john christopher burns DESIGN

email is jcb at thisdomain,
or call 404-492-7567 voice,
or ping @jcburns on twitter, instagram, flickr…
Home Interface

Widgets, buttons, icons, thingies.

Custom user interface design

Pointing, clicking, discerning, communicating.

It's probably no surprise, given the similarities between television screens and computer screens (in the age of digital television, a distinction between them is all but vanishing) that companies have wanted to turn television sets into something like a computer interface, to unleash the power of computers and broadband to legions of couch-ensconced potential buyers of whatever they're selling.

As part of the search for that grail, companies with any sense turn to design firms that understand that the average turn-of-the-century analog television is not really all that like a computer display, and the average remote control sure as heck isn't a keyboard and mouse rolled into one.

I think that's why AT&T Broadband (what once was TCI cable, what now is...I'm having trouble keeping it Comcast?) called one day to begin a lengthy relationship that involved developing a series of interfaces for people to use so that in the middle of watching Oprah, they could check email, shop, and order pizza.

A lot of this development work happened in that way-optimistic time right at the turn of the century where there were a lot of dot-com dollars and Aeron chairs to go around, and I think it's fair to say that not all of that pizza-ordering capability made it out into the average American home.

But still, it made for an interesting design project, and I still work on interesting interface design work for interactive TV today, juggling legibility and readibility with style and punch.

You'll find a number of examples of that interactive design work here, many executed as Flash animations in collaboration with my talented brother James Burns. You also can find a few other, maybe more offbeat examples of interface design, such as the interactive weather screens done for viewing in the Netherlands as part of my wide-randing work for WeatherPlus, who had plenty of Aeron chairs themselves.

And then, there was the time I designed the GUI for Chyron's 1990s-era CG (hey wait, it's still around...)...the Infinit. Point and click, and ye shall find.