articles on

Online Design Classes: Skillshare

Our New Favorite Tool for Online Design Classes

Skillshare is an online learning community with over 15,000 classes where anyone can discover, take, or even teach a course. After tapping into this amazing resource for over a month now,  I’m happy to say that it is a great resource of practical knowledge from well-known creatives who are big names in their respective industries. You can get 2 months for free by checking out this link or by using the promo code "abduzeedo". I’ve had the chance to finish three online design classes or courses so far and I’d love to share a little bit of my findings. I have always been a fan of self-learning, especially online. I have taken several online courses from all sorts of sites. I learned Android development, Drupal and a bit of iOS development (I got lazy here). I also took so many online classes on all sorts of subjects, from photography to quantum physics. On these other sites, there was always a shortage of great content about design. When I found out about Skillshare I decided to check out their vast amount of classes available and was so pleasantly surprised. The classes were much more varied than I expected and to  my great delight, they have some really amazing design related courses in their creative section. I immediately started saving classes and before I knew it I already had tons of awesome classes selected, from classes like Dynamic Brand Identity: Designing Logos That Evolve to  Presentation Essentials: How to Share Ideas That Inspire Action as well as Storytelling for Leaders: How to Craft Stories That Matter and Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World are some good examples of my picks. I literally had to force myself to stop browsing, otherwise I would never have had time to actually take any of the classes! In addition to covering interesting subjects, these classes are taught by professionals that have real street or practical knowledge of their industries. They are not just talking about a theory, they are sharing their stories and inviting you along for the ride. A great example is the “Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World” the teacher for that class was none other than Gary Vaynerchuk, a person that has become hugely successfully by capturing the power of social networks. I took that class and it was fantastic. There are other great names like Paula Scher, Seth Godin, John Maeda, Simon Sinek, Guy Kawasaki, and Aaron Draplin— and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Online Design Classes For this article I will talk about 4 design classes I took that were quite awesome and one more related to business. There are  a few more that I am still watching but I got too greedy and started more classes than I could finish for this article.   Dynamic Brand Identity: Designing Logos That Evolve Paula Scher This was  my favorite class so far. Not because the others weren’t good, but because this one was truly amazing.  I have been a fan of Pentagram and Paula since college times. Their work has always been an example of excellent design for me, especially due to its simplicity. In this class, Paula talks about the design process, the importance of finding your passion, and having an affinity for the product or service you’re designing for . She goes on to share insightful thoughts on simplicity and why it’s important. As an admirer of hers it was awesome to hear her talk about how they pursue simplicity — I agree that good design is all about execution and implementation. If the design is complicated, it becomes much harder to execute, more often than not when the execution is too complicated, the final product ends up suffering, which ends up compromising the quality of the design. That advice alone was worth the class, but she also goes over the case studies for major design projects. Projects like: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Type Directors Club and Microsoft. If you want to improve and master your branding and visual identity skills, I highly recommend this course.   Mastering Logo Design: Gridding with the Golden Ratio George Bokhua This was another interesting class I took. Branding and visual identity have  always been two of  my passions despite my background in industrial design and the fact that I’ve pretty much always been working on product design, from web to mobile apps.  I love the process behind translating ideas into physical designs  and creating a logo is the pinnacle of that because you are translating a company’s business and image into a simple icon or wordmark. In this class, George Bokhua walks us through how he uses the golden ratio to achieve harmony with the forms created. The example he anchors the class to is a logo that uses a dog as a reference point. There are so many incredible tips, from the sketching phase to simplifying vectors in Adobe Illustrator. If Paula Scher was all about design strategy this class is more concerned with actually executing, the stages in the process that involves spending a lot of time  in front of the computer, iterating until you find the most harmonic form. Logo Design with Draplin: Secrets of Shape, Type and Color Aaron Draplin I’ve been following Aaron on social media for quite a long time.  I’ve seen quite a few of his presentations and I am a huge fan, so of course I’d jump at the opportunity to take one of his classes. Even from the class’s intro, you can immediately get an idea of how engaging he is as a teacher. Super casual but straight to the point — his personality shines in every lesson. Aaron has a super honest way of showing how things are done and he makes everything feel effortless. The goal of this class is to help us improve our logo design skills. The way he does that is by challenging us to create a crest  for our family name. As he mentioned during  the intro, we are not creating a logo for a band that will end in less than 6 months, this is a family crest. It’s a project that can take into account a long history and older traditions, and that can be quite fun to design for. During the classes it is amazing to see how Aaron explores different concepts. He is pretty much designing and narrating his process, which for me is always super useful. The outcome is a really cool family crest that inspired me to explore creating  my own. Aaron definitely knows how to motivate people and I feel like I want to design much more now, so for me that was totally worth it and it’s another highly recommended class in my opinion. Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World Gary Vayenerchuck This was my first class. I decided to check this out first because I am a fan of Gary. As expected, he did an excellent job going through subjects like how to maximize your social media presence on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr. He went through all of those social media strategies and provided real case study examples. Despite the fact that it was an old class, it was still very useful for me and I was able to apply many of the lessons to Abduzeedo and how to do a better job promoting with  social media . I highly recommend this class and one of the best things about it is it’s easily digestible, just an hour and a half broken into 24 even shorter videos. The only thing is I wish there was an audio version so I could listen without keeping my screen on, sort of like a podcast. Other classes that I took were about SEO and presentation skills and leadership. They were extremely helpful not only for my blog, which is my side project, but also my job as a designer with topics like storytelling and creative leadership, one of the most interesting subjects for me. Here's another one that I am super excited about checking it out: After a little over a month of checking out Skillshare  I am really happy with what I've learned and I can also say it has become a go-to resource for design concepts I’d like to learn in the future. There are great creative courses that I am looking forward to checking out, especially all the other Aaron Draplin ones, there’s also photography, business, leadership and communication classes that will be extremely valuable for my career. So for anyone looking to expand their skills, I highly recommend Skillshare. Abduzeedo readers can even try it free for two months by clicking here (you can also use the promo code "abduzeedo" at checkout).  In addition to the fact that there are more than 15,000 classes to learn from, there’s a whole other side to Skillshare that I discovered — anyone can be a teacher! I didn’t have time to check that part of Skillshare out, but in a nutshell that mutual exchange of knowledge is what the site’s all about — sharing your skills. What Skillshare classes are you planning on taking? Let me know via Twitter or Facebook!

