Chris McLay.

Designer. Pragmatic perfectionist. Really useful to have around…

Some thoughts…

My wireframing mousepath

I found and downloaded MousePath the other day (Mac & PC), and accidentally left in running in the background. Several days later I found it running and this is the image that I found it had created:

This represents about two days work wire framing a web site and various other activities. From what I can tell the black dots happen when the mouse is left to rest in one spot, and the white dots happen when you click.

(MousePath is from Anatoly Zenkov)

My first software design

I’ve been trawling through my archived files, backing up, tidying up, etc. and I came across something I thought was stuck in my collection of 3.5” floppy disks. I found copies of the first ever commercial software I designed and sold – The Box Office Manager, a single user ticketing system for small theatres.

Unfortunately there is no way I could ever run the software now as it was written for the days of System 6, with black and white monitors, and Motorola 68000 processors (that’s pre-PowerPC Macs, let alone pre-Intel Macs). I will try and find the disks and an old Mac to run them on, but that’s for another day.

Luckily there was some marketing material and manuals in with the software, so I have some screen shots from what I think is version 1.0, and some from version 1.5 beta (see below). It was great to look back at the screen caps and see how bad the design was. Not that bad considering I had no real software design training.

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Available for work…

I have now finished up at Symplicit and I am available for contract work or the right full time role. If you need, or know anyone who might, a really great interaction / user experience designer then please give me a call.

In short, I have over seventeen years experience as a designer, with proven interaction design, user experience and visual design skills for a variety of clients. This is backed with significant design research and usability evaluation experience. As well I’m a capable front end programmer, allowing me to build and test prototypes as well as less complex web sites.

Thank you.

Star Guitar clip is music in motion

I had never seen the music video for Star Guitar (Chemical Brothers) until last week when I read by Jason Kottke. The video is really amazing, even though I’ve watched it over and over and over. Directed by Michel Gondry, the clip is a “simple” shot out of a train window, except that the buildings appear in perfect time with the music.

Jason links to the making of video, which shows Michel Gondry experimenting with the score, and using fruit and cutlery to simulate the effect he was looking to create. This took me right back to my experiments with the Visual Score, and my experiments trying to build a relationship between the vision and the music (see this post).

Now in writing this I’ve noticed that my project was a few years after the music video was made. Looking back I wish I had of found the video back then, I might have gone in a different direction.

Star Guitar video

The Making of Star Guitar Music Video

My final Visual Score

The first brief from my son

letter-1letter-2I came home this evening to find a letter written by my son, Gene, waiting for me in the mail box. This was great firstly because Gene has had some trouble with his writing and this letter was almost entirely legible. Reading through it I was stunned by what it contained:

Hey dad! i’m making a club. Can you make a blog for it? this is what is needs:

  • book comment and photo box
  • hand code ideas / teaching box
  • rating box (add photo)
    • pages instead of stars
    • rating out of 5

love Gene

ps: thanks

Wow.

a) my son is in year two and he wants a blog;

b) he wrote a pretty clear brief (better than many I’ve received in my career).

I’m pretty impressed, and he’ll get his blog once I can find a good domain :-)