Eric E. Dolecki is a user interface & experience designer, developer, & prototyper living in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts.

I have been working in the digital interactive and consumer electronics space for over 20 years with a passion for creating beautiful, easy-to-use, and intuitive interfaces. I believe that I have a keen eye for detail and pay careful attention to shapes, forms, and light. Experiences should be engaging, approachable, repeatable, and enjoyable.

How things began

It was June of 1979, and I was 10 years old when my father brought home an Apple ][+ computer. I can still remember the smell of the elegant case and the sound of the key caps. I was immediately drawn to the machine and the possibilities it held. My father had purchased it for use with Lotus 1, 2, 3 which was pretty typical purchase reason for the time. I was spending so much time with it and was so comfortable using it that my father let me enter the spreadsheet data in for him.

A short time later I was coding and learning all I could. I copied lines out of Byte magazine and joined my school's computer club. It was a magical time being a kid back then. I took some college-level computer language courses while in grade school to help me stretch my knowledge and understanding.

A friend had an Atari (400 and 800) and we purchased a book of memory locations and made some games using Assembly. We designed space ship sprites, sound effects, parallax landscapes, explosions, and made our own video games. While loving the technical side of things, I also loved the artistic side of things and how it could be used to fully express ideas and concepts. I was always drawing and sketching. I was also interested in music and played the piano and guitar.

Getting to work

Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts college degree in Graphic (Communication) Design, I was initially involved in the world of print design while working in Erie, Pennsylvania. I then advanced and worked at larger traditional advertising agencies in Pittsburgh. I designed/art directed while helping to prep final files for identity systems, catalogs, brochures, posters, etc. for large clients. This work was digital, implementing QuarkXPress, Adobe Illustrator, Fontographer, and Adobe Photoshop. I also attended numerous press checks.

While in Pittsburgh, Eric had the unique opportunity to design user interfaces for Ford Motor Company training CD-Roms after the agency he was working for acquired a small interactive company. Given the nature of some of the desired interactions, Eric started coding the design interfaces in Macromedia Director to alleviate the need for translation. Demonstrating a strong artistic and technical background, he was asked to join the interactive team full-time. This was a wonderful turn of events - as modifications could be made in software, but once a design project was printed - it was set forever.

Portrait image of Eric After spending more time using Director, I set my sights on Macromedia Flash and Flash Builder. I began developing websites with interactive components all the way to fully-Flash interactive experiences. I began experimenting and actively participating in the growing Flash community which was exploding at the time. I attended Flash Forward & Flash In the Can conferences, met Macromedia staff, and was welcomed onto beta software teams to help drive the future of the platform.

Things were moving quickly, and to help fellow designers and developers, I decided to start sharing what I was learning - and I helped to co-author numerous published books that explained the design and development of interactive techniques. I won the coveted Macromedia Site of the day twice, once for a conference application made for Adobe/Macromedia deployed to the stand-alone Apollo framework. I believe this ran on a PocketPC at the time. The other for some Macromedia Flex work (which combined MXML and ActionScript) - a declarative framework.

I was fortunate enough to meet and work with web pioneers and peers such as Kevin Lynch (now Vice President of Technology at Apple), Jeremy Allaire, Mike Chambers, Tad Staley, Joshua Davis, Andreas Odendal, Mike Grundvig, Nigel Peg, Erik Natzke, and more.

Published Author

I have co-authored a few books when Flash technology was in it's heyday and bristling with vibrancy and experimentation. Some were used in college courses for a time, and for those who may value nostalgia - some are still available today. I have a few copies of each laying around someplace - and I even had the opportunity for the Super Samurai book to go into local Barnes & Noble locations to sign copies that received an author signed sticker on the cover. I have to admit, it was a pretty amazing feeling to browse a book store and see one's name on something. Image of four books

Welcome to Bose

On a fine August day Robert Reimann, the Design Manager at Bose Corporation in Framingham, Massachusetts (last I knew he was at Frog), contacted me to ask him if he was interested in visiting the Bose campus to talk with him about interactive technology and how Bose might better implement some of their own to create prototypes of experiences.

I was honored with the invitation and was asked back again later to interview with the design team for a full-time position at Bose. This was in September of 2005. The designers at Bose had many ideas they wanted to visualize and use to sell experiences internally - but they lacked the technical expertise to make it themselves.

The design team wanted me to brainstorm and to create an internal suite of easy-to-use software tools that they could use themselves to develop interfaces. They wanted to create visual prototypes with some authentic and integrated functionality. This would leverage the adaptable nature of Flash.

I was honored with the invitation and was asked back again later to interview with the design team for a full-time position at Bose.

Being that I have an artistic background, as well as a love for the technical, this position was a dream come true. To make beautiful tools that would be used to refine user experience and help to deliver award-winning products was truly wonderful. After a time the tooling interfaced directly with hardware in various ways - allowing the team to drive more concrete and real experiences that could be demonstrated across the company. I continued to deliver beautifully designed and easy to use interfaces that put the user front and center. I took inspiration from the days of Steve Jobs and that Apple ][+, and later Macintosh, and it never left me — to this day.

Eric standing beside the 1 Infinite Loop sign at Apple Inc. A hard-bound copy of the book Make Something Wonderful sits prominently in Eric's home office. Whenever he needs a little fresh coffee while working at home, he'll carefully page through the book and take insight and inspiration from examples of Steve's way of observing the world around him.

I brings a lot of different perspectives to my work, which you can find more about in the Interests section. I have a number of patents I've been awarded while working on various teams throughout the years, developing interfaces and experiences internally at Bose Corporation. I enjoys very specific and unusual things - all of which allow me to bring unique insight and motivations to both my work and also in the friendly evaluation of team efforts.

Patents

While working on many clandestine projects at Bose, I have had the opportunity to be awarded a number of patents. I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the most talented people in the industry. I have been able to contribute to the development of technologies and designs that millions of people enjoy every day.

Eric's current patents list at Google Patents.

Recognition

  1. Macromedia Site of the Day: November 19, 2003: Macromedia MAX 2003 Conference Central Application
  2. Macromedia Site of the Day: June 22, 2002, FlashForward 2002 New York City Event Guide for Pocket PC and Flash 5
  3. Co-author Macromedia Flash Super Samurai - PeachPit Press: November, 2001
  4. Co-author Macromedia Flash Super Samurai - Helion/PeachPit Press: September, 2002 : Polish Translation
  5. Co-author Flash MX Audio Magic - New Riders Publishing: July 25, 2002
  6. Co-author Flash MX Dynamic Applications - PeachPit Press: October, 2002
  7. Contributor Flash MX Gaming Demystified - PeachPit Press: August 2002
  8. Technical Editor on Flash MX Communication Server - New Riders Publishing: December 2002
  9. MX Developer's Journal, TagCloud (Flash & XML) Tutorial
  10. Centennial Media Arts and Macromedia, Flash 5 Action Scripting Training CDROM: September 2001
  11. Computer Arts UK Magazine: Flash Special Edition: July 2001
  12. Create Online Magazine (UK) Chapter 14 from Flash MX Audio Magic included on CDROM

Ancillary