Our colleague, Colin Cieloha, American author and content marketer at Skilled.co recommended the HTML5 canvas cheatsheet developed by his company (and embedded below).
Colin writes about everything that will draw his attention with a focus on the mobile and e-commerce space. When he is not writing he is spending his time traveling the globe and snowboarding. You can follow him on his Twitter at @ColinCieloha or on Linkedin. We asked Colin a number of questions about this resource. Details are below.
Become a Canvas Master with this HTML5 Cheat Sheet by Skilled.co
Why is it important for web professionals to know/ use this cheat sheet?
It saves time! Instead of having to remember all the coding or search for individual codes, an HTML cheat sheet provides all of the most used codes in one easy place. There’s a lot to be said for having all of that extra effort minimized, the common codes are just a click of your bookmarks away. This is convenient for those freelance designers that are in a time crunch as this allows them to complete their work faster and reach deadlines.
Why should they be focused on canvas now?
Canvas technology is amazing because it’s super easy to use. For example, Canvas can draw colorful text to help your message pop on the screen – and you can even animate it! HTML <canvas> objects can move, too, whether it’s just a few bouncing balls or an intricate animation that tells a story. For designers interested in gaming software, the <canvas> element is a brilliant choice for building characters, worlds, and then setting it all into motion.
The <canvas> element runs into some trouble with older browsers, however, and may not be supported. Canvas is, however, supported in all recent versions of all major browsers, so as long as your browser is updated, Canvas should work just fine. Canvas’s default size is three hundred pixels by one hundred and fifty pixels, width and height respectively, but is customizable. You can adjust the size of the canvas by using the HTML height and width property in the program.
With Canvas, function names are short and easy to recognize, unlike functions written in CamelCase. Identifiers in CamelCase often require lowercase where it would be more convenient to use all caps. For example, acronyms. It’s much easier to identify a function, if acronyms like HTML or SQL are written in full capitalization, but CamelCase sometimes negates this convenience.
This causes a serious headache for designers when two acronyms need to be side by side in a line of script: “parse DBM XML” would become “parseDBMXML” or when the function starts with an acronym, like “SQL server” (which the designer would be forced to convert to “sQLServer”). Even if a programmer considers acronyms lower case words and writes “oldHtmlFile”, “parseDbmXml” or “sqlServer”, it causes a mess because it makes it difficult to discern if it an acronym or not. Best case scenario, the designer wastes time. The worst case scenario, they make a mistake and now must comb through complicated lines of script to amend the problem.
Hopefully this sheds light on the massive benefits of the Canvas cheat sheet. Using this cheat sheet will save you time and help you to become a more efficient programmer, web designer, or even help you gain more solid experience as a beginner in this field. I encourage you to go check out Skilled.co‘s Canvas cheat sheet below and begin to create using their helpful, easy to read codes. Have fun creating and I hope this saves you more time!
This is an unashamed plug for Remy Sharp’s terminal training course command line for non–techies. Go over there and have a look at what he’s lined up for a very affordable price. In a series of videos he explains all the ins and outs of the terminal and its commands that can make you much more effective in your day-to-day job.
I’ve read the ebook of the same course and have to say that I learned quite a few things but – more importantly – remembered a lot I had forgotten. By using the findings over and over a lot has become muscle memory, but it is tough to explain what I am doing. Remy did a great job making the dark command line magic more understandable and less daunting. Here is what the course covers:
“Just open the terminal”
Just open the terminal (03:22)
Why use a terminal? (03:23)
Navigating directories (07:71)
Navigation shortcuts (01:06)
Install all the things
Running applications (05:47)
brew install fun (07:46)
gem install (06:32)
npm install—global (09:44)
Which is best? (02:13)
Tools of the Terminal Trade
Connecting programs (08:25)
echo & cat (01:34)
grep “searching” (06:22)
head tail less (10:24)
sort | uniq (07:58)
How (not) to shoot yourself in the foot
Delete all the things (07:42)
Super user does…sudo (07:50)
Permissions: mode & owner (11:16)
Kill kill kill! (12:21)
Health checking (12:54)
Making the shell your own
Owning your terminal (09:19)
Fish ~> (10:18)
zsh (zed shell) (10:11)
zsh plugins: z st… (08:26)
Alias++ → functions (08:15)
Furthering your command line
Piping workflow (08:14)
Setting environment values (03:04)
Default environment variable values (01:46)
Terminal editors (06:41)
wget and cURL (09:53)
ngrok for tunnelling (06:38)
json command for data massage (07:51)
awk for splitting output into columns (04:11)
xargs (for when pipes won’t do) (02:15)
…fun bonus-bonus video (04:13)
I am not getting anything for this, except for making sure that someone as lovely and dedicated as Remy may reach more people with his materials. So, take a peek.
