Introduction

Who am I and what am I up to?

Eric Wahlforss Dead serious

I’m currently pursuing a masters degree in industrial economics and engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. My master's thesis deals with trust strategies in web 2.0.
I’m also pursuing a degree in marketing at Stockholm School of Economics.
Aside from that I’m keeping a close eye on the web scene and I occasionally publish thoughts on my weblog. Past »

Past

Eric Wahlforss Explaining the semantic web

It'd be fair to say that I'm an entrepreneur, mainly in the web field. Summer of 2004 I did a dotcom in 24 hours, and during philosophy studies at Södertörn University College in 99-00 I co-founded Indyfund, a project fund and contact network for artists.

In 01-02 I worked as an interaction designer at gate5 in Berlin, designing UIs for location based services. Future »

Future

I’m involved in several web projects, some which are already up and running, and some which are currently in development. I'm always interested in new opportunites for online business, so please drop me a mail if you have a cool idea!

Please have a look at some projects I have worked on in the past »

Featured Projects

Indyfund

Feb 00 – Feb 02

Indyfund home page

In 2000 a group of young artists, activists and designers in Stockholm founded Indyfund, a unique project fund and contact network.

Using direct democratic principles, Indyfund was created to continuously and non-beurocratically fund small scale cultural projects. In early 2001 the project received funding from the Future Culture Foundation in Sweden.

As co-founder, my main part in the project has been to develop website concepts and lead site development. Full description »

Description

Indyfund is an international project fund and a contact network targeted mainly for artists and activists. The network structure of Indyfund is flat and trust-based — that means every member has an equal status and that they have all been invited and recommended by other members.

Every member pays a membership fee (€4/month) that is automatically contracted via credit card. 95% of the revenues generated by membership fees are placed in a project fund. In addition, other sources of funds like sponsorships and grants are added to the fund. The remaining 5% is used to manage administration and maintenance costs.

Project documentation Projects can be documented.

As a member of Indyfund you are enabled to publish project applications, i.e. request funds for your project. As a member you can also influence the real-time funding system by placing a vote for your favored project.
On the basis of votes, the system gives every project a share of the current cash flow. This, in turn, enables the system to calculate an E.T.F. (Estimated Time of Funding) for each project currently requesting funds. Due to the fact that members can influence the vote balance at any time, the E.T.F. is fluctuating (Though it has been proved that the E.T.F. is usually quite stable after the first week when most votes have been placed).
The time-based democracy-driven funding system is a critical technology/ideology-component of Indyfund. It allows for transparency in funding matters — members can quickly get an overview of the development.

In addition, there are a number of services provided for members so that they can coordinate their projects and manage contacts. This includes messaging/forum services, news/article publishing, event scheduling, tools for gathering people and finding resources for projects and media-rich project documentations, among other things.

Development process

In spring 00 the main concepts for the organization and the website was laid out in a series of meetings. The conclusions of the meetings where the following:

  • We wanted an intranet solution, so that members could prepare and discuss projects privately (as of now there is no publicly available information about Indyfund on the site.).
  • We wanted a powerful tool, which could possibly need — and allow for — a slightly steeper learning curve than the usual website. We knew that some members would use it extensively. In addition, many members would personally introduce new members to the site, in effect teaching them how to use it.
  • We wanted to minimize administration and maintenance.
  • We needed to apply for a grant.
Panel A panel provides quick navigation.

During summer 00 I developed a design that was intended to reflect the meta-nature of Indyfund, resulting in a strict grayscale appearance with few redundant visual elements. No logo was designed (since its use was prohibited in the rule-set of Indyfund) — a discrete city skyline came to serve as the only visual identification.
In August 00 I created a click-through prototype. The prototype was accepted with minor changes, and work began to implement a functional site. Since the project group consisted of volunteers, we had limited resources, and in the beginning implementation work progressed slowly.
In January 01 we received funding from the Future Culture Foundation. We then set up a project group coordinated by Andreas Nordwall and me.
The site was beta-tested by a number of users before it was opened in Stockholm on Mars 30 2001.

After receiving additional funds from the Swedish Culture Fund in Finland in late 01, the site undergone a major revision.

Opening ceremony The opening ceremony.

The UI was updated with dynamic elements. A navigation-panel and a history-function (listing all changes/entries made by members) was provided. Some usability issues were solved in discussions with members. The entire site was updated to support key web standards such as XHTML, CSS2 and ECMAscript.

