The Sweet Spot
On software, engineering leadership, and anything shiny.

I Like Google Chrome

I have to admit, I am an unabashed fan of Google Chrome, the new Web browser on the block. Why? UI design that shows attention to detail and a really cool backend architecture that gets a lot of respect from me for tossing convention and rethinking things from the ground up, the way they should have been done.Google ChromeThings I like:

  • There is so little clutter. There’s space for your Web pages and apps to breathe. The search bar and status bar and download pane only slide into view when needed, then they get out of your way so you can keep surfing. I love it.
  • The tabs blend right into the title bar and look really, really slick with Windows Vista Aero glass. (Okay, IE7+ gets points for this too).
  • You can pop tabs out from a window with a cool mini-screenshot.
  • Multiprocessed browsing and using the Vista security model: great ideas.
  • V8 Javascript JIT compiling is probably ridiculously complex but reports come in that say it gives us big performance wins.
  • Webkit engine = awesomeness (and I didn’t even have to work at Apple to say that). Hopefully this will speed CSS3 adoption (and don’t even get me started on Webkit’s CSS rounded corners and gradients!).
  • Great use of (color) contrast: the hostame of the site is given a darker color in the location bar. Everything else is grey. It’s all in the details.
  • The Omnibar (location bar) just knows what I want to visit. Credit to Firefox’s Awesome Bar for introducing us to the concept, but Chrome seems more accurate.
  • The downloads bar doesn’t open up a new window, but slides up a little bar that lets you glance at what just got downloaded. Awesome.

Needs to improve:

  • Gmail keyboard shortcuts seem to lose focus once I hit the “Enter” key.
  • I know everybody’s working hard over there, but extensions, please!

So there’s a nagging little voice that warns me that Google’s seriously going to take over the Interwebs with this killer platform. The other voice in me says to give credit to solid engineering and great design where it’s due. This is going to be a game changer, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for the future.

Work Series Graphics - Good Shepherd Christian Church

Part 2 of a summer series:

Work Series

Work Series

Work Series

Wisdom Series Graphic - Good Shepherd Christian Church

I was commissioned to create graphics for a sermon series titled “Wisdom” at my home church, Good Shepherd. Some of the artists and leaders decided to go with a lantern motif. I went ahead and sketched up these graphics in Illustrator, bumbling around a bit with the gradient mesh tool in the process.

gscc-wisdom-series.jpg

gscc-wisdom-series-2.jpg

Sensations - Negotiating Noise

Sensations - Negotiating Noise

I’m showing this and a few more design pieces at Exposed, Cal Christian Fellowship’s art and performance extravaganza tonight. You can visit it today, April 26–the gallery will be open all day in the Wurster lobby, and there are two performance shows: 6PM and 9PM in 112 Wurster.

Designing the ThinkAnywhere Logo

In my IEOR190A class (entrepreneurship), we’re developing a business plan of a company making a device that tracks gestures on any surface. Install it on a whiteboard or a chalkboard and boom, your gesture strokes are digitized and recorded on any Bluetooth-enabled computer.

This device is actually implemented right now by our friend Leo Tran in one of his EE classes, using only an LED light and a Wiimote controller. It works by using the infrared camera within the Wiimote to recognize the movement of the LED. The Wiimote then broadcasts its data to a computer via its Bluetooth link.

ThinkAnywhere Design Sketches

Some concept sketches, just for fun.

Now in designing the logo for this product, I wanted to convey a clean feel for the brand. Smooth, swooshy gradients and simple shapes tend to work well for this kind of thing. So I built a chalkboard (the green) and drew our device mounted above the chalkboard. The yellow beam conveys the idea that our device works via camera sensors.

ThinkAnywhere Branding

Voila.

The logo was built entirely in Illustrator. I went with a dark background so the lighter shades of the camera, the IR beam and chalkboard could get a “pop”. The font you see there is Colaborate Bold–it’s nicely given out for free.