OFFF Barcelona 2017: Wrap-Up

OFFF Barcelona 2017: Wrap-Up

We've shared a preview of OFFF Barcelona a couple weeks ago on Abduzeedo, 3 days conferences, workshops and performances that happened on April 6-8. We luckily had one of our friends who went to OFFF for us while she was travelling across Europe. Let's take a look at this lovely wrap-up by Hope Little where she sharing her notes and also her pictures as well. You should definitely check out her Instagram for the latest of her work/photography. OFFF is primarily a community for everyone that is related to design like designers, thinkers, developers, professionals, students and more. OFFF have seen artists such as Joshua Davis, Stefan Sagmeister, John Maeda, Neville Brody, Kyle Cooper, The Mill and a lot more. It takes place annually in Barcelona for a three-day journey of conferences, workshops and performances. You can also catch OFFF when they tour around the world for the rest of the year. Hope's Notes Outro Studio Kicking-off the conference was multi-disciplinary, Outro a design studio based out of Barcelona, Spain. Doing everything from identity, illustration + animation to film and most recently; OFFF Barcelona 2017 branding campaign and book design. Outro created a visually stunning, sensorial experience not just for your eyes but for you to hear, taste, touch and smell. We don’t have to specialize in one thing when we can do everything Adam J. Kurtz NYC based designer, mixed media artist and recent author of 1 Page at a Time and Pick Me Up. Adam Kurtz gave us the inside scoop on ‘doing it yourself, and seeing how it goes’, how kickstarter can actually kickstart your projects and that anyone can do it, if he can. If i could leave you with any piece of advice today, it would be that fuck... If i can do it, you can fucking do it too.   Furious Creators Thomas Weil & Quentin Weisbuch of Graphic Design & Art Direction studio, Furious covered the in’s and out’s behind the delicious project, Fat & Furious Burger that helped kick start their careers. Along with covering some of their other projects that center around design, culture, architecture and of course food. We believe less is more.   Some Photos   Leta Sobierajski & Wade Jeffree Dynamic Duo, Leta Sobierajski & Wade Jeffree gave us the juicy details about the natural fruition of The Complements Project. From their love life to their sex life, Sobierajski & Jeffree give their insights on how they made a personal relationship into a healthy working relationship, and how passion projects can pave the way into real client work. Making is a part of thinking and feeling   Velvet Spectrum Luke Choice, a.k.a Velvet Spectrum is a creative Studio focused on 3D design, type, and animation. Originally from Australia, Choice is now currently designing out of Los Angeles, CA. Luke talked us through the evolution of his past and present projects, inspiring collaborations with other artists and what’s next to come. ... it’s so much easier and much more fun to make balls bounce on real stairs… that should be a quote   ...and in the words of the Great Shia Labeouf — … just do it. Make your dreams come true! Gary Baseman Gary Baseman, self proclaimed pervasive artist tells the story of his influential family heritage, upbringing, and many life experiences that have subconsciously shaped his art and career over the years. Continuously blurring the lines between what’s real and what’s fantasy, Baseman goes through the plethora of projects he’s undertaken, from his hit TV show: Teacher’s Pet, the process behind some of his publications for New York Times, Rolling Stones, Wall Street Journey, to list a few...along with his collaborations with COACH, ready-to-wear for Spring line and his latest documentary “Mythical Creatures”. I realized i had to define my art in my own title. So i used the word pervasive art, and pervasive in english means that’s its perceived everywhere and for me as an artist… I think we have an obligation and a need to work in all mediums, all mediums that have existed, all mediums new, and that we invent. To be able to get our message across...   Final Words OFFF isn’t just all talk though, there was plenty of fun work-shop stations, pop-ups and mouth watering food trucks to choose from over the jammed packed, three day conference. OFFF 2017 Barcelona is definitely an experience to remember, a conference you can go to time and time again. A stimulating, sensorial experience crafted to continuously push you to learn, be inspired in your day-to-day life and a continuous reminder to keep evolving and pushing the limits of your work..Do what’s in your heart and stay true to your craft. Who know’s maybe you’ll be next on the OFFF stage. Miscellaneous including other talks

MacBook Pro Review - Love and Hate with the Touch Bar

MacBook Pro Review - Love and Hate with the Touch Bar

It's time for our honest appraisal of the MacBook Pro. After almost 5 years using my old MacBook Pro, a first generation retina display, the time had come for an upgrade. I've been chomping at the bit for Apple to announce a new laptop because mine was having a lot of issues. Be it the bevy of dead pixels, battery life of less than 1 hour to the most frustrating of all, ghosting effects on my screen. So finally, at the end of last year, Apple announced the new MacBook Pros with the Touch Bar. Time to hit the savings and purchase one. Before getting to the review, I have to say, Apple products hold a good resale value. After almost 5 years, I was able to trade in my old laptop for 500 dollars at Best Buy. A great deal. Now back to the MacBook Pro Review. I have been using the laptop for almost 4 weeks now. I have done pretty much the same things I did with the previous one. Tasks using tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Sketch, Figma, Sublime Text and Android Studio. This review is based on my personal experience, some people might think differently, but again, everyone has his or her own way of seeing things, this is mine. MacBook Pro Review Industrial Design Let’s start with the easy one, the industrial design. What can I say about this machine, it is simply stunning. The Space Grey color gives it a super sleek look, it’s like the Lamborghini Aventador of the laptops in my mind. In terms of size, it’s not much different than the previous one. It’s definitely thinner and lighter, but putting them together the dimensions are quite similar. The difference is how solid/dense this machine feels. The old one now feels to have a bunch of wasted space internally compared with the new one. It’s like it’s a solid piece with no parts. Try to shake him, you cannot hear a piece moving. I also like the new design of the screen, it’s a detail, but the MacBook Pro logo looks nicer over a black surface. Keyboard and Trackpad There’s a lot of talk about the keyboard, quite a lot of hate too. What can I say? I love it. I love pretty much everything about it. The sound, even though it gets a bit loud; the keys and how short the travel is when you press them. They also feel a bit bigger. My theory is that Apple is slowly transitioning to digital keyboards by making the laptop keys with shorter and shorter travel therein training us to type on flat surfaces. If that is true, it’s working for me and I appreciate it. The trackpad got a redesign as well, they made it really big. But, does size really matter? To be honest with you, in this case, it doesn’t. It’s nice that it’s bigger, but it captures a bunch of involuntary touches, especially when I am typing, like now. I also like to set up the trackpad speed to the max, so I can move the cursor across the screen without much effort. That said, the trackpad feels great without the physical click. It’s like the new iPhone in that it just emulates the click. I know, I know, it’s been on laptops for a long time, but remember I had a 2012 MacBook Pro. Touch Bar To summarize my feelings about the Touch Bar, gimmicky. Apple calls it a touch of genius, I call it a touch of laziness or just stubbornness on not making the screen touchable. Here’s the thing, I don’t want to sound bad but there’s nothing about it that I like. It made my life more difficult. For example, if I want to change the volume, now I need an extra click because I need to expand the volume slider. Same goes for screen brightness. In addition to that, you have to expand the touch bar to access other functions like the apps drawer, the expose and keyboard backlight control. Why? Some apps take advantage of that Touch Bar, but I am so used to those apps that I never noticed anything different. Oh there are the emojis on Messenger, too bad, I am an old and grumpy man that doesn’t use emojis. Also there’s Siri, that is right on top of the Delete key and next to the Touch Id key. That means, I trigger that button by mistake a bit too often. That’s when I get reminded about Siri, which I never used. Again, this is my personal opinion. Maybe I will change my mind about some of these things, but for now, I think the Touch Bar is dumb. The best thing about it is the Touch Id to turn on and login without password. That is pure genius, but that is not exactly part of the Touch Bar. Performance and Battery life Performance-wise for me it’s great. It is better than my previous MacBook Pro but not by much. It definitely handles apps like Android Studio and Sketch with multiple artworks faster, but it’s not mind-blowing faster. I also feel that in general the computers cannot get that much faster as the tech might have reached a plateau. I have to also say that I don’t use a lot of CPU or GPU intensive software that much. For my needs it’s an excellent machine. The screen is also beautiful, the colors are much improved compared with the 2012 cousin. It’s more saturated and brighter. The contrast is another great improvement in my humble and not so knowledgeable opinion. Resolution-wise, it's the same, still crisply beautiful. Now the battery life. Oh the battery life. This one for me is tricky because my previous laptop would last for less than 1 hour so anything over that is much better. But it’s far from what Apple claims 10 hours, which I think someone could sue them for false advertising. I never got close to that, maybe if I only use Safari with a blank tab with 10% brightness for the screen I might get the result. In short, the battery life is not 10 hours, actually it’s pretty hard to track it for me because it’s extremely unreliable. Sometimes it lasts more, others it feels that it goes down like a % every minute. I believe that’s the reason that they removed the time estimate from the battery indicator. Hopefully, it can be fixed via firmware or software, but, as I said in the beginning, I was used to a terrible battery life. So it’s not a deal breaker for me, especially now that I can charge it from anyone of the 4 USB-C ports available. USB-C ports only I appreciate Apple’s boldness on adopting new technologies and getting rid of old ones. They are not predicting the future, but trying to define it by going there first.Another new feature that generated a lot of controversy, the USB-C only ports. I see a lot of people complaining, but for me, like with the keyboard, I love it. I simply do. I love the idea of one type of port for everything, that’s the future and Apple is betting on it. Too bad that now you need an adapter for the iPhone cable. Thankfully I am a Pixel owner so it works just great with my Android Pixel. How paradoxical, right!? I also have only one adapter, that came with my Pixel phone. It’s an USB-A to USB-C. It works great and serves all my needs. I can connect my Sony RX1 camera, or my old external hard-drive just fine and best of all, I can use my external monitor with just one cable for everything. It cannot get any better than that, unless going all wireless. Conclusion Overall the MacBook Pro 15 with the Touch Bar is a great machine. It’s clearly an evolution from the previous one in terms of industrial design and aesthetics, not so much in performance, but still better and faster. The new features like the keyboard, Touch ID, bigger trackpad and USB-C only are really good for me. I appreciate Apple’s boldness on adopting new technologies and getting rid of old ones. They are not predicting the future, but trying to define it by going there first. It also resonates with my minimalist mind of reducing clutter by simplifying things, like having only one port for everything. Despite the Touch Bar being a hit or miss for me I highly recommend this machine if you have an old MacBook Pro like I did and need an upgrade urgently. If you can wait, I’d wait because Apple is notorious for having bad first generation products, I suffered with my old MacBook Pro, but this time I will be more prepared by acquiring the Apple Care extended warranty. In a nutshell, if you want to have the sexiest laptop you can get, I would get this one in a heartbeat. Perhaps the 13, if you don’t need too much screen real estate. Pros Beautiful Industrial Design; Thinner and lighter than the previous one; Spacegrey color is sleek; Keyboard; USB-C only for everything; Touch Id to unlock Cons Battery life; macOS is getting a bit outdated; Touch Bar is useless for me. It also adds extra clicks for volume or other common tasks; No touch screen Photos

