Not exactly earth-shaking stuff, but I did try to go a bit past the paper metaphor, and exploit some of the capabilities of animated media. A bigger budget could have made it look more slick, but I don’t mind tight deadlines. Obstacles breed creativity.
Spent a couple of days overhauling the Colorado Midwives Association‘s website, for my friend Dana Beardshare. Dana and Jan were our midwives, and the genuine love they poured into caring for my wife and I was an enlightening experience, and a deeply humbling one for me.
Yes, there is room for love in business, and in medecine, but we’ll have to stop and listen to women to learn how. My meager thanks is this little bit of help on their website.
Did a one-week stint in Houston, Texas for a large international oil company, helping fix an internal accounting app. As is common with enterprise engagements, we were not only putting together a unified dashboard for a set of disparate and incompatible financial and accounting systems, but also walking the slick tightropes of high-flying politics.
It was a quick intervention in a middle of a dense financial project. I was brought in late (post-requirements phase) but since the project was already starting to unravel, the client was ready for a semi-radical realignments of priorities.
I confined my work mostly to the UI, where I applied a whole heaping load of goal-directed thinking, and reduced the multi-screen app to a single screen with 3 tabs. I also noticed that speed was the big unvoiced issue with the application. Demos and training sessions were tense because of these dead moments of waiting for pages. Since the app was presenting results from batch-processing systems, I made the developer implement a quick and dirty caching system, that made the app nearly instantaneous. I also reorganized all data into a matrix, with a clear action column, as well as visual progress bars. Add to that a nice clean design in company colors, and the next demo was a raging success.
I’ve done my week in Houston, everybody’s happy, I’m going home.
Conducted, with my friend Peter Alexander, a hardcore two-day Usability, Information Architecture and Design Training session for the marketing team at Baxa. Trying to distill everything in two days is always a high-adrenaline challenge, and I think it went very well. The designers at Baxa are a cool team, eager to learn, and I think they picked up imediately on a lot of what we had to offer.
We had a good chuckle at some of their product names. They manufacture high-quality, reliable, sterile medical equipment like the “3-way oral port stopcock.” There you go, I’ve said it, and my blog is now on every parental-control blacklist!
For Baxa, I also helped lead a Personas-and-Goals exercise, which helped elucidate a lot of debates and clarify the goals for different sections and tools of the site. I also delivered an information architecture review, and a sitemap.
We’re reviewing their next set of comps, and will help them stay on course with spot-checks. I already like what we’re seeing.
What a show! I had the honor of helping out with projections, music, posters and the website. I got to participate closely in the rehearsal process.
This play is unique. First of all, “cyberpunk” is not a term usually associated with theatre. Yet somehow Don managed to carry through the strange “upbeat dystopia” of cyberpunk into live performance. The cast of characters itself is comedy… and Don Becker’s writing is fast and furious, dizzying you with concepts as you laugh, and puzzle, and piss your pants. Don wrote at least two of the characters with specific actors in mind… and most of the cast were not professional actors, but everybody performed beautifully.
I hope that this show will be produced again soon, because I’ll miss it. It was hilarious, beautiful, and exhilarating. After the show, my friend Peter Alexander treated the cast and crew to some live music, with his band The Damn Shambles. We had a little party in the basement where we rehearsed, and rocked out. Turns out that it was The Damn Shambles’ last gig, so it was a double final hurray. What a night!
Finished and released the website for Tom Kochel. Tom is an amazing photographer, and a unique personality. He’s been my mentor here at networkMCI, introducing me to photography, and to a different outlook on life. We are very different, but react to the same passions.
Since Tom works mostly in black and white, I decided on a grayscale website, and a simple setup, lean on graphics, to keep the art front and center. I’m proud of the site, and proud to be part of Tom’s fanclub, so I’m keeping a copy of this site on valot.com forever. Take your time looking at it.