Expanding our Design Toolbox with Lean UX

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Recently Grio’s design team has adopted Lean UX that enabled us to expand our design toolbox in the following ways:

  • Conduct in-depth Discovery and Research to define the products
  • Inject a user-centric design focus
  • Incorporate “deep collaboration” internally, as well as with our clients

Building Better Products with UserTesting

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Grio Design is showing some blog love this week! We’ve been busy making clients happy by solving wicked design problems and producing beautiful interfaces, but I wanted to take some time to talk about user experience design (UX), usability, and how UserTesting can help everyone reap the benefits of usability testing.

Meteor

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For the past year, I’ve been working mainly with AngularJS and before that Ruby on Rails. I’ve never heard of Meteor until a few weeks ago. I am intrigued by the idea of tightly connecting the client and server together in a synergistic manner that allows for fast responsiveness, which is what Meteor is all about. I decided to go through Meteor’s tutorial online and get a feel for why the framework differentiates itself from other current technologies. From a very high level perspective, Meteor is a very good solution for quickly building an application from the ground up and provides some cool features out of the box.

Git Merge Workflow on Github

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How to Merge Code

Below is a guide that I wrote for a recent project explaining a git merge workflow on Github. Often times, when you develop a new feature, you will create a new branch off of master called a feature branch. On the feature branch, you might have many commits to save your progress, or when you complete certain milestones of that feature. Once you finish the feature, you will want to merge this branch back to the master branch. However, you might not want all your commits to show up in the git log history because they were only for development purposes. We can overcome this issue by using a feature of git called interactive rebasing which allows you to squash certain commits and customize the commits that will eventually show up once the branch is merged to master. I have described the steps to achieve this outcome below.

Table of Contents

Purpose

This guide explains how to develop and commit your code using git and GitHub. A developer should create a feature branch when developing new code. In the feature branch, a developer may commit multiple times during development including making changes based on comments from a code review. When development is completed and the feature branch is ready to be merged in to the master branch, the developer should squash the commits in to one, so that the git log history is kept clean.

Coding Styles and Standards

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One of the main reasons for having coding standards is to keep your code readable by everyone. By enforcing standards and formatting, the code base becomes consistent, and anyone can easily understand the structure of the code because he will be more familiar with what to expect. It is also very useful when a new developer joins the team because once he is familiar with the patterns, he will be able to easily read the existing code, which results in a more pleasant experience.

Writing Awesome CLI Tools in Ruby: Part I

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Introduction

I am always writing small tools to help me out on a daily basis. Sometimes shell scripts, but
other times I want something a bit more complex. When I need more than a simple shell script, I like to leverage ruby for its vast library of gems which can greatly accelerate and simplify the task of building these helpful tools.

This post will give an introduction to writing your own CLI tools in ruby and packaging them
as a gem.

Hiding Android’s System Bar

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For years developers (and consequently consumers), have had to accept the fact that the Tablets (and some phones) would always have the System/Navigation Bar visible on their screens. A 10.1 inch advertised screens, offered in fact a 9.8 inch usable screen.

Finally Google’s latest Android OS, KitKat, introduces a decent user-friendly tool that gives us ownership of that last bit of screen.

Whobert Needs Your Help

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Here's Whobert!

Who Am I?It seems Whobert has a bit of a problem; he can’t remember a thing.

Okay, so he’s a wizard.  That much is clear: hat, beard, robe… we’ve got that part.  But there are so many questions!  Where did he come from?  How does he know magic?  Why is there an owl on his head?  Nobody knows. And Whobert can’t remember!

Memory Management for Unity iOS

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Developing a game intended for multiple end platforms can present some unique challenges to consider.  For one, the differing pixel resolutions on apple devices over the years necessitate at least some different background images and layouts to accommodate the different aspect ratios.  My initial technique to deal with this problem was to include a copy of each background for each device present in its scene, with its rendering switched off. 

Embracing Technology 101

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On December 01, 2013 I’ll be celebrating my one-year anniversary at Grio as their HR Administrator. I’d like to share some of my story with you. It’s a tale of a technology trailer turned technical achiever; that’s me!

Perspective: I’m 58 years young, my most recent experience prior to Grio was in the non-profit sector where the PC is king and paper pushing is commonplace.

Contrast: Grio is a software consultancy firm catering to a wide spectrum of clients spanning across industries. Grio is a gun for hire with respect to mobile apps and web development.