Graphic / Interactive Designer wanted for Instructables.com

This position has been filled!We need a designer to make Instructables better, more fun, easier to use and nicer to look at. We're looking for the best talent we can find and then we'll figure out how to make it work for both parties. You don't have to be available for full time work and you don't have to work in the office or even in the same country.Great visual design skills are our most important criteria. You'll also need to be able to turn your designs into cross-platform CSS and XHTML that integrate with our existing style sheets. Some level of Flash experience will also be required.Please send your cover letter, rates and portfolio to iwannawork [at] instructables [dot] comWe look forward to hearing from you!

Topic by lebowski 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Web Site Improvements

Thank you for adding the "More by the author" profile banner to the top of each Instructable. Three author-instructable images used to appear in the right-hand panel along with some recommendations but disappeared with the last site upgrade. The new location at the top of each instructable is a nice touch ...Thanks also for restoring the graphical "Launch Stats" ...

Topic by lingib 11 months ago  |  last reply 11 months ago


DESIGN tutorials!

I've been looking around, and it seems like generally instructables users are not web/graphics designers. There needs to be a section for the design tutorials!!! Anyways when my schedule frees up in the future, I'll add some flash and dreamweaver tutorials... otherwise there is a major lacking of web DIY instructables! what you guys think? Dont you guys wanna learn how to DIY (design it yourself)? I am talkin about design here, not art.

Topic by tekness 11 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Web Design and Animation

Hi! I am offering my services for some simple web design, or 2D flash animation, or both! I use the Godaddy web hosting service, and use Flash CS4 for all my animating. If you wish to be hosted by another service, I can do that as well. Here is some of my work; www.brianschopshop.com I did this website for a local barber when I lived in Wisconsin. I try to keep an up to date relationship with my clients. If you wish to contact me email me at sammartz42@gmail.com, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I will answer comments to this forum topic as well. I charge about 50-100 dollars per page depending on the content, and animation is charged by the length at 10 dollars for every 20 seconds.

Topic by martzsam 8 years ago


Does anyone know a free CGI sotware off the web.? Answered

When I say CGI I mean Computer Generated Image.

Question by miiwii3 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Is this a Typo?

I found this on both iOS Instructables and on Instructables Web Page: Instrauctables Home page -> Technology->All Channels->Digitial Graphics The picture below shows the Digital Graphics channel page on iPod.

Topic by sath02 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Webdesign / Attractive, smart, effective webdesign service

Hello to all you instructable people. Firstly, this is my first post and I want to say, what an amazing website, i cant believe its taking me this long to find this site. I haven't closed the tab for this site all day. So many interesting read, projects and ideas. And the community seems to be real nice. Many forums i visit are horrible places with kids swearing and arguing with each other. Secondly, IM offering my webdesign services to the community. Perhaps you want to showcase your projects on your own site. Certainly looks proffesional if you have your own website to show to interviewers or potential clients. Or maybe you want to sell your instructables? I have a package which will set you up with a fully functioning ecommerce website. Allowing you to add your own items to sell with ease. Bronze Package($59): 3 PAGE BESPOKE WEBSITE PICTURE GALLERY VIDEO PLAYER FORM SUBMISSION DOMAIN & HOSTING FOR A YEAR SOCIAL NETWORKING INTEGRATION SEARCH ENGINE OPTMISATION GOOGLE MAPS AND GOOGLE PLACES INTERGRATED EMAIL SETUP Silver Package ($99): 5 PAGE BESPOKE WEBSITE PICTURE GALLERY VIDEO PLAYER FORM SUBMISSION DOMAIN & HOSTING FOR A YEAR SOCIAL NETWORKING INTERGRATION SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION GOOGLE MAPS AND GOOGLE PLACES INTERGRATED PAYPAL SHOP (SELL YOUR PRODUCTS ON YOUR WEBSITE) EMAIL SETUP Gold Package$149: 10 PAGE BESPOKE ECOMMERCE WEBSITE PICTURE GALLERY VIDEO PLAYER FORM SUBMISSION DOMAIN & HOSTING FOR A YEAR SOCIAL NETWORKING INTERGRATION SEARCH ENGINE OPTMISATION GOOGLE MAPS AND GOOGLE PLACES INTER GRATED EMAIL SETUP LOGO DESIGN, ORIGINAL, UNIQUE LOGO TO CATCH THE EYE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS AND REPRESENT YOUR BUSINESS THIS PACKAGE IS DESIGNED FOR A COMPANY OR BUSINESS THAT WANT TO EXPAND THERE SHOP/PRODUCT AND START SELLING ON THE WEB WITH A FULLY FUNCTIONING ECOMMERCE SITE EXAMPLE:http://www.eeventical.com/ Whatever your needs I can cater for them. www.superdecwebdesign.com Contact me at grbmedia@live.co.uk Many thanks George

