I got a new tablet a few weeks ago (it’s an Acer Switch Alpha 12), and I’ve really enjoyed it. I never thought I’d be a “touch screen guy”, but it’s so much more comfortable to lay on the couch with tablet in hand than it was to balance my big old Dell laptop on my knees. At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s actually changing my life. I’m reading more and spending less time tied to the computer in my office.

Windows 10 works great on a tablet. Everything is well-designed and the transition from mouse and keyboard to touch and back is pretty seamless. Even that giant full-screen Start menu everyone made fun of in Windows 8 starts to make sense when you’re using your PC as a tablet. The Universal apps (formerly “Metro”) are comfortable to use in tablet mode, too; I’m particularly fond of the Fitbit and Facebook apps.

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Just a quick post to congratulate our client, Hyla Mobile, on the launch of the brand new HylaMobile.com! Hyla Mobile is a leader in mobile device recycling; they partner with major carriers like AT&T and Verizon to offer mobile phone and tablet trade-in programs, as well as sophisticated price forecasting and analytics. They collect more than 7 million devices every year and recycle or refurbish them for resale or donation around the world, including to American troops overseas.

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I’ve always had this dumb idea that Toledo needs a subway system. Not because I want to ride it, or I think it’s a good idea for Toledo economically, but so I can draw a map of it. I’ve actually tried a couple of times, but the idea is so remote and absurd that it’s hard to know where to start.

Yesterday while driving back from lunch with a friend, I started thinking about the exits on I-475. I thought, those are kind of like subway stops, and it got me to thinking about the subway project again. So here it is.

Highway-map-Toledo-crop
Click on the map to view the full version

It’s probably of very little value, but I had a lot of fun doing it and I learned some new Illustrator skills. Big thanks to Cameron Booth for inspiration, and for the Illustrator tutorials.

We recently launched a very cool site for a local client, Twine.it. Twine is a portable photo booth and a matching suite of apps that let everyone at a party, wedding, or other event post and share photos. They asked us to redesign the site before a big trade show, the timing of which gave us less than two weeks to go from concept to live site.

twine-it

Sometimes a short deadline is what you need to get creative. The Hanson team put together a parallax scrolling site with extensive animation, tying into the video campaign created by fellow Toledo firm, Madhouse. We also did some cool custom galleries integrating Twine’s custom API.

I got to play around with Superscrollorama and the GreenSock Animation Platform for the parallax and animation effects. The booth build animation is done with our custom fork of jsMovie. There’s also CSS animation with SVG elements and CSS image filters. The excellent LESS Prefixer library helped keep me from going insane during this whole process.

Huge props to Erik Porter, Mike Louviere, Rod Kinn, Matthew Hanson, Jason Pennington and the whole Hanson team for a job well done.