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Creative Coding in Interaction Design with Tim Stutts


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Creative Coding in Interaction Design
with Tim Stutts
Creative coding is a practice that is infused in everything from programming 3D-printed furniture to generative, motion graphics for a commercial–essentially any place where design and development can overlap into a singular, art-directed process. But what is its place in the interaction design (UI/UX) field within the highly requirement-driven software industry? Can raw programmatic exploration for the sake of ideation amount to great, usable end-products? As interaction design touches on applications with increasingly advanced, off-screen technologies, traditional deliverables such as wireframes and user-flows in themselves can distance the designer from the technology and fail to fully explore the combined potential of the human and the application. On the other extreme, a designer may choose to work directly with API’s, but find themselves in over their head. The solution and middle ground is the creative coding platform.

Presented at FITC Toronto 2014 on April 27-29, 2014
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Published in: Technology, News & Politics
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Creative Coding in Interaction Design with Tim Stutts

  2. 2. UX
  3. 3. • The process wasn't necessarily creative. Could be driven almost entirely by usability research, pre-existing patterns. • Wireframes and user-flows, though important to the application design process, could compartmentalize the imagination. • Frequently fell behind the technology. Rather than make use of new technologies, UX would wait for them to be distilled into templates. • UX rarely tried to make a statement, show something new. UX FRUSTRATIONS (CIRCA 2009)
  4. 4. IBM ‘SMARTER PLANET’ CAMPAIGN my role: designer / programmer programmed in: Java (Processing), C++ (OpenFrameworks) firm: MotionTheory, Los Angeles date: early 2010
  5. 5. CREATIVE CODING ‘Creative Coding’ (originally coined by the commercial world, where a ‘creative’ is one who makes) encompasses a spectrum of Designer/Programmer-type roles that emerge from the unique needs of projects, where traditional design planning and execution deliverables can no longer fully realize the ideas made possible through newer technology, for example, specific needs for branded generative graphics,‘big data’ visualization, natural user interface, and physical computing.
  7. 7. • openFrameworks (C++) • Cinder (C++) • Processing (Java) • Three.js (JavaScript) • Unity (C#) • Many others! TOOLS
  8. 8. • Individuals are beneficial in the design planning stages, as they understand the possibilities / limitations of technology. • Valuable in the execution phase, as they are able to move back in forth between designing and programming without intermediate hand-offs. • Synaptic leaps and bounds through this process allow for new design discoveries to be made and implemented during software development. BENEFITS OF CREATIVE CODING
  9. 9. + ? The Commercial world gets it. Can the interaction design community in the software industry warm up to creative coding as part of the process? UX
  10. 10. PushPopDesign specializes in the design and prototyping of next-generation applications and experiences, along with the creation of related audio-visual media assets.  Harnessing the combined potential of creativity and technology.  Boldly blending experience design with programmatic exploration. Embracing best practices at times, but freely shattering them when they are probative to innovation.
  11. 11. OBLONG ‘AIRBORNE BEATS’APPLICATION my role: designer / programmer programmed in: C++ (Cinder, g-Speak) wired in: OmniGraffle company: Oblong Industries, Los Angeles / Barcelona date: 2012
  12. 12. HONDA ‘DEFENSIVE DRIVING’ HUD CONCEPTS my role: designer / programmer programmed in: C++ (openFrameworks) wired in: OmniGraffle company: Honda Research Institute, Sunnyvale CA date: 2013
  13. 13. •Seek projects where ‘creative coding’ is beneficial. •Establish your role and final deliverable expectations early on. •Be flexible on choice of planning deliverables. •Address usability issues while in the process of making. •Know when it’s time to explore, when its time to commit. LEARNED
  14. 14. WATSON LABS DESIGN AND RESEARCH my role: concept designer company: IBM,AustinTX date: 2013 - present
  15. 15. WHY MORE INTERACTION DESIGNERS WILL CODE INTHE FUTURE • As technology advances,WYSIWYG type tools will become less quick to adapt to design in conjunction with developing technologies. • We are in the middle of massive paradigm shift as to what an application is. The flat web is becoming a smaller piece of the overall landscape for UX possibilities. • In particular spatial, gestural and data visualization paradigms benefit from a designer’s ability to get their hands dirty and innovate with actual technology, rather than just using sticky notes and wires. • Design education programs are producing more and more students with hybrid designer/programmer skill-sets to meet the design challenges of tomorrow.
  16. 16. THANKYOU !