iPad versus Kindle – a design debate

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iPad versus Kindle

I asked seven digital design students to take a look at the iPad and Kindle, analyze the major points both good and bad and come to a decision about the product. The specific question is what’s going to happen a year from now. Will the Kindle be overshadowed by the iPad, or will it hold it’s own? Is there a market for both kinds of products, a dedicated e-reader and a new type of device?
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Classic Logo – v. 2.0

I thought it would be fun to revisit a classic assignment Michael Beirut mentioned in a recent post on DesignObserver.com where he showed his student portfolio. The idea is to simplify an animal to it’s most essential elements and create a logo-like image. It occurred to me that those same skills are exactly what is needed when designing characters for game design, and with the game engine Unity now free we should introduce motion as an element.

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Arduino in the Wall Street Journal

My favorite microcontroller, the Arduino, has hit the big time – a WSJ feature article! For the uninitiated, the Arduino can be hooked up to sensors to detect presence and then it can send out signals to the computer or to motors, LED lights and a bunch of other stuff. The nice thing about doing interactive design with the Arduino, is that it can be a stand-alone installation without the need for a computer to remain attached.

RPS series

Great article chronicling the development of a game based on the Rock, Paper, Shotgun web site. This is a guy who does not know code, but is still able to develop a working game in two weeks! Shows how much fun it is to work with Unity!

Communication Arts Design Annual

The new CA Design Annual is out and I’m not sure if it’s just me not noticing before but I really like the new online format. They have a small motion graphics section and we can actually click to see the winning videos – for a price. Most of my reading is done online anymore, so I’m glad to see that there is an alternative to the way they used to show motion through a series of images. If Microsoft products were as nice as the ads they produce, we’d be in business!

Leister.2.0 is finally live!

I’ve been working on a new site design for the last few weeks and would like to announce that it’s finally been launched! Let me know what you think!

For my design friends that are curious, the whole site is done in WordPress, which is a free content management system that you can install on most web sites. It is basically a blog setup, but it is pretty easy to customize it so that it does not look like a blog. There are a ton of cool plug-ins and built-in features that make managing a complex site very easy. For example, for my image pages I can upload all of my images at once and they are automatically formatted into a gallery. I can create a new post, and it will be added to my navigation and menu areas in the appropriate place.

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Unity gaming software is now free!

I was blown away to hear today that Unity is now free for small independent developers! This is the same gaming platform that I used for hypocenter, a recent installation piece. The great thing about Unity is that if you are familiar with javaScript you can easily write code for this platform. As a gaming platform, Unity has built-in physics and all of the standard features you would expect.

I think that this development will make it much more likely that alternative uses of gaming technologies are developed. Cool!

Simple Examples of Database Manipulation in Processing: Finished Example

Processing Car Database Manipulation

Finished Example

Here is the the finished example of the Database Visualization I have been explaining in the previous 2 posts. A couple of things I added were rectangles based on the engine displacement, a for loop to create a dot representing the number of cylinders for the car and finally a rollover effect so that the viewer can concentrate on the imagery before knowing which car is represented. I don’t know if it’s a useful visualization or not, but I think it is attractive and I will spend more time viewing data like this than a chart.

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