One Pixel Two Pixel

A correspondence between two digital designers in the big cities of the northwest.

January 28, 2014 at 2:18pm
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Cards Against Humanity Tabletop Deathmatch
Nicki: I was watching Max Temkin’s (one of the founders of CAH) XOXO Festival talk from last year. He tells a great story about how he and his friends created Humans vs. Zombies and Cards Against Humanity. I appreciate the way they’ve used Creative Commons licensing to keep CAH accessible and extensible, whether or not they like what’s been done with it. I wanted to call out the Tabletop Deathmatch as a great example of people doing something about a problem they see and uplifting others in the process. Max says they were at the largest tabletop gaming convention in the US and were surprised at how it was dominated by the big name game companies. They had hoped to meet other indie gamers but few could afford to produce their ideas and pay for a table on the show room floor. So they set up basically a scholarship that would support the first printing and a table at the convention. To decide who to award it to, they created the Tabletop Deathmatch. I haven’t watched the web series they made about it and the website doesn’t list who won so I’m not sure of the result. But I’m pleased to see this a small company providing this kind of encouragement to others in their field.
I’ve also see this in data viz. Sha Hwang is a pretty cool dude and at the end of his talk for Eyeo last year, he said he is planning on providing a living stipend to another designer for a given period of time to explore a useful-to-the-world design project because we all know we want to do that but end up working on projects that bring in money and rarely to these two types of projects align.

Cards Against Humanity Tabletop Deathmatch

Nicki: I was watching Max Temkin’s (one of the founders of CAH) XOXO Festival talk from last year. He tells a great story about how he and his friends created Humans vs. Zombies and Cards Against Humanity. I appreciate the way they’ve used Creative Commons licensing to keep CAH accessible and extensible, whether or not they like what’s been done with it. I wanted to call out the Tabletop Deathmatch as a great example of people doing something about a problem they see and uplifting others in the process. Max says they were at the largest tabletop gaming convention in the US and were surprised at how it was dominated by the big name game companies. They had hoped to meet other indie gamers but few could afford to produce their ideas and pay for a table on the show room floor. So they set up basically a scholarship that would support the first printing and a table at the convention. To decide who to award it to, they created the Tabletop Deathmatch. I haven’t watched the web series they made about it and the website doesn’t list who won so I’m not sure of the result. But I’m pleased to see this a small company providing this kind of encouragement to others in their field.

I’ve also see this in data viz. Sha Hwang is a pretty cool dude and at the end of his talk for Eyeo last year, he said he is planning on providing a living stipend to another designer for a given period of time to explore a useful-to-the-world design project because we all know we want to do that but end up working on projects that bring in money and rarely to these two types of projects align.

December 30, 2013 at 4:07pm
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inFORM - Interacting With a Dynamic Shape Display

Nicki: Some food for thought. :)

(Source: vimeo.com)

October 29, 2013 at 7:41pm
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BEAUTY OF MATHEMATICS

Nicki: I’m not sure I can add anything to that title. <3 <3 <3 =! <27

Get it???? (facepalm)

Along the lines of beautiful videos. Thanks for that recent one on Iceland!

(Source: vimeo.com)

September 24, 2013 at 1:02pm
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Box by Bot & Dolly

Nicki: I was blown away by this video this morning. I am not up on cutting edge video projection technology or 3D mapping so I don’t fully understand what it took to do this. However, its one of those pieces that makes me so curious that I want to learn more about how it was made. I have a feeling that this is an example of something I’ve thought of before in art. There is a particular class of art, I’ve no idea if its called anything, where the art piece as a whole requires intense mastery of the tools in order for the artist to conceptualize what their piece will look like as a whole because there isn’t much prototyping or sketching that can be done. The artist really has to know their medium and what all the small pieces will look like together.

I love the quote at the end, it really sums up how I felt.

I hope I’ll make something so enormously complex and beautiful someday. I’ve no idea in what medium.

