Play “Guess the Form”

I’d recently corresponded with Dana Ditomaso, who had contacted me about getting the unlock code for the ever-mysterious Resource Task Quantizer. She wanted to work something up for her design studio, Liquidesign, up in Canada. Since I’m interested in seeing how people adapt the forms for their own use, I said sure. Later, I got a set of really cool forms that she’d expanded to keep track of the ongoing jobs…it was very gratifying to see these design ideas put into the context of a working studio, much in the way the Blue Flavor guys have with their nifty PCEO-inspired timesheets. Makes me feel useful :-)

Now, I happen to be in a project and resource planning kind of mood, so I combined elements that I like into a form based on the Resource Task Quantizer. While I like the intention between the two-piece Resource Task Quantizer and Scheduler, it’s really too cumbersome; this is the point where software starts to make sense to ease the burden. The last thing I want to do is spend more than a few seconds fiddling with a form. The whole point is to make the information easy to enter and easy to scan, to gain large efficiencies for relatively little (but important) effort. That’s a golden moment, and I try to design it into everything I make.

Project ProjectorI happen to be in a experimental mood too, so instead of making a form and releasing it the usual way, I’m going to release this early design. It’s actually a 3rd draft, but I’m throwing out a picture of it to see what you think it does.

The inspiration for this comes from a conversation with an artist I had when I was in design school. I had just graduated, barely, with my masters in Electrical Engineering, and was 100% sure that being an engineer was not for me. I talked my way into the MFA program at RIT, joining the company of studio artists and graphic designers in the pursuit of digital media. While I had a good electronic art porfolio, my engineering mindset was that things were for something, had a distinct purpose, and had proper methods for their use. You can imagine how this puzzled my classmates. If you can’t imagine this, it’s worth seeking out a bunch of artists and posing the same questions. It will be good for you.

Anyway, I was talking to an artist about a piece I liked, and asked what it meant. She said that it was up to me to determine that. She just put it out there, and while she had her own ideas about it, for her the art happened in the mind of the viewer. I can’t remember the artist’s name unfortunately, but the conversation pops into my head every once in a while, when I see the novel use of something in a way that it wasn’t intended. It makes me happy, though there was that time I saw Dad use the tip of my treasured Wustoff 8″ Chef’s Knife to hack open a can of tuna when he couldn’t find a can opener. Serves me right though, for all his stuff I messed up when I was a kid.


Take a look at the picture of the form. Tell me what you think it does, or SHOULD do. Let your imagination run wild, and I’ll incorporate the feedback into another iteration of the form. ARGUE ABOUT IT! Here it is again (click to see it bigger):

Project Projector Thanks for playing!