Monday, November 21, 2016

Louis the Child, Big Facebook Posts & Ruby, etc.

Weekly Update 2016-47: Happy DJ beats from Louis the Child, the changing typography of Facebook posts, and the darkly delightful illustration work of Ruby etc.

Music: Louis the Child
This duo makes music that makes you happy. It's their tagline, and in my opinion, it's true. I was lucky enough to see them play on Thursday night at the Hoxton, and it was one of the best times I've had in a while. The duo hails from Chicago and has recently gained fame with their addictive future bass sounds that are similar to electronic acts that I love like Flume and Odesza (both of which I've mentioned on this blog before).

One of my favourite songs is their remix of Ty Dolla $ign's Blasé. Listen to the original below:

And you can check out a short clip I took of the song when they played it on Thursday:

A video posted by Chloe Silver (@chloesil) on

Probably the craziest thing is that a Google search for "louis the child" now returns more results for these guys than the original king of East Francia (after whom they named themselves).

This weekend, I started the long-awaited process of moving my portfolio site to Github, but the process is slow going and will take a little while to complete. It involved a lot of weird terminal commands (done with the help of my friend Sasha who is much smarter than me) and a 3-hour download of the newest version of Xcode (my least favourite necessary evil ever).

During that wait I practiced the heck out of my presentation to my company about the conference they sent me to. And it really worked, because I presented it today and think it went over really well! I'm also pretty proud of the design, I managed to sneak a photo I took into each of the slides B-)

The presentation inspired me to continue writing my series of travel blog posts, so I'm almost finished the one for my first day in Munich last month.

I also cleaned off my desk for easier access to work on projects. Tonight is my night to work on personal stuff.

Tonight, I want to draw three sketches of a new homepage for my blog. I'm going to try to answer this big unknown I've been wresting with, which is: How do people actually use my site? What would the goal of the homepage actually be? Do users:
  • search for specific posts in the archives?
  • read down the page in reverse-chronological order? (as it is now)
  • want access to specific topics/genres, found through the navigation?
  • just want a random post to read? (since I have quite a bit and they're not too dated)
Later in the week, I'd like to finish cleaning the code of my website to move to Github. And since I didn't get to it last week, I'd also like to finally clean out my Google Keep. It's getting a little disastrous.

Random Thought:
I have recently noticed another Facebook design change to Newsfeed. Now, if your status update is short enough (below a certain number of characters that I can't quite pin down), the font size is enlarged.

I have to wonder, did Facebook make this change in order to motivate users to post shorter status updates? It certainly seems preferable from a visual standpoint to post a status with larger text, as it pops out of the page and grabs the attention of more people.

I also wonder if this could be monetized in some way, say to allow advertisements to have larger or coloured text. While this would mess with Facebook's brand to the point that I don't think they'd ever allow it, it is interesting to note that good design can be monetized. I bet advertisers would be willing to pay extra for larger or coloured text, whatever could make their ads stand out against others.

Going back to the status updates, if this ever does start to control the behaviour of status posters to smaller thoughts, won't their more uniform size cause them all to be the same, so again, nothing would stand out?

Inspiration: Ruby Etc.
There are lots of webcomics roaming around the internet, but one in particular stuck to me the other day. Check these out:

Living with anxiety/depression can be really difficult. I appreciate this comic for two reasons:
  1. It accurately (at least to me) portrays something that is very difficult to portray, some of the feelings that people have who live with anxiety every day, so that people who don't understand it can try to have a bit of empathy for their friends.
  2. I am not well tapped into the world of webcomics, but I feel like not enough of the ones that I have seen are really trying to show the world through lenses such as this, and it's nice to see that someone is trying to change that.

The comics are drawn by Ruby Elliot (known online as rubyetc), a London-based artist who is only 22. Even at her young age, she's already had to contend with far more than her fair share of shit. Beginning at age 14, her bipolar disorder and a severe eating disorder had her repeatedly hospitalized and in a state of what she calls "semi-permanent distress." But after a particularly difficult bout of depression at age 18, Elliot found that drawing could be a helpful, cathartic tool when words so often fail.

Check out her tumblr.

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