Articles, Clippings and More that may be of particular interest to all my peers in the wonderful world of screen-based design. About Arjun Mehta »
posted over 2 years agoThe Monster at the End of This Book
posted over 3 years agoDotted and Dashed Circles using ActionScript 3
While working on a design recently I realized that I was in need of programmatically producing circles with dotted and dashed strokes. Much to my surprise, I found that Actionscript 3 with Flash CS4 cannot draw using a dashed or dotted
After searching online for a solution, I came across a few attempts at drawing dashed and dotted lines, but none (that I could find) enabled the drawing of curves and, more specifically, none of them enabled the drawing of circles with a dotted or a dashed line.
So I decided to tackle the problem using some simple trigonometry and my own limited ability to code. I created my own custom Actionscript classes (
dashedCircle.as), which is something I have never attempted before! One of the most useful things I found on my journey making this was Lee Brimelow’s custom arc class, which I used for drawing segments in the dashedCircle class.
The constructor for the dashed circle looks like this:
dashedCircle(radius:Number, thickness:Number, dashLength:Number, gapLenth:Number, color:uint, autoSpace:Boolean);.
And the constructor for the dotted circle looks like this:
dottedCircle(radius:Number, thickness:Number, gap:Number, color:uint, autoSpace:Boolean);
I should mention that the
dashedCircle doesn’t quite render as it should when dash sizes are too small. Surprisingly, this is actually due to the flash renderer having problems rendering small curves accurately. In this case, I should be using straight lines instead of minute curves for the dashes. But for now I’m going to put the classes up as is.
I hope this is helpful for you all! I’m not much of a programmer, but if you have some suggestions, comments or anything more to add, please don’t hesitate.
Also, be on the lookout for a little game that came up while working on these. It’s a simple game that I hope I’ll get to work on a bit over the holiday season!
posted over 3 years agoMIT’s Copenhagen Wheel
posted over 3 years agoClimate Change & Human Change
Humans are changing beings; adaptive and responsive. History constantly shows us that our psychology, society and culture are not static. This indicates to designers that we need to be able to adapt and design experiences that can adapt to the way humanity changes.
I’d like to explore how understanding the concept of Climate Change can be applied to understanding how Humans Change.
There is an important distinction to be made between Climate, Seasons and Weather. These are certainly three closely interrelated phenomena, hierarchically encompassed, while also existing unique in their own domain.
I would like to define Climate as the archetypical pattern of weather and seasons encompassing a particular region over an indefinite period of time. This pattern is mediated by Seasons, which are cyclical phases of weather which repeat themselves over a definite period of time in regular frequency. Weather is the behaviour of a variable combination and collection of conditions that exist at a specific time.
When the weather patterns within the seasons start to shift, we can define this as climate change. The fundamental properties/archetype that defines the climate starts to shift, and the climate no longer resembles what it used to.
Behaviour – The Connection.
Thus, climate can be seen as the behavioural nature of the weather within a particular region, based on consistent and expected weather behaviour over cyclical seasons. And climate change can be seen as the change in this behavioural nature of weather within a particular region. That is, over time, the behaviour of weather begins to deviate from an expected pattern in the seasons.
What is interesting is that Human Change can be seen in much the same light!
Just like the weather, human individuals exhibit a specific Behaviour (which is the combination and collection of a large number of human factors) at each moment in time. And like seasons, human behaviour does go through cyclical phases, or Behaviour Sets, which repeat themselves over a definite period of time usually at regular frequency (ie. sleeping at night, waking during the day, shorts in the summer, coats in the winter, etc.). It would then be only natural to conclude that there is an overlying “behavioural climate” that defines particular groups of humans as well as individuals. Perhaps in society this is what we call Culture which I explored in a previous post, or perhaps it can be defined as personality in individuals.
Conclusion – Climates Do Change. Let’s Adapt.
Just like humans must adapt to the changes in climate that are occurring and will continue to occur throughout our existence, us designers must adapt to the changing human “climate” of culture and personality.
Today is Blog Action Day. This post was done as a contribution to the collaborative effort to raise awareness on the issue of Climate Change. It’s a humble attempt, though my intent was actually to direct attention to Human Change as well!
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.
posted over 3 years agoAlbert Einstein
posted over 3 years agoFrancesco Franchi
posted over 3 years agoLAB | Mathieu Badimon
posted over 3 years agoResonance; A Look at Culture and Form & Colour
As we decidedly call ourselves “designers”, it is important to realize that we are always designing for someone. That someone (the user), being human and existing within nature, perpetually exists within the context of culture. These existing cultures have a heavy influence on the user’s experience when relating to the material and non-material cultural elements that we as designers create. What’s more, culture is ever changing.
