Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
As many of you know, I am an avid supporter of the work blood banks do in communities around the world. As a blood drive host I'm proud to contribute to that mission and it's a great way to stay on track since I'm working to earn my own 5 gallon donor badge. So, imagine my excitement when I got the opportunity to create some original artwork to help celebrate the 70th anniversary of the San Diego Blood Bank! 2020 has been a tough year but it hasn't been all bad. For this design I wanted to create something that would be oh-so-San Diego while helping people feel hopeful and inspired. I immediately remembered one of the high points of the year for me, a very special day in February at La Jolla Shores Beach when I saw bottlenose dolphins surfing with pure delight in the sparkling morning surf.
Pixel Lava has taken over blood drive organizing duties from Anneville Jewelry Lab and I'm super excited to announce that our August blood drive registered 25 appointments and collected 18 pints! It was a big success considering we had just two of the four beds operating due to COVID precautions. Due to the nationwide shut down, blood supplies are at critical levels. If you can't donate, please consider making a financial contribution or volunteering with your local blood bank. If you missed your chance with us, save the date for our next blood drive on October 24th. You can bet it will be a very special Halloween edition! RSVP link coming soon.
Join us for a COVID Caring Blood Drive
11am-5pm Saturday, August 22nd, 2020
Blood Mobile at Liberty Station near the Public Market
Want do something fun and easy to help your community? Join me at the San Diego Blood Bank's Bloodmobile as I work my way towards my 4 Gallon badge! Last time they were showing Godzilla on board and we had so much fun hangin' out in the AC watching the show and eating donuts that they had to kick us out! Due to COVID, blood supplies around the country are critically low. Giving blood is a super easy way to make a huge positive. It's safe, fast and fun. This drive is special as Anneville Jewelry Lab is handing the host torch over to Pixel Lava. As always, we have an ambitious goal - this time it's 30 donations. Help us hit it by download a flyer to share with friends and family. I hope to see you there! Reserve your spot.
COVID 19 has changed the way we work, learn, discuss and create...probably forever. Even after we have a vaccine, the immediacy and cost savings of meeting online will continue to make it the default way to communicate. Learning how to use these technologies is a new basic requirement for all of us. Making the most of them is a great opportunity for making your business or nonprofit successful going forward. Whether you're looking for help in running professional Zoom classes or meetings or you want to live stream to social media to reach a larger audience, I can help. I provide patient, friendly, hype-free assistance with both the technology and content. In addition to hosting live online gatherings I can help you make sure your content will work in an online setting. I can also help you choose and test equipment, practice your presenter skills and work through the details of moving your presentation online. Learn more at my Zoom & Live Streaming page.
With the holidays upon it’s nice to step off the hamster wheel of life to say hello and weigh in on the year’s activities. How has your year been? What were your highs and lows? What are your plans, hopes and wishes for 2020? Pixel Lava certainly kept busy in 2019. It was a year of website redesigns mostly but also some fun new sites. I did a big redesign for the Huntington Beach Desalination Plant, a nonprofit called A Future Without War and I'm in the midst of one for First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego (launching in January). A few fun new sites were the personal site for playwright Patricia Loughrey, a site featuring the stunning photographs of Wayne Brabender and the history of Brabender Farm, and a site for a conservationist working to bring back beavers (I'm totally a beaver believer now) and create a protected watershed called the Superior Bio-Preserve (as in Lake Superior). I also had the chance to do some pretty cool graphic design and a couple of video projects.
Seaport San Diego is a wildly creative and ambitious new downtown development that will add an array of amenities to the waterfront area. With world renown architects and public relations by the talented crew at MNM Advertising & PR, we’ll no doubt be hearing a lot about this over the coming months. This website upgrade project consisted entirely of one key objective - replicating the look and feel of a technically-problematic Wordpress build on the much more user-friendly Weebly platform. As I often find with Wordpress, the site was originally created to be maintained solely by the developer, so the site owner did not have the ability to add additional features over time. Additionally, the site owner wanted to escape the tedious security hassles of maintaining an aging Wordpress site.
As we close out 2018 I want to wish you and your family a very merry Solstice, a merry Christmas, a happy Kwanzaa and a joyous New Year. From the launch of my new Partner Program to my trip to Japan and a whole new business endeavor, 2018 has been a whirlwind. I hope that the holidays bring you peaceful joy and that you share my excitement for the coming year. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays.
On a given day I'm in and out of a dozen client accounts. In one I'll fix a problem, another may need a new element set up, a third calls for posting a press release and a fourth is a new site we're building. Some are design endeavors but many more are simply updates that I see to quickly, focusing on getting the details right. Once in awhile though, as I'm copying and pasting along, I find a gem from a client that stops me in my tracks. As I was posting events to a client's online calendar today I came across one of those.
The renowned science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This month I've blended science, fiction, film lore, myth, legend and popular culture to bring you my Cabinet of Curiosities. This custom Illustration is stocked with magical objects, rare specimens, ancient artifacts, odd instruments and a sprinkling of balderdash. Over the course of October 2018 I unveiled a new item on Instagram every few days counting down to Halloween - each with a fun trivia question and weekly prizes.
Be sure to visit my Instagram feed in the app or just stop by on your computer (no instagram account needed) to see all the fun. Fly over to Instagram!
About the author
As the owner of Pixel Lava Interactive I've helped hundreds of small businesses and nonprofits with websites, graphic design and more. I hope you'll find this blog full of useful information.
~ Ame Stanko