this portfolio page contains some examples of the interaction design research projects i've been involved with over the years.
(note: this page is being updated, check back shortly! i have a huge backlog of things to add which i'm doing right now)
design / woodbot pilots / 2009
Relax. Take a deep breath. Spread your wings and fly like a bird. How quickly you can reach the goal? You stand in the reception hall in Skellefteå Airport, in front of an 82 inch touch screen with an ultra-modern 3D camera that lets
you control characters called Wood Bots. A breathtaking game experience in which your body's movements are used to navigate the gaming environment, but its more than a pastime for those who are waiting for departure or arrival. Much more. The installation of Skellefteå Airport is the result of a research project that ties together a number of industries and businesses in the Skellefteå innovation-driven region.
The Woodbot Pilots Game was a project born out of collaboration between numerous companies in Northern Sweden (Skellefteå Kraft, North Kingdom, Interactive Institute, Optronic and Skellefteå Airport) that wanted create a public installation to showcase the capabilities of a new 3D camera made expressly for industrial environments.
The 3D Optronic camera (released prior to Microsoft's Kinect platform) interprets your movements and lets you control the Woodbot character you have chosen to fly with.
Since 1999, we have worked together with ABB Corporate Research—the R&D division of one of the world’s largest industrial engineering companies—in the area of interaction design for large-scale multiuser displays and personal mobile devices. A series of prototypes have come out of this collaboration; all researched, designed, and implemented to be used by service technicians and operators in various kinds of highly automated industries. These systems have not been ideated, designed, and implemented as individual, one-off systems, but rather to become part of an existing ecosystem, what we call ‘Mobile Information Technology Environments’. The vision has been that mobile devices and applications should be primarily designed to work together with—rather than replace—stationary information technology.
This particular interaction design research project was carried out between 2005-2007, funded by ABB Corporate Research, the Swedish Research Grants organization Vinnova, and the mining company New Boliden AB.
The objective of the project was to design and implement a functional experience prototype of a future control room system, based on ABB’s 800xA, specifically targeted for one of ABB’s customers: New Boliden AB.
We designed and implemented this prototype as a large, multitouch screen which automatically connects and extends to the mobile device (a pda -- remember, this was 2005!)
of any users standing in front of the screen.
the brief was to provide ideas, construct prototypes, and lay down general principles for the design of train information terminals
accessible for the widest target group possible.
our primary objective throughout the project, from our pre-study to the finalized, fully functional prototype, has been to allow people
with various kinds of disabilities access to the service of public transport, following the ideals of inclusive design.
throughout our user-centered design process, we have worked in close collaboration with a number of disability organizations and real
users have been active in all phases of the projects. the resulting prototype has also been subject to thorough testing and evaluation
in situ at orebro train station.
we are quite excited that no later than 2010, the results of this project will be found in all train stations throughout sweden. this is a project
carried out in umea design research group
(team: me, linda bogren, catharina henje, fredrik nilbrink)
the audioindex system gives disabled library visitors the possibility to independently browse for books, get guidance, and access
various kinds of information.
the system allows visually impaired users to browse for audio books by pointing directly with their index fingers on the spine
of the audio book as it stands in the shelf. the system then recognizes which audio book it is and quickly provides the user with
information about the author, the title, and a summary of the contents of that particular book in the form of synthesized speech.
users are also able to point at other objects in the library, such as bookshelf, to find out what kinds of books are to be found in that particular shelf.
the fully functinoal audioindex prototype system is partly the result of an european union-funded project that focused on accessibility to libraries for all visitors,
run by the public libraries in the umea region. the main target group has been visually impaired visitors and the entire project was
carried out in close collaboration with end users and disability organizations. this prototype has been subject to long-term public evaluation at umea city library,
and is now a commercial product
in this project, we designed a collaborative interface for highly automated, industrial environments.
the resulting system, the abb powerwall, consists of large, shared interactive displays and
several personal mobile information technology devices. on-site service technicians can seamlessly move information back and forth from their
mobile devices to the shared display. the system supports various kinds of collaborative work, including making annotations;
browsing for information; and visualizing blueprints and three-dimensional representations of objects and torrents.
the design vision has been to provide end users with an unobtrusive way of sharing information, discussing problems and
issues with others in front of a large collaborative screen, and the chance of socializing and learning from each other.
located strategically in the specific environment for which it has been designed, the abb powerwall is intended to become a
natural gathering point that increases interaction, afford gathering, discussions, collaboration, small talk,
socializing, and community-making. (team: me, mike kruzeniski, mattias andersson)
for a project called phenomenology of mobile interaction, i needed some product shots of a couple of
mobile information technology devices to go with a lot of text. rather than simply paying someone with a reputation
in this area for the real stuff, i saw this as a good opportunity to do some amateur photography on my own and to get to know our
camera better. it's an olympus camedia e-10.
the lens it has cannot really cope with close-ups like this, i
guess, but it was sort of a fun experiment anyway. other than the camera, i used two very bright stage-style
lights and a poor man's studio background setup consisting of a couple of large sheets of white paper. it was all done on a regular
office desk. to get the blur-into-horizon effect, the aperture was set to as low as you can get with this camera: 2,2.
