Cover Design – Stop Stealing Sheep

I designed a cover for Erik Spiekermann's book, Stop Stealing Sheep.

The concept of the design is that, people copy other people's work because they don't know how to design. If they understand how typography works, they will not steal work from other people. I literally used "sheep" in the phrase "stop stealing sheep" to compare with a letter "a". The three terms showed the similarities between the two concepts.

How I Made an Animal Wordmark Without Showing the Animal

Recently I finished a typography work: to make an animal wordmark without showing the animal. I was not sure what to at first. However, through many rounds of iteration, I arrived at a successful wordmark for my chosen animal - monkey. Now I have some thoughts to share.

1. Start With the Right Word

I started with ideating attributes that describe monkey. Without using the animal's name, I ideated words that are descriptive, behavior, or sound (made by the animal) word. I picked "jungle", for this word not incorporated the spirit of monkey, but also have a good variation in letter forms.


2. Pick the Typeface that Talks

I picked Museo Slab because the slab in each letterform gives a vivid look to the word. It is very legible at the same time.
(Museo Slab family is available in Adobe Typekit)


3. Pick the Appropriate Strategy

Out of these candidates, I picked the one with bananas. They remind people of a naughty brown guy that messes around with bright yellow bananas. When I introduced this idea, my fellow classmates all laughed. This must have caught their attention.

4. Graphical Insertion

Time for bananas! I tried different styles, forms, and textures of a banana. 

By the way, I used only one banana at last.


5. Letter Manipulation

In order to add a little whim and playfulness to the wordmark, I tried to manipulated the words. Does the letter "e" look like a monkey tail? It's thrown to the sky! A rotated "n" could catch the scene where monkeys hang themselves on the vine.

6. Color Palette

Last but not least, a vivid color palette that illustrates a jungle and hint monkey will enhance all the form that I just created. 


Q for Queue - Data Visualization Workshop with YAAY

In this physical data visualization, I am exploring the concept of QUEUE within the campus territory, as both physical and conceptual campus.

We queue everyday, everywhere. We queue for food stand; queue for bathroom; queue for things to happen. I use the post-its as vehicle to explore the to-dos for each person, that is, what is the queue inside you. I am interested in understanding how different people prioritize their life against my current overwhelmingness of life.

Eight DAAP students are interviewed with the question “What are the top 3 on your to-do list within physical and conceptual campus, and how long do you want to achieve it”. The final installation tells the story of six partici- pants. Each sequence of post-its represents the target length for which the goal is planned to be accomplished. And four different types of answers are coded by colors.

As audience start to understand the visual clues of the visualization, they also start to create their own queues. 


Workshop Brief:

Territories tell their own stories, but for each listener those stories are different. The same clear facts are often observed and interpreted differently. Designers have the responsibility and expertise to hear those stories, and assist others in under- standing them.

This workshop asks students to create visual narratives based on facts and data about territories. Students will work in groups to create a narrative exploration in the
form of data visualization. They will investigate new possibilities of data storytelling through different mediums to reveal information and create insight into the concept of territory. 

The body of work from the whole workshop forms the lexicon "territory".


Healthcare/Fitness Inspirations Log - June

Since my project is in design phase, I don't get to see interesting benchmarking everyday. I'll keep this thread as live thread whenever I find something interesting.

June 16

Genetic probability for two parents with Sickle Cell Trait

Genetic probability for two parents with Sickle Cell Trait website is established by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Many people might not be aware of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). It is the most common genetic blood disorder in the United States. Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) is different from Sickle Cell Disease in that a person with SCT can be very healthy, but his/her abnormal gene might be passed along to a baby.

The website is intended for four different populations: Teens & Young Adults, Pregnancy & Family Planning, Parents & Families, Athletes. Different contents are created for intended audience. The website used easy-to-understand language to explain Sickle Cell Trait and related issues. Graphic and video visualization enhances understanding about the issue.

