I would consider myself an inquisitive person, It's always been in my nature to take a moment to analyse the intricacies of how something works or what the person behind the design was trying to achieve. A lot of the time if I find the design thought provoking enough I'll come up with my own interpretation by creating something similar and that is exactly how I got into designing UI/UX (User Interface/User eXperience).

One day I was playing Wii, the home gaming console by Nintendo and I was immediately drawn to the use of 'Channels' as the primary feature of the UI design. This was the first time that I had been excited by the design of something that I've never really noticed before because up until that moment UI/UX design to me had always been subliminal.

Nintendo Wii Home Screen and Channels

On Wii, game and application Channels on the grid-like Home Screen were represented through tiles that mirrored the aspect ratio of a TV screen, alluding to the idea that the Channels were a collection of little worlds that once you click on one it would fill the screen and immerse you in its content.
To me this design proposition encouraged interaction and exploration and it expressed a level of playfulness to it that reflected the context rather appropriately. I further analysed the design of Nintendo's design and later came up with my first UI/UX design (below).

Since discovering User design I've gone on to explore many more ideas and contexts, from Gaming Products-to-Smart Device Apps. Through this exploration I've created Interfaces designed around existing products but sometimes that's not enough and I've gone on to designing products inspired by the UI/UX; such as this concept for a Smart Home Device:

The Fisher & Paykel iQo (Pron: Eye’co) Tablet is a companion device designed to remotely support compatible domestic appliances and products. Its physical design was a response to ergonomics and hands-free interaction inspired by smart devices and gaming products. The design intention behind the square touch screen, as opposed to the more traditional 4:3 or 16:9 screen ratios, was that it allowed the UI to be viewed as intended without distortion of the content no matter the orientation of the device; such as landscape and portrait images being equal in area. Additionally, a full QWERTY touch keyboard could be accessed with sufficient room for viewing the typing field. The UI was inspired by F&P’s existing branding, to tie the product in with what has already been established.
On the underside of the device is a protruding hand grip that allowed for the centre of gravity to be nearer the palm of the users hand when holding the device single handedly, thus improving the ergonomics. 
Some of the iQo’s features/benefits include: Removal of components from supported products, essentially minimising production costs. Easy updating/expansion of firmware. Direct access to live product help lines through voice or video (Built-in microphone, speakers and camera). Controlling the temperature of cooking products and setting timers and alarms. Live video streaming inside of the oven, plus IR temperature readings. Select wash cycles on the washing products. Control your Smart Home features such as security, lighting and heating/cooling.
Or use iQo as a smart remote for controlling your home entertainment system and much more. 

The devices handgrip also doubles as a stand/prop

The UI remains the same no matter the orientation, no distortion of the UI

Unlock Screen: Press Power Button to wake screen.

In the center of the screen will be a dynamic water droplet. Place a finger in the dynamic water droplet and lead the droplet by drawing a track across the screen (watch the dynamic water droplet follow) to the screen’s edge.This pattern will need to be reenacted exactly the same way each time to unlock the system. 

The Welcome Screen has a user or default image as its background. Overlaying the image is the temperature, date and time. In each corner of the screen is a button for operating four different tasks: 
Top Left Button: Settings and Options

Top Right Button: Messages (Video and Text)
Bottom Left Button: (Minimise/Maximise) Bottom Right Button: (Close) After a few seconds the overlay information will disappear to show only the background image, tap the screen to activate overlay again. 

Tap the ‘Maximise Button’ on the Welcome Screen to show the Home Screen. This is where you can access all the features of the F&P iQo in three main folders: iQo: Appliance and product interaction
iQo Meter: View data and a time line of all active appliance cycles and their energy consumption
iQo Plus: Where add-on applications can be accessed and downloaded, such as video cookbooks or shopping lists, instruction manuals, games, etc. Running apps and appliances are displayed in the seven ‘Quiq Tiles’ at the bottom of the screen. 

