Centigrade joined UXCamp 2009 in Berlin from May 23 to May 24 for its successful premiere. The event was focused on topics in the field of user experience such as, for example, interaction design, visual design or prototyping. The postfix „camp“ alludes to the fact that the event is organized and conducted as a BarCamp, i.e. an open and participatory unconference whose session planning and content is completely determined by the participants.
Centigrade, represented by its Managing Director Thomas Immich, contributed to the event by providing detailed insight into the field of resolution independent icon design and latest technical findings.
In this respect, Thomas Immich gave a short introduction to resolution independence in general and outlined why the rise of heterogeneous display devices ranging from tiny cell phone displays to huge touch walls makes it more and more important to take resolution independence into account when creating sophisticated visual UI designs such as icons that require high recognizability. By giving some live design demos, Thomas Immich illustrated the problems with modern vector-based graphic design tools and pointed out why vector graphics alone do not suffice to ensure a smooth process for creating resolution independent icons.
„It requires an interplay of diverse technologies to tackle the challenges we are going to face in modern visual UI design. For icons on large display devices we face the challenge of dynamically adapting the level of detail of an icon while loading it in a quick and memory-efficient way. Today’s Rich Internet Applications, for instance, need to feel responsive throughout – users won’t accept waiting for an icon to load when all they want to do is to accomplish their task. In these days when mobile devices enjoy widespread success, we should, however, also not forget about „thinking small“ in order to keep recognizability of icons high. Scaling down vector-graphics for small devices oftentimes results in blurry icons whose imagery is hard to perceive – a common pitfall that should be definitely avoided.”
As a conclusion of his presentation, Thomas Immich demonstrated how the Seadragon Deep Zoom Technology, initiated by Microsoft® Labs, in combination with Microsoft® Deep Zoom Composer can be leveraged to create multi-scale icons that are highly recognizable on different display resolutions. A detailed article on the topic of resolution independent icon design is available on the Centigrade website as a series of four blog articles. Among other things, part 4 of the series demonstrates how the Deep Zoom technology for Silverlight quickens the creation of resolution independent multi-scale icons.
The UXCamp audience rewarded the presentation with vivid participation and positive feedback throughout. Thomas Immich: “It was great to see how UXCamp in general just worked right from the beginning. There were great dynamics, originating from brisk participation and passionate interest among the participants and last but not least from a smooth overall operation that has been made possible by an excellent UXCamp organization team and supportive sponsors.”