Technology and the Elderly

I have a lot of thoughts on UI and UX that I’ve been wanting to organize into a coherent series of posts, but I feel like that may be too onerous and paralyzing a task, so I will try to tackle topics as I think of them. I am not a credentialed UI/UX designer, or a trained designer of any kind. I’m a software engineer who has specialized in UI, from desktop to web to now mobile interfaces, and I have a degree in psychology. Dubious qualifications. My thoughts are informed as an implementer of UI/UX designs, a mindful observer, and someone with the honed ability to whine constructively. Take with a grain of salt.

Most recently, I’ve been thinking about my changing relationship with technology as I get older. (For this discussion when I say technology I mean our consumer electronics and the software that runs on them.) My delight in new technology is waning, and I have some thoughts on why.

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Kinga Fan Art

I’m a tremendous fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. When Joel Hodgson launched a Kickstarter (now concluded) to bring it back I immediately pledged money. When Felicia Day was announced as the new Mad (or more accurately, when the information was leaked days before being officially acknowledged) I was over the moon, because I’m a huge fan of hers.

I decided to take a break from some of my other creative projects and draw some fan art of Felicia’s new character, Kinga Forrester.

Rise of Kinga MST3K fan art

The drawing measures 4×6″. It took approximately (very approximately) 30 hours over the course of about 2 weeks. As with most of my stippling projects, I used a Sakura Pigma Micron 005 (0.2mm) pen, as well as a brush tip for filling in the larger black areas.

I took frequent photos with my phone of the progress and turned them into an animation. I really like watching this, seeing the sections fill in like fluid, and details being tweaked in older areas. I’m going to make a point of trying to make these animations for future drawing projects.

MST3K fan art time lapse

I started with the face because I am not very confident about or practiced in drawing people, and if I messed it up I wanted it to be easy to start over. In terms of my skill and comfort levels, inanimate things are easier to draw than cartoon people, are easier than realistic made-up people, are easier than realistic actual people, are easier than realistic actual attractive people, are easier than realistic actual attractive people where I’m applying totally different lighting to the drawing than from the source photo I’m working off of. So I wasn’t very confident in how it would turn out. I feel pretty good about it considering my managed expectations. Perhaps in a few months I’ll be able to look at it more objectively and form a better snap assessment, but right now I’m pretty happy with the results.