Australasian CRC for Interaction Design

Litmus is the monthly newsletter of ACID, the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design


Welcome to July's Litmus, a wrap up of all the incredible things that have been happening this month at Team ACID. We are very excited about our burgeoning partner projects with ABC Radio National’s Pool, Deloitte Digital and The Endeavour Foundation to name a few.

It's hotting up over here, read on to see why!



Over at the ABC’s Radio National everything is going swimmingly (pardon the pun) with everyone jumping in for the Pool re-design.

The initial interaction design review has now taken place and the ACID Pool team are currently testing the new wireframe designs with volunteers from the Pool community.

The journey of the Pool website is being documented here, so be sure to check out what’s happening along the way. Watch as the Pool development unfolds with the feedback from the community that supports it, carefully supervised by the experienced hands of the ACID Interaction Design team.

Stay tuned to hear what’s in store next for Pool.

Follow Pool and AcidPool on Twitter to get their updates in real time.



Next week, 3-12th August, the world leaders in generative arts-making software, educational and community development, the music industry and music educators from the USA and Sweden will descend on Kelvin Grove to mark the 10 day Symposium and Workshop that is JAMSKÖLAN.

The events will run for 10 days and each session will consist of a data and context show, share and tell session, a discussion around affordances and insights and a practical making session where new resources are identified, made or designed to support the expressive and educative activity.

The are still seats available for the Showcase event on Friday 7th August at 6pm at Queensland Academy of Creative Industries, 61 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove. map

Please contact Steve Dillon for further information if you’re keen to attend any of the event, forums or workshops.



ACID Network Jamming developers Thorin Kerr and Andrew Brown have successfully prototyped the first OLPC version of jam2jam. Basing the design on jam2jam running on Macintosh computers this version will incorporate the generative and collaborative features of the systems with an emphasis on collaborative performance. Network Jamming Project Leader Steve Dillon is particularly excited about the possibilities of jam2jam as a network performance medium in these communities.

The jam2jam activity allows users to make music on the laptop. Music is generated by jam2jam and by dragging around instrument icons you can change the music as you like.

The VJ Desktop Project


At the last ACID quarterly review, where our ACID Researchers present their current findings and outcomes, we saw a fantastic demonstration from the Adaptive Media project.

The DJ desktop project is an OSX desktop application designed for use by VJ’s in live performance.

The VJ desktop project has been based around a desktop metaphor suited to work with touch screen displays. Similar to the desktop displays common to most modern operating systems window interfaces the VJ desktop project introduces the concept of a media desktop where audio and visual material can be directly manipulated through a touch screen interface.

This distinguishes the work from existing desktop VJ applications interfaces by providing a direct manipulation approach to VJ performance.

Stay tuned as a demo video will be uploaded to the project page on the acid website soon.

For further information please contact Andrew Sorensen.



The Loupe project has been working with partners Deloitte Digital to demystify financial data and make accessible all that is increasingly available online. It is focused on exploring the role of data visualisation in enhancing user experiences of financial data and enabling interactions with and around it.

The project is doing research that challenges existing obstacles and impediments to general (as opposed to specialist) accessibility to and utility of financial data, and investigate the impact these changes will have on organisations.


The Loupe project addresses the challenge of constructing an interface around visualization so that the processes of collective intelligence and sense-making can take place, and storytelling through this medium can become a shared experience. To encapsulate shared storytelling through visualisation the ACID Loupe Project has developed a set of interaction design patterns which create some replicable frameworks and building blocks for designing systems that better afford these kinds of shared experiences.

During the first half of 2009, ACID researchers interviewed and 'shadowed' a Deloitte Growth solutions team, to learn more about what a team actually does, and to understand how these actions fit into a larger Mental Model of practice.

Using these research findings, together with our knowledge of social software and visualisation, ACID developed scenarios to communicate how the Deloitte Digital online platform might be experienced by clients and Deloitte teams.

For further information on Visualization see here for Loupe Project Leader Jeremy Yuille & Hugh McDonald's thoughts on 'The Social Life of Visualisation'

Innovation Lunch

innovation lunch

ACID is very lucky to have the opportunity this year to sponsor the 2009 Innovation Series Luncheons. The next to be held on 7 August with the topic, "Leading and Enabling Innovation through Information and Communication Technologies"

The highly connected and fast changing nature of economies today require new organisational approaches and mindsets that represent significant departures from models developed during the industrial age and that are still prevalent today.


