Alright shall we get started I think we’re all here so I’m about to do a presentation on the subject of visual programming languages and tools which is something a bit exotic to bring to a conference such as this where everybody speaks to each other in C++ but I think if you’re here it’s a good sign that you’re interested.
Or know something about it I’m curious to.
Know more I’m set from eggs design I’m lead designer.
There we focus a lot on professional tools and professional.
Tools bring specific demands in terms of design and development so let’s look at what I’ll be covering firstly a short background in terms of contextualizing.
How we deal with rapid prototyping as a concept and a method how I.
Got drawn to visual programming languages.
And then recovering the why the when and the how of using rapid prototyping in digital design workflows and then I will dive into real-time prototyping covering some of the tools worth looking into focus on one in particular called touch designer and show some real-world and research examples I’ll be trying to do a few demos let’s see how that.
Goes in terms of time is it for well developers who might be interested in.
Rapid rapid prototyping for software.
Who are curious about visual programming languages interested in learning about multidisciplinary work because that’s how we work at eggs with developers designers in tandem who wonder how designers think if you didn’t know already I think.
We worried a bit different and that’s one of the reasons for this talk project managers tech consultants everyone in between so let’s get to rapid prototyping.
Of context when we talk about design we usually visualize.
It using this pyramid of offerings at one level or at the bottom you will probably see what is traditionally understood as design which is form and craft how things look but there’s much more.
To it that we deal with more and more creative problem-solving and strategic transformation which can have quite a wide impact on businesses and within that there’s a certain number of.
Offerings and you will see rapid prototyping among form and craft so what we call rapid prototyping it comes from.
Really term from industrial design which we do also have we call it an economical and pragmatic approach to test and feel your digital or physical product early we deal with both industrial design and digital and service and I would just highlight those top words economical because it’s cheap and pragmatic.
Because it’s a shortcut to trying out ideas testing and feeling because it’s about trying to convey the experience of the final product but how did I get into visual programming tools and languages first off when I was working for projection design then Barco and I have a colleague he undershoot presented.
Yesterday or ex-colleague I started dealing with problems such as pushing massive amount of pixels to multiple screens and the traditional tools would not cut it so I turned to visual programming languages to be able to do that because of flexibility and performance actually then that Nordic Media Lab company in Halton I we had a client called a smart systems where a lot of quite demanding visualizations were needed for over there we’re.
Looking at a graph or a consumption generation and storage marked against the movement of the Sun and that also brought me to visual programming languages to be able to do that from the.
Data that was getting in from.
Engineers who were very specific about what the data should look like same thing for data dashboards because of the connectivity that I was able to get through some of.
These tools I was able to inject in real-time data coming from sensors or at least simulated until we did get the data the hard part is to actually just get that real-time connectivity so it got involved in real-time development because of that but I am essentially a designer I’m not here to.
A developer just to make that straight but why why prototype at all I usually use a cartoon that illustrates the first point of prototyping which is a parable about making a tree swing this is what marketing suggested what management approved what was.
Designed by engineering what was manufactured in the end what maintenance.
Installed but this is actually what the customer wanted and this is what the customer needed so one point that idea puts across is if a picture is worth.
A thousand words then a prototype is worth a thousand meetings and I think.
If a prototype manages to create a more accurate vision of what the final product should be then a lot has been achieved already and it’s worth the short and.
Quick investment so the first point about why prototype is communication the connection between designers and developers is achieved.
Much earlier giving both the same work to work towards the same goal it helps with problem definition and redefinition because while you’re doing it you uncover all sorts of usability issues and things that you might need to take up with developers who will be implementing it I.
Think it fuels ideation because it enables you to think while you’re doing it and that’s that’s a.
Good thing because you are working in a simulated environment but that’s why you prototype usability testing to test as early as possible with users whether your ideas.
Are viable and provide a good user experience.
I think it helps to focus development where the there’s more ground needing to be covered it helps us assess that very early and a bit of a bonus is the fact that sometimes prototyping actually helps a lot with pitching the idea making the project exists in the first place so when to use it well early the thing is the the design process is less sequential than before this is.
The classic loop and any new variable that comes into play can.
Cause uncertainty and you might make assumptions that are dangerous and then that find their way.
Through the development stages to the final product which can cause problems in the end but the thing is that.
Static designs that we use a lot as well lack many important properties of the user experience namely interaction per se motion multimedia capabilities device connectivity and functionality not the least the thing about being able to do rapid prototyping is that you can shortcut a lot of these stages a lot of designers who are learning to use some of these tools are eager to.
