June 16th, 2008

Dr. vis.

I am currently using my baby-time-off-my-university-job to get my options sorted out for further research. The MACE project is running for another year, so the big decision is, if+how to pursue a PhD. At my home base FHP, formally, I cannot do a PhD. So, at least, I have to find a good Ph.D. supervisor at a “real” university.

For this purpose, I started to map all institutions and people that could be candidates or helpful or interesting to meet on Google maps.

Dr.vis. Map

I am not 100% clear about both the mode and the scope of the thesis. But I think it is safe to say I would love to advance design research in visualization of the social web.

If you – prosumer you are – have any additional ideas of who I could get in touch with, or could even imagine supervising my thesis, I would be very happy about additional spots on the map or a little comment here. Thanks!

May 18th, 2008

The right design

I just finished reading Bill Buxton‘s Sketching User Experiences and it had quite an impression on me. It starts with a general, broad argument on the role of design thinking in business and product development, illustrating how design, design thinking and design artifacts are not yet well enough integrated and understood in technology business. A great introduction also for non-designers, including a fantastic discussion of the iPod design and business story. For design practitioners, the main part of the book is concerned with the activities of sketching and prototyping. His main argument is that these two concepts are often used interchangeably, however serve two very different purposes: Sketches are for getting the right design , developing the basic idea, the punchline of the design project. Sketches are quick, disposable, diverging, and abundant. Prototypes (as well as usability testing, mock-ups, etc.) are for getting the design right – narrowing down the possibilities, making decisions, just doing what it takes to get from an idea to a really well designed thing. To experienced designers, this might sound quite obvious, but I have to admit myself I did not reflect properly on how I use these words, and how I use these design tools. Buxton did a great job of introducing subtle distinctions in this area, and gives you lots of different angles and examples to get it. Great stuff. Obligatory reading for designers, and highly recommended for anyone who has designers around them – I promise you will understand them much better afterwards :)

May 5th, 2008

The form of facts and figures

Congratulations to Christian for another yummy Master’s thesis from FH Potsdam: The Form of Facts and Figures. He collected, organized and commented on a variety of information design and visualization patterns.

I do hope he will put a pdf online!

April 22nd, 2008


More visualization videos! The See#3 conference organized by Scholz&Volkmer took place in Wiesbaden this weekend, and luckily the streams are online. The speaker list includes Dr. Fritz Reusswig, Frank van Ham, Ben Fry, Julien de Smedt, Zachary Lieberman + Bruce Sterling.

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April 21st, 2008

Visualizing a hierarchical glossary

For the EU project MACE, I have been experimenting with hierarchical visualizations. Just the quick link for now, I hope I find the time to share some of the background and findings later…

On a related note: 9 days left to hand in your papers and take part in a great conference this autumn!

April 12th, 2008

Linz talk

I am back from a little excursion to the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for media art research in Linz. I gave a talk on visualization and my master’s thesis.

Here are the slides (german). Most of the external references are linked (click on the pictures).

Thanks to Mario Röhrle and Dietmar Offenhuber for the invitation!

April 5th, 2008

Blast from the past

Hey, I didn’t notice: The Innovationsforum Interaktionsdesign videos are online. Great talks from one year ago – find my old comments here.

March 30th, 2008

The PAGE on interactive visualization

PAGE title story

PAGE magazine 05.08 has a title story on interactive visualization. Thanks to Jens Franke for the nice article and featuring some of my works and blurbs under the headline “Die jungen Visionäre” (“the young visionaries”).

Reminds me that this site needs a portfolio section.

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March 5th, 2008



The ECTEL 08 webpage is online. I take credit for the clean design and the animal theme – maybe a bit unexpected for a technology enhanced learning conference, but I found it fit the motto quite well.

Thanks to Marco Kalz and Marcus Specht for the great cooperation, and especially for recommending drupal.

Call for papers (April 1st)

January 24th, 2008

I’m in yr bookz…

… visualizing your tags :)

The “Tagging” book by Gene Smith is out. I am still awaiting a paper copy, but had a chance to look at the online version already. It looks really comprehensive, concise and covering all important tagging concepts. Which is not easy for such a moving target topic.

Besides, my elastic tag maps visualization is featured on p.102f. Nice!