Solving one of smartphones’ most annoying user interface and experience problems

You know how you sometimes go to select something on your phone (or other touchscreen device for that matter), and either the application layout changes, or something like a notification appears just in time for you to tap on the wrong thing? I call that “UI Crossfire,” and I’m proposing a solution I call “Intent Buffering.” Take a look at the prototype.

The iPhone, fixed.

Merriam-Webster defines an appliance as:

  1. A piece of equipment for adapting a tool or machine to a special purpose.
  2. An instrument or device designed for a particular use or function.

Wiktionary’s definition is similar:

An implement, an instrument or apparatus designed (or at least used) as a means to a specific end (often specified).

In terms of hardware, the iPhone is nearly perfect. But iOS makes it feel more like an Apple appliance than a flexible and versatile computer.

So I decided to fix it.

Adobe Logo in LEGO

I was playing around with the LEGO Digital Designer app the other day, and as a quick, single-evening challenge, I decided to design and build the Adobe logo (I’m an Engineering Manager on Adobe’s Experience Design team). In order to ensure I’d be able to build it with pieces I already had, I used only the most common bricks (1×2, 2×2, 2×3, and 2×4). And, of course, it’s built for maximum rigidity.

Here’s the 3D model:

adobe_lego_logo_21

Here’s here’s how it turned out:

adobe_logo_lego_small

And finally, here’s the parts list:

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Lego Monitor Stand

lego_monitor_stand_3

Last year, I decided to design and build a Lego monitor stand. Several people have asked me about it, so I figured I would finally post not just pictures, but the LXF (Lego Digital Designer) file, as well. If you want to play around with it, all you have to do is:

If you actually want to order the pieces to build the stand, I would not recommend doing so through the Lego Digital Designer tool. First of all, the auto-generated building guide is worthless, and the set is very expensive to order. Instead, I would recommend something like this:

lego_monitor_stand_1

lego_monitor_stand_2

Building The Virtual Keyboard From TRON Legacy

tron_keyboard_500I’ve become a bit of a keyboard geek (proof here and here), so when I re-watched TRON: Legacy recently and saw Sam use that very cool blue-green virtual keyboard, I decided I had to try it for myself. I built one using two iPads and discovered it’s much more difficult to use than it looked in the movie. Below is an explanation of the project as well as my conclusions.

If you’re interested in the code I used to build the prototype, it’s all available on GitHub.