Muscle Memory Optimized Fractal UI, designs I did back in 2010

I want to share some old designs I worked on back in 2010.

Then I was designing a completely new type of UI based on fractality of everything, together with our company adHD Oy Finland, together with Jyri Hovila, Taina Peltola, Jani Salminen and Aki Tåg.

Our company didn’t really take off, but we did a lot of design and some simple prototypes. We had ambitious plans, but we didn’t get any further than the planning stage and implementing some simple UI prototypes.

Our idea was to build a Linux based operating system, that would have completely new UI paradigm. Jyri had the idea of the Linux based operating system, and I was thinking about the UI side.

SuperYber konsepti.001

We were pushing away from the notion of computers having to imitate books, or other traditional media, like tablets and phones were doing back then. Where is the real intelligence in that? Or smart as in smart phone ?

It only smarts to use, trying to replicate old world paradigms like pages, tabs, files etc in a modern environment. We don’t have to anymore limit ourselves to something traditional with new digital platforms, so why cling onto old ways to think ?

We could create something for the purpose from the ground up, that is optimized for that use case, but instead it seems many just try to imitate already known analogue user interfaces, transferring those into the digital world, which to me doesn’t make much sense, except from the point of having familiar terms to work with and bring people in.

But those files, folders and floppies and all user interfaces paradigms we have been so used to back in the day in the physical world, are now dead. I mean, who uses folders anymore ?

floppy-disk-save-button-icon-65887

When was the last time you saw these? This used to be the universal icon for saving a document

They have went the way of the famous floppy disk as the save icon, young people don’t even know what a floppy disk is, and the same is with many UI paradigms we still stick to.

Fractal User Interface

Working together as a company, we had a problem, a problem all teams and companies have: how to share information efficiently? How to see at one glance how the project was doing and how the team was completing their tasks ? No current software we looked back then was able to provide that view, in a way that you could just see from a single page, a single glance, what was going on with your team and your project ?

I started wondering, why were so many team collaboration software (definitely back in 2010 at least) designed around the concept of books and pages and so on, that fit poorly in a web environment ?

Optimal situation would be to have an immediate visual overview of what is happening in your project, without having to go through different pages, tabs, issues and so on to see what is going on with the project. I wanted to have an immediate view onto how the project was doing, without having to dig any deeper in the UI.

I really wondered, why stick to old paradigm in the thinking of how things should be done ?

SuperYber konsepti.002

So I started to think outside the box, designing from the get go what would an intuitive user interface look like,  for seeing how a project was doing. It would naturally be built around the people connected to a project, and people completing tasks for the common nominator in the center, the project, that everyone would be committing work for.

SuperYber konsepti.003

I was starting to imagine this as a tree, taking something from the nature and starting to build around that concept in my mind. A traditional list, or box based UI didn’t feel like a natural choice, so we began from the very simple roots (ha!) of what it is to build an user interface and what would feel natural for the user.

The main UI was based around the idea of building an UI based around one usage paradigm:

Everything is Fractal.

Here we can see an design based around that concept, designed for a discussion forum app. It would use a fractal tree node based interface for displaying data:

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Design for a discussion forum app (click for full version)

branch detail

Branch detail from discussions

The idea was that all data displayed in our UI would be based around fractal tree nodes, and that same structure would be repeated for different data all over the system. In the picture above, we show a design for a discussion forum, but this same model could be used for contacts, messages, files and all the data you have on your phone.

 

This would mean that only one set of UI paradigm would have to be designed, and that same UI model could be re-used all over. No more re-designing every part of the UI, just design one part really well and repeat that!

No more multiple types of menus, drop downs, windows, whatever you need in traditional UI to visualize data, but only one set of really well working interface that would be replicated all over the place.

Fractality of Usage Patterns

We wanted to go further with the fractality of the design, and not just represent it in the visuals of the system. We wanted the usage of the system to be fractal in nature.

This means, that you only have to learn a set of certain hand motions to do any action. And you could use these same actions in every context in the UI. This is sorely missing from modern UIs, where you have to constantly change your muscle actions, leading into not being able to program the muscle memory efficiently, not being able to learn and remember different parts of the UI instantly.

For example, when you learn a sport, or play a game, first you think about it, but the main goal is to be in a state of not thinking about the action being performed, just do it, flow with it.

With modern computer UIs, this is very difficult if you are not using the keyboard, as with mouse and other position based UI’s, you constantly have to keep your attention on the screen, and figure out what does what. This is not optimal for storing the actions into your muscle memory, as the actions are constantly moving into different places, and you cannot just forget about the context and perform similar actions without thinking.

fingerpos

Our UI was designed to be used primarly by hand motions, touch screens in mind back then. So that you would only have to learn a set of certain actions, and repeat those same actions in different contexts, all over the system.

This, I believe, would result in a UI where you can flow through the usage, without thinking about it too much.

