Posts Tagged ‘user experience’

Designing with Data at UXPA Boston 2014

by emily on April 9th, 2014 - Comments (0)

User Experience Conference 2014

May 15, 2014 at 8:00 a.m.
Sheraton Boston Hotel
39 Dalton Street, Boston, MA 02199
Register

The wealth of tools recently released makes it easier to stitch design assets together into “interactive prototypes.” The limiting factor in these tools is that they rely on the static data in your comps.

Join Involution designer-engineer Ben Salinas as he introduces techniques for gathering real data and incorporating that data into comps and prototypes. In a live demo, Ben will discuss techniques for processing data and generating data as well as how to use these techniques to evaluate the success or failure of a design.

This session will help the intermediate or experienced designer expand their design prowess by breathing new life into their stale and static comps. The participant will walk away understanding the tradeoffs around when to choose to incorporate real data and when a static comp can perform just as well. Most importantly, the participant will have been exposed to the tools they need to incorporate these techniques into their day-to-day design work.

Involution Studios is a sponsor of this year’s Boston User Experience Conference. In its 13th year, the Conference will cover critical topics in usability and user-centered design with practitioners, students, and experts in the field. Participants can partake of unique content and one-of-a-kind learning opportunities for all—newcomers and seasoned professional alike.

About UXPA Boston
The Boston Chapter of the User Experience Professionals’ Association is a highly active community for persons with individual and professional interests in usability, user experience design, and their many related fields. UXPA Boston is a regional chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). Membership is free and includes user experience events, access to job listings, and a role in the vibrant Boston usability community.

About Involution Studios
Involution designs and builds exceptional software for innovative and visionary companies. We specify, architect, design, and develop applications for web, mobile, desktop, devices, and emerging technologies. Involution deploys small and experienced teams to create applications that are highly usable and appropriately beautiful. Founded in 2004, complex, mission critical software has always been our business. We’ve produced high-quality applications that are being used every day by over 150 million people. Our clients include Apple, AstraZeneca, 3M Health Information Systems, McAfee, Microsoft, Oracle, Personal Genome Project, Partners HealthCare, and US Department of Health and Human Services.

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Information Design Amateur Hour on CNN

by emily on April 8th, 2014 - Comments (0)

Dirk Knemeyer on multimedia information design.

Over the past month numerous news outlets–CNN in particular–have devoted extensive coverage to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370. While the story is certainly a tragedy, the degree to which its coverage has eclipsed that of stories like the Ukraine situation is a little curious. Regardless, what really raised my ire most recently was CNN’s featured homepage graphic related to the lost plane saga, shown here.

Health Axioms Sketches

The image that CNN featured in their April 7 homepage headline on was a screen capture from one of the videos associated with the story. Source: Malaysia Flight 370: ‘Our optimism is fading away, ever so slightly’ By Tom Watkins, CNN. April 7, 2014.

This is an example of some of the worst information design I’ve recently seen in such a prominent and frequently visited position on a major news site.

Let us examine the many problems here:

Because everything is important, nothing is important. No less than six pieces of data are put into boxed backgrounds and presented with some form of blaring text. What is really important? Where should the reader look? There is no information hierarchy here.

Fonts, fonts, so many fonts! There are (at least) eight different fonts being used on this graphic, if we count font type, size, color, and style. This inconsistency exacerbates the muddying of importance and hierarchy that was already introduced via other display techniques.

Superfluous information clutters a very small space, further undermining comprehension. The yellow callouts contain too much specific information to go with a headline. The lines showing mileage lack context when viewed outside of the video. At a glance, the combined elements serve to make ambiguous what the “Planned Search Areas April 7” are, which is a real problem!

