aaron barker archives

Up in 120 frames. * SPOILER WARNING* If you haven’t seen the movie yet (what are you waiting for??) DO NOT click through to the larger image as you will see some plot details (don’t look too closely at the above image either).

That warning having been given, there is even more delicious goodness on the Art of Up (same spoiler warning) by Lou Romano.

Here is some of the development & production work I did on UP (2005-2008). Similar to the work from The Incredibles, (production paintings, color/lighting design and artistic direction) this was done to help inspire the look of the film.

Lost of pictures, art, drawings, videos, etc. All a wonderful glimpse behind the scenes of a great movie.

posted by aaron on Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 · 1 comment

Found on the interwebs. No description needed (or possible). Ben and Rob.

posted by aaron on Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 · 1 comment

We are looking to hire two front end developer types RIGHT NOW. As in, interview on Thursday with a potential hire on Friday.

We are looking for two Senior level front end gurus who seriously know their HTML/CSS/JS stuff. One of those could be a more Junior level person with lots of potential and a sparkle in their eye.

If you or someone you know fits the bill and want to come work at the church send your resume to us ASAP.

Update: The time has passed on this. Thank you to those who submitted your resumes. We will keep them around for future opportunities.

posted by aaron on Wednesday, Dec 17, 2008 · 4 comments

In the month of November, Firefox 3 finally became the #2 browser on lds.org passing Internet Explorer 6. hallelujah

It’s interesting to see how the audience at lds.org appears to skew towards the techie when compared with the Internet Average (guessing that is all Omniture clients combined). More Firefox, Safari and Chrome users then the average. Less IE6 users. Then a weird anomaly of WAY more MSN Explorer users… which is just sad.

Less IE6 in the world is a beautiful thing.

posted by aaron on Thursday, Dec 04, 2008 · 1 comment

Many of the newer cool phones are moving to a touch screen only interface (iPhone, G1 [when closed], Storm, etc). They are also supporting the ability to view the same websites that we design for the desktop. This is naturally pretty cool in that they get all those bells and whistles we designed and we don’t have to create a second version of our site specifically for them.

The other day I was on my iPhone, navigating around a site where some of the links didn’t look like links and you wouldn’t think they were links by their placement. I’m going to guess that the designer thought:

  1. These links aren’t very important
  2. The user can use their mouse to hover over things to find what is a link and what isn’t (making the user do extra work isn’t very nice btw)
  3. The user can tab to these links and will discover them that way (still not very nice)

Well as an iPhone user, the links were important, I didn’t have a mouse (cursor really as I can still click), and I didn’t have a tab with which to hop around. The only reason I clicked on them was because I was familiar with the site and knew they were there.

In this new world where mobile devices can see our regular sites, we need to be even more diligent in going back to basics of making sure links are easily viewable. As I mentioned above, it’s not very nice to expect a user to move their mouse over any given word to see if it is a link or not. Our senior generation can’t see subtle differences in color. Now we have devices that don’t have a mouse as we currently understand it and can’t hop between links with a tab key or joystick.

There naturally needs to be a fine line between big bold links and design. I wouldn’t want my page littered with default blue underlined links everywhere. But skewing too far to subtlety, while more aesthetically appealing, may not be very user friendly in general, and out right unusable on these newer devices.

posted by aaron on Monday, Dec 01, 2008 · 4 comments

I’m one of the least typographical guys in our group. But even I can appreciate a good cross between typography and 80’s cartoons with the Optima T-Shirt :)

posted by aaron on Wednesday, Nov 26, 2008 · 0 comments

case study

Using a CSS Framework in a
Large Organization

So the other day Tadd linked up some work in progress code which hinted that we are using the Blueprint CSS framework in some of our sites under development.

This decision went through many heated debates internally where some were excited for it, and others were repulsed.

So what were the reasons behind the need for looking into a framework?

posted by aaron on Friday, Nov 21, 2008 · 4 comments

Reflections of Christ is a wonderful project of photos depicting the life of Jesus Christ. There is just something about the images being photos instead of paintings that make them feel different to me. It brings life and reality to the scenes much as Lamb of God did when I first saw it. It is rare that a YouTube video can allow you to feel the spirit, but this one will definitely move you if you allow it to.

