Blog

Chris Gannon is a motion designer, illustrator, animator and programmer. You can find all his news and updates here.

Spin2Win Wheel gets probability!

Probability has been the most requested feature since launch

Probability has been the most requested feature since launch

A little side project that I've been working on for over a year is Spin2Win Wheel. I originally built it on a tip off from Carl at GreenSock who said that people on the GreenSock forums often asked about a wheel of fortune type component. So as s huge fan of dials and all things spinny I went ahead and built it, originally in Edge Animate, and sold it on CodeCanyon marketplace.

It was a bit basic and I had aped the classic TV Wheel of Fortune design but, as predicted by Carl, I sold hundreds of units and it was used all over the world in weird and wonderful situations.

At the time I was really pushing the boundaries of Edge Animate could do so the complexity of the wheel coupled with its ease of editing in Edge contributed to its success.

Some of you may know that Edge Animate died a rather unceremonious death a while back (so THAT was a waste of 3 years of my life) and so around May 2016 I decided to rewrite Spin2Win using my favourite tool of choice - SVG. 

I had learnt many lessons from customer feedback on the original, basic version so I built in as many of those features as I could for version 2 - JSON powered (via PHP if required), gesture or button control, total customisation of colours, size and segments, responsive and even an anti-cheat mechanism.

One thing I missed off because it was really hard to implement was probability. I had a big fat think about it for nearly a year, in the mean time releasing several updates addressing various other requests.

Jump to the present day and I finally got my head around a way of adding probability that complements existing features and meets the needs of so many existing and prospective customers. 

It's always good to have side projects. I have literally hundreds that I dip into every now and then; they are usually practice grounds for learning new skills and approaches that never see the light of day.

Spin2Win is a bit more important because when I'm improving it I take the experience I gain from other not-so-important side projects and feed that knowledge into new features that people actually pay for so I can't mess it up!

So what's next for Spin2Win? Not sure yet but I will probably focus on ecommerce integration (Shopify etc) but who knows? I'm always listening to my customers and when a trend of similar requests starts to appear it usually informs my next steps with it.

 

Best Code Wrangler, again!

I'd like to thank my dog and my therapist...

I'd like to thank my dog and my therapist...

As I mentioned in a previous post, 2016 was pretty shocking. It wasn't all bad though - one good thing was being presented with the Best Code Wrangler award for 2015 by CSSDesignAwards. It's a nice feeling for your industry peers to recognise your hard work and offer a token of appreciation. Here's what they say:

Where would the digital world be without experimentalists? Last year we thought it fitting to introduce a unique commendation that shines a light on the people that spend countless hours perfecting the little things that drive big innovation in the web design and dev industry. Best Code Wrangler is a special accolade for code-loving experimentalists.

Well you won't believe it but I've only gone and won it two years in a row! I'm so chuffed because this sort of success NEVER happens to me twice - they tend to be freak occurrences that are never repeated. But there it is in black and white (well, green, yellow and purple).

I think if you were to ask me the secret to staying fresh and pushing things forward I would say that it's not a secret but it's something people may not want to hear and that is helping out other people.

I spend a considerable portion of my time helping people out with their questions and problems. Some are customers who have bought my work (who are actually entitled to the support!) but some are just people on my YouTube channel or emailing me directly or connecting on Twitter - people who are also doing similar stuff to me and just need a hand. It's during these exchanges that you can gain some real insights into new ways of seeing things and approaching problems, which in turn help you become a better designer or animator or whatever.

So it's really an award that recognises the value of helping out your community - because in times of trouble I too have reached out for help and received it in spades so I suppose what goes around come around.

Happy New Gear!

Some of us might agree that 2016 was a truly terrible year on many levels but with a new year comes hope and, for me at least, a new site hosted on SquareSpace.

And with a new site comes a new blog hosted here. If you're interested you can read my final WordPress post here.

2017 is the year I start afresh with new vigour and verve - I also intend to open a shop, a place where I will sell some of my finely crafted moving-around-and-popping goods so stay tuned.

So without further ado, I offer up to you as a new year's gift the new Gannon.tv