September 16, 2013 at 1:22pm
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Designing (and converting) for multiple mobile densities
Nicki (09/16/13): Just super handy, a guide to pixel density and a calculator for converting between the main densities. Essential for anyone designing for a range of mobile devices. This is usually used by UI designers but I believe that UX designers need to take note of this too because the changes between the size of elements and text needs some loving UX thinking too. Thanks Teehan+Lax!

Designing (and converting) for multiple mobile densities

Nicki (09/16/13): Just super handy, a guide to pixel density and a calculator for converting between the main densities. Essential for anyone designing for a range of mobile devices. This is usually used by UI designers but I believe that UX designers need to take note of this too because the changes between the size of elements and text needs some loving UX thinking too. Thanks Teehan+Lax!

August 26, 2013 at 12:14pm
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UX Team of One
Lucy: Leah Buley from Adaptive Path gives a great talk about her experience working as the only ux designer embedded in a large corporation. One big takeaway for me is the idea of generative design: to use different techniques when sketching out ideas to come up with a bunch of ideas to whittle down later. The way to judge which ideas are the best is to develop a set of design principles that are unique to each project. The principles come from the merging of the customer&#8217;s needs, the business needs, and ultimately taking the next step to create the experience. For example, she uses the re-design of the Evite website to show that a design principle there is for the site to be &#8216;addictive&#8217;. This encompasses both the customer&#8217;s needs to create invitations, getting their friends involved, and the business needs to grow the company by getting more and more people to use the service. 
Another good point she makes is how a lot of ux research can be done with an &#8216;ad hoc&#8217; group of people. Pulling in the engineers and the business partners to brainstorm and come up with ideas gets people excited and invested in a project. Getting rid of the &#8216;artiste&#8217; mentality of wearing a beret while working alone in a locked room to produce rigid designs that must be followed by everyone or else - is an idea that produces a final design that is narrowly-focused and not best for the customer.

UX Team of One

Lucy: Leah Buley from Adaptive Path gives a great talk about her experience working as the only ux designer embedded in a large corporation. One big takeaway for me is the idea of generative design: to use different techniques when sketching out ideas to come up with a bunch of ideas to whittle down later. The way to judge which ideas are the best is to develop a set of design principles that are unique to each project. The principles come from the merging of the customer’s needs, the business needs, and ultimately taking the next step to create the experience. For example, she uses the re-design of the Evite website to show that a design principle there is for the site to be ‘addictive’. This encompasses both the customer’s needs to create invitations, getting their friends involved, and the business needs to grow the company by getting more and more people to use the service.

Another good point she makes is how a lot of ux research can be done with an ‘ad hoc’ group of people. Pulling in the engineers and the business partners to brainstorm and come up with ideas gets people excited and invested in a project. Getting rid of the ‘artiste’ mentality of wearing a beret while working alone in a locked room to produce rigid designs that must be followed by everyone or else - is an idea that produces a final design that is narrowly-focused and not best for the customer.

August 15, 2013 at 2:15pm
8,048 notes
Reblogged from colchrishadfield
jtotheizzoe:

colchrishadfield:

Good morning! Perspective - how big is our Moon?

And it’s about this far away (much farther than most people think):

The light from the moon is 1.28 seconds old. Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is Why didn’t Chris Hadfield put the moon over Canada?!
Combine this with a video about the true scale of the solar system.

Nicki: I couldn&#8217;t resist. I love this graphic! and i was surprised that the moon is that small?

Lucy: Wow. This is such a simple way to show the scale and yet still surprising:) Thanks for posting - really neat.

jtotheizzoe:

colchrishadfield:

Good morning! Perspective - how big is our Moon?

And it’s about this far away (much farther than most people think):

The light from the moon is 1.28 seconds old. Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is Why didn’t Chris Hadfield put the moon over Canada?!

Combine this with a video about the true scale of the solar system.

Nicki: I couldn’t resist. I love this graphic! and i was surprised that the moon is that small?