Topic by tidyredline 7 years ago


Free Instructional Illustrations

I want to create some instructional illustrations for an instructable to be published here. Who's? I still don't know. There will be no cost to it. Just tell me about the instructable that you are working on so we can work through it. How does it work The illustration will be based upon a photo. You will take a picture that you want to use in your instructable and I will vectorize it by tracing over the image. Then, I will send the vectorized image back to you so you can publish it. Copyrights The work rights will be under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0). That means that I just need you to put my name on the credits of your post. I will use the images in my portfolio and/or will be published on my website. About Me I am a graphic designer and web developer that decided to join the United States Coast Guard a few years ago. I loved my job but I wanted to do something different and serve. I love what I do now but I miss designing so much that I've decided to do it for free. I guess is still serving the community.

Topic by cecilomar 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


How do I separate one of a group of Vector Graphics on a page of many?

I downloaded a page of free vector images. In Illustrator, they are all combined together into one group. If I "ungroup" them, each image is then separated into it's many parts. For example, if one of the images is a flower made up of lots of separate pieces, how do I get just those flower pieces combined so I can separate the flower? Thanks.

Question by zowwie 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


First image uploaded to web - subjects of photo splitting up (don't tell Kelseymh!)

From the BBC: An all-female doo-wop band whose image is believed to have been the first photo uploaded to the fledgling world wide web is to play its final gig. Les Horribles Cernettes take their swansong at the Hardronic Festival at the Cern laboratory in Geneva - the birthplace of the web. A picture of the women was uploaded to the web on 18 July, 1992, by web creator - and fan - Tim Berners-Lee. He wanted it to test out the version of the web he was working on at Cern. Press tornado The band was founded in 1990 by Michele de Gennaro who worked at Cern as a graphic designer. The Cernettes get their name from the initials of the giant particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, used at Cern to investigate fundamental physics. The group has won fame in scientific circles by performing at Cern social gatherings and physics conferences. The women sing classic 60s pop songs, as well as their own compositions such as Microwave Love, Collider and My Sweetheart is a Nobel Prize. The gig on 21 July at the annual Cern music festival will be their first performance for five years - and is billed as their last. Jim Halley, manager of the band, said there had been a huge upsurge of interest in the band because of the anniversary of the image being uploaded to the web. The band was even featured on the US talkshow hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, said Mr Halley. "This photo was one of those that changed the web, from a platform for physics documentation, to a media for our lives," [the band] said. Les Horribles Cernettes.

Topic by Kiteman 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Eeek...new Home page :(

Hi Your new Home page for Instructables is dreadful. You've lost the easy overview, fast navigation, pictorial overview and replaced it with a flashy meaningless image that wipes out your valuable home page real estate. I think Autodesk don't understand where makers and builders are coming from. I have to admit I was kinda waiting for something like this post buy-out. You take something that works and turn it into clunk. Sorry, but you've missed the boat on this one. John Graphic artist - Web designer

Topic by diykiwibloke 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Committed online DJs needed

New online radio station requires DJs I'm starting a new station called Black Box Radio. I am looking to bring together a regular set of DJs to have their own shows on the station. We are launching in the new year. I am also looking for a web designer or two as well as DJ managers and maybe a couple graphic designers Anyone want to to DJ for us? All styles are considered. Reply here and email tom-knox@hotmail.co.uk to get in touch Visit our partially built website. http://www.blackboxradio.co.uk/

Topic by lifelong-newbie 9 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Easy Pi Software Programming Language Recommendation Need? Answered

I have a 2011.12 Pi that I was able to Hello On a screen , mouse, keypad, load the appropriate Sandisk from the web. Tried some of the programs and put it away. Now I have a dedicated application that will be running a stepper shield (orbit 4 bacteria tubes) stop every hour and use a 14 bit ADC to measure growth rate by red LED reflection, storing / sending results 24/7 for a month at a time.. I don't do well with 'C' and hate graphic programming.  Machine or compiled Real Basic is my forte. What would you recommend for me please ?

Question by iceng 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


3D Printing For All

Right after we hear about Ponoko, and their laser-cut designs that you can make and sell, here comes another company that offers the service of making 3D prints via its website Jujups.Their statement:We believe that "everyone has an inherent desire - to design" Design is about self expression. It is about satisfying your desires. Once upon a time only a small portion of humanity could read or write. We would like to say that once upon a time "only a few people could design but, JuJups changed that.JuJups is powered by design technology that structures design in an intelligent way, just as much as CSS and Html structures text and graphic data in an intelligent way so that non-techies can create wonderful blog graphics and web pages that we enjoy today. JuJups will do the same to the world of products.Basically, it's easy 3D printing with templates. They'll expand into more stuff later.A wider range of products will follow in the near future.JuJups is planning in association with ZCorp to expand 3D printing capacity to support the growing demand for customized objects. Customized giftware, memorabilia, toys, etc will soon be added to the list of items that can be custom designed. Many companies have now created opportunities for custom-made products, such as custom printed T-shirts, mugs, magnets etc. however, the customization is mostly in 2D.