Present situation

Today Indyfund has 150+ members from many cities in Europe. Several projects has been funded, coordinated and documented using the tools on the site. Administration and maintenance levels are exceptionally low, and we expect the member base to double during the next 12 months.
Another major site revision is due in 2003, and there are plans for requesting funds from the EU. «

Information
My role
Board member, project leader, designer
Size of team
6 people
Duration
1.0 10 Months, 2.0 3 Months
Technologies used
CSS, CVS, ECMAscript, PHP, SQL, XHTML, XML
Project timeline
Feb 00
The idea is born in Stockholm
Mar 00
The organisation is founded
Jun 00
Site development begins
Oct 00
Draft version released
Dec 00
Receives funds from Future Culture Foundation
Mar 01
Indyfund opening ceremony
Site launched.
Nov 01
Indyfund reaches 100 members
2.0 development starts
Feb 02
Indyfund 2.0 berlin opening ceremony
Feb 02
Indyfund discusses collaboration with Aula

Project view

Projects

Distribution of funds happens in real time. A member can vote for a new project at any time. « Back

Media rich project documentations

Documentation

Photo from the Joker Performances, Berlin. « Back

The opening ceremony

The opening ceremony

The opening took place in a tunnel in central Stockholm. « Back

Home view

Home

The home page functions as an open, interactive magazine « Back

Navigation panel

Navigation Panel

Members can be constantly connected to Indyfund via the navigation panel « Back

Member information

Member info

There is a comprehensive description of every member. « Back

Resources

Resources

It is easy to find members with specific interests. « Back

City5

Jul 01 – Nov 01

City5

City guide platform created by gate5, an innovative technology company based in Berlin.

After extensive research on web based city guides, we set out to build a flexible city guide platform using the advanced multi-access framework developed by gate5.

In collaboration with pReview Design, we developed a UI-concept that could be adapted to a wide variety of devices.

I acted as interaction designer and contact person for pReview and developers at gate5. Full description »

Introduction

City5 is developed to function as a city guide platform – that means it is designed with customizability in mind. A customer can embed City5 into e.g. a portal, load any xml-formatted content into desired channels and easily brand the UI by adding corporate color-schemes and icons. City5 uses state of the art technologies – it enables users to browse cities by navigating a dynamic map, and apply layers with geo-contextual information such as restaurant recommendations on the fly. It is also possible to bookmark map locations in a web browser and later get driving directions to these locations via e.g. a mobile phone.

Development process

The home screen The home page.

We started development by analyzing the existing market. We did this by looking at 50 existing city guides, trying to generalize target groups and find good solutions to problems.

We then identified and prioritized a number of use cases, which we then modelled using UML-diagrams.
In collaboration with pReview design, we worked out a UI-concept. It was difficult, because we were constantly forced to work on a meta-level, trying to foresee possible content-, structure- and design customization needs. After a few iterations of changing use case-diagrams and draft screens, we eventually decided to construct a click-through prototype with a white label design and data set.

During implementation I acted as a connection between programmers and product managers. We ensured site usability, performance and accessibility by utilizing web standards such as XHTML, CSS2 and ECMAscript and by following the W3C accessibility guidelines.

Present situation

City5 is one of gate5’s flagship products. Several major customers are considering deployment on their portals, and a version 2.0 is under development. «

Information
My role
Interaction designer, developer contact
Size of team
11 people
Duration
5 Months
Technologies used
CSS, CVS, ECMAScript, Java, PHP, SQL, UML, XHTML, XML
Project timeline
Jul 01
Research on 50 city guides
Sep 01
The design is finished
Oct 01
Development begins
Jan 02
1.0 Released
Mar 02
Shown at CEBIT 02

Home

The home page

The home page loaded with content from Berlin « Back

Object detail

Object detail

Users can find nearby recommendations for any location « Back

Alternate scheme

Alternate scheme

This screen is from an application subset called map5 « Back

Guide5

Nov 01 – Mar 02

guide5

The next logical step for gate5 was to take its unique products to other platforms than the web. We needed to adapt and reconstruct the user interface so that it could function on PDAs, car navigation systems and 3G-phones.

Combining use case-driven design approaches and rapid prototyping, we came up with an application that despite its complexity was easy to use. Guide5 was first presented in public at CEBIT 02 and was very well received.

This was a contributing reason to why gate5 won the e-conomy and tel.con awards. Full description »

Introduction

Guide5 is a city guide- and navigator, designed for portability over a broad array of mobile devices. It can wirelessly download media-rich, geographically relevant content such as images, audio and movies, but it also functions without a network connection using city information packs.

It can also make use of various positioning technologies to track the position of the user. Users can send messages to each other in a city and leave messages attached to locations. Buildings can be directly highlighted and browsed. Various information channels can be layered directly on a smoothly animated map.

