resting canvas; and that all blog’s content typography now will be marginalised within a narrower dimension to allow focus and separation away from other things. Once again, “legibility” = requires separations.
    • One point of note also is that the entire white area canvas now extends to 1920px. Unfortunately, I am carrying with me absolutely no Developer or Coder’s background – the landing page of The blog still carry one limitation- I still do not capactively know how to dynamically set each column width dynamically so that they fill proportionally to the extents of this new canvas’ width (1920px). Except the only “workaround” I rely is – to increase the left margin just for the sake that everything appears centralised.
  2. On resolutions at or below 1080p (1920’s, 1680’s, 1440’s) = quite similar to the above typographic recoordination and canvas width extensions but typographically scalable as such they remain visually in their own happy places. Arguably speaking – these set zones are the amongst most difficult to coordinate harmoniously with the rest of set points above and below resolution/s. 
  3. On smaller desktop resolutions (1300s and belows / 1280s) = the entire white space now accomodates the width of the entire browser. As such, you will no longer notice the background ripple stock photography creeping/bleeding inwards to the content area, I consider this as redundant. Anything that creeps in without sufficient or legible-enough contextual exposure to me is visually redundant and hence must be excluded.
  4. For mobile resolutions (640’s or below) = Blog entry title now are displayed with thicker Rajdhani weights. Blockquotes and headers take a back seat. The blockquotes now are presented against the feature branding highlight yellow instead of grey. Their margins will push back more towards the left to allow content visibility.

Other small things help contribute to overall changes  – new underlining styles for hyperlinks, navigation menus’ font size  increased (on larger screen resolution viewing), more (and more) scrutinisation paragraphing space before’s and after’s (via margin-tops and bottoms) were explored. The Search sidebar is now more legible across all screen sizes. If you’re looking at my blog’s landing page at 4k resolution  – you will be presented not three but four columns; giving you a wider overview of content at a glance.

Web usability / design update attempts (April 2018)

What are your thoughts? / Further help.

Little else; if any – frustrates me more than increasingly homogenous same-ness of the world wide web. Alas, this site is one of them as it struggles retaining its own authentic – individuality amidst its creator’s multiple starvation / sub $30 intermittent fasting weekly budgets. With sub 1800 calories + training.

…But nothing more annoys me also – that out of some strange fetish towards visual elitism – web sites typography is getting lighter, thinner, “grey-er”, with icons getting lighter, and nimbler, and greyer all the same. Perhaps in the near future – everything will be a wash of gray. Because everyone wants to look sleek.

Sorry honey, just because everyone is suddenly special – then technically speaking – nobody – is special. First everyone wants parallax. Now everyone hates it. Next flat icons takes over, then everyone misses the messy drops of paints, dried acrylics and accidents. Boohoo! What’s next?

I actually am typing this on an inverted screen right now. Thank goodness for the Cmd+Ctrl+Opt+8 shortcut (on Mac, for Windows – you need to run Magnifier first before PC-only shortcut Ctrl+Alt+I can work).

None of these attempts are of course – developer’s friendly approved nor me getting any stamps of approvals for landing a job as a Front-End developer. Heck, you developers may even call these mere “attempts” as hopelessly pathetic.  This is where I shall openly ask for suggestions. However please note – that I may only understand and comprehend plain English (despite an institutionalised college failure). But I am not able at translating .JS, or PHP into human / hormonal / biological logistics as such very well, if at all commendable.

My passion as a designer remain diverse. I am my own resilient diversity as my Humble authenticity. I cannot and will not – sacrifice my other diversities just for the sake of fulfilling one industrialised tagline. Be it “Illustrator”. “Typesetter”. Or “Operator”, or  “Coder”.

Why? Because I refuse to be institutionalised to homogeously “fit” into one career, or one fixed peg of a shape for anyone assuming my role to society. I am no square or triangle.

I am a sphere but never – a polygon.


Please let me know of your comments and thoughts below on these above mentioned changes to the site. 

Saving $150 per year: Cutting my own hair

Saving $150 per year: Cutting my own hair

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For fun (or in all seriousness) – the last twelve months have seen me saving $25 every month. Even if $25 is somewhat still below my current HC+IF/KETO+IF regiment weekly budget; that still can buy someone else almost a weekly worth of food; especially if they’re on Intermittent Fasting.