Topic by fungus amungus 11 years ago


Remote Access and Control for various Sensor Data and Output Devices

I am working on a project that involves multiple sensors as well as a handful of output devices, and am looking for the best solution on how to collect data from the sensors, have certain actions occur based off of the sensor input, as well as be able to have a web-accessible page where the logged data could be viewed. Additionally, I would also like to be able to modify certain variables (such as changing thresholds for when output devices are activated, for how long they are activated, etc) on the webpage. A very similar solution to a different situation that I am familiar with is OctoPrint. With OctoPrint, you can view your 3D printer live from the comfort of any machine on the network, as well as send custom commands to it, or even initiate prints. My application would be very similar to what OctoPrint offers, with the addition of being able to view collected data from sensors, as well as changing variables within scripts. The current hardware I plan on using consists of an Arduino as an analog to digital converter for the analog sensors, as well as the controller for relays and other output devices. The Arduino would be plugged into a Raspberry Pi (or really any machine would work, I think), which is essentially how an OctoPrint setup works. Ideally, I would like to have the Raspberry Pi act as the webserver/host (I would be the only individual accessing the webpage, so a pi should be enough for that? If another computer would be needed to host the webpage, then Ideally I would like to omit the pi altogether.)I would like the input data to be logged and displayed in a graphical manner, through graphs and charts. A friend recommended using a database, such as MySQL; is this a good option, or is there something that would be more efficient? The control/data page wouldn't necessarily need to be accessible to the world wide web, although that would be convenient (I would prefer not needing to pay for a domain though). So long as I could access it from the local network, that would suffice.If there is some program/software that allows me to do all/most of this, that'd be great. Otherwise, I'm just looking for input on what would be the most optimal route going about this. Ideally the less complicated the better, but I'm not afraid of learning new things.

Topic by RocketPenguin 4 months ago  |  last reply 4 months ago


HAL 9000 Open Source Community Project - Announcement and Invitation

Goal:  Build a HAL 9000 Series Computer Specification:  "2001: A Space Odyssey" Website:  www.hal9000project.org Instructable coming soon I watching "2001: A Space Odyssey" the other night and I decided it would be cool to build one.  I've never managed a project this big, and don't plan to start doing it now, so hopefully people will step up and assume various roles and responsibilities.  A project like this needs a program manager, deputy program manager, project managers, systems engineers, software engineers, programmers, graphic designers, web developers,etc.  I'll assume the role of chief engineer and chief software architect.  Also needed are an admin for the sourceforge project, and a webmaster for hal9000project.org.  I don't plan on having any special rules or regulations, I'm just throwing this out there to see what comes of it.  It could end up in a hairball of chaos, or it could evolve into a smooth running machine, although I suspect nobody will join in and it'll be just me with nobody watching. This is not a far fetched pipe dream.  The IBM Watson has already beaten the reigning champion on Jeopardy. I'll be defining all the individual subprojects such as the speech recognition function, lip reading function, speech synthesizer (it will have the exact voice used in the movie,) facial recognition function, voice recognition function, object recognition, various other artificial intelligence functions, neural network, physical mockup, physical prototype, software simulation, etc. There is a distinct possibility of getting government funding and along with commercial grants, therefore, some people could theoretically carve a full time job out of this.  That would work for me.

Topic by el_roboto_loco 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Sub-mm precision ultrasonic or inductive distance sensor for use with Raspberry Pi?

Hi there, I am trying to keep my hardware/ coding skills alive and spruce up my bicycle wheel truing stand. I need to figure out the required hardware + software for the following: I want to build a non-contact distance measurement sensor system and get the output "into" my computer for display in a graphical user interface. I know I could omit the latter step with going directly onto a mini-LCD screen, but trying to use this a learn-another-programming-language learning experience (I've coded Matlab galore, pondering Python for this project). General system components: Sensor - [something - RasPi or Arduino I guess] - laptop (running debian) - GUI displaying continuous sensor reading Sensor: I've web-searched the hell out of this, but not finding anything quite answering my questions. I want to continuously measure the distance from the sensor to a bicycle wheel rim braking surface. Material is aluminium, shiny, though not smooth. Biggest problem with the web-search is being swamped by proximity sensor results (on/off) rather than a distance proportional output signal and much lower resolution projects. I rule out IR or optical sensing, now stuck between ultrasonic and inductive sensing, though tending to the latter for a faster response/adjustment to change time. Sensor criteria (other than reasonable $$): - total sensing range: ca.5mm - sensing accuracy 10 to 100micron/ 0.01 to 0.1mm - don't ask if that's needed, a bit of overkill, I know, but a bit of OCD doesn't do any harm, eh? - fast-ish sampling rate (so that when I turn the wheel, the number on the screen updates nice and fast, guess >25Hz is sufficient). [Something - RasPi or Arduino]: I know that I could omit the laptop GUI part (mini-LCD, LED array, etc), but keen to learn/ practice a little Python with this project, so I guess I am tending to the RasPi, but I am open minded. All I want is the analogue sensor out to end up as a digital reading "inside" my computer to be passed to my GUI as a reading. Essentially a mini A2D converter. Not fussed whether the output is in actual distance units or in arbitrary units/ current units (I guess the sensors put out a proportional current signal?). GUI: Depending on the above, how do I best get the signal "into" a Python program? A moderate fast sample rate >25Hz should suffice. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!

