Maryam Ashoori    

User Experience Designerd, Software Artiste

Hi! I'm Maryam! I love tea! When I don't drink tea, I design! but sometimes I drink and design! I'm a doctor, but not the kind that sees patients! I was good at designing systems, so these people decided to call me a Dr., but I prefer you calling me Maryam!
I enjoy fasion design, ...did I mention I'm a cover girl? It's not actually a magazine, but makes me so proud to be recognized here!
I'm fascinated with exploring the intersection between art and computer science. Data visualization and wearable computing are my favorite toys! Feel free to ping me @MaryamAshoori or ashoori {at} gmail {dot} com if you'd like to chat more!

I'm a Design Researcher at IBM. I specialize in discovering, analyzing, and communicating user needs for products used in the automotive, aviation, and telecommunication industries. Together with my project teams, I've gained a deep understanding of how people work in these industries via human-computer interaction methods such as cognitive walk-throughs and think-aloud studies. My design projects at IBM are confidential so I am not able to showcase them on this site. Ping me if you would like to know more about the general work I do at IBM.

Before joining IBM, I was an intern at the Cyborg Trading Systems. The company is called Embium now. I helped the company's executive committee and their traders to ensure the alignment of business objectives with end-user needs. I recommended some creative designs for visualizing high frequency financial data. Learn more... (PDF, 808kb).

At the same time, I was a resarch assistant at the Advanced Interface Design Lab where I got to work on so many cool design projects. One of them was desiging a Blackberry interface for the configuration application of the inPulse smart watch. The company is called Pebble now! Learn more... (PDF, 596kb).

... and I desiged an iPhone application for visualizing clinical pathways at the Ottawa Hospital...

My Ph.D. thesis was all about visualizations. I designed multiple models to visualize the collaborative behaviours in a team. My visualizations are featured at the Oxford handbook of Cognitive Engineering. Learn more...

I'm very good at taking initiative to define new projects. One of my old self-started projects is "iDream", a Facebook Application for dream sharing (PDF, 200KB). It used to be working, but Facebook sadly changed its API and my awesome app stopped working!
I also designed multiple web designs (e.g.
- a responsive design using Twitter Bootstrap
- Minimal design, using words only if necessary
- A customized old-fasion website for managing the HFES UW student chapter
- A Wordpress website for managing a local workshop.

Wearable Media

I'm interested in exploring wearable media as the future generation of interactive technologies. My "Worl's Heart Project" is a dress that connects to Twitter. You can communicate with the dress using hashtag #TheWorldsHeart to share your feelings with the dress. It aggregates the collected data and reacts to that.
The heart symbolizes loveliness in the input data and gets brighter when the majority of people are happily in love!
This project is in progress. You may follow the dress @TheWorldsHeart.
My sincere thanks to Erin Lewis for supporting this project.

I've explored various wearable/washable materials and programmed LilyPad Arduino for this project. Another example is a conductive scarf that I made by knitting conductive threads into a scarf. If you are interested in how I made it, check out this and also this video.

A different example is the conductive fabric that I used to make a pressure sensor. This video and also this one show a demonstration of how my sensor works.

I also needle felted with steel wool and made a cool superhero wristband! These three videos walk you through how I work with steel wool: [1 , 2 and [3

Fiber-optic thread ia nother intersting material that you can do so much cool things with.This video shows how to use a loom for weaving fiber optics.


Artificial Intelligence

My M.Sc and M.Eng dissertations were both focused on Multi-Agent Systems. In my M.Sc I explored the efficiency of market-based approaches for socializing self-interested agents. My M.Eng thesis was an effort to explore those approaches in a practical application. I applied my M.Sc findings to introduce a collection of pedagogical agents that personalize learning objects in a multi-user virtual environment. The following picture shows some of my developed agents.

art works

I love mixing colors and playing with lines!

I didn't start with drwaing though. I remember the days I was interested in exploring abstract and expressive photography. I got my first camera in 2003 and took lots of pictures. With the rise of social networks in 2006, the social impacts of photography grabbed my attention. In 2010, everyday for one year I took a photo of the highlight of that day and shared it with my Facebook friends. Check out my ignite talk about social art.

Photography didn't satisfy me though. I'm more interested in the tangible 3D art forms, and that aspect is lost in didgital photos. If you wanna build a cast of your hand, start with this video I gurantee it's fun!

One other thing that I often do is sketchnoting. Sketchnote is a combination of hand-drawn images and the key points taken from a talk or an event. It's a quick and easy tool to summarize content in an engaging format that is easy to review and fun to share! Here is a video to show you where to start!

oh, I'm also fascinated with branding and the design of visual identifications (masthead banner, skin, and icon)! Let me know if you need help in promoting your brand.