Montage Maker

Montage Maker

Montage Maker is a fun tool that lets you create large, colourful montages of any topic using images sourced from the internet. Not only is it an interesting way of browsing the net, it can also be used to create desktop pictures or even posters.

Things to try:

  • Use the settings to change the grid size of your montage
  • Change the size of your montage by resizing your browser window
  • Want to publish your montage? Check 'Creative commons' to make a montage using images that have a Creative Commons license.

Note: This tool was previously called Montage-a-google but has been updated to fetch images from Flickr instead of Google – which is more reliable and faster to fetch a range of image sizes. Also, this version no longer requires the Flash plugin.

Open Montage Maker

Example montages

View photos tagged with 'Montage-a-google' on Flickr to see more examples of what other people have made.

An example use

These colourful posters were made by one user for their children's bedroom.

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All Blacks Rugby Challenge

At Sidhe I lead a small team in the concept development, design and production of interfaces for the All Blacks Rugby Challenge video game released on Xbox360, PS3, PS Vita & PC  to coincide with the Rugby World Cup.

The game features deep customisation functionality and an innovative interface that blends 2D and 3D elements to create a visceral experience where you never leave the action.

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Vaeggan Wall

Through Gibson Group International I did concept development and previsualisation for the ambitious Vaeggen Wall interactive exhibit for the Museum of Copenhagen.

The roaming installation featured a 12 meter long, interactive, multitouch screen allowing multiple visitors to simultaneously navigate a 3-dimensional pictorial representation of past and present Copenhagen. The project also supported user-generated content in the form of text, photos and video uploaded on-site, or via an online version of the wall.

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Spam – it’s about flattery these days

Just got this spam comment through and had to share it. It’s symptomatic of a lot of comment spam I see these days – trying to flatter you into approving the comment. Ridiculous, especially when the grammar is so bad. This from someone called “Faggs770″:

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And these feeble ego-boosting attempts:

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This guy is trying too, but he’s being a bit more cool about it…

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Finally moved to WordPress

You may not have heard of them, but there’s these new things called Content Management Systems (CMS for short) and they’re really taking off.

But seriously, after putting up with my old-school, manually-managed site (designed back in 2003) for far too long, I’ve finally moved the bulk of my site to WordPress. I’m hoping it’ll make it easier to update this site more often, as well as letting people leave comments on my project and portfolio pages – something that wasn’t possible before. I can’t say it’s been a painless transition – relinking the images was a real pain, but now most of it’s done I’m relieved.

I’ve kept a few pages outside of the CMS just because I’m doing ‘special’ PHP tracking stuff on them, and Google AdSense is doing a fairly good job on them at the mo so I don’t want to fix what ain’t broke.

Since my last post I’ve changed jobs and had a baby, so should have some new stuff to post about. Expect more here soon!

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Xero Personal

While at Xero I was the lead interaction designer on Xero’s personal finance solution. The visual design is an evolution of the core accounting package’s interface, tailored to appeal to a broader audience and support BNZ’s co-branding. Under the hood it’s a whole separate application with all kinds of smart functionality, including the ability to track your spending habits and progress towards savings goals – all without you needing to lift a finger.

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Travelr – free photo gallery for Flickr

 

Travelr is a free photo gallery viewer that you can put on your own site. Travelr lets you display your Flickr photos geographically on a world map. It takes the hassle out of supplying geographic coordinates by only requiring them once for each location – not for each photo. Click here to see an example of Travelr in action.

UPDATE: This project is no longer supported but you're free to modify and improve it for yourself with the Flash ActionScript 2 source code (last update: 31 Aug 08).

Download Travelr

Travelr requires version 7 of the Flash player or higher to run, you can get the latest version here.

