William Cottrell

All about design, web, and grad school

Infographic

My second year of grad school is in full swing and this semester I’ve decided to expand my visual design skills. I’m currently taking a infographics design course that, so far, has been thoroughly kicking me in the ass. I had no idea the amount of research goes into making an infographic, and that by far has been the most time consuming aspect of this class. 

For my first project I decided to create a timeline of the life of my favorite Author/Journalist/Sportsman Ernest Hemingway.

Research for this project involved me reading several articles, books and anecdotes about Hemingway then filling my journal with everything I found interesting. Honestly I found almost everything about him interesting.

The hardest part about this project was choosing what details wouldn’t make it into the finished infographic.  After several revisions I hammered out the stories that I wanted to make up the timeline of Hemingway’s life. The visuals came easy to me, I used a typewriter–style font and illustrated objects that were relevant to the story. My color choice was inspired by the cover art of two of his books For Whom the Bell Tolls and A farewell to Arms.

Now I can say that I have completed my very first infographic. I’m proud of this project… And my instructor was pleased with it as well.

I present to you The Life of Ernest Hemingway

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Summer Design Work

This summer I’ve been lucky enough to land some freelance design work that I can really be proud of.

The first job I landed  is working as a Web/Graphic Designer for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition website, a hub for all the news and events happening within the organization. Currently rainbowpush.org contains plenty of useful news and content, but is overdue for a refresh of structure and aesthetics. My goal for the redesign of this organization’s website is to define a clear visual hierarchy, improve information architecture, and create a simplified aesthetic. A Considerable number of people that view this site and I feel lucky to have this opportunity to challenge my design skills.

I’m also working as a Web Design Intern for the game studio Lightborne Lore. This small start-up studio focuses on iOS game development and currently has two puzzle games on the market. My role for this internship is to improve the User Experience of this Lightborne Lore’s website and help this company develop their online identity. This job presents design challenges that are unique to the game industry and so far has been a very exciting internship.

Both of these jobs have kept me in design mode all summer and I’m always happy to be in that mindset. There is no doubt that both of these opportunities will be very rewarding and I look forward to seeing my designs live on these company’s websites.

Wireframe

Work in Progress

I’m currently working on a redesign of uxmatters.com and this is the wireframe.

This is the first time I’ve started coding a web site from scratch, and yes, it was very intimidating at first. I’ve discovered that spending several hours tweaking code has taught me so much more about web development than watching video tutorials.

It may be frustrating at times, but I really enjoy taking the time to learn code.

Recent Travels

This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity of visiting several designers in D.C. with the OUMS group. We started our tour at NPR with David Wright and Max Pfennighaus, the lead interactive designers for NPR’s website. Both of these guys have done some impressive work, including a complete UX redesign of NPR’s live music page. 

http://www.npr.org/sections/concerts/

These guys are my heroes of UX design and that’s all there is to it.

If seeing NPR wasn’t cool enough OUMS also stopped by Nat Geo, Nclud, and THE White House. It was interesting to see the different workspaces and attitudes of their designers. Nclud was very proud of their workspace and it reflected in the attitude of  their employees. They firmly believe that a positive clean environment leads to better results from their designers and that is absolutely true.

Nclud showed our group some of their recent work, one of the highlights being their “Beercamp 2012” flip book.

http://2012.beercamp.com/

This entire project was built in CSS, and I can’t even begin to understand how to understand how they pulled it off. This site is so advanced that major web browsers are struggling to keep up with supporting it. 

It was a really inspiring to see these companies behind-the-scenes… Image

Mobile Fonts

Mobile Fonts

An article about the designer behind the mobile fonts used in Android and Windows devices.Very interesting.

Soul of Athens – day one

Every year the school of Viscom undertakes a very large collaborative project called “Soul of Athens.” This project is designed to capture the events that are relevant to the people of southeast Ohio. This year there are over ninety people contributing to this project skilled in photography, advertising, print design, journalism, development and web design. 

I’m fortunate to be part of Soul of Athens this year with the role of UX designer. Today was the design team’s first workday and I was responsible for helping to develop the strategy of the website. It’s a very rewarding experience to contribute to this project with my skills in UX and this only further inspires me to pursue user experience design after grad school.

IMG_2342

Adstruc in New York City

Just finished a road trip through New York City with some fellow grad students and had the chance to meet a friend of a friend with an inspiring story. He had created his own start-up company fresh out of college and eventually sold it to Google. He now lives in the upper west side of Manhattan and has a brand new start up company called “Adstruc.” Adstuc is a company that handles advertising for small businesses is the very definition of a start-up: a few guys with handful of computers, fluffy dog lying around, tiny room in the 5th floor of a building in Chinatown. There was a great sense of positivity floating around within Adstruc, and I couldn’t help but feel like I belonged in a environment like this. Someday…

Finals

Finishing up finals this week. Ive been pretty wrapped up in my iOS app prototype and I’m starting to feel proud of it…

MakerBot

MakerBot

I get excited when I see that 3D printing is becoming more affordable. The company MakerBot is really onto something, I can’t wait to get one.

History of GUI

This article was a very interesting read about the history of GUI:

http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2005/05/gui.ars