Thursday, January 8, 2015

Some works while at

Here I'll be adding some of the work I've finished while at

I'm working in the interactive department as their web architect. Amount the responsibilities I have of maintaining the web applications and sites I have to develop new site scripts, some interactive applications and in some cases even games.

Several scripts integrations

  • I managed to integrate several scripts that were needed into the main website design. 
  • Custom script solutions were created and implemented into the site so that they worked with Its overall look.
  • I also took some ideas and scripting I've developed over the years and integrated them into some of the main site's areas so that we can custom change backgrounds or call special elements into view that were previously "impossible" to accomplish.
  • There has been changes made to the overall look and feel of the site. 

Mobile web

  • Adjusted the old mobile site and implemented the new design provided by the designer.
  • Included new features that were previously unavailable.
  • Created a weather widget that takes the data from the provides xml weather data as needed.
  • Implemented a solution to sort some specific content and display only the desired amount of items,
  • Included special views for live events and live audience participation. (these features were made on the main site and included on the mobile version as they were not previously available in either version)
  • This site is actively being maintained.

Trullas de Wapa

This project was especially painful to make in my case. There was a short development time period and a lot of content to be included, coordinated, synchronized and optimized. The object of this is an application which lets a user take a picture of his/her face after choosing the character's gender. Then they choose their preferred program from a menu and there is an avatar created with their face which is in turn placed on a scene with the crew from the chosen program. They are singing a "bomba" and dancing to music. The end result is an animated post card they can share on Facebook or twitter. The animated final post card also re-directs whoever is viewing it and clicks on the "make one" button back to the creating site. I'm happy with the final product although I'm not happy that there was so much work put into something that was not advertised as much as it could have. Such is life.

Noticentro América press release webpage.
This webpage had to be somewhat responsive and adapt to a mobile format. Includes video a small gallery and some document. It also contains a small form and a switch link from Spanish to English which swaps English and Spanish content of the webpage. I didn't make the graphic design however I translated it to the actual webpage and made the webpage keep the overall design trough it's responsiveness. I regard this web page as quite a feat because it had to be made in record time with little or no data to use all the way up til the very last minute in which  I had to add all the actual text into it.

Basketball Challenge game /app:
This game app has proven challenging but with the research I did for the christmas postcard app and some of the plugins I used the process of setting it up was a bit more streightforward. I had to do some last minute changes to the final layout, fonts and details but the whole thing was done and working on time. The art and design was made by the team designer. I did the backend programming and webapp setup and funcionality.

  • Uses Parse to create and maintain user accounts and data.
  • Gathers user basic information.
  • Can share on facebook your high score.
  • It updates the user score if higher than previous.
  • Has a leaderboard.

Scripting and modifications:

  • Developed a script for the galleries template so when the a client hosts a specific gallery we can place their logo in a cool background thus branding that particular gallery.
  • Did the same for the programs template this way they can be branded and we can even add a poll for each program without making a separate page for eah program. I'm trying to keep things as simple as i can and as reusable as possible.

Miscellaneous work:

There was many miscellaneous images, sliders, banners, transnationals, that had to be created. We are a skeleton crew so I had to perform such tasks in many occasions Which is good since it serves as a respite from all the scripting and coding which at times tends to become tedious. This also helps take the mind of the code and rest so when you hit the code again you may have a different solution to a previous issue that you didn't think of before.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Some projects for SBD while I was still there.

Here I'll add some images and information about some projects I worked on while at SBD.

Aside from working with their webpage, optimization and programming I was part of several other projects that varied in difficulty and proved challenging either because of the time they needed to be completed on or due to some complexity that added to the usually short time frame made them rather difficult.

Political promotional material concepts and design:

This is one of many projects that required me to work on political campaign graphic design. The challenge here mainly being that I'm a completely apolitical person and it tends to go against my nature to actually help such efforts. My professionalism and my conscience were constantly at odds on these projects because as a professional I like to make quality products that take the message and gets it to the people however as a person I am completely against political campaigns and how they are aimed at manipulating the ideals and minds of people for the benefit of a specific group. Which in turn gets me pleased at the quality of the work I made and displeased at the use its being given. I have very strong ideals of how things are, should be and I can see past the shrouds placed in by people with my own skills who are also payd to create images that display a "controlled" image of reality.
During this period I made several products which include but are not limited to:

  • Campaign and group logos
  • Social webpages
  • Banners in different formats for several groups (3x6, 6x3 3x12...)
  • Promo brochures
  • Id cards
  • Stationary
  • Video and sound editing
  • 3d placing concept for a big event.