Question by lasercycle 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


<5mm distance sensing, <100micron accuracy, GUI, RasPi or Arduino?

Hi there, I am trying to keep my hardware/ coding skills alive and spruce up my bicycle wheel truing stand. I need to figure out the required hardware + software for the following: I want to build a non-contact distance measurement sensor system and get the output "into" my computer for display in a graphical user interface. I know I could omit the latter step with going directly onto a mini-LCD screen, but trying to use this a learn-another-programming-language learning experience (I've coded Matlab galore, pondering Python for this project). General system components: Sensor - [something - RasPi or Arduino I guess] - laptop (running debian) - GUI displaying continuous sensor reading Sensor: I've web-searched the hell out of this, but not finding anything quite answering my questions. I want to continuously measure the distance from the sensor to a bicycle wheel rim braking surface. Material is aluminium, shiny, though not smooth. Biggest problem with the web-search is being swamped by proximity sensor results (on/off) rather than a distance proportional output signal and much lower resolution projects. I rule out IR or optical sensing, now stuck between ultrasonic and inductive sensing, though tending to the latter for a faster response/adjustment to change time. Sensor criteria (other than reasonable $$): - total sensing range: ca.5mm - sensing accuracy 10 to 100micron/ 0.01 to 0.1mm - don't ask if that's needed, a bit of overkill, I know, but a bit of OCD doesn't do any harm, eh? - fast-ish sampling rate (so that when I turn the wheel, the number on the screen updates nice and fast, guess >25Hz is sufficient). [Something - RasPi or Arduino]: I know that I could omit the laptop GUI part (mini-LCD, LED array, etc), but keen to learn/ practice a little Python with this project, so I guess I am tending to the RasPi, but I am open minded. All I want is the analogue sensor out to end up as a digital reading "inside" my computer to be passed to my GUI as a reading. Essentially a mini A2D converter. Not fussed whether the output is in actual distance units or in arbitrary units/ current units (I guess the sensors put out a proportional current signal?). GUI: Depending on the above, how do I best get the signal "into" a Python program? A moderate fast sample rate >25Hz should suffice.  Any help with this would be greatly appreciated! LaserCycle

Topic by lasercycle 4 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Quick rundown various Linux and BSD operating systems:

1.  Debian - one of the older base distributions and currently one of the most popular.  Uses the "apt" package manager for software installation.  Excellent server distribution. 2.  Fedora - the free community edition of Red Hat Linux.  Sponsored by Red Hat Linux.  Uses the "rpm" package manager for software installation. 3.  openSuse - sponsored by Novell, originally developed largely in Europe. 4.  Mageia - fork of an older distribution called Mandriva Linux. 5.  PCLinuxOS - also a fork of Mandriva.  Looks to provide out-of-the-box support for graphics and sound cards. 6.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) - based on Fedora, RHEL includes many enterprise-level enhancements and is supported Red Hat corporation. 7.  CentOS Linux - free enterprise-grade operating system that is built from the same source code as RHEL without the proprietary enhancements or support from Red Hat.  8.  Puppy - very small Linux operating system that boots the OS and applications completely into RAM.  Can operate on older computer equipment.  Excellent for use in emergencies and to recover data from hard drives. 9.  FreeBSD - operating system that is based on BSD code. 10.  Ubuntu Linux - easy to use operating system that is based on Debian Linux.  Supported by the Canonical corporation.  Ubuntu means "humanity to others".  Excellent server distribution. 11.  Linux Mint - currently one of the most popular distributions, based on Ubuntu Linux.  Looks to provides complete experience by including browser plugins and media codecs (ie: Flash) upon installation.  Excellent desktop distribution.  Also comes in lightweight editions for older hardware 12.  NetBSD - based on BSD code.  Can be run on a wide range of hardware.  Currently there are 57 different hardware architectures that can run NetBSD. 13.  OpenBSD - based on BSD code.  Source code built from the ground up with security first and foremost as the goal.  Ships "secure by default", that is, all non-essential services are disabled.  OpenBSD has embedded cryptography throughout the operating system; it utilizes OpenSSH, Pseudo Number Random Generators, cryptographic hash functions, cryptographic transforms and crypto hardware support. 14.  ClearOS - server and network distro designed for small businesses.  Based on Red Hat Linux.  Web-based interface controls anti-virus, anti-spam, VPN, content filtering, bandwidth manager, file services, SMTP services, print services, SSL certification, and web services. 15.  Kali Linux - distro that specializes in penetration testing and security auditing.  Over 300 penetration testing tools.  Based on Debian Linux. 16.  Lubuntu - lightweight version of Ubuntu Linux for older computers and netbooks. 17.  Gentoo - highly customizable distro that uses a package system called portage written in Python.  Mascot is Larry the Cow.

