Data Modeling Dark UI


This work was for a data modeling product that shared the same suite shell as some of the other products I’ve been working on at Remedy. It represents some interaction and design ideas in a dark UI. Most of the capabilities I designed with this tool deal with modeling relational databases… something that is a complex problem to solve with a GUI.


The information modeling paradigm I was working with had multiple levels of data models and concepts – from the physical models (tables) up to more abstract medical domain models. I was working with a concept where the more “higher”, abstract models needed a different visual concept in order to better explain what they really were – collections of aggregated table fields… so I used hexagons. I’ve always felt like hexagons were a nice shape that looked like flattened cubes, and have a nice mechanical/organic balance. I have not yet vetted this out with customers, but the assertion is that by using a more complex shape for higher model concepts, I can better explain that these information models are domain “collections” of the data models used to define them. Using different model shapes to define different model types (combined with a rich icon system) gave me more flexibility to use color as an identifier for interaction patterns.