Lucy: Wow. This is such a simple way to show the scale and yet still surprising:) Thanks for posting - really neat.

August 14, 2013 at 2:55pm
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Why a New Golden Age for UI Design is Around the Corner
Nicki: This is a pretty good article about how the developing device ecosystem will bring us back towards a more integrated experience design profession; screens + real world entire interactions. I&#8217;m not sure why they targeted this toward UI design because in some sense its saying, well, your UI design skills will only go so far when you have to design for physical interaction or product design as well.
I like the Disney example at the beginning. I&#8217;ve heard most of this before but what was new to me was this philosophy: 

Each new device should reduce the complexity of the system and increase the value of everything else in the ecosystem.

I&#8217;m pretty keen on that idea. It&#8217;s like &#8220;avoid feature-creep&#8221; for the entire ecosystem.

Why a New Golden Age for UI Design is Around the Corner

Nicki: This is a pretty good article about how the developing device ecosystem will bring us back towards a more integrated experience design profession; screens + real world entire interactions. I’m not sure why they targeted this toward UI design because in some sense its saying, well, your UI design skills will only go so far when you have to design for physical interaction or product design as well.

I like the Disney example at the beginning. I’ve heard most of this before but what was new to me was this philosophy: 

Each new device should reduce the complexity of the system and increase the value of everything else in the ecosystem.

I’m pretty keen on that idea. It’s like “avoid feature-creep” for the entire ecosystem.

August 13, 2013 at 12:41pm
0 notes
Kid&#8217;s Can&#8217;t Use Computers
Nicki: I love this short essay for its exploration of a false stereotype, technological literacy, and governance in the new era of computing ubiquity. It has got me worried though about things I&#8217;ve been ignoring. I&#8217;ve been more aware of the digital divide as a class issue but this is another angle where our entire society has a false sense of our understanding of our primary complex technology. It also scares me because I&#8217;ve been wondering if this is an argument for humans as a society being restricted to a low-level of intelligence for all time. But I do think we continue to become smarter and smarter as a whole, if we look back at where we&#8217;ve been with our levels of general understanding, because we have more shoulders to stand on with each generation. Maybe it just always feels too slow but is relative to the current times.

Kid’s Can’t Use Computers

Nicki: I love this short essay for its exploration of a false stereotype, technological literacy, and governance in the new era of computing ubiquity. It has got me worried though about things I’ve been ignoring. I’ve been more aware of the digital divide as a class issue but this is another angle where our entire society has a false sense of our understanding of our primary complex technology. It also scares me because I’ve been wondering if this is an argument for humans as a society being restricted to a low-level of intelligence for all time. But I do think we continue to become smarter and smarter as a whole, if we look back at where we’ve been with our levels of general understanding, because we have more shoulders to stand on with each generation. Maybe it just always feels too slow but is relative to the current times.

August 8, 2013 at 12:37pm
0 notes
Ultimate Collection of Responsive Design Admin Panels
Lucy: Thanks to a co-worker for posting this article, I wanted to share it with you since we both work on some projects that, when working properly, go unnoticed by the user:)
As a designer and a ux person, I used to think that no feedback from the users was a bad sign - that my designs weren&#8217;t very good. But now I am of a much different mentality: When users don&#8217;t comment on the visual/navigation elements of a prototype, it usually means I&#8217;ve done my job.
Nicki: This is a handy comparison of many different admin panels. I&#8217;m a bit mesmerized by the double sine wave pattern that they were able to create in many of the screenshots. Maybe distracted is a better word. These admin panels always make me want to get one set up even though I don&#8217;t need one.

Ultimate Collection of Responsive Design Admin Panels

Lucy: Thanks to a co-worker for posting this article, I wanted to share it with you since we both work on some projects that, when working properly, go unnoticed by the user:)

As a designer and a ux person, I used to think that no feedback from the users was a bad sign - that my designs weren’t very good. But now I am of a much different mentality: When users don’t comment on the visual/navigation elements of a prototype, it usually means I’ve done my job.

