Curio wow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Curio has certainly had a very good week:

Today's Top Tech gives Curio a gold award and says he cannot live without it!
For Mac owners everywhere, we strongly suggest dipping into Zengobi’s world of Curio.
Macgasm calls Curio a powerhouse application for creative people.
Curio is an amazing program. I can’t think of another application that offers so many features and so much flexibility.
In honor of this week's back-to-back stellar reviews, we're offering a special promotion through May 19, 2010. Just enter CURIOWOW as the coupon code during checkout from our online store or academic store to get an extra 20% off!

Unplugged

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yes, I appreciate the irony of this posting as I am the creator of a computer application designed to help with inspiration. But, here goes...

I spent the past extended weekend at the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Camping, world music, dancing, great food, and tons of kids running around.

No AT&T service meant no iPhone. No electricity so no laptop.

The first day, last Friday, was admittedly a bit tough for yours truly; mainly because the US stock market had just collapsed on Thursday and I was dying to know what was happening.

But, I eventually began to like being offline. Sure I initially had a guilty feeling that I should be checking email or designing or..., but the fact that I honestly couldn't made that guilt vanish.

I could just focus 100% of myself on music, food, and fun with my family.

I felt a bit of a reset happen in my head and that was cool.

I talked to several other folks at the festival. Interestingly many of them were going through resets in their own lives as they were relocating or going for new jobs. It sounded like a lot of them were using LEAF to adjust their heads as well.

Coming back late Sunday I felt quite rejuvenated. Yes, my inbox was full but my head felt relaxed and ready to jump back in.

Anyway, I share that with everyone in case you're feeling suffocated with work. It's nice to take a solid, cold-turkey break, take a nice deep breath, and see the world anew without electricity, the Internet, your social networks, et al.

More fantastic flag icons

Monday, May 10, 2010

I haven't checked all of these out yet but I stumbled across this amazing collection of 40 Free Professional Useful Icon Sets for Web Designers over at Smashing Buzz.

All of these icons are simply stunning and several might make wonderful additions to your Curio custom flags library. Just make sure to download ICNS or PNG versions of the icons then drag them to a flag set created via Curio > Preferences > Flags.

Enjoy!

Italian review

Thursday, May 06, 2010

A very nice review of Curio 6 by Maurizio Natali for Saggiamente. I wish I could read the native Italian version but the Google Translate version will have to suffice until I spend a few summers in Tuscany.
La bellezza di questo software è la sua incredibile flessibilità.
("The beauty of this software is its incredible flexibility.")
Just sounding out the native Italian makes me want to hop on a plane. :-)

A great big KISS

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

As I sit here hacking away on Curio 7 (again, set for release much later this year) I ran across an issue I thought I'd share with the world.

The #1 primary goal of Curio 7 is KISS. That is, Keep It Simple Stupid. That comment is aimed at me... not you guys, of course.

Or, a less severe way of phrasing it: is it as intuitive as the iPad?

The iPad is beautifully simplistic. Incredibly intuitive. Wonderfully.... (I'll stop there... I know you've heard it all before...)

If you've been working on Curio for 8 years (wow! can that be true?) then sometimes you forget to look at things anew and see if there's a more intuitive way to handle it.

On some issues I'm stepping back and saying "would my Mom know what to do here?". And, I'll be honest, the answer is generally "good grief, no".

So, we're putting on some iPad-colored glasses to look at Curio on the Mac for the first time and asking how can we make this better?

This will of course be an ongoing task over every revision of Curio but Curio 7 tackles some of the top issues.

Over the past several weeks I've been coding up a much more intuitive way to do something in Curio. It was a pretty big task and I finally finished it two weeks ago.

You know when you finish a long task, you really just want to let it be done? Sometimes coding is like that. Heck, it's always like that.

But, as I've been documenting the feature, I've caught myself more than once saying "wait a sec" and breaking back into Xcode for minor fine tuning.

Then, 5 days ago, I ran across an interaction that wasn't intuitive. And, sadly, the fix wouldn't be a quick tweak.

Arg! I'm soooo ready to move off this feature!

I caught myself thinking the worst things possible: "Uh, they can just do it the older less-intuitive way instead". "They'll figure it out." "They'll find the solution in the manual."

Plop down on the floor. Stare at the ceiling. Kick myself for not thinking about my Mom. Kick myself for knowing Steve J. wouldn't allow such behavior. And I certainly won't get a KISS for my dour thoughts.

Geez, and Mother's Day is coming up, isn't it? That's gotta be a sign...

So, yessiree, I promptly broke open the code.

Just finished it 5 minutes ago and I love it. :-)