The Magic of Agile and the Design Process

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Over the past year, I’ve been working as the solo designer embedded in a team of mostly developers and one project manager designing web experiences and publishing software for one of our clients, Rivals.com. We follow an agile methodology and work hard to effectively and efficiently integrate design. This blog post breaks down the major phases of our process and illustrates, at a high level, the role of design throughout.

Developing for Web Accessibility

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HTML 5 represented in American Sign Language

When developing websites it is important to consider your audience and how they interact with your application. This can be even more significant for a person with disabilities. Even the most stunning visual presentation can lose its value when the content cannot be interpreted by an individual due to, for example, a learning disability or difficulty seeing. Therefore, it is important, when doing any development or design, we do not dismiss the 1 in 5 people that would benefit on an accessible web.

Designing Cross-Cultural User Experiences

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Upon hearing the term cross-cultural UX design most people might be unsure what it means and find it a mouthful to say. As the name suggests, cross-cultural UX design is when designers create a product that can be an enjoyable user experience for all people of all countries and cultures throughout the world. It makes sense that this is a relatively unknown and new term as it has only been used in recent years as our world experiences rapid globalization. Below I put together 6 major points to take into consideration when designing cross-cultural user experiences.

Grio and Angular 2: Are They Ready for Each Other?

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At Grio, we love Angular.  By my estimation we currently use it for at least half of our front-end web application code.  And I in particular have affection for it, so I greeted the recent release of Angular2 with some interest and trepidation.

The release was just an event, though. The framework had already been around long enough for me to fret about it for some time.

Introduction to React Native

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React Native underlines a JavaScript framework used in writing real and natively rendering mobile applications for Android and iOS. The framework is based on React, which is Facebook’s JavaScript library used in building interfaces for web applications. Building a mobile application using javascript isn’t anything new. The similar technique has been used in frameworks such as Ionic, Sencha Touch, Phone Gap, Cordova, and the list goes on.

Intro to Elm

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In this blog post I’ll be covering Elm, an up and coming functional programming language for building web application front ends. Elm compiles into JavaScript and utilizes virtual DOM technology to efficiently render web UIs. Elm focuses on simplicity for the developer with a helpful compiler and an easy to understand application architecture.

Prototyping with P5

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When I wanted to create a proof of a concept project for one of the game ideas I had, I found many tools and gaming frameworks. However, most of them had a steep learning curve which required a significant time investment before the game could be played. Then I discovered P5, a Javascript library inspired by the Processing language, which made it very easy to get started.

Keep Your App on the Rails with BDD – Part 1

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A common way to describe requirements on Agile projects is through the use of user story mapping, and, as a result, user stories. This post will not cover this process, but rather the process of taking an existing set of user stories and leveraging them within our development workflow to ensure that an application is built as accurately and efficiently as possible. To this effect, we will set up tools (Rails, RSpec, Capybara, FactoryGirl, and Guard, to be precise) for implementing our app using behavior-driven development. Structuring our app in this way gives us much better odds of producing robust, low-defect code that delivers on the requirements we set out to build.

Chrome Extension Basics

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I use Chrome extensions all the time and decided it was time to figure out how to make my own.  I found it to be incredibly easy and I’d like to share with you some of the basics, as well as an example of an extension I made.  Let’s get started!

Drinking The Koolixir – Part 2

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To get a better handle on Erlang’s behavior, I decided to install a popular set of tools for debugging and performance profiling: EPER. I think it stands for “Erlang PERformance tools”, but it could also mean “Everything Proves Erlang Rules” or “Egrets Prefer to Eat Robots” or really anything for that matter. One thing is for certain, however: getting these tools built and running on Mac OS X was fraught with danger and build errors.