I just watched a very important talk from last year’s Beyond Tellerand conference in Berlin. Sacha Judd (@szechuan) delivered her How the tech sector could move in One Direction at this conference and Webstock in New Zealand a few days ago. It is a great example of how a talk can be insightful, exciting and challenge your biases at the same time.
I’ve had this talk on my “to watch” list for a long time and the reason is simple: I couldn’t give a toss about One Direction. I was – like many others – of the impression that boy bands like them are the spawn of commercial satan (well, Simon Cowell, to a large degree) and everything that is wrong with music as an industry and media spectacle.
And that’s the great thing about this talk: it challenged my biases and it showed me that by dismissing something not for me I also discard a lot of opportunity.
This isn’t a talk about One Direction. It is a talk about how excitement for a certain topic gets people to be creative, communicate and do things together. That their tastes and hysteria aren’t ours and can be off-putting isn’t important. What is important is that people are driven to create. And it is important to analyse the results and find ways to nurture this excitement. It is important to possibly channel it into ways how these fans can turn the skills they learned into a professional career.
This is an extension to something various people (including me) kept talking about for quite a while. It is not about technical excellence. It is about the drive to create and learn. Our market changes constantly. This is not our parent’s 50ies generation where you get a job for life and you die soon after retirement, having honed and used one skill for your whole lifetime. We need to roll with the punches and changes in our markets. We need to prepare to be more human as the more technical we are, the easier we are to be replaced my machines.
When someone talks about fanpages on tumblr about One Direction, it didn’t speak to me at all. And that’s a mistake. The web has moved from a technical subculture flourishing under an overly inflated money gamble (ecommerce, VC culture) to being a given. Young people don’t find the web. They are always connected and happy to try and discard new technology like they would fashion items.
But young people care about things, too. And they find ways to tinker with them. When a fan of One Direction gets taught by friends how to change CSS to make their Tumblr look different or use browser extensions to add functionality to the products they use to create content we have a magical opportunity.
Our job as people in the know is to ensure that the companies running creation tools don’t leave these users in the lurch when the VC overlords tell them to pivot. Our job is to make sure that they can become more than products to sell on to advertisers. Our job is to keep an open mind and see how people use the media we helped create. Our job is to go there and show opportunities, not to only advertise on hackernews. Our job is to harvest these creative movements to turn them into to the next generation of carers of the web.
I want to thank Sacha for this talk. There is a lot of great information in there and I don’t want to give it all away. Just watch it.
This article was written by Junaid Ali Qureshi. He is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig.
Learning web design techniques and tricks is easy. No matter whether you have the right skills or not in the start; by repeating and learning from the mistakes and polishing the weak areas you can easily step up a notch and fall among the highly experienced and professional web designers. The problem that many web design experts encounter here is the challenge to keep up their good reputation and to improve the skills they already have.
Do you have a lot of projects lined up? Every professional web designer does. The real question is whether you have different, innovative ideas for each of them or not? Wouldn’t using the same web design techniques on each project make your style monotonous? This is something every design expert worries about. To help you get through this transitional phase with ease; we have compiled 5 essential tips that help to rejuvenate the web design skills of every expert.
There are several tutorials and videos through which you can learn how to advance your web design skills level; but, every designer needs some instant tips as well. These tips help them achieve goals earlier than expected. One thing is assured; these tips are no shortcut to success but merely the best techniques used by experts worldwide.