I wrote this simple report over 3 years ago on a whim for my Advanced Form and Colour class. It attempts to describe the Relationships Between Culture and Form & Colour and the inherent roles that designers must take on when designing for culture. The conclusion may seem relatively obvious, but the content of the report does touch on some basic, but important, sociological topics that could assist us in our understanding of the users within the cultures we design for.
This is being released under the Creative Commons with some rights reserved.
Please forgive my horrible lack of proper footnoting, image referencing and visual styling (and likely proper spelling and grammar!). I would like to change my ways in subsequent reports and would also very much like to revisit this report to bring it up to my standards.
Resonance; The Relationship Between Culture and Form & Colour by Arjun Mehta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.arjunmehta.net.
posted over 3 years agoThe Library of Congress’ Flickr Stream
There were many seas. The sea roared like a tiger. The sea whispered in your ear like a friend telling you secrets. The sea clinked like small change in a pocket. The sea thundered like avalanches. The sea hissed like sandpaper working on wood. The sea sounded like someone vomiting. The sea was dead silent.
posted over 3 years agoYann Martel
posted over 3 years agoNonsense Info Graphics
posted over 3 years agoWhat I Do: A Diagram
I’ve been very inspired by infographics these days. I suppose I’ve always found them particularly interesting, but recently I’ve been more compelled to design information visualizations myself. I think it is a great skill to develop.
In an attempt to visualize my professional self, I’ve developed the humble infographic:
What I Do, Revision 1.
I’m hoping it’s self-explanatory. Nonetheless please do leave your comments. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
This is essentially a first version framework that I think could be applied to anybody in the User Experience field. So I’ve decided to allow anyone who may want to use, modify and/or reuse it (under a creative commons license) to communicate their professional strengths and positions.
What I Do by Arjun Mehta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.arjunmehta.net/
posted over 3 years agoInternet Explorer and Untrue Assumptions
As most anyone who has tried to design and develop for the web will tell you, Internet Explorer does not have a good reputation among web designers, primarily for its lack of standards compliance and its incompatibility with emerging web innovations. Internet explorer users are definitely losing out on new and intended experiences.
As much as I appreciate Microsoft taking steps toward developing a much more compliant browser with the introduction of Internet explorer 8, there are still many established and emerging standards that Microsoft fails to recognize.
A lot of this is caused by how the company that develops Internet Explorer makes many untrue assumptions.
Untrue assumptions often come out of mid-air. They are often used to convince a person that what is being assumed is actually true. And they are often used as a method to ignore glaring facts that prove their own fallacy.
A basic example of this is reflected by the Windows Update description for Internet Explorer 8:
Internet Explorer 8 is the latest version of the familiar Web browser that you are most comfortable using.
That I “am most comfortable using”? NOT TRUE. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Internet Explorer is probably the browser I am LEAST comfortable using. For numerous reasons which I won’t go into yet. Read some more UNTRUE assumptions that are made by the company.
My suggestion is that the IE development team (and especially the marketing team) need to stop making untrue assumptions and become a bit more understanding and, dare I say, humble, about their own product.
A True Assumption
I recently saw a great example of a very humble assumption.
…almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.
You can’t go wrong with that, and you know what? It’s TRUE.
The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done.
posted over 3 years agoBuckminster Fuller
posted over 3 years agoGOOD Magazine; Transparency
posted over 3 years agoMozilla 16×16 Application Icons
From what I understand, consistency of brand image is a pretty important thing to maintain across any product line.
I respect Mozilla for their products, their overall ideology and their great community. It’s probably safe to say Firefox is easily the #1 most used application on my computer. And Thunderbird doesn’t lag too far behind. I started using Sunbird a while ago as well, but stopped when Lightning became better integrated into Thunderbird.
The logos/icons for each of these applications are well crafted, extremely iconic, and work well together as a “suite”, contributing to a consistent overall brand image.
That said, I am somewhat perplexed by a really small detail that has gone unfixed for years: The Mozilla 16×16 Windows application icons.
A Small Thing
Take a look at the Mozilla icons lined up in the Windows quick launch bar below.
Though minute in differentiation, the icons lack a consistent size and alignment. In addition to this, the icons (especially for Sunbird) have not been scaled down too well, causing a loss of detail.
Making Small Things Consistent
As simple as it is, all I’ve really done here is scaled the original larger icons down to 16 pixels and ensured that they all line up and appear to be the same size.
The result: a much cleaner, visually consistent set of icons for your Windows quick launch bar.
Feel free to download the new set and use them for your quick launch bar. I’m going to see if the folks over at Mozilla might have any use for these.