betwixt code and music


Meetup Notes - Designing a web app

Design Meetup @ The Iron Yard-Austin

I learned some
Photoshop tonight! I have embarked on a quest multiple times over the years to learn Illustrator and Photoshop, but it always ended with me not figuring out how to select or delete or modify what I just created. These are such complicated programs!

Our guide on this journey to learn basic Photoshop was Abby Larner, from The Iron Yard-Austin design staff. She was extremely comfortable with the program, having used it for over a decade, and it was a cool project to create. We were going to make a Facebook-like page for dogs called "Bark." This page included such things as "wags" instead of "likes" and dogs named Fuzz Aldrin and Bill Furray.

We started with a
wireframe and needed to learn the use of some basic tools in Photoshop to create items and manipulate them. Honest truth, I was a slow learner here. Some of the tools' layouts seem counter-intuitive to me, even as a longtime Mac user (or maybe in spite of that). I definitely made plenty of notes in my fancy Baron Fig notebook (with a dot grid) about keyboard shortcuts and the order of a needed workflow. This will prove valuable later when I have gotten hungry or distracted by some other aspect of life, and necessarily forgotten how to get anything done in PS.

On a practical note, using Photoshop will likely prove to be extremely useful to me as a developer. Designers will make a mock-up of a website and provide a .psd file (the proprietary format used by Adobe for a Photoshop file). This file will have the exact dimensions and colors needed to build a website from that design idea, which will allow me to create a pixel perfect recreation for the client (and designer!).

So, here's to many more encounters with this behemoth program. I have a feeling that, like with most deeper computer technology things, it will prove to be a long road to get the most out of it. Perhaps I will even get a high-quality camera and learn to
really use the program for it's original intent!