Phone Review: Google Pixel

Phone Review: Google Pixel

Let me start this review by saying that first of all I am a huge (hardcore) fan of Apple ever since the iPhone 4, where I still think that is the best phone they ever made. As of late, they haven’t been stepping it up their game in terms of innovation. In my opinion, they just have been strategically reinventing the wheel by recycling what’s been done and adding with some extras to get us excited for more. By the meantime, other brands have been doing other things to raise up the competition including Google where they have introduced their first phone actually named Pixel. This following review will be based from my perspective from the day-to-day especially how the phone react to different situations from photography, usability and overall experience. Let’s go! Gear Google Pixel XL Phone Review First Impressions and Design From the unboxing, the phone looks beautiful especially with that shiny glass back side that covers almost the third of its size. Maybe the glass back side can improve the signal but I must admit the design is not as sexy like the iPhone 7 Matte Black for example. The phone feels pretty great in your hand and I love the button placements on the phone including the retina scanner on the back. You can clearly see that the Pixel wasn’t meant to be pretty (boring!) but to make you super efficient and productive. This phone does exactly that! From the inside, you are running on the battery of 3450 MAH battery where it’s just incredible. One of the those days where you forgot your charger from a day to the office, I was able to last one full day with only 19% battery percentage on Battery Saver mode which is just so amazing where there was a time I used to be constantly charging my iPhone. The Pixel is running on Android 7.1 Nougat, it gives a pretty smooth experience where I was able to confuse iOS users at times, it is quite simple and supremely intuitive to navigate. How about the camera, let’s talk about that! The Pixel wasn’t meant to be pretty but to make you super efficient and productive. This phone does exactly that! Camera On the first day, my impression of the camera was that I didn’t quite liked at all. The Pixel needed a little bit more customization in the settings. You gotta play with the phone and understand its different photographic approach by making some tests. Once the setup is ready, the camera is such a beast in many situations including: low-light, daylight and even during the night. Let me elaborate on that, what’s making the Pixel camera shine from its rivals is not about the lens but about its image processing software. Like a DSLR, the camera will make you think more about your shots, I am speaking as if you were looking to improve your mobile photography. You can always leave the camera to HDR+Auto or HDR+ and be fine. I personally like to switch it up depending on any situations where it’s not just about snapping a picture but getting the best from your environment with the Pixel. It took me a little more time as an iPhone user to get uses to the Pixel camera. But with time, you’ll create a better habit for your mobile photography and it’s a great feeling! The Pixel literally made me ditch my DSLR not only for everyday photography but for situations where you’ll need a DSLR. What a time to be alive and to have tools that can actually make your life better in many levels of fun and professionalism. What a time to be alive and to have tools that can actually make your life better in many levels of fun and professionalism. Some Shots   Best Feature By switching to the dark side (I don’t know why we used this term), I must admit the Pixel made me love my phone again, not by its look but how it can actually improve my life. I didn’t mention it before but the built-in Google Assistant (Google version of Siri) is really good and helpful. When I had Siri, I had many situations where Siri would never understand what I am saying, maybe it’s because of my french accent. I didn’t had this problem with the Pixel where you feel like you’re actually having a conversation with Google Assistant instead of giving orders. But one of its best feature would be the unlimited storage. Every photo or video you take are stored in Google Photos that you can easily access and even share a link from a photo in particular. It’s a really well-thought-out feature that can influence your decision of getting a Pixel. What can be improved? It’s not the perfect phone! Some will say that the phone should be Water Resistant but I don’t agree with that. Since it even became a standard? I would say that the speakers on the Pixel might need an improvement. Overall, they are not that great. For starters, the sound is not that loud and you can easily cover your finger because of its placement. The other thing I would mention is more related to Android 7.1 Nougat where I am not a big fan of its native SMS app. Maybe it’s my UI design side but I have a hard time getting around using this app because it’s too flat and makes my SMS messages almost invisible where on the other hand with Apple, iMessages are way more attractive for daily use. More Photos   Final Words Aside from its minor problems, the Pixel is a phone coming to a high standard to the market. I completely made the switch! Sometimes I would still use my iPhone 6 and yet it will make me love my Pixel even more. Love how Google is definitely changing the game by putting the focus on efficiency instead of making things pretty and sexy. Apple, I guess it’s time to step it up! Pros Camera Unlimited Photo and Video Storage Fast Battery Life UX of Android 7.1 Nougat Cons Speakers Native SMS app

Monitor Review: LG UltraWide 38

Monitor Review: LG UltraWide 38

To start 2017 I’m pleased to share a pretty stellar product review. I teased a bit about it when I posted a photo on Instagram a few weeks back so here’s the full monitor review of the LG UltraWide 38 38UC99. I have been using my laptop with external monitors for at least the past 10 years. I feel that it allows me to be more productive and keep things more organized. I’ve dabbled with using my laptop with 2 extra monitors as well and I really appreciate the extra space but I never thought about getting an UltraWide monitor until I got the chance to play with with the new LG UltraWide 38UC99 Curved 21:9 aspect ratio. The only thing I can say for sure is I was wasting my time with other setups. Before testing the LG UltraWide for this monitor review I was using the Dell 24 4K monitor, which is also great because of the resolution, but after less than an hour with the LG I was really fine trading off the resolution for more space. Monitor review Design When I saw the box I was a bit worried about the size, it looked IMMENSE. After unboxing and placing on my desk it felt much more comfortable than I anticipated. The thin bezel is really nice and in terms of weight it’s lighter than the Apple Cinema Display 27. The curve design feels great, you can see everything without much problem. One of the issues with the curve is that it takes a bit getting accustomed to the distortion on your designs. It bothers me at first but I got used to it pretty quickly. I feel if you need 100% accuracy and precision it might be a problem. As I say for me however it was quite easy to get used to. Configurations The monitor has many options in terms of configuration. You can create up to 4 different screens that work like small screens. I haven’t tested that yet as I feel only one is sufficient for me. You can also use it as a bluetooth speaker, which is quite interesting. I have been using that quite a lot. The main reason is due to the fact that I cannot control the volume if I am playing something from my computer. I think the reason might be because my connection is via HDMI. Speaking of connections, there are quite a lot of ports. There are 2 HDMIs, DVI and USB-C to connect to your  computer. With the new  MacBook pros it is a breeze to use it, you just need one cable for data, video and charging. It is simply amazing. For the old Macbook you will have to use the HDMI cable provided and if you want data you will need to connect via USB. I also connected my Playstation 4 using one of the HDMI ports. The default configuration renders the video in ultra-wide mode, distorting the image. It is easily configurable to render in 1:1 or original view. The image is simply excellent due to the 1ms refresh rate. Another interesting thing about the monitor is that you can have audio connections via Bluetooth. That is great if you want to connect your phone to use it as an external speaker. The audio quality is good though I’m no expert to say, but it is not mind-blowing.  I also learned that connecting my computer  via Bluetooth let me control the audio via the computer. For some reason I cannot do that via the regular USB-C connection, which is a shame. There are more options I haven’t explored for this monitor review, maybe with more time I will learn new things and I will make sure to share with you here on ABDZ. Performance and colors The color profile is quite amazing out of the box. I didn’t do any configuration and things looked like they were an extension of my laptop. I believe it renders 100% sRGB. sRGB is the standard color space of ideal color reproduction. So, with over 99% coverage of the sRGB spectrum, this LG monitor is a great solution for professional photographers, graphic designers or anyone looking for highly accurate color.The resolution also is insane, it’s not retina like but the 110dpi  is similar to what you would get with the Apple Cinema Display 27. The density of pixels is an interesting topic and despite the fact that super crisp text is quite pleasant, I felt that my old computer could not handle pushing that many pixels with a 4K monitor. Maybe the new laptops will definitely do it seamlessly, but as for today, I’d say that 1x  resolution for an external monitor isn’t too shabby. The space you get of course is hard to describe in words. Conclusion I have been using the LG Ultra-Wide 38 for the past month now for this monitor review and I have to say, I went from a skeptical to a believer when it comes to ultra-wide monitors, especially at that size. I first assumed it would be an albatross on my desk as I try to reduce and become more minimal. It turns out the size is not a big issue. In addition to that, the fact I can now have only one cable to connect my computer and the amount of real estate gained is definitely a great surprise. I feel I’ve become much more productive. To summarize my experience, when I thought the time to go retina resolution for external monitors had finally arrived, I found myself rediscovering the pleasures of more space rather than just more pixel density. Pros: Amazing space available, you can get really productive Design is simple and almost invisible.  Light for that size. Lighter than the Apple Cinema Display USB-C video, data and power connection. Minimalist dream come true Cons: Not high-definition. I know it would be too much, but it would be amazing to have super crisp texts Volume control from the laptop doesn't work Monitor menu control is hard to access if you use the laptop in front of the monitor. Expensive More information: LG website Buy it on Amazon Photos