Currently, for example, if I want to save this document, I have go through this thinking pattern:

  • What key is used to save this document ? Okay, ctrl+s in this app. Press that.
  • What if I don’t know or remember that key ?
  • Look through the menus. File ? Document ? Okay, it’s under Document in this app.
  • Go through the menus, that are always different for each app, so I have to move my focus into the menu and position my mouse exactly in the ‘Save’ position and click there.
  • Look at a message from the app, was my document saved or not ? Where is the application telling me this ? Oh, in the upper right corner in this context. Ok.

So many specific and accurate actions needed for such a simple action, if you don’t remember the keyboard shortcut. And keyboard shortcuts are perfectly fine, but in a mobile phone or a tablet, you don’t have a hardware keyboard to rely on.

So I have to constantly keep my focus on a simple action I repeat maybe hundreds of times a day, switching from app to app, then figuring out again where to exactly position my mouse cursor or my finger, and how to do that.

Why cannot there be a single paradigm and action to take care of this ?

The main problem is the changing paradigm, and the fact that I have to focus on the action to perform pixel perfect movements. This takes away from the main focus of performing whatever you are doing in a creative flow. It all can break the flow, and move you away from the state of creativity to a state of bafflement and possibly even forgetting what I was doing at all currently.

Universal Controller

In the center of our UI would be this controller, termed Chakana -controller, as it was based on this Inca Cross formation, containing within it the Golden Ratio and Pi, modeled after the Chakana:

 

This cross came to me from a south american friend back then, and we studied it and found that it contains within the ratios at least for the Phi and the Pi, so in a way it was information stored in visual formation. In traditional South American culture this formation was the basis for many architecture, music, design etc, and they had the idea that each direction represents some basic element of life.

So we took this design, and applied the idea that you could control the UI with 4 different major directions, each direction representing an universal concept, like ground, air, fire, water and other universal concepts, and then seek out how those concepts would map onto when working with documents or when sharing contacts, or other actions depending on the context you were working on.

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For example here you would see the chakana compass appear over a contact in your Today list, enabling you to share when selecting the upwards direction (Sharing, Air, Putting it out there, No-Time) modify when selecting down (Modify, Earth, physical action, the Now moment), see your call history (History, Past, Water) and also maybe see your future calendar contacts when selecting the right operation (Future, Fire).

Not all of these would of course map directly to these concepts, but we had the idea that if you remembered the general idea behind every major direction, you could then apply that to each operation in some sense, and you would always have an idea what direction you need to take in order to achieve some action that is related to that concept.

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Here you can see some idea what these major directions could represent. The main idea was to map your muscle memory in a way to one direction, and then you could know what that specific direction does generally in different contexes.

Resulting hopefully in a more natural user interface, where you don’t have to read and understand all the time what you are now operating on, but creating a flow state through the usage. We never got to the phase of testing this in action, except some prototypes I implemented later for GeoKone (now OmniGeometry), but which I never put into production yet.

vlcsnap-2017-07-19-17h21m53s868

Solu Computers Implementation

I was kinda happy to see that Solu Computers were working on a similar user interface later. I actually worked there in late 2016 for couple of weeks, so I got to work on their UI for a bit too, but it just wasn’t my place to be at the moment, although their solution implements this fractal idea pretty much as I had visioned back then. So, hopefully Solu will get their computer and UI out :)

Future plans

I still have plans to implement parts of this UI, maybe for OmniGeometry or Geometrify in the future. Hopefully I will find somebody to help me implement this, so this is also part of why I want to share this information, so I can show people some of our plans.

Anyway, this was enough of past plans made in 2010, hopefully soon I will be able to implement these designs :)

This was inDigiNeous, aka Sakari, signing off!

My Mission :: Awakening to Sacred Geometry

Video

Hello, time for something more personal this time.

I wanted to share something more personal, some of the motivation that has lead me to work with Sacred Geometry and motivation behind on my mission to continue bring people direct experience of what I believe is the creation language of our Universe.

From now on, I want to share more, be more truthful, more direct, not think so much about what I put out.  Bom shaka bom!

GeoKone 0.99.66 released ::Set Background Image & Continous Tracing

GeoKone.NET was just updated to version 0.99.66.

Background Image Setting

This version (actually previous version already) brings support for drawing over a background image, like demonstrated here:

Remixing Geometry over a image from www.luminaya.com

Remixing Geometry over a image from luminaya.com

Using a gradient as the background

Using a gradient as the background

Saving the background image is not yet supported, but you can always load it again after loading the scene from a local file. The background image setting is smart, so you can import any size file as the background and GeoKone will automatically scale it to fit the best target, and you can select  how to fit the image to to your scene.

When exporting PNG images with background, the background images original resolution will be preserved, so you can set a high resolution image as background and then draw over it, and get same quality output if exporting a higher resolution PNG image.

One cool thing to try out also is exporting your current scene as PNG, then setting that image as your background and continuing drawing over it :)

Continous Tracing Mode

When the ‘tracing’ mode is set, toggling the animation will not clear the trace buffer anymore. This means you can pause the animation, modify your formations and resume animation to continue tracing over your previously traced buffer.

