Owner and Lead Product Designer 6-2013 to 12-2015 Comingle, LLC
Founded an IoT-focused product company that crowdfunded $50,000 in 30 days. Defined product vision, roadmap and business model. Conducted competitive analysis and customer validation. Created and maintained timelines, budgets, forecasts, models, and bills of materials. Sourced component suppliers and contract manufacturers. Produced pitch-decks and sought investment. Coordinated marketing campaign that led to articles on high-traffic websites (Vice, FastCompany, etc.) and a cover article in Creative Loafing. Generated design documents and 3D models, and prototyped circuits, physical components and manufacturing techniques.
Project Director 5-2014 to 5-2016 Synlab – Georgia Tech
Proposed and led the design, development, and user testing of a virtual reality and physical object base based interface for engaging spatial cognition that combined Oculus Rift, Unity 3D, and tabletop computing. Obtained government funding. Hired teams of students. Produced design briefs, timelines, budgets, and bills of materials. Organized and led user-centered design workshops to refine the design. Exhibited project at multiple conferences and published the results.
Lead Experience Designer 8-2012 to present Synlab – Georgia Tech
Lead teams of designers, engineers, software developers and artists to create haptic-feedback and gesture-based interactive narrative experiences and a multi-touch tabletop and projection-mapping based gallery installation. Presented designs and worked with executive-level stakeholders to define and align product requirements. Developed timelines, budgets and bills of materials. Reviewed and critiqued industrial, user-experience, and interaction designers’ work, and worked with animators and videographers to ensure content aligned with project goals. Produced, reviewed, and presented documentation needed to align clients, developers, engineers, and content producers throughout the duration of the projects.
User Experience Design Intern 5-2012 to 8-2012 IXR – Intel
Designed, developed and tested five automotive-focused user experience prototypes in ten weeks. Performed landscape research, user needs assessment, storyboading, wireframming, prototype development, user testing and documentation. Created patented intellectual property.
Interaction and Experience Designer 8-2010 to 5-2012 Synlab – Georgia Tech
Designed free-hand gestural interactions for TV-like interactive narrative experience. Created storyboards, prototypes and flow-diagrams to align design, development and narrative teams. Conducted user-experience research to refine the design for future iterations.
Research Assistant 8-2009 to 8-2010 Synlab – Georgia Tech
Designed and developed multi-touch tabletop sketching application for supporting collaborative work. Engineered circuits and physical interfaces to sense body movement, and developed software to interface with 3D game engines, for a system that mapped body-movements to 3D avatars in real time. Designed and developed mobile apps for controlling interactive narratives.
Lab Manager 8-2008 to 8-2009 Synlab – Georgia Tech
Managed purchasing and fulfillment. Advised project teams on suppliers. Worked with all lab users to ensure availability of space and components. Organized and maintained inventory of lab equipment. Managed physical lab access and worked with IT to maintain lab computers.
Technical Writer 4-2007 to 8-2008 Shoap Technical Services
Produced professional quality manuals, API and functional requirements specifications, and online help guides for the credit card processing industry.
Logistics Analyst 1-2006 to 4-2007 Alfred Karcher Inc.
Researched, reported on and negotiated contract manufacturing terms. Managed inventory using SAP. Wrote and compiled a training manual for common SAP tasks. Streamlined the customs invoicing process using VBA macros for MS Excel.
Media Production 2005 to 2017 Independent
Edited and published two multi-author short fiction collections. Founded, produced and hosted two radio shows for WREK Atlanta: Sci Fi Lab – a monthly magazine-format talk show, and New Forces – a weekly garage rock show. Recorded audio for two independent films, which were screened nationally at multiple film festivals.
Project Management: Agile development, SCRUM, Requirement specifications, Timelines, Budgets, User needs finding, Competitive analysis, MS Office, Service Now, Visio
Design: Web, Mobile, IoT, Interactive Surfaces, Projection mapping, VR/AR, User centered design, Personas, Storyboarding, Wireframming, Iterative prototyping, Sketch UX, Balsamiq, Adobe Creative Suite, Fusion 360
Georgia Institute of Technology
Ph.D. Digital Media – Completed May 2016
Dissertation: “Spatial Cognition Based Design of Embodied Interfaces for Engaging Spatial Cognition”.
