My childhood hero, somehow, was Joe Lertola, that illustrator who did all those “explainer” graphics for Time Magazine. Every new issue, I would dive right into looking for his infographic (before they were called as such) for the month.
Figuring things out through diagrams became my everything.
Infographic to explain Github Balanced Employee Intellectual Property Agreement (BEIPA) to Korean employers
Low-resolution UI design
Because of my childhood obsession with learning the design systems of the earliest personal computing platforms, I became instantly familiar and comfortable with designing for low-resolution, 1-bit black & white, 2-bit grayscale, 4-bit grayscale, and 16-color palettes, such as those found on small LCDs during the 1990s.
This made me perfectly suited to design for embedded and bespoke portable devices with limited graphics capabilities during the early 2000s.
This was a concept project by Cooper Interaction Design designers, and I was tasked with doing the bitmap UI design and the final
Elizabeth Bacon (IxD, narration), Angela Quail (IxD, voice), Chris Weeldreyer (IxD, ID, voice), Berm Lee (IxD, VisD, animation, effects), Kim Goodwin (IxD), Wayne Greenwood (IxD, voice, sound), Ernest Kinsolving (IxD, voice)
Before the iPhone, before Skype, before any smart phones, for that matter. Of course, before capacitive touch screens, which made scroll wheels, jog wheels and numeric keypads redundant. The rest of the design, would still stand. Apple did not invent visual voicemail, and most still seem to have not gotten it right.
Integrated UI and brand identity design
“Paper-sketch” level UI prototyping style
Often referred to in the industry as “wireframes,” one of the idiosyncratic doctrines I’ve picked up from Cooper Interaction Design is that there is a distinct phase of design where you don’t want to be bogged down with too much detail, to test out whether the overall concept is working. The problem is that not everyone (especially stakeholders and other higher-ups) is comfortable carrying on a discussion with a scribbly whiteboard sketch.
There needed a way to communicate that the lack of certain detail is intentional, but a lot of thinking had been put into the parts that you can see. It’s definitely not “UI design minus the visual skinning.”
I created a template of visual style built for Macromedia (Adobe) Fireworks that remained the house-style for the company for nearly 20 years (and can be seen in books by Kim Goodwin and Alan Cooper)
Identity and logo design
There are many logos and identity systems (and T-shirts 👕) I’ve designed on the side for small organizations, some of which are still in use today. These are the two I’m most proud of.
A logo for an organic “grassroots” undergraduate school for young adults choosing out of the well-beaten path of institutional universities.
A logo for a short-lived startup that I was a part of, crafted together with designer Jiwu Lee. The flags spell the company name NFM. This was my first and only logo to explicitly follow the golden ratio.