Categories
Art Conferences Mapping Place Research Travel

Transcultural mapping workshops

Update: “new website”:http://www.futurefarmers.com/survey/outskirts.html

Categories
Graphic design Interaction design Mapping Mobility Photography Place Urbanism

Public markup

I have made a selection of research images over at Flickr, and more of the text and research will be online soon.

Categories
Adaptive design Art Conferences Interaction design Mobility Place Technology Urbanism

Creative Crossings workshop

Some of our ambitions were:

* Investigate transformative use of space and place
* Address gaps in infrastructure: access to standards, material frameworks and technology
* Instigate a triangular network: tried and trusted network practice
* Pursue research and practice, less engineering
* Explore relationships between media, gaming, locative, mobile, visual media

Anne Galloway has posted our collaborative summaries from the workshop and my full notes are here, until they can be put on the collective server.

The discussion is continuing, and the next informal meeting of participants is happening at ISEA 2004.

h3. Some pictures
!/images/creativecrossings01.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Graham Harwood and Michelle Kasprzak)!
!/images/creativecrossings02.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Jo Walsh and Gabe Sawhney)!
!/images/creativecrossings03.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Rachel Baker and Tapio Makela on the 19 bus)!
!/images/creativecrossings04.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Tapio Makela on the 19 bus)!
!/images/creativecrossings05.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings06.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings07.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings08.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings09.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!

Categories
Experience design Interaction design Mapping Mobility Place Technology Urbanism

Urban GPS experience

It’s possible to use the “GPS Map 60c”:http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap60c/ in an old “Marimekko bag”:http://www.marimekko.fi in a mobile phone pocket just small enough that the aerial sticks out. In this way it can be placed in windows of buses or cars without it sliding around, and I can walk around without looking like a geek or getting mugged.

!/images/urbangps03.gif(Rendered trail of three months walking in Oslo)!

h3. Problems

In short, GPS doesn’t work well in dense urban environments like most European cities. This is from the perspective of a pedestrian confined to the pavements (sidewalks) and public transport. From a few experiences whilst being driven around, it seems to work well in a car, probably because of the clear sky area available in the middle of the road. Inclement weather and green trees also seem to be problematic.

In these last few months, attempting to record a good quality database of tracks to geo-locate my photographs, I must have looked really odd. Face in device, stopping on street corners, stopping in the middle of street crossings and scrambling to grab the front seat of the bus. Discovering that GPS doesn’t just passively work is a great disappointment and my dataset is clouded with gaps and anomalies.

h3. Some other observations

* Fast turns when using public transport or car result in wild deviations: re-aquiring satellites is the problem
* Need a road that aligns with at least 4 satellites to get an acceptable track, anything else and the errors can accumulate
* Glass buildings can result in ‘reflections’ of position, eg jumping to other locations due to reflected signals
* I sit on the outside or front of buses: to get a wider expanse of sky area: I am constantly aware of sky cover
* The relative position of satellites is beginning to have an effect on the side of the street that I walk on
* Walking in the middle of the street: had a couple of near misses with cars – the moving map is just too engaging
* I would like an explanation of the lost track calculations: this device seems to use the last-known bearing and velocity to guess new tracks when the signal fails. This is very unreliable and problematic as it fills the map with phantom trails
* The track can be more useful over time than the (base) map: it shows my personal space and personal routes, I know where I have been and can use it to retrace routes or places. Popular routes build up in blackness and thickness. Home area becomes an abstract scatter plot of routes, but it’s very familiar
* Stored waypoints are really useful for getting large, general bearings on location: zooming out and seeing a relationship to two known landmarks can be really useful in an unknown area

!/images/urbangps04.gif(Rendered trail of two weeks walking and public transport in London)!

!/images/urbangps01.jpg(GPS receiver resting on the top deck of the number 4 bus, London)!

!/images/urbangps02.jpg(GPS receiver in the window of a train, Oslo)!

Categories
Art Mapping Media Narrative Photography Place Travel Urbanism

Travelogue

Categories
Adaptive design Interaction design Reading

Interaction design books

Pink = highly recommended!

Information Appliances and Beyond

Eric Bergman ed. One of the best interaction design books to date. With case-studies on various design problems from Palm OS usability to Nokia contextual design issues. Just enough detail and anecdotes to get a good sense of design process.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Humane Interface

Jef Raskin. An absolutely essential book for anyone developing an interactive product. Raskin explains some excellent ideas for usable interfaces that are better suited to large file systems and the internet.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Designing Visual Interfaces

Kevin Mullet, Darrell Sano. A useful book with plenty of visual examples on how to simplify and enhance desktop interfaces.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Dust or Magic: Secrets of Successful Multimedia Design

Bob Hughes. Somehow forgotten, this book gives a great overview for successfully designing rich multimedia interfaces.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Reinventing the Wheel

Jessica Helfand. Plotting the history and design of information wheels, those interactive tools that can tell you the cooking time of an egg to the blast radius of a nuclear bomb.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design

Brenda Laurel ed. A collection of dated (early 80s) essays that begin to see interface as a design discipline. Complex and theoretical.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Designing the User Interface

Ben Shneiderman. Really thorough book, concentrating heavily on software interface design from a programming perspective.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Bringing Design to Software

Terry Winograd. A dialogue around the design process in software development.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Plans and Situated Actions

Lucy A. Suchman. A new approach to interaction design using new social science models.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