Topic by matt392 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Halloween Food Contest Winners

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners for the Halloween Food Contest.  This year brought a host of inspiring, terrifying, and ghoulish projects.  As always, it was a labor of love to have to sort through such impressive projects to choose the final nine.   Monkey Brain Cake took our top spot, with its glorious presentation and gruesome concept.  It took three days to sculpt this masterpiece, and it shows.  The photos are clean, compelling, and informative. The write-up is informative, easy to follow, and injected with humor and a real sense of the author’s personality.  Many congrats to BubbleandSweet  and thanks for sharing this epic project with us. Second prize went to three fantastic entries:  hungryhappenings’ Bleeding Cake Ball Brains showcases a clever use of several techniques, and exploits an ice cube tray to its best effect.  The finished product is subtle until interacted with, adding a delicious element of surprise.  The photos are bright and clear, and the write-up is easy to follow. The author also offers helpful suggestions for addressing trouble spots and how to make individual elements really stand out. chefsea’s Assorted Eyeballs and Sockets impressed us with a clever and unconventional use of ingredients to create an eye-popping result.  So much care and detail was put into creating such a gory, and yet appetizing snack.  The write up is deli-eye-tfully punny, and the photos well illustrated the technique.  The final result looks almost too realistic to eat! Most Awesome Halloween Cake comes to us from new author, licenseless.  While the write-up is a little hard to digest, the concept and execution are impressive.   Every part of the cake and its accoutrements were hand-sculpted to a sublimely sanguinary effect.   Small details like adding the veins to the heart before covering it in fondant are a great tribute to the amount of skill that went into creating this entry.  The third prize slots were gobbled up by five fantastic entries. Candy Corn on the Cob by alaskantomboy stormed the Internet and garnered over 100K impressive page views.  This was a very simple execution on a super clever idea.  Kudos to the great work, informative write-up, and fun photos that make this entry shine. How To Make Spider Cake Pops With Webs by sugarkissed.net is an adorable take on a modern classic.  It combines clever techniques with fun, illustrated graphics to provide a sweet Halloween treat. Ewwy Gooey Slime Filled Cupcakes by Make.Bake.Celebrate is a cheerfully disgusting sweet that could easily be tailored to suit several themes.  Quite impressive is the author’s ability to match the internal slime to the external hairy eyeball tumors, yet maintaining very different textures and mouthfeel.  Perfect balance of gross and cute, and extra points to the fun photo styling.  Halloween Stamped Tortilla Chips by wold630 introduces a fun way to liven up even the simplest of party snack.  With such clear photos, the descriptive text becomes almost unnecessary.  This is another project that can easily be modified to suit any occasion. A brilliantly simple technique applied to a very versatile, crowd friendly food, capitalizing on the Halloween theme. danlynne07 had almost too many great entries to choose from!  Haunted Grave Cupcakes is a very cute, hand-sculpted design that would surely take the cake at any party.    A very cute and clever, well-crafted design. All in all, this year brought a very impressive showing from authors both seasoned and new.   We appreciate the amount of effort everyone put into their creations, and look forward to next year's crop of spooktacular snacks and freakish fare.  

Topic by scoochmaroo 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


South By Southwest (SXSW) 2009 Interactive Review - It's a Party Masquerading as a Conference