Moment Superfish Lens (Review)

Moment Superfish Lens (Review)

When it comes to Mobile Photography, there’s a brand that shines more than the others and it’s Moment. They have changed the game with their revolutionary thinking at making tools for us to capture, create and make moments on our phones and turned them into a better camera. From the lenses, mounts, cases, accessories and even with the newly Travel Case, Moment never cease to amaze us all with their latest and the greatest. Speaking of that, we are reviewing the latest addition to their lenses family and it’s the Superfish Lens (170 degrees). Coming with the same high standard of quality build, we are looking at a super wide angle lens that can offer you a perspective that you’ll never usually witness. Let’s break it down! My Gear for this review   Apple iPhone 6 Superfish Lens Cork Case Mount for iPhone 6 and now available for iPhone 7/7Plus   First Impressions   The Moment you unbox their gear, it’s always a joy to go through their packaging and how well it’s designed to widely open your creativity with their charming approach. The Superfish Lens is made of a beautiful and high quality material that gives you the firm feeling on owning a lens. It doesn’t have the same curvy finish as the Wide Lens like we previously reviewed but that flat glass on top will give you the widest scene on Mobile Photography. The lens is made to expand the tight interior spaces; especially on action sports, architecture and videos. If you are a débutant to the brand, it’s not a lens I would recommend to start with, I would rather recommend you to start with the Wide Lens or even with the Tele Lens. Again it all comes to what kind of picture you wanna take, so for me it was a fun challenge to wander my city with that creative thinking in mind. ...made of a beautiful and high quality material that gives you the firm feeling on owning a lens With the Case or the Mount?   The Superfish Lens comes to an affordable price of 89.99USD and the choice of whatever we should get the case OR the mount. Having the luxury of trying both, I would say that I would prefer the mount and let me elaborate. First off with the Cork Case which is price at 39.99USD, you are in for the full Moment experience. Everything feels like you are actually having a camera instead of a phone and Moment does a great job and giving you the right tools to do it all. With the combination as I quote: of the DSLR-like Shutter button with half press and the Moment app, it feels great to take pictures and you always have that urge to take even more pictures. The only reason why I prefer the mount instead of the case is how I use my phone every day with family, workouts and etc. I don’t wanna damage my case and that’s pretty much the reason why. ...it feels great to take pictures and you always have that urge to take even more pictures Product Shots   Pros   I would say that I am always preaching the quality of Moment products, it’s well build and if you are serious with your Mobile Photography, they are the brand to go to. You can easily carry the lens with your everyday belongings other than when you think of having a DSLR camera with multiples lenses for example. Made On-the-Go for any situations or moments that needs to be captured. Cons   For me there isn’t any cons in my opinion, some will mention the price. We are talking of a high quality product that is build to last, of course it will come to a price. If you are willing to invest less than 200USD for your Mobile Photography, Moment will give you the best of it all. No Lens (Left) Vs w/ Superfish Lens (Right)   Final Words   Moment is not made for beginners or pros, it’s made for everyone who loves photography. This is what I like about this brand, it’s made for someone who wants to go a bit more further than snapping a picture for the heck of snapping. Moment is made for that person who is willing to wander for that shot and taking the time to edit as well. With a little investment, you’ll get an extension to make and create greatness right into your pocket. Thank you Moment! More Information: https://momentlens.co.

Otterbox uniVERSE Case System (Review)

Otterbox uniVERSE Case System (Review)

We would like to start this review to thank the kind folks from Otterbox for letting us try and play with their latest and the greatest line of products uniVERSE Case System for the iPhone. Available (for now) from your iPhone 7/7Plus and 6S/6SPlus, you’ll be welcomed with an iPhone case that is the true reflection of the core and durability of Otterbox and along with all those swappable modules (accessories) that will just enhanced your experience with the case. I just came back from a trip from Iceland and I took all this gear with me in the wilderness where I got to really experience and make a proper review instead of my own boring city backyard. Let’s start! My Modules  uniVERSE Case PolarPro PowerPack Trippler Tripod Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive First Impressions  I would say that on a day-to-day basis, the module that was most useful to me was the PolarPro PowerPack. It saved the battery life of my iPhone so many many times and as we all know that iPhones with a few years in the belly, their batteries tend to die really fast during the course of your day. Knowingly I liked the fact that you are able to rely on this module at all times. You can easily detach the Accent Plate (that’s how they all connect, through your Lightning Connector) and swipe in your desired swappable module and take it out when you’re done. It’s that simple and like the modular concept of the uniVERSE Case System. It’s made to be useful when you need so you don’t have to carry a larger iPhone around all the time. Everything is well built and it doesn’t feel cheap at all. Otterbox is known of making durable cases so it’s not surprise that they would partner with brands that would reflect its mentality. Otterbox is known of making durable cases so it’s not surprise that they would partner with brands that would reflect its mentality. Which one should you pick?  I would say that it depends of your needs, basically. If you were in a course of a trip like when I went to Iceland, I would say that all the modules were very useful. I was able to use the Trippler Tripod as a tripod and a very solid stabilizer for my DSLR (micro four thirds camera with a lens) to film some timelapses and footage. That tripod can also be turned into a selfie stick as well, easy-to-use and doesn’t take that much space in your travel gear. With that tripod, it comes with mounts where you can attach your case, a GoPro and your DSLR. As for the Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens, it was a great addition for the bunch. You can easily attach it to the case and live it up with the lenses that Olloclip are greatly famous for. Another issue with the iPhone is its storage capabilities, this is where the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive comes in handy. You can move all your pictures and videos to the drive so it’s transferable to your PC or Mac. The case is proven to push your phone to another level to simply ease up and enhance your daily life so you can tackle it even more. Proven to push your phone to another level to simply ease up and enhance your daily life so you can tackle it even more. Pros  I would say that I loved the most about the uniVERSE Case System is how everything is carefully considered and well built. Nowadays, our phones are becoming a part of ourselves where we give a trust to our gear to last through our daily routine. It’s creating an importance on how useful it can be and how durable it will last. With Otterbox, you’ll get exactly that. Cons  There’s isn’t much to say about that. The only thing I can point out is I felt that the Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens felt a little bit loose when you have it installed on the case. That’s pretty much it.   Final Words  The uniVERSE Case System from Otterbox is a solid product line with many features that can easily make your life more productive, efficient and at the same time giving the right protection needed for your phone. From utility, photography, media, business, wellness, power modules; there’s something for everyone at a very affordable price.

