We are borg

By 2020 the terms "interface" and "user" will be obsolete as computers merge ever closer with humans. It is one prediction in a Microsoft-backed report drawn from the discussions of 45 academics from the fields of computing, science, sociology and psychology.

It predicts fundamental changes in the field of so-called Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

By 2020 humans will increasingly interrogate machines, the report said.

In turn computers will be able to anticipate what we want from them, which will require new rules about our relationship with machines.

Computers to merge with humans. Via Swissmiss.

Published: Apr. 7th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Interaction design, Interface design

Exertion interfaces

We are going to soon carry out sports activities with our friends even when they are not in the same physical place as we are. More generally, computers will be increasingly used to persuade us to physically exercise and to make exercise more fun. At CHI 2008, Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller and Stefan Agamanolis have organized the workshop on Exertion Interfaces which is taking place today, and I asked them four quick questions before the workshop start.

Luca Chittaro: EXERTION INTERFACES. An interview with Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller and Stefan Agamanolis

Published: Apr. 7th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Interaction design, Interface design

Design Is Dead

Philippe Starck apparently apologizes for the waste his design career has caused.

“I was a producer of materiality and I am ashamed of this fact.Everything I designed was unnecessary. I will definitely give up in two years’ time. I want to do something else, but I don’t know what yet. I want to find a new way of expressing myself …design is a dreadful form of expression…. In future there will be no more designers. The designers of the future will be the personal coach, the gym trainer, the diet consultant.”

Starck: Design Is Dead, Sorry on PSFK. Via Swissmiss.

Published: Mar. 30th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Design, Designers

Comparing blogs to other Communication Tools

One of the most common areas of confusion about blogs is in understanding how they're different from the other technology you might already be using on your website. If you've got someone saying "We're doing forums, isn't that just as good as a blog?" then you can use this section as a cheat sheet for responding to them.

Movable Type Docs

Published: Mar. 25th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Blogs, Tools

So you want to be a blogging star?

“Don’t go into blogging to make a living,” Mr. Cuban warned in an e-mail message. Still, he and other top bloggers with day jobs agree most people could attract a following on the Web. And whether a person blogs to make a little money, to influence opinion or just for sheer ego gratification, amassing a large audience is the goal.

Here’s what a number of successful bloggers with successful nonblogging careers say are the ways to think about getting into the business of blogging.

New York Times

Published: Mar. 25th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Basics, Blog

Curvy Cross Processing in Photoshop CS3

This tutorial describes one of my favorite techniques for 'spicing' up a photograph. This method is adapted from the color darkroom of old. In those days, innovative photographers often processed film in a chemical solution intended for another type of film. For instance, they might process color slide film in C-41 chemicals. The result yielded a most unusual shift in color, which created a very retro look. To recreate this technique using the computer is both easy and fun.

Layers Magazine

Published: Mar. 10th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Photoshop, Tutorial

Six Principles for Making New Things


“I like to find (a) simple solutions (b) to overlooked problems© that actually need to be solved, and (d) deliver them as informally as possible, (e) starting with a very crude version 1, then (f) iterating rapidly.”

Six Principles for Making New Things. 37s.

Published: Feb. 24th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Creativity, Innovation

How to Draw Caricatures


This is the first of a series of articles I will post here on The MAD Blog about my theories, methods and processes concerning how to draw caricatures. A lot of this information is part of what I teach my theme park artists, so it is derived partly from the approach of doing live, quick-draw caricatures. However all of that can be applied to more studio orientated caricature work and I have also added points and concepts directly from the less time-constrained world of caricature illustration. Therefore this is not instruction for just the live caricaturist but for any artist interested in caricature for any purpose.