The 5 tips that will help you improve your skills are as follows:
Always sketch a rough design of your web before working with the tools. Have you ever seen an architect work? He lays down all the plans on a sheet of paper, reviews them, goes through them again and again, gets the approval of the client and only then proceeds to the next step. The number one tip here to improve your skills is to adopt the routine of making a rough draft of the website you are planning to develop. Once you have made a rough sketch, you can make changes if needed or move towards developing the final website. If you aren’t comfortable with the pen and paper idea, you can use various prototype building websites and apps to get a view of the rough version of the website.
Stay in touch with the latest style guides. Make sure you have your own style guide or you follow a well-written style guide to design the web page. This will help you build the website in a uniform fashion. Keeping in view the template of the website and the effect you would like to add or not; you can either improvise the pre-written style guide or make a new one. Try to make an exquisite design that differentiates you from the other competitors in the market. Large font size is in fashion these days. Try to use it in your template and make some space for typography as well.
Upgrade, expand and re-evaluate your web tools. Web design is not simple at all. You have to use several tools to achieve the effect you are trying to present. It requires using old as well as new tools to bring an innovative idea into a real form. Tip number three states that you need to upgrade your web tools. Make sure you are using the latest version of the web tool and get its updates on regular basis. Add more tools to your toolkit and experiment with new ideas. Only then you can bring versatility to your work. Our company offers new tools and features every now and then. It is the job of the web designer to incorporate them properly into the website using their skills to gain maximum benefits.
Keep your SEO knowledge up-to-date. We have seen that this tip has been repeatedly offered to the readers on different platforms but the truth is, no matter how much we try to escape it, SEO rules and regulations are the standards that every website has to meet. Thus, strengthen your grip over the SEO guidelines. Use SEO optimized keywords, headings style, high-quality content and other linking features to stay in the game. Practice merging SEO techniques in your work project to revamp your skills to a better scale.
Pick catchy and original images for your web page. A web page is defined by the images, content and its style. You need to make it perfect to get a better ranking and to impress the clients. Many web designers use free Google images that are available (but that’s old news now). You need to go for the options other than this to improve your skills. Try investing in premium stock images or create an image from scratch appropriate tools. You can also capture high-quality photographs and combine them with your own sketches as well.
As web designers, we are already familiar with all these tips. However, it is always good to review these basics periodically. Make sure you follow them and you’ll see positive results within no time!
Yesterday I gave the closing keynote of the Tweakers Developer Summit in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The conference topic was “Webdevelopment – Coding the Universe” and the organisers asked me to give a talk about Machine Learning and what it means for developers in the nearer future. So I took out my crystal ball and whipped up the following talk:
GOAT raising $25M for marketplace for collectible sneakers – this was an example of how we as developers failing at influencing what our market is doing. We’re still at a stage where plain consumerism wins the big investments and technology is used to cater to the needs of a very small, very affluent group
The Power of Big Data and Psychographics – an incredibly scary presentation of Cambridge Analytica at Concordia summit showing how applying the OCEAN psychology test to Facebook quizzes allowed them to influence voters in the Brexit and Trump votes
Last month I was very lucky to be invited to give the opening keynote of a brand new conference that can utterly go places: ScriptConf in Linz, Austria.
What I liked most about the event was an utter lack of drama. The organisation for us presenters was just enough to be relaxed and allowing us to concentrate on our jobs rather than juggling ticket bookings. The diversity of people and subjects on stage was admirable. The catering and the location did the job and there was not much waste left over.
ScriptConf grew out of 5 different meetups in Austria. It had about 500 extremely well behaved and excited attendees. The line-up of the conference was diverse in terms of topics and people and it was a great “value for money” show.
As a presenter you got spoiled. The hotel was 5 minutes walk away from the event and 15 minutes from the main train station. We had a dinner the day before and a tour of a local ars electronica center before the event. It is important to point out that the schedule was slightly different: the event started at noon and ended at “whenever” (we went for “Leberkäse” at 3am, I seem to recall). Talks were 40 minutes and there were short breaks in between each two talks. As the opening keynote presenter I loved this. It is tough to give a rousing talk at 8am whilst people file slowly into the building and you’ve still got wet hair from the shower. You also have a massive lull in the afternoon when you get tired. It is a totally different thing to start well-rested at noon with an audience who had enough time to arrive and settle in.