Committee: Dr. Ali Mazalek, Dr. Michael Nitsche, Dr. Timothy Welsh, Dr. Sanjay Chandrasekharan, and Dr. Hugh Crawford.
Defines a design space for embodied interfaces that engage different aspects of spatial cognition and a set of design guidelines for creating interfaces that attempt to support, augment, or alter spatial skills.
M.S. Digital Media – May 2010
Masters Project: "WorkTop: A Multi-touch Tabletop Sketching Application for Interdisciplinary Design Collaboration".
Committee: Dr. Ali Mazalek, Dr. Michael Nitsche, and Dr. Jon Sanford.
Researched and developed tabletop and other tangible interfaces for collaborative work, games, interactive narrative control, and cognitive science research.
B.S. Industrial and Systems Engineering – December 2005
Honors: President’s Undergraduate Research Award Grant, Deans List
Coursework: Java Programming, Circuits and Electronics, Human Integrated Systems, Simulations, Databases, Probability and Statistics, Stochastic Methods, Queuing Theory, and Optimization.
Paul Clifton, Jack Shen-Kuen Chang, Georgina Yeboah, Alison Doucette, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Michael Nitsche, Timothy Welsh, and Ali Mazalek. 2016. Design of embodied interfaces for engaging spatial cognition. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 1, 1: 24.
Paul Clifton. 2014. Designing embodied interfaces to support spatial ability. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 309-312.
Paul Clifton, Jared Caldwell, Isaac Kulka, Riccardo Fassone, Jonathan Cutrell, Kevin Terraciano, Janet Murray, and Ali Mazalek. 2013. Don't open that door: designing gestural interactions for interactive narratives. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 259-266.
Paul Clifton, Ali Mazalek, Jon Sanford, Claudia Rébola, Seunghyun Lee, and Natasha Powell. 2010. SketchTop: design collaboration on a multi-touch tabletop. In Proceedings of the fifth international conference on Tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction (TEI '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 333-336.
Paul G. Clifton. 2010. Spatial relationships: a framework for understanding the relationships between real and virtual spaces. In Proceedings of the fifth international conference on Tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction (TEI '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 433-434.
Chu, Jean Ho, Paul Clifton, Hank Blumenthal, Abhishek Nandakumar, Balasubramanium Ganapathi, Janet Murray, and Ali Mazalek. 2015. “Universal Threshold Object: Designing Haptic Interaction for Televised Interactive Narratives.” In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, 285–92. TEI ’15. New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/2677199.2680563.
Chu, Jean Ho, Paul Clifton, Daniel Harley, Jordanne Pavao, and Ali Mazalek. 2015. “Mapping Place: Supporting Cultural Learning Through a Lukasa-Inspired Tangible Tabletop Museum Exhibit.” In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, 261–68. TEI ’15. New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/2677199.2680559.
Quitmeyer, Andrew, Paul Clifton, and Craig Durkin. 2015. “Ruggedization of Vibration Stimuli in Silicone-Electronic Devices.” In Adjunct Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, 1307–12. UbiComp/ISWC’15 Adjunct. New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/2800835.2807929.
Jovanov, Kimberley, Paul Clifton, Ali Mazalek, Michael Nitsche, and Timothy N. Welsh. 2015. “The Limb-Specific Embodiment of a Tool Following Experience.” Experimental Brain Research 233 (9): 2685–94. doi:10.1007/s00221-015-4342-5.
Michael Nitsche, Ali Mazalek, Paul Clifton. 2013. "Moving Digital Puppets," Understanding Machinima, J. Ng, J. Barrett (eds.), Continuum Press, London / New York, pp.63-84.
Ali Mazalek, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Michael Nitsche, Tim Welsh, Paul Clifton. 2011. "Embodying Self in Virtual Worlds," Reinventing Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identity in Virtual Worlds, A. Peachey, M. Childs (eds.). Immersive Environments Series, Springer, London, pp.129-151.
Ali Mazalek, Michael Nitsche, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Tim Welsh, Paul Clifton, Andrew Quitmeyer, Firaz Peer, Friedrich Kirschner. 2013. "Recognizing Your Self in Virtual Avatars," International Journal of Art and Technology (IJART), Vol. 6, No. 1, December 2013, pp.83-105.