How to Draw Caricatures: The 5 Shapes

Published: Feb. 24th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Caricatures, Draw

The Ultimate Gadget


Published: Feb. 24th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Featureitis, Gadget

How to Set Project Guidelines

The budget, schedule, and skills needed to make a project succeed are based on assumptions about the project. So, before you make a commitment to complete an communication product within a certain schedule, budget, with the skills of a particular group of people, you need to identify and share with your client the assumptions on which you make those promises. If these assumptions change later, or prove to be incorrect, you need to work with your client to renegotiate changes to the schedule and budget

Manager's Toolkit: How to Set Project Guidelines

Published: Feb. 20th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Management, Project management

Resources for Information Designers

Below are links to how-to articles, worksheets, and samples that assist you in performing the various tasks in the process of designing and developing information.

Following a process is a critical factor in successfully designing and developing information. By following one, you have, at the least, a check list of sorts that helps you make sure that you complete every task and, at the most, a guide to make sure that you address issues in the most logical sequence.

By following a well-defined process and applying creative design and development techniques, you can design communication products in the most effective and efficient manner, and publish material that will dazzle clients (internal to your organization or external) and users alike.

Resources for Information Designers: To Master the Information Design Process

Published: Feb. 20th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Information design, Process

Manifesto of the UI

I’ve been thinking more and more lately about the state of user interface and it’s evolution path — it’s something that I can’t get out of my mind. Over the past few years (we’re talking less than 5), we’ve seen user interfaces across the digital world morph from a static experience into highly dynamic interactive experiences. Web sites like Facebook and MySpace have proven that interactivity and the ability to relate real world ideas to the digital realm wins over features and functionality. Applications like iTunes have shown that how data is presented and you interact with that data is more important than how your computer processes the same data.

As such, I’d like to pose a simple question to those front end developers out there: What do you think the future of UI technology will look like?


Published: Feb. 12th, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Design, UI, User Interface


I've seen this wonderful manifesto in a number of places but it's worth repeating again and again (and I want to save it here so I won't forget). Via HI + LOW

Published: Feb. 1st, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Art, Creativity, Process

The Assistant

Touching story told on John Maeda's Simplicity.

As the story went, the professor's assistant had followed this famous professor all the way up from being a junior professor to later becoming a high ranking person in the professor's field. My friend joked about how people all over the world claimed to not know who the professor was, but everyone sure knew his administrative assistant because she was the one that made things happen logistics-wise for this famed professor. He was loved, not just for his expertise, but the good company he had closest to him as support.

Towards the end of her life in the hospital this professor visited her every day without fail. He canceled all his travel to be with her. And since he was so respected in Japan, he moved his assistant to the highest ranking doctor and service above all other VIPs at the hospital ... yet it did not result in her getting better.

The lesson I took away from this is one that I know by heart. That great people know how to take care of their people. For a great person does not become great by themselves

Maeda's SIMPLICITY: The Assistant

Published: Feb. 1st, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Inspiring, Management


My first design job was with a small print design agency in Manchester that produced work in varying media: packaging, publications, and marketing support materials, and…direct mail. I soon discovered that the graphic design principles I’d learned in college were of little use when I designed for direct mail, where big, bold, and crowded is the order of the day. In the words of one client—words I will never forget—“whitespace is empty space.”
A List Apart: Whitespace. Via Swissmiss.

Published: Feb. 1st, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Design

The History of Visual Communication

This website attempts to walk you through the long and diverse history of a particular aspect of human endeavour: The translation of ideas, stories and concepts that are largely textual and/or word based into a visual format, i.e. visual communication.

I shall loosely be following P.B. Megg's book "The History of Graphic Design", which is the seminal work of this area. Given that the internet presents me with this possibility I shall be providing far more visual examples to the material covered than the book itself provides. Thus the following pages are full of clickable thumbnails which will lead you to large sized images clarifiying the subjects at hand. The in-class presentations which give plenty of additional images and information - especially where the contextualisation of subject matter is concerned, are all to be found at the "downloads" link. Additionally there will soon be a downloadable walkable 3D VRML environment that covers highlights of the course for quick recapture and also, hopefully, for fun


The History of Visual Communication

Published: Feb. 1st, 2008. Categorized: Text. Tagged: Communication, Design, History, Typography

paulgraham.jpg 5shapes.jpg gadget.gif corita_rules.jpg

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