December, 2009

  • Canadian UX Blog

    Design Student of the Month - Dominika Ruszkowski


    There are a lot of creative students in Canada who are doing innovative work to improve people's life through interactive, visual, informational, and other aspects of User Experience Design. I invited them to introduce who they are and share their work with you. To nominate a Design Student of the Month, email us. The Design Student of the Month for December 2009 is Dominika Ruszkowski . Congratulations!! Let's hear from Dominika.

    Design Student of the Month logopicture of Dominika Ruszkowski

    Who’s Dominika?

    Hello! :) My name is Dominika Ruszkowski and I am master's student at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.

    My favourite aspect of computer science is human-computer interaction, because of my passion for design and problem solving. The greatest satisfaction of human-computer interaction is to see that the user is happy with the end result.

    Apart from school, I am an avid figure skating fan and a member of the University of Toronto Blues Varsity Figure Skating team.

    What cool stuff is Dominika doing?

    a picture showcases performing zooming in PowerPoint on a HP TouchSmart running Windows 7

    My research area is human-computer interaction, with a focus on interactive techniques for the typical computer user in emerging computing environments such as multi-touch enabled display surfaces. My inspiration for this line of work steamed from one of my co-op terms where I interned with Microsoft on the Windows 7 Touch team. Being able to analyze and fine-tune the interaction techniques for the touch platform for Windows 7 was both exciting and very fun. Thus when I started my Masters I was very excited about researching interaction techniques in more depth, specifically utilizing mouse and touch together on a desktop computer (the picture showcases performing zooming in PowerPoint on a HP TouchSmart running Windows 7). The impact of my work will be beneficial for future designers as a baseline of understanding which interaction techniques are best used for specific environments.

    What are Dominika’s plans after graduation?

    After graduation I plan on going into industry and pursuing a user-experience related position. I am not your typical computer science student, as I really enjoy talking with users, fine-tuning requirements, and designing interfaces, then handing it off to development. Therefore user-experience is a very nice fit for me.

    Want to learn more about Dominika?

    My online portfolio can be found at . You can drop me an email at


  • Canadian UX Blog

    MIX10 and Call for Content


    Mix10 poster

    It’s not too early to think about MIX and MIX10 has a great theme – A Designer/Developer Love Fest for the Web. I’m expecting great sessions around the best practices of how designers and developers can work together creating innovative web solutions. With returning keynote speakers like Bill Buxton and Scott Guthrie, ready to be inspired by the future of web user experience design and the roles designer and developers play together in it. It’s the fifth year of the conference, and I’m happy to see the increasing number of UX sessions over the years. For example, here are some MIX10 UX sessions:

    The registration for MIX10 is live and you can get the early bird price and benefits till Jan. 15, 2010. More importantly, now is the time to submit your session proposals for the next MIX. The top 10 session proposals that are voted on by the community will be selected to present at this year’s event. Get your MIX ticket now!

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  • Canadian UX Blog

    Visual Design for the Windows 7 Default Background


    Ever wonder how we came up with the visual design for Windows 7 login and default background screens? My first impressions of seeing the visuals are energetic, fun, and different from previous Windows. Since then, I’ve been wanting to hear the design story behind the creation. Luckily, on the latest post of Windows 7 Team Blog , Denise Trabona, the Senior UX Lead from the Windows Design and Research team shared the story.

    screenshot of the Windows 7 background design video

    If you are interested in hearing about the design thoughts behind other backgrounds in Windows 7, you can check out this video. Especially, Denise talked about the design evolution of one of my favorite backgrounds below.

    image image

  • Canadian UX Blog

    Why are we happy?


    A weekend treat for you… If you haven’t seen this profound talk from TED conference couple of years back, you should definitely check out. Although it’s not directly related to UX Design, it inspired me to think about why users are less satisfied with a UI when there are too many ways for them to accomplish certain tasks. Also, Dan Gilbert is great at connecting with audience by constantly anticipating their thoughts and reactions. Enjoy!

  • Canadian UX Blog

    50 Interactive Web Applications in Silverlight


    There are many ways to embrace Silverlight’s rich interactive features on the web such as in online advertising, interactive e-learning, data visualization, gaming, etc. Recently, blog “Noupe” listed 50 Interactive Silverlight Applications to showcase the interactive experience can be accomplished by Silverlight. Here are some of my favorite ones.

    Online Classroom
    This application is a sample online classroom having a better, faster and interactive way to communicate with online tutors.

    Online classroom in 50 Interactive Silverlight Applications

    WorldNews is a free service webpage that can tell you what is happening in the world real-time using Silverlight.

    Worldnews in 50 Interactive Silverlight Applications

    Inkable Search Tip
    Write your search query in the Silverlight panel and then have your handwriting recognized and the query sent off to a search engine. If you have a stylus, this may be the most natural way to search the web.

    Searchtip in 50 Interactive Silverlight Applications

    And just in time for the holidays…

    This site is placed for you to create customized video ecard. You can search images on Flickr, and compose them in many ways you want.

    Ecardoo in 50 Interactive Silverlight Applications

    Check out the full list here

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