AIAIAI TMA-2 Modular Headphone (Review)

AIAIAI TMA-2 Modular Headphone (Review)

It's been a little while since our last review but we are back and we had the opportunity to review and play around with the AIAIAI TMA-2 Modular Headphone for some time now. AIAIAI is a company based in Copenhagen that started in 2006, through the years they have worked at making/building high quality products for your everyday use. Being modern and minimalist at the same time, AIAIAI totally contribute at contributing to Denmark's Worldwide Reputation and by keeping its heritage of Scandinavian design. First Impressions After receiving my package, the unboxing was a pure joy. The folks from AIAIAI really took care at designing and producing such a lovely packaging with a minimal and likeable approach that just increase your loving for the brand/product itself. The fact that the TMA-2 is a modular headphone, everything single parts comes into small plastic packages that reminds you of Space somehow, which is pretty creative from their end.  The first setup is a bit tricky but with the help of the instructions, I felt it was pretty simple and intuitive. Once everything is ready and all the parts comes in together beautifully, the material of the headband didn't felt cheap at all. They used a new polyamide material that enhances durability and flexibility and the headband sits comfortably on your head and it wasn't tight at all even when wearing them for a long period of time. Fun Fact: The packaging design was the runner up from the Packaging Award Core77 Design Awards 2016 The Sound Well, this is what this is just all about, is the sound even good? The reflection of the quality of TMA-2 totally reflects on its purity of the sound. This is the best headphone I've ever had, totally honest. I tried many different kind of music from soundtracks to heavy metal and the TMA-2 just keep giving me the best of its sound to the point where you can feel the vibration on your eyes. The music was pretty loud by the way, I was just testing its full capacities. The sound is that great so you don't really have to go loud to fully experience it, to be honest I always have my volume control to less than a half of the full bar. Asides from the headphone itself, you can totally get your hands on the TMA-2 for the sound alone. This is the best headphone I've ever had Pros From the packaging, "undestructible" headband and incredible sound experience, I would say one of the things that I truly love about the TMA-2 is the almost non-presence of the brand on the product. AIAIAI doesn't spam you by having their logos everywhere, they wanted to keep a minimalist approach and also by giving the sound quality you deserve. That's what is all about and the fact you can customize the way you want your headphone to be like is also another great factor from AIAIAI. You can start configuring TMA-2 from the headband, speaker units, earpads and cable. The price tag is also a plus with AIAIAI, for little more/less than 200$ (USD) depending on your configuration, you can buy which is a very affordable price compare to what's on the market.   Cons There isn't much to say from that end but I did encounter a little detail with my earpads which was the model E05 that was made of soft microfiber. I thought it was a bit catching the dust easily for my taste but I probably get the E06 (made of light weight PU leather) model to resolve the situation. That's about it. Final Words You can't really go wrong with the TMA-2, it's a superior improvement from the previous model. And if you're like me, somebody that use his headphone at work/office through your daily playlists to simply enjoy your day at its best. The TMA-2 will compliments your routine greatly. Now wherever I go, I always have my TMA-2 handy in my backpack because it will become and be part of your everyday use. More information: https://aiaiai.dk.

The Moment Case + Lens (Review)

The Moment Case + Lens (Review)

Either you're on an adventure, trip, exploring your city or just taking pictures of your food. Mobile Photography is really part of our daily routine. Big thanks to the creators to make us tools to genuinely push us to simply "Make More". We are happily reviewing (It's been a long time) the iPhone Case and Lens made my Moment, a great bunch of builders/makers that believe that the future of photography is right in your pockets. My Gear For the Review, I am using the Moment Case (Black) with the 18mm Wide Lens. I've attached some shots with the 60mm Tele Lens as well by our good friend Stephen Di Donato. App If you don't have the case nor the lens, you can always get your hands on the free app. The App feels great, easy to use and I really do enjoy the minimal approach of the UI so you can focus on what you are photographing. But my only thing is that it takes some time to reload between shots if you compare to your standard Camera app. I wish the mechanism was a bit touch faster. Other than that, Moment really has done their homework with the app. I love the fact that you can easily control the exposure, manual focus and simply connect your Moment lens and case. Case Coming in three different colours and I had the chance to play with the "all-black" and "walnut" case and they both feel amazing at the grip. I personally loved the "all-black" case more and I would say that its best feature is the "rubbered grip" on the back of the case. Most cases would easily get slippery while you're holding it but not with Moment. It fits right in your hand and takes comfort at giving you the best feel for your shots. The Shutter button does exactly what is supposed to be doing and it worked pretty well on landscape/portrait shots. The magic really comes to life when you attach the lens to the case. With the lens, everything feels balanced. I must admit that with everything together you have that sudden urge to explore and wanting to take beautiful pictures at all times. Lens They are divided into three categories • Wide Lens • Tele Lens • Micro Lens If you ever wanna invest for Mobile Photography gear and you are interesting on the Moment products. I would say to get yourself a lens, I ordered the Wide Lens because I thought it would be a better fit for my common needs and what I was looking for. It's not about what's best on the market but more about what do you wanna do with your Lens. I was quite impressed with the quality of the lens, the "metal" material doesn't feel cheap and the glass looks great. One thing, the glass collects the dust like nothing, make sure that your lens is clean before taking any shots. Now I always have the Wide Lens in my pockets at all times. Protips I didn't try the mount that comes with the lens since I had the case but my good pal Andrew Griswold (Co-Founder of @igersindy) said: I'm not a fan of cases so the back mount system they have is solid and secure. Super thin profile still and mounts perfectly. Comparison Wide Lens (18mm) Tele Lens (60mm) by Stephen Di Donato Tele Lens (60mm) by Stephen Di Donato Video Last Words Moment Case + Lens is a great combination of products to get if you're passionate about mobile photography. For the pricing, they are expensive but it's really worth the investment. I found myself wanting to take better pictures and Moment will give you the best tools. For a limited time, Moment has shared a discount code with abduzeedo10 for 10% off on your next purchase. For more information: http://momentlens.co

Semplice Review

Semplice: Designers' Best Kept Secret

As a designer, I did tried many themes in my career. And the downsize of many of them aren't giving you the freedom to "freely" design your own theme. I do know how to code but most of us designers don't. Well with Semplice, they are giving you something more than just an ordinary theme. Semplice is the first fully responsive case study portfolio system based on WordPress. Built by designers, for designers. What is Semplice, the MANIFESTO We help creative professionals to show their work in the best way possible. Our first product is Semplice, based on WordPress it gives you a powerful & flexible tool to create a portfolio that will stand out & doesn’t look like a standard template. You deserve something better than a standard template. We believe in the power of the WordPress community and we believe in open source. That’s why Semplice is completely self-hosted and you fully own the code & files. We know you need the freedom. Semplice is not a template but a powerful system. Semplice stands for pushing the boundaries, going the extramile and building with pride. Our main goal is to give you everything you need to achieve this. All Rights to Semplicelabs.com All Rights to Semplicelabs.com Semplice is more than just a tool. It’s a promise to make something better, to go the extra mile & tell the story of your work the way it should be. Semplice is building with pride. All Rights to Semplicelabs.com All Rights to Semplicelabs.com All Rights to Semplicelabs.com All Rights to Semplicelabs.com Semplice in action. (VIDEO) Our goal is to give you a tool that you can fully hack and customize, even if you don’t know how to code. Today we like to show you some of our favorite portfolios of designers who took Semplice even further, by adding a little bit of custom CSS or small tricks to make it stand out. Links More info about Semplice: http://www.semplicelabs.com Check out their showcase: http://www.semplicelabs.com/showcase Learn more about Tobias van Schneider: http://www.vanschneider.com

