Wednesday, September 30, 2009

MOZILLA DESIGN CHALLENGE

Am presenting my ideas for "Visualizing Browser History" for Mozilla Design Challenge-Fall'09.

The following are my initial thoughts on Scope for Data Visualization in browsers.


Timeline is the key component that binds data around it and grows continuously irrespective of activity around it. And hence it's treatment as an elastic entity - moulded by various activities to take different forms.

BROWSING CHRONICLE

A spiral timeline (the CHRONICLE) that grows with the number of sites visited, gives a visual measure of the frequency of revisits to old sites, the types of sites –the colour indicating the category, user assigned bookmark icons and ultimately a pattern unique to the user. Assumptions have been made regarding the system's intelligence to understand the content and generate tags from sites visited by user and automatically categorize and assign a color which the user may change if desired.

Displaying thumbnails on mouse over is an add-on while the core is to unearth patterns of usage to the user.Giving bookmarks a shape for better interaction,connection and customization has been looked into instead of the usual textual attribute. The revisit pattern serves as frequency bar when the user visits the specific page and can hence navigate between the history view and the browser window view.


video

BLOSSOM

Tries to show the user how history unravels,unfolds and BLOOMs-thereby grows with time.At the same time it imbibes the summary view for users who are looking to manage and organize more than recollecting a specific site.The aim is to show the user the gist of his journey through various sites,contents and categories as perceived by him in form of bookmarks and tags.The abstraction is kept doodle-like intentionally so as to glean away from routine data
representation styles.



Thank you for taking time to look at my thought experiments.
Welcome your constructive feedbacks.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

CONTEMPLATIONS ON THY SELF!

IDENTITY, AESTHETICS AND CULTURE OF MAKING
A two-week long journey of self-retrospection by means of questioning, observing and finding answers. The significance lay in the fact that the realizations that dawn upon the individual would have the potential to alter their perspective of the surroundings and even themselves.
In relation to the word ‘identity’ the questions that sprang up were- Who am I? Why am I what I am? The answers to these would also serve as hints for- How do we see, perceive the world around (aesthetics)? What all goes into anything we make (culture of making)?
Finding answers meant looking at various aspects such as one’s habits, attitudes, thoughts and gauge the associated changes over a period of time-right from childhood to be precise. The next step was to analyze the reasons and factors behind -such as the family background, various events and experiences. The fact that growing up happened in an environment that revolved around ‘grooming’ was undeniable. And the educational system plays a key role in ‘influencing’ the traits of every individual.
So who and what were to be observed, that could help find these answers?
Children and everything that they do- for they are uninfluenced and thereby know no limits or so called reasons for doing and not doing something in any particular way. But really what are the things that they do and what runs in their minds?
The different kinds of environments such as a learning centre in a slum (Makkala Jagrithi) or a educational set-up ‘Bhavya’ aimed at creating spaces for the kids to develop interests, give them opportunities to experiment and explore their dreams. Whatever be the limitations in terms of resources or hardships faced the single common thing which stood out was the creativity of the kids. It was this inherent trait which when nurtured brought out mind-blowing abilities in them. The qualities developed and the knowledge gained on their own would convince anybody of the fact that these were rooted strongly and that they would later be the best citizens in the society.
Also there were classroom activities carried out that required us to actually see how our thoughts flowed when we started drawing a form out of the blue and even filling it with arbitrary colours. Trying to think of habits that could be changed, I could come up with alternate ways of doing many things such as increased use of left hand for lifting objects or writing or even typing.
After all this one would certainly feel that they would be better off than what they are now, had they also been brought up in such meaningful spaces. But having grown up now what can be done to become childlike? The rigidities and assumptions ought to be shattered to pave way for those new thoughts and ideas to occur.
Unlearn and re-explore to see the real change.