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An Open Letter to Adobe: Layer Comps Need Some Love

Posted on by David Stubbs

Layer Comps have transformed the way I work in Photoshop. They allow me to work more efficiently inside of Photoshop, and ultimately take a more atomic approach to my PSD structure. But the real genius of Layer Comps, and the reason I started venturing into them, is the ability to export all screens and accompanying permutations in one fell swoop.

All that being said, Layer Comps are something that haven’t been changed in some 5 years — and I think there are a few key ways Adobe could update it to make them even more powerful for UI designers out there. Below is a list of all the features I think Photoshop could add to enhance Layer Comps, and taking them to a whole new level.

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My First Foray Into CSS3

Posted on by David Stubbs

In my past life, when I was starting my career in design, I was something of a CSS maven. Over the past 5 years though I had strayed away from the web as a whole because I was working primarily on applications, specifically windows based applications, so unsurprisingly I lost the touch I once had.

Recently though, I wanted to get back into the world of web and get a handle on the new hotness that is CSS3 and HTML5.  Problem was I really had no idea where to start, but thankfully with some help from @zakkain it seems it wasn't so hard to jump back in. Below is the result of some tinkering and experimentation with CSS3 buttons and transitions (animations will be the next hurdle).

See the Pen Button Fill Animation by David Stubbs (@davekilljoy) on CodePen

Everybody Loves Zombies Podcast

Posted on by David Stubbs

For the past 4 months I have been working on a board game, and without giving away too many details I did a podcast for with Jon Ing (of Infusion fame) to answer some questions and give some more info on the game's theme and play style. 

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The Golden Tea Leaf

Posted on by David Stubbs

In my standard lazy sunday routine I generally pour myself some sort of libation, could be a Balvenie Double Wood,  perhaps a Greenhooks Gin and tonic, and even the incredibly rare (in Canada) Voyant Chai Liqueur has made its way onto my sunday rounds. Today I felt like trying something different, something I've never tasted before and thus have decided to name myself.

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The Technical Designer: Demystified

Posted on by David Stubbs

The Technical Designer is an oft-heard term, but accounts for a surprisingly sizeable chunk of the typical project lifecycle, and this pillar is what I’ll be unraveling and revealing in this collection of words. In short, the Technical Designer is something of chameleon, or darwinian creature – they are those who can operate and adapt to different environments and ultimately thrive. They must be able to mesh perfectly with the engineering team and understand their unique language and odor, while simultaneously interfacing with visual designers and their airy expressional movements.

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Introducing the Tweetium Model

Posted on by David Stubbs

Introducing the Tweetium Model

During the initial phases of Notorious (soon to be released note taking app), Matt and myself (of Abstract Factory fame) were analyzing why our previous app Just the Tip (JTT), didn't take off ​as well as we had hoped. It wasn't so much that we wanted it to becomes a runaway success and we'd become millionaires (that would be nice mind you) but more that we truly believed it was the best tip calculator that existed on the app store - we were curious why more people didn't know about JTT despite being featured by Apple in “New and Noteworthy” and various other subsections. We looked at a number of reasons why the app wasn’t as successful as we hoped it would be, and through the analysis, Tweetium was born, and would make its debut appearance in Notorious.

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A scalable, multi-designer Photoshop Framework

Posted on by David Stubbs

A scalable, multi-designer Photoshop Framework

Recently at Infusion (inspiried by my CD Layla Keramat), I was challenged to take a more scalable and dynamic approach to Photoshop. In essence, I wanted to make the Photoshop workflow more conducive to having multiple designers on a single project, with some ability to have easily updatable externalized elements. This was a pretty tall order, as out of the box Photoshop's ability to link to external objects dynamically is simply not supported, save for elements coming from other Adobe products. Internal Smart Objects weren't an option either because those are embedded in the parent PSD which means there is no opportunity to edit them externally. What I ended up creating was a way to have global external components (think navigation bar, button sprite sheets, footer, etc.) fed into one Master PSD file, with the ability to update the elements dynamically, and having multiple designers working on a single project at once, without millions of versioned PSD's floating around. An ambitious undertaking indeed.

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An iOS icon exploration

Posted on by David Stubbs

An iOS icon exploration

I've made my fair share of apps, and to me the one question that still bounces around my head is - When taking an app-first approach to designing a product, how should a designer decide on the look and feel of the icon. There are many different icon types I've considered, but I wanted to explore a few of the more pervasive methods I've come across.

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The Beer Continuum

Posted on by David Stubbs

The Beer Continuum

The Beer Continuum is a concept I thought up a while back in University. I had noticed an odd pattern happening whenever a group of people go out drinking - something of a self perpetuating pattern. 

At the beginning of the night, a group of people will mostly get a drink at the same time, however due to different drinking speeds, various drink sizes and possible chugging bets, people consume the drinks at a variable rate. Once someone is fished their drink they have to ask themselves a very important question...

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The cocktail broken down graphically

Posted on by David Stubbs

For some time, I've been attempting to craft some delicious cocktails with the help of the best alcohol in the world - Gin. I started thinning about the composition of a cocktail and more importantly the breakdown of how a cocktail tastes. I realized a cocktail can be broken down into 3 distinct phases - the Initial taste, the Body and finally the Aftertaste. With that I also broke down the main flavours one would taste into Savoury, Sweet, Bitter and Spicy. Below is an example of how I breakdown the tried and true Gin + Tonic.

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