Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
As an interactive designer I'm fascinated by how much we communicate nonverbally. From websites to social media to the humble business card, we transmit a lot of information visually. But sometimes the effectiveness of a piece has nothing to do with design, it's simply the emotional power of an image. Take for example the high resolution Earthrise image by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing our planet from the surface of the Moon. To me, April is a celebration of Earth and a reminder that caring for our cosmic home is nothing less than our sacred duty. Like the more famous "Blue Marble" photo from 1968, this shot instantly communicates - without words - that we are one family living together on a tiny planet. Whether you're a small business striving to use your website to boost sales or a nonprofit using social media to attract donors, powerful images reach people at an emotional level and can carry your message far and wide. If you think that's far fetched, consider the ways in which iconic imagery has shaped our cultural landscape and altered the course of history.
The face of technology, both past and present, is persistently male from Jobs to Gates to Zuckerberg but behind those leaders are millions of people who contribute critical research advances, put the ideas into production and market, sell and support tech companies and products. To celebrate International Women's Day, I did a bit of research and found a huge list of amazing women from a range of countries and cultures whose work laid the foundation for modern computing, websites and the internet itself. Here's a look at just 10 of my favorite pioneering women in technology.
2017 has been the year where I've keenly felt the adage "May you live in interesting times". From the low notes of the horrid political administration and family health challenges to the high notes of getting married to my best friend and completing a big home project, 2017 has been a joyful, tumultuous year. With the holidays, I found myself yearning to spread calm, quiet, peace and compassion.
This year as, I was planning my annual digital advent calendar, I stumbled upon a new idea - kind of backwards actually- the wonderful Kindness Calendar by Helen at maketodayhappy.co.uk. Instead of getting something, this advent calendar prompts you give something every day. All of the suggestions cost nothing and are an open to interpretation. So this year, inspired by Helen, I offer my own illustrated Reverse Advent Calendar. The scene is a cold, crisp, magical evening in a snowy mountain meadow where wolves are playing, owls are hooting, foxes hunt, a bear snores in her den and every creature has a kindness idea. Please accept it as my gift and, if you feel inspired, I'd love to see any acts of kindness that you want to share by tagging them #KindnessCalendar and #Pixellava.
Download your own free, printer-friendly Reverse Advent Calendar!
I conducted sessions with people in several different states and got encouraging feedback to continue and expand to new topics. As websites get easier (and more fun) to use they get more powerful. It's never been easier to run your own site and promote yourself online.
2015 was a big year for Pixel Lava. In addition to being my tenth year in business I also jumped head first into a huge new endeavor - teaching. Here's a recap and a sneak peek at what's in store for 2016.
Thank you. If you're reading this you're most likely a client or colleague and I want to thank you for making 2014 a great year. No matter how interesting work may be, it is the people involved who make or break a project and I am very fortunate to work with great people like you. Awww! But really. Thank you. Here are some Pixel Lava highlights from the past year and a video.
This year's holiday card is special because it marks my first foray into HTML 5 animation. It was great fun to do and, best of all, renders on mobile devices (unlike our sad, dead friend Flash). So, join me for a quick peek at some photo highlights from 2012 and say hello to my new puppy, Mochi.
Back by poplar demand it's my collection of holiday treats from around the web! Each image below takes you to a new adventure - old classics and new favorites. From a breathtaking ski run to a warm hearth, from a heart warming radio special to painfully cute puppies. Enjoy and let me know what you think! Warm regards and best wishes for 2012! Check it out.
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