The VizBox Experiments

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 | Data visualization, General | 2 Comments

This is the result of a project I have been working on for the past months. The video demonstrates the setup and use of the VizBox (previously known as TopoBox) – a physical platform for interactive data visualization on three-dimensional surfaces.

The project has been highly explorative, geared towards testing and demonstrating new potentials rather than producing a finished product ready for use. Hopefully, this can serve as a starting point for new discussions, projects and experiments.

I do not currently have any specific plans for developing the VizBox further. However, I would be happy to discuss ideas and possibilities for collaboration. What would YOU do if you had a box like this?

Update march 2015: I have made a new prototype and video, and won a prize for the work! See the new blogpost: “VizBox Bergen og årets geogründer” (in Norwegian).



Special thanks to colleagues and students in the Media Arts + Practice program within the School of Cinematic Arts – especially Virginia Kuhn, Andreas Kratky and Behnaz Farahi.

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3,5 års arbeid på 6 minutt og 40 sekund

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 | Events, General, Navimation examples | No Comments

(In Norwegian only. English version underway)

For nokre veker sidan oppsummerte eg doktorgradsprosjektet mitt på 6 minutt og 40 sekund. Her ser du resultatet:

Denne presentasjonen vart laga for Pecha Kucha Night Oslo, som arrangerast med jamne mellomrom på DogA. Pecha Kucha skal vere ein inspirasjonskveld med lynforedrag om arkitektur, design og kunst. Kvar talar får ta med 20 bilete som kvart blir vist i 20 sekund, til saman 6 minutt og 40 sekund. Heldigvis fekk eg lov å bytte ut nokre av bileta med video – noko som var essensielt for å formidle arbeidet mitt.

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New video: Kinetic Interface Design

Friday, September 10th, 2010 | Design and research, General, Navimation examples | 1 Comment

In order to make my research more accessible I have created a video that shows a number of kinetic interfaces. Kinetic interfaces are here understood as screen-based interfaces that are characterized by movement.

Kinetic Interface Design from JonO on Vimeo.

In addition to the interface examples, a number of descriptive and analytical terms are presented. These terms have been developed through analysis of kinetic interfaces in academic publications. The kinetic interfaces presented in the video are:

The Apple OSX login box

The Iconist #1 (iPad)
Disney Movies (iPad)

Flipboard (iPad)


For All Seasons (iPhone)

Cooliris (iPhone)



Music: ‘Rieth’ from Gesamtlaufzeit by Marko Fürstenberg. (Used with permission.)

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Sketching in time

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 | Design process, General, Navimation examples | 3 Comments

“Since they need to be able to capture the essence of design concepts around transitions, dynamics, fell, phrasing, and all the other unique attributes of interactive systems, sketches of interaction must necessarily be distinct from (traditional) types of sketches…” Bill Buxton: Sketching User Experiences

This week I have been involved in teaching a group of interaction design students at the Design for interactive and social media course at AHO. The topic has been ‘Sketching with time’, and has focused on using stop motion combined with paper prototyping to sketch interface ideas. The week’s assignment was to make a photo album interface and experiment with navimation.

Before introducing the students to the technique I had to try it out myself. I found the Mac application FrameByFrame which has been brilliant for this purpose. The functionality of the software is limited, but it is free, extremely simple to use, and serves the purpose for quick motion sketching.

Here are two of the quick stop motion sketches I made:

I also tried using video, recording my actions in real time:

The video quality is quite rough (partly because I am using a really old DV camera), but I don’t see this as a big problem. The technique is primarily to be used for quick sketches early in the design process.

Video Sketching

The students got three days to make their video sketches. During these days many of the students managed to do a lot of experimentation and test out different ideas. The task was in many ways an experiment from our side, so I was positively surprised by the diversity and quality of their work. I also got the impression that they had learned a lot about timing, response and communication in the interface.

The technique has clearly some disadvantages – it is for example hard to make subtle movements and deal with details and many elements at the same time. However, it seems especially suited for 3D motion sketching, since this often requires a lot of time and skills to do on a computer.

UPDATE: see some of the videos the students made.

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OnLive: straming navimation

Friday, March 27th, 2009 | General, Navimation examples | No Comments

This week the upcoming service OnLine was presented at the Game Developers Conference 2009. OnLine is a video game service that allows games to be streamed live from a data center onto TVs or computers, so that the users don’t need their own advanced graphics hardware. It is not even necessary to install the games, as the computer center does all the work. Welcome to cloud computing for games.

OnLive is also interesting in terms of interface and visual design. Just take a look at this video of the game interface:

As you can see, the service provides a visually rich interface. In the cinematic intro sequence, we fly through the logo and enter a new universe. The ‘virtual camera’ then flies over a globe that is filled with small tiles of videos, before it settles on the main menu. In navigating between different sections and games, a range of different animation techniques and transitions are employed. I looks like the rich environment will make it both easy and fun to find new games, friends, and other players.

I’m exited that the people at OnLive have developed a technological platform that reduces the disadvantages of employing advanced motion graphics, and that they have chosen to design such a rich navimational interface. I just hope it won’t be too long before we get this to Norway…

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