A History of Portfolios

I was just going back through the archives and digging up screenshots of old portfolio sites and CD’s.  Kind of embarrassing how bad things looked all those years ago, but it was in 1997, who can blame me!

My 1997 website hosted on my school’s webserver!

1998 – Same deal….still looks pretty bad even with the glassy effect!

A portfolio CD from 2000! I toted this one with me around NY and Boston for a few interviews as I was fresh outta college.

My year 2000 website – interactive breakfast themed!

I don’t even know what this was….no time?  I had an idea for Yellow5Labs in 2003 – a take on the additive food dye.  I killed it off, cause people thought I was really into labradore retrievers.  But not before going through a few more iterations….

In 2005, I seemed to get my act together to make something good looking.  The chemical compound flies across the screen with your mouse.  Hovering over it will zoom into the hexagon and load up a section of the site on the right

This is the final iteration of Yellow5Labs from 2008 or 2009.  As I said, I killed it off cause people thought I was into labradore retrievers.  I couldn’t find a screenshot, but here it is as a comp without copy.  The test tubes blow up as you mouse over (shooting up vertically).  And the cloud is the header, while the lab technician is the footer, with the part in-between expanding vertically with the copy.

Playground Discovery

Playground Discovery by AT KidSystems featured a loveable robot named Cosmo. Cosmo led kids around through various activities as they popped bubbles, flew around in a jetpack, and jumped on springboards.

popping bubbles with Cosmo
flying around in a jetpack with Cosmo

The action was driven via a hardware device they called “Mission Control” which featured 4 large pressure sensitive buttons, and a microphone used for volume detection to encourage kids to yell and cause an action to happen.

the "mission control" device

AT KidSystems wrote a Director Xtra that we at 360KID used to take advantage of the hardware piece. As was common to do at the time, the game was written in Flash, and wrapped in a Macromedia Director shell. The shell handled writing to databases for gameplay analytics, hardware control, login/logout, and loading the Flash based game modules.

The game was geared towards kids with learning disabilities and for parents to monitor the kids gameplay.

Bizkidz

Or should I say….BIZKIDZ.COM!  The last site I worked on at 360KID finally went live (and out of beta even)!  Its been a long time coming, I think we started a year and a couple months ago?  I’ve since moved on and taken a new position at a video search company called Digitalsmiths here in RTP.  The reasons are numerous, though 360KID is still an awesome company, but I just had to move on to new challenges and other people to learn from.

Anyway, where was I?  So BIZKIDZ.COM is a site for kids to go and set up a storefront, and sell actual product from real online retailers.  Lots of retailers in fact, at least like 400 of em last I checked.  The idea was to create a virtual lemonade stand of sorts.  As a child with an account, you’d populate your store with products and decorations, and send links to family and friends.  If they buy anything through the store, the account holder gets commission!

It’s pretty cool – I ended up doing most of the front end.  We got some help from a great contractor – Clint Little, and J2 Interactive did our server side architecture.  What was great was that I got to touch every part of the project – I did 99% of the Flex (sorry Clint, but those initial designs we had you work on, I had to do them over when the client changed their mind, oh well….great job though!), and maybe 5% of the server side stuff, and most of the HTML.  And of course our talented art team at 360KID did some wonderful designs and illustrations.

I got a lot of Flex training on this, how to make a Flex application NOT look like a Flex application – all in all I think it was a job well done – and if I know BIZKIDZ, they’ll be continuing developing their site with 360KID to make it even better than we imagined at the beginning.

bizkidz1.jpg

KidPaint

This MAY have been my first Actionscript 3 project if I recall correctly.  I remember upgrading from AS2 to AS3.  One of our devs at 360KID started this internal project, and I did the language upgrade…adding new features along the way.

Basically, the idea was to make this a product we could sell and reskin as part of our client services.  It was pretty much a kid friendly Photoshop.  I added some cool features as new Flash features came along like saving the photo you made to your desktop from the web.

Painting with 360KID's KidPaint