Ali Mazalek, Timothy N. Welsh, Michael Nitsche, Connor Reid, Paul Clifton, Fred Leighton, and Kai Tan. 2013. Reach across the boundary: evidence of physical tool appropriation following virtual practice. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 155-158.
Ali Mazalek, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Michael Nitsche, Tim Welsh, Paul Clifton, Fred Leighton. 2013. "Lasting Impression: Interaction With Embodied Puppet Leads to Changes in the Way People Draw Sketches," Works-in-Progress at the Seventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI '13), ACM, 7 pages.
Ali Mazalek, Michael Nitsche, Claudia Rébola, Paul Clifton, Andy Wu, Nick Poirier, and Firaz Peer. 2012. Pictures at an exhibition: design of a hybrid puppetry performance piece. In Proceedings of the 11th international conference on Entertainment Computing (ICEC'12), Marc Herrlich, Rainer Malaka, and Maic Masuch (Eds.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 130-143.
Ali Mazalek, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Michael Nitsche, Tim Welsh, Paul Clifton, Andrew Quitmeyer, Firaz Peer, Friedrich Kirschner, and Dilip Athreya. 2010. I'm in the game: embodied puppet interface improves avatar control. In Proceedings of the fifth international conference on Tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction (TEI '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 129-136.
Ali Mazalek, Michael Nitsche, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Tim Welsh, Paul Clifton, Andrew Quitmeyer, Firaz Peer, and Friedrich Kirschner. 2010. Recognizing self in puppet controlled virtual avatars. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Fun and Games (Fun and Games '10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 66-73.
Mazalek, A., Chandrasekharan, S., Nitsche, M., Welsh, T., Thomas, G., Sanka, T., and Clifton, P. 2009. Giving your self to the game: transferring a player's own movements to avatars using tangible interfaces. In Proceedings of the 2009 ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Video Games (New Orleans, Louisiana, August 04 – 06, 2009). S. N. Spencer, Ed. Sandbox '09. ACM, New York, NY, 161-168.
“I Vant to Vleed My Vlood.” Monstrous Bodies: Celebrating 25 Years of the Fantastic in the Arts at Georgia Tech. Ed. Paul Clifton. Atlanta: Georgia Tech School of Literature Communication and Culture, 2006. 41-53.
“Busted Up.” North Avenue Review Winter 2003: 31-3.
Montesinos, Carlos R.; Fang, Victoria S.; Clifton, Paul; Nguyen, Truc; Ekandem, Joshua I.; Dunbar, Jerone. Automotive Camera Vehicle Integration. US Patent 20140267730, filed 03/15/2013, and issued 09/18/2014.
Embodied Digital Media: Research/Design – 1-2014 to 5-2014 RTA School of Media – Ryerson University
Taught wireframing, storyboarding, brainstorming techniques, and low and high fidelity prototyping to a team of undergraduate students in order to design an embodied interactive system that supports spatial skills.
Principles of Interaction Design (Phys Comp) 5-2013 to 8-2013 School of LMC – Georgia Tech
Developed proposal and syllabus for the first physical computing based version of an interaction design course for third year computational media students at Georgia Tech. Taught 15 students basic electronics and interaction design skills through designing, building and evaluating physical computing prototypes based on the Arduino platform.
Experimental Media - Teaching Assistant Spring 2010, 2011, 2012 Georgia Tech
Wrote and taught classes on electronics, wireless communication and physical fabrication. Helped students design and develop interactive play spaces for outdoor installation, a puppet show in which the puppets controlled a 3D visualization in real time, and embodied interfaces that map the physical movements of one animal on to virtual movements of a different animal.
Digital Media Student Committee 1-2014 to Present Digital Media – Georgia Tech
Founded, recruited members for, and participated in a committee aimed at increasing communication between Digital Media students and faculty in order to raise awareness about issues faced by the students and increase participation by students in department level initiatives. Supported increased student participation in faculty candidate search, promotion of our program to outside organizations, and the creation of a class which will facilitate interdepartmental awareness of the broad research initiatives within out department.
WIP Program Committee – TEI 2014 8-2013 to 1-2014 TEI 2014 – Munich, Germany
Found reviewers, collected reviews, and wrote meta-reviews for the Work in Progress track of the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions 2014 conference.
Reviewer – TEI 2012 – Present 2012 – Present TEI Conference
Reviewed conference paper submissions for the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions conferences since 2012.