Am I good? No. Did I do this all myself? Absolutely.

It’s surprising that people (aka. the Pedestrian Normalcy) wouldn’t bat an eye at you. Or give a damn. Unless until you tell them straight over what really constitutes a personal effort. And then sheepishly; they start looking. That reminds me – how sad is it that only artists get famously recognised; long until after they’ve long passed.

Perhaps I should consider all this a side effect devoting on Ketogenic intervention/s or Intermittent Fasting. Still learning and experimenting inbetween protocols (HC+IF / KETO+IF) since the dawn of Christmas 2017. One thing persists for sure – I’ve been constantly reevaluating what time really means to me. Whenever resources and leverages (that includes my glycogens and ketones) are few, spent and far – minute re-evaluations on what is meaningful and what is frivolous – immediately becomes layer upon layer/s – of background processes running in my head.

One after another. Almost non-stop. Thankfully to this day – I have experienced no kernel panics. Not just yet.

So, for anyone to think that I’m doing myself a “crap” job, things “misaligned”, “crooked” or just simply “out of style” – Fantastic!

I don’t need to envy anyone else’s superiorities over my own. Who am I? Brad Pitt? “Envy” is nothing but jealousy and weakness for the insecure. 

So here are the three things I learned; in addition for having saved that $150 per year.

Jeremy Perkins @ Pexels

#1 I’ve “learnt” (almost) nothing; out of mere observational methodology.

In other words – I’ve learnt next to nothing. Especially if I am simply looking at them – their’s or others methodology – in motion. Observing is recreationally an act of – acquisition. But not an act – of coordinative – self-initiation.

The first (and biggest) here is me dispelling the pedestrian notion of what learning actually means. Learning is a process from an inside initiation. Then out.

I don’t care in what realms beyond self-DIY hair cuts, DIY cooking shows, and/or all the way to watching “self-help” videos on trying to bench, deadlift or squat ass-to-grass the very first time. Learning is almost always – an organically involved-event of the “self”. NEVER a recreationally observational event upon anything of the external. It all depends on you and your circumstances to recoordinate everything there is of you to make learning happen. From all your senses’ perspectives.

You don’t learn simply from looking at someone else’s perspective. You learn it from feeling from within all of YOUR’s inner senses; across all physiological, metabolic, and neurological – contexts. In this case – sight, distancing proximity, touch and most importantly – all of these from your own sight and felt – perspective. 

Why? Because it feels IMMENSELY different doing it under your biological perspective than merely observing some one else’s perspective.

Much akin to prepping your own tie; the “perfect” Windsor Knot –  up for that event or another interview. Ever since highschool – I grew with increasingly higher assumption that bullies or those seemingly older than me – have had some sort of mythical abilities for them being the slick symbols of envy and/or simply alpha-esque “wit”. Yup – even girls. <gulps> [My pride]. 

I have never ever learned properly how to tie up a proper Windsor Knot by simply “looking” at someone doing it. Whether be it a tieing up a dirt throwaway out of a clothing bin or a several-hundred dollars imported fabric (anywhere exotic) Europe, the grasslands, the exotics, the tropics wherever – around their necks.

Me? I’m still to this day just staring at them blankly. I’m learning nothing but mere observation. My other senses; touch, stand, intuition, distancing-proximity / acuity / judgments weren’t practised at all.

Trying to follow them; step by step – is even worse. My nerve impulses; mind-muscle coordination in how to tieing up that supposedly perfect windsor knot; were convoluted.  Until I myself see, realise and reflect that I am aware; intuitively realising under my own sightly perspective underneath my nose, my own neck – to know precisely when, where and how to fold, slip, and weave. Inside, over,  then out.  

DIY Haircuts are no different. You have to be aware only by your own interpretive senses. Surprise! “Touch” being the biggest next to secondarily as sight. (we’ll get back to this later).

Pixabay

#2 There is nothing “good” or “bad”. Style? What “style”?

“Good” or “Bad” are societal norms of categorisation. Like a pendulum; I’d rather perceive them as actions and repercussions. Cause and effect. Each influences the other. Each cannot exist without the other.

Anything predicating “efficacy”, “righteousness” or political “correctness”  depends entirely on how or what you consider is fair or rational.