Peter Williams, friend of ACID and CEO of Deloitte Digital, will present on the topic of Outcomes Focused Information Technology. The availability of cost effective and open source software allows innovation to flourish without long lead times or the need for business cases - thereby reducing costs significantly. Peter will also showcase ICT innovations that have been deployed quickly and successfully using this mode.

Former Vice President of Microsoft, Steve Vamos, will discuss leadership, culture and management practices key to enabling organisational innovation and productivity gains - made possible by advances in Information and Communication Technology.

Adventures of 3Dsee - The Media Giant


If you're following @acidcrc and @3dsee on Twitter you will have seen that 3Dsee has taken the media by storm of late featuring on Slashdot, Physorg, Brisbane Times, Farm Weekly and many others. However, only today did we discover that 3dsee has featured in 1 whole minute on Russian Television show High Tech News. Take a look!

Accessible Interactions


A Partnership between the Endeavour Foundation and ACID.

Accessible Interactions involves the research and development of digital technology solutions to address key needs identified by the Endeavour Foundation, to support and enrich the lives of its clients with intellectual disabilities, and their carers.

The project aims to produce new knowledge of the possibilities of social technologies to encourage engagement and participatory relationships for Endeavour clients, carers, families and the Endeavour organisation across Queensland.

The multi-disciplinary research team led by Dr. Stephen Viller, includes A/Prof. Barbara Adkins, A/Prof. Shlomo Geva, Dr Adam Postula, Dr. Marie Knox, Dr. Peta Wyeth and Dr.Ian MacColl.

UX Australia


UX Australia 2009 is a 3 day user-experience design conference, with inspiring and practical presentations, covering a range of topics about how to design great experiences for people.

ACID are sponsoring the UX Australia 2009 Conference this year in Canberra, 26-28th Aug.

We are very fortunate to have one of our Research Leaders going to wave the ACID flag at the event. If you see Dr. Stephen Viller around please say, or follow him on twitter as he’ll no doubt tweet from the event.

Stay tuned for the low down on his return.

Working the (Real and Virtual) Room


ACID joined the healthy crowd at the recent Networx event on Working the (Real and Virtual) Room, interested to hear the panel discuss how virtual networking can assist our business.

After a short interactive session with Lisa Butler, author of 'Networking Exposed', with the tips prepare - sincerity - positive impression - be strategic - follow up, we saw that working the virtual room follows pretty much the same principles.

The expert panel were:

The panel conversation was mostly about Twitter and Facebook for business and how we can use them effectively. Some of the main points covered on the evening were:

  • Have a human presence
  • It’s about building relationships
  • Don’t just push product
  • Everybody you meet has the potential to be fascinating and engaging
  • Transparency & interaction are key
  • Bots are bad

So if networking the virtual room interests you, and you haven’t already, maybe you should give Twitter a go.

Technology Update


Master Chen’s Microdot - Altering your perception of the outside world!

Greetings readers and welcome to The Microdot where I'll be presenting the latest and greatest apps and gadgets to speed you on your travels through cyberspace.

Since Asus’s first EeePC hit the shelves over a year ago, manufacturers around the world have been desperately jumping on the bandwagon to take advantage of the netbook craze. From Acer to Sony, there’s an overwhelming selection to choose from and many more eager sales staff ready to flog you one the moment you step into your local store. If you’re in the market for one, let me save you a lot of tedious slide-ruling by telling you that the Asus 1000HE is the best thing out there for the money at the moment. Be warned though, the brick’n’mortars are charging up to $200 more than than the price you can find online to take advantage of the excited techno-newbies that wander in. So use your and save yourself a few bucks!


Ever find yourself at home, wishing you were sitting in front of your work PC? I know I never do, but what if that vital document is now thirty kilometres and two glasses of wine away? Microsoft’s remote desktop is too insecure and unfamiliar to your average Joe or Josephine, but thankfully there’s a simple and secure alternative that’s just the ticket. It’s called LogMeIn. The free version allows you to remotely control any PC with the client installed, you just log in to the site and click connect! Check it out at

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Calendar iconUpcoming Events


Jamskölan 3-12

15th International Symposium on Electronic Art 23 Aug-1 Sept

Cracking the Creative Brief - How to Get It Right the First Time 25

UX Australia 2009 26-28


Creativity and Cognition 27-30


World Usability Day 2009 12

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