Saturday, March 27, 2010

Super Cool

the most beautiful little puzzle game ever made!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mid Semester Degree Project Summation

We are now at mid semester, which means that we are slightly past the mid point for the senior degree project. I realize now that my project has gone from being highly programmatic and systemic to being far more organic and while still being a system in and of itself no longer reliant on the system of the internet. In the beginning my project was about utilizing the idea of a semantic web to create visual comparisons of data. I started to dislike this idea because it seemed too limiting, considering that the semantic web requires a reformatting of all the current data available on the internet. The idea began to seem too intangible for me to grapple with, and I came to the realization that creating something that is (from a back end perspective) algorithmic, without actually writing the algorithm it will fall mostly on deaf ears since the idea in and of itself is not of much interest without a working demonstration.

It was this nagging feeling that the end result would be lack luster in its current state that, while experimenting, lead me to pursue other opportunities that arrose from my initial tests and ultimately convinced me abandon all but the faintest of vestiges of my original project proposal. In no way do I think this is a bad thing or something to be frowned upon, quite contrarily I believe it to have been an evolution for the better. Further more I believe that any project that turns out as initially planned has the potential to become stale.
This image is one of the key points in my process. What this battleship image does is visualize how a user searches, and while working on it and labeling the different components of a search initiated by a person I was thinking about what the person with the other board would be doing. What if they were searching for the same thing, in this case ships, but on the internet it could be anything. What if you were paired with people searching the same thing you are so that you could help each other find the best information or most pertinent information. What we would have is a collaborative searching experience that would in theory be much richer since it is no longer solely algorithm based, but now it's person based.

This was the other pivotal step in my process, the making of this paper fortune teller turned into this. It is a tool container that assists users in their interaction with the site and stays with the mouse and can be called up at any time. They can use the various tools within (that change based on need) additionally it becomes an access point from outside of inforage to create a new search.

Moving forward I am continuing to refine the visual style of inforage and trying to structure the complex set of tools in a clear and easy to use way. I will attempt to strip out all unnecessary components from the look so that no visual clutter gets in the way, and the site becomes beautiful due to it's simplicity.

DESN 400: Practical, Poetic, Persuasive

Practical: Upon first arriving at the car show we found a kindly gentleman handing out a floor plan with a complementary air freshener. This is dually practical in that it lets you know where to find particular venders when you get to the show floor and it makes your car not stink.

Poetic: The bouquet of dip-sticks was rather beautiful, and in turning something (the dip stick) that represents time, hassel, money, but is ultimately necessary into a pretty display is a friendly and poetic reminder to get your oil checked.

Persuasive: By personifying the car, and giving the car a voice this somewhat understated sign beneath the windshield urges passers by to "test drive me". It makes people feel like they should test drive the car, because the car like a pet dog would want to be walked, or driven in this case.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

DP: Timeline Redux

Week 4

2 / 15 — done: 1/2 finished with function of site

do: figure out how to visualize all the data & gather all the data necessary for mockups.

2 / 17 — done: finalize function of site

do: make sure all data is relevant & finish understanding the data visualization

Week 5

2 / 22 — done: begin branding logo & elements

do: begin making outline for task scenarios

2 / 24 — done: 1/2 finished branding & outline

do: wrap up the branding process and finalize and outline

Week 6

3 / 1 — done: finish branding & outline for task scenario

do: figure out what pages are going to be needed based on the task scenarios

3 / 3 — done: begin designing all pages & elements

do: continue designing pages and elements figure out how to resolve things that haven’t been accounted for

Week 7

3 / 8 — done: 1/2 done designing all pages & elements

do: continue to improve the design tighten up loose ends

3 / 10 — done: finish designing all pages & elements necessary to task scenario

do: begin task scenario mockup

________________Spring Break

Week 8

3 / 22 — done: begin task scenario mockup

do: finish one mockup and check timing

3 / 24 — done: 1/4 finished with task scenario mockup

do: continue working on task scenarios

Week 9

3 / 29 — done: 1/2 finished with task scenario mockup

do: refine task scenarios

3 / 31 — done: 3/4 finished with task scenario mockup

do: finish task scenario & test

Week 10

4 / 5 — done: test task scenarios to make sure they make sense

do: finalize task scenarios make outline

4 / 7 — done: have presentation outline made & images/materials collected

do: put presentation together & practice

Week 11

4 / 12 — 1st formal presentation

4 / 14 — done: revise presentation based on critique

do: prepare for 2nd formal presentation

Week 12

4 / 19 — 2nd formal preliminary presentation

4 / 21 — done: revise presentation based on critique

do: supplement presentation with research

Week 13

4 / 26 — final presentation

4 / 28 — production for show

Week 14

5 / 3 — install show

5 / 5 — install show

Friday, February 12, 2010

PP: Surprising

e-commerce websites cost $7500-18000. I thought it would be way more

kill fee or cancelation fee. I didn't know this existed.

comprehensive branding costs $50,000-250,000. I thought it would be way less.