My Week with the Apple Watch

My Week with the Apple Watch

I had the chance to try the new Apple Watch for about a week now and I would like to share my experience with you on Abduzeedo. In this review, I'll share with you my UX experience, and also some of its features. Model I was using: 38mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Band Sport More Info: http://store.apple.com/us/buy-watch/apple-watch-sport?product=MJ2X2LL/A… Context: To put you in a situation, I am a full-time Dad and also working as a Design Lead. On the whole range of available notifications, I wanted to only receive my texts, Facebook messages, emails and phone calls. User Experience: It's always exciting to try a new "technology" which you know the developers have spent months and months to build and test. At first glance, the interface is very familiar to Apple products, it's really easy to navigate through all the apps. What I liked is the fact that you can "customize" your Apple Watch preferences and create a new interface that reflects your tastes through an app on your iPhone (iPhone 6Plus). I'm sure it was a great challenge to Apple to create an effective interface and especially on a smaller surface. Everything is simple and direct, I think the Apple Watch has a lot of UX movement involved for my use but we adapt pretty quickly. Via Pttrns.com Via Pttrns.com Via Pttrns.com After a week, I noticed that Apple Watch was useful for: • Answering the phone on the road • Answering my texts with the help of Siri, which works well in English and French • Keep a close attention on my "Activity" • Taking pictures with the "timer" I will say that the Apple Watch is great for our small and quick needs during the course of our day but anything that went beyond that, I found myself going back to my iPhone in hand to respond to emails and to do stuff that will be impossible on the Apple Watch. We are still in the first generation of this technology and knowing Apple, we will witness several improvements in the near future. Links More info about the Apple Watch: http://www.apple.com/

Webydo Review: Enabling Web Designers to Create Freely

Webydo Review: Enabling Web Designers to Create Freely

Designing a website exactly as you or your client envision can be difficult to do if you don't know code. You can work with a developer, but that cuts into your profits and adds extra time to your project, which in turn costs your clients more. For these reasons and more, many professional web designers are turning to website builders, a lot cheaper and faster solution than learning to code. However, there are loads of website builders and not all are created equal. Some site builders are completely free even after the site is live, but these often come with limitations in design options and no e-commerce option. Others advertise that their website builder is specifically for designers, but they come with additional requirements or a limit in regards to the price. Webydo is a website builder that has recently come to my attention and covers all of the aforementioned cons. The founders started Webydo because they wanted to help create a more efficient web design process by allowing designers to communicate directly with a client, rather than through a developer. So they created a website builder that provides designers with creative freedom and turns their projects into an HTML website and CMS seamlessly. It even comes complete with ecommerce options, unlimited access to all of the design features in the free plan, and a platform to create a responsive website with cross-browser capabilities. Every designer is different, so Webydo may not be your cup of tea. But take a look at the premium, professional features and some of the stunning websites that designers are creating with Webydo. Even if you decide not to use Webydo, it is undeniable that the creators of this website builder certainly did an amazing job! Free Preview Stella and Lori home page designed on and powered by Webydo All of the features are great, but probably what surprised me the most about Webydo is that they allow designers to create a website in-browser for free. You can even take the site live temporarily to allow clients to preview it before deciding to publish through Webydo's cloud hosting. A real live website in your own domain name does come with a price, but thankfully a very reasonable price (see the plans below). And once you do purchase a subscription, the cloud hosting includes automatic backup, fast and secure servers, and worldwide CDN through Akamai so that clients access your site through whichever server they are closest to. What all of this boils down to is assurance of a fast website no matter where in the world viewers access the website. Free - 15 pages, Webydo's sub-domain, unlimited bandwidth, 1 GB storage, can create as many temporary sites as needed Premium - $7.90/month (billed annually) subscription or $9.90/month (billed biannually) - unlimited pages, own domain, unlimited bandwidth, 2 GB storage Large web agency premium plan for over 100 websites Easy Design Features Here's the fun part - designers have amazing tools to use while creating their web design and all in-browser. Just as with most website builders, Webydo works on a drag and drop system but extra design features include fill, shadow, stroke, smart guides with snapping, text captions for images, grid generator, layers window, and set corner radiuses. One of the best time-saving perks is the automatic optimization of any media you upload, no need to worry about good site performance. Another time saver is the access to free open-source web fonts, so you don't have to spend an hour looking for the right free font and then downloading it to your hard drive. Stella and Lori interactive About page designed on and powered by Webydo Keep in mind that Webydo is definitely for those with design experience, and especially web design experience. You have the choice to start either with a blank screen or a readymade design. Webydo points out that you can change every single pixel of the design, but what about when you just want a quick switch? As of now, changing templates is not possible, but head over to the suggestion for adding the ability to switch templates and add your vote (more on this below). Ecommerce, Responsive, and More Webydo uses the Ecwid E-commerce widget so that you can offer an ecommerce solution to customers. It comes with various payment options, excellent control over stock, product descriptions for media-rich categories - all the basics for a website selling products. For the first few years, Webydo was cross-platform but not responsive. Thankfully due to enough votes, the builder now creates responsive websites so that your website looks great even on mobile and tablets. Honestly, the fact that a designer can create a responsive website makes Webydo much more competitive in the website builder industry. Yoav Gurin Business gallery designed on and powered by Webydo An interesting feature unique to Webydo is the ability to reinforce your brand as a web designer. You can replace the Webydo logo with your own in the client's login screen, your dashboard, client's CMS, and even your online design studio. The CMS functionality of your Webydo website is quite robust. You can choose which design elements you want to lock and which you want to leave open to your client to edit. The design is a WYSIWYG and similar to Word, making it easy for your client to learn. It also comes with SEO features, site analytics, and the ability to manage multiple clients from single dashboard. Suggest and Vote on New Features I like this aspect so much, that I gave it an entire separate section. Webydo has a page on its website called Participate, which is basically a forum. Just like other site builder forums, you can either suggest a new feature or you can report bugs. However, the awesome extra on this forum is that you can vote on suggested new features and the guys over at Webydo will not only listen and respond but also add these new features. Sometimes Webydo will immediately agree that a suggested feature needs added, but other times they wait to see how many votes a suggestion will receive. With enough votes, they will push the suggestion to the top of their to-do list. The other nice function is that Webydo shows the status of a suggestion on the forum, such as "Gathering Feedback", "Started", or "Completed". This is a brilliant move on their part, as it gives users a powerful voice in the improvement of the features. After reading this review, if you feel like Webydo is the website builder for you, then head over to the site and immediately start designing. Or even you want to try it for free, remember that you can create a design in-browser and preview it, with no pressure to sign up. With this in mind, the free-no-strings-attached aspect of Webydo is enough to garner even just a quick look, especially since no other robust website builder offers such a refreshing pressure-free offer! Tara Hornor Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, web and graphic design, and desktop publishing. She is a Senior Editor for Creative Content Experts, a company that specializes in guest blogging and building backlinks. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.

DVD Review: How to Draw Cars Now by Driven Mavens + Discount Code

Today I decided to make a change and make a review instead of a feature post. This amazing opportunity came to me from car designer Arvind Ramkrishna from Driven Mavens, he gladly sent me one copy of his DVD now in sale "How to Draw Cars Now". I really had a fun time going through his DVD and this is my review. What started as a Kickstarter Project hugely became into a successful story about Arvind getting his knowledge out for aspiring designers and drawing hobbyists to automotive design and illustration using markers, pencils, gouache paints and of course Photoshop. A great mix of modern and old school styling into your work. To find out more about Arvind Ramkrishna and Driven Maven, you can check out his website / blog at DrivenMavens.com, also check out their website HowToDrawCarsNow.com or just like them on Facebook. Review With more than 4 hours of video content with 4 ebooks, Arvind really takes you on a ride of instructional content and you clearly see the focus is on How to Draw Cars and with a complete workshop on the matter. With loads of training exercises and reference, what strikes me more is that Arvind kept the old good ways of drawing with pencils and markers. Since with all the technology around us, I am in agreement that the best way to learn. One thing I really enjoyed was how easy Arvind took us along the way in the videos. He has a way of explaining things with such a educational and inspiring to work more on your drawings. Of course, it will take a lot of practice but I truly think you can produce some amazing sketches and renderings in the automotive design. Some samples from Arvind Ramkrishna's work Arvind Ramkrishna from Driven Mavens Arvind Ramkrishna from Driven Mavens Arvind Ramkrishna from Driven Mavens Arvind Ramkrishna from Driven Mavens Arvind Ramkrishna from Driven Mavens Arvind Ramkrishna from Driven Mavens Discount Code Arvind is giving us away a Discount Code "Abduzeedo" of 15% of any purchases on his store. Check out this store at: store.drivenmaven.com.

