Monday, June 15, 2015

Weekly Update: XOXO

Music: Modest Mouse
Strangers to Ourselves, the sixth studio album from Isaac Brock and his merry band of Washington misfits is just as wonderful and eclectic as you might imagine. One of my favourite things about the album and perhaps the band in general is that each song utilizes a different set of themes, tempo and instruments, and yet the album flows seamlessly. That's Isaac Brock for you. Not to mention that voice of his sounds like no other. I was lucky enough to see them play a short set in the middle of Saturday at last year's Osheaga, and to be honest I wasn't really feeling it. But this year at Wayhome will be superb. They're headlining, and the album has received amazing reviews all around (obviously myself included). Check out this dancy diddy below.

I have switched out the carousel on my website to showcase death by numbers. Feels nice to have a change! While I was at it, I made use of some advice I was given a few years ago; tuck in your periods! Seeing a period beside a lowercase r is kind of a weird typography scenario because there is so much space between them on the baseline. Same thing with lowercase y. So you can now check out some prime examples of tucked in periods on my website. They're so tucked in, they went right to bed without a fuss! Ha-ha, I am so punny.

I've fallen behind on my band illustrations. I'll be doing three of them this week. Really putting on that face-drawing hat! One tonight, one Thursday or Friday, and one on the weekend. Scratch that, I'm going to draw a face for my dad for Father's day on the weekend! I'm on a roll. I did complete a beautiful Spencer Krug, though. Wanna see?

I also want to start listening to the Wayhome and Riot Fest music. Wayhome especially has put out a ton of information in the past few days and I have to catch up! The late night electronic sets seem especially exciting, what's not to love about dancing under the moon in Oro Medonte!? Energy drinks will be consumed by the gallon by this concert-goer.

Random Thought
I find it really interesting how people use products in different ways. Often, the main use of the product can be changed depending on the needs of people. It's really magical when a use case has been overlooked but the product still fits the need perfectly. If the product designers aren't too stubborn to change the product to match the newfound needs, they can pivot and create something entirely different. Simple enough.

On the other hand, let's look at a fringe scenario. YouTube is incredibly successful in its main purpose, which to me is to bring crowd-sourced video content to as many viewers as possible. As you may know, there is a secondary use case in which users want to listen to music. YouTube also happens to be the leader in this area (at least in my experience), but I find the functionality severely lacking for users who are only interested in audio. I'd venture to say that the audio-users mainly inhabit the mobile app, and the main complaint is that the audio will only play when the app is open. I find it interesting that YouTube hasn't fixed this issue. It's most likely because they are only paying attention to users that fit their use cases, and all of those users want video content along with audio. So, to YouTube, pausing the audio (and video) when you can't see the video is akin to pausing music when your headphones unplug from your phone. It just makes good sense for the main use cases.

YouTube recently added a feature that will auto play the next video in a recommended playlist after a video is finished. I want to say that this feels like a step towards the needs of audio-only users, but the truth is that it benefits video users just as much.

And with Grooveshark out of commission, there is no current bigwig in the Internet free-audio market. I suppose you could award that merit to Spotify or Rdio, but are they truly free? Me thinks not.

Inspiration: XOXO Festival
Ah, Portland. My home away from home, I am certain that I was born there in a past life. I recently found out about a design and tech festival happening in September, and I applied for the *opportunity* to buy a $500 ticket. No, I'm not bitter! It's just very exclusive. It would be amazing to get a chance to visit again soon, and the networking would be excellent. But there are so many design conferences happening all the time that I'm sure I could find something else. Either way, I'll know by Thursday. Wish me luck!

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