Home Screen with a default background

The device held single handedly

The device held with two hands

Moving forward I'd like to embrace a new trend (if that's what it is) in UI/UX design called Flat Design. So in the near future you maybe seeing my take on this new philosophy in 2D design, I may even thrown in a bit of Long Shadow for good measure.
Flat Design + Long Shadow effect

When working on any project I always keep my personal design signature in the back of my mind, it's basically the branding for JDD.
By placing parameters on the design process, 'Product X' is more likely to clearly communicate the values that define me as a designer.
In saying that, it's not the beginning and the end of a project. The design process needs to be openminded and flow organically, particularly at the beginning but I find that when I hit a metaphorical brick wall or when I need to validate my decision making I reference my design signature as a tool to help me progress.

So when I'm working on projects I'm considering three key elements, they are:

1. Personal Attributes: Things that I am naturally interested in.

2. Guiding Principles: The elements that make my design unique.

3. Trends: The reflection on past, the consideration of current and the anticipation of future trends in design.

Sketching to me is an enjoyable and vital part to the design process and it is in this process where you, as the designer, have to translate what you visualise in your mind into something that cannot only be seen by others but can also be understood by others.

At the beginning of the third year of my architecture degree we received a brief to design a mixed-use building complex that combined residential apartments, commercial offices, retail and public space for an existing urban corner site.

During my first site visit I sat down on the opposite side of the road on the diagonal and started to sketch freehand on an A5 pad.
The first four, two-point perspective sketches below are from that first visit and the fifth is a more detailed freehand drawing I did a couple of weeks later using black ink and pencil on A3 paper.

Sketch 1 - Black ink on A5 paper

Sketch 2 - Black ink on A5 paper

Sketch 3 - Black ink on A5 paper

Sketch 4 - Black ink on A5 paper

Sketch 5 - Black ink and pencil on A3 paper

This is the first post in a series of sketch inspired posts showcasing some of my sketches from previous projects or from my own personal visual diaries.
Fashion design is one of those industries that keeps the world turning and most importantly progressing. Its trends advance quicker (every six months) than any other designer industry and I believe that it offers more variety to express creativity than any other industry as well - One minute you're considering natural materials then synthetic materials, colour, texture, form, weight, structure, methods, techniques and now you even have the option to make a complete wardrobe by 3D printing! How cool is that?

This to me is one of the reasons why I admire fashion - the more experimental the design the more I'm excited by it, because it is in these worlds where new ground is broken and new ideas are provoked. Some of my greatest fashion idols include Alexander McQueen, WORLD and Walter Van Beirendonck. All three of these designers push the boundaries of reality and the perception of what fashion is capable of by experimentation.

McQueen, Platos Atalantis

WORLD at New Zealand Fashion Week 2011

Once upon a time I wanted to be a fashion designer. I grew up around fashion; my mother was a fashion designer and as a child she'd make all her children's clothing herself. This made me appreciate the art and the amount of skill and patience it takes to make a garment.
As I got older though my heart moved on from Fashion design as a career path but my appreciation for fashion lead me to working in the industry for several years during my tertiary education, mostly in retail for two New Zealand brands, WORLD and Egoist.

So this post is about me sharing with you a very small insight into a design of my very own, which was a response to the revealing of the official New Zealand Olympic Uniforms for the 2012 London Olympic Games, which I felt represented New Zealand athletes as fuddy-duddy, boring, conservative, uninspired competitors.
I wanted to see them wearing a uniform that made them appear contemporary, iconic and lively and it had to reflect the nations unique identity beyond just black fabric and a silver fern badge: MORE HERE

Concept of the design

Inspiration behind the design

Woman's and Men's formal uniforms

Final design of the men's blazer

An early design concept of the woman's uniform

So that was that, a little too late for submission but instead of just expressing my opinion I put my money where my mouth was.
I hope to share more of my traditional fashion designs in the near future, I have sketchbooks filled with drawings, so watch this space!