Cartoonist, above, explores what a mobile-first comic book might look like. Print-first comics on mobile devices have a compromised reading experience. Art rarely fills the screen, and hand-lettered text is for the most part illegible. A mobile-first approach resolves these problems, and reveals new possibilities for narrative.

Digital-first/mobile-first authors could write branching narrative. A simple gesture language makes navigating a story tree easy. This first prototype implies a new entertainment category between comics and video games.

If you're a writer or game designer interested in working together on stories for this platform, please do consider reaching out.
Having failed to find a talented illustrator-collaborator for a forthcoming project, I decided to just teach myself to draw, in the style of my favorite cartoonists.



In 2009, I wrote Vellum, a simple, expressive drawing app for the iPhone. In 2013, I released version 2. The new version further explores digital grit and authenticity. Its marks look like pencil and charcoal — perfect for quick sketches on the go.

Under the hood, its Ejecta-based ink engine allows for fast OpenGL development via Javascript.



I also put together a web site for the app. This responsive site adapts to many form factors, from iPhone to iPad to desktop.
I conceived, designed, and developed a polling app called A/B. The app presents an information space where one can ask open ended questions with an A or B answer:

Which job should I take? Where should I live next? Which dress suits me?

In A/B, consumers get 2nd opinions about decisions they might make, and the system gets interest data on things like products and places. This starkly contrasts with mainstream social software in which only the system benefits. The app was a finalist in the FastCoLabs & Target Retail Accelerator in 2013.


Loose video documentation strung together from airplay recordings at various stages of development.






If you find A/B interesting, Freakonomics Experiments is doing some nice work in this space.
I helped FiftyThree design and prototype the set of five drawing and writing tools that shipped in Paper, an iPad app. I also helped design and prototype its color mixer.



I plotted the work engagements of my design career on two axes: happiness on the vertical, length of engagement on the horizontal. According to the data, I'm happiest working on independent ventures and medium-term freelance opportunities that let me operate freely.

The ideal, of course, is to carve out a space at the top right: full/time, self-directed work.

Vintage maps and (more recently, hand-drawn) printed matter, folded by hand. Because everyone needs a hobby.

I purchased a Kinect during my most recent stint at Microsoft. With some tinkering, I found that I could coax some nice 3D drawings from it. Below is output from a lil' Processing sketch I wrote that reads depth data from the kinect and draws delicate threads along rows.

For a while there I was pretty obsessed with data visualization. Below is output from a Processing sketch that visualizes iPhone location logs from crowdflow.net.

(A few years ago, there was a bit of a scandal about Apple secretly tracking the locations of its devices, presumably to optimize connectivity. Crowdflow was a lil' site where people could upload their location logs. The site scrubs identifiable information from the shared collection.)




Because the data is scrubeed, one can't trace the trajectories of people through the cities they live in, which would have been immensely interesting.

In early 2011, when buzz around HTML5 neared its peak, much debate ensued about what the technology could do on mobile devices.

I like to resolve debates with prototypes. I made a pixel-for-pixel, millisecond-for-millisecond reproduction of the Windows Phone search UX in Javascript and CSS 3D. The prototype worked in both desktop and mobile Safari (and Chrome too, eventually). Here is the demo running on an iPhone.

In Fall 2010, Apple implemented CSS 3D and hardware-accelerated transitions in Safari. At the time, it was the only browser that had these features. I experimented with this new technology to see what mapping experiences it might enable Microsoft to ship. Keep in mind that this was years before Google and Apple shipped such things.

I began with a simple demo that looked at 3 camera states: plan view, ground view, and aerial view:



I made an iteration that lets one sculpt turn-by-turn directions, by molding a sequence of camera positions and map states:



Another iteration resolved some of the perspective warping problems you may have noticed in the previous demos. This version tested these sculptural, L-shaped map markers. It also challenged Bing Maps' steadfast devotion to its beige map tiles.



Finally, I made a mobile exploration that mapped accelerometer input to tilt in 3-space.

Interaction design and software development for this map installation at the NYC Visitor Information Center in the old Tavern on the Green space.

When Courier was canceled, I spent the next months continuing to explore interaction design solutions for natural drawing on screen. Experimenting with touch, rather than pen, as an input, I conceived and developed Vellum for iPad, a sequel to my iPhone app, Vellum.

The thinking and IP behind this work was acquired by FiftyThree and applied in Paper, the award winning iPad app.

CreativeApps covered this app during its development.

Interaction design and prototyping for Courier. I led the design and prototyping of the "ink" experience — that is, the experience of writing and drawing on a pen-sensitive screen — among other things.

Courier on YouTube
Courier on WIkipedia
Google results for Microsoft Courier

This is an oldie but goodie. A decade ago, while working for Lisa Strausfeld at Pentagram, I spent a day prototyping some of the animations seen in these data-driven environmental graphics.

It's great to see this finally manifest IRL. Many people worked on this project; it was an honor to be involved.



More at Pentagram.com