Thursday, September 4, 2008

jQuery for Designers with John Resig

Boston IxDA invites you to a UI prototyping workshop using jQuery with its creator John Resig on the 11th of September at MIT Building 3.

What is jQuery?
Its a javascript library that enables designers & developers to easily build or reuse some of the most common interaction patterns found on the web today.

For some examples of the power of jQuery, see;

Why might jQuery be of interest/use to a designer? While we wait for Adobe Thermo et al to usher in the golden age of WYSIWYG 'prototype' to 'shipping code' workflows, jQuery is achieving this today with a minimal amount of code manipulation, often just copy'n'paste. If you want tighter coordination with your developers or desire to reduce the amount of throw-away work by presenting your designs in a format that can be picked up by the developer then look no further. If you've worked up some html you'll be more than at home dropping in a jQuery pattern to produce more interactive designs after this tutorial.

The power of open source...
jQuery is an extensible framework, people around the world are contributing to the framework everyday. For example;
Specify or configure your designs colour pallete in and it will automagicaly build the CSS needed for your jQuery powered UI.
Also, here's 20 3rd party examples of ready to use UI patterns, from light boxes to image libraries: /07 /21 /20 -amazing -jquery -plugins -and -65 -excellent -jquery -resources /

John Resig , will give a 2 hour tutorial for designers on the 11th of September at the MIT building 3. We have a strict limit of 58 seats for this event so I strongly recommend RSVP'ing.

Additional resources worth looking at ahead of the tutorial;

When: 6:30-8:30, 11th of September
Where: Room 3-133 Map
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307


Friday, August 8, 2008

Boston IxDA invites you to Designers Anonymous, 7-9pm August 14th, Boston.

The IxDA Boston crew is rather excited to announce our August event, Boston's Designers Anonymous! a support group for those with user centered issues.

After some great 'big picture' presentations at our nanoConference, lets make it more personal and take some time to share what makes each of us passionate about design. Boston's Designers Anonymous is an event where we can share stories from "The moment I realized I wanted to be a Designer..." to "Tough challenges and beautiful solutions from my portfolio", and anything in between.

This will be an open mic style event with up to five minutes per person, and the goal is to introduce ourselves; it's not a critical review of our work.

This event is sponsored by and food is provided. When: Thursday, August 14th from 7 – 9 pm.
Where: Cottonwood Restaurant & Cafe – 222 Berkeley St. downtown Boston

Please use this form to RSVP

Looking forward to getting a better idea of what makes us all tick!

Boston IxDA

Monday, July 21, 2008

Picnic in the Park

Got party?

Boston Interactions Summer Pot-Luck Picnic

Please join us for an evening of summer fun, food, conversation, and networking that you won’t want to miss.
July 22, 2008 6:00 PM till Dusk
Danehy Park in Cambridge (near Alewife T)
No RSVP Required, No Charge

Sponsored by the following organizations:

• BostonCHI
• UPA Boston
• UPA NH h
• Boston IxDA
• Boston-IA
• UXNet Boston
• STC Boston

It’s a pot-luck so please bring food to share. Make it at home or pick it up on the way. There is a Whole Foods in the neighborhood. We will provide drinks, cups, paper plates, napkins, plastic forks, knives, spoons. Sorry, no alcohol is allowed in the park.

Directions to Danehy Park in Cambridge
Take Route 2 to the Concord Ave. rotary (Sozio appliances). Exit on Concord Ave. (just to the right of the generic-brand gas station).
Go 7 tiny blocks and turn left at the traffic light onto Walden Street.
Take your first left at a light onto Sherman Street. Near the next (possibly flashing) light, turn left into the Danehy Park Sherman Street lot.
If this lot is full, use the map below to find additional lots, look for legal on-street parking, or park near the movie theater in the Fresh Pond Shopping Center & walk up New Street & through the park.

Finding Us Inside the Park
Danehy Park is quite large.
If you park in the Sherman Street lot, just walk into the park along the main path & look for the bright orange tablecloths on the right.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

nanoConference event report

IxDA Boston is pleased to announce our most successful event to date. We were honored to have over 75 local designers, developers and thinkers come to see 9 talks on methodologies, techniques, findings and new technologies. For those who could not attend we will be releasing the audio & slide decks as we produce them, the first link is at the bottom of this post.