If nothing seems fairly lined up, or rationally straight then you’d rely on intuition and drive to try correcting them. Obviously, you can be safe and reasonable by first cutting them little by little – either by scissors or if it is your first time – trim/razor using larger cut sizes before moving to smaller and finer range.

But how do you know what is reasonable or correct? This is where Style comes in. But that – is as good only as that. An influence. Proximally shared judgments of what reasonable means. “Style” is a form of loose categorisation towards a hopeful order; away from chaos and disorders.

Understandably, I am no hairdresser. Mine is simply written in instructional paragraph; rather than a label.

Number 1 across all sides and back. Leaving the top, front and sides growth-what-have-you –  just as I feel comfortably “enough” as it is.

Saving $150 per year: Cutting my own hair

Skitterphoto

#3 Do not Monitor and Cut at the same time. Pause. Assess. Use your own tactile sense as a guide.

Rarely do I actually subscribe to anyone else’s philosophies; except Nietzche and Heiddeger’s. But Helen Keller was right. The most significant of all senses may not be seen, heard – it shall only be reflected by feeling. Mirrors should be there as means to halt, reflect and to memorise. BEFORE proceeding/moving forward onwards.

Again following similarly to number 1, use as much of your hands as possible rather than holding an additional mirror as you go razoring your head all over. Trim for a minute. Stop and assess. Never ever – multi-task both things in a vacuum.

Additional handheld mirror/s MAY confuse more than they assist. They reverse, distort and flip your senses of perspective; making things even more extremely difficult to manoeuvre and position exactly where and how your clippers should be.

Honestly, I have no idea how many Youtuber’s® self-help DIY managed to do this. But after over a year from me constantly trying to get used to multi-task (monitoring AND trimming at the same time) – it simply is not a logical process in my perspective. Imagine your sense of directions inverted. Whilst trimming your way on the go. Left suddenly becomes right. Up suddenly becomes bottom.

 

Saving $150 per year: Cutting my own hair
before & after

The above comp shows you just how 30 minutes of self-resilient learning can bring about a change to your lazy sunday carb-refeed session. The above cut session was on 18th of March. Yes, 30 minutes. The above three pictures are taken from a one-off constant video shoot showcasing the entire 30 minutes of me from start to finish. 

 

At the end of the day; what matters is your own initiative.


Pedestrian Normalcy:
“But, it’s too hard”.

Me: Then give it a try. To this day, I feel no need to even know beyond turning the razor on and off.

Pedestrian Normalcy: “But I don’t know what happens if things go wrong.”

Me: Then give it a try anyway. You will learn to reason yourself along each mistake along the way.

Recall what education really is. It is a “re”-experience of things you have forgotten or are yet to be forgotten.  At times when I wish to reenact or repeat exactly what or how I orchestrated every movement, every procedure I thought I flawlessly knew before – is somehow or somewhat now incompatible to the present circumstances. In both minute and significant ways.

These – as I witness through time and time again – is learning. A constant lending of time to earn or replace something anew.

Sure, repercussions can truly suck if you do a “bad” job. But that’s just politics. A pedestrian interpretation.

To be quite honest, I learn much less from politics than what I learn from feeling and experiencing from within. If all you knew is how to get yourself a mohawk (by accident) or just going bald / number 1,2, or 3 all over – then so be it. You will at another time able to earn something new in place over what you have at present.

Making others happy just because if you could only get yourself a bald-all-over – is meaningless. Unless of course – if you are HAPPY – as such that this outcome is meaningfully “sufficient” to YOU. Happiness is contentment. Happiness is fulfilment over what “enough” means to you. Not interpretively owned or dictated by someone else.

At the end of the day – what matters is your own initiative at curiously reinterpreting your own means of “time”. And out of this understanding – you’ll also sooner or later realise what “enough” truly means. And thus reconcile – your own authentic interpretation of Humility.

So how do you do all that? It stems from how you interpret consumption and how Nutrition – govern all states of living.

Read my book, and (groans) – be prepared for another big wakeup lesson in all of life.

At least this is not what they teach you in school. Reminding its readers, and its inventor – yes that’s me – all one thing : Humility is an individualised Economics of all things resilient within a biologically resourceful – capacity.

Pause. Reflect. Assess. Action. Repeat.