Presenters were from all around the world, from companies like Slack, NPM, Ghost, Google and serverless.
Here’s a quick roundup of who spoke on what:
Raquel Vélez of NPM told the history of NPM and explained in detail how they built the web site and the NPM search
Nik Graf of Serverless covered the serverless architecture of AWS Lambda
Hannah Wolfe of Ghost showed how they moved their kickstarter-funded NodeJS based open blogging system from nothing to a ten people company and their 1.0 release explaining the decisions and mistakes they did. She also announced their open journalism fund “Ghost for journalism”
This was an exemplary conference, showing how it should be done and reminded me very much of the great old conferences like Fronteers, @media and the first JSConf. The organisers are humble, very much engaged and will do more great work given the chance. I am looking forward to re-live the event watching the videos and can safely recommend each of the presenters for any other conference. There was a great flow and lots of helping each other out on stage and behind the scenes. It was a blast.
We had the opportunity to communicate with David Braun (co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com) recently. TemplateMonster is a marketplace featuring 46,000 templates for many different types of websites.
Why should Web Professionals care about this?
TemplateMonster can save you time
Templates exist for major platforms (WordPress, Drupal, and much more)
This means you can speed your workflow
David Braun is a co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com. This company is the oldest and the most experienced on the market in this area. We invited David to talk and provided some questions for our discussion.
David Braun, co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com
What is TemplateMonster.com from your point of view?
TemplateMonster has become a marketplace now. It features 46,000 pre-designed templates crafted for different types of sites, business niches, and engines including the most popular platforms: WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, PrestaShop, and Moto CMS. Our aim is to meet the requirements of as many customers as possible. We offer plenty of cool stuff apart from the ready-made templates. For instance, landing pages, plugins, email templates and many other products. 100k people are visiting the site every day. A team of 427 geeks is working for TemplateMonster. Their joint efforts let TemplateMonster reach $15M in revenue.
Why should web professionals care about companies like TemplateMonster?
Because it’s beneficial for them. Cooperating with TemplateMonster frees their time, speeds their workflow, and lets them earn much more money.
Today all business owners understand how important it is to promote their services/products online. But not every entrepreneur is ready to pay for custom design, hire a developer, and create their online presentation from scratch.
They want to get their website within a reasonable budget, they want it to be quality, to look good, work flawlessly, and don’t wait for ages before their project will go live.
Web design agencies can cater to all these needs if they use our templates.
Tell me about the history of the company and how it was launched.
TemplateMonster was founded in 2002. Can you imagine that: people around the globe used our products when you knew nothing about Facebook and YouTube. We watched the evolution of the web and were proud to contribute into it. Hundreds of thousands websites you see today were built on the basis of our templates.
How everything started… I had been working at a custom design studio then. We tried our best to deliver top-quality products, but, unfortunately, most of our potential customers considered our services too expensive for them.
One day, I saw a designer who used a ready-made template to simplify and speed up his job. That was the moment when an idea to launch TemplateMonster crossed my mind. Eventually, this idea started to turn into a successful business.
Our company has held a leading position in the market for almost 15 years. Of course not all days were fine for us. We survived the rainy ones when something went totally wrong with our products. We got negative testimonials. And the bitter truth is that some of them were true. However, most of them referred to our outdated templates. What did we do? We just removed them from our marketplace.
They say “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. And even negative feedback can be useful. We thoroughly analyzed it and took the right turn. We got deeper understanding of what our customers need, and gave it to them.
Thanks for sharing your history. Why should one rely on a template?
Both entrepreneurs with little to no development skills and professional developers use our templates. All our customers get their benefits from our products.
The best thing about templates is that TemplateMonster’s customers see the final result, a ready-made product before paying any money for it.
Templates save time, money, efforts, nerves, whatever, and guarantee satisfaction with the future website.
What are the advantages of this approach instead of coding all by hand (or using Foundation or Bootstrap or other frameworks)?
