I agree with Merholz that doing a maximum of one IxD project at a time is ideal. Sadly this is hardly ever feasible in these busy times.
Month: March 2007
Mobile Social Play — my Reboot 9.0 proposal
I’ve just submitted my proposal for a talk at Reboot 9.0. It’s on the three areas I am most fascinated with at the moment: mobile, social software and gaming/play. After attending this great conference twice it’d be really cool to get the opportunity to present there.1
Take a look at it and let me know what you think2, I’d love to get some feedback up-front so I can maybe work that in there. What do you want to know about this topic?
Curious what this might be like? Take a look at the Pecha Kucha I delivered on mobile gaming for a taste of what’s to come.
- If it doesn’t work out I can always turn it into a micro presentation.
- If you like it, vote it up!
links for 2007-03-30
Interesting-looking seminar that Dan Saffer will be delivering in Malmö on play, gaming and IxD. Would love to see the proceedings from this.
Morville points to a folksonomic faceted search and browsing site. Gotta check it out, ’cause I’m designing one too…
Lovely piece of ambient technology designed by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino that aims to keep you in touch with loved ones remotely.
Merholz reviews his statement that IA is sleeping. He wasn’t impressed with the summit’s content, but did get the idea that the field is in a state of transition. What are the new interesting problems to solve?
Creating Passionate Users: Death threats against bloggers are NOT “protected speech” (why I cancelled my ETech presentations)The blogosphere is abuzz with news of the threats against one of my favourite bloggers: Sierra. What’s happened to her is horrible, the question is how to go about handling these things in future without violating some of the Internet’s first principles.
An old post by Bill Scott on a possible way of categorising patterns.
Merholz bemoans the cancellation of an IA Summit workshop on ethnographic methods and IxD and wonders whether this is a sign of the IA community becoming insular and closed-minded.
First of 2 posts by Heathcote on service design has him raving about serendipitous sites like Upcoming.org and Twitter as well as the new Dopplr. I just wonder: where does he get the time to actively use all these services?
Frank Meeuwsen introduceert Frankwatchend Nederland tot de wondere wereld van Getting Things Done. Hoog tijd, degelijk overzicht, beetje jammer dat hij wél linkt naar zijn eigen WTNA en niet naar 43folders…
IA Summit 2007 — Leaving Las Vegas
I’m sitting in the North West Airlines World Club in Detroit using my eleven hour (!) lay-over to work away all the email and RSS feeds that have been piling up during the past days of being (mostly) off-line.
I had a great time at the IA Summit. It was definitely worth the trip. Attended lots of thought-provoking talks and met a whole bunch of inspiring people. It’s interesting to now be able to put the European IA scene in context of the ‘international’ one.
I’m single-quoting international, because to be honest, I think the IA Summit is a North American event. Of course there were quite a few visitors and even speakers from outside the US & Canada, but I can’t help but feel that the majority of attendees really are not very aware of the truly international character of the IA community.
That’s a shame.
One example is something I really should have fixed during 5 minute madness: the announcement of the European IA Summit. Apart from mentioning the event’s name and URL, people weren’t exactly persuaded to come over. It wasn’t even mentioned that this is in the beautiful city of Barcelona!
Anyway, I’ll just use this opportunity to invite all my American colleagues to make the trip and get a taste of how we do things in Europe. Seriously, I’m sure people will enjoy learning about the unique issues we’re dealing with (I did the other way around). Like Jesse James Garrett said: “embrace ambiguity”.
On a different note, I’ll probably be doing a series of posts over the coming weeks like I did for the last Euro IA Summit, once I get my notes ordered and filtered. Stay tuned.
links for 2007-03-23
Ik heb Luis gisteren zien spreken op de HAN. Was vermakelijk en leverde wel wat interessante ideeën op voor feedback loops in algoritmisch opgebouwde sites. Daar volgt nog een post over.
“At Nokia, we have an internal market for ideas. There could be someone in Nokia who wants research, and they will come to us.” — That’s a cool environment for a user researcher to work in, I think.
“The prevalence of social networks and community sites is eroding our ability to keep ourselves to ourselves. In order to ‘take part’ you need to give a lot away and if you don’t play you could be conspicuous by your absence.”
Notes by Joshua Kauffman on Matt Biddulph’s talk about the internet of things; building bacteria in 2nd Life and using Arduino as a rapid prototyping tool for tangible computing.
