Monthly Archives: October 2010

OWEN WEBSITE STUDIES

WWW.OWENJONESANDPARTNERS.COM / V1, V2, V3, V4

From time to time we give our own site a hard look. Below are a few design prototypes that we’ve considered. Some had a short life on line, others never made it past the site map, AI and/or PSD phase. All of them were great fun to think about and design – and in some cases, code as well. A few were to be all HTML/CSS, and others were spec’d as heavily Flash/AS3 driven sites.


NEROLI – A VIDEO PLAYER FOR ADOBE

Larry and I have been pretty deep in development on a media player for Adobe. It’s quite an honor, really, to be involved with such an important component for such an important company, and we set the bar pretty high for what we wanted to accomplish with the latest rev. The primary goals were a migration to OSMF, a mobile-friendly version, and a more maintainable code base.

Adobe Video Player

Adobe Neroli Mobile

We’re nearing the end of our alpha phase, and couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. OSMF is fantastic to build upon, and although I was sad to say good-bye to Shaun Tinney’s original code base (he’s a great programmer), OSMF has a pretty substantial effort behind it. I’ll never build a video player from scratch again. The app feels super responsive, even on mobile, which was no small feat, but what we’re most happy with is the codebase as it was an entire rebuild of a project that had been touched by no fewer than five developers. We’ve minimized our bug-fix schedule to roughly 15% of what it used to be, an enormous accomplishment for such a complex project.

DEVELOPING FOR MOBILE IN FLASH

This is one of our first big mobile efforts, and I have to give credit to the Adobe Flash Player Engineering team because the transition to mobile was very easy to implement, and instead of focusing on translating code or optimizing for a different platform, we were able to deliver an experience that’s tailored for mobile use. This is more than obvious changes like using larger fonts and buttons with bigger hit areas (currently all buttons are 75×50 at a minimum, compared to 30×22 that we can get away with on the desktop), and we had many discussions about how the mobile player should function. We moved UI elements around to different screens to consolidate usage, inserted new screens and application states to make the content more approachable, removed some UI elements, changed the function of others, and learnt a lot during the entire process. We’re still not sure it’s right, and won’t be surprised if we make more changes in the future – and that’s okay. We can do that. Key takeaways for me is that mobile development requires more thought about how the application will be used as opposed to how to actually program it.

Adobe Neroli on Android

Expect to see a more technical series of posts about Neroli soon, and when the player goes live we’ll let you know.

RYAN & MARIO AT IGNITE BOISE

OWEN’S PRODIGAL SON AT BOISE IGNITE III 2010

Ryan is thoughtful in just about everything he does. Playing Mario Brothers as a kid is no exception. Turns out there are great and powerful things that Mario can teach us. And, if you’ve ever worked with Ryan, you know that all of this is not just talk. Watch the video below, and all of his slides follow.

Proof of prowess: A card made for Ryan by a friend. 20 years ago-ish

Further proof: The check Ryan got for wining a local Mario contest.

IRA GLASS ON STORYTELLING

THIS AMERICAN LIFE CREATOR TALKS ABOUT STORYTELLING

Owen has been a big fan of Mr Glass for quite some time. He’s been a fan of story telling and narrative even longer. Please excuse the poor video quality on these – but if you pretend this is Ira on the radio, it won’t matter much.

Have a listen, and if you can, go to the youtube page and hit that Google donate button below the video window. And, if you’re a fan – follow his blog to find out what else he’s up to: Ira’s Life.

PART I

PART II

PART III

PART IV

ARCHIVE / BIRTHPLACE OF THE WINTER HOLIDAY

SUN VALLEY, IDAHO BRAND CAMPAIGN /CIRCA 2002

Rugged looks, sophisticated charm, storied past; the three main ingredients in the nation’s first and arguably most famous destination winter vacation town. Owen’s edict was to make the three ingredients clear in all the work, and – for goodness sake –make the work as beautiful as the actual product. We got as close as we could.

We worked with PDX illustrator Jeff Foster to develop these images.

Jeff's style was perfect for these posters. Can't you see these on a 1958 calendar?

We worked with our good friend Glenn Oakley to put together 2 shoots. I was a scramble for the right weather, and, of course, finding local talent willing to stand in for the Valley. Glenn did a great job capturing the spirit of the place and the people. Check out oakleyphoto.com to see more of his recent work.

This is Max, the son of a good friend who lives in Ketchum. oakleyphoto.com

Glenn Oakley shot all of these - people in a great place - his specialty.

Pamela and her son + dad – three generations in Sun Valley headed up River Run.

The Chamber staff pitched in as talent for the shoot. Recognize anyone?