We would like to thank our event sponsors and . This was our second event at and we're very grateful for their continued support. We're very thankful for the hard work Chauncey Wilson put in to moderating the event and the materials assistance from Juhan Sonin.

That all said, every one's efforts would have been in vain if it wasn't for the fantastic content the 9 speakers produced on the night...

1) With his background in distance learning and visualization at MIT, and now an aesthetic engineer/creative director-type at R&D outfit MITRE, Juhan Sonin kicked off with his insights on how to inject design into an Open Source project and set a blistering pace getting through +30 slides in 10 minutes. As with all the talks we will be publishing the slides and audio on slideshare in the coming weeks. For now you can see Juhan's deck in his flickr account;

2) Next up was the first of our sponsors Jeremy Merle (Art Director) & David Adler (Information Architect) walked through the agile processes they have in place, what wasnt working and how they fixed it. The main take away was to plan ahead, gather feedback and foster collaboration from team members to truly get the most from the sprints.

3) Ian Muir, lead 'devigner', at gave a very witty breakdown of the Designer-Developer relationship. He had the audience laughing and nodding sagely at the same time. Essentially its about understanding the gaps in the respective roles to avoid miscommunication.

4) Kris Engdahl, Usability Consultant, Bentley Design and Usability Center & Malini Gargeshwari, Senior Interaction Designer, Oracle Corporation talked about using Reality Maps for Task Analysis. The audience was given a walk through of this non-visual storyboard and how it helps keep focus on task flows. We are probably to ask Kris & Malini to come back and give a workshop on this collaboration tool that allows for easy comparison of alternative flows or with current process/flow.

5) Michael Hawley, VP Experience Design, from our second sponsor talked about Next Generation Navigational Paradigms. A side by side comparison of familiar/traditional interactions & next-gen visual rich designs. Then he walked through a design and how they balanced the customers desires to make a bold statement with the users needs to navigate and interact with the brand. I'd also like to note that Mad*Pow were a sponsor and Interaction08 and it was great to see so many of the team come down to our event.

6) Christa Houlahan, Senior UX designer at Roundarch gave a thought provoking look in to what 'search' can do when its tightly integrated with content. Using FAST & Flex she demonstrated how with cheaper storage, faster indexing and more powerful search algorithms users are able to initiate, refine and preview results inline with content.

7) Matt McKeon: talked about Visualisation in the hands of the people based on his research at IBM. Many Eyes is a free and public website where anyone can upload their data, create a sophisticated interactive visualization in minutes, and share and discuss it with anyone else. Matt highlighted the implications for designers seeking adoption of innovative media by a wider audience. Instead of trying to create a community from scratch, it's often a better idea to empower users to re-purpose the content they create in a variety of contexts and roles.

8) Jesse Beach (IxDA Boston's CTO!) gave a 'HTML5 Heads Up'. With the projected date of release for the standard set for late 2010 and a raft of new features already under development in major browsers, the question arises "What does this update to the workhorse of the web mean for Experience Design?". He talked about the differences between HTML4.X/XHTML and HTML5 that a designer might find significant and the changes that hold the potential to improve user experience and our daily work experience.

9) Jared Spool, , delivered and impressively light yet powerful approach to comparing multiple designs and effectively evaluating the most suitable design.
You can hear Jared and see the slide deck on slideshare: we will publish the rest of the presentations as and when we upload them - watch this space.

To wrap up we had all the speakers form a panel and take questions from the audience; and it was great to see so many stay after the talks to discuss the inspirational content presented.

IxDA Boston is taking a little hiatus for July but fear not, you can get your geek snack on at the Boston Interactions Picnic In the Park. 6-8pm Danehy Park, Cambridge with members from BostonCHI, UPA Boston & NH, NEC HFES, Boston-IA, Web Innovators Group, IxDA Boston, UXnet Boston & STC Boston are invited. We're back in September with a social and informal discussion hosted by Christa Houlahan from Roundarch and have a pretty impressive schedule planned for the second half of the year.

Regards /pauric

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A night of short talks - Bentley College, 6-9pm, June 26th

IxDA Boston is very pleased to announce our first nanoConference, a
night of 10 minute talks examining hot button topics for designers,
moderated by Chauncey Wilson.