Entrepreneurs get independence from designers, coders, and other professionals who sometimes overrate their work and don’t meet the deadlines. They don’t need to spend hours and hours searching for a responsible, skillful freelancers who may design something that they may be disappointed with in the end. As I have mentioned above, at TemplateMonster you see the final result at once. In other words, you see a ready-made product you are paying for. All you need to do is just replace the default content with your own.
Suppose you are just getting started and have no idea how to install the template, add your logo and other content, change colors, etc. You think only about the ways to generate more revenues and have no desire to mess with all those things.
So, you want to skip installation, customization or, say, integration with Google Analytics. Then, contact our Service Center. Our trained professionals will take care of everything and deliver you a ready-to-use site within 24 hours. Some tasks are completed even faster, i.e.: we install the template and plugins within 3 hours. There’s no issue members of our Service Center can’t cope with.
As to the coders knowing Bootstrap and other frameworks. Developers who are able to build sites themselves pay money for our products because it is advantageous for them.
With the help of our templates, developers considerably speed up their working process. They deliver more projects and earn more money respectively. We have a vast choice of templates in stock, which means that anyone can find the theme that meets the requirements even of the most picky customers. Creating something from scratch simply makes no sense if our marketplace offers so many ready-made designs. It’s like reinventing the wheel. Smart developers prefer to customize something here and there and deliver the website to the customer as quickly as possible.
I would like to tell you about the project we have launched not so long ago. It gives developers from all over the world an opportunity to get an official certificate from TemplateMonster that proves their skills. They just need to complete a course and then pass a final test (or pass the quiz at once) at our Certification Center. Having a certificate from a globally recognized web design company is a great way to improve your online image and look more credible for the customers.
Besides, having the certificate from TemplateMonster lets you get into Web Studios Catalogue, which gives a heap of additional opportunities.
You raise good points about certification. That is why Web Professionals has been certifying web designers, developers and more for so nearly 20 years.
What are the disadvantages of using a template?
Ok, you caught me;). It’s a tricky question, but I will answer it.
There is an opinion that using a template you fall under the risk to be unoriginal. If you’re going to use a template, then the chances are that you’re not alone, that’s the truth. But what is your chance of seeing a similar website on the Internet among millions of websites if you have bought your template from a marketplace like TemplateMonster with its terrific choice especially after customization? To my mind they are next to nothing. However, if it is crucial for you to be the one and only owner of the design, you can buy it out.
The quality of available templates varies, but in some cases, you might find the choices are rather basic. Some templates rely on you to fill in most of the gaps, and may have a poor set of graphics or visual elements. Frankly speaking I don’t see a big problem here as filling the template with your own content makes your website unique.
Using a template is unchallenging. Relying on templates to put together your projects, means you don’t get the benefits of learning the ins and outs of the software you’re using. But don’t you think that this is the essence of the template – to speed up and simplify the process of website launch? Not all entrepreneurs want to learn to code, design, and so on. They just want to get their benefit from the brand new website asap. A template gives them this possibility. In case they want to study everything that was left behind the scenes, they can sign up for one of our free educational projects (like “Your web studio in 61 days marathon“) and make up leeway.
Templates are naturally designed to help you get the results as quickly and easily as possible, but in many cases the customization options can be limited, restricting what you can do with your files. That’s why it is important to read the template’s documentation carefully before the purchase. Don’t want to read? Watch the short video from our playlist on YouTube. Don’t want to watch the video or can’t find the relevant one, ask the support manager. They are always available to answer all your questions and help to choose the right template for your purchase. Don’t worry, the guys will work until you are 100% satisfied.
What other products/services do you offer?
2016 became the year when our team focused on developing flagship templates. They are much more multi-faceted compared to our regular products. Let me explain the things with using flagships on the example of WordPress templates. Of course I can’t help mentioning the recent release of Monstroid2 – Multipurpose WordPress Theme. It’s not an ordinary template, it’s a whole toolkit to build an online magazine, business site, personal portfolio, web store, whatever. You can create a complex portal combining several types of sites into one as well. Supposing you want the impossible from a single template: to present your company, plus share some interesting info with clients and sell products at the same time. It’s hard to believe, but using Monstroid2, you can build a business site, add blog and store functionalities to it. Monstroid2 is a one size fits all solution for all the needs you may have.