It's no secret that SXSW is more about the parties than the conference, but when you have so many smart people who run interesting businesses together, it's a pretty significant lost opportunity that the conference isn't better. Christy and I attended the 2008 SXSW Interactive conference, and decided it wasn't worth coming back. However, Instructables was a finalist in the Web Awards "Classic" category at the 2009 SXSW Interactive conference, which netted us two free passes. So, we attended again this year. This is my review of the interactive portion of the conference.High level - I'm glad we didn't pay. If you go, admit that you're going for entertainment, not to learn something about the interactive industry. The keynotes were excellent -- even if I didn't come away from them with anything actionable to do --, while the rest of the panels and talks were terrible. Having the resources to get to Austin doesn't mean that most conference attendees will have done their homework -- otherwise interesting panels with smart people were nearly always hijacked by stupid questions, and unfortunately it was rare that a moderator would shut down the stupid questions and get back to anything engaging. For example, at How Safe is Your Domain Name? someone actually asked "What does ICANN stand for?" If you're the type of person who reads reviews, and tries to determine if a conference has value for your business, SXSW does not. It's a party masquerading as a conference. If you go, think of it as a vacation, enjoy the evening events and keynotes, and when you learn one or two interesting things by accident, you won't be disappointed. Longer Review:Plan B: Can an Ad Guy Bring Bike Sharing to America?The story of how an advertising agency exec. was able to start up a bicycle sharing venture. Worth checking out just to understand how Crispin Porter+Bogusky works, and to see how they keep their thinking fresh about advertising.Spying 2.0: Can America Compete With Web-Savvy Enemies?Quickly devolved into an I-use-Twitter-so-should-you panel. Yawn. Is Privacy Dead or Just Very Confused?Academics talking about websites they use, and privacy issues they think might apply. A discussion of "experiences"; nobody on the panel is actually doing anything real, nor do they have any insight into major players' privacy policies or how those policies affect users. How did they get a panel?Change v2Lawrence Lessig's non-keynote-scheduled keynote on how money reduces our faith in politics. Excellent. Find a video of this and watch it.Opening Remarks: Tony HsiehTony Hsieh has given this identical talk at other conferences, but the message is so good, it's worth seeing twice. Slides available here.Feed Me: Bite Size Info for a Hungry InternetThis had an interesting set of people on the panel, but it nonetheless turned into a why-Facebook's-new-homepage-sucks-because-it-copied-friendfeed fest. Then, the panelists started openly wondering why they hadn't invited anyone from Twitter to be on the panel.Collaborative Filters: The Evolution of Recommendation EnginesThis was one of the biggest disappointments. Anton Kast of Digg is clearly top notch, and has spent deep hours thinking about recommendations and the math behind them; and, the people making up the rest of the panel were no slouches either. Unfortunately, they spent more than half of the time describing in layman's terms how each of their websites work, and we never got to anything juicy. "On Digg, users rate up a story they find interesting by clicking the Digg button..."! Edupunk: Open Source EducationThe description of this panel really got me pumping: DIY teachers around the world are using open source course management systems, open access textbooks, and other open source tools to buck the chains and limitations of corporate education software. What the panel really turned out to be was a bunch of ineffectual academics having a cat fight over who was more ineffectual. They all tried to outdo one another with stories of how management at their university prevented them from having any impact, and the winner seemed to be the panelist who accomplished the least. Seriously.This was only topped by the first question from the audience, which opened with: "I've learned a new word at this conference, and I'm going to use it here: monetize..." Seriously? I now have a new rule for conferences: Stay away from all education topics. The ratio of people with opinions to people who can/are having impact is way too high. How to Create a Great Company CultureThis is a tough topic, and one in which there's no right answer or overarching theory. The only way to get data is to listen to anecdotes, and this session gave me a few more. Although to be fair, I probably could have spent the same hour reading blogs written by company founders and gotten more out of it. Sunday Keynote: Stephen Baker / Nate Silver InterviewInterviews with really passionate people are always a treat. Nate Silver fits the bill.From Flickr and Beyond: Lessons in Community ManagementI was baffled why Metafilter was invited to be on this panel. In a discussion of privacy policies, the director of operations from Metafilter said "We don't have one. We're not there yet." Despite obviously having the most to contribute, the representative from Youtube didn't share anything; his lawyer must have told him to keep his mouth shut. Overall this was let down.New Think for Old PublishersThis panel was deceptively described, and the audience was annoyed to find a group of publishers simply looking to scribble down suggestions rather than having a conversation about the industry. Fortunately, Clay Shirky was animated enough to heat things back up.Presenting Straight to the BrainRunning a panel on better ways to use slides and graphics where each panelist presents slides might seem a bit hubristic, not they pulled it off. Take home: Use your slides to tell a story.How to Protect Your Brand Without Being a Jerk!This powerhouse panel was interrupted a mere 15 minutes in by a self-described-artist-from-Europe who raised (and shook) his hand for 5 minutes until the moderator eventually gave in. His question: "Do I need to copyright my songs? No really, do I need to copyright each one?" This softball opened a pandora's box of stupid questions from audience members clearly unable to format their questions into that tricky search engine text box. Monday Keynote: Virginia Heffernan / James Powderly InterviewJames Powderly is a friend and deeply fascinating individual. I wish this interview had been longer so they could have gotten deeper into his motivations and experiences. Advertising is Entertaining - Who's Selling Out?I came out of this session thinking it was pretty good. However, on further reflection, since it was more conversation than lecture, and lots of people had the opportunity to speak their mind, I was just happy no one said anything particularly stupid. This should give you a sense of my expectations at this stage at SXSW.New Threats to New Media: Fair Use On TrialThis was an excellent panel, particularly because Jason Schultz ran a very tight ship, kept things moving, and prevented questions from derailing the session. In my opinion, all three videos shown were clear examples of fair use, and I would have appreciated one that was a little closer to the line, but the session overall was still both enjoyable and useful. Building Strong Online CommunitiesWhile too general to have any actionable items, this was still pretty good. It's also fun to hear Drew Curtis's irreverent opinion on community. Tuesday Keynote: Chris Anderson / Guy Kawasaki ConversationThis made me really look forward to Chris Anderson's coming book Free. Guy Kawasaki did a fantastic job moderating, especially with respect to mocking people who ask questions just to insert a pitch for themselves, and limiting meaningless follow-up "questions."Nom Nom Nom: The Secrets of Successful FoodbloggingGet a DSLR, all other rules of successful blogging apply.The parties and evening events were good. I enjoyed Dorkbot Austin and Plutopia, and still think often of the food at The Salt Lick. The Web Awards were surprisingly fun. We were up against some much bigger names, and Flickr won (which in my opinion, was the expected value; I use Flickr at least weekly, if not more). Baratunde Thurston emceed, and he kept it spirited and fast-paced. His interludes were funny, and when no one from Flickr showed up to claim their award, he claimed it for them. "I remember really wanting to share some photos online..." I've been to other conferences where the parties are fun, the talks are engaging, and you come away with a laundry list of actionable items that will make measurable improvements in your business (or life). The SXSW interactive conference has all the ingredients to make that happen, which is why it's so disappointing when it doesn't come together.

