Information Design

2019 BMW R1250 GS Adventure TFT Display: Clearly Ahead of the Competition


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Many BMW boxer hours have been logged here at the bivouac but the 2019 BMW R1250 Adventure looks to represent a serious step forward in development and refinement. Even coming from the world of the superlative K1600GT, the new telematics and interface options for 2019 seem leaps and bounds ahead. With a crisp and bold Thin-Film-Transistor (or TFT) display, BMW has upped both the functionality and legibility of their displays and they are making them standard across many more models this year. With robust integration of phone features including playing audio and providing turn-by-turn navigation prompting plus a slew of adjustability and informational displays about any given bike setting, this seems like a must have feature that quite a bit of design effort and development has gone into.

Significant Redesign:  The 2019 GSA has a redesigned boxer engine with shift cam technology and a revised powerful TFT display.

Significant Redesign: The 2019 GSA has a redesigned boxer engine with shift cam technology and a revised powerful TFT display.

Heads Up:  The TFT display has been designed for easy access to information and glanceability and configuration.

Heads Up: The TFT display has been designed for easy access to information and glanceability and configuration.

Clearly Ahead:  The display technology works across a variety of lighting contexts.

Clearly Ahead: The display technology works across a variety of lighting contexts.

Building on the Past:  A fond view at the bivouac, the K1600GT’s configurable display is still solid but is starting to age. In its initial instantiation, the clocks always had legibility issues which were addressed to some degree with a refresh. Any such issues on the GS line have been clearly solved with the new the R1250GSA instrumentation.

Building on the Past: A fond view at the bivouac, the K1600GT’s configurable display is still solid but is starting to age. In its initial instantiation, the clocks always had legibility issues which were addressed to some degree with a refresh. Any such issues on the GS line have been clearly solved with the new the R1250GSA instrumentation.


Information Visualization: The Impact of War


Although it has been around for a while, The Fallen of World War II does a fine job of visualizing the sheer number of lives lost during the conflict. It is always sobering to see the scope of the war visualized and pieces like this help us to remain ever mindful of those that sacrificed or lost their lives in a civilian context so that what so that the relative pease we have today is not taken for granted.


Ground Control to Major Tom...


Ever wonder what it was like to ride aboard a mighty Saturn V rocket? Well, with Reentry: An Orbital Simulator you can now take on the role of a mission commander and master the procedures followed by those that pioneered spaceflight. Explore the intricate details of famous space craft interfaces and the ingenious approaches to controlling them that worked within the constraints of technologies available at the time of launch.


An Old Favorite: Danny Goodman's Macintosh Handbook


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Many fond memories of shaping early interaction design courses way back in 1993 persist here at the bivouac. I was fortunate to enter the field at a time when computing had matured just enough to become accessible to a wider range of creatives. I was also lucky to teach both introductory and advanced courses in computer visualization.

For the introductory course, I relied upon Danny Goodman’s excellent Macintosh Handbook Featuring System 7. Bringing together Danny Goodman and Richard Saul Wurman, this publication was and remains an exceptional example of accessible and visually delightful educational material. The illustrations are clear and inviting and they demystified the breakthrough technology on offer from Apple at the time.

The book is innovative in other ways as well. Information and terms are supplemented with hypertext-like cross-references to related content in other sections of the book. This is such a great reminder of the heady days of the dawn of the Macintosh and the promise of newly accessible computing for all creatives to enjoy.

For other inspirational publications check out the bivouac’s list of design related readings. Overall, Danny Goodman’s Macintosh Handbook remains an outstanding exemplar of clear and inspirational instructional reference material. It is one that passes the test of time in a fast moving technical context. For a first hand account of what went into creating the publication visit Nathan Shedroff’s site article.

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The publication visuals mimic the Macintosh operating system visuals including a “finder” menu along the top of many pages, to further demystify the new to world Apple technology.