An introduction to design thinking

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The Grio design team has grown in both size and expertise over the past few years, and as our Design Manager, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how we can improve our tools and processes to continue supporting that growth. One step I’ve taken has been to formally integrate a design thinking approach into all of our projects. In this post, I’ll provide a brief introduction to design thinking, explain how it works in practice, and dig into the critical role of empathy in good design.  

Music Composition & Artificial Intelligence: Part 2

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In Part 1 of this series, we dug into the technical side of AI music composition, including neural network and algorithmic methods. Now, I’d like to step back and focus on a different set of questions:

  • Can AI-composed music be good, i.e., will BeyoncAI ever rival the real Beyoncé?
  • How might AI change the music industry?
  • Who owns the rights to AI-composed music?

Music Composition & Artificial Intelligence: Part 1

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Humans have been making music for as long as we can remember — but the tools and methods we use to do so have evolved significantly, from simple wooden drums, to wind and string instruments, to electronic synthesizers. And now, with projects like Google’s Magenta and Sony’s FlowMachines, we’re beginning to see the emergence of music that’s not just played by computers, but actually composed by artificial intelligence.

5 psychology principles for designers

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As a designer, I’ve thought a lot about what makes a product “user friendly.” I know that certain combinations of color, typography, layout, and interaction feel more relevant and intuitive than others — but why? What are the underlying factors that make one interface meaningful and easy to navigate, while another is opaque and confusing?

Android Custom Views: Creating an Animated Pie Chart from Scratch (Part 1 of 4)

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Introduction to Part 1

This post is the first in a four-part series on creating Android custom views, and covers a few introductory topics, including: how to decide if a custom view is the best solution to your problem, the three basic methods for creating a custom view, and the required constructors you’ll need to implement when subclassing the View class.

Machine Learning and CoreML

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“WHAT THE HECK?! HOW CAN I UNLOCK MY PHONE WITH MY FACE?!”

Those were the words that came out of my mouth in October of 2017, as I pored over the user manual for my new iPhone X. It wasn’t all hyperbole, either — I really wanted to know, and I ended up dedicating quite a bit of time to learning about the science behind Apple’s new facial recognition technology. In the end, the answer to my question boiled down to two words — machine learning.

Fear and Empathy in Design

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Last Christmas, I had a minor family tech crisis (we’ve all had those, right)? I was visiting my parents, and my mom asked me to AirDrop some photos from my iPhone to hers. I’ve AirDropped photos probably a hundred times, but this time, for some reason, it didn’t work. My phone showed the photos as “sent”, but they weren’t appearing on my mom’s phone.

Writing reliable, efficient code with Rust

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Recently, I’ve begun tackling a few projects in Rust, an open-source programming language designed to maximize software reliability and efficiency. Rust is used by a lot of big names — including Mozilla, Cloudflare, Dropbox, AWS, Google, MS, and Yelp — and was the #1 “most loved language” in StackOverflow’s 2018 Developer Survey.

In this post, I’ll share a bit of my experience using Rust; I’ll also talk through the language’s benefits and recommended applications.

What is the California Consumer Privacy Act?

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In 2018, the California legislature passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).  Set to go into effect in 2020, the CCPA arose out of a compromise between legislators, privacy advocates, and a California businessman who had proposed his own ballot measure.  How the CCPA came to be is a very interesting story – I encourage you to read more about it.  

What is the CCPA?

In a nutshell, the CCPA is a law that gives all California residents the right to access any data that companies collect about them, know how their data is used, and exercise control over whether and when their data is collected.