There’s a lot of amazing design out there… fantasy interfaces in film, cutting-edge work in research labs, hidden gems from small firms, and historical precedent.
This is the work that inspires us, for it embraces the optimism of interactive media and reminds us of the field’s huge untapped potential.
We blog about it as Inventing Interactive and include a handful of recent posts here.
Maintaining the Internet of Things
A few weeks ago, just as CES was winding down, I started noticing a lot of posts and articles about the challenges surrounding the Internet of Things. Although the idea of all of connecting everything has been around for a while, it’s suddenly becoming real. And, as that happens, we start to see what’s missing, what’s wrong, and what’s dangerous
Quick Post: UK 2013 Interactive Music Video Award
This past week the winners of the 2013 UK Music Video Awards were announced. (Creative Review has a nice summary of the event.) And what’s noteworthy for me was it was the first year they had an Interactive Video Award. This years winner was for the song Kilo by Light Light, and went to Amsterdam-based design studio Moniker. I had a lot of fun going through the nominees (and winner) and thought I’d post them here. I’ll embed a video… More
A couple weeks ago I was at dinner with some friends. At some point, talking about recent trips, people wanted to see pictures. As iPhones ware passed around (always a little worried that swiping to the next photo might reveal something not intended to be shared), we realized that we could exchange photos with Apple’s new AirDrop feature. While this was pretty cool, the technology wasn’t seamless, and didn’t work for everyone. So the conversation… More
Quick Post: Ender’s Game
Despite the controversy surrounding Ender’s Game, I wanted to share a handful of images of UI from the film. Among the team involved in the work was Ash Thorp, who I’ve interviewed here before about his other work. It’s beautiful, complex, rich-looking infographics and interface stuff. There’s more on Ash’s site, too… More
I’ve just fallen in love with “The Flavor Thesaurus” by Niki Segnit. The book takes 99 basic flavors and examines how each pairs with the remanding 98. The author acknowledges that the list of 99 and the pairings were only semi-scientific — instead it’s more a way of exploring pairings, categorizing recipes, and sharing personal anecdotes. It’s really about the emotions that different foods generate. And as a result, it gives the reader a new… More
Living Future Visions
I’m a big fan of future vision and future scenario projects. And the recent article, The Future (According to Corporations), by Robert Bolton, gives an interesting read on them. The article is a response to a talk by Scott Smith who argued that such projects are watered-down corporate visions, lacking real-world emotions and needs, and encouraging passive viewing and acceptance of the vision. And a great deal of what he says is right — these visions aren’t… More
This past weekend I had a chance to experience Voice Tunnel — an interactive light and sound installation by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. It’s a temporary installation in New York City’s Park Avenue Tunnel and open just three Saturdays this month as part of Summer Streets 2013. The 1,4000 foot long piece runs from East 33rd Street to East 40th Street. It’s a collection of light-and-speaker pairs that line the sides of the tunnel. At the center,… More
HP’s UI Design Vision
Often, when I work on projects, they’re for a client’s internal use, or otherwise secret, and I can’t share the work. So I was excited to discover that some work that I had helped lead was finally online, and I could post some of it. In 2009 I was working for BMW Group DesignworksUSA and we were hired by HP to help develop a product and interaction design language that would unify all of their… More
I’ve worked on the design of a variety of enterprise software systems. And I know the desperate desire from their users for tools that feel less corporate, and more consumer. They want stuff at work that feels like what’ve become accustomed to on their iPhones. They want stuff that’s fun! The problem is that it’s hard for very large companies to accept the fragmentation of tools when they come from too many vendors. They want… More
Interview: Dino Ignacio (Dead Space)
Dino Ignacio is the UI lead at Electronic Arts for the Dead Space franchise of games. His work is at an interesting intersection point between fantasy and reality. It has fantastical design elements, and exists in otherworldly environments, but it also needs to be usable, so that players can enjoy the game. Dino took some time to talk about his work and his approach to these problems… Q: How did you get involved in UI… More
Back in the late 90′s and early 00′s, Quokka Sports was doing some pretty groundbreaking design. Their sites were unlike anything I’d seen online before. An amazing mix of raw data, bold images, and real-time data that really connected you to the events. Quokka was founded to cover the 1997-1998 Whitbread… More
Interview: Jorge Almeida (Star Trek Into Darkness)
I’m a massive Star Trek fan. So I’m super-excited that Jorge Almeida took some time to discuss his work on Star Trek Into Darkness — for which he was the lead designer of the UI elements. (If you’re paying attention you’ll remember this previous post with Jorge on his work for MI:4 and The Dark Knight Rises). Q: How did you get involved with Star Trek Into Darkness? OOOii (pronounced “ooh-wee”) created all of the… More
Muriel Cooper: Information Landscapes
In 1994 Muriel Cooper presented work at the TED5 conference in Monterey, CA that changed the way designers thought of the possibilities of electronic media. The work, from her group at the MIT Media Lab‘s Visible Language Workshop (or VLW), took typography, literally, into three dimensions — and gave it dynamics and interactivity that had never been seen before. Tragically it was just after this that she passed away… More