Tag Archives: UX

Custom stand

This is something I just finished for a client. I have completed design and construction of a base for an art piece from the “My Favorite Machine” series,

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The client had requested a stand to be less boisterous than the iconic culvert I had used originally. While I am immensely fond of the culverts, I understand that if she is to place this in her gallery next to her Andy Warhol prints as she said (which excites me, I admit), the culverts are a bit loud. So, I embarked on an effort to create a less loud alternative, still keeping with the original look and still structurally sound, yet a little less pronounced.

The design somewhat resembles an Egyptian Obelisk, in keeping with the metaphor of the smart phone as a monolith of the digital culture, however it is simplified and transparent, per my minimalist sculptural style. Industrial materials are used to render digital age themes in an industrial age motif.

The stand is constructed of steel in keeping with the aesthetic of the original art work, yet more understated than both the art and the previous platform. It has a much smaller footprint, being only 28 x 30 inches wide rather than 36 x 36, but it is extremely stable. The art can be easily removed from the stand and all pieces fit easily thorough doorways for easy portability. The steel legs have soft composite feet inserts to protect client’s floors.

This has been a labor of love it was very important that I create something that preserved the original spirit of the art work while making something less pronounced to better fit with the existing art collection in a home environment.

This is another step in the journey of TechXpressionism which is all about the impact of technology on our lives individually and collectively as a culture.  I hope you can enjoy these as well.

Which is it?

My cousin, Lonnie Brown was a game warden in the mountains of Colorado for many years. A good man, in a noble profession.

On one visit to his little ranch in the mountains, he showed me the bear trap he used occasionally to trap a bear needing to be relocated to a more remote area. It was a simple piece of culvert opened on one end. They would put some stinky piece of meat or something in there to attract the bear and of course close the gate once he was inside.  It wouldn’t hurt him.  Actually it might save his life. But there is not much chance of explaining that to the trapped bear.  Lonnie told be you better believe that bear makes a heckova racket inside that steel tube.

Sometimes when I am watching a usability test in which a user is lost and frustrated, clicking around on everything trying to get a foot hold, I think of that bear in a trap, thrashing about trying to get some control of his situation.  Then when someone tells me that  some stupid feature is getting a lot of clicks, i smirk a little. Quantitative data is compelling, but qualitative data is smarter.  Knowing what users do is information.  Understanding why they do it is intelligence.
My point is: A whole lot of clicking going on is not necessary necessarily a sign of success.
My question is this: What is the nature of interaction on your web site? Is it site exploration and discovery? or is it thrashing and flailing?  How can you know?

roger

Less Maze, More Cheese

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My formula for fixing overly complicated web sites and out of control apps is simple; Less maze, more cheese. Give people what they are looking for first, not as a reward for enduring a sales pitch. Then they’ll want to learn about what else you have to say. Keep front-loading the experience with prizes and they’ll keep looking for more. And keep giving that too. The web is a “pull” experience unlike traditional media such as TV which is a “push”. The audience is in charge and that changes everything.

– roger

Great Grapevine Show opening

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It was fun watching people interact with my art at the Texas Sculpture Association show opening reception this evening. This show is in the tower building in the center of old downtown Grapevine, TX and runs through the end of October.

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Kids get it. Many adults don’t, including many artists. I am surprised by how many artists I talk to who have no idea what I am doing. They are fixated on making pretty things. Using art as a means to explore new concepts or to comment on contemporary culture doesn’t cross their mind.

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I think if I ever win an award from the art crowd I should start to worry that I have stopped innovating, Fitting into one of their categories is not my ideal. In fact, in case you didn’t get it, crossing boundaries is much of what I am about,

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Merging art and tech should be the obvious, but it is also about blending real and virtual experiences, high tech and primitive, historic with contemporary, in one continuum, Breaking rules such as “don’t touch the art” and inviting audience participation physically, mentally, and emotionally is my intention,

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TechXpressionism is a celebration of the digital experience but also a kind of relief from it. Like comic relief in a serious story, it intends to inspire a breath of response from the audience. It is a form of experience design. It’s what I do. Get it?

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Its fun watching people react to the at and get drawn into it.  Then it can become a social experience as they invite others in.   It’s not uncommon that people want their photos taken or do selfies with the art.  When art becomes a social event, that to me is cool.

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This show is in the Tower building in the center of old downtown Grapevine, TX and runs through the end of October,  2014

Hosted by the Grapevine Visitors Bureau
636 South Main Street
Grapevine, TX. 76051

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– roger