This enables to create this kind of beautiful images more easily:

This was created by tracing the original formation, pausing animation, re-scaling, continuing animation and repeating this pattern

This was created by tracing the original formation, pausing animation, re-scaling, continuing animation and repeating this pattern

 

Updated Help Page

Be sure to check out the updated Help Page also to get a better idea how to use GeoKone.

Changelog

Complete changelog for versions 0.99.65 & 0.99.66:

  • Fix bug with topmost buffer not always clearing when switching layers and
    toggling mod all on and off
  •  Update PDF download prices to be slightly more supportive toward development of GeoKone ^_^
  • Update help page
  • New dialog style login page
  • Update styling of signup and forgot password dialogs
  • Clean up the code a lot
  • Add buttons for animation and tracing on the top menu to make them easier to find
  • Remove the toolbar bottom indicators, replace with the led indicators
  • Style minor things to be more compatible with Chrome
  • Continous tracing drawing. Traces are now drawn by default continously, toggling animation will not clear the trace buffer now, only when you toggle tracing is the buffer cleared
  • ‘Help/Send Feedback’. Send direct feedback to me.
  • Fixed the right menu appear animation
  • Remove the stupid blue outline coming around the canvas on Chrome and Safari
  • Fix keyboard focus icon not showing with Safari
  • Fix export image to show proper preview when tracing off

Little bit closer to 1.0 again :) Go to http://GeoKone.NET and get creative!

My Custom 3D Engine Rendering Geometry

Video

Short clip I wanted to share, showing some recent rendering example of the custom 3D Engine, PsiTriangle Engine, I am developing is capable of doing.

This is just one testing example, rendering circular shapes, but the engine can render GeoKone -style recursive geometry. Check out http://GeoKone.NET for examples.

More Rainbow GeoKone Generated Fractal Geometry Art

Image

Some recently discovered look from GeoKone.NET.
Fore more art, Check out my tumblr page at http://indigineous.tumblr.com/

export_4_stamped

8 loop, infinity, heart energy, torus

SomethingDifferentForAWhile_stamped

Vesica Pisces, Duality, Balance

export_5_stamped

Opening Up, DMT, Spiritual


export_6_stamped

Love, Purity, Bliss

export_3_stamped

Discovery, Construction

What do you think ?

Created utilizing the Rotate Hue animation option in GeoKone.NET.

 

Harmonic Geometry Video :: MandalaScope by Miika Kuisma

Put on your headphones, toggle fullscreen, let the waves relax you, fly through you, become harmony within you. Enjoy:

MandalaScope by Miika Kuisma :: Click To Open in VImeo

MandalaScope by Miika Kuisma :: Click To Open in Vimeo :: Fullscreen & Headphones!

https://vimeo.com/103708632

This beautiful video was made by Miika Kuisma (Soundcloud page) utilizing geometries made by me, shortly after first version of GeoKone was released. The music is by Above & Beyond, so we didn’t release it back then, but now I feel that any content that can quiet and relax you for a while is worth releasing! Everything is a remix after all!

I have watched this video many times, with tears going down my eyes, and I dont even really understand why, the music has a lot to do of course, but Miika has the skill to create emotions in the viewer with little subleties. May this bring harmony and joy to you, and inspire to create also!

GeoKone.NET Interactive Geometry Projection Installation @ Kosmos Festival 2015

For the last three weeks, I had been working on creating an interactive GeoKone.NET powered geometry installation for Kosmos 2015 Festival. The idea was to create an interactive installation that people could control themselves and synchronize the visuals to the music playing on the Spacetime Stage at the festival.

Designign the controller interface

Designing the controller interface

Google Chrome browser has webmidi -support builtin, so connecting a Korg Kaosspad R3 controller to my laptop and reading midi -signals was pretty easy. Just had to figure out how to have some kind of intelligent and intuitive controls.

The idea was also not to break the geometry or the visuals, because with GeoKone you can pretty easily crash the browser, because exponential growth in processing and memory when increasing the recursion depth or number of points in the scene.

So I had to design some kind of limitations too, so that people could not mess up the beautiful scenes. And really to create new scenes with the controller was too difficult, so I created a bunch of nice scenes people could browse and select one to modify and work from there.

I’m pretty happy how the installation turned out! Here are a couple of videos from the event (Thanks to Suvi Suvereeni for filming and sharing):

 

People really seemed to enjoy this, as I observed people staying on the controller for long periods of time, some even as long as 30 minutes. Visitors also got the hang of synchronizing the visuals to the music, which was nice to see! :) Here is a quote from a user:

That was awesome! I hope I will get to try that again some time, one of the best moments of this summer for sure!

So! This means that in the future, GeoKone will have MIDI -support! You can plugin any controller and control the scenes with your favorite hardware .. how about that :) Can’t wait to implement this properly.

Also, big thanks to Miika Kuisma and Samuel Aarnio for helping me on site, and for everybody who collaborated on the stage and made this possible.

Until then, now work continues again on Geometrify, which about I will update more info later.