Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

2nd Place at Hack the Museum at The Henry Ford

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

We won 2nd place in Hack The Museum last month. On Saturday July 27th Cody Greene, Jeff Molsen, Paul Kaiser and I competed in a Hackathon, Hack the Museum at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan. Below are some screen shots of the “telephone” game we made in ONE DAY! Yes, it worked, and yes we were tired.




hfm5 hfm6

 The Opportunity

You know when you are looking at a big display case in a museum and you know they have more stuff in some back room but you can’t see it. Well our hack solves that and gives digital access to those objects. In addition we wanted to make it a fun experience, making it into a game. This game could be played pre-visit before someone comes to the museum or perhaps by kids on a kiosk while their parents are waiting in line to buy tickets.

The concept

We blended the physical and the digital. We allow the visitor to reach back into the collections from an exhibit that they are looking at and interested in. Answering “What else might be in the basement or back room?” We also allowed the different sorting/arrangement of a collection be it by date which is different than how it’s ordered in the display. It is easier to resort, rearrange digital items quickly. Lastly, we made a game that flipped or pivoted how people approach the objects. Instead of the telephone first like you see in the display, we first played a sound, and then the person had to guess which telephone made that sound.

 Overall application design

We had access to many of the museum’s API, with the web API we  used java JAXB to parse and unmarshall the results from xml to java which we used in our JSPs to display the results. We  used java xjc to generate java classes that are analogs to the xml schema and when we unmarshall the results from calling the web service those java classes are what get populated. We used APACHE HTTP client API communicating with the web service.


Official Hack the Museum Site at Maker Faire Detroit

Blog Article about the Hacking The Henry Ford (The Henry Ford Official Blog)

Deadline Detroit article highlighting the 1st place winner

Cody Greene

Jeff Molsen

Paul Kaiser




Design Patents

Monday, November 26th, 2012


Christopher Carani, Esq lectured on the importance of design intellectual property earlier this month at the Industrial Designers Society of America Chicago chapter at Beyond Design here in Chicago. His discussion was centered around an in-depth review of “Apple v Samsung” and how design patents took center stage in this case. Carani was very optimistic of the growing recognized value and power of design as evidenced by the legal trends he sees. Throughout the discussion Carani shared insights on how designers and businesses can best protect their UX design.


There is now a 700% increase in GUI filings in the US patent office in the last year.

Because of these types of cases and the rise of design patents businesses are being moved to avoid directing designers to “just copy” their leading competitor’s design. Comments were that Samsung has some very talented designers, perhaps now they will be able to design.

4 ways for designers to increase value

1 – Use broken lines and dotted lines (Broken lines may be used to show environment and boundaries that form no part of the claimed design)

2 – Use indeterminate break lines (The use of a separation and bracket to indicate that precise lengths are not claimed)

3 – Use multiple embodiments (form or scope) (As long as appearance and shape are similar)

4 – Show multiple applications (If there are minimal configuration differences)

Another point was the use of “flip book” type renderings to deal with the animations that GUI designs are more than ever innovating on.

There was a lot of discussion about prior art and the importance of that for enforcement and patent references. I think there are opportunities to combine this with a comparative analysis phase of projects in which designers make an inventory of preexisitng designs.


United States Patent And Trademark Office: A Guide to Filing A Design Patent Application

The Design of Design Patents, Part 4: Practical Advice for Designers

The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero: visual notes

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012


Above is a photo of where we had our Chicago ux book club discussion. Wow it was awesome.

Below are my visual notes from the lively discussion.


My Top 12 ideas or quotes from the book

First, design is imagining a future and working toward it with intelligence and cleverness. Second, design is a practice built upon making things for other people.

We can get closer to the wisdom of other people by having them explain their decisions – not just in How they were executed, but Why they were made.

My work was flat, because it was missing the spark that comes from creating something you believe in for someone you care about. This is the source of the highest craft, because an affection for the audience produces the care necessary to make the work well.

I find the best way to gain momentum is to think of the worst possible way to tackle the project . . . every idea you have after these will be better.

Magicians don’t just create new things, they invent new ways of doing so.

… our Henry Fords, our Billie Holidays, our Guttenbergs, Disneys, and Marie Curies – do not stand on the inside of what is possible and push; they imagine what is just outside of what we deem possible and pull us towards their vision of what is better.

The best way to describe design is that it seeks to connect things by acting as a bridge between them . . . the design of a restaurant is meant to fuse with the chef’s culinary approach to create a more provocative and full dinning experience for the eater.

Design can speak the tongue of art with the force of commerce.

The primary purpose of the design is to have it do something particular, not be any particular thing … design is a field of outcomes and consequences more than one of artifacts.

the best design has to offer much more than making problems go away … additive forces … it help us live well by producing and elevating new kinds of value, such as engagement, participation, and happiness … at its root, is simple people making useful things for other people.

There are two successful outcomes when a design focuses on its audience: resonance [stories] and engagement [frameworks].

“What if the audience is smarter than I am?” … it seems silly to not have a way to gather their thoughts, opinions, and proposed solutions.