Development process

House Highlight a building by tapping it.

This was a challenging project from a designer’s point of view, because even though we had to develop a UI for devices with limited capacity and restricted input/output methods, we very still building a native application. Since we had an excellent team of programmers who knew how to make full use of this fact, we were able to do fairly advanced graphics and animation.

Eventually it was decided that we would develop two applications – a native one that would be running on Linux/Windows CE/Windows/Car Navigation-devices and a light version based on Java that could be used for e.g. 3G-handsets.

We started the design process by identifying key uses for the product. We continued by extracting specific use cases and then discussed these accordingly. There were many new issues to be solved; how, for example, should a user grant the localization of him/her from another user, and how should location based messaging work?

Map navigation was also an issue: how could navigation be consistent across platforms with different input methods (Pens, mice, keyboards, keypads)?

To test different navigation paradigms, I built a series of prototypes that we could test directly on the devices.

After deciding on one of the paradigms – a map-centric UI, with most UI elements and information appearing on demand as overlays – we set out to model the use cases in UML and to produce concrete UIs. After much discussion and refining we ended up with a whopping 120 case screens.

To assist the programmers, we developed an interactive specification that included links between use cases and case screens, textual descriptions and annotated case screens. As it turned out, the specification was good enough to be used for customer presentations.

In all, Guide5 is a groundbreaking application, and it is clear that it will take a while before it will reach the mass market. An early version of the product was demonstrated at CEBIT 02, and it was very well received. «

Information
My role
Interaction designer, developer contact
Size of team
9 people
Duration
4 Months
Companies involved
DaimlerChrysler, gate5, pReview
Technologies used
CVS, C++, ECMAscript, Java, Lingo, UML, XML
Project timeline
Nov 01
Project initiation
Feb 02
Demo for DaimlerChrysler
Feb 02
Specification ready
Mar 02
Shown at CEBIT 02

Route to hotel sequence

Choose category

Choose a category

Pick a hotel from the list

Pick a hotel from the list

Choose route start or end

Choose route start- or end point

Route screen

Route screen

Show route

Show route

Route waypoints list view

Route waypoints in list view

Route waypoints map view

Route waypoints in map view

Zoom out map

Zoom out map

Browse building

Browse building

Forss

Aug 01 –

Forss

Along with my interest in design I have been doing music and sound design for a long time. Since 01, I have been releasing material under the alias Forss on Sonar Kollektiv, Berlin.

During 02 I have been travelling and producing on the road, using a mobile studio setup. This has resulted in an album, set to be released in June 03. Full description »

Description

Worldwide 2 Gilles Peterson Worldwide 2

During the last years I have been focusing on sampling and sound collage-work. Most of my music is groove based, but lately I’ve also been experimenting with various cut-up techniques and ambiences.

Since joining up with Sonar Kollektiv, I’ve done a couple of remixes and exclusives. For full discography and gig dates, see my official website. «

Information
My role
Artist, Producer
Timeline
Jun 02
Soulhack, First Forss release on Gilles Peterson Worldwide 2
Sep 02
Basscheck, remix for Slope
Nov 02
Keep Falling, remix for Jazzanova
Dec 02
Using splashes, exclusive on Sonar Compilation 2
May 03
Album Release

Forss Soulhack (4:32)

Click to play track

« Back

Jazzanova Keep Falling (Forss redub) (8:02)

Not available yet

« Back

Kloss

Sep 99 – Dec 99

Kloss

Together, Palle Derkert and I developed a computer for professional music mixing. We re-designed a rack-mountable electronics unit, and contacted Telac, a company that specialized in touch-screens to realise the project.

We ended up with a fully functional prototype, running software that was controlled by touch screen.

I designed a UI-prototype for the mixing application, and took part in designing the hardware. Full description »

Description

Kloss was designed to solve a common problem, and that is the fact that currently more and more Djs are moving from playing records to playing using purely digital equipment.
While traditional record players are still very successful because they offer good standard interfaces for music mixing, computers offer unsurpassed flexibility and many new possibilities.

Mixing music with a computer can be done in many ways; although most are quite primitive and not well adapted to e.g. club environments (The most common way being using keyboard and mouse). Today computer-based Djs always have to bring their own equipment to be able to play in e.g. a club, which is complicated and expensive.

Kloss interface The interface prototype

We wanted to created an intermediate solution that would allow Djs to play records and files in a mixed fashion, either using a full digital screen-based interface or a combination of analog and digital interfaces. The solution could be permanently installed in a club and Djs could bring their own material on e.g. a DVD or by download over an Internet connection.

