Georgia Tech, Atlanta,
Ryerson University, Canada

Team: Team of 2 UX Designers

Title: UX Designer and Researcher

The Synaesthetic Media Lab (Synlab) at Georgia Tech and Ryerson University explores emerging modalities in new media. Our research focuses on tangible and embodied interaction technologies that support creative practices that bridge the physical and digital worlds. Applications range across media arts, computational sciences, entertainment, and educational domains.


As a Designer & Researcher, I collaborate with the Syn lab team at Ryerson university and Georgia Tech, that includes faculty and students to design and study the impact of tangible interfaces on education and collaboration. I work on the Pathways project at the lab along with my colleague and Graduate Research Assistant David Chiang. The work presented here is the outcome of our collaborative work with the Synlab.

Currently we are working on the redesign of the Pathways project.Pathways visualizes the simulation of bio-chemical networks using a Tangible User Interface (TUI) approach.By adopting TUIs for visualization, we believe that researchers will be able to manipulate these parameters more easily, and also see the system-wide effects of their manipulation across the reaction network.Researchers control the parameters with tangible objects and their hands, allowing them to change parameters in a continuous fashion, and focus on understanding the effects of this manipulation, rather than on programming or entering numerical values.


After analysing the design and going through the tasks step by step, it was decided not to go forward with the design since the stacking of different versions of the chart was not easy to read from the design. Thus we decided to go for a more fluid and transparent design. While looking for inspiration we came across a data visualization in the form of a Corona chart in Vizuly. Our new design was inspired from this mode of interaction.


The new design used transparent charts that displayed information on request through interactions. Interactions were made using actibles on the tabletop. The chart allowed extraction of different layers of information using simple interactions based on the location and current state of the actible


We decided to go further ahead with the design from Iteration 2. Interaction details were created.We thought about how the space can be utilized to present different layers of information and how data that are linked together can be displayed using simple and fluid interactions. Shift from 2D to 3D was shifted into a button toggle.

We looked into several data sets and found that there might arise a reaction set which can have molecular error values ranging from 0.003 to 300. Thus we had to look into how this can be represented easily on the table top interface. We created an edge case scenario where a large number of molecules deviated from the normal values. We came up with different design iterations for these MIN and MAX molecules and how they can be integrated into the normal charts.