App Review: Gradient by Jumpzero

Today I wanna share a review about an app I tried a couple days ago and I truly enjoyed it. It's the Gradient App from Jumpzero, the app is the opportunity to create gradients for web browsers. It's a really good app for the web designers and also for designers that wants a useful colour app at hand. All rights reserved to GradientApp.com The Look As I first noticed, the look is really simple, one window with straight-forward options. We can clearly see that the purpose is to create the gradients. All rights reserved to GradientApp.com The Options The Gradient App is coming with three different main functions to make gradients. You have selecting the colours which is pretty common. You have also by setting the gradient appears or by creating it in CSS. The use of the Custom Color Picker is very recommended also. All rights reserved to GradientApp.com More Options You can also select the type of gradients, either is direction and centre position. Choosing “linear” type, you will choose one of four directions; down, right, diagonally down and diagonally up. If you select a radial gradient then you have a few more choices as to where you want the gradient to centre. I think it's a good option to make some variations. All rights reserved to GradientApp.com Get the Code The CSS button will give you a Live Preview of the code you chose. If you're happy happy with it, you can just copy to clipboard and paste it into your design, or go back and make some modifications. All rights reserved to GradientApp.com Final Words I truly enjoyed the simplicity and efficiency of the Gradient App. For the price of 4.99 (US - Canada), you get a simple useful app packed with great features. Get it now on iTunes. For more information about the Gradient App and Jumpzero, you can check out the gradient website at GradientApp.com or simply follow them on Twitter @jumpzero .

iPhone 4 versus Nexus One Review

Before I start my review of the iPhone 4 and also the comparison between the 2 phones and OSs I want to say that I was a very early adopter of the iPhone despite the fact I was in Brazil, I managed to get one the next month after it was released in the US, so I’ve been using it since 2007. Then in the end of last year, 2009, I switched to Android thanks to Motorola for allowing me to be a tester of the Milestone (Droid) in Brazil. After the Milestone I got a Nexus One and I used it until last week when I got the iPhone 4. It took me some time to get used to Android and now it’s taking a little bit longer than I expected to get used to the iPhone again, even though I was an iPhone user for more than 2 years. So, this post will be a review of both phones and I will do that because I’ve been receiving emails from people asking me about the phone I use and what I think about this or that phone. It's also based on my usage and necessity. So, without further ado let’s start the review. Design It’s pretty hard to compare both phones in terms of hardware design, it’s clear they have different approaches in terms of concept, materials and therefore design. The Nexus One is a very sleek phone, I really like the design with round corners and edges, super thin and with a beautiful 3.7 inches display. The 4 buttons that Android needs is digital and not physical, they are located at the bottom of the screen and quite often I needed to press twice or more than that to make them work. There’s also that little scrolling ball, I don’t even know the name of that. It was most of the times useless. The iPhone keeps the same 3.5 inches display but the phone itself got a totally new design. It looks amazing, very solid, heavy with metal and glass. As Steve Jobs mentioned it’s like a Leica camera. The phone in terms of beauty is the best, very simple, minimalistic with the Jonathan Ive style all over it. I also have to say the antenna problem is real and it’s a design flaw. What is interesting is that it's impossible to imagine that they didn’t test that or thought that the external antenna would be bad idea, even though they claim that other phones have the same issue and it’s not a real problem, buy why give away bumpers for the phones then? Actually why the bumper only protects the metal part of the phone and not the glass ones? Performance Both phones are fast and responsive. The Android sometimes gets a bit sluggish due the multitask, but nothing that could really makes the phone unusable. The iPhone seems really fast, my last iPhone was the 3G so I can’t tell you precisely how faster it is compared with the 3GS, but it runs very smoothly with all the transition and other eye-candy effects that the iOS has. So in terms of performance I have to say that the phones are pretty much the same, but the iPhone makes things look smoother because of the inertia scrolling and animations. Screen The screen is, in my opinion, one of the best things on the iPhone 4, it’s simply beautiful. The texts look super sharp the colors are good and it works well on outdoors. The Retina Display is killer and makes me want to have that on my iPad and my computer as well. The only problem with the Retina Display is that there are tons of apps that need to be updated, including the Abduzeedo app, otherwise they will have that pixelated look. About the Nexus One screen, don’t get me wrong, it’s really good, but it cannot compare with the Retina Display. The screen is bigger and you can see more in it, like a web site for example. So in terms of screen iPhone 4 has a very clear advantage over Android and I believe over any other phone out there. Camera The Nexus One has a pretty good camera, 5 megapixels with zoom, flash and auto focus. With Froyo I believe there were a few refinements with the camera as well and if you use the CyanogenMod you can get the tap to focus and I believe 720p video recording too. The iPhone 4 camera was updated as well, it has 5 megapixels camera, zoom, the tap to focus and flash. The quality of the photos from the iPhone camera is impressive, even with low light you still get a pretty descent photo. The video recording in 720p HD is another great feature. Compare the photos taken with the iPhone 4 with HDR on and Nexus One Both phones have a really good camera but I will admit that I prefer the iPhone 4 camera. It’s easy to use, faster and the quality seems a bit superior. I am not an expert though, so feel free to share your opinion with us. Battery Both phones are pretty much the same in terms of battery life, you can go through the day with them, but if you try to have the same experience you have on Android on the iPhone, like all the apps running in the background like Gtalk, Emails, you won’t be able to go as long as with the Nexus One. Now I have disabled Push for some apps and I can get a really good result with the iPhone. One advantage for the Nexus One is the fact that you can replace batteries, so you can have more tha one battery and just change it when necessary. So in terms of battery life, the Nexus One was superior at least for me because I had all the multitask, push, gtalk on and was able to get the same time than the iPhone without those. But I haven’t run any super advanced and fancy test, just based on my own experience. Software I believe the software is the most important part of this review. In terms of hardware both phones are fantastic if you get the iPhone or the Nexus One (if you can get one) you will be super happy. Now the software is where we have the most significant differences. Android One of the reasons I decided to change to Android was that I needed a phone that I could rely on if I had a problem with my blog for example, the old iPhone 3G I had wasn’t capable of doing that. With Android you have multitask, fast switching and an integration with Google services like Gmail, Google Calendar, Gtalk, Google Calendar that the iPhone can’t even get closer to that. If you use these services you will love Android. The Android UI elements The first thing you will notice is that when you get your Android phone you don’t need anything but your Google account, put your username and password and boom you have all set, your contacts, calendars, emails, gtalk everything ready to be used. There’s no need to activate on iTunes and sync all the time. Just get the phone and start using it. In terms of multitask, the Android is still superior than the iPhone 4, it’s real multitask, like a computer and it works fine. You can have instant message apps opened and other apps and they will run fine, of course sometimes you will need to kill some apps with a task manager to save your battery or because the phone might start to get a bit sluggish. The notification system that Android has kicks ass and beat the iPhone hands down. You can’t even compare both systems because the Android is really but really superior. Notification system: iOS and Android The UI of Android has a lot to evolve. The Google apps are great in the Google style, super simple, minimal and focus on the function much more than look and feel. Now the third party apps are a total mess. The UI lacks consistency and you will find apps with terrible UIs. The UI and UX of Android is the biggest problem they have right now in my opinion, and I am pretty sure they know that and are working hard to solve this problem in the next version, Gingerbread, which will be released next month I think. The Android virtual keyboard is really good but it’s not the best, it lacks multitouch and that can be a real problem sometimes, however you can install the Swype keyboard and solve this issue with a really innovative solution. I saw some videos and people using it that simply blew me away how fast they were able to type. Another problem Android has is a media center app. The one that comes with it cannot compare with iTunes, but for me that wasn’t a problem because I am a Last.fm and Audible user so I tend to have very few or no songs on my phone. So I am either streaming music or listening to Audiobooks, and Android does a fantastic job with that. iOS 4.1 In terms of design the iOS hasn’t change much since the first version in 2007. The 4.x version came with new features such as folders and multitask but that wasn’t really new, actually those features were very old features for Android users. Apple claims to have done it right and for the folders I agree with them, the fact that you can simply drag an icon over another and create a folder automatically is pretty clever and works really well. Folders in iOS 4 Now the multitask is something really important in my opinion, even though it’s not a full multitask because only some types of apps can use it, like music, messaging and a few others I think, it works fine and the fast switching is a nice disguise as well. But when Steve Jobs said that if you have to use a task manager your mobile OS has a problem, I thought I would never have to close apps on my iPhone 4, which it’s not true. The way you can see the apps that are running is by double clicking on the home button. It’s a good solution but it’s not the best, plus that is a task manager because by holding the finger on an icon they will start jiggling and you will be able to close the apps. If that’s not a task manager I don’t know what it is, even though it’s much better than the Android ones. The iPhone has the coolest and most beautiful apps The notification system on iOS sucks and it’s the biggest problem with iOS in my opinion. It’s terrible like you get that pop up alert box that simply stops you from doing whatever you are doing. Also when you receive an email just you get the sound alert and badge, there’s no preview to see if it’s an important one or worth checking it out. So for the software decision my opinion is pretty simple. If you need a phone that is more a computer in which you will be able get more productive and things done, plus you don’t like to have to hook your phone in a computer all the time, get an Android phone. But if you want the best user experience with a more polished UI, plus if you have lots of songs and videos in your iTunes and don’t care about syncing all the time. The iOS is your choice. The best of each phone: Android Nexus One More models to choose, even though it might be a problem as well but you can get different screen sizes, with physical keyboard. Real multitask Widgets Fantastic Notification System Tethering and Wifi hotspot - that’s killer and I already miss it. I will jailbreak my iPhone as soon as it’s released just to get that back. Flash - even though it might look crazy but I used to check my Google Analytics all the time and Flash always ran very well in my Nexus One. Apps integration - you could share a URL from the browser to Facebook, or Twitter automatically, that is very useful when you have to promote your posts on different services. Google integration Gtalk No need to sync Navigate - Turn by turn maps free iPhone 4 Beautiful and consistent UI Fantastic screen, the best out there Easy to use More and better apps Better games and more options Killer camera Best user experience - the transitions when you change the screen orientation, the fast switching and other little details that make all the difference in terms of user experience. iTunes for music and video Beautiful form factor. Best copy and paste and text selection. Inertia Scroll Multitouch Keyboard Wrap-up As I mentioned before both phones are amazing, so it doesn’t matter each phone you get, either Android or iPhone, you will get the best that is available out there and, as both phones are awesome, they have problems too. It would be perfect if we could get what is best from each phone and make the best phone ever, but that is still a dream :) In terms of choice right now I chose the iPhone 4 to be my primary phone, however I won’t sell my Nexus One because I am looking forward to what’s coming within the next few months with the Android 3.0. The mobile market is where the innovation is happening right now and we have tons of new devices coming especially Android ones. That might be a problem because with so many options of Android it can be really hard hard to choose the right one, like the paradox of choice. While the iPhone there’s only one model so you just need to think about the storage size you want. There’s also other players in the market with a very special attention to Microsoft with the Windows Phone 7 and the beautiful Metro UI. So if you want to get a new smartphone, now it’s the right time. Other reviews Nexus One review - Engadget iPhone 4 review - Engadget Your thoughts Now I would love to hear from you. What do you think about Android and iPhone 4? Which one do you have? So share with us your thoughts, I’m sure that will be very helpful for those that haven’t made the decision.