June 15
Omaha Health

Today I found this healthcare company called Omaha Health. They offer a solution called Prevent. Recently I'm looking into patient remote monitoring for a hospital project, and I find Prevent very interesting. Each participant is paired with a personal coach and online peer group for daily feedback and constant support. During the process, food, activity, and weight are tracked. Customized challenges are set up in different stages. Prevent claims that when using Prevent for weight control, they are much more effective compared with commercial weight loss programs.

June 11
MyFitnessPal + Under Amour = ?

At a presentation to my healthcare client, a man asked after I benchmarked MyFitnessPal for nutrition, "do you know Under Amour formed a partnership with MyFitnessPal?" This sound terrific. I looked it up after the presentation.

Under Amour acquired MFP in February. Along with UA's kingdom of sports gear, MFP is joining UA's performance and fitness community. Prior to MFP, there are three apps as a family: Under Amour RECORD, Endomondo, MapMyFitness. I have used none of them, but it sounds like a cool thing anyway. RECORD is an app that tracks round-the-clock activity. Endomondo is a good companion for running and walking. MapMyFitness also helps activity. MFP is unique in that non of the other apps track nutrition, yet they can the data from MFP to achieve a thorough overview of a person's health and fitness.

Were I have all those apps, I might spend time playing with my phone than actually exercising...

June 10
Teenager Cancer Trust

Teenager Cancer Trust is a charity that helps cancer patients in the United Kindom. Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word ‘cancer.’ 

Teenager Cancer Trust raises money by fundraising activities. They build, develop and maintain Teenage Cancer Units; they run national initiatives such as campaigning, training for health professionals, research and other activity to support young people with cancer. 

The 28 teenager units across the UK are built together with patients themselves. The Teenager Cancer Trust did a study with The  Future's Company to exploring the impact of the built environment. The study found that within Teenage Cancer Trust units, design works hand in hand with other key elements such as equipment, staff and culture to deliver the kernel of their philosophy. Design itself is an enabler and is inseparable from these other elements. At a high level, the key benefit delivered by this philosophy is the maintenance of ‘normality’ – manifested through the five key benefit platforms identified - Control, Comfort, Being Connected, Personalisation and Stimulation.

June 9
Makerspace at Children's Hospital


A Makerspace cart appears in Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Intended for AYA patients,  this mobile Makerspace full of components, tools and accessories and even features a 3D printer engages patients and families, bringing technology to life in hospital.

“We wanted to see how we could support 21st century skills while also supporting patient care,” said Gokul Krishnan, who is the founder of the mobile Makerspace at Children’s Hospital, also known as Project M@CH. “Makerspaces foster collaboration and creativity. This is designed by patients for patients.” -from Vanderbilt University website

June 8
Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute

Upon seeing this title, you might ask, how is this cancer institute special. Because it is dedicated to adolescent and young adults. Adolescent and Young Adults, aka AYA, is a new healthcare concept in the cancer world. Having a cancer institute will significantly benefit AYA patients. While some types of cancer are considered pediatrics cancer, they also seen in young adults. If someone is a college student, and receives his pediatrics cancer treatment in an adult hospital, most likely he would have a bad experience, plus doctor's unfamiliarity with the pediatric cancer. 

I know a young man with leukemia treated in an adult hospital. The doctors are not experts in this kind of cancer (of course), also, the patient himself feels it weird because the care team is not treating him very well. Worst of all, he got relapse two times. Eventually he came to a pediatric hospital. The doctors are experts in leukemia, the care team are wonderful. He occasionally feels as if treated as a kid, yet things go well most of the time. 

Angie Fowler AYA Cancer Institute in Cleveland, OH would be a great place for AYA patients with pediatrics cancer. To AYA  patients, their physical conditions are different from both children and adults, their psychosocial conditions also differ significantly from other age groups. The photos show the interactive wall in the clinic, which looks awesome!

