A series of rain ponchos designed for making rainy days at the Disney parks more magical.
In October of 2015 I participated in an amazing charity event called 48in48. Hosted by two local web agency guys — Jeff Hilimire and Adam Walker — the event gathered about 150 web developers, designers, UXers, and content writers in order to create 48 websites for 48 nonprofits, all in 48 hours.
And, yes, we achieved our goal.
Besides being a great opportunity to help those in need, the event was a ton of fun. Volunteers were showered with food, raffle prizes were given away every four hours, and we took breaks to tour the Mail Chimp and Twitter offices (both very impressive).
As for the web work, my team finished four websites, two of which I was primarily involved with. None of the event’s sites were actually launched during the 48 hour period, and it’s unknown when that will actually happen, but below are before-and-afters to show how we transformed the nonprofits’ sites and branding.
The Campbell Family Foundation
The Campbell Family Foundation helps build up individuals and communities by offering mentoring, life coaching, anger management classes, support groups, healthy living initiatives, money management, public speaking programs, sports training and more.
The Homegrown Initiative
The Homegrown Initiative is a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization providing technical job training and placement to America’s homeless military veterans.
As a brand new organization, The Homegrown Initiative did not have a website before this event.
Images From the Event
After connecting the residents of my neighborhood via Nextdoor (basically an online social network for neighborhoods), I decided to create an informational website about the neighborhood.
It’s my hope that the website will instill pride in the neighborhood and also impress potential buyers looking to move into the area. I really love the neighborhood, and I built the site to help it flourish.
The website is built on Bootstrap. I also had fun digging into the Google Maps API for this one.
Visit the site: windwoodnorth.com
What I did find in my searches were SMIL animations that morph a single path/shape (best example is this Batman logo morphimation), so I adapted that idea to animate an SVG image with many paths.
While jQuery is not really necessary for a simple morphimation like the Batman logo, my version is too complex to create all the SVG and SMIL attributes by hand. For that reason, I set it up so all I have to do is export an SVG file from my vector drawing program. Then I’m using jQuery to read in that file, parse it, create the inline SVG and its animate tags, and then populating those tags with values for each frame. Easy!
I cleaned up my code a bit and put it on Github in case anyone wanted to do something similar. I was actually going to clean it up a lot more and make it easier to reuse, but….
Well, dang it, I found out only after doing all this that SMIL is going the way of the HTML “font” tag — deprecated!! Oh noes! I don’t know how I missed this while I was working on the project, but, well, crap.
It was a good learning experience nonetheless. From what I’ve read, it doesn’t sound like there’s currently an alternative way to do this kind of animation. I’ll have to look into that further.
Oh yeah — I also added a mouse hover effect just for fun. Roll-over the animation with your mouse (sorry, no fun for touch screen users) to see what happens.
The (First World) Problem
We’ve all been there. Two bananas left on the banana hanger. You pick them up, rip off one for consumption, and then try to return the last one to the hanger. Except no banana hanger in the world can hang a single banana. You try to wedge it into the hook. You try to balance it on the top. No luck. Eventually, you give up and toss the banana on the counter.
Boom. Bruised banana. Thus is the fate of the last banana.
The (Revolutionary) Solution
This is the problem I attempted to solve as I stepped into the role of product developer. I came up with an elegantly simple solution — my design includes a notch into which a single banana stem can be easily wedged.
Though this whole idea started out as a joke (see my infomercial screenplay below), I actually put serious thought and effort into the designs and then registered for a provisional patent. I then put up a sell-sheet in the form of a website (linked below) which I could use to shop the idea around to various kitchen product manufacturers. I shopped it around, though no one was ultimately interested in licensing the idea. As usual, I’m so far ahead of my time that others cannot see my genius. ;)
Despite the idea not selling, it was a fun and educational experience.
Link: The Last Banana
I put together a single-page site to show off the idea to kitchen product companies.
This whole thing started as a joke. I even wrote a screenplay for a comical infomercial. After writing it, I thought that, though goofy, this could legitimately catch on and sell some product. I never did get around to actually producing the video, though, so let me know if you’re interested in working on this together. :)
Note: The screenplay was written back when the banana hanger was intended as an adapter rather than a stand-along solution. My, how far we’ve come since then! ;)