Program user interface and design:

Services Application

This was a particularly challenging thing to work on. It had many "moving parts" to apply design to and to make work. I even went as far as to directly program some of the applications functionality myself along with the programmer whom I worked with hand in hand to make sure every part looked as good as it needed to and kept a level of consistency and efficiency for the client and users not to get lost in the many depths of the program application itself. Achieving this was very challenging while keeping aesthetic values in check because the time frame and the complexity of a completely new product were keeping tensions rather high. Everyone had to take part in one way or another on this product and the end result is a combination of the efforts, ideas and coordination from all the team members involved.

A similar product was developed later which required some adaptations as well. Fortunately the experience from the original product helped speed up the development cycle.

Skills used during this product development:

  • Concept design
  • Interface design
  • HTML/CSS and Jquery programming
  • Programming logic (used to interpret the lead programmer's code to implement modifications as needed for performance or aesthetic optimizations)
  • Graphic design
  • Digital image optimization
  • Mobile interface design and prototyping.
  • Project management and tool development. (made a change and but tracking sheet in excel to simplify the process and quantify progress)

Progressive development and design:

Here I'll include some projects that were a bit too advanced for the time they were considered. These projects usually require  higher amounts of research and development time for the concept to be finalized.

Augmented Reality:

I had the opportunity to research and play around with augmented reality as a marketing, educational and informative media. This allows for a simple product like a bottle of water, a postcard, a poster or even a sticker to be able to expand upon itself and the information it provides by adding digital elements to the physical world. You could say I was able to work with interactive enhancements to the real world that are rendered in the digital world. As abstract a concept as this is, its also a very real and useful tool. Some museums, advertisement agencies and even educational institutions are testing, implementing,  and innovating on this field. This is what I call experience that will be really useful for the recent future that I wish most designers got a chance to be able to work with.

Game Application:

Project Freefall Bird:
Yes it  came to be that as a special project I managed to develop my own game under the SBD name. The process took me a while to get the kinks out but the end result was a fully functional game app that you can download for free from the Google app store. This project involved many hats:

  • Character Design
  • Interface Design
  • Game environment design
  • Game assets design
  • Level design
  • Concept art
  • music and sound effects(the music was composed by a co-worker but I was involved in the creative process and the final decision as to which music was applied to which stage)
  • Database and mysql setup(this is for further expanding the capabilities of the game)
  • Beta testing(lots of bug hunting and squashing)
  • Prototyping, Social webpage design, and website inclusion in the SBD main page.
  • 3d design to get the character prepped for promotional 3d animations that are still in development.
  • Lots and lots of research and development including lots of forum diving in the development community.
  • Documentation and project management.(made a modified version of the excel sheet we made for the Cidra product so that we could track the changes  and progress of this product)

I did not get much sleep time or time to make the game gather hype tho. Eventually I'll have to make a publicity strategy to make the game more known.

As of march I moved to another job as a web architect which will prove challenging as well however the experience and acquired knowledge will be useful for the challenges ahead.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New webpage for SBD

I recently switched working places and re-joined a company I've known for over 10 years. I've been harrasing them to make a new webpage since their old one was quite outdated. After joining them again and a few projects we finally had some time to work on the page design. Here's a sample image of the change. On the left you can see the previous incarnation of the page. An outdated design with hard to update methods and rough graphics. The new one is using wordpress as a CMS and has a very flexible base template we purchased called Affinity. Of course being who and how I am I couldn't just leave the default styles alone so I messed with the whole colors, the backgrounds, generated tons of images and added a little more pizzazz with the help of animate.css so that the page content is not static and boring but responsive and dynamic. I will be tweaking the thing a lot more in the next few days by adding a map to the contact area and probably a form for contacting us instead of the basic "mailto" which always gets on my nerves. Hopefully I'll be able to work on some more tweaks and projects soon. I have some other pending articles and two books on the writing... and a baby comming... life just got a little more interesting :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Team Docusign Training

This is a short form training I gave to a small group of teammates that are going to be working with the Docusign service we use at our institution. The training was quick and to the point and it focused on how to upload, edit and send documents using the platform. I also added some best practices and at the end I stayed with the managers so to explain and Identify the different challenges they will be facing when sharing the service among some related departments that will be providing service to our students.

As to why am I dressed preety... well I take pride in giving a good training and it helps give the message that this is serious business and it merits dressing-up for it. Plus I make this look good :)

Some numbers taken from the evaluation charts. I do wish some of the people that couldn't come did come... most of them really needed it.

Oh well... it probably means I'll have to eventually give another one.

Monday, November 21, 2011

9th SUAGM congress conference at Caribe Hilton

Last Saturday, I was blessed to be able to participate in this congress. I learned a lot when working for SUAGM, and it’s only fair to give back some of that knowledge to the educational community, even if I work for a competitor University, the main goal is to educate. I also had the chance to share some information about Copyrights in the instructional and graphic design field.

