Rob Hudak - Interactive Creative Director

My career in interactive design and love for innovation came honestly. It's been a journey of exploration, restlessness, discovery, and luck. I owe my career to my inability to let myself be bored and the amazing people with whom I've collaborated and stayed interested with along the way.

My love of multimedia design and programming was born in the mid '90s and matured in the early aughts. As bandwidth expanded, so did my skill-set. I eventually found myself in working environments with some of the best minds in the business of interactive design, technology, marketing and innovation. I felt like my heroes, the artists and filmmakers of the 1920s and 30s, who explored every possibility of current mediums and new technologies available to them to engage people in a dialogue or tell a story.

The work here represents the output from teams that I've had the pleasure to contribute my skills to. My creative thinking and user-centered design approach is at core of these projects. I gained more knowledge from this work than the knowledge I put into it, and that's just how I like it. The challenges and problem solving are my adventure. The inventiveness and fearlessness of those I've collaborated with on these projects rubbed off on me, big time. I am grateful to still be working with inspiring people, constantly learning from them and pushing myself to learn more.  - Rob Hudak

 

Selected Works

 

Parsons Institute of Information Mapping - Public Opinion Tool

user experience, functional requirements, design production, coding and animation, project management

The Public Opinion Tool provides a unique, advanced visualization, and interactive experience to explore U.S. election results and simulate outcomes based on public opinion, sentiment, and party-independent factors.
- piim.newschool.edu

In 2004 I was called upon by the Parsons Institute of Information Mapping to help direct user experience and code and animate the prototype of the PIIM Public Opinion Tool. Successfully securing the funding and thumbs up to move forward, I began to help create the functional requirements for the team to complete the final project.  The requirements reached beyond my level of expertise, so I then assumed the role of project manager/design production assistant and helped assemble the right additions to the team to see the project through completion. I realized this project was ahead of it's time when during the next election I began seeing every news channel calculating electoral votes live on television with an interactive UI.

 

Dodgeball

production, design and animation

Working with fellow creative director Doug Jaeger in 2005 I became part of a team which included a revolving door of brilliant minds from NYU's ITP program. One of those people was Dennis Crowley who's senior thesis, Dodgeball, was the catalyst for his later successful applications Foursquare and Swarm. Dodgeball was a location-based social software that used flip-top phones and texting to send communications to a selected group of "friends". It foreshadowed aspects of twitter and facebook and introduced the "check-in". Our job as a marketing/design group was to help educate the target audience as to what it all meant, and how to use it. "Do what? With my phone?" was the usual response when you explained Dodgeball to your peers at the time. But after we launched the website it took only three months until there was enough user interest that Google decided to purchase it.

 

Year of the Motorcycle - Interactive Film Installation

concept, project coordination, animation, sound design and music

In 2005, conceptual artist TR Ericsson was commissioned by the Progressive Insurance Art Collection to create an installation for "The Year of the Motorcycle". The installation was a portrait of the artists uncle Mike, who in the final years of his life completed the restoration of a vintage motorcycle as he was succumbing to cancer. The installation included the restored motorcycle itself, along with Mike's tools and stone slabs with etchings of interview transcripts conducted by the artist. I was asked to help conceive of a centerpiece to the exhibit and presented the idea of an interactive film. Along with the artist, TR Ericsson, and  graduates of the NYU ITP program, Evan Raskob and Guillermo Acevedo, we created a film that used a camera to track the viewer's movement and engagement. Taking cues from the principals of game development, the more the viewer engaged with the film, the more the film would reveal the story in visual and sound.


Voodoo Experience Festival App

concept, creative direction

In 2009 the augmented reality company Layar sent out a call to action to developers to submit their AR ideas in hopes to receive a developer key for their AR platform. My digital director asked if I had any ideas and being that I was in New Orleans, the land of festivals, I submitted an idea that would make festivals "easier to use". The app would allow festival goers to use the heads-up display to see who was playing on which stage, or find ATMs, their preferred food stand or the nearest port-o-let before they made their way through the crowds. Layar liked the idea, making us one of five developers in the U.S. to create on the Layar platform at the time. The application garnered media attention and was written up in Fast Company as one of "Three Technologies That Are Helping to Save the Music Biz".

 

Keep Louisiana Beautiful - Litter Indexing App

UX/UI and iOS programming

In 2009 as Interactive Creative Director at Zehnder, I took it upon myself to learn to program for iOS and helped bring to life our first iPhone prototype. The Litter Indexing App never made it to the app store but it was an important learning experience for myself and the team. The app became a stepping stone to future applications we developed to mobilize blight indexing and damage assessment.

 

Experience Mardi Gras - Parade Tracker App

Creative Director, Designer, iOS programming

In 2010 the team at Zehnder created the Experience Mardi Gras app, the first of it's kind to track the parade floats during Mardi Gras Parades. The application attracted the national media and spawned a few imitators. 

 

MOPED - Mobile Property Evaluation Device

creative direction, iOS programming

The Mobile Property Evaluation Device (MOPED) is a blight indexing tool that reports blighted properties to an online dashboard that uses Google maps and markers to show the indexed data . MoPED was designed to replace the antiquated process of using pencils and clipboards and redundant data entry to report blighted properties in urban neighborhoods.

 

Vitascope App

concept, creative direction, UX/UI

The Vitascope Hall app was designed to enhance the experience of the Vitascope Hall media bar at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans. Using the myTouchTunes® API, the app allows you to play DJ by selecting your favorite songs to play while you are sitting at the bar and share what you were playing on your social channel.  We even created "moods" that automatically published to the Hyatt Regency's social channels which helped to promote the new bar and Hyatt Regency location. A built-in polling mechanism allowed the managers at Vitascope to create polls that the app users could answer for a chance to win lunch, dinner or drink specials.