Serial Anna

I’ve migrated to
November 8, 2009, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hello and goodbye at the same time!

This blog is migrating to my own website, Please follow the link, and don’t forget to update your feed!

Over and out at Serial Anna,

Serial Anna


Sendak Pumpkin!
October 26, 2009, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This weekend I took some time out from what has been a busy final semester and carved this Sendak pumkin. This is the first time I’ve carved a pumpkin in at least the past 10 years.


Does it look like the guy from Where the Wild Things Are?


Thanks to @pipsan for the venue/tools!

Do You Speak Superbunny?
October 9, 2009, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This semester I’m taking a course in Graphic Design. This is the outcome of one of the labs we did the other day. I was working on the bunny in class on Wednesday and the instructor came over and said “how about some gradients?” So that’s what I did. Enjoy.

Do You Speak Superbunny?

Do You Speak Superbunny?

Mozilla Labs University Design Challenge: Clothing/Closet Metaphor
September 18, 2009, 2:58 am
Filed under: HCI

Tonight was the U-M SOCHI kickoff for the Mozilla Labs University Design Challenge, a challenge wherein Mozilla encourages students to innovate and experiment in user interface design. After some rapid sketching, we quickly formed teams and developed some of the concepts that had been sketched out.

My teammates and I decided to focus on the problem of “bad” links– links you want to purge from history. During this process, I began thinking about the metaphor of clothing storage. To some extent, I hypothesized, link storage is like storing clothes in a closet– some you use every day, some you never pull out, some you want to get rid of, or never wanted in the first place.

This falls in line with the research that says frequency of visitation falls into 3 categories (described in This Presentation by U-M SOCHI, Slide 9):

  • Fast (short term, high volume, sites like shopping)
  • Medium (regular hourly checking, Gmail, Facebook)
  • Slow (rare but regular visits, personal interest sites)

I did some sketching to see how useful the clothing storage metaphor might be use for browser history interactions. Here’s what I came up with:

Clothing storage sketch

Clothing storage sketch

Ultimately, I’d like to work with my group a little more to see if the metaphor is useful. We want to find a meaningful way to get “bad” or unwanted links out of the browsing history.

A major problem of this design is a lack of parameters around “Fast,” “Medium” and “Slow” interactions.

Personas: Good Man, Bad Man, Funnyman, Chick
August 28, 2009, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Film and Media, HCI

Personas by Aaron Zinman is an online component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit put on by the Sociable Media Group at theĀ  MIT Media Lab. The installation crawls the web and aggregates a bunch of data, which it then turns into the color/word bars that you see below.

After an initial obligatory self-searching, I noted that part of what makes the installation so intriguing is the flow of crawled text as it builds into a final representation. The installation displays partial stories before pushing the information derived into a category.

Here’s Nelson Mandela:

Nelson Mandela Personas

Nelson Mandela Persona

And here’s Nelson Mandela being built by Personas (to get a good look, you might want to watch the video full-screen):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Screenr – @annakjonsson: Nelson Mande…“, posted with vodpod

Okay, so we have one interesting public figure who became the President of post-Apartheid South Africa and who arguably was a positive force for change in the world. So what about the baddest of the bad?

Charles Manson:

Charles Manson Persona

Charles Manson Persona

It’s reassuring to see that “Illegal” is the largest category for Manson, but “social” is among the second largest category, and prominent categories like Sports and Management are downright confusing. Furthermore, it is strange to see the name Manson afforded categories like “art” and “professional” at all.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Screenr – @annakjonsson: Charles Mans…“, posted with vodpod

Okay, we’ve done good man and bad man now. I decided to try out my current favorite comic (and person to follow on Twitter), Russell Brand. Here he is:

Russell Brand Persona

Russell Brand Persona

Here his largest categories make sense; online, movies and social. But Sports and Military make less sense.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Screenr – @annakjonsson: Russell Bran…“, posted with vodpod

And finally, I didn’t have any girls. Jezebel did a nice piece a little while back about prominent women in the Media (What Do People’s Online Personas Say About Them?), which offers more visualizations if you don’t want to DIY. But I decided to try out Gwen Stefani, general rad chick and lead singer of No Doubt since as long as I can remember.

Here’s Gwen:

Gwen Stefani Persona

Gwen Stefani Persona

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Screenr – @annakjonsson: Gwen Stefani…“, posted with vodpod


After watching the growth of these fine (well, 3/4ths of them) folks, as well as observing the construction of my own persona, I recognized that the project might show just as much, if not more, about the body of data from which the personas are derived. For example, all of these personas, none of whom are athletes, include substantial sports sections. Maybe this has to do with the way that language is constructed to organize information about sports. For example, many sites have sports pages or sections, and there are many opportunities for vocabulary that falls within the umbrella of sports.

I’m actually not trying to go into deep analysis mode, so I guess I’ll leave it at that. It’s hard not to draw some conclusions. But if you found this post in the least bit interesting, you’ll want to read up on Personas. The explanation of the installation notes that the project was “not supposed to be utilitarian. Instead, it was meant to expose a process that often happens behind the scenes.”

The Long Say
August 27, 2009, 1:32 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


I spent some time today on a mini-project called The Long Say.

Ironically (because I have designs toward making this a quick post), the blog focuses on collecting long essays from folks. I just did the whole deploy to my social network thing, and I am now officially excited about it.

Check it out:

(As soon as you check it out, you will probably noticed that it needs contributions. See how to become a contributor here.)

High Jinks
August 21, 2009, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you’ve read my bio anywhere, you’ve probably read a description somewhere along the lines of “I’m an MSI Candidate in Human-Computer Interaction (and hijinx).” Hijinx has been an “about me” staple since my earliest days of filling out my Facebook profile. Here it is in the earlier version of my webpage:


But for the attentive (ahem, anal) among you, you may have noticed that Hijinx is not a word. It’s phonetically the rough equivalent of high jinks, yet it’s spelled differently enough so when I one day went looking for the/a proper spelling of this strange and seldom used word, I couldn’t find anything.

And besides, though I always found myself among the attentive (ahem, anal) crowd when it came to things like intentional misspellings (“Krazy Glue” used to make my blood boil, even as a 10-year-old), I kind of liked the way the word Hijinx looked. I mean, that x really backloads all the fun and adventures that I was hoping to convey. It implies a saving of the good things for last.

Flash forward to now. It took about five years for me to randomly stumble across the word. And just like that, I became aware that my bio needed fixing. So enjoy the new web site, free of hijinx. But there will be many more high jinks to come.