Who inspires me?

It is very important to look toward people, see what they are doing, take inspiration from them, and learn from them. Most of those who fit this bill in my world are canopy sports athletes. Rob who gave me my first wing, Matt my instructorPál Takáts, Jeb Corliss, and so on…

They are people I aspire to be like, not only because they can and have done amazing things, but because I see how they are ambitiously pursuing life and taking it for all its worth. This is something that only comes with great determination, forethought, and the right mindset. The conditions in which they live day-to-day serves to be a true testament that they have what it takes, not only to get through the day but so see many more. It is not without great consideration they fly. It is not with out great consideration they make any choices.

Recently I have found yet another face to look toward; in my blogs infancy I was excited to get a few followers and likes, most of which I discovered were only looking for web site traffic (which I can understand and respect). One like however brought me to a blog that really struck me. The content was very genuine, Continue reading

A few videos were just shared with me; they were interviewing Richard Saul Wurman, the creator of Ted Talk. I loved what this man had to say.

That the key to creating/designing great things is to first design your life.

I touched on this in a post on simplifying your life, the concept rings very true. Think about how conducive a well fitted lifestyle is to success, it almost goes without saying. However, you often have to take a step back and look at the simple things to get oriented. It’s all too easy to cloud your judgment and draw faulty correlation’s as to why you are struggling with something.

Have you taken a step back and looked at your life lately?

UX – Putting it all to use!

You have seen me blogging endlessly about user experience design, today you get to see some of what that all goes toward!

I’m very excited to share with every one a project I am working on! I am fortunate enough to be a part of an extremely involved web development program at Clark College. Not only is my user experience class taught by Robert Hughes, the director of my program, but many of my other classes are taught by people who are truly working in the industry. I am taught WordPress by Lorelle VanFossen,  who helped develop WordPress itself! I learned all of my coding skills from Bruce Elgort, who owns a software company called Elguji among many other successes (to say the least). The project I am working on now has so much support that we have had the library staff and even the president of Clark College come into class and see what we are up to.

So what are we working on?

Our class is working with the library to rework their search page! A seemingly simple task that much is going into. We are not only changing the look but doing so is correlation with the movement toward  a new way of connecting users with the material they are looking for. What we do will be the face of a the libraries’ next big step to accommodate changing times and technologies. There is an article on Clark’s site covering what we are doing if your interested!

Here is what we are working with…

clark library site (looks rough)

Here is what our group envisions to be best…

our mock up of what the site should look like
*This is of course a mock-up, to be developed much further

Amongst a group of me and three other students ( including Jesse Byars) this is what we came up with. Later this week we will Continue reading

Designing in the moment – Ch1

This chapter started out by reiterating the simple fact that,

A first impression lasts a life time

Every one knows that a first impression is important, and this holds especially true in regard to a website. I have heard many numbers in attempting to figure out how long users take to decide if they are going stay on your site. Who cares if its ten seconds or less than one second, the fact of the matter is that its important. So that being said let’s jump into looking at the books first few tips that will work to keep users on your site.

First and foremost the layout of the site comes into play. Every one knows that layout makes a huge difference in experience and that cluttered of confusing layouts are dreadful. In the book we start by looking at a sites layout and critiquing it so that important fields were properly sized for their content. The most important parts of the site were then capitalized on, every site has something its trying to promote, from products to site subscription; these are the calls to action. We can accent those by doing many things, namely making them large, repetitive, and/or having a accenting color. On top of those ideas there was one last concept introduced… that our eyes naturally work through the site from the top to the bottom and left to right simultaneously. A layout that compliments all of these aspects is sure to bring good results.

Conductive

Fascinated with conductive materials found in every day things Daan Spanjers took on the task of giving function to these un-utilized materials.

Conductive is a combination of a several lights with prongs and a special table. The table has copper wiring running just beneath its surface as electricity runs about it. The prongs on the light can be matched up with the copper lines to make the light work. It is a very unique and clean looking deal.

I love this idea, the first thing it reminded me of was the charger for macbook’s. They primarily use a magnet to stay connected, minimizing the amount of moving parts. This really embraces the rule of KISS and works to ensure things work well. This product brings the beauty of apple charges to desk lighting.

Its ok to be excited about a neat way to light a desk, but thats really just looking at the small picture. Looking at the big picture in my mind I am imagining cool new house outlets, innovative ways to run power from place to place, and most importantly a way to get rid of my cell phone charger! If it became standard to use this form of energy transfer, things could get very interesting.

the light in question

Measuring less to feel more

This is a device used to check the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.

This product is used to check blood sugar levels, but in a different way. It is argued by its creator that the stress experienced when using standard devices causes almost as much harm as good. In an effort to combat the intimidating number displays and utilitarian design of standard instruments, this product has a welcoming and functional feel. Feed back is given by a change in colors, and the instrument looks more like a piece of art than anything else.

I believe that this would be a very useful product. There was little to back the claims of sugar being released during standard testing, but regardless the concept holds water. Things of this nature need to come about, it just simply makes life more pleasant. I would argue that most medical devices are utilitarian in design. If this product is the first step toward medical instruments becoming more user friendly then I support it!

This may actually be the best candidate for our class to be looking at. I can only imagine   in what ways a full class could apply the idea that this product does. The medical field holds a huge amount of power and importance in society. One of the key elements in my vision of the future surely includes amazing forms of medical tecnology.

blood sugar tester

Donald Norman – How design makes us happy

Watched an interesting video in class, it’s an other Donald Norman video.  In this piece he was doing a TED talk about three ways good design makes us happy. These things consisted of the following…

Visceral

Things that make connection with reactions that are programmed within you. Such as colors that we find appealing.

Behavior

Things that do something functional, such as the teapot that given its position is not only brewing tea but also reflecting wether the tea pot is full or not.

Reflective

Things like owning a fancy or cool car that  reflects on yourself. A status or a statement is portrayed through ownership.