Here’s how it was. At first we created a flagship for WordPress because it’s the most popular CMS in the world. But then we decided to develop flagships for all popular engines: Joomla, OpenCart, PrestaShop, etc.
But that’s not all, we didn’t forget about the guys who don’t use any CMS at all. You can find new flagships among HTML5 templates. You already know that it’s one of our goals to meet the needs of everyone who comes to TemplateMonster marketplace.
Please note that we don’t charge more for flagship products. You can get any of them for the price of a regular template. Considering professional 24/7 support that we provide for a lifetime, our flagships are the best deals you can find on the market today.
It also should be mentioned that the users can figure out everything by themselves, without professional help. Every template comes well documented. The instructions guide the users through all ins and outs of using it. There are also numerous detailed tutorials at our Help Center and Startup Hub for those of you who are just at the start or want to learn how to handle their template by themselves. What’s more, we run a blog to share a lot of educational content with our audience, particularly, free eBooks, webinars, tips, tools to become more productive, and much more. At TemplateMonster, you won’t just learn how to build beautiful and functional websites lightning-fast, you’ll learn to enjoy the job.
What differentiates you from the competition?
The cost and value of our products comes to my mind first. Our prices are not higher than the ones of our competitors. If you want to save, just search Google and you will always find promo codes to reduce the price by 10%-40%. We always offer great discounts on Christmas, Independence Day, and other public holidays.
Sometimes you find out that the price for this or that template is a bit higher, but, remember about the value we provide. All our customers get more goodies as bonuses to their templates. For example, all our products, except for GPL WordPress themes, are delivered with HD images shown in the demo. It’s a good opportunity to save, as there’s no need to buy stock photos. At TemplateMonster, you can also benefit from free professional technical support.
How long are your templates supported?
TemplateMonster is the only website developer that provides this service for a lifetime without charging any extra payment now. Our competitors provide it for free only for a limited period.
I don’t think it’s fair. Some people don’t use the template straight away. It’s your right to decide when to use the product you paid for. But with a time limit on free support, you’ll have to pay extra money to get consultation, say, in half a year or stay on your own with your issues.
This is not our method. We are ready to help our customers any time at TemplateMonster (the same day, in a week, in a month, in a year, and so on). What’s even more important, our team of experts works until it’s over. Every customer should be absolutely satisfied.
Though, words are not a weighty argument. Thanks to our unsurpassed customer service, we entered the top three of web design companies per the TrustPilot rating. Do you believe this bullet-proof resource with verified customers reviews? So many people can’t be under a delusion.
Here is a video to prove my words.
David, what happens with a purchased template as web technologies continue to evolve?
It’s a good question. You need to update your site regularly and redesign it from time to time if you don’t want to look outdated. Trends are changeable, you’d better not miss the moment when your site starts looking rusty. Customers never take your seriously if your corporate web presentation looks outmoded.
I also recommend you to check how user-friendly your site is in terms of navigation, readability, and other essential aspects. It’s very important to test how it works on smartphones and tablets all of us use to browse the web on the go. Your site must adjust to all modern mobile devices, otherwise you will lose clients. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you can forget about high SEO rankings. Google doesn’t like such kind of sites.
BTW, flagships owners may not worry about the matter. Their websites will serve them for many years to come as regular updates are included into templates packages prices.
Thank you very much, David. You provided lots of thought provoking information for both practicing and aspiring web professionals. Have any more questions for David? Ask them in the comment section below.
I recently spoke with Ben Forta (Adobe) about Adobe Spark (a new set of free tools to allow individuals to create compelling and creative content quickly.. In this short overview, he discusses those aspects important to web professionals everywhere. The full discussion is available to our members (once you login, scroll down to find the link).
For those who desire a transcript of the above captioned interview, we provide the following.
[Mark DuBois] Today, I have the distinct pleasure of speaking with Ben Forta, Senior Director of Education at Adobe.
