iFish is an application for exploring datasets in a playful manner which I've developed as part of research outlined on Dr Jon Pearce's webpage here. iFish is also being used for MINE (My Interests Now For Engagement) http://myinterestnow.com/. Part of an online Political Issue Analysis System (PIAS) project also utilised iFish.

Many of these require Flash to run. These are some working examples of the application:

iFish in action


There is much to say about iFish but little time in which to write about it when there are other webpages which need making. iFish allows users to enter and tweak their preferences about a given dataset via sliders, checkboxes and other components. iFish doesn't just show the user a static list of the dataset re-ordered based on each change of preference. Instead, users see an animated list re-ordering as they tweak and play with their preferences.

You can give iFish any dataset you like (provided you can be bothered expressing that dataset in xml). The layout of the list/ranking is also controlled using xml. You can specify each item to appear one after the other, top to bottom. Or you can decided to have the highest ranked item appear in the middle, twice as big as all the others, rotated ten degrees; the second highest ranked item appear somewhere else, be 73.5% the size of the first and be slightly transparent; the third highest could be blue; etc. to the Nth highest ranked item. It's all up to you.

The following is a video of iFish in action. The frame rate is a bit out and I cut off some of the top and bottom of the screen. But it's a good movie to watch if you are on a device which can not run iFish and want to get an idea of what it can do.

Selected publications

Ely, R. B. W., Ainley, M., & Pearce, J. M. (2010). My Interests Now for Engagement (MINE) - Identifying the dimensions of interest to support engagement and learning. Paper presented at the Inter-Disciplinary.Net 6th Global Conference - Creative engagements: Thinking with Children.

Ely, R. B. W., Ainley, M., & Pearce, J. M. (2010a). A new method for identifying dimensions of interest: MINE. Paper presented at the 12th International Conference on Motivation: New Directions in Mind.

Pearce, J. (2010). Play, Explore, Engage! Interfaces Vol 83 pp. 5-7.

Pearce, J. M. & Pardo, S. (2009). So now you're ready to play but with what? A system to encourage playful exploration. Paper presented at the HCI Educators 2009 Conference, University of Abertay, Dundee, UK

Pearce, J. M. & Pardo, S. (2008). To search or to explore that is the question: a study in mindful engagement. Paper presented at the OzCHI Conference, Cairns.

Pearce, J. M. (2008). A System to Encourage Playful Exploration in a Reflective Environment. Paper presented at the EdMedia 2008 Conference, Vienna.