Dylan Smith

Dropbox Based Static Site

This site is built using Hugo, a blazing-fast static site generator based on the Go programming language. I’ve put together a writing and publishing workflow that can be used across devices, including mobile, that I’m really happy with. It’s not for everyone, but if you favor Markdown as I do, and want to have all your content in a single managed place, it could be a good solution for you. This post outlines how I went about setting it all up.

The Rhizome Telecaster

This guitar project was simple but the result is one of the best guitars I’ve ever assembled. I ordered a Warmoth pre-made swamp ash body that features contour cutouts that make it really comfortable. The neck is a custom-ordered slim profile AAA flame maple with ebony top (without dots). The fretboard radius is an unorthodox 12″ that I really like (the classic Telecaster fretboard radius is usually a much rounder 7.

The Sparklemaster Guitar Project

This was the first time I’ve tried to paint a guitar that I assembled. Sparkle paint is very difficult to handle. I went through a couple of spray guns and more than one can of Big Daddy Roth Rattlebomb paint, which is usually used for hot-rod and motorcycle builds. The bridge is a Mastery Offset Bridge with Vibrato. The pickups are Lindy Fralin Hum-cancelling P-90’s. Maple body and neck with rosewood fretboard.

Powderbird Helicopter Ski Tours

As Technical Director, Lead Programmer and Project Manager on the Powderbird website redesign with Owen Jones & Partners, I had an opportunity to harness a powerful group of technologies to tell this adventure ski tour company’s story with immersive photography, design and copy. I built a flexible CMS to allow for easy management of front-end design, assets and copy, as well as a back-end that handles ski tour reservations and user management.

Guitar Amp Project

This project used the “Champ Ultra” chassis from Ceriatone without tubes or transformers, which I sourced and soldered separately. The head and speaker cabinets are made with hand-cut dovetail-joined maple. The speaker cabinet holds a Celestion Gold 10" speaker.

Case Study: International Institute for Analytics

When Jack Phillips and Andrew Lightman met with me at Owen Jones to kick off development of the new IIA website, I knew immediately that their level of engagement was going to have a hugely positive influence on the project. When stakeholders participate in discovery and stay engaged throughout a project, from requirements-gathering through development and testing, it has a much greater chance of being successful than those lacking that kind of engagement.

Hand-built Modular Synthesizer Case

This hand-built case is dovetailed walnut. The juxtaposition between the organic and space-race aesthetic is what made this project appealing. It houses a combination of Verbos Electronics and Make Noise modules. The sounds it makes seem to be limitless.

Case Study: Adobe Community Building Tool

This internal project with Owen Jones & Partners was one of the more fun projects I had the opportunity to work on with Adobe. I was able to apply a test-driven development approach to building an experience that was easy, fast and intuitive to use. The goal was to build a community platform where students could post videos, photos and written content, and be rated by program managers, who could communicate back through a custom messaging system.

Unstuck iPad App

This native iOS app was written in Objective-C. A significant portion of the work focused on fine tuning the movement of various text and graphical elements across multiple pages. The project was particularly well suited for the screen-by-screen approach to becoming “unstuck.”

Struck Redesign

Looking back at the Struck website redesign I worked on in 2012, it’s interesting to compare favorably the refinements of today’s site over the original. Much of the design has been cleaned up and, I think, improved. However, the core layout and lazy-loading functionality remains very much intact today, which feels like a testament to the underlying technology stack and implementation I chose as Technical Director. In addition to managing the project, I was responsible for the front-end development work on the site, and helping guide the Rails development.