Mitch’s March Movie Picks: Celebrating Female Filmmakers

March 15, 2023

Fire of Love (2022, dir Sara Dosa)

“If I could eat rocks, I'd stay in the volcanoes and never come down”.

Fire of Love is a beautiful documentary that explores the lives of Katia and Maurice Krafft, a couple who shared a passion for each other and volcanoes. Through stunning visuals and captivating storytelling, the film highlights themes of love, adventure, and the wonders of the natural world.

Le Bonheur (1965, dir Agnes Varda)

“I wonder what I like more: The smell of the trees, the grass or the river?”

Le Bonheur is a very interesting film that explores the idea of happiness and the challenges that come with seeking it out. It tells the story of Francois and Therese, a married couple with kids, whose seemingly perfect life is thrown into turmoil when Francois falls in love with another woman. The movie is visually stunning and the performances are really moving, making it a real emotional rollercoaster. It tackles themes like loyalty and love, and it makes you really think about what it means to be happy.

Sweetie (1989, dir Jane Campion)

“Illusions don't go away. They become more subtle”.

Sweetie is a somewhat experimental film about a family and their messed-up relationships, and it's both funny and super intense. The main character is Kay, and her life gets even crazier when her younger sister Sweetie shows up. The actors are amazing, and the movie really explores themes of mental illness, family struggles, and figuring out who you are. It's shot in a really cool way, and the storytelling is so unique that it'll stay with you for a while.

The Virgin Suicides (1999, dir Sofia Coppola)

“None of my daughters lacked for any love, there was plenty of love in our household. I never understood why.”

The Virgin Suicides is a stunning film that tells the tragic story of the five Lisbon sisters. Through the eyes of a group of adolescent boys, the movie explores themes of repression, desire, and the fleeting nature of youth. With a haunting soundtrack and standout performances, The Virgin Suicides really sticks with you after the credits

Join Us on March 14th for our next Design Sprint!

March 10, 2023

A cover image for an event. The left side of the image reads “DESIGN SPRINT” in large bold text with “Hosted by Bluehouse Group” above it. On the right side of the image reads “March 14th” with Bluehouse Group’s address underneath “193. South Winooski Ave. Suite 100 Burlington, VT 05401” with the time 6:00 PM - 8 PM.

Bluehouse Group’s upcoming design sprint is a must-attend event for UX and UI design enthusiasts! Join us on March 14th, 2023 for a fun-filled evening with other designers in the community.

The focus of this sprint will be on low-fidelity design techniques, and we’ll be relying solely on traditional tools like pens, markers, paper, and sticky notes. After one hour of designing, teams will present their designs and receive valuable feedback. Usually, every team comes up with very unique solutions and well-thought designs.

This is a great opportunity to improve your skills and network with other local designers. We hope you join us!

Learn more details about the event

Temani Afif: The Mind Behind the Ultimate CSS Collection

March 07, 2023

Meet Temani Afif, a frontend developer from Tunisia who is extremely talented with CSS. He is also the mastermind behind CSS Challenges and CSS Generators. Whether it’s creating stunning artwork or developing engaging games, Temani can do it all using CSS!

What we really love about Temani is his generosity and support for the community, offering free access to his HTML and CSS code for all kinds of different resources like patterns, loader animations, underlining/overlay animations, DIV Illustrations, and so much more! It’s always incredible to see someone in any field providing such valuable resources, blogs, and other content entirely for free. If you also find Temani’s work and contributions valuable to the community, you can show your appreciation by buying him a cup of coffee or subscribing to his Patreon.

You can check out more of Temani’s work on his Github profile.

Mobile Apps for Vermonters: Vermont International Film Festival (VTIFF)

March 01, 2023

Three different phone screens all display a different page from the Vermont International Film Festival App. The left phone is showing a list of upcoming movie screenings. The listings all show a thumbnail, title, date, and time. The middle phone is showing the app's home page, there is a navigation that reads

If you're a fan of local and international cinema and live in Vermont, the Vermont International Film Festival (VTIFF) app is perfect for you. With this app, you can easily plan and attend movie screenings and connect with other film enthusiasts. It's great for both tourists and locals as it provides schedules for upcoming events and festivals, and helps you discover films you may not have heard of.

The app has a sleek and user-friendly interface, which is easy to navigate. Additionally, the app's responsiveness is impressive, making it quick and efficient to use. I really love that the bold colors used throughout the app are eye-catching it adds to its overall appeal. The app's layout is well-organized and well-thought-out, although I was a bit surprised to see that the developer did not use a bottom navigation bar.

It’s also nice that the VTIFF app is available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store, so users can access making the app be more accessible to all. Overall, this app is a great resource for film lovers and provides a convenient way to stay up-to-date with the latest events and screenings in Vermont, hats off to the app developers Grandstand Apps based out of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Bluehouse Group and UX Speakeasy Design Sprint

February 28, 2023

Bluehouse Group and the Vermont Meetup group, UX Speakeasy, collaborated for the second time this year to host a design sprint. For this sprint the teams were assigned the task of creating low-fidelity wireframes for a hypothetical client, Clean Sweep, who wanted a website or mobile app that would add an element of gamification to household chores, making them more enjoyable for the entire family.

The teams generated numerous innovative ideas for their wireframes, including reward systems, parental views and screens, chore wheels, avatars, and more. Each team focused on the problem that needed to be solved while also making household chores fun and rewarding.

By embracing low-fidelity design, we not only had a lot more fun collaborating together, but we were also able to focus more on designing for our users’ experience. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love getting their hands on some markers, pens, and paper to free their creativity?

Our next UX Speakeasy event is scheduled for March 15th, we hope to see you there!

Tips for Developers: Version Control

February 21, 2023

Version control is a crucial tool for tracking changes to your code in any project. This is especially important if you have multiple team members working on the same codebase. Implementing version control can improve your team’s efficiency, reduce development time, and save the client money.

Regardless of which version control software you use, it will monitor all modifications to the code, making it easy for any developer on the team to revert to an older version if necessary. This can minimize disruptions while troubleshooting and help identify which team member made the changes that caused the issue.

Unexpected Mobile App Success Stories: Duolingo

February 17, 2023

Duolingo was founded in 2011 by Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker. What started as a side project in a Carnegie Mellon University computer science class, quickly turned into a full-fledged mobile app that aimed to make language learning more accessible and engaging for people all around the world.

When Duolingo first launched, it had a small team of developers and only a few thousand users. However, as smartphones became more prevalent and app stores grew in popularity, Duolingo’s user base began to grow rapidly. By the time the app launched on iOS in 2012, it had over 300,000 users.

Duolingo’s success is driven by it’s game-like style and short lessons that make learning a new language fun and easy to fit into a busy schedule, which really helped with its popularity.

In 2018, Duolingo reached over 300 million users worldwide and offers lessons in over 30 languages. The company has also expanded beyond its original mobile app, with the launch of Duolingo for Schools and Duolingo for Business. The company is valued at over $1 billion and has raised over $108 million in funding.

It's hard to believe that Duolingo started as a small side project in a university computer science class. Today it’s one of the most popular language-learning apps and a household name for many people around the world.