“Have you ever been punched in the face?” That's what Scott Sullivan, User Experience Designer at Involution, wants to know. In his Fast Co. feature article, Designers: Learn To Code! Here's How to Start, Scott assures young designers learning to code isn't that bad. "The fear of getting punched in the face holds you back from being effective in a fight," he writes. "But once you’ve been punched in the face, you realize it’s not so bad." For many designers, learning to code can be as scary as bodily harm.
For years designers have been lectured about how learning to code is an integral part of smart design. Lecturing and instructing are two different things, however. Scott provides a thoughtful and insightful walkthrough of his process of learning to code, one which young designers will ultimately benefit from. And through his experience he has learned that the lecturers were right. Knowing code will make you a more intelligent designer. "The better I get at coding, the more I understand how connected they are," he writes. "As a designer in the digital spectrum, you realize that your very work—your material, which exists in the world—is code. How can you design something if you don’t know how it works?"
Be sure to read through Scott's article, Designers: Learn To Code! Here's How to Start, at fastcodesign.com. In addition to his user experience design work at Involution, Scott has a background in technology-based art and visual design.
Many of us here at Invo have been using the Arduino quite a bit. From making claws for costumes to retail environment behavior to coffee electronics – it is incredible what you can do with these microcontrollers. However, there still is not a straightforward way of getting data out of your Arduino, onto the internet and accessible via a web app.
The personal project I've been working on has been tracking physical activity not covered by pedometers (vague, I know) and then having a web app to display that historical data. Coming from a design background with a light technical bend (some C++ and ActionScript) I am in familiar territory... but its been a while.
Involution Studios sponsored the inaugural meetup of the Code for America Brigade in Boston on Thursday, October 25. Thanks to everyone who attended! Here are a few photos from the meeting.