back to title page

Interface Designs


The interface for GraphicJam is a reworking of previous designs by Andy Deck using similar collaborative drawing processes. The most recent design decisions, considered jointly by Napier and Deck, are documented in Figures 1-4. Of concern were issues like ease of use and intuitiveness. It was agreed finally that simplification and technical stability were the most important factors, rather than a plurality of features that could not be well supported in the various browser implementations.

Some of the sample designs created for the GraphicJam interface.

The GraphicJam software incorporates many aspects of ongoing research. The Blackboard (Fig.6) is a more fully featured, but less stable, program similar to GraphicJam, written by Andy. An earlier version of this collaborative drawing tool, made in 1997, is shown in Fig.7. Mark's Scribble software, which he made prior to the collaboration of the present project, is shown in Fig.8. Of the three, only the Blackboard remains fully networked. The others are for documentary purposes only.

The ongoing research into further possibilities in the general area of multi-user drawing software.

For those who are REALLY curious, here are some of Andy's early attempts (1995) at interactive drawing software that can be embedded in a browser. In tracing origins this far, be forewarned that the programs are not as well crafted, and may be more volatile. This means they could (but probably won't) crash your browser. These are examples of precursors to the multi-user work that are still online. The initial work, really, came in programs written by Mr. Deck while in college and graduate school, however, for purposes of demonstration one can pick up in 1995, when he wrote DraWarD (Fig.9) while working at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris during the grèves of 1995-6. This Java program is not collaborative in the same sense as GraphicJam, however, it laid some of the groundwork for the aesthetics and techniques used in the present project.