Development process

During our first discussions we realized we would have to build a customized computer to satisfy our needs.

We acquired the needed PC components, including 2 DVD-players and an extra sound card for multiple output possibility.
For the prototype we used a standard 3U electronics box that we modified using a water-cutter. We then installed custom components like a power switch and rubber details for the DVD-players.
Touch screen specialist Telac were kind enough to lend us a robust touch-screen that could be used as the main interface.

Robust touch screen Robust 14” touch screen

I developed a UI prototype that was designed to mimic the functionality of a professional mixer and dual CD player, and to aid the fact that it can be hard to control UIs with small controls from a touch screen.

In the end the UI was never implemented in a real application – instead we used available third party tools to try out the touch interface. We also thought about alternative hardware interfaces, but since there where a lack of standard components it would have been too expensive to build a prototype.

The fully functional prototype was used for live Dj-sets and was also featured in a Swedish magazine.
The project was cancelled due to time and funding problems. Recently, similar products have reached the market, such as Native instruments Traktor, Ableton Live and Stanton Final scratch, but we have not yet seen compelling hardware/software-solutions. «

Information
My role
Designer
Size of team
3 people
Duration
4 Months
Related material
Project timeline
Sep 99
The idea is born
Dec 99
Prototype finished
Jan 00
Project cancelled

Man machine ad campaign

Man machine

« Back

Large photo

Kloss large

« Back

Nerdlife

Aug 98 – Oct 98

Nerdlife

In 98 Palle Derkert and I produced a short film.

In this film we explored a theme that we could both relate to – the nerd and his isolated life.

I made the soundtrack, participated in script writing, directing, acting and post-production. The film placed first in a short film contest. Full description »

Description

Destiny The nerd confronts his destiny

In 98 Palle Derkert and I produced a short film for a competition held in Borlänge, Sweden. The competition was held at a gathering for computer enthusiasts, and so we decided to write a story about an excessive computer user — a nerd.

The film let us follow the nerd as he is catapulted out of his monotonous life, and is faced with his destiny in an escalating series of events.

Since our budget was limited, we decided to make use of techniques to disguise the fact that we were using semi-professional equipment at best. The result was a silent movie, with a musical score built from sounds from various vintage films. We also processed the video through a number of filters, generating a convincing look. «

Information
My role
Actor, Director, Musician
Size of team
3 people
Duration
3 Months
Project timeline
Aug 98
The idea is born
Sep 98
Finished shooting
Oct 98
Won competition in Borlänge

Destiny personified

Destiny personified

« Back

Sleepy nerd

Sleepy nerd

« Back

Destiny returns

Destiny returns

« Back

Full length MPEG4 movie

Click to launch movie

« Back

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

Check my LinkedIn Profile for an updated portfolio.
    • Selected Professional Experience
    • 01 – 02

      City5, advanced city guide »
      Guide5, mobile guide. Featured at CEBIT 02. »

      Interaction design, Project Coordination

      gate5, Berlin

    • 00 – 02

      Indyfund, community platform »

      Stockholm

    • 99

      Fair stand for Computer World Expo 99

      Concept, Production with Idé-Bygge Cyréus

      Klickdata AB

    • 98

      Active life, CD–ROM production

      Design, Production

      bustech.se, TCM

    • 97

      idoborg.se, Conference center

      Concept, Production

      Freelance for Idöborg AB

    • 96 – 97

      lokomotiv.com, broadband website for a proposed science center

      Concept, Production

      Freelance for nordvis.se

    • 96

      bandit.se, website for a swedish radio station

      Concept, Design/Production with Catwalk Interactive

      Freelance for bandit.se

Honors and Achievements

Skills and Experience

Professional
HCI, IA, Project management, Usability, Scripting, Web Development
Languages
Swedish (Mother tongue), English (High level), German (Moderate level)
Technology experience
CSS, DOM, Java, Java/ECMA/Action-script, HTML, PHP, SQL, XHTML, CVS, Lingo, Python, Ruby, SMIL, RDF, RSS, Ruby on Rails, UML, XML, etc.

Referees

Mr. Christof Hellmis
VP of Product Development
gate5 ag
Schönhauser Allee 62
10437 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 446 76 0
christof.hellmis at gate5.de

Contact me for specific referees.

Miscellaneous

Writings

Apple BlackBox, Fictional review in 2005.

Talks

Aula meeting..

Foliomap

Featured projects
Indyfund City5 Guide5 Forss Kloss Nerdlife