On April 4th 2014, Vectorform Munich welcomed seven 13-15 year old students into the office to learn about the creative process, which takes place when designing any innovative project or application. We took the students from defining ‘the problem’ and conceptualizing ideas, to creating their own UX sketches for multiple apps on behalf of one of the newest technologies in the world today, Google Glass.
Students split into groups and began brainstorming while working collaboratively to tackle one of the three themes set before them: Designing Google Glass apps for the future based on; gaming, sports, or social experiences. Following the design thinking process that was introduced to them (Define, Research, Ideation, Prototype, Re-do and Implementation), students worked together to generate insights from their own experiences. After the teens warmed up by taking a look at their favorite apps and what keeps them coming back, they were surprised at what ideas they could come up with for their own themes. The ideation phase snowballed into three intense brainstorming sessions, generating dozens of ideas in the short 2.5 hour workshop time frame.
The end result: all three groups shared their ideas for their Google Glass applications, one of which set out to combine the best elements of video games (mini maps, player stats, etc) with the fun of real world sports by connecting players to their teammates by voice, real-time player location, stats, up to date game notifications, and instant replay videos. All in all, the Rock Your Life Event was a great success.
Follow us on Facebook to see more photos from the event.Alison Atwell – April 8, 2014
Years at VF: 1
Years in the technology industry: 3
Years working as a designer: 4
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a pretty serious soccer player as a kid so professional soccer player was probably first up. Mia Hamm was an early idol. Somewhere along the way I realized I was better at art than soccer and that love of art definitely led to me a creative career.Jennifer Tonio – March 27, 2014
There has been a lot of buzz recently about the new Moto 360 Android Wear based smartwatch. While most smartwatches on the market today feature a square or rectangular design, the Moto 360 features a round option. According to Jim Wicks, lead designer of the Moto 360, the purpose behind the round option was to get users on board with the idea without having to sell them something they aren’t used to.
Vectorform team members gave their take on the design and if round is really critical to watch design and the experience as a whole. Read moreAlison Atwell – February 28, 2014
Senior Interactive Developer
Years at VF: Almost 5
Years in the technology industry: Almost 5
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little the first thing I ever wanted to be was a hot dog salesman. One of the guys with a little cart and umbrella that sets up shop in a parking lot! To this day my family likes to remind me of my younger aspirations. Fortunately for me, I discovered programming instead. I will say though, that I can still grill up a pretty good hot dog when needed.Alison Atwell – February 26, 2014
Take a moment to imagine what rebellion usually looks like.
Got it? OK.
How many things are on fire? Is there a swarming crowd? Guillotines, maybe?
Rebellion, by nature, makes a mess: Social messes, political messes, and sometimes bloody messes. Rebellion in the communication space, however, doesn’t have to be that way, according to Cal McAllister, creative director of the Wexley School for Girls, an advertising agency in Seattle. But rebellion in the communication industry can still be scary, says McAllister, to both its masterminds and its audience.
For McAllister, rebellion in communication is about cutting through noise with the truest, most genuine message you know and delivering it in a way that’s disarming and, sometimes, shocking. Maybe it’s a drunk driving message spray painted in the parking lot of a high school the day before prom (a Wexley example). Maybe it’s an international “Buy-Nothing Day.”Steve Stokes – February 13, 2014
NoSQL is a fast, easy to setup, rapid development database concept that developers have wanted for a long time, and it’s finally here. There are a lot of flavors to NoSQL so you should do some homework on it before using and implementing it, but for now I will be going down the ‘Easy’ path for a seasoned .net / MS SQL developer. We will concentrate on developing a MVC4 website with a RavenDB NoSQL database.
I chose RavenDB for a few reasons. First off, they have excellent .net support. Second, like most other NoSQL databases, it’s very easy to setup and run. There are many other NoSQL databases out there, popular alternatives include Redis, or MongoDB – both of which take a little longer to setup but have upsides to RavenDB (IE: they are free for commercial use).
Before we start, you’re going to need a few things installed before we can proceed. Those are:
- Visual Studio 2012 installed
- An updated NuGet Package Manger
- MVC4 installed
First let’s download RavenDB and install it. Go to: http://ravendb.net/download and download the latest Installer and then run it. I opted to run RavenDB as a Service during the install options. It installs the server to C:\RavenDB by default. That it! RavenDB is now installed and running…scary, I know.
