After a wonderful five-plus years as the “UX Guy” at Click Suite I’m making a move to the pink palace in Newtown – Powershop HQ.
I’ve continuously looked ahead to the next big thing and one reason I joined Click Suite is because I saw the touch-gesture revolution coming.
Turns out, good move!
I got plenty of that sort of experience working here – in a big way – from our award-winning Fast, Fresh & Tasty recipe-app for the iPhone to the three-metre touch-table for the National Library (where you can explore your personal connections to life in New Zealand).
And, recently, I’ve helped design a massive multiplayer game for Museum Victoria – where a team of players can move physical objects – to trigger an augmented-reality landscape to build a futuristic city (this is being installed in Melbourne as I write).
My very first project at Click Suite was a simple little game called “River Rocks”.
A take on shot-put, the game was aimed at primary-school children. And what do Kiwi kids love to do? Throw stones into rivers!
The game allowed the player to select a rock, pine cone or toy boat and thrust it into the river. The goal was to try and beat Valerie’s score, which meant throwing it clean across the river. But watch out for the whirlpools and electric eels!
Some of my other favorite projects completed during my time at Click Suite…
Hiko: Legends Carved in Light combines world class projection technology and the sacred spirit of the carved house Mataatua to bring to life the ancestral stories of Ngāti Awa.
As part of this unique project I got to walk in the footsteps of the ancestors of Ngāti Awa on a glorious autumn day in Whakatane.
We took three common New Zealand insects – the honey bee, monarch and native hoverfly – and set them loose in an amazing virtual rose garden.
The goal for the visitor was to pollinate six roses in a row. Achieving this took a bit of knowledge, timing and strategy to ensure their roses would be successfully pollinated every time.
Cheers – Is my drinking normal?
This interactive quiz allows you to reconstruct your last session of drinking, then experiment to see what a few small changes would have made to your blood alcohol levels, your budget and your health.
A wide touch-screen with a timeline of photographs, newspaper clippings and artifacts – exploring true stories from Taranaki’s history.
We built a prototype webapp called “Smart Pack”. Here, customers can simply print out the New Zealand Post logo, stick it on their item to be posted, and hold it up to their webcam.
What they see is a 3-D hologram of the package wrapped around their item, helping inform them of the right bag or box size to purchase.
The Suite Spot
As part of Click Suite’s sponsorship of Webstock ’09 we made an experimental interactive experience for conference participants. It was a huge hit and a glimpse into what was possible with remote gestures.
The SUITE SPOT also took live data feeds from blogs, Twitter, Flickr and SMS messages then ‘repurposed’ all of this into an exploratory scene which grew and reacted to the constant stream of incoming content.
People could then view this content on the web; a large screen in the main auditorium; or, via a gestural interface in the main foyer. Futuristic, fun and a very cool project to be part of.
Some pretty interesting stuff eh?
What also made this job fantastic were the people I got to work with day-to-day – my work colleagues, our clients – and the many members of the public I observed during usability testing as they attempted to drive our our prototype designs!
So, why am I leaving such an awesome job?
I’ve decided that it’s simply time for a new challenge working with yet another awesome company…
Powershop is an online power company who have shaken-up the electricity industry with their attitude, upstart marketing and, above all, a fantastic customer experience.
Now their competitors are playing catch-up. But they don’t have Ari. And they don’t have the loud pink. And they are only just beginning to get to know their customers. And that’s where the Powershop design team, with my guidance, will keep making the magic happen.