June 5

For children diagnosed in the 1960s with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is the most common form of childhood cancer, the chance of survival was only 10 percent. Fortunately, chances of survival have increased to 80 percent today. Therefore, finding ways to help cancer survivors maintain a healthy lifestyle post-cancer is an ever increasing necessity.

SurvivorLink originated in Children's Hospital Atlanta provides a lifelong support for cancer survivors. SurvivorLink is where survivors can learn about lifelong healthcare needs and store and share Survivor Healthcare Plan and other healthcare documents. 

June 4
Patients Like Me

My Memorial Day flight back to Cincinnati got delayed and eventually canceled. What is most memorable was not my sleep on the airport bench, but a story that I read inflight. It was story about Josh Sommer, who was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer that had invaded his skull in freshman year. He was lucky enough to be enrolled in a trail in his university, Duke.  He co-founded Chroma Foundation that becomes his life's work. 

The magazine feature says "with technology as tool, more people are taking the lead about their healthcare". PatientLikeMe is a social network that connects people with life-changing diagnoses to share their own experiences and data with respect to symptoms, medications, side effects, and to track their health overtime, help others with alike conditions and contribute data for research. 

Recently PatientsLikeMe launched a Data for Good campaign. If members choose to public part of their diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and other kinds of information, they will be used for research purpose to help more people. I like how the tagline puts it: donate your data, for you, for others, for good. 

June 3
Fight cancer with video games - HopeLab

Hey, I'm a Nanobot, I'm clearing up the enemies in my blood! Basically, I'll grab them and hand them over to my white cell, so that my little host will be in good shape!

OK, I'm playing a game called "Stem Cell Defender" developed by HopeLab. This series of video games is called Re-Mission. 
Re-Mission 2 games help kids and young adults with cancer take on the fight of their lives. Based on scientific research, the games provide cancer support by giving players a sense of power and control and encouraging treatment adherence.
Each game puts players inside the human body to fight cancer with an arsenal of weapons and super-powers, like chemotherapy, antibiotics and the body’s natural defenses. The game play parallels real-world strategies used to successfully destroy cancer and win.

June 2
Youth and Pet Survivors

Caleb, a 15-year-old patient at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Pepper, a 7-year-old Pomeranian patient at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, share an unusual story: both have fought cancer and have lost vision in an eye.

Youth and Pet Survivors, a unique pen-pal program (Colorado Children's Hospital ), in which young cancer patients write to people whose animals also suffer from the disease. This allows children the unique opportunity to share feelings about having cancer with a safe, unconditionally loving animal. YAPS child participants report enhanced well-being; YAPS pet owners report a sense of contribution knowing that their pet’s illness can make a difference in a child’s life.

June 1
Intelligent InSites

Intelligent InSites

Intelligent InSites

To me, a visual animal, what grab my attention first is their interesting illustrations in their website. With all those thoughtful graphics, I can immediately get familiar with what they intended to tell without getting too in detailed into words. I also feel very impressed that a medical- and tech-related company can own a visually-compelling website like this.

What Intelligent InSites offer is just like their name, intelligence in your sites. Assessment Management helps hospitals knowing the location and status of equipment and supplies, which potentially collaborates with CenTrak, a company that I talked about before. Environment Monitoring would check temperature, CO2, humidity level and O2 tank monitoring.

Healthcare/Fitness Inspirations Log - May

Working full-time in the healthcare industry in the summer, I found many healthcare/fitness companies that really do cool things that help people. 

May 31
The advisory board

The Advisory Board Company

The Advisory Board Company

The Advisory Board Company is a global research, technology, and consulting firm, a performance improvement partner for 180,000 leaders in 4,500+ organizations across health care and higher education. Advisory create performance technology products that tell members where their biggest improvement opportunities are, and how to get results. Advisory analyze thousands of case studies every year to find and share proven best practices. Advisory offers hands-on training to cultivate leaders and drive workforce engagement. Advisory provide hands-on support and guidance in health systems and physician practices around the world.