Topic by ewilhelm 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Field report: Mads Hobye as an Artist-in-residence at Instructables

Mads Hobye was granted an artist-in-residence at Instructables for September 2012. Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share projects they do, and how to do it. Because of the creative nature of the website, Instructables also have lab facilities for their own co-workers and for artist-in-residences. During September, Mads had the honor to use their lab to build and document multiple prototypes to be shared on their website. I choose to put my focus on building interactive noise machines, since this ties into my PhD and my interest in creating non-trivial internal complexity. I have been working long into the night most days and it has been really interesting to have the chance to focus on one thing at the time. Although the primary purpose of the stay was to explore the potentials of designing interactive sound machines, a couple of other side outcomes were also planned. First, to see how Instructables organized their creative workspace and get inspiration for organizing the upcoming Connectivity Lab at Medea. Second, to see if Instructables would be a suitable platform for documenting the creative practices at Medea. Take aways from Instructables as a creative workspace Although Instructables primarily is a company running a website, they have quite extensive lab facilities. This consisted of a small lab at the office (sewing, electronics and woodwork) and two blocks down they had a whole space filled with laser cutters and 3D printers. This is located right beside the Techshop, which is a full-fledged lab for everything from metal to 3D printing. I have picked up the following things that struck me as really good ways of structuring lab work: Documentation table: A documentation table with lamps, camera and a white sheet of paper as background enables people to quickly document their projects with a nice white background. It was interesting to see how this improved the overall quality of the documentation. Suddenly a breadboard and some wires became a piece of art or a pedagogical platform for show and tell instead of an unfinished project. Show-and-tell meetings: Twice a week they meet at two o'clock to do a show and tell. Here they take a round and everyone says what they are working on in one or two sentences. This is a really easy way to get everyone updated and it takes no time at all. If you are not present you can email out one sentence telling everyone what you are doing. Once a week it is about the specific day and once a week it is about the coming week. Have everything in the same lab: The separation between the labs has confirmed to me the importance of having everything in the same space. It takes time to walk two blocks to lasercut which limits the creative process of iterating between e.g. lasercutting and soldering. Instructables as a workspace was one of the most easy going creative loving workspaces I have ever had the chance to be a part of. Although I never got to know the formal rules, you had a clear sense that people had the freedom to prioritise their own work day and combine it with creative side projects (as long as they documented them of course). Instructables as a knowledge sharing platform for the Medea Connectivity lab Instructables works well for sharing individual recipes for others to use, but what came as a surprise to me was the ability to create groups as individually branded websites. This enables a group of people to collect their recipes under a common theme or brand. We will use this as a common platform to share the knowledge created in the Medea Connectivity Lab. This way people can get an overview of the projects done in the lab. This will become a mandatory part of using the lab in the sense that students and co-workers will be encouraged to document their projects and publish them in the group. So far my experience with posting instructables has been quite interesting and overwhelming. Where projects normally ends as interesting portfolio documentation, the detailed documentation of the build process enables others to recreate your designs or their own versions of them. So far this has resulted in multiple people making their own version. One example is the Arduino implementation of the touche shield (https://www.instructables.com/id/Touche-for-Arduino-Advanced-touch-sensing/). This was published in May 2012. As of now, I know of ten people who have recreated the design and just as many has made suggestions for improvement. Another project has been rewritten by an enthusiast in Dubai. It now runs faster and uses less memory. You can find the preliminary group for Medea connectivity lab here. Non-trivial-internal Complexity as facilitator for curiosity = making noise machines As a part of being an artist-in-residence at Instructables, I took it upon myself to build of couple of noise machines / music boxes. My interest was in designing objects that would enable people to explore the world of sound synthesis and for me to get a better understanding of how the different interfaces enables different interactions and sound qualities. This is a part of an ongoing investigation on creating interactions for curiosity. It has been an intense experience. Trying to build as many interfaces as possible within one month. I have tried to make all of them stand-out as finished, while still being hackable pieces. Everything I have done is published on Instructables for others to experiment with. All of the projects consist of a few basic components: An interface and