Monster (Annabella, 2009)

I am back to medium. Hopefully, I will post more notes and reflections on visual communication, interfaces, and UX. My original plan was to modify the blog I started during my doctoral studies: Bits of HCI. But later, I thought it was better if I start anew to signify a big change I made this year in the midst of the pandemic: moving to San Francisco.

GoDaddy powers my domains and hosting. I have been a customer of this company for years and never felt that the service is bad. I even considered the visual changes to the UI's front…

Vox has published a nice video about how Snapchat lenses, commonly known as filters, work. As a someone that once researched on digital image processing algorithms, and learned about their possible complexity and computing demand, I’m really marveled about accessible facial recognition algorithms have become. The Snapchat filters motivated me to install this app, and once I tried them myself, I was like “Wooooow… Oh boy, it’s true that we had supercomputers in our hands every day, and it seems that we just take them for granted!”

Have you used snapchat? From my viewpoint, Snapchat’s UX feels very clumsy…

Today, when I opened Spotify, I found this (see image below):

Later, I mentioned in facebook that using my profile picture for the “Discover Weekly” album is a little bit scary. Moreover, I tweeted that although Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be the next big thing in UI/UX design, we shouldn’t forget taking care of the execution, the how, the form — By the way, this somehow sarcastic since tweets before I was arguing that just paying attention to the looks leads to a poor understanding of what design is (after watching the “Why Design Matters” video).

Later, someone asked me…

One of the key challenges of being involved in a humanities & design-oriented perspective of Human-Computer Interaction is defining what design (or Design) is. I think that having an operational definition for Design is healthy. It is not only about divagating, philosophizing, or making the word Design to look more scientific — this is, to convert it into something observable and measurable within a certain space, which has its own axioms and laws. It’s also about understanding what being a designer — in a professional sense — means. What’s an Experience Designer? An Interaction Designer? Is it different from an…

In “A Short History of Photography“, Benjamin Walter introduces the concept of aura as follows,

What is aura, actually? A strange weave of space and time: the unique appearance or semblance of distance, no matter how close it may be. While at rest on a summer’s noon, to trace a range of mountains on the horizon, or a branch that throws its shadow on the observer, until the moment or the hour become part of their appearance — this is what it means to breath the aura of those mountains, that branch.

In other words, we can interpret aura as…

It’s been a half year since Google released Material Design. I still see it as a great strategy to bring a vocabulary to designers and users for understanding how UIs work. From that design framework, cards have caught my attention from the first time. I always wonder, are cards about UX or are they really about information design?

Google Now’s available cards

Probably, the first card I saw corresponds to the weather card in a web browser, the one that appears when you google about the weather. However, the first time I paid attention to a card was in a…

Omar Sosa-Tzec

Assistant Professor of Design Foundations at San Francisco State University

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