My participation was focused on the US Copyrights and its implication on course graphic design. It included some examples, a simple plea to the conscience of the educators to properly ask for permission to use content, and an explanation on how to obtain the proper licenses to enrich their courses without putting themselves or their institutions in legal jeopardy. All in all, it was a great experience! I was able to be part of a great team of professionals each with their own expertise and background in the field. My background flows along the lines of my own research as a designer, artist and educator: ensure that my work is not only compliant with the law, but also protected by it.

Here are some pictures of the presentation:

The auditory was filled with many educators from different fields. At one point there were people standing because there was no more space.

That's me! Yes, I'm wearing a suit :) and I make it look good! Here I was explaining about the different licenses available, and how they differ from one another. I was also taking questions with my awesome finger gun. **pew pew**

This specific conference had 3 speakers, each an expert on their field with great passion for their profession.

From left to right:

Manuel Carrión (Instructional Content Editor), Bessie Rivera (Instructional Designer), Juan C. Peña (Graphic Designer).

This is me posing on the suit because it's a rare sight, and one worthy of keeping in the annals of history.  :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Google and the final frontier:

Space, the final frontier... these are the goals of a great company, to seek out new ways to do your computing, to seek out new ways for our civilization to boldly go wherever they want to go.
Or, something like that...

Google has been helping users cast out the limitations of computers and porting most of the data and programs to the "cloud". Finding new freedom and new ways to interact while not worrying that the computer will be afflicted by lack of space since the important documents and files will be hosted, accessible and available in any and all devices capable of accessing the internet.

Before They had added the Notebook(now unsupported though I still use it to write my stuff), The Google Docs, along with their whole "Office Like" program set which adds extra capabilities like multiple sharing, turning the documents into web pages directly and multiple "working" on the same document that lets teams work on concepts and projects.

They developed their Android OS and integrated it to their infrastructure to create a pretty solid system in which the user has little worry about where the document was or if it gets lost or if his hard drive dies because its all in the clouds.

They integrated speech to text technology to ease the pains of our aching joints and simplify the process of jotting notes for us the "lazy ones" who are full of ideas but have "no time" to jot them down into cohesive concepts and documents.

Also they are offering an onslaught of technologies like Google Powered TV's , Chrome OS laptops and other such products. Most of this technology if not "freely available" still costs a fraction of what we are used to seeing in the market.

It makes the geeky-ness rise a little with the similitude with Star Trek technology, tablets that wrote our stuff for us, with the knowledge of whole worlds available at the touch of a screen or the sound of our voice, wireless communication that can share different format media and "understand" it, multilingual translation, GPS and much more. Albeit I do not discount the strong influence of apple and the now diseased Steve Jobs, who dared to think different, in this process. He who denies his influence shall be burned on the stake. However Google chose a different path, open source it and open end it... make it the people's and the people will follow, and so they have.

Then there is Google+, an interesting "attempt at face-booking Google?" I say there is much more to it than that description can ever say. It integrates the greatness of "social networking" and their own "everything for everyone everywhere" Philosophy at least in this humble viewer's eyes.

Don't take me wrong, there is much to still worry about like security issues, safety, and the impact on cumming technology... however WHY focus on the possible negatives when there's so many possible positives.

Consider this:

  • A doctor with a handheld device is able to access complete medical databases with one "search" and able to come up with possible solutions for a problem... including treatments that when he/she was in school were not even available in fact when the books they use for reference were printed were not even thought of.
  • A Parent is able to access similar information to treat his child's illness or injury while the proper medical teams are made available.
  • A cook or a housewife have access to millions of delicacies to enrich their menu and change the routine, along with the techniques, ingredients and materials needed to make it.
  • A programmer or designer has access to millions of lines of codes, tutorials and programs that will make their product a much better product and in turn advance technology.
  • Technology which in term will retroactively become part of the cycle and some day maybe take us where no one has gone before.

What is next... only time will tell and probably their business plan too :) I'll just say I wish I had the money to invest when I saw their stocks at $37 way back then, I wanted to, I saw their potential... such is life.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Miami Florida NUC-Online Promotions

I made the design for the promotions now running in Miami FL.
So far they look very nice and the printers made a great job with the matching of the design and the colors. I wish the picture sent to me was better lit or from a few more angles though hahah... oh well I know how it's supposed to look like. Now if I could get my hands on one of the actual brochures for my portfolio it would be awesome. :)
Here are some of the Banners Used for the FL promotions.

This was used on some Nice T-shirts.