Same box, different results

I’ve been using Google+ for a few months now. The most striking difference has been the type of content I see posted in contrast to Facebook.

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First impressions of Google+

What’s better than being part of the Old Boy’s Club? Being part of the New Tech club! I got an invite to Google+ a few hours after they were launched, courtesy of a good friend at the Googleplex. I just spent 15 minutes playing around with the interface, and here are some quick notes: (there’s a good overview of Google+ at TechCrunch and NYTimes )

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WYSIWYG Food Pyramid?

The old iconic Food Pyramid has received a serious upgrade today, the MyPlate. Gone is the notion of a pyramid. Instead, we’re shown a plate, with the food portions on it, in all it’s What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get glory. The USDA’s food pyramid originally started out in 1943 as, ironically, a donut

It’s not clear to me if the slices are intentionally the same size, but this is where the concept of what graphically showing people what food they should be easting. While the USDA has gone back and forth about what food groups need to called out, the biggest problem has always been how to communicate to Americans how much they should be noshing, gnawing and guzzling. Read more

F1 Steering Wheels

I recently read an interesting blog post about what all the buttons, knobs and dials do on an F1 steering wheel. With all the rage about easy-to-use interfaces these days, pics of these “interfaces” look like some sort of photoshop joke. However, they’re very real and very useful to the F1 drivers. F1 Fanatic’s blog post lists 22 different functions on a Sauber steering wheel, from shifting gears to “drink bottle” and a speed limiter for the pit lane.  Read more

Tab-based Interfaces

I was recently spurred by a question on a forum to collect a bunch of tab-based interfaces. Surprisingly, it is hard to to find good examples of modal tab UIs on the internet. I looked a lot a few years ago, and glancing around now, nothing jumps out at me either. This post is going to be a round-up on tab interfaces, heavily biased towards OS X, because that’s what I use. If you send me an example, I’ll add it.

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Research Specialist @ MIT

I was a research scientist at MIT in the Humans & Automation Laboratory. During this time, I worked on a project with Alstom Transportation to develop displays for train operators that aided them in making complex scheduling decisions which maximized on-time performance as well as fuel efficiency. My research also included continued research on the MAV-VUE project.

Responsibilities also included:

  • Managing two teams conducting research, which included both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Guest lecturing in classes
  • Developing in-house software solutions
  • Arranging weekly lab seminars

Talks & Lectures

I’ve been a guest lecturer for several classes at MIT:

ESD.32 :: Human Interaction in Product Design

16.422 :: Usability Testing

16.475 :: Interaction Design

I’ve also given talks on Robots and Ethics (Naval Warfare College), Collaborative Exploration with MAVs (Government Symposium on Mobile Devices), and consulting.

Scenes from MAV-VUE Usability Study

We’ve finally released some scenes from the MAV-VUE usability study I performed over December and January. The study went extremely well, with participants almost universally succeeding at the tasks we gave them, after only three minutes of training! Read more

Human-Interaction Lecture for MIT Class

I gave a lecture for a MIT class earlier today, ESD.40: Product Design and Development. The lecture largely discussed how human interaction factors into product design (surprisingly), although a lot of it was mainly intended to introduce students to different aspects of human interaction and motivate them to consider interaction when working on their products. Read more

PASW (SPSS) 18 Installer crashing on OS X 10.5

I just worked through getting PASW (formerly SPSS) installed on my MacBook, running OS X 10.5

Unfortunately, when I tried installing the software, an InstallAnywhere application would run, then PASW_Statistics_Installer would start and instantly crash.

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