Interaction Tyneside Dec 11: Malcolm Jones and Lizette Reitsma

The situations ranged from Canadian telcos to African tribes, but the common theme was story. Or more specifically, storytelling. Malcolm Jones and Lizette Reitsmashowed work they'd carried out before becoming PhD students, though in both cases the work is inspiring their doctoral research.


  1. Malcolm Jones: Designing for Designers
    Malcolm Jones is a graphic designer and illustrator turned design researcher. Much of his interest in the topic came from working with Canadian telco Nortel, and the way that metaphors helped with his work there.
  2. Nortel was/is a business to business (B2B) telecommunications company.  Jone's work there involved helping them move form being product centred to user-centred, using their term "serviceware" (hardware + service).
    There were also difficult constraints: no signature imagery or illustrations! With this in mind, Jones and the rest of his creative team decided to use metaphors for the key words ….
  3. … and one of the key areas they picked up on was that networks might be well communicated with similar concepts to Picasso's one-liners.
  4. The final concept looked at using lines and crops.
    However, they weren't allowed to use illustrations. But they could make a physical installation, and photograph and crop it….
  5. Which they did. The picture above shows an object made out of concrete, copper and other materals, with lights shone over the top to give different colours. 
    You can see the project in use below.
  6. Another of his projects would look more explicitly at storyboards (and prove inspiration for later MA and the current PhD work). Jones was asked to make a storyboard for a company … who didn't know what stories they wanted to tell. 
  7. He made powerpoint kit with jpegs and gave it to the team. They loved it….
  8. But then the next question arose: how do you not only tell stories, but the right ones? 
    Jones's areas of discussion from the presentation were:
  9. More on the project in particular can be found on Jones's website:
  10. Lizette Reitsma: Storybeads
    Lizette Reitsma had an entirely different take on storytelling. She showed us Storybeads, her masters project from TU Delft.
  11. The device uses RFID to store audio in the beads, which recorded and played back when placed on the holder. (Earlier prototypes also had a delete button, but she found that this wasn't needed as the BaNtwane didn't ever throw anything away).