First blog post as an Automattician

This is my first blog post since joining Automattic Inc., the maker of WordPress. It’s been about 2 months since I joined the company, and it’s been a very fun ride indeed. It’s pretty meta blogging using WordPress.com, working at WordPress.com. 😉

Everybody who got hired works 3 weeks as customer support (Happiness Engineer, in Automattic speak). What an eye-opening experience it was! The first week I worked on email tickets, answering our users’ questions via email.

Then the second week got a bit more interesting. I was trained and started Live Chat with our users. This was my preferred method as you can real-time responses from them. I love that real-time connection as we worked to resolve issues together.

The experience has really taught me a lot about using our products, and more importantly, our users. It has helped me quite a lot thus far in my work as an marketing designer. I would recommend this practice for any product focused company. It definitely closes the gap between the product and its users.

Playing in C4D

Playing in C4D

Experimenting in C4D and multipass compositing. Got some cool results with lofting some weird bezier curves and cloning them. Finished it off by rendering multiple passes off to Photoshop. Got some depth blurs and color correction in there.

Next Gen TV Viewing

I was reading about the new boxee tv box on the Verge and it really got me thinking. I think the boxee is a cool idea with the “Free TV” antenna and cloud DVR features. However, with the emergence of broadband, there is still yet a technological breakthrough in the TV viewing experience:

Sure, there are newer “smart TV’s” that are Internet connected with apps like Pandora and Netflix. There are second-screen experiences like IntoNow which uses your tablet or smartphones to check-in and connect with others. There’s the Apple tv which serves as an Apple ecosystem hub for your iTunes and iOS content. There’s Google TV and Roku that streams content with apps and connect the tv to the Internet. But doesn’t it all feel so clunky and not integrated?

I am a Time Warner Cable subscriber and certainly feel that things could be much improved. The DVR software that comes with it makes me feel like I’m still in the 90’s. The controls are clunky and irresponsive. The guide is nonintuitive and the typefaces are horrid. It looks like there are more updated software for TWC but it has yet to be available in my area.

I feel stuck because there are better options out there like the Tivo and DirecTv but then it’ll cost some additional premium.

With all that said, I think we’re still living in a world where the TV viewing experience is still in a old school era and that things could be much easier.

I understand that there are many complications involved in the hardware/software/cable companies/media content providers equation. But at the end, wouldn’t a better product and experience equal to more customers equal to more profits?

I dream that one day watching TV would be as easy as telling Siri “show me the latest episode of Parks and Rec”, or when I see a funny clip on YouTube, or got a good recommendation from a friend, I could watch the whole episode on whatever device I have with my existing cable subscription.

Sorry for the little rant… 😉 I just had that urge from using the TWC DVR…

p.s. I’ve been trying to rethink the TV guide experience and design, maybe sometime I will share some of them in the blog.

The Sycamore Kitchen Cards!

So excited to see the Sycamore Kitchen business card I designed printed! It’s awesome to see the logo on the signage and packaging throughout the restaurant as well.

I worked with Karen Hatfield to develop a new brand identity and business cards for her latest restaurant concept – The Sycamore Kitchen. It’s a casual restaurant with an emphasis on the bakery. Please, if you’re in Los Angeles, go check out their butter cup and berry & cream cookie. They’re to die for!

143 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

My main man, LA times food critic, Jonathan Gold recently did a review on it: Counter Intelligence: Casual crazy vibe at Sycamore Kitchen