Packing for the IA Summit
Just firing off a quick post while packing for the IA Summit. Tomorrow morning I’m taking off on my flight to Vegas. For anyone curious about my doings while in the states, your best bet is Jaiku1. SMS-ing the occasional update should be affordable and won’t take too much time. No live blogging I’m afraid, I will be taking plenty of notes2 and promise to do a proper write-up when back.
1. Although all the crazy Americans are hooked on Twitter like an addict on crack, so to keep up with what’s going on there I’ll need to switch between two presence apps. Grumble.
2. A fresh squared Moleskine pocket notebook is ready for action.
links for 2007-03-21
A nice review of a new scientific paper management tool developed for Mac OS X by two Dutchmen and poised to win some awards.
Fun short interview with the guru of flow Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He points to some interesting ways web sites can be improved to induce flow (guiding users and giving more feedback amongst them.)
Excellent post by Kathy Sierra summing up three important reasons Twitter (and other rich presence services requiring continuous partial attention) might be harmful. These services certainly challenge the ability of the user to *focus*.
Albert Heijn RFID epiphany
I was standing in line at the local Albert Heijn1 the other day and had a futurist’s ‘epiphany’. I had three items in my basket. The couple in front of me had a shopping cart full of stuff. I had an empty stomach and was tired from a long day’s work. They were taking their time placing their items on the short conveyor belt. The cashier took her time scanning each individual item. The couple had a lot of stuff and only a few bags to put their stuff in. Did I mention this was taking a looong time?
I wasn’t being impatient though, I used the time to let my thoughts wander. For some reason my associative brain became occupied with RFID. Many of the items in the Albert Heijn shelves have RFID tags in them already. They use those to track inventory. Soon, all of the items will be tagged with these chips. That’ll make it easy to restock stuff. But it occurred to me that it might make the situation I was in at that moment (standing there waiting for a large amount of items to be moved from a cart, scanned and packed in bags to be placed back in the cart again) history.
Imagine driving your overflowing shopping cart through a stall and having all the items read simultaneously. If you’d wanted to get rid of the friendly cashier you could put automatic gates on the cash register and have them open once all items were paid for (by old-fashioned debit or credit card or newfangled RFID enabled payment token). Walk up to the gate, swipe your token past a reader and have the gate open, no matter how many items you have with you.
No more checking the receipt for items that were mistakenly scanned twice (or not scanned at all, if you’re that honest). No more waiting for people with too many stuff in their cart that they don’t really need. And no more underpaid pubescent cashiers to ruin your day with their bad manners!
Actually, would that ever happen? It would take a large amount of trust from everyone involved. There is a lot of trust implicitly involved in the whole exchange. Handing your stuff one after the other to an actual human being and having that person scan them is a very physical, tangible way to get a sense of what you’re paying for, and that you’re getting your money’s worth. With completely automated RFID-enabled shopping, that would be lost.
It’s a banal, pedestrian and simple example of how this stuff could change your everyday life, I know, but something to think about, nonetheless.
1. Albert Heijn is the largest super market chain in the Netherlands.
links for 2007-03-20
“However, market research, no matter how thorough, can never substitute for front-end user research, and we need to make the distinction clear to our clients and articulate the value of both.”
“Interaction Design grew out of the meeting of digital and cultural worlds and the need to make computers more useable, it will be interesting to see what other forms of design will emerge over the coming years.”
“At CERN they developed an open system that passed power to its users as not to preclude innovation. […] we don’t know what will be created next week, next month or next year because we can’t see the ‘Issues’ that need to be resolved […]”
Saffer thinks Twitter’s bad because it encourages antisocial behaviour and ugly because it doesn’t allow you to determine how much you want to read about your contacts. The last is nicely implemented on Jaiku.
Merholz prefers his personas without user typology because it decreases the ability of the reader to have empathy for them.
IA Summit 2007 — one week to go
While we’re on the topic of attending events: I’m lucky enough to attend this year’s IA Summit. It’s all the way in Las Vegas (a long flight from my humble country) so there’ll be plenty of jet lag to cope with. Also it’s just the conference for me, no time to attend the pre-conference workshops (which is a shame really, because there’s plenty of interesting stuff). Regardless, I’m looking forward to experiencing the mothership conference after two years of being at the Euro IA Summit and meeting lots of new interesting people. Perhaps I’ll see you there?