And onward… Presumably the proper order of importance should be:

  1. Focus on the fact that there are search areas planned for April 7 and indicate where those areas will be. The copy in the current box is correct, but it should relate to the red highlight boxes in color presentation, not the completely unrelated white/black that is currently used (and which is also redundant with the cognitively unrelated AUSTRALIA box). Moving this “Search Areas” callout to the upper left of the graphic would also bring it spatially proximate to the actual spots it is calling out to.
  2. Identify the spots where signals were detected. This should be done with a single callout box that reads something like “Possible signals detected” pointing to both of the bulls-eye graphics. These elements should share a color palette to emphasize their relationship (so, green/back/white instead of yellow/black). This callout should be located in the lower left or lower middle to be spatially proximate to the actual spots it is calling out to.
  3. Clarify the purpose of showing the distance of each of the five ocean locations to Learmonth and Perth. If important, each of the five targets should clearly be pointed to instead of just the four lines shown (and some of those being ambiguous as to what they are pointing to and why). This needs consistency of treatment and clarity of purpose. Still, these are too detailed for a headline image and would be best simply left out.
  4. Make geographic elements consistent. The label identifiers for the relevant locations: Australia, Perth, Learmonth, and Indian Ocean should be presented more subtly, similar to “Indian Ocean” on the original graphic. They should be completely presented–not cut off as “Australia” and “Indian Ocean” are, or obscured like “Southern” in the lower right.

Here is our version of a redesign, from Involution designer Jen Patel:

Redesigned Planned Search Areas graphic.

A cleaner, clearer version of the “Planned Search Areas” graphic. Designed by Jen Patel.

Executing strong information design is not difficult, but as CNN has illustrated, very poor information design is unfortunately easier to fall into than we might like it to be. A well-crafted, succinct headline deserves a clean and clear graphic.

About Involution Studios
Involution designs and builds exceptional software for innovative and visionary companies. We specify, architect, design, and develop applications for web, mobile, desktop, devices, and emerging technologies. Involution deploys small and experienced teams to create applications that are highly usable and appropriately beautiful. Founded in 2004, complex, mission critical software has always been our business. We’ve produced high-quality applications that are being used every day by over 150 million people. Our clients include Apple, AstraZeneca, 3M Health Information Systems, McAfee, Microsoft, Oracle, Personal Genome Project, Partners HealthCare, and US Department of Health and Human Services.

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Open Humans Project Wins Knight Foundation: Health Award

by emily on February 4th, 2014
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How did a workshop with Involution take the Personal Genome Project from “a bunch of ideas” to the creation of the award-winning Open Humans Network?

The Knight News Challenge: Health asked innovators to present solutions that harness the power of data for the health of communities, with a strong focus on civic participation and solution building. Among the seven […]

Involution’s Health Axioms Now on Indiegogo

by Jon on September 24th, 2013
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Involution Studios is driven by a mission to create better lives and a better world. We’re part of a global movement to shift the health care system to one made up highly-specialized clinicians that work closely with self-monitoring, self-empowered patients and their families — aided by the continuous data driven by non-invasive personal diagnostics. Getting there will require equal parts […]

Involution Principal Discusses Design for Emerging Technology on O’Reilly Radar Podcast

by Jon on September 12th, 2013
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Involution Principal, Jon Follett, editor of the upcoming book “Designing for Emerging Technologies” recently spoke with Jenn Webb, O’Reilly Radar’s online managing editor and Mary Treseler, editorial strategist, on the O’Reilly Radar Podcast. In the podcast, the group discussed the challenges of understanding the disruptive power of emerging technologies — such as genomics, robotics, synthetic biology, and connected environments. […]

Invo’s Scott Sullivan Tells Designers: Learn to Code! in Fast Co.Design

by Danielle on May 29th, 2013
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“Have you ever been punched in the face?” That’s what Scott Sullivan, User Experience Designer at Involution, wants to know. In his Fast Co. feature article, Designers: Learn To Code! Here’s How to Start, Scott assures young designers learning to code isn’t that bad. “The fear of getting punched in the face holds you back from […]

Bytes and Atoms Unveiled: Conference Speakers Announced

by Jon on April 29th, 2013
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For Immediate Release
BOSTON, MA – April 29, 2013 – Bytes and Atoms, a micro conference exploring the Internet of Things and the interaction between the physical and digital, today announced the speakers for its inaugural program.

