Cognitive Ink

Cognitive Ink

I've recently joined forces with co founder Anna Roosen to form Cognitive Ink, a specialist service and user experience (UX) design company.

Concept To Tray table: Airline Food As Experience Design

Most of us at some time or another have had an airline meal of some sort another set down on our tray tables. Depending on the airline, flight time, seat class and a certain amount of luck the experience can be survivable, pleasant or terrible. A simplistic response to a terrible meal would be to propose that the person who created the meal should given some pretty negative feedback. Maybe they can think up something better next time then a greasy chicken thigh stir fry with a limpid cheesecake for desert (speaking from personal bitter experience. It's not the photo above by the way). If the meals on a particular airline are exceptionally bad, then we might expect the person responsible to be fired. 

Mega Menus (Axure Tip #1)

Mega Menus (Axure Tip #1)

Mega menus are becoming increasingly common in the online world. Find out how to create mega menus in Axure.

You Are A Fat Informavore

You are a fat informavore and your information consumption may be the end of your sanity.

Need To Think? Goodbye Internet.

I was doing some sketching, when I became distracted by Wired (or was it Gizmodo?). Either way, I promised myself only a 'five minute' look. Two hours later... Still no sketch. My new rule of thumb? Any networked information system is great for research but awful for production. It's no surprise. Apparently it takes 25 minutes from when you check your email to when you regain focus. So did I get back to my sketching? Actually, I wrote this post instead. Sigh.

Imagine A Radical Future

The iPhone 5 is being called 'evolutionary' rather then 'revolutionary'. Assuming an understanding of how we create evolutionary optimization, I want to know how we create truly revolutionary thinking. I suggest we imagine new contexts by looking at an invented past as well as new technologies into the future.

Axure 6.5 Beta Out Now

New mobile focused prototyping options with the release of Axure 6.5 Beta.

Approved By Axure

I have been given the Axure tick of approval to offer Axure training in Australia and New Zealand.

Distraction By Design


Where are all the Human Factors engineers when you need them. Especially in the design of dynamic control interfaces. One on the most common dynamic control interfaces is the humble, but ever so prevalent, car dashboard. Driving is fundamentally a dynamic control task, with tens if not hundreds of perceptual adjustments and reassessments occurring constantly.


Heading, Possible collisions, Conditions and usually be assessed by looking outside the car.

Velocity, the most crucial of all numerical variables, is accurately measured by the speedometer and is often the largest and most visible gauge on the drivers dashboard.

So why is the radio portion of the dashboard so big and bright? Granted, the massive glowing panel can be darkened, but not by default.


Is it more dangerous to have a non-essential panel dark by default versus highly visible (but potentially distracting)?




2011. A Year In Review

2011.  A Year In Review - The Selfish World

Like Vladimir and Estragon, I am still waiting (as in Waiting For Godot. I am a shameless wikipediar). Unlike that futile twosome, I am still waiting for the technological - social - political - biological - emergent singularity. When all human kind terms into one nebulous happy-fest. 

When human becomes robotic and robots become human. When information becomes the truly universal currency. When green and tech integrate in a way previously unforeseeable. When technology is inspired by biology. 

When speed of thought exceeds the speed of light (okay, bit far there).  

I suspect I will be waiting for a while yet. I'm not sure if the myriad of technological changes reflected on people, society and the world at large has actually changed some of the fundamental psychological constructs. As much as I would hope otherwise, I think we are still an intrinsically self-interested species. Focused on our own needs and our own small temporal window. Perhaps this is more true now then previously. 

Have I sipped at the cup of negative thinking? Perhaps. There are rays of sunshine amidst the clouds. The interwebs have connected people to people and people to causes more efficiently then ever before. A revolution is the new startup. 

What I have seen of old Europe implies a different legacy, parks and churches that took hundreds of years to complete. Finished by the great grand-children of the original masons. I always suspected the Freemasons existed as an organisation to give identity and meaning to the man in the middle. Who did not start the project and would not live to see its completion. They had vision. Hundred year plans (Hundred year wars as well). 

What power could we leverage if we focused on more then the immediate application of these amazing tools and concepts to long term goals. I think many of the problems may not have an immediate solution. But we want it now. Vast sweeps of our lives are conditioned to that, the immediate delivery of goods and services. The asymptotic shaving of minutes and seconds away from the time it takes for us to be satiated. 

However. Some things take time. We need to learn to act now for tomorrow.

My Magazine Ignores Touch Input

I'm sure this video has done the rounds, but for me, it is so personal. I am young enough to enjoy the technological revolution and old enough to just remember the first home computers.

Watching this little girl struggle with printed matter seems an amazing portent of the next 10 years.