DIY Bar-Style Trivia Game

A delicious little game-based learning, sorry, beer and wings sold separately! 🙂 I submitted this as one talk proposal for the 2015 Lectora User Conference, hopefully it gets accepted and I can share with the community how I created this trivia game.

Advertisements

Giving back to Open

Giving back to Open

I often use public domain and creative commons licensed images and audio in my work. I really like the idea that high quality media is available for free to the public and that you can create something amazing without infringing on copyright. For businesses and professionals to function they can’t give everything away, but it’s nice to share what you can. With that in mind, I’ve recently posted several of the agriculture and GPS illustrations I created for work on Openclipart. I think that it’s time that I gave back to the OCAL community since I’ve definitely used dozens of graphics from other artists. You can see all of my illustrations on my tmjbeary OCAL profile, but here are a couple of my favorites:

How trilateration works to determine GPS position.

How trilateration works to determine GPS position.

Combine harvester with grain platform.

Combine harvester with grain platform.

Do you have any suggestions for illustrations I could create? I’ll also take requests for custom illustrations, with the stipulation that I’ll release it to the public domain on OCAL.

Animated GIFs: Not just for dancing hamsters

Animated GIFs: Not just for dancing hamsters

While working on eLearnings, I realized that animated GIFs are wonderful for demonstrating simple concepts. They can explain a concept more concisely than a still image with a paragraph long caption and they work across all browsers and platforms, unlike flash or even video. I’ve been working on a course about GPS and steering for precision agriculture, and below are some of the animations I’ve created.

Multipath GPS errors occur when the GPS signal bounces off a nearby structure and the receiver can't differentiate which is the "real" signal.

Multipath GPS errors occur when the GPS signal bounces off a nearby structure and the receiver can’t differentiate which is the “real” signal.

I drew the graphics in Inkscape and animated them using the Gimp. It works like a flip book, in that you have to create each individual frame of the animation. In the eLearning courses only one animation would appear per page, so it’s less distracting. So what do you think? Do they help demonstrate the concepts? Hopefully even without a lot of context you understand the gist of it.

How many clicks?

How many clicks?

In healthcare IT “click counts” are a big deal to physicians. They literally cheer if you announce that you’ve updated your interface so there are 20% fewer clicks to complete a workflow. Every time I hear someone talk about number of clicks I can’t help but roll my eyes. Clicks by themselves are a meaningless statistic, and really have nothing to do with usability. A user might click around many extra times if the interface is clumsy and they have no idea how to complete their task.

Anyway, rant aside, all of the talk of “how many clicks” brought to mind the old Tootsie Roll Pop commercial from my childhood. I thought it would make a funny t-shirt for software testers to show Mr. Owl destroying a computer with just 3 clicks. Here’s what I came up with using Inkscape. Maybe I should look into getting it printed, I think it turned out pretty well!

Motion Graphic: My Career Path

I’m working on expanding my portfolio, so I put together this motion graphic as an example of my talents. I created the pictures of “me” and my various work attire using Inkscape. I was really impressed with how much I’ve picked up on editing vector images. The brunt of the work, including animation was done in PowerPoint. I realize that PowerPoint isn’t the ideal tool for creating high quality motion graphics, but it’s the tool I currently know how to use. I hope that it demonstrates that I understand some fundamental aspects of creating animated graphics, and that I have a good eye for layout and design.

It’s a two-for-one win as far as my portfolio goes because it shows an example of a motion graphic I created and it explains about my background and interests. Here it is:

So what do you think? And do you have an recommendations for a more robust software option? I’ve heard of Synfig Studio and Processing as  free, open-source options, but I haven’t had a change to play around either. Or is there really nothing out there that compares to Adobe After Effects?

 

Scientific Research Posters

Scientific Research Posters

As mentioned in previous posts, I used to be a chemistry graduate student. Through my undergraduate education and grad school I designed and presented several posters about my research. I also compiled the recruitment poster for my graduate research group,  redesigning most of the graphics using Inkscape. I had a gradual awakening to the fact that design is what I wanted to do, but if you look at these posters you can tell that it’s been a passion of mine for many years. I think the posters also show the progress and development of my design skills. They aren’t the flashiest things, but if you’ve ever been to a scientific conference you’d know that they’d stand out from the crowd.

I used PowerPoint for layout of the posters, Gimp for photo editing, and Inkscape to create the other graphics. They are listed below in chronological order. The featured image at the top is full size 56″ x 42″, and was presented at the CIBP Conference in August 2010.

ISU REU research

Full size 56″ x 42″, presented at ACS conference in April 2008

Cornell College Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society

Full size 56″ x 42″, presented at ACS conference in April 2008

Blackwell Group - UW Madison - Recruiting

Full size 56″ x 45″, presented at recruiting poster session in Spring 2011