while the photos look ok in smaller sizes, the are a way too grainy in full size.
this is a project in which we needed to design a physical prototype to be able to implement and test
a new interaction style. information about the interaction style can be found elsewhere.
the physical design had some initial requirements.
first, it needed to be a casing to host various circuitry and batteries.
second, it needed to be shaped in such a way that when lying on for instance a table,
the pda's screen should be facing upwards while an optical mouse sensor should be
facing downwards. third, we wanted the prototype to be appealing and useful for its interactional purpose.
in this, we assumed that as the prototype would not incorporate any additional buttons,
knobs, or any other interactional means other than the downwards-facing sensor, the physical
design would benefit from being small and anonymous; not aiming to be the center of attention.
the actual physical design, using a minimal budget, was carried out by me during the winter break of 2002-2003.
a standard compaq expansion jacket,
originally intended to allow two pc-cards to be attached to the ipaq,
was taken to pieces. its plastic casing was then used as the basis for the physical design.
two custom made electronics circuits, including an infrared beamer, the circuitry containing the
optical mouse sensor, and four battery holders were then attached to piece of plastic panel.
the original flipside of the expansion jacket was cut off and replaced by this plastic panel.
To connect the infrared beamer with the pda, a small vacuum formed plastic hood was designed
and attached to the top of the prototype. this hood, other than aesthetically somwhat pleasant, holds
a small mirror which reflects the infrared beamer's signal into the pda's infrared eye.
finally, the whole of the physical prototype was painted. (team: me, mikael wiberg, andreas lund, bjorn yttergren)
here's a screenshot of the graphical user interface i did for
a research project i was conducting in collaboration with
swedish industrial company abb (see above). the user scrolls between these two
screens by tilt. all selection is done by finger-tapping the screen, hence the seemingly
oversized controls. the gui is intended to look good on a compaq ipaq screen, because of which the colors
look a bit odd on most other screens.
this gui was made in photoshop, and consists, other than the text, of a
number of bmp images (with one color representing transparency). the font is
myriad pro (regular, italics, bold italics).
the gui was implemented using ms embedded visual c++ 3.0
the reality helmet is a wearable device providing a novel form of interactive experience, in which the user's vision and
hearing is completely shielded off from the world.
video and sounds are sampled by the reality helmet from the
surrounding environment, but through computer processing sounds are presented to the wearer as vision and sights are
turned into a soundscape. the result is a radical transformation of the nature of being in the world (pretentiously put, i agree); an unusual,
first-person experience of artificial synaesthesia.
the reality helmet leads its wearer to question the relationship
between what is out there and what is sensed; it is a very unusual kind of experience. (team: me, staffan eriksson, kalle jalkanen, john waterworth, jonas westling)
this is the poster i made for the chi 2002 conference, as a
presentation of the penguin application (below).
the poster featured cut-out penguins (see
of the poster in action at the conference for reference) but which are missing on the screenshot (i'll fix it soon). the penguins
produce a neat 3d effect in rl. the pdf files from the
indesign original are available
here (for the screen optimized version)
and here (for the 9 mb full-size version).
as noted, the poster was made in indesign 2,
while the pictures, which are screenshots, where converted to cmyk and edited in photoshop.
the poster text is based on myriad pro (regular, italics, bold, bold italics),
but there are some instances of myriad wild family as well: for the
headings and the preamble i used
myriad tilt, while the black outline of the large 'the penguin' heading is
the poster was printed at the local printshop nra. the 3d penguins where cut out
from the printout (see pdf layout for reference) and glued onto cardboard, which where then in turn glued onto yet another small piece
of cardboard before we attached the whole thing to the poster using two-sided sticky tape.
this is a ms visual c++ application that i designed and implemented during 2001. if you want to know more about this project,
it has its own homepage. the gui comes in three different flavors; the
the settings mode,
and the tray mode.
i feel somewhat content with the penguins and the iceberg in this design. the former move around on the iceberg according to query results.
i redesigned a new look and feel for the department's homepage in 1999-2000. i could do pretty much whatever i wanted, but on the other hand,
it had to pass people that were still questioning the use of images on web pages, referring to all the 14.4-ers out there. so, in retrospect,
it is possible to see some 'restrained design choices'.
anyway, the whole site is still highly active -- and probably will for some time. the image on the front page is a random pick, which was
about as much fun i was allowed to have. i think that the color scheme is not too outdated yet, even by web standards.
the graphics for this site was almost entirely done in a previous version of
macromedia fireworks. the font is gill sans (roman, light, bold italics).
although it is clear that this design, not to mention the whole structure and idea of the site, wouldn't quite pass by today's standards,
the frames (all over), the menu as an image map (left), the animated gifs (in blue, which the stills spare you from), and the guestbook (see picture 3)
were actually high fashion in 1995 and 1996 when i designed, implemented, and kept after this site. i still think the menu map is quite cool, though. the 'recycled' style paper was part of our branding; we used that kind of paper for all our posters.
for archaeological purposes, the site is still up; feel free to check it out [update: apparently it's gone now, too bad].