Organized by software and emerging technologies design firm Involution Studios and agile development consulting firm Pivotal Labs, and sponsored by O’Reilly […]

Involution’s hGraph featured in Wired and Health IT Buzz

by Jon on February 25th, 2013
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Involution’s hGraph, an open source health metrics visualization, was recently featured in Wired Magazine online, highlighted in the article, “How Restyling the Mundane Medical Record Could Improve Health Care.” The Wired spot discusses hGraph’s strong social component: By tracking the data for entire families hGraph illustrates how some conditions, like obesity and heart disease, can be affected by collective […]

Involution’s Design Axioms Applauded in The Designer’s Review of Books

by Jon on February 22nd, 2013
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Dominic Flask, Editor of The Designer’s Review of Books, recently reviewed Involution’s Design Axioms deck, created by Juhan Sonin, along with Luke Wroblewski, Andrei Herasimchuk, and Dirk Knemeyer. The deck features striking graphics, detailing sixteen foundational principles that outline the essential rules of interface design.

Design Axioms Deck

The Design Axioms deck serves as a recommended pathway for […]

Involution establishes operations in the U.S. Midwest

by erik on July 26th, 2012
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COLUMBUS, OH (U.S.)—July 26th, 2012—Involution Studios, a software design consultancy based in Boston, MA, announced the opening of a second studio location in Columbus, OH.

“We are so excited about the new Columbus studio,” said Dirk Knemeyer, a founder and current chairman of Involution Studios. “From our first project in Palo Alto, California to our studio in Silicon Valley, then […]

InsideTracker Software, Designed by Involution, Provides Olympic Athletes with Bloodwork Analytics

by Jon on June 28th, 2012
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Involution client Segterra is doing its part to prepare US athletes for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. Segterra’s innovative software product, Inside Tracker, is being used by champion track cyclist Sarah Hammer and triathletes Jarrod Shoemaker and Sarah Haskins to learn about nutritional deficiencies and excesses via bloodwork analytics and optimize and boost performance based […]

Microsoft Surface and the Unified User Experience

by Jon on June 18th, 2012
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Today, Microsoft fired a significant salvo in the war for a Unified User Experience, with the debut of its Surface tablet. Taking a page from the Apple playbook, Microsoft is creating both the hardware and software for the Surface, a strategy it once executed successfully, with the Xbox 360 gaming console; and twice not so successfully, with the Zune […]

What the iPad Retina Display Means for Designers

by Jon on March 7th, 2012
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Today Apple revealed the third generation iPad with its Retina screen, bringing the most powerful mobile visual display to market with a whopping 326 ppi in its 9.7 inch space. Print resolutions typically range from 300 – 1800 dpi, which means that Apple has effectively brought mobile computing into that same realm, a significant step to say the least. […]

The Internet of Things, Seeding Boston Start Ups, and One User Experience for All

by Jon on February 22nd, 2012
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Here’s what we’re reading online, this week at Involution, on design, tech, and the digital life, in our links round up.

The Internet of Things Will Rise in Boston
With the advent of the mobile revolution, we’re now living connected lives, where our day-to-day activities are closely tied to the digital products and services that we carry with us everywhere […]

Involution Principal to conduct applied UX methods workshop and expert session at HIMSS12, healthcare and technology conference

by Jon on February 15th, 2012
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For Immediate Release

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (U.S.) – February 15, 2012 – Involution Studios Creative Director Juhan Sonin will conduct an applied UX methods workshop and expert session at the HIMSS12, healthcare and technology conference next week. The hands-on, interactive workshop will focus on real-world scenarios in measuring the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction of the user experience with Electronic […]

The UI is the Hero

by Jon on January 26th, 2012
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Is the age of ubiquitous computing is upon us? We may not be living yet in William Gibson’s plugged-in future, but there’s no doubt that we’re absolutely dependent on the digital realm. From tablets to smart phones to laptops to car navigation systems, we always seem to be connected. The digital life is everywhere we go, and software is […]

Five Reasons to Sketch Your User Interface

by Jon on July 14th, 2011
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At Involution, when we design software, we draw upon a process akin to industrial design, where—after we engage in an initial product architecture to understand the feature grouping, flow, and functionality—the next step is often sketching.

If you haven’t done it before, sketching concepts for a software user experience may seem like a daunting task located in foreign territory: […]