How to use Travelr

Step 1. Get a Flickr account and upload some photos. You can get a free account on the Flickr website. Already done this? skip to step 2. Step 2. Add geotags to a few photos. Let's say you've got some photos from France, you'll need to add some tags to ONE of your photos of France – have a look at thisexample photo with tags - the tags are on the right under the photostream thumbnails. Here's an explanation of what each tag does:

  • geotagged - this tag tells Travelr to show the thumbnail of this photo on the map when Travelr first loads. It lets Travelr (and all other geotag apps) know that this photo has geographic information and can therefore be placed on a map.
  • geo:lon=-3 - this is the longitude of this location (in decimal format).
  • geo:lat=46 - this is the latitude of this location (in decimal format).
  • geotag:France - this sets the name for all photos grouped at this location. Remember to keep the 'geotag:' at the start but you could change this to anything like 'geotag:LA', or 'geotag:myroom'. If the name you're giving this location is two or more words long you'll need to wrap the whole tag in speech marks like: "geotag:Los Angeles" to preserve the spaces.
  • France - this tag should match the 'geotag:' location name you just set. It means that this photo (and any photo you add this tag to) will appear in the group of photos for this location on your Travelr map.

TIP: The easiest way I've found to add geocode information straight into Flickr is this super-handy Localize Bookmarklet - check it out! Another way to find the longitude and latitude of a location is to use Google Maps directly. Find the location you want on Google Maps and make sure it's in the centre of the map, then click 'Link to this page' at the top right of the map. In your address bar there should now be a long URL that looks something like this: http://maps.google.com/?ll=-28.921631,133.769531&spn=59.939839,85.78125. The two numbers separated by a comma (highlighted in pink here) are thelatitude and longitude for your location, you can use these numbers in the tags. The numbers Google gives are probably more exact than you need for Travelr so you can round them to the nearest decimal place if you want. If your location is a place name it might have a Wikipedia entry with geographic information, for example see this Wikipedia entry for Los Angeles. You can find the co-ordinates at the top right of the entry and also under 'Geographical characteristics' in the right hand side panel. Step 3. Add location tags to all your other photos. Simply add one tag to all the photos from the same location as the ones you've tagged in the last step. So in our above example we added geotag information to one photo of France (i.e. 'geotag:France') – simply add the 'France' tag to all photos you would like to appear grouped with this location. See this example photo with location tagStep 4 . After you have downloaded the Travelr .zip archive, extract it to the folder you will eventually upload to your web server. Step 5 . Update the 'travelr_config.xml' file. Open it up in any text editor and see the instructions inside on how to modify this file. Note: you must change the Flickr user id in this configuration file to see your own images. TIP:An easy way of finding out your Flickr user id is by going to idGettr and entering your photostream URL. Step 6 . Upload the files to your website. Please make sure all 4 files included in the download package are uploaded to the same directory for Travelr to work successfully. Step 7 . Tell all your friends about your cool new photo gallery!

Comments and suggestions welcome

Please visit Travelr's own Flickr page to see additional comments and suggestions. Thanks.

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Xero

As Senior Interaction Designer at Xero I was responsible for taking complex user requirements and accounting rules and turning them into intuitive, engaging and efficient interface designs and user experiences. We got regular feedback from our customers describing Xero not only a joy to use, but even fun.

Xero was named one of the “10 Best Application UIs of 2008″ by Nielsen Norman Group, and in 2009 picked up two Webby Awards, including the People’s Voice award.

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RollingZilla Language Learning Game

Wake up the rolling faces before they drop into the ocean! I had a great deal of fun creating this whimsical physics-based translation game for the online learning service TranslationZilla.

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Multi-touch for the desktop?

It’s just a concept at this stage, but Clayton Miller’s 10/GUI project is getting people’s attention. It proposes a way multi-touch might work in the desktop scenario – detached from the screen, like a giant trackpad, or tablet.

It’s hard to see it working perfectly, or being as universally applicable as the trusty mouse, but there’s certainly some good ideas there, some I’m sure we’ll see one way or another in years to come.

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