Monday, February 8, 2010

DP: Timeline

Week 3
—brian storm what the different queries will be for the task scenario mock ups
Week 4
—begin gathering all data for the different task scenarios
—continue gathering data
Week 5
—finish gathering data
—wireframe of layout
Week 6
—wireframe of layout refinement
—story board task senarios and gather any missing data
Week 7
—begin formal designing
—continue designing
Week 8
—still designing
—still designing
Week 9
—settle on a design solution
—design all pages necessary
Week 10
—design all pages necessary
—design all pages necessary
Week 11
—design all pages necessary
— start animating task scenarios
Week 12
— continue animating task scenario
— continue animating task scenario
Week 13
— continue animating task scenario
— continue animating task scenario
Week 14
— continue animating task scenario
— continue animating task scenario

DP: Paper

How can information architecture create a semantic web platform for the graphic presentation and organization of information which enables different user types to view and compare the global information climate; facilitating a dialogue between arguments existing in disparate web spaces for the purpose of informing decision making?

That is the question that started my research and experiments. It is long and complicated and has caused me many problems, so I simplified it.

How can information architecture create a platform for the graphic presentation of information which enables a range of user types to visually compare data for the purpose of informing decision making?

I also tried this

How can a web platform present information in a graphic way purpose of informing decision making?

I thought this was better, but I was still having problems with wrapping my brain around it even though I wrote the damn thing. So I tried to figure out what I was really doing. I thought maybe saying it a different way would help. But finally I realized my question was: How can I visualize data? Now, not to make things too easy on myself the question that immediately preceded that was: How can different meta data inform the visualization, thus informing the decision making and formal quality?

So my project, at least as far as I understand it right now is about taking web content and and visualizing search results and discrepancies among data. I have also decided that in order to engage the audience I have to make the solutions more poetic and human. I think so that this aspect of the design does not come about arbitrarily that the poetic aspect of the application will come from the meta data that all information carry with it. Typical meta data comes includes date/time of upload, location, originator of post, tags, file size, etc. So from this data other things can be inferred about the setting in which the data were created. For example if I know the time and location of a post, I can infer the weather of the location at the time of upload. At this point I’m not sure how weather would add anything to the data, or illuminate it further, maybe it doesn’t have to. However, what I can do is use this to inform the layout, in a way allowing the metadata to decide the form of the content. I define parameters for how the metadata is used and the design follows systemically as a result.

In sum my design solution will be the structuring and meta-designing of data.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

DP: Thoughts

Human communication is the fundamental requirement for a semantic web. (Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist)


I found and it is a really good reference to my degree project. It sources social media sites like flickr, youtube, digg, etc. to provide content for queries.

It isn't visual, or directly comparative.
The author seems to take the stance of passive collector, and makes no effort to share an opinion, but rather admits that the data exists, shows it to you and leaves it at that.
I like the image aspect, but I want the images to be used in some kind of way. Like paring them with an article.

What if a key word was picked from news headlines when searched, and assigned to articles creating serendipitous commentary.

It seems to me that my intent is for this presentation of information is supposed to be practical, and probably persuasive in a sense, but not skewed in favor of a persuasion.
What if the experience and presentation were more poetic? Early I asked the question what if it involved information about the provider of the data? (i.e. their facebook status or biographical information if available) seems to take the practical approach.

I'm going to brainstorm right here...
What if it was a chair?
I'm sitting in a chair right now, my posture is terrible so I'm slouching, I'm comfortable. A chair supports me, it can be leaned back it, you can break a leg off of it to kill a vampire with, you can shatter a window with it, you can stand on it to change a lightbulb, you can sleep in it,

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

PP: Career Goals

In order to best answer this question I decided that it would make most sense to break down my career goals into epochs; however, that means that I now have to name each of these epochs in some sort of meaningful and informative way. This situation presents me with a challenge not outside my realm of ability but unexpected none the less, since I must name epochs that have yet to happen without afore knowledge of what they might entail when traditionally epochs are named long after the events by historians who have noticed some kind of overarching ideology within a given time period. Since my criteria require that the names must be both meaningful and informative I suppose I’ll spare any obscene jargon and name them as straightforwardly as possible. It seems, at least now, that my life can potentially be divided into five epochs starting with the earliest: post graduation (the Debt Epoch), second job (the Advancement Epoch), mid career (the Achievement Epoch), career height (the Glory Epoch), and retirement (the Other Glory Epoch).

