Holiday/Class Delays

Unfortunately other engagements have taken most of my time in the last few days…

Happy Holidays!
I’d like to wish everyone reading this, a Happy Holiday and an upcoming Happy New Year! …or a Happy Whatever-Holiday-You-Celebrate-At-The-Moment! It has been nice to be away from work for the last few days, but of course, now I have to get back into the work rhythms I had established before the holiday.

I am also finishing up my last class for this semester too. I have a final assignment that I am working on for the “Big Picture” topic for our “Criticism” class. I have decided to write about “What happens to your hard drives when you die?” theme. I will be extrapulating this concept to multiple levels, and hopefully demonstrating the effects at those levels. For example, when I die, what will happen to the terabytes of photos that I have stored on harddrives? Will my parents or kids save them? Look at them? Erase them? Save them for future generations? If they kept them, or if some service was available to properly display them to the world… What would happen if everyone in the world did this? How many petabytes, or exabytes, or yottabytes will be necessary to store them? What impact will that have on the world?

Any thoughts or reflections about your harddrives? What would you want to happen to your drives when you die?

I am hoping to resume my sketches and thesis work soon…


I will talk more about this “sketching” process later, but WOW has it been useful so far. I’ve never really been a sketching type of person, nor have I gone through Art school. The closest I have gotten to sketching, was while sitting on the curb in 8th grade, staring at a Law office across the street, drawing each and every detail of that office (which was a large house) including the terrible wood panelled siding.

Even though I still have some anxiety about maintaining these sketches everyday, and even stare blankly at the paper for the first few minutes each time, I’m so happy with what I have produced and the ideas they have given me.

My TRKBRD design is in the early stages of being redesigned, completely! Yes, it is quite exciting. This time it will be a much smaller form factor and use completely different technology. I am thinking of naming it TRKMBL, to be pronounced “trackmobile”. I am still in the very early stages of design and development, but this new sketch gives some insight into the proposed design. I want to zero in on the mobile phone form factor, creating stacked inputs with a 9-button pad and touch-sensitive “cursor” control.

What I discovered from this sketch is an exciting tangent from the TRKBRD design that I would have taken for granted. For such a small keypad and touch surface, would I still be controlling a cursor on a small screen? Is there room on the screen for a cursor when dealing with a non-iPhone smartphone? I have a feeling the answer is… no. What I want to explore, is using the “cursor control” touch sensitivity of the buttons to control a selection box. It reminds me of DVD menus: you don’t control a cursor, but you do control a selection box with your remote control. Maybe this could create a faster selection process, or allow for faster SMS message typing?

Sketch One

The first of my daily sketches, which I will explain later.

What I learned…
Why not show the Windows operating system and the Mac operating system for my TRKBRD demo? Would it change people’s perception of the demo or its capabilities or future? I have made people surprised that I am a Windows-OS-kind-of-guy, since I don’t know, only “creative” people use Macs? I could easily show both operating systems in the TRKBRD demo, since it would only be a matter of creating the correct corresponding graphics in the Flash movie.

This also shows the multiple interactions I want to show in the demo. And by demo, I’m referring to my demonstration presentation at the upcoming IxDA’s Interaction ’10 conference in Savannah in February. I will need to be able to:

  • TAPTAP to open a folder
  • TAPTAP to open a document
  • TAPTAP to select a word, and then type a new word
  • TAP to place my cursor and type additional words
  • TAP to close the document, TAP to save document
  • TAP to close folder

Piece of cake…

PS. Yes…my drawing skills are non-existent, but I’m hoping to improve them, or maybe develop some skill there. And yes, I did initially think I had 6 fingers. Sad.

Day One

Today, on the shortest day of the year, I am officially starting my Interaction Design Master’s thesis at Malmö University, in Malmö Sweden.

This blog will be the central location for everything related to the progress of my thesis project… what am I doing each day, what am I researching, what physical prototypes am I building, and what is the progress of this short 4 month project.

I urge you to also follow my twitter feed too, which will include short summaries of my blog posts: @stackedui

Please comment whenever you feel the urge to! I am looking forward to feedback on everything I do and share with you here. This is my first thesis-type project, or, a project of this magnitude. I have high hopes for myself in what I want to achieve, in what I want to discover, in what I want to build, and in how this will affect my future jobs and passions.

Recent weather in Malmö, though, it has been snowing for the last 4 days: