I just completed my first month of work outside the walls of the Ivory Tower of academia. After more than forty years as a student and academic, I left Wright State University and joined a small tech start-up in Dayton – Mile Two. I had some trepidations about life on the outside, but my first month has exceeded my highest expectations. It is quite exciting to be part of a team with talented UX designers and programmers, who can translate my vague ideas into concrete products.
For the last 6 years my students and I had been struggling to translate principles of Ecological Interface Design (EID) into healthcare solutions. Tim McEwen generated a first concept for such an application in his 2012 dissertation and ever since then we have been trying to get support to extend this work. But our efforts were blocked at every turn (two failed proposals to NIH and two failures with NSF). We made countless pleas to various companies and healthcare organizations. We got lots of pats on the back and kind words (some outstanding reviews at NSF), but no follow through with support for continuing the work.
Then in two weeks at Mile Two the team was able to translate our ideas into a web app. Here is a link: CVDi. Please try it out. We see this as one step forward in an iterative design process and are eager to get feedback. Please play with this app and let us know about any problems or give us suggestions for improvements.
I am glad that I am no longer a prisoner of an ‘institution’ and I am excited by all the new possibilities that being at Mile Two will afford. I am looking forward to this new phase of my education.
It’s never crowded along the extra mile. (Wayne W. Dyer)