Nicki: This is a handy comparison of many different admin panels. I’m a bit mesmerized by the double sine wave pattern that they were able to create in many of the screenshots. Maybe distracted is a better word. These admin panels always make me want to get one set up even though I don’t need one.

July 16, 2013 at 2:59pm
1 note
Reblogged from edamamegreen
edamamegreen:

Portland, Oregon: The Age of a City
Nicki: MAPS!!! 

Lucy: So cool. Amazing to see the progression of the city from what appears to be 2 separate, old city centers into what is now the east-side.
Also a cool way to show the power of computers to create that data.
Neat stuff!

edamamegreen:

Portland, Oregon: The Age of a City

Nicki: MAPS!!! 

Lucy: So cool. Amazing to see the progression of the city from what appears to be 2 separate, old city centers into what is now the east-side.

Also a cool way to show the power of computers to create that data.

Neat stuff!

July 11, 2013 at 2:19pm
0 notes
Preventing Bad Microcopy
Nicki: This is a UX article that I&#8217;ll keep handy. I&#8217;ve been working on copy for right now and this is at the intersection of copy and the Microinteractions talk I saw two days ago. The little details. It&#8217;s easier for internal product teams to make time for this stuff than design firms. I am always surprised when I see wireframes that don&#8217;t have copy in them. They change so much when you add the copy, it really needs to be designed for. And if we don&#8217;t have the exact copy, we do our best to make recommendations and approximate the range of copy that will come.

Preventing Bad Microcopy

Nicki: This is a UX article that I’ll keep handy. I’ve been working on copy for right now and this is at the intersection of copy and the Microinteractions talk I saw two days ago. The little details. It’s easier for internal product teams to make time for this stuff than design firms. I am always surprised when I see wireframes that don’t have copy in them. They change so much when you add the copy, it really needs to be designed for. And if we don’t have the exact copy, we do our best to make recommendations and approximate the range of copy that will come.

July 10, 2013 at 1:15pm
0 notes
The 10 Secrets of a Master Networker
Nicki: Despite the misleading link-bait style title, this article is a fascinatingly descriptive portrait of a man who is considered one of the best networkers in America. While his lifestyle is clearly demanding and not possible if you care about other things, there&#8217;s some really good fundamental tips illustrated by some of the stories. My HR director recommended it today after I asked him for reading materials on networking. 

The 10 Secrets of a Master Networker

Nicki: Despite the misleading link-bait style title, this article is a fascinatingly descriptive portrait of a man who is considered one of the best networkers in America. While his lifestyle is clearly demanding and not possible if you care about other things, there’s some really good fundamental tips illustrated by some of the stories. My HR director recommended it today after I asked him for reading materials on networking. 

July 8, 2013 at 7:01pm
1 note
Doing What Maters
Lucy: This is another post by the blogger you turned me on to today. It highlights Dave Eggers thoughts on what it means to do what matters. I don;t really know if this is a response to the start-up, tech-negative articles&#8230;but it&#8217;s inspiring anyway.

Doing What Maters

Lucy: This is another post by the blogger you turned me on to today. It highlights Dave Eggers thoughts on what it means to do what matters. I don;t really know if this is a response to the start-up, tech-negative articles…but it’s inspiring anyway.

July 3, 2013 at 7:49pm
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Google Visual Asset Guidelines
Nicki: I love the thought that goes into design languages and philosophies. did you ever see this? I would like to work on my design fundamentals.
Lucy: It&#8217;s so neat when companies make their design guidelines public. I truly think it only strengthens the brand because it allows people to &#8216;peek under the hood&#8217; and see the depth of a company&#8217;s design approach.

Google Visual Asset Guidelines

Nicki: I love the thought that goes into design languages and philosophies. did you ever see this? I would like to work on my design fundamentals.

Lucy: It’s so neat when companies make their design guidelines public. I truly think it only strengthens the brand because it allows people to ‘peek under the hood’ and see the depth of a company’s design approach.