Michael Gaigg: Über UI/UX Design

17Jun0

Augmented Reality Sandbox

Posted by Michael Gaigg

This is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. A real-time integrated augmented reality system to physically create topography models which are then scanned into a computer in real time, and used as background for a variety of graphics effects and simulations. #gottahave

More info about this project: http://idav.ucdavis.edu/~okreylos/ResDev/SARndbox/

12Dec0

Job Posting: User Interface Engineer

Posted by Michael Gaigg

My team is looking for a talented UI designer with a solid technical background. Please refer to details below and contact me for questions.

Send your resume to mgaigg at esri dot com!

General

Use your technical background and innovative visual design skills to simplify complex business processes through the creation of intuitive and visually engaging user interfaces.

Department

Professional Services - Applications Development Services

Responsibilities

  • Create sophisticated, imaginative, efficient, and visually striking interfaces for front-end solutions
  • Design reusable UI components by utilizing or building UI framework components
  • Develop storyboards, mock-ups, and prototypes to communicate ideas for navigation and interaction models
  • Evaluate requirements and initial mock-ups; make technology recommendations that support optimal construction, maintenance, and performance.
  • Translate complex functional and technical requirements into detailed architecture and design prototypes
  • Ensure cross-browser/platform integrity of web designs
  • Work closely with the back-end teams to create a working end-to-end solution
  • Define, maintain, implement, and enforce style guides, standards, reusable templates, and best practices for client-side software development
  • Leverage the latest developments in Internet technologies
  • Serve as a technical resource and mentor

Requirements / Skills

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s in computer science, graphic design, visual design, human factors engineering, interaction design, information architecture, or other relevant field
  • A minimum of two years of experience in user interface design, information architecture, user-centered design methodology, and implementation in complex enterprise environments
  • Significant and proven experience demonstrating innovative UI visual design skills
  • Ability to balance designs with the understanding of technical constraints within a software development environment
  • Experience in utilizing user research to drive design decisions
  • Highly proficient with cross-browser/platform CSS, HTML, XHTML, and JavaScript
  • Extensive experience using JavaScript libraries like dojo and jQuery
  • Good understanding of User Experience (UX) and User-centered Design (UCD) methodology
  • Ability to take a concept from sketch to final implementation
  • Ability and willingness to take ownership of projects and help drive them to effective implementation
  • Exceptional attention to detail, organizational, communication, and presentation skill
  • Passionate about novel user interface design and software development

Recommended Qualifications

  • Experience with GIS/ESRI products and solutions
  • Experience with .NET, C#, Silverlight, and Expression Blend
  • Experience with JSP, Java web frameworks, Flash, and ActionScript
  • Experience with Linux, PHP, and MySQL
  • Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite including InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator
  • Ability to interface with customers, gather requirements, and implement new solutions

Employment Fraction

Full-time

Work Location

Esri Headquarters, Redlands, CA

16Apr0

T-Shirt: Trust me I’m a Designer

Posted by Michael Gaigg

Here is a must-have for all design geeks out there: Trust me I'm a Designer Tee Shirt!

And believe me, it's not only a vision test, it's a test in your faith as being a designer 🙂

Btw. I'm a designer and I approve this message.

Trust me I'm a Designer Tee Shirt

Trust me I'm a Designer Tee Shirt

20Mar0

Innovative Interfaces: Future of Farming

Posted by Michael Gaigg

John Deere has done a very nice job with a video called "Farm Forward – Future of Farming". The subject is directly related to design work I'm doing right now and it's fascinating to see that - futuristic features aside - most of the capabilities like combining weather data with GIS and field scouting exist already. Love it!

17Jan0

The best way to predict the future is to shape it

Posted by Michael Gaigg

This is an off-topic post which is nevertheless close to my heart and should concern us all: Climate Change.

With explicit permission I will re-publicize the keynote speech given by Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change) at the state dinner in Doha, Quatar as part of the World Climate Summit COP 18, in presence of UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, UNFCCC-chief Christiana Figueres, and Qatar's head of state the Emir H. H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, accompanied by his wife H. H. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.

This event marked the beginning of the high-level segment of the negotiations. He talked about "the three convenient untruths" of the public debate on climate change - and about "the laws of nature" which was much applauded.

The Laws of Nature – and the Laws of Civilization

Your Highnesses,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen!

If decision makers wish to adopt evidence-based strategies, they must not ignore the
evidence...

That is why I am most grateful to the hosts of this event for giving me the opportunity
to provide you with several crucial scientific insights regarding the climate-change
challenge. As you all know, the former US Vice President Al Gore disseminated in
2006 the famous narrative about an “Inconvenient Climate Truth”. Only two years
later, a dubious counter-narrative started to spread, propelled by an alliance of actors
interested in the vindication of inaction with respect to climate stabilization. This story
revolves around three “Convenient Untruths”.

The first one of these reads: “There is no global warming caused by mankind.”