As you can see we've got a great set of speakers presenting on topics
ranging from research to evaluation, from communication to process...

Juhan Sonin: Design and Open Source Software
Jeremy Merle: Designing in an Agile Environment.
Ian Muir: Designer-Developer collaboration
Jesse Beach: HTML5 Heads Up
Jared Spool: What's the Best Way to Compare Multiple Design
Alternatives? Christa Houlahan: Search, Beyond the Box
Matt McKeon: Many Eyes, Visualisation in the hands of the people.
Michael Hawley: Next Generation Interaction Paradigms Kris Engdahl:
Using Reality Maps for Task Analysis

We'd like to thank our sponsors Mad*Pow & Brightcove and Bentley
College for hosting

Here's the flyer for the event if you want to post it up around your
office or are just interested in more detail on the individual talks

When: 6-9pm Thursday June 26th
Where: The LaCava building, Bentley College

Please RSVP and we will update you with more information on directions
when we get them.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Monday, April 14, 2008

April Social

We're sure you've noticed it's that time of year between snow storms. Help shake off the cabin fever with some cold beer and good food at Boston Beer Works

  • When: Thursday April 24th, 7pm (but feel free to come earlier too!)
  • Where: Boston Beer Works, 112 Canal St, Boston.
  • Map:*
  • It's an opportunity to connect and network with other local designers, implementors and thinkers. The Boston IxDA coordinators will also be there mapping out our next event and we invite you to contribute to the planning! Bring your ideas!

    Looking forward to seeing you there!

    / IxDA Boston

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    In preparation for the Flex Tutorial

    Here is a link to the code we will be using in the class, please download it to your Flex environment:

    We will be providing a paper copy of the code for you to take notes during the tutorial as well as a cheat sheet for Flex code.

    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    AIR, Flex & Thermo...

    In preparation for the tutorial on the 27th it might help to understand the approach Adobe is taking with RIA & Design. This video gives an overview of how the toolchain was applied to a Sony Ericsson site

    "AIR, Flex and the forthcoming Thermo join Photoshop to make up the newest suite of Adobe tools for interface design. Check out the following video demonstration of the AIR and Flex at work on a Sony Ericsson website. The demo is from Raghunath Rao of Adobe in Bangalore, India."

    Curtsy of ReadWriteWeb

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Introduction to Flex for Designers class

    IxDA Boston is pleased to present a one-time Introduction to Flex for Designers class. Jesse Beach, a Boston IxDA group leader, will be teaching this class.

    Flex is a platform that can be used to build interactive prototypes. There has been a very interesting discussion on the IxDA's website about how people are starting to use the Flex framework for rapid prototyping. Take a look through the thread to gain an understanding of how Flex is being used by other designers.

    One thing we can guarantee you is that as an interaction designer, you will at some point in the near future be faced with involvement in the platform, so now is your opportunity to check it out. By the end of the class you will have built something similar to this.

    **We are going to offer space at this class with a preference to those that can bring their own computer and willing to pair up with a classmate to work through the tutorial. However, if you are unable to bring your own laptop, do not worry!! We're aiming for a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of people:laptops. If you are bringing a laptopto the class please follow these very important instructions on setting up the environment to be able to work properly during the class. This may seem very intimidating, but don't let it overwhelm you as we'll be adapting to the needs of the class and taking things one step at a time! If you have any issues or problems with the install, please let us know ASAP.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Where: RDVO
    20 Holland Street, 4th Floor
    Davis Square
    Somerville, MA
    When: Thursday March 27. 7-9pm (6:30 for pizza and socializing! )
    What to Bring: Pencil/Notebook, Laptop (see important instructions below **) - if you have one

    Sunday, February 24, 2008

    Interaction|08 Remix

    Did you attend Interaction08 and are still talking about it? Did you miss Interaction08 and wish you could have gone? Did you see all the speaker recording links and wish you had time to watch them?

    Well, come join us for an evening of revisiting Interaction08! We'll be watching a speaker video or two, sharing an insight or two, and raising a pint (or two) .

    All are welcome!

    Look forward to seeing you there!
    //Boston IxDA

    What: Interaction08 remix!
    When: Thursday 28th, February 7-9pm (come whenever you can) Where: Asgard Pub, 350 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02139, (617) 577-9100