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All posts by Alex Cornell

Alex Cornell is a San Francisco-based Designer and Musician. He is a cofounder of Firespotter Labs, a Google Ventures funded startup. He has also worked for IDEO, Plancast, and many other Bay Area companies as a UI/UX and brand designer. Recently he passed over 2 million views on YouTube where he maintains a periodic online musical presence. Contact Alex: emailE=('alex@' + 'iso50.com') document.write( '' + emailE + '' ) Links for Alex Cornell: Alex's main site / portfolio Alex on Twitter Alex's Music

Firespotter 404 II: Process Post

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A year ago, I wrote about a video I made for our Nosh 404 page. Shortly after the success of that video, we set out to film a sequel. The idea behind the followup centered around the same fictional Special Forces team we used to handle that very dangerous and exciting 404 mission. This new video is sort of like a highlight reel of all the skills and tactics they can offer in the “web services” realm.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a process post here, so I figured this would be a good project to start back up again with. It’s pretty far afield from some of the typical design writing I’ve done, but it was a really fun project and an interesting case-study in non-traditional marketing for startups.

Final video above as well as a quick breakdown showing the original footage and the eventual effected final output. Follow me on Twitter here.

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UberConference: Process Post

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It’s been such a long time since I posted! This is largely due to the fact that I’ve been head-down on my company’s most recent product, UberConference, for the last few months. UberConference is basically a visual interface for audio conference calling. You can see who’s talking, who’s on the call, and control it completely via the desktop (and soon mobile) UI. We recently won the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield competition — you can see our pitch and presentation here.

I haven’t written a process post in a very long time so I wanted to talk a little bit about the UberConference process here. I’ll talk about the UI development as well as the video work. Keep reading to see the rest of the process. You can follow me on Twitter here for more frequent updates. Oh also, for a good time, call (424)-226-3111.

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Rock, Paper, Scissors

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Julien Vallée is easily one of my favorite artists working today. His work is so unique, refreshing, and wonderfully playful. I’ve written about Julien before, and I was very excited to learn that his awe-inspriing body of work is now available in print. Rock, Paper, Scissors is his first monograph which includes lots of Julien’s personal work and commissioned projects. For such a young designer, it’s pretty amazing how much he has created to date!

Another aspect of Julien’s work that I enjoy, is his penchant for documenting his process so carefully. I am a big fan of detailed process descriptions (as you could probably guess), and Julien’s process videos are exceptionally well done. One of my favorites is the making of DanseDance. The book will come with unique login codes to access more of these types of videos.

Rock, Paper, Scissors is put out by Gestalten and will be available in the US in a couple weeks.

Jotly: Share Everything with Everyone

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UPDATE: It was fake, but now it’s real. And it’s going to win everything. Download it now.

Ever since I started working in startup land, I’ve felt the need to ingratiate myself in the ever-buzzing world of *tech*. This means staying up on other companies, the blogs, and the general Silicon Valley scene. This can be very repetitive. People get funded, apps get released, and companies buy things. Sometimes a conference happens. Having spent the better part of the last few years neck-deep in this hullabaloo, I figured it was time to parody it.

As I’ve written before, I currently am working on Nosh. Download it now please, it will give you some context. One of my periodic jobs is to drum up support for our beloved application. Of course we do this the normal way (press releases etc), but when I have a free weekend, I like to try and make something crazy and unusual to help things along. I call it the Skunkworks project (achieve victory by any means possible). We had great success with the 404 page, and the Jotly project was my next move. Continue reading for the full process behind the project.

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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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Ivan Maximov created these opening titles for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for a school project. Relatively simple, compared to some of the intricate excellence you see on Art of the Title these days, but I think they are extremely well executed. I really like the combination of live action underwater footage with some slick After Effects motion overtop. Would love to see a longer version.

Hiring: UI/UX Designer

Posted by Alex


I’ve written about a few of my recent projects (404 Film, Nosh Promo, Firespotter Logo). These were all completed for Firespotter Labs, which is the startup I cofounded earlier this year. We started out with four of us and we are now thirteen, primarily engineers. Up until now, I’ve been the only designer. We are growing fast and the design needs of our company are such that one visually-minded pixel crusher is no longer enough. We are looking for another full-time interface designer.

Firespotter Labs is a startup. We are looking for someone that enjoys this kind of atmosphere. I’ve written a little bit about what it’s like and I couldn’t endorse it any more positively. Our first app launched about one month ago, so we are primarily working on it, but we have a couple other products in development that will need a lot of love.

If you’re interested, please email me at jobs[at]firespotter.com and use the subject line “Design Position”. We are looking for someone with a strong skillset in user interface design. Usability is key. If you can make things that look awesome as well, rock and roll. Please include a link to your portfolio and/or Dribbble. If you’ve worked on sites or apps in the past, it would be very helpful if you could link these as well.

We are hoping to fill this position as soon as possible.

Nosh 404: Process Post

Posted by Alex



There’s always been an arms race of sorts, between startups, surrounding their 404 pages. Often times sites do something unusual on this (hopefully) seldom viewed page. When we first started working on Nosh, we had a lot of fun brainstorming ideas for our 404 page. We wanted it to be crazy and I think it ended up being just that.

Above you will find the video that became our 404 page. It’s loud, crazy and weird. Definitely the most fun I’ve had on a Sunday in a long time. I’ve written up some production notes here — if I miss anything feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer. Follow me on Twitter here.

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