What is the concrete evidence? Well, among the 13,950 peer-reviewed papers on the
subject which were published between 1991 and 2012, only 24 do not confirm that
there is a major anthropogenic greenhouse effect. In other numbers, the expert
information identifying mankind as the primary cause of contemporary climate
change outweighs the contradicting one by a ratio of

99.87 % : 0.17 %.

This is as far as objective research can get: only a lie could boast a 100 %
consensus...

Conclusion: Climate physics offers no excuse for inaction.

The second convenient untruth maintains: “Breaching the 2°C line will cause no
significant harm.”

What is the evidence? Well, a recent flagship report of the World Bank portrays the
dire consequences of our planet warming by 4°C or more. The Potsdam Institute was
heavily involved in this integrated state-of-the-art assessment, and even we, the
researchers, were shocked by our findings. One crucial insight is that there will be no
sound economic and social development in the tropics and subtropics in a world
without climate protection.

Expressed in simple numbers again, the thermal difference between

4°C and 2°C

might translate into the cultural difference between a failing and a stable global
society, between a fair and peaceful planet and a world torn apart by climate injustice
and the thence-triggered aggressions.

Conclusion: Moral philosophy offers no excuse for inaction.

The third convenient untruth is the most vicious one and goes like this: “It’s too late
for climate stabilization at an appropriate level.”

Various arguments – often rather bizarre ones – are put forward to underpin that
declaration of environmental defeat. One prominent line of reasoning refers to the
ratio

1 : 193.

These numbers reflect the fact that 194 sovereign nations are negotiating here in
Doha an international agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change, and the cynics ask, why should one single nation make a constructive step
forward if the other 193 drag their feet? Because of this ongoing global “prisoner’s
dilemma”, we have already passed the climatic point of no return, they say.

What is the evidence? Well, as the latest scrupulous analysis shows, the 2°C line can
still be held if every country makes an ambitious, yet realistic contribution. It goes
without saying that disengagement will not save the world. This simple insight can be
expressed in a sentence that rephrases the legendary admonishment by John F.
Kennedy:

“Don’t ask what global climate protection can do for your country; rather ask what
your country can do for global climate protection!”

And there are indeed many nations that pioneer the transition to sustainability or try
to break the mould of business-as-usual. Let me mention just two of them:

Germany, my home country, has embarked on a bold journey that will make
renewable energy and resource efficiency the basis of its entire economy. And Qatar,
the host of COP18, has started now to massively invest into climate-smart agriculture
relying on solar desalination of sea water. These thriving nations move forward not in
order to reduce, but to enhance their prosperity.

Conclusion: Political economy offers no excuse for inaction.

Let me approach my bottom line now. As a physicist my work is guided by the laws of
nature. Extending these laws into the realm of civilization for the sake of climate
protection I can state the following principles.

The 1st Law of Capitalism: Don’t kill your customers!

The 1st Law of Socialism: Don’t kill your comrades!

And, overriding everything else:

The 1st Law of Humanity: Don’t kill your children!

Our generations will be judged by these laws in history. Please keep that in mind in
whatever you do – here in Doha and at home.

15Oct0

Imagine You Are Somebody Clever

Posted by Michael Gaigg

A Vision and Role-Model

One can argue about the scientific value of the space jump endeavor which without doubt was a big payoff for Red Bull and Felix Baumgartner. But one thing shouldn't be missed: somebody with vision worked hard, risked a lot and by combining skill and technology achieved something outstanding. The jump was well prepared, a team of engineers and specialists worked over 5 years to make it happen.

"I want to inspire the next generation. I want to be in mission control with someone younger than me wanting to break my record." Felix

What seemed to look easy was a leap to remember, especially in times when we feel overwhelmed or scared, disillusioned or tired. Take a step back, zoom out, breathe and jump...

Imagine you are somebody clever

But here is the real lesson: Try to be a hero, try to be a genius, try to be somebody clever! This isn't as crazy as you think, it's actually the outcome of a popular research study by Robert Hartley where he and his team split children into two groups asking them the exact same questions except one group of kids was asked to imagine they were somebody clever, to "act as if they were clever".

The outcome was that this group performed significantly better than the other, as Hartley states: "Adopting another's perspective enables one to explore other ways of acting, thus in one's imagination one can temporarily disengage from the habitual perspective one usually assumes. This allows the person the opportunity to give considered thought to what he might do (p. 191) and actively reconstruct the situation from this other perspective." And further "[...] the sense of identity exerts a controlling influence over the intellectual choices one makes, the mental abilities one is willing to reveal and what one feels one can or cannot do in particular circumstances."

The Lesson

Remember the following picture and how Felix must have felt. He did it, you can do it too!

Next time you feel nervous...

Next time you feel nervous...

19Jul0

Job Posting: UX Designer & Visual Designer

Posted by Michael Gaigg

I'd like to forward two job postings by Sooriaraj Jeyaraman who is trying to fill two positions for the design team of the new Location Analytics initiative.

Feel free to submit your resume directly to Sooriaraj Jeyaraman. Thanks!

User Experience Designer

Overview / Job Description

Esri, the leader in geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping technology, is looking for an exceptional user experience designer.

