December 2008

Jonathan Harris on the Creative Review Blog

by Andy Polaine on December 31, 2008

in General


I seem to have been writing about Jonathan Harris rather a lot recently. Following the piece on Flash on the Beach I wrote in Creative Review in November, an interview I did with Harris has just been published on the Creative Review blog.

He had some interesting things to say about the nature of software and blogging in terms of human experience – surprising, perhaps, given his use of both of those technologies in We Feel Fine. We were discussing the nature of blogging and its lack of emotional context on the micro level and I felt that the snippets of blog posts in We Feel Fine reminded me of the beauty of found objects and notes that are usually removed from their context. Harris replied:

“The reason why that touches is you is because micro is beautifully done. A found object is powerful because you found it in the gutter. If you saw a digital representation of the picture with the text in 12pt Times New Roman it wouldn’t have the same nostalgia, it would be like a blog post.”

Whilst I was at my parents over Christmas, I dug through all my old photos and I know it was a very different feeling from browsing my Lightroom archive. I wonder what kind of experience it will be for my grandchildren, or whether I will have generated so much digital data that they won’t even bother.

It is an issue that really hasn’t been dealt with much, but is going to be a future headache and/or interaction and user experience challenge. It is an issue much like wondering what will happen to my online presences in the event of my death. For some reason I have been thinking about this quite a bit recently – I have some ideas for potential solutions, but they would need funding and security expertise that I don’t have, should anyone out there be interested in taking this further.


Amusing Fenec Preferences

by Andy Polaine on December 28, 2008

in General


Thought I had posted this weeks ago and found it loitering in my scheduled posts.

Entertaining set of preferences descriptions for Fenec, Mozilla’s new mobile browser.


Interaction Design for Behavioural Change

December 9, 2008

Interaction design is all about changing people’s behaviour. Without the action > reaction part, there is no interaction. Whether you click one button instead of another or stop to play with an interactive shop window , the art of interaction design is about understanding that transaction. (And it’s the subject of my, hopefully soon finished, […]

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Interactive Video Object Manipulation

December 7, 2008

Interactive Video Object Manipulation from Dan Goldman on Vimeo. I have noticed I have been posting a lot of videos recently – I’m not sure if that’s me being lazy or that some things are simply a lot easier to explain when you see them in action (or interact with them). One interface area that […]

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Line-Drawings, Cameras and New Videogames

December 6, 2008

Karl reminded me of two new games for the Playstation that depart from the normal 3D extravaganza. The first is another EyeToy game called EyePet. Basically you draw with a special pen and your doodles become 3D and part of the mixed-reality world of the game and your virtual ‘pet’. EyePet Hd from Nkio on […]

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Amazon Christmas Checkout

December 4, 2008

Just spotted Amazon’s Christmas-themed shopping cart. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.

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Children Playing Video Games

December 2, 2008

The NY Times web site has a great video of children playing videogames from photographer and video artist, Robbie Cooper (you can watch a higher quality original plus stills on his site). In 2009 he will be teaming up with the Media Centre at Bournemouth University as part of their ‘War and Liesure’ project. They […]

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Humans Aren’t So Bad After All

December 1, 2008

Fifty People, One Question: New York from Crush & Lovely on Vimeo. I twittered about this the other day and I know it’s been doing the rounds of the interweb, but wanted to post about it properly. The film has nothing to do with interactivity in the sense that I normally write about it here, […]

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Robots Ain’t Got No Body

December 1, 2008

Interaction with robots is the out-there end of interaction design’s spectrum. Far beyond just designing an interface on a screen, you need to design a whole set of facial expressions. That is, if you are trying your robot to look human. The video above (sorry about the Reuters ad in front) shows just how difficult […]

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