Tag Archives: UI

What If Smart Homes Were Designed For Seniors, Instead?

From www.fastcodesign.comYoung people are often the internet of things’ target market, but elders might make more sense, argues one designer.

The smart home of the future is designed for millennials: tech-savvy, hyper-social, Marie Kondo-reading youngsters who aspire to keep their lives clean and orderly forever. But life is messy, and technology is perhaps, ultimately, more life-improving to the old than to the young. What millennial, after all, needs a titanium hip, or a replacement heart?

So when Kevin Gaunt envisions the future of the smart home, he doesn’t think of it in terms of millennials, or their “picturesque Airbnb-style houses inhabited by attractive people who effortlessly interact with technology, dealing with all our chores and reading our deepest wishes before we are even aware of them.” Instead, he asks what the smart homes and conversational interfaces of the future can do for the elderly. And his answers seem a lot less empty than the thermostat-automating smart home bots of today.


From www.fastcodesign.com


Bots – Battling Boredom in Smart Homes from Kevin on Vimeo.


6 augmented reality apps that aren’t Pokemon GO

From Stuff

In a very short time, Pokemon GO has pushed augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream.

Its ability to overlay digital animations onto the real world using your phone’s camera and screen is unlike any other popular game before it. But Pokemon GO isn’t the only app that seamlessly blends virtual objects into the real world. Here are the best AR apps not linked with Nintendo.

Read full story >

Wayfindr smartphone app for the blind

Another example from the 2016 Interaction awards. This shows design research in action including the use of empathy tools.

Project Description

Wayfindr is the first open standard for audio-based navigation

There are an estimated 285 million vision impaired people worldwide. Sadly, the consequences of sight loss are often poverty, isolation and depression. Of the estimated two million people living with sight loss in the UK, almost half say they would like to leave their home more often.

Overcoming these challenges starts with enabling independent travel, which catalyses both individual and societal change.

The ‘what if’ moment

What if vision impaired people were empowered to navigate independently using the smart phone they already have in their pocket? This was the challenge posed by Royal London Society for Blind People’s (RLSB) Youth Forum to ustwo in 2014.

With limited or no vision, navigating an unfamiliar environment means you are wholly reliant on auditory cues or a sighted guide for directions. Emerging technologies such as smartphones and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons point to a future of independent navigation for blind people. There is a pressing need to develop a consistent standard to be implemented across wayfinding systems. This will open up a world where vision impaired people are no longer held back by their sight loss.

Built into the Wayfindr standard is a determination to create social, economic and personal value for users. During our trials we have seen an increase in the confidence of our participants. Every time a vision impaired person independently reaches their desired destination using Wayfindr it changes their perceptions of their own abilities. We believe that as the adoption of the Wayfindr standard increases, this impact will propagate across the globe.

How we got there

In March 2014 we secured a trial at Pimlico station in partnership with Transport for London (TfL). We installed Bluetooth LE Beacons across the station, and developed a basic prototype app which guided you around the station. At this point we were intending to build an app called ‘Wayfindr’ but we soon realised this was not the way to achieve our impact. We are now setting the standard for audio based wayfinding, ensuring that wherever blind and partially sighted people go, and whatever app they use, they have a consistent and reliable experience.

Wayfindr is now set up as a joint venture between ustwo and RLSB, and has recently received $1m of funding through Google.org as part of their Global Impact Challenge: Disabilities. In December 2015 we trialled the Wayfindr standard at London Euston in partnership with TfL. In this trial users could select from over 80 routes in the station, from exit to platform, between platforms etc.

The first version of the Wayfindr standard is due in Spring 2016. It will enable built environment owners, digital navigation services, and other stakeholders to adopt the standard and ensure their products and services are accessible to vision impaired people.

For more info visit wayfindr.net


From the 2016 Interaction awards – a great example of digital interaction in a real environment and experience design.

Project Description

Navigating the social media landscape often means spending time with our personal devices instead of with each other. We use our fingertips to transmit bits and bytes across the world more readily than we use our bodies to transmit social energy across a room. Who, at some point, hasn’t wondered if this rushing stream of ephemeral posts is leading us toward an island of social isolation rather than a true community of friends?

As part of Elevate Atlanta 2014, a pop-up gallery curated by local arts organizations, we created #Trashtag, a tangible interface for social messaging. Inspired by the weeklong exhibition’s “Social City” theme, we filled a dumpster with more than a hundred illuminated, magnetic blocks inscribed with words and emoji and beckoned the public into the installation with a phrase: “LET’S TALK.” Everyone was invited to participate by arranging the blocks to create messages of their own on the container’s walls. Strangers laughed together as they discovered hidden phrases in the piles of discarded words, and they disrupted each other’s work, playfully fighting over coveted terms and symbols. For one week in downtown Atlanta, social media became something new—a collective act undertaken together in physical space.

But #Trashtag did more than just collect these messages—it amplified them far beyond the confines of the dumpster. With the push of an oversized button, people could have the container tweet on their behalf. @TrashTagATL acted as a mouthpiece for the public’s ideas and hopes.

By the end of Elevate, #Trashtag had tweeted more than 200 posts. The messages were surprising and inspiring, at times critical, funny, and profound—a perfect reflection of the diversity of the participants. The public also littered the social media landscape with tagged Instagram photos, Facebook posts, retweets, and direct messages of their own, spreading awareness of the installation itself and the Elevate exhibition at large.

The dumpster ultimately became a symbol of the disposability of modern messaging, a place where sentiments could be tossed out and discarded as quickly as the pieces could be salvaged to create something new. But perhaps most importantly, #Trashtag transformed the dumpster into a creative space that anyone, regardless of age or background, could use to speak to others. Experimenting with what social media could look like in a physical place, we reimagined “posting” as a tangible task, a public activity, and a collective, evolving performance. In other words, we made social media truly social.

Essay “Is technology changing storytelling?”

Do changes in technology demand a different approach in the craft of writing? Or do the best stories still come in classic form? Here’s a research insight by rodgezooi as a doubtful enthousiast, investigating the storytelling potentials of new platforms and the masterpieces of the future it will eventually lead to.

For links to the footage used in this essay check: justpaste.it/k3tb

Essay “Is technology changing storytelling?” from rodgezooi on Vimeo.

In Pieces – CSS goodness


In Pieces is an interactive exhibition turned study into 30 of the world’s most interesting but unfortunately endangered species — their survivals laying literally, in pieces. Some stunning mograph and very clever coding in entirely CSS.
Each shape is being morphed, moved and toyed with by a new set of co-ordinates, and as they are maintained as triangles throughout, this means 3 points, with CSS transitions to link up the movements. No tricks or tools have been used to get the illustrated results, code-wise or graphically. Point by point, shape by shape, each one has been handcrafted via a personally-created tracing JS function after illustration.