sometimes a screen or a led matrix. The basic sound component is either a Gameduino or a software synth written for the Arduino platform. You can find an overview of the results here and I will introduce them in this article as well. Although arduinos are good for simple action <-> reaction interactivity, there are a limited amount of examples that work with more complex interactions. Here I mean beyond game design’s way of working with narratives, but more in the sense of adding personality to your projects. Personality not as much in the way of looks (e.g. putting an Arduino into a teddy bear), but more in the way of complex interactions that makes you curious about its devices potential possibilities. My interest as an artist-in-residence at Instructables were to design different machines that would spark the user’s curiosity. Here, simply put, curiosity lies between the extremes of chaos and predictability. Where chaos becomes uninteresting (from an interaction design point of view) because of its uncontrollable nature and order becomes so predictable that the interaction itself slides into the background of the end-product of the interaction itself. One such example is the light switch. As an adult you usually do not notice your interaction with it. The core question then became how to make people who are interacting with it drawn by their own curiosity of not being able to decode the interaction pattern, all at the same time having a sense that their actions are the main contributor to the sounds. Most of these machines would have been simpler to make as software programs on a computer or even as multitouch applications on a smartphone, but I wanted to have an aesthetic criteria as a frame for my experiments: I wanted to create simple tangible interfaces that would inspire curiosity. The objects themselves should welcome the user to try out and explore their interfaces. Last, I wanted each experiment to be self-contained. Instead of them becoming interfaces for a laptop, they should be the ones who created the music. The end results are still crude and mostly serves as interaction enclosures with future potentials, although they do hint at different interesting interaction qualities. You can find an overview of the boxes here. The singing plant plays with a classic trick of sparking people’s curiosity by adding unconventional interaction qualities to a familiar object. The Kaosduino serves as a platform to explore the complexity of touch on x-y surfaces. The Matrix machine serves as a platform to explore the potential of emergent sound patterns converted from particle systems. The algorithmic noise machine serves as platform to explore the boundaries between chaos and order through complex bit shifting algorithms. Better ways to debug the internals of the Arduino board As a side project, I decided to improve on the debugging capabilities of the Arduino platform. This was in line with working with internal complexity which can be hard to comprehend as the code grows. The program enables you to visualize realtime data on the Arduino board. You are usually stuck with the standard serial output. As the complexity of your Arduino code grows, this makes it impossible to comprehend what is actually going on inside the board. To solve this I have created a little library that will enable you to create your own custom GUI for your Arduino projects. Watch this video to get a demonstration of a basic hello world with a potmeter and a diode: The following are a few key features of the tool: Custom design your interface from the Arduino board: You define which sliders, graphs and buttons you need for your interface. You do this in your Arduino sketch which means that the GUI program acts as a slave to the sketch. All information is stored in your board. Visualize and manipulate realtime data: Whether you are making an RGB light controller or a robot arm, getting a graphical feedback is crucial to understand what is going on inside the board. This enables you to understand whether it is your hardware or the code that is causing problem. Further, the sliders and buttons enable you to tweak the individual parameters in realtime. This way you can see what effect different thresholds have on the interaction. Use the same app for all your Arduino projects: I have made tons of small apps for different projects. My problem is always to find them again a year later. Because we save everything in the Arduino, I only need to keep one app around the Arduino and it will automatically configure the app for the current project. Prototype the interface before you turn on the soldering iron: Because you can design the GUI as you like it (within reasonable limits), you can prototype the interface before you have made a physical interface. This also enables you to divide the tasks between multiple people, e.g. one person is working on the hardware and another person is working on the code. When you have made the physical interface the Guino will integrate seamlessly. You can find the instructables for the Guino interface here. About the author Mads Hobye (b. 1980) is a PhD student in interaction design at Medea Collaborative Media Initiative, Malmö University, Sweden, and co-founder of the Illutron collaborative interactive art studio. He focuses on how digital material can be used for exploring social transformative play situated in the context of everyday life. He has done several large-scale installations and working prototypes, which he is using as a basis for his PhD research. More information is available on Hobye’s work at www.hobye.dk.

Topic by madshobye 6 years ago