GUI Bloopers

Jeff Johnson. A lighthearted book highlighting common interface mistakes.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Alan Cooper. Really good ideas to solve common interface design issues. Cooper shows that the biggest problem in interaction design is that it is controlled by the developers and programmers, and advocates the need for interaction designers at every level of software production.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Apple Human Interface Guidelines: The Apple Desktop Interface

Apple Computer. The original guidelines for developing MacOS GUI interfaces. The version for MacOS X can be downloaded from apple.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Categories
Adaptive design Interaction design Reading Research Social

Adaptive design books

Notes on the Synthesis of Form

Christopher Alexander.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Nature of Order

Christopher Alexander.
amazon.com

The Oregon Experiment

Christopher Alexander.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

A Pattern Language

Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Timeless Way of Building

Christopher Alexander.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

How Buildings Learn

Stewart Brand.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams

Mitchel Resnick.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

Steven Johnson.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Tipping Point

Malcolm Gladwell.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web

David Weinberger.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution

Howard Rheingold.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Adventures in Modeling: Exploring Complex, Dynamic Systems with StarLogo

Vanessa Colella, Eric Klopfer, Mitchel Resnick.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

A New Kind of Science

Stephen Wolfram.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Control Revolution

Andrew L. Shapiro.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Society of Mind

Marvin Minsky.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Electric Meme

Robert Aunger.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet

Sherry Turkle.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Virtual Community

Howard Rheingold.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Design for Community

Derek M. Powazek.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Community Building on the Web

Amy Jo Kim.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Online Communities

Jenny Preece.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Categories
Experience design Graphic design Information design Interaction design Media Narrative Television Usability

Design for television

David’s reference to 18 points as the minimum size equates to 18 pixels if you are coming from a web background.

On some iTV projects I have pushed the type down to 16 pixels, but be very careful about colours and contrast, and enquire about the production path to air: if the work is going to be transferred via DV tape, squeezed through an old composite link, or online-edited with high compression, then you might want to leave type as large as possible.

In some cases ? such as using white text on a red background ? you can add a very subtle black shadow to the type, which will help stop colour bleed and crawling effects. Even if you dislike drop-shadow effects, it will still look flat and lovely on a broadcast monitor.

Safe areas need to be taken with a pinch of salt. The default safe areas in most editing and compositing software date from years ago before the widespread use of modern, widescreen televisions.

Try extending the safe area for non-essential text in interactive projects, and consult broadcaster guidelines for their widescreen policies: many channels now broadcast in 14:9 to terrestrial boxes, and offer options to satellite and cable viewers.

The largest problem is that widescreen viewers often crop the top and bottom of the image by setting their TV to crop 4:3 to 16:9. Some cable/satellite companies remove the left and right of the image to crop 16:9 to 4:3 for non-widescreen viewers, leaving us only a tiny, safe rectangle in the centre of the image to work with.

Robert Bradbrook (maker of Home Road Movies) has a some technical but excellent information on designing graphics for 16:9 television and film formats, including a sample safe area.

There are also excellent documents on picture standards from the BBC.

But this is one thing I don’t understand: according to the BBC: “Additional [20 or 26 horizontal] pixels are not taken into account when calculating the aspect ratio, but without them images transferred between systems will not be the correct shape.” Can anyone confirm that this is the case for PAL images?

Categories
Architecture Place Reading Research Urbanism

Architecture theory books

City of Collective Memory

M. Christine Boyer.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Breathing Cities: Visualizing Urban Movement

Nick Barley.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Metapolis Dictionary of Advanced Architecture

Manuel Gausa.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Rebuilding the Reichstag

Norman Foster.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Towards a New Architecture

Le Corbusier.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Architecture and Disjunction

Bernard Tschumi.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Manhattan Transcripts

Bernard Tschumi.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Logic of Architecture

William J. Mitchell.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Mobile: The Art of Portable Architecture

Jennifer Siegal ed.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

City of Bits

William J. Mitchell.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

E-topia

William J. Mitchell.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Strangely Familiar

Iain Borden, Joe Kerr, Alicia Pivaro, Jane Rendell.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Invisible Cities

Italo Calvino.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Poetics of Space

Gaston Bachelard, Etienne Gilson, John Stilgoe.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

De Stijl

Paul Overy.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Fragments of Utopia

David Wild.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Architects in Cyberspace

Neil Spiller, Martin Pearce.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Categories
Mobility Television

Mess TV: SMS and MMS community television

Mess TV runs every night from around 2am until 12 noon the next day. Television is an effective way of communicating in Norway where the population is distributed evenly across a wide geographical area. The show is used by a variety of communities and individuals needing to connect.

I completely rebranded the show with a visual design that reflected the branding guidelines of TV Norge, refined the SMS and MMS interaction scenarios, and advised on linear broadcast and interactive content.

interface showing location based community services

interface showing location based community services

interface showing location based community services

h3. Features

* The show has a standard layout, similar to other SMS television shows, but with a high attention to detail and clean, compact layout
* clean background colours foregrounds the messy user-generated content
* simple use of fonts and colours to lessen the visual overload of multiple messages
* clear divisions between different areas of content
* MMS pictures can be submitted and displayed as part of competitions or themes

We conducted specific audience analysis on themes and content that generated most interest, and adapted the interface to audience demands.

h3. Future developments

* Location based services, personalisation and competitions
* MMS video diaries: ability for the audience to submit diaries of community projects or daily life, and to allow for some editorial control over editing and presentation, perhaps through an online interface

interface showing location based community services

interface showing location based competition