Wacom Intuos4 Wireless Review

As a graphic designer I have to admit that I am not good at drawing. At first it was something that always bothered me, but I never thought that to be a good graphic designer I had to master the craft of drawing too. So during these years I was reluctant to get a tablet. Now I finally got one and I must say, I should have done so years ago. The tablet I'm talking about is the Wacom Intuos 4 Wireless and it is awesome. In terms of design it’s a beautiful piece of equipment. It's also wireless which means your desk will remain clean and clutter-free. If you’re like me and get extremely irritated with cables...you will be pleased. Unboxing... always an awesome experience The new Intuos4 Wireless pen tablet with Bluetooth® wireless technology lets you relax in your favorite working position or move about freely up to 33 feet (10 meters) from your computer. Enjoy the freedom of working "unattached" from your Mac or PC and reducing cord clutter. The new Wacom Wireless comes in one size only, which I believe is the standard medium of the wired versions. I'd say it’s a good size, although my track record with tablets is low. After 10 years of using mouses and trackpads, the idea of the Wacom as being my screen area still confuses me so that will definitely take a little getting used to. The Intuos 4 Wireless size compared with a Macbook Pro 17 Using the Wacom Wireless Like I said, I'm still getting used to it and I'm also traveling at the moment, so even though I have played with it quite a few times, I haven’t exactly had the time I want to dive into this device and start getting all the magic from it. There is a video, however, from the Wacom site that gives you an idea of just how powerful this baby really is. It has eight customizable ExpressKeys with illuminated displays and a finger-sensitive touch ring that controls up to four different functions per application. The grip pen introduces Wacom's newest tip sensor technology that delivers precise pressure control with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and 60 degrees of tilt recognition. If you have a tablet I'd like to invite you to share your opinion with us. I know there’s a lot of people that think like I used to in terms of the advantages of having a good tablet. I think it's a very important tool for a designer giving ample freedom to add our own style and trace to our artworks. As I mentioned, I haven't had the necessary time to come up with some examples however I'm working on some really cool illustrations for a client, which I cannot show them right now, but I have to say, the Intuos4 Wireless is making my life much easier and that's why I want to just give you a sneak peek of the type of work Illustration created using the Intuos4 Wireless For more infornation I highly recommend that you check out Wacom Intuos4 Wireless website. Unboxing and photos of the Intuos4 Wireless

New Masters of Photoshop — Book Review

New Masters of Photoshop is an amazing book that I'll be reviewing on this post and sharing the best parts of it. If you like photoshop and learning from tutorials this is a must have, check it out. The Book New Master of Photoshop is a book that was released back in 2003 right when I was highly exploring and creating all sorts of graphics with Photoshop with the intention to learn as much as possible. So when I found out about this book I couldn't resist but to get it. The book had the intention of "showcase of Masters who use Photoshop, and Masters of Photoshop use. The photographers, animators, artists, and designers assembled here have a myriad of different skills: some manipulate, some animate, some create from scratch. All of them produce remarkable, beautiful things. In these pages, the authors will demonstrate examples of their print work, web work, public work, and private work, explaining the techniques they use to achieve their results. More than that, though, they'll tell you how they think: who their influences are, where their ideas come from, and how they find inspiration when the well has run dry." and this is exactly what they did, the book is a selection of 19 masters (photographers, animators, artists, and designers) and each person took a chapter to talk about their experiences on the past, how they started working with photoshop, along with their work being displayed and by the end of each chapter each person finished off with a nice tutorial with some great techniques. What I learn from this book wasn't only a bunch of different techniques in photoshop but I actually got to know how all these 19 masters started they journeys and with a lot of work and a lot of practice they got to the where they are. That's truly inspired me to learn more and more and the tutorials are great which makes this book a complete piece and very well recommended to anyone willing to learn. The Masters Tim Bird, Michael Cina, Gavin Cromhout, Josh Fallon, Jens Magnus Karlsson, Derek Lea, Adrian Luna, Catherine McIntyre, Wojtek Madej, Jason Mohr, Eun-Ha Paek, Andrew Park, Paul Sinclair, Colin Smith, Yoshi Sodeoka, Peter Stanick, Johann Terrettaz, Norma V. Toraya, Mike Young Preview