Roderick Tan

Interaction Designer, based in London

This portfolio site does not contain commercial work due to NDAs


You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet.
But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your friends.

Social networks were built upon the notion of staying in touch with groups of people. The internet has made it effortless to connect with others – as such, social networks have redefined the meaning of friends. This has invariably changed the way our society values the time spent with other people. Furthermore, throughout life we sometimes drift apart from those we care about. Pensive is a speculative project with a new take on social networking, involving closer groups of people you hold dear. It aims to inspire and encourage people to stay in touch with the ones they truly care about.

This blog documents down the whole design process from conception and research through to development.

Cultural Probes

Each and every detail of the probes added to the experience of them being employed to inspire participants. A truly give and take situation; participants are not tools you use and throw away.

Prototyping Methods

Experience prototypes, feels-like prototypes, looks-like prototypes, works-like prototypes... Whether it was one or a combination of prototyping methods, they were all constantly used in conjunction to provide thorough research, feedback, analysis and design iterations.


Slip away into another time and space in a sense of suspended reality.
Immerse yourself into a world where flocks of starlings disperse and reform around you in 3d space.

The starlings react based on sound input, from the physical environment, dispersing when it gets louder and then forming a smooth graceful flocking movement when it got quieter. The idea is for the user to appreciate their surroundings and the amount of noise going on in it and what is needed to relax both them and the animation. The user quantifies how much time spent rather than it being dictated for them in what is hoped to be a relaxing application.

Knock Knock

Familiar doors, familiar knocks, familiar faces.
Idiosyncratic and metaphoric familiarities blending into deeply personal interactions.

An application conceptualised through ethnographic research on the perceived needs of one particular grand-person.

The Emergency Probability Calculator

You have discovered the transmission of an unknown data signal. You don’t know what the data means and you don’t know where it’s coming from, although you suspect it’s a transmission from a long lost polar expedition of some sort.
It is now your responsibility to make sense of it.

In 1900, Captain Scott of the RRS Discovery, commissioned the top-secret creation of a device, to help with him with his mission to the Antarctic. He wanted a device that could understand the weather, his boat and his men, and give him the harsh, undiluted chances of their survival. The E.P.C., Emergency Probability Calculator, would continuously analyse and interpret the Discovery’s condition, and advise on critical decisions. Live data from around the ship, combined with information from the Captain, provided continuous updates to provide a precise, unequivocal probability. Scott’s scepticism of the E.P.C., is rumoured to be responsible for the two years RRS Discovery was locked in ice.

User Experience

The user experience, interface and product of the device were designed so that it echoed the technologies of the past. Though seemingly difficult at first to understand like the devices of then, given time, it manipulated and looked like an intricately beautiful piece of instrument.

Interested? About me

Hello there! My name is Roderick Tan, but most people call me Rod.

As an Interaction Designer, my design ethos is to always put people at the forefront of the design process. I enjoy using many People-centred methodologies to first research and inspire, while always striving to create meaningful interactions.

My People skills are:

  • Cultural Probes
  • Experience Prototyping
  • User Research
  • User Journey Research
  • Ethnography

My Design skills are:

  • Paper Prototyping
  • Wireframing
  • Interface Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Architecture

My Technical skills are:

  • JavaScript/jQuery
  • Arduino/Processing
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Extensive experience of Adobe Creative Suite

Still not convinced? Say hello!

Let’s chat.

LinkedIn: roderickctan
Twitter: @roderick_tan
Google+: +RoderickTan