Monthly Archives: December 2013

Cubli

Digital media? Well, it’s cool.

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Colour theory

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The connotations of colours are pretty important when designing stuff, it’s not all about looking pretty, though that is still rather important. For my colour scheme I looked at the connotations of the colours I will use and how they reflect me/ my work.

  • Red – Red is a powerful colour and works great as an accent colour which I’m using, though needs to me used in small proportions as to not be overwhelming. It can also connote passion, perhaps my passion for design and such.
  • Black – Black is a neutral colour, commonly used as it is clear and easy to read which makes it good for typography and functional parts of the site. 
  • white – White is associate purity and cleanliness which is just what i want to use for a minimalist design. A white background can make other things stand out more on the website. 

While making the social network link buttons for my site, I noticed that all Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Instagram all use a shade of blue as their primary colour. Surly I’m not the only one to notice this, and after a quick Google search I knew I wasn’t alone. By the looks of it, its down to three (possibly more) reasons: 

  • Colour Psychology – Blue is the colour of the intellect, the mind, making it the colour of communication and when you think about social media, it’s all about communicating.
  • Blue also has the perception as being trustworthy, dependable, safe and reliable. These are the perceived positive qualities of a business who chooses blue.
  • World’s Favourite Colour Research has also shown blue to be the world’s most popular colour.
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Lets Get Responsive

I’ve been hard at working trying to make sure that my website is responsive and will work on phones and tablets too. I have come up with a solution which i really like using media queries to create a mobile menu and change the photo grid to best fit the window. The main width of the site is 960px as it’s a standard size to use, this makes the photo grid have 4 columns. the next size down is 768px wide which has 3 columns. Once the full size of the window drops below 800px, the grid becomes more fluid and the main body takes up now 95% of the window rather than a pixel definition to maximise use of space on a small device. The navigation here also changes to a mobile friendly version to make it tidy and easy to use as shown below.

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There is still a problem with the images due to the lack of being able to ‘hover’ on a tablet so the images remain black and white, and the title is always hidden. One possible solution is to have have the title always visible and the saturation of the images set to ~50% to still try an stick to the black and white feel of the portfolio.

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Leap Motion

After it coming to my attention that I’m supposed to also discuss ‘current and potential issues within a digital media design context’ as well as my own work and development, I decided I should probably get on that (not that I don’t want to do that anyway, obviously). I thought long and hard about what ‘issues’ there are and still I’m not too sure what that even means but i’ll write about the closest possible thing I can think of.

Some of you may be aware of the Leap Motion, an input device similar to a mouse or keyboard but allows you to work/operate your computer in a 3D space in the air, cool right? Not so much… I’ve had one since it was released as I couldn’t resist the allure of waving my arms about like a mad man  to do things on my laptop. Sadly the potential of the cool little device hasn’t really been fully realised with a lack of good apps and not many people developing for it. 

But is this really an issue? I suppose it is for me and thousands of other people who bought it and now have it sitting in a drawer collecting dust, but it could be seen as a ‘topic for debate or discussion’ as issue is defined in the dictionary. A couple of months ago, September to be more specific HP unveiled the first ever laptop to have a Leap Motion controller embedded into it, they are even embedding them into some of their keyboards for the desktop market. This got me thinking about why they would even do such a thing… The device gained rather poor reviews at release and the general consensus was that it wasn’t as good as the promotional videos made it out to be (no surprise there, huh?). Maybe this is where the Leap Motion, and 3D-waving-hands-in-the-air-control really come into spotlight for 2014. Just like we saw a lot more things designed to be used for touch screen like the marvellous Windows 8, perhaps we’ll see an OS or at least a mask to put over an existing one to make it more user friendly. 

On a side note, it’d be cool to see the Leap Motion used in interactive art exhibitions or science museums to give a more ‘hands on’ experience which makes it far more interesting. There are already a few educational Leap apps such as Molecules which allows users to zoom in to, rotate and play with models of molecules. I’m not sure why people would want to do that but I guess thats something the kind of people who go to science museums would be interested in. 

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