Ben, thank you very much for agreeing to this; we’re going to talk a little about Adobe Spark. I’m wondering if you could share with our listeners what Adobe Spark is. [Ben Forta] Great, thank you Mark. Happy to be chatting with you and Happy New Year. Adobe Spark is a new product. It has only been out since mid-last year, so it is relatively new
Spark is a tool that is made available either through a series of apps in iOS or as a web experience running inside the web browser. It’s a way to create content, content that is designed to be easily shared and easily distributed so you can do things
create really interesting graphics designed specifically for social media videos for story telling or idea sharing or create long form stories in text format. It is a way to take ideas that are really important that you want to share and publish in web friendly, very shareable social friendly formats and do it quickly and easily and it is fun. It is important to know that the kind of content you create in Spark, you could create in our other tools. You could create images in Photoshop and you can create videos in Premiere and web pages in Dreamweaver; sometimes you want a tool that does less but does it really quickly and easily and guarantees good looking professional results. That is problem Spark tries to solve. Getting something done very quickly and efficiently and looks really good and is designed for sharing. And I should add that Spark is designed for a very shared, very social space, which also helps. [Mark DuBois] That is very encouraging. If you had a single message to share with web professionals, what is the single biggest message you want to convey to the web professionals listening to this? [Ben Forta] The single most important thing to know if no matter what you are trying to do, time is of the essence. Our job has always been to give tools to be able to create content and publish get the work out there and share create and be as expressive as possible. Spark just continues that mission and solves the problem we haven’t really addressed before that is getting things out there really quickly. In today’s age of instant information, campaigns that are run on line on Twitter or Facebook, for example. The days of spending many days, weeks or months on assets are still important, but not always. That is not the only way to create content anymore. Spark is a complement to the tools you already have in that it solves the problem of creating compelling content that is designed specifically for online use and social engagement very quickly. It is a new tool. It is easy and fun to use. It has no learning curve. Runs on multiple platforms, synch built in. It solves a new set of problems in a new era. Everything we are hearing from hundreds of thousands/ millions of users is it works very well. [Mark DuBois] I am personally quite pleased with it as I said earlier I could live without it at this point. And for those that are listening, I’ll include the URL. It is Spark.Adobe.Com and you can sign up and use it. Ben, thank you very much. Do you have any last thoughts, comments about Spark in general? [Ben Forta] You really should give it a try. Spark.Adobe.com. It runs on Windows, it runs on Mac, even Chromebooks for younger users. If you go there from an iOS device, iPhone or iPad it will give you access to the apps. Try it, nothing to lose. Login with Adobe login, login with a social login and give it a try and I think you will be amazed at how quickly and effortlessly you can start creating very compelling content that is fun and engaging and interacts with everything else we have done. And another nice thing about it is these apps are small and focused. We are innovating very quickly. In the last few months alone there have been multiple new features all the time. We love hearing from users especially very creative users. How to improve them. Let us know. The team is available. The Spark team is on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, they are everywhere. We love rolling in new features all the time. Give it a try and give us your feedback. [Mark DuBois] Excellent. Ben, thank you very much for your time today.
I just spent a few days in New York setting up a workshop to help minority students to get into development (soon more on that). I was lucky to be in Microsoft’s Reactor when Alex Sigaras, a research associate in computational biomedicine at Weill Cornell Medicine gave a talk about how HoloLens transforms healthcare research for the HoloLens Developer Group in New York.
I took the opportunity to talk to Alex for Decoded Chats about that. We also covered other topics such as sharing of information in healthcare. And how HoloLens despite being a high-end and rare device allows for collaboration of experts in all feld and not only developers.
In addition to visiting Alex at work, I also got a special treat to have a demo of their other VR work, including The Cave, a room with 5 walls that are rear-projected screens allowing you to get detailed 3D views of MRI scans.
Here’s a very raw an unedited video of Vanessa Borcherding (@neezbeez) showing their research in VR and the insights it can give you.
Warning: unless you are also wearing 3D glasses, this video flickers a lot:
I left the hospital and research facility and had to take a long walk in Central Park. It is not every day you see things that you always considered science fiction and a faraway dream happen right now. I’m looking forward to working more with these people, even if I felt utterly lost and the dummy in the room. It is great to see that technology that on first glance looks great for gaming and entertainment can help experts of all walks of life to do important work to make people live longer.