Let’s check out the RavenDB Manager – it’s the equivalent to MSSMS. Simply navigate to http://localhost:8080. You will then see the Silverlight RavenDB Manager – It’s that easy!
Next we will create a database to work with our MVC site…
Use our “Pay with a Tweet” feature to download the entire step by step process of NoSQL for the MS SQL .Net Dev – in 10 minutes or lessAlison Atwell – January 20, 2014
What makes us want to reach out and touch an artifact? What compels us to interact with the things around us — door handles, chairs, phones, or pets? For Andrew Kudless, an Associate Professor of Architecture at the California College of the Arts and founder of MATSYS design studio — it is the materials and functional systems working together in one form that put our brains and bodies in motion. How do we design beautiful things that are technically seamless and enticing? Once again, architecture and environmental design have something to teach us about working in the digital space.Neil Rhoades – January 17, 2014
Earlier this month the Seattle Creative Team was able to attend January’s Creative Mornings Talk at the EMP Museum. The theme for this month was Childhood, and the speaker definitely fit the bill. Jack Forman was a classroom teacher at an independent school for 13 years, plays bass in the Kindie Rock band “Recess Monkey,” hosts a live 3-hour live call-in show on SiriusXM called “Kid’s Place Live” and also has a son named Oscar.Mike Stanley – January 6, 2014
With the holidays just behind us, I’m sure its still fresh in your minds the struggle to find the ‘perfect gift’ for that special someone. Maybe you found yourself wondering about Samsung’s new smart watch, Galaxy Gear.
If you’re like me, you were also likely disappointed with the advertised product versus the actual ‘smartness’ of the device. It has a few useful features, such as text notifications, Bluetooth phone call capability, and camera, but that’s about it, aside from a pedometer and a stopwatch. That, coupled with the fact that [at least at launch] it was capable of connecting only to a Galaxy Note 3. For me to own an S4, the company’s flagship phone and, along with the S3, being the most popular and widespread Android phone in existence as of the time of this writing, it would seem like a no-brainer to make this device compatible with other devices, at a minimum at least other Samsung devices.
So, that left me with questions, more questions than answers, about the usefulness of gear. But the IT guy in me didn’t stop there. If Samsung wasn’t going to provide a practical software package for their new device [the hardware is just dandy] then someone must have. And they did. Null_ not only released a rom that will allow you to connect to any Android device or iPhone*, but even better, it is a full featured Android installation, complete with Play Store, browser, and anything else you’d want to do with Android [within the limitations of the hardware, of course].
*iPhone can be used for internet connection, but will not be compatible with ‘stock’ Galaxy Gear functions
Want to do this modification yourself?Jennifer Tonio – December 27, 2013
Many of us remember High School Mock elections recognizing a variety of behaviors and characteristics such as; Most Likely to Succeed, Class Jock, and Class Cutie but when it comes to the workplace it’s very rare to see similar awards voted on by your peers. It’s a lot more common to have an employee of the month voted on by upper management, which is great, but where’s the real fun in that?
Vectorform is not your typical company, we take pride in our strong company culture, all of our employees are very unique and deserve to be recognized for the standout things that they do all year long, not just in one given month. So this year we decided to do something different and hold the 1st Annual VF People’s Choice Awards.
We sent out a ballot with 24 awards listed, ranging from Yoda to The Welder, and opened the voting to all of our Royal Oak team members. After the votes were counted we announced the winners during our Holiday party. Each winner was awarded a LEGO minifigure that corresponded with their given award in place of a trophy. If you are familiar with Vectorform, you know that LEGOs are a big part of our culture and are a perfect match for our winners. A special shout out goes to our HR Coordinator Aimee Dooling for putting it all together. Thanks for all of the hard work Aimee!
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for…the Winners! Click through the gallery below for the full list of winners and award descriptions. By the way, the awards were held after our “Ugly Sweater” contest so some winners may still be wearing their holiday attire in their photo.
You can also view pictures of the winners on our Facebook page.