Join a dynamic and energetic team working to bring Esri mapping and location analytics to the world of Business Analytics. Working alongside a focused team of product managers, developers and other user experience designers you will be responsible for setting new standards for the way users visualize their data on a map and perform analytics with maps.

The ideal candidate will be a practical-minded perfectionist who has the creative skills to grasp & simplify complex business processes through the creation of extremely intuitive user interfaces. While these are business systems, the user experience must be as easy and intuitive as the best consumer experiences.

You must be a natural collaborator who is used to develop designs in a team environment with multiple stakeholders. A passion for elegant design and incorporating new and innovative technologies is a must. Exceptional attention to detail and a good eye for aesthetics are crucial.

Requirements / Skills:

  • Strong, demonstrated understanding of User-centered design methodology
  • Experience in utilizing user research to drive design decisions
  • Solid skills in interaction design, user research, conceptual development, prototyping and usability testing
  • Experience in creating process flows, wireframes and mockups to effectively conceptualize and present detailed interaction behaviors
  • Experience in creating detailed user interface specifications
  • A strong working knowledge and experience in using tools such as Balsamiq, Axure, OmniGraffle, Photoshop/Illustrator, PowerPoint, Flash Catalyst at various design stages
  • Worked and designed Desktop, Web and Mobile applications & solutions
  • Experience with usability assessment techniques including usability heuristics, contextual enquiry and conducting lab-based usability testing
  • Worked in a cross functional team environment in an agile development process
  • Handled multiple projects at the same time
  • Experience collaborating and working closely with the UX team members.
  • Experience communicating effectively to the stakeholders
  • Experience in creatively solving complex problems within aggressive deadlines
  • A portfolio demonstrating past work experience and relevant User-Centered Design solutions

Experience:

  • A Master’s degree in Human Factors, Human Computer Interaction, Usability Engineering, Cognitive Psychology or such related field
  • Minimum two years of work experience in user experience design

Visual Designer

Overview / Job Description

Esri, the leader in geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping technology, is looking for an exceptional visual designer.

Join a dynamic and energetic team working to bring Esri mapping and location analytics to the world of Business Analytics. Working alongside a focused team of product managers, developers and other user experience designers you will be responsible for setting new standards for the way users visualize their data on a map and perform analytics with maps.

The ideal candidate will be a practical-minded perfectionist who has the creative skills to grasp & simplify complex business processes through the creation of extremely intuitive user interfaces and engaging visual and motion designs. While these are business systems, the user experience must be as easy and intuitive as the best consumer experiences.

You must be a natural collaborator who is used to develop designs in a team environment with multiple stakeholders. A passion for elegant design and incorporating new and innovative technologies is a must. Exceptional attention to detail and a good eye for aesthetics are crucial.

Requirements / Skills:

  • Strong, demonstrated understanding of User-centered design methodology
  • Experience in utilizing user research to drive design decisions
  • Exceptional skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and other layout and design tools.
  • Knowledge and experience using animation software such as Flash and/or After Effects
  • Good general understanding of web and mobile platforms and experience producing designs and assets for them
  • Excellent understanding of general design principles and practices
  • Ability to create balanced, well formed layouts in print and interactive projects
  • Strong background in typography and color theory
  • Familiarity and facility with icon creation and icon systems
  • Top-notch communication skills
  • Efficient time management
  • Strong design portfolio that shows great potential

Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree in graphic design, web development or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 1-2 years experience in professional interactive design capacity
18Jul0

Create your own Treasure Map

Posted by Michael Gaigg

Historical Style

Historical Style

Now this is cool (thx Nick for sharing)! An antique looking basemap (by MapBox), just missing pirates, treasures, hidden islands and tales about monsters of the sea...

Update (thx to Aileen Buckley): Esri has "a style you can use to do this -- it is the Historical style on Mapping Center -- it has ships, sea serpents, etc... (thanks to Jaynya!)".

Download: create historical looking maps (scroll down to 'historical' style)

8May0

Mapping Stereotypes: Europe according to Americans

Posted by Michael Gaigg

Yanko Tsvetkov (thx to Rob for pointing me to this site)!

Working under the pseudonym "alphadesigner" which (according to him) makes people usually think that his work is really important. Regardless... Yanko hits the nail right on its head when it comes to stereotypes.

You gotta love the European map as seen by different states/cultures. And if you really think that everybody in Austria eats Apfelkuchen for breakfast and Italy is infested by Godfathers... then you either watch too many movies or ...are American LOL.

29Apr0

Amazing Paintings with inlaid Maps

Posted by Michael Gaigg

Patriarch (original), 2006 Inlaid maps on panel

Patriarch (original), 2006 Inlaid maps on panel

What an amazing find (once again thx to Nick Furness).

Matthew Cusick created these astounding paintings and collages using inlaid maps.

I love map art (does this word exist already?) - do you guys know more? Send it to me and I'll post it here, can't wait for maps to enter urban culture, maybe some map graffiti or street map painting on a sidewalk...?! 😉

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