The Debt Epoch is characterized by an extreme and crippling debt as a result of having attended a four year private university. This debt would make many take jobs that may be less than desirable; however I will pursue a job that can further educate me in the areas of design that interest me most, i.e. motion, interactive, and experiential. I think Kansas City is a suitable place for this, as I have already built contacts here that can assist me in furthering my education as well as alleviating myself of this financial burden.

Next is the Advancement Epoch, it is a period in which I have decided that I have learned everything I can from my first job as a “professional” and it is time to move on to greener pastures. I imagine this would mean leaving Kansas City and possibly heading toward either coast. The second job would come with increased wages and a promotion. I would be in charge of some people but still have other people to answer to.

Moving right along is the Achievement Epoch. Here I have established myself as an innovator in my field and have developed a product that will better mankind. People will seek me out for my services and I will cut ties any firm and go off to start my own small business to do good works. It will be run casually and work with some clients, but focus primarily on the development of technology for everyone to use and benefit from.

Next to last we have the Glory Epoch, this is when I start raking in the big bucks and gain international recognition for my achievements. I appear in text books and I am asked to give lectures on my contribution to humanity. Young designers hate me because whatever I have done no longer appeals to the ethos of their paradigm, but they cannot help themselves from admiring what I have accomplished.

Finally we have the Other Glory Epoch or retirement. I do not ever want to retire though. I have seen what retirement does to people, and it is not for me. I don’t think I’ll ever retire because there is too much to be done and too little time in which to do it. I will however reserve this time in my life for long vacations, possibly months at a time.

So there you have it. That’s me, and that is what I plan to do.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

DP: Experimenting

post in progress

Technology Experiments:
  • what if all the headlines for all "major" world new sources appeared in one place
  • what if all the product information and reviews for folgers coffee appeared in one place
  • what if all the statistical data on the battle of the bulge appeared in one place
  • what if a program analyzed rss headlines and sought out articles related to words in the headline

Observational Experiments:
  • what if i gave someone a pressing question and use the internet to form an argument (to see how people use the internet to access information)
  • what if i gave someone something dense with information and asked them what information they would like to have

Visual Experiments:
  • what if the differences in product opinion was visualized

Interactive Experiments:
  • what if the interaction was mouse-less
  • what the interaction was "liquid" (have you ever been on wikipedia and went from one link to another reading bits of things until you forget where you started what if the interaction was made to purposefully facilitate that)
Crazy Experiments:
  • what if the utilization didn't require vision?
  • what if the interaction didn't require hands?
  • what if it was life changing?
  • what if it smelled?
  • what if it was a game?
  • what if it looked like a rock concert sounds?
  • what if it was the 80s?
  • what if it was linear?
  • what if it was self referencial?
  • what if it required tennis shoes?
  • what if it was designed by a tiger?
  • what if the content designed it?
  • what if it never looked the same?
  • what if it looked different based on degree of interaction?
  • what if

DP: Revised Question

How can information architecture create a platform for the graphic presentation of information which enables a range of user types to visually compare data for the purpose of informing decision making?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DP: What is My Dream Design Job?

Jumpin' Jesus, I don't know. Right now I kinda want this:
This building is just up the street from the design building and needs a lot of work, but I really want it. I guess I would really like to own this building and have a small firm that does web design, and creates interactive experiences. I also want it to have a rooftop garden for growing produce. I also think it would be cool if during slow times the studio worked on some sort of technology for the betterment of humanity. Think pentagrams contribution to one lap top per child, or vml's seer (not really for the betterment of humanity, but whatever), or the individual projects that sagmeister explores (only technology/internet based), or something like that.

I think sagmeister is a good example of a similar way that my firm would operate. I liked his ideas about taking vacations for learning and experimenting. I think my firm could benefit from that sort of model; purposefully setting aside time to create things for ourselves that end up being lucrative. (the lucrative part isn't so much important but it would be nice)

I really don't know what this technology would be, but I think design firms should pursue individual explorations and be able to juggle that along with paying clients.

I want to work with people who aren't just work associates, but friends. I guess the only downside to something like this is if not handled properly money could easily get in the way and ruin the firm/friendships.

DP: Question

How can information architecture create a semantic web platform for the graphic presentation and organization of information which enables different user types to view and compare the global information climate; facilitating a dialogue between arguments existing in disparate web spaces for the purpose of informing decision making?
Sheila Wong