Vortek Automated Rigging Controller 2002-2011

July 2004 - September 2011

Vortek Cueing: Home Screen
Vortek Cueing: Cues Loaded Screen
Vortek Cueing: Modifying Cues Screen
Vortek Cueing: Running Cues Screen

Simple Enough, Robust Enough

Iwas contracted by Hoffend and Sons to design an interface to control a Visual Basic backend, which in turn controlled a series of motors that raised and lowered battens above a stage. Hoffend was THE industry leader in stage rigging solutions and this product was going to supercede all of their other controllers. It became the first touchscreen interface for controlling theatre rigging and it had an over-arching vision: it had to be simple enough to be programmed and run by 12 year olds (for Hoffend’s high school auditorium market) and it had to be robust enough to handle the stage cues of Cirque du Soleil show in the Bellagio Casino, Las Vegas, NV.

I designed the user interface flow and all graphics. I also wrote and designed the full manual and the “Quick Start” guide. Hoffend hired me away from the company I was then employed with and I worked there for a few years while the system was being designed and tested. After the project was launched, I stayed with the company for another year full-time, and then worked for them on a contract basis doing yearly feature updates until 2011.

Features included:
  • Complete visual design, user interaction design and all front end programming
  • Gatekeeper for all bug tracking between three developers (each had their own area of development)
  • Wrote all user manuals and documentation for the system
Awards won included:
  • Entertainment Design (EDDY) Product of the Year 2004
  • Architectural Record Innovative Product Award 2004
  • Pro Lights and Staging News Top Products of 2003
  • Lighting Dimensions International (LDI) Product of the Year — Rigging and Hardware 2003
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