Try out new ideas very quickly and that is.
A good thing I think because you can get very quickly to test an idea and see if it is viable.
Are the fastest way between you and your customers but how to develop prototypes I suppose in our different lines of work we all have our different techniques but in terms of design there is a bit of a matrix to.
Which marries functionality to visual detail it’s all about how much functionality do you want how much visual detail you might want all of it but that’s not always possible so different tools have different abilities in terms of accuracy I would describe sort of throughout the classic design process the level of fidelity as increasing as you go along from sketches to wireframes to mock-up student prototypes and then the end the only thing.
Distancing prototypes from from production is the finished level really how accurate do you need it well.
With rapid prototyping we’re starting to compress the process and trying to achieve a higher level of fidelity faster short of actually developing the damn thing but with real-time prototyping we’re mashing it up because it’s all quite layered so that we are able to really compress the process and get immediate feedback so for his real-time prototyping really in my own words which you can try to shoot down real-time prototyping is done by using.
Visual programming tools where compiling happens on the fly so the tools that I’m showing in this category are always running the results of what you’re doing is always being rendered or displayed or enacted on and within the rapid prototyping 2 category there this is not an exhaustive recap but there’s many out there going from.
Quite static basic clickable screens.
To tools that are collaborative tools that are layer based our app based tools that are stronger in animation tools it a better for complex systems it’s actually very difficult to put this in a matrix and make a neat categorization I tried I started for this and I and then I gave up this.
Is as best as I can group it in terms of visual programming tools there’s a few predecessors but in my experience the predecessors come from actually digital audio if some of you are familiar with it like pure data and Maximus B or authored by a chap called Miller phuket who developed this.
Visual programming environment that is actually quite able to support multiple protocols so for me it became a bit of a swiss knife that i used every time i needed multiple protocol support in one and then there’s another group which is based on quartz composes something that Apple developed a few years back and that hasn’t received a lot of love the people at Facebook developed something called origami on top of it to test applications in native OS and viewer also from a group of enthusiasts users of quartz composer is.
Also a visual programming environment and there’s noodle as touch designer which I grouped because of their IOT capabilities but touch designer is a much more multi-purpose workhorse and then notch and 4v probably more aimed at insane graphic display capabilities so you might ask so is this.
For people who don’t know how to code and the answer would be in a way yes because you are you’re not coding you programming visually but is it for people who don’t know how to program I would not say so because you would get into trouble the same way you would do with any.
Other coding language coming to touch designer and I must make a disclaimer I’m not in any way affiliated to to touch designer makers I just like the tool and I know the people who make it a very nice bunch of people and there’s nothing wrong with that it’s.
A procedural architecture so everything that you do effects a stream of data in.
A chain it has a great interoperability connecting to other pieces of software it delivers very high performance graphics capability.
It is we are capable it supports many camera sensors and importantly as well to mention here it’s extensible through script languages such as Python and 3.5 for people who program shaders and has GLSL 3.3 and for people who don’t find in the family of operators that it provides an operator that suits their needs they can program them in.
C++ it supports many protocols mqtt DMX MIDI OSC UDP artnet WebSockets etc and it’s available for Windows and Mac OS one of the things that people point out that these languages is what I call the spaghetti monster effect but you start programming visually and because you’re using space things can get messy but then it’s down to.
It up because it’s in an interface like that’s designer for example you can encapsulate your your ideas and your your network so that as they are called and you.
Libraries in a way so it doesn’t need to get like this even though the patches that I might be showing later do you look a little bit like this because I don’t I’m a messy guy but I think the the highlights.
Points would be that it fast fast tracks the design process because the speed of development means developing ideas is phenomenal I think compared to other methods it’s a good common ground I think for both designers and developers because even if.
Team of designers who look at it as something a bit exotic at least you are able to discuss how things will work and then they will implement it in.
The chosen tool for language testing is simpler and I think it encourages experimentation and experimentation is an important level of creativity so and I think developers are extremely creative people as well and.
I think there’s been quite a few exciting exchanges of ideas while trying these things out I think it also enables an.
Potential challenges for example regarding feasibility and it’s cheap because it’s fast to do it it doesn’t come at a very high price so I wanted to cover after this very quick intro a few examples of projects where I’ve used visual programming languages in particular touch designer one of them is occupied by an oil company Norwegian who needed to develop a new way to browse their insane amount of data on the Norwegian continental shelf and this is done.