Another year is in the books so let’s recap. I’ve done this for 2012 and 2013 and looking back on those reviews, I’m so glad I captured the highlights when I did. There’s always the “ohhhh yeah” moments when I scroll back through the otherwise fuzzy timeline. So here goes in semi-chronological order:
The Athensmade logo project was an initiative to unite the professional community of Athens, GA. Set into motion by Four Athens, there was a logo design contest to determine our city’s unofficial “Made in Athens” mark. I don’t like logo contests, but I felt different about this one. You can read what happened here. TL;DR I won the contest and this is the logo.
Wireframing with Illustrator and InDesign
After several friends showed serious interest in my wireframing process, I decided to blog about the whole thing. And moments before hitting publish, I made a product out of the wireframing kit instead of giving it away for free. That article alone generated over 34,000 visitors on my site in 2014 and the kit generated nearly $1,500 worth of sales.
This whole process led to me writing “Understanding Vector Shapes in Illustrator” in April, which generated over 24,000 visitors this year.
These two posts’ popularity encouraged me to start a new thing, which I’ll cover more below.
The crew at Shiplify reached out back in 2013 seeking some serious UX and UI help for their responsive web app that manages commercial shipments and transportation logistics. The product was created with a mobile-first approach, which proved incredibly helpful for the enormous amount of user input required for creating and managing shipments.
During this project I seriously leveled up in mobile form design, which I was already tinkering with in 2013 with the whole Float Label thing.
I’ve still yet to write about the intricacies of this project, which is something I really want to do.
Dr. Phillips Center
The site is live, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to be a part of the team that saw it through into final production, so it only contains about 60% of the vision I had for it.
Wells Fargo Museum
Another project knocked out with Macquarium. I led the entire UX and creative effort producing storyboards, wireframes, and ultimately visual comps. This was a mobile-only site for people visiting the Wells Fargo Museum in-person. I never posted much of this online because banks and NDAs. But, here are some icons I made for it.
The third project I worked on with Macquarium this year. A quick pitch for Krispy Kreme.
A fun little iOS app I designed that allows multiple timer to run simultaneously.
Personal Site Updates
I finally updated the default Ghost theme running my site with a little customization of my own. For the last 10 years, I would always design my site first before creating content for it, and I just couldn’t stand the thought of going from version 1 to version 20 before I launched, yet again. I bit the bullet, installed Ghost with the default theme and started writing. No one made fun of me, publicly at least, and it’s likely that no one ever remembers or cares what it looked like. The important thing for me was that I just started publishing.
Roadie is like Über for shipping. It allows you to take advantage of your commute and any other road trips to pick up extra cash. I led the UI design of the iOS app and the marketing site, which should both be launching in January 2015. I’ll also continue consulting with them to help polish the next version of the app in the first quarter of 2015.
I got to know Michael Tavani after he spoke in Athens at a startup event. He’s a seriously driven dude and we’ve worked on a few things together since we first met. The one that finally saw the light of day is Slingput. I was only able to dedicate about 4 late night design sessions to the inner workings of the responsive web app, but hey, it launched!
A few friends of mine started a competitive amateur cycling team in Athens a few years back called The 706 Project. They needed a new look so I designed a new logo for their team and even expanded it into a full typeface for them. I’m also working on designing their full cycling kits, sponsorship proposals, etc.
AIUX is the culmination of the Illustrator-related posts mentioned above. For now it’s a name to produce all of my Illustrator content under. And in the future it will become a product for anyone to learn Adobe Illustrator for rapid UX design.
My friend and business partner, Dan, rounded up a fun redesign project to close out the year. Martens Marine builds giant vessels–tugboats, etc. in Singapore and needed a stronger online presence to help their growing company. This should be launching in January 2015. Here are some process shots.
9 Years of Marriage
My wife and I celebrated 9 years of marriage together in September. Man, I love that woman more and more everyday. I’m really amazed at how far we’ve come with our relationship, communication skills, and overall emotional heath and maturity. I’m incredibly thankful to have such a great person raising my children and supporting me in all that I do. Love ya, babe.
In May 2014, my wife and I welcomed another little bundle of joy into the world. Now we have four kids. Crazy. Nixon is 7 months old now and is the happiest little guy ever. He’s constantly smiling and oozing with joy.
My oldest, Noah, is now 7 and is becoming such a little boy. He has so much energy it’s insane. He thrives on structure, personal attention, and focused activities. He’s very intelligent and can find a loophole in just about any directions you give him.
Next is Justice, who’s a month away from turning 5. He’s our little introverted fireball who loves playing legos (or Mario) for hours on end. He reminds me a lot of myself when I was young. Justice is really good at coloring and drawing pictures, I’m excited to cultivate that more in him.
Isa, my sweet little girl, is now 3 years old. There’s something about a little girl that just freaking melts your heart. It’s hard to describe. She loves going with me anywhere, no matter the errand. She also loves when I “snuggle with her” in her toddler bed. My feet hang off the end, but man it’s sweet. She’s really independent and doesn’t let her brothers get away with much.
I finally found my thing when it comes to personal fitness. I’ve done P90X, I’ve ran, I’ve lifted weights, but it’s always been hard to keep up any activity consistently. I bought a bike near the end of 2013 for commuting the 5+ miles between my house and office.
I enjoyed the commute, but found myself wanting to go for longer rides. So I’d leave on my bike after work and go out for 10-15 miles before coming home. This was a great workout physically and mentally. Pedaling on windy country roads with zero distraction for over an hour really lets your mind decompress. I highly recommended it if you’re considering getting into cycling.
I did get a proper road bike during the middle of the year after accidentally destroying my commuter bike. It was strapped to the roof of our van and after a long 4 hour commute with 4 kids, one tends to lose focus on anything other than simply getting home. We finally made it home so I drove straight into the garage without considering my vertically extended cargo, effectively crushing the bike frame and totaling my poor commuter bike.
My new bike, albeit more costly, is better suited for my cycling adventures now. Here are some fun 2014 stats pulled from Strava, my ride-tracking app of choice:
- Distance: 1,646 mi
- Time: 101h 31m
- Elev Gain: 76,401 ft
- Rides: 95
- Biggest Ride: 47 mi
Plans for 2015
My biggest plan for 2015 will be putting more focused energy into AIUX and seeing how a larger scale product launch goes. I’d like to transition into more of my own products and less client work. We’ll see how it goes.