These photos are part of a traveling display that is currently at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City until Nov 7, 2008.

posted by aaron on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 · 1 comment

Several of us will be attending UI13 in Boston this next week. If you are attending as well, keep an eye out for our ugly mugs (except the girls of course) and make sure to say hi. We’d love to meet any other LDS designers in the community (or non-LDS that follow us), and you know… we are always hiring so ask about how what it’s like to work for the church or whatever else you want to ask :)

posted by aaron on Saturday, Oct 11, 2008 · 0 comments

This is a message from Tom Valletta who is the lead developer for our Open Source effort:

Your programmers are showing!

The LDS technical community is beginning to get traction on some cool projects. The “Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching” application has code behind it now. The “Church History Timeline” does too. But because we have no designers contributing yet, our programmers are showing. Only you can prevent this opprobrium. Please get out and donate a design or two to the LDS technical community .

So if you have some free time and would like to contribute your design skills to the Church, go let Tom know. There are some great projects that are in need of some sweet design lovin’!!

posted by aaron on Wednesday, Oct 08, 2008 · 2 comments

The perfect use of a pie chart.

Hattip: Information aesthetics

posted by aaron on Thursday, Sep 25, 2008

Test your color IQ by dragging and dropping some colors to arrange them by hue order.

I got a 16 (lower is better). I messed up a bit in the green to blue transition.

What’s your score?

posted by aaron on Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008 · 16 comments

In the beginning there was NCSA Mosaic, and Mosaic called itself NCSA_Mosaic/2.0 (Windows 3.1), and Mosaic displayed pictures along with text, and there was much rejoicing.

A funny look at how the convoluted user-agent strings of today came to be. History of the browser user-agent string (Hat tip: Kaleb)

posted by aaron on Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008 · 0 comments

I love simple applications. Enter your zipcode and it tells you if you will need your umbrella today or not. That’s it.

On the result screen you can optionally enter your phone number to get an SMS only on days that you will need an umbrella.

posted by aaron on Monday, Sep 08, 2008 · 0 comments

My son’s latest art work. Not as drippy as his previous attempt but digital is a different medium. The mineral spirits didn’t seem to work this time.

Since the size isn’t obvious, that’s an 8 month old 42 in LCD. He took a hammer (the remote) to it for some odd reason.

I swear he is a good kid. Apparently he just needs more creative outlets.

posted by aaron on Monday, Sep 08, 2008 · 5 comments

Yesterday Google Chrome was the 10th most used browser on lds.org, today (so far) it is 7th. Mind you that is only a few hundred visitors, but still fairly impressive for a < 24 hr old browser.

For no prize what-so-ever… name the other 6 browsers that are beating it… in order please =)

posted by aaron on Wednesday, Sep 03, 2008 · 10 comments

Ubiquity is an “experiment into connecting the Web with language in an attempt to find new user interfaces that could make it possible for everyone to do common Web tasks more quickly and easily.”

It is very alpha stage level stuff, but pretty cool looking.

Ubiquity for Firefox

posted by aaron on Wednesday, Aug 27, 2008 · 1 comment

So Microsoft finally released the coolness that is Photosynth that we saw in video form over a year ago (yes, Microsoft has the occasional cool thing).

The first thought that came to mind was how cool it would be to have the LDS Temples done as “synths” so that anyone could see all the details of the beautiful architecture.

So I did a quick attempt of Manti and Timpanogos temples from pictures I had taken over the years… which came out so-so.

This morning I dropped by temple square and took quite a few pics of the temple for the specific purpose of using them in a synth. This time the result is much better.

Presenting Salt Lake City Temple Photosynth attempt #1. It has 3 large groupings and then a few rogue photos. Not bad for the first try =)

I’m by no means hinting at any project, but how cool would it be to have official synths of all the temples so we can dive in and see the details from across the globe. Hopefully they will get the social aspect going, and the community can provide that coolness.

(windows only browser plugin required. parallels won’t work. they say bootcamp and vmware 2.02beta will work, but I had no luck with vmware. didn’t try bootcamp. ymmv)

posted by aaron on Monday, Aug 25, 2008 · 2 comments

All this talk of Rock Band playing and shirts reminded me of the Guitar Hero spoof shirts… Band Geek Hero. My favorite being the Cowbell Hero (above) which is a great nod to the hillarious SNL skit with Christopher Walken.

More cowbell anyone?

posted by aaron on Wednesday, Aug 20, 2008 · 1 comment

Cool picture of how the Olympic torch has transformed over the years.

posted by aaron on Thursday, Aug 07, 2008 · 1 comment