Mayo Nissen

Design, etc


Magpie is the digital version of the box under your bed - the place to collect, protect, organise, and view your most precious files. Photos, videos, audio, and text can be dragged, dropped and positioned on an infinite canvas with infinite zoom.

The minimal monochrome interface comes to the fore only when needed, allowing you to zoom, scroll, play, and add notes to different media types. Magpie encourages users to cluster files in personally meaningful ways by optionally drawing lines between closely placed objects.

Working in a team of three, we started with a rough idea and some sketches, and moved up to increasingly detailed wireframes, written descriptions of intended interaction behaviours, interface production assets, and, finally, a fully working application developed using Processing.

Crafting a working interface meant we were able to come to terms with the non-intuitive quirks of what it means to zoom, an interface that had some 3D behaviors but wasn't true 3D, and how all the individual elements worked, overlapped, were selected and edited, appeared and disappeared in use. None of which you can see in screenshots, of course, but we learnt a lot from making it live.

Project created with Mary and David as part of a 4 week investigation into the design of graphical user interfaces at CIID.

I wrote more about the course and more details on what I learnt here.