New Gmail Attachments Interface

I was writing an e-mail with some attachments and noticed that Gmail has made some nice tweaks to how attachment uploads are handled. Before, you’d click “add an attachment” which would give a blank form field for filename, and a browse button. Clicking “add another attachment” would give you another blank filename field. Once you hit browse and chose your file the browser would start uploading the attachment in the background. There wasn’t any progress indication though, but you would be able to tell when it was done. Of course, nothing stopped you from hitting send before uploads were done, you’d just have to wait for them to finish before you could move on.

Now, as soon as you hit “add attachment” you get a file browsing box from your OS, without having to click a browse button in Gmail. Once you choose your file, you now get a nice real-time progress bar showing upload progress.

Gmail Attachment Uploads

It’s a small change, but I know it will be welcomed by anyone who deals with attachments frequently. Even when I was a bit confused by the changed behavior, the whole operation still felt quicker and simplier. I love small tweaks like this.

[Update] So I was a couple weeks late on this… check out the Official Gmail Blog post for more details, like how you can select more than one file to attach at once now.

My Design Portfolio Mobile

Chris Owens Industrial Design Portfolio Mobile

The past few days I’ve been getting some random hits on my design portfolio from Mobile Safari, the browser on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. Unfortunately, the content of my portfolio is displayed through a flash slideshow, which doesn’t work at all in Mobile Safari, so visitors would just be getting a blank white page.

The last couple nights I threw together an iPhone/Touch optimized version of my portfolio. It will automatically load if you go to on an iPhone or iPod Touch. There are some tweaks I’m going to keep making, but I’m pretty happy with it so far. At least I have a mobile copy of my portfolio with me at all times now and I don’t have to worry about syncing changes manually.

If you’re using Firefox or Safari, you can manually invoke the interface on your desktop by going to, and you’ll at least get a rough idea of how it works.

This is all thanks to SlideshowPro Director and iShowPro.


Design Portfolio Changes

Chris Owens Industrial Design PortfolioOn December 17th (two days from when I’m writing this) I’ll be walking across the stage at North Carolina State University to recieve my undergraduate degree in Industrial Design. That’s sort of relevant to this post, but I also just like how the words look when I type it out.

While searching for the best way to get my career started I want to make sure that my portfolio website is going to communicate my work in an interesting but unobtrusive way. I’ve always felt that a good portfolio website should have very little that gets in the way of the actual work, but of course it still needs to be fun and easy to use. I’ve been using SlideshowPro for Flash along with Director to handle the back-end of uploading, resizing, organizing, and displaying my portfolio images and videos. The combination has been great.

I found a great example of how to use external elements in the flash document to load the gallery thumbnails into a filmstrip navigation bar. If you own SlideshowPro, you can find it on the downloads page. I spent some time with the action script and adapted it to fit my site. I think the result is a much cleaner and intuitive interface. I have a couple more bugs I’m trying to hunt down in the actionscript, and I am going to make the type more consistant, but I think it’s a decent start.



MultiClutch for your Macbook

If you’ve got a multi-touch gesture enabled Apple notebook computer, you should take a look at the MultiClutch preference pane from Will Henderson. This preference pane lets you assign multitouch gestures (like Swipe Left/Right, pinch, rotate) to keyboard shortcuts on a per-application basis. You can also assign these gestures to global system-wide keyboard shortcuts. This lets you take gestures that normally only work in Apple applications, like swipe left/right for forward/back in Safari, and use them in other applications like Firefox. In the screenshot to the right, I’ve taken swipe up/down and set it to switch between tabs in my iChat chat window.

This feels like the type of thing that should be built into the system, but until it is, Will Henderson has provided an excellent (and free!) tool.