Archive for the ‘Visual Design’ Category

A 2D Designer in a 3D World

February 28th, 2011

As an Interaction Designer with a background in various forms of 2D media design, I increasingly find myself surrounded by the emerging discipline of 3D, or more specifically, stereoscopic user interface design. (more…)

Buy me

February 1st, 2011

Commercials have always fascinated me. It occurred to me a few years ago that televisions only exist for the purpose of selling us stuff. Broadcast companies are able to spend millions on 22 minutes of our favorite sitcom because advertisers are willing to pay them millions to show eight minutes of advertisements during the show. Some of the most memorable stories, characters, and moments of my life were made possible by Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, and Ford. And it works! Americans watch, on average, four hours of television every day (or about an hour of commercials every day). Buy me
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Evolution of the senses

January 13th, 2011

Tasting colors, seeing sounds or have you heard of actually hearing color hues? It’s a reality for an estimated 1 in every 23 people. (more…)

Behold Beauty

May 28th, 2009

Expressions – May 28, 2009: How can design tap into our emotional wiring, stop us in our tracks and create responses in us? An exploration we did at Lunar, loosely based on Don Norman’s Emotional Design, looked at how design can make us stop and think, stop and act, and stop and behold.

In this episode, Lunar’s John Edson, Jeff Smith and Becky Brown talk about this last dimension — the beauty dimension of "stop and behold" — and how it turns out to be the most elusive power of design.

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Think, Behold and Act: Clive

May 20th, 2009

LUNAR’s graphic design maven, Becky Brown, presented some work at San Francisco’s Pecha Kucha Night
recently.  Becky crafted a story whose main character, Clive, befriended us, made us care – and then led us around an unexpected corner.  And then another. Here’s a reenactment.  Enjoy.

Democratizing the TV?

March 25th, 2009

In 2007, I was that guy that didn’t know how Tony Soprano died. I missed out on one of the biggest events in HBO history because I was in a “no time for television” phase, meaning I thought TV was an isolating medium and I had better things to do. That is, until I found myself in more social situations where, surrounded by Lost conspiracy theories, I’d have to cleverly change the topic or go get another drink.

So what is TV? An aging medium of solitude and popcorn? Or a potential igniter of social sparks?

Consider this: Back in the 50’s, when families could afford one television, it sat in the middle of the living room surrounded by people and was social glue. Shortly thereafter, prices dropped and family members started disappearing behind closed doors to watch their favorite shows on their personal TVs. Today, headphone-clad commuters watch streaming TV or YouTube clips on handhelds on their way to work, and social network chatter has elevated TV to a social medium once again. 

Imagine, however, a night in with sofa full of your friends or family members. Old TV doesn’t care how many people are in front of the TV. When you’re with your girlfriend/boyfriend, your spouse, your friends or family, when TV watching becomes the main event, what’s different?

Last year, I started exploring what it means for a remote to know who you are. With industrial designer Alex Rochat, I explored what a “democratic TV” might feel like, giving equal share of play to everyone sitting around the coffee table. The concept is simple – a set of plush “remotes” each tied to an individual. They feel more like furniture than technology. There are no buttons – only a twist, squeeze and pull to access not only basic TV functions but a collection of social tools that let you grab and broadcast content, and provide live feedback to programming and web clips. We’re also toying with the notion of 3rd party TV apps (think iTunes Store for your television). Can’t decide what to watch next? Maybe it’s time to download the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” app?

There are a lot of exciting things happening in UI innovation. Kicker Studio recently published a YouTube video of a conceptual interface prototype that allows a TV watcher to gesture in the air to control basic TV functions. Dan Saffer does a good job keeping it TV-simple and feeling like entertainment, not work, with a UI that makes it easy to get at the core functions of TV. Gesture-based enhancements could raise the bar for the TV experience as a whole, and the industry just might be ready to give it a go.

– Ron Goldin

It’s About Time

March 12th, 2009

Cow

LUNAR’s graphic design maven, Becky Brown, presented some work at San Francisco’s Pecha Kucha Night recently.   I am terribly familiar with the work, but remarkably I was blown away as if seeing it for the first time again.   Rather than showing the work in the usual, ordinary, plain, expected way, Becky crafted a story whose main character, Clive, befriended us, made us care – and then led us around an unexpected corner.  And then another.  And then there was the special bonus reel.

Beck’s presentation was a double whammy.   The content of the work was great, engaging.   And it’d have been enough, by many accounts.  But she didn’t rest there.   She used some very simple story telling tools to reshape the invisible components of her presentation.  With the story in place, the direction of the visuals became obvious, and the result was perfection.   It’s really just about caring.  About applying design to the usually forgotten 4th dimension, time.    For some easy inspiration, read Made to Stick, by Stanford professors Dan and Chip Heath.

– John Edson