What makes it valuable to me is to see the up-to-date healthcare innovations and news. For example, recently articles rise about the transition to ICD-10. Other articles that I read recently talk about AppleWatch on hospital trials and he relationship between patient satisfactory and healthcare outcome.

May 30
hope portal

HOPE Portal search page

HOPE Portal search page

Googling your diagnoses? STOP that! HOPE Portal developed by Children's Hospital Los Angeles provides the right information for the right people. For whoever wants to know about diseases and treatment with cancer and blood diseases, the HOPE Portal provides reliable resources and information that caters to your need.

The tabs on the top shows which step are you in the overall search. The four sets of filters are: role, age, disease category, and specific diseases. For example, I can pick this route for my imaginary brother's leukemia: Sibling - 13-18 years old - cancer - leukemia. After picking my needs, a list of resources that I can check come to the screen where I can learn about AYA (adolescent and young adult) programs, clinical trials, support communities and so on and so forth.

may 29

CenTrak locates patients, staff, and assets

CenTrak locates patients, staff, and assets

Remember the Marauder's Map in Harry Porter that shows every thing in Hogwarts? CenTrak does this in real life for hospitals!
Basically, you 'll put a CenTrak tag onto whoever or whatever you'd like to locate, and then this Real-Time Location System tracks all those little tags! Just as shown in the image above, it gets precise location of patient ID 1003. Isn't this cool!

Tags come in different forms for people to wear. For example, staff tags are horizontal or vertical cards that go with their badges; patient tags are designed to be worn with standard hospital identification bands.

If patients can know where their doctors are close by, they won't feel uncertain at morning rounds time. If a little girl see where her mum is, she'll know mum is always there for her. A major potential at hospital operational level is being able to understand the interaction between different parts simply by proximity. It should be able to reports how long and how often Physician A gets in touch with Care Manager B, or Nurse C is supposed to take care of 2 NICU beds while she is attending 4 of them. Thus provides data for the hospital to analyze and improve efficiency.

May 28
Inspire health - Withings

Ecosystem of Withings products

Ecosystem of Withings products

I didn't know the company name Withings until a recent project  while I have long been aware of their classical smart watch, Activité. This France company builds beautiful consumer-level health/fitness products that help people achieve personal goals and maintain a balanced life.

They offer full range of peripheral devices including: Activité (smart watch), Activité Pop (smart watch), Home (security monitor), Scales, Pulse O2 (activity and blood oxygen level tracker), Aura (sleeping analyzer), Baby scale, Blood Pressure Monitor. These devices are wirelessly connected to a personal app that helps track and visualize data.

What's great about Withings is being HIPAA compliant, which opens hospital-level implement in the US.

Two Withings devices are reviewed in peer-reviewed papers: Pulse and Blood Pressure Monitor. Check out these two papers if you are interested: Withings BP-800 blood pressure monitor is clinically proven in adults article: <Validation of four devices: Omron M6 comfort, Omron HeM-7420, Withings BP-800, and Polygreen KP-7670 for home blood pressure measurement according to the  european society of Hypertension international Protocol.pdf> Evaluated consumer-level products with research-level products article: <The validity of consumer-level, activity monitors in healthy adults worn in free-living conditions: a cross-sectional study.pdf>

Variability as Design Variable

In this exercise I was using Processing to help me explore visual system. Here creates a system that generates different compositions with four original images. Coding structure was provided by instructor Ian Bellomy, I need to change parameters and modify individual images/vector graphs in order to get a compelling system. The system generates different compositions as each mouse click.

The criteria for a compelling composition is that, while it attracts people to look at it, people can also look for a long time - finding interesting things in it. As to a successful system, what matters is max & min quality it produces, as well as consistency along different compositions.

Here are two exercises: one is using images of iPhone 5c as composition within content; the other one is an abstract one, my inspiration comes from the texture and lighting of stainless steel.