Designing some good ol’ dashboards for health data properties at work. Some inspiration:

apple dashboard 2

A mac's best friend

  • Manages information
  • Saves time searching for commonly needed information
  • Facilitates common searches
  • Could also take up time with distractions – “I’ll just check my calendar… hey crying turtle time! What Champions League Final’s on tonight?! Gotta call the guys/gals.”

Check out ma hits!

  • Combination of trend information and detailed information
  • Different slices/levels/selections of the same information (e.g. visits by region, by time, by method, by behaviour)
  • Simple graphic visualizations – minimalistic
ferrari dash

Italian beauty

  • Stunning visual aesthetic – important in deashboards, makes people want to use it/worship it
  • Right level of abstraction vs detail – at a glance you get enough information (e.g. speed to nearest 10km/h) but not too much information (e.g. exact speed)
  • Very few words – all graphics, numbers, visualizations, symbols
soviet nuclear dash

Soviet nuclear plant

  • Um? Needs specialized knowledge – know the user/audience/client
  • Standardized elements (e.g. gauges), colours, knobs, max ~5
  • Similar elements groups together in separately constructed, removable, standardized panels
  • Attention drawn to the knob with the red square around it – must be special

CHI-NL / HRPR 2009

After the surprise that HRPR 2009 changed locations/universities/cities right before I was supposed to go, I was really happy about how the conference turned out. I got to check out some very interesting and very broad research in HCI/HRI at the combination CHI-NL/HRPR conference. CHI-NL has an interesting model where they alternate between an academia-focused conference one year and an industry-focused conference the next. HRPR received tremendous (press) attention last year but not so much this year.

2nd International Conference on Human-Robot Personal Relationships
CHI Nederland Conferentie 2009  Change!

Meeting Ishiguro-sensei (THE Ishiguro-sensei) was pretty astounding as well. He’s a brilliant, intense character as I expected, but he’s also very open about himself and passionate about his work, which makes sense but I didn’t quite expect. His talk was inspiring, far-looking and shocking in its claims. His perspective on life with robots is at first startling: he absolutely believes in our lifetime we will see people living with robots. At least, in Japan (where negative media-induced connotations of robots are few). The issues raised in our discussions ranged from the philosophical (what is it to be human? Ishiguro (half-jokingly referencing someone else I think): you’re human if you question what it is to be human), to the tough ethical questions (should robots be created? they could be used for both good and evil). Ishiguro is making humanoid robots a reality, but whose job is it to make sure they’re used ethically? The scientist-engineer? Politicians? Corporations? Businesspeople? Ishiguro doesn’t go into any depth with the issue – he already has enough on his plate.


It was an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss about HRI, especially in a smaller group. Awesome location too. Huge thanks to Prof. Jaap van den Herik, Jeroen Janssens and Joke Hellemons for organizing!

In other news, Belgian beer is incredible. Jet Airlines ain’t bad.

yes, the label says 11.3%

yes, the label says 11.3%