All posts by Max

Graphic Designer, Art Director, Interaction Project Manager, UX/UI, Multimedia Geek

Pallas Athena, the end of an era.

As a consequence of a worldwide Perceptive Software restructuring, “The Church” (PSW Apeldoorn office) will be closed.
I feel the need of mourning with tears in my eyes and a knot in my throat.

For me it represented 2 fantastic years in many ways.

I was already thrilled by the fact of working at a software developing company with offices in a former church!

Apeldoorn became my home. A peaceful haven with only 15 minutes bike ride from home to work.

The ambience at the office was great. We worked very well together. With efficiency but also with friendship.

We where very excited to recreate the process products from scratch for the cloud. The first working set of modules 100% in the Everywhere platform.

I learned a lot from this job and from my colleagues. The day to day interaction and iterations of product and feature design with Product Owners, Project Managers, Developing teams, Tech Writers, Testers, etc. would multiply the quality of the deliverables and our professional and personal growth.

Last but not least, I had the most awesome UX team to work with. A world wide team of more than 13 pros in different areas like Interaction Design, User Interface Design, Front-end Developing, Graphic Design, Visual Communication, Usability, Accessibility, Information Architecture…

The spirit of the old company (Pallas Athena) remained ’till the end. Many where within the company for more than 20 years!

I will miss them all. Specially from R&D:

Continue reading Pallas Athena, the end of an era.

Roles

In order to show the roles I have played in the different projects I had the opportunity to work on, I have made this roles categories. Not all the roles are represented but where my skills are stronger.

Graphic Design. Visual communication combining words, symbols, and images to represent ideas and messages.

Art Direction. Project management, coordination, oversee junior designers, printing and other production.

User Experience. Usability, interaction design, tasks tests, user-centered design, experiences evaluations.

User Interface. Design of human-computer interactions. Interactive presentations, applications, web sites.

Information Architecture. Coherent structure that the intended audience can quickly understand.

Corporate Identity. Logo design and applications, guidelines, color palettes, typefaces, page layouts, manuals.

Desktop Publishing. Page layout, print publications (magazines, newspapers, and books), advertisements.

Packaging. Packages, bags and labels design.

Illustration & Composition. Visual arts, drawing, photo manipulation, typography design, color theory.

Motion Graphics. Flash and GIF animations, storyboards, scripts, screen play.

HTML/CSS Coding. HTML5 coding, CSS3 layout, ActionScript2, application of jQuery plug-ins, notions of JavaScript and PHP

“User Interaction: Experienced vs Remembered” Lucinio Santos – #IxD14

Lucinio Santos: Experienced vs Remembered.

The whole idea of this talk is very interesting. It remained me of my Master’s Director saying “Design Memorable Moments“.

Unfortunately it was too dense and …”academic”?
Lots of research in Psychology and Behavioral Economics.

What I took out of it is that we tend to remember interaction in this order:

  1. the peak moments
  2. end moment
  3. duration

“Design in motion: the new frontier of interaction” Antonio de Pasquale – #IxD14

Antonio De Pascuale explained how we can sketch and use motions in a design project to increase affordance, to simplify complex interactions and to give a new dynamic brand identity to our products.
To illustrate his vision he match Disney’s Twelve Basic Principles of Animation to known used UI animations.

“You don’t have to have a complex workflow, you just have to explain complex problems clearly.”

In 1981, Disney animators introduced the world to the 12 basic principles of animation. For many, the 12 rules are held in the same esteem as Dieter Rams’ ten principles of good design, and are seen as something of a bible to would-be animators. In a chapter in her book, The Mobile Frontier, Rachel Hinman looks at how the Disney principles can also be applied to mobile UI and game design, pulling in examples from Apple, Microsoft, Google, Palm, and more. Hinman believes that motion is all-important in mobile design, and highlights how transitive animations and other techniques can help bring a little “magic” into a mobile user experience. The full chapter has been published online by Smashing Magazine, while the book itself is available for purchase through Amazon.

To see some of Rams‘ works and explore similar designers, check out his page on Artsy

Scott McCloud interview by Alok Nandi. #IxD14

I missed Scott McCloud keynote on Thursday but I attended an interview by Alok Nandi.

(His talk was probably the only one not recorded.)

He also offered a workshop about Writing with Pictures: The Power of Visual Communication
Scott is a cartoonist and he talked about ways to apply techniques from the graphic arts world to interaction design and usability.
It was great to hear his observations. He’s a great communicator and reminded us the advantages of our work and our media.

Some quotes:

“If I don’t need to think it, I don’t need to see it”

“we are narrative seeking creatures”

“All pictures are words”

“amplification through simplification”

“Our medium is the knowledge and expectations of our users”

“We don’t receive meaning, we create it on the fly, from visual stimuli” Talking about mentally decompressing drawings.

“You’re unique. Just like everybody else.” – Tash Wong – #IxD14

Tash Wong made a very fresh and enthusiastic presentation where she talked about how our personal perspectives may be limiting our work and hindering our teams.

“We have a hard time talking about our perspectives and priorities.” and this is vital to be on the same page at a project.
She identified several characteristics for projects and it’s counterparts separating them in two groups differentiating between the femme and butch thinkers.

To promote articulate a better conversation she created THINK BIGGER, MAKE BETTER cards, a conversational framework to uncover new ideas, better empathize with others and build stronger relationships between teams at work.

“Languages of Interaction Design” – Gillian Crampton-Smith – #IxD14

Gillian Crampton-Smith, Designer/Educator at IUAV University of Venice, made a nice analysis of the language of design and it’s evolution and how this heritage affects the IxD.
She remembered visiting a designer friend in the early days of Microsoft and how she would receive an icon request written in a paper and slide under the door. How little communication has and how context was overlooked. “Interaction design has come along way from being icon machines.”

Also reminded us to think about the way we naturally interact with physical things when designing graphical UIs and that “Sometimes things don’t have to look gorgeous to be beautiful”.

The featured image is a nice sketch note by Chris Noessel

I made this note during her presentation: The business man makes “deals”, the developer talks “compromise”, the designer has “trade offs”. How good is the result?