Tuesday, November 24, 2009

IDEO's Tim Brown: Asking the right question

Highlight from interview with IDEO President & CEO Tim Brown where he emphasizes the importance of asking the right question when doing research. I like this reminder that it's of the utmost importance to bring an active, listening mind when doing product research. How many interviews wasted due to aimlessly following test/interview scripts, or not giving the team a chance to re-question assumed facts, or having weak or no follow-up questions, or simply thinking a ton of or quantitative questions will get us good data?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Linked Entities That Move Through Space

Originally uploaded by precious stuff
I want to board the flight that takes me to you instead of away from you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Joshua Prince-Ramus TED Talk

Fascinating architectural approach utilizing highly data-driven and human-centered design that appears to be highly contextually sensitive and empathetic.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Extensions of system, extensions of mind

From Ben L.
"How many times have you parked and had to open the door and look down to make sure you are fitting into the space?"

Love this set of photos. Think about all the gadgets or hacks that have been devised to assist with the specific task of parking accurately or in a confined space.
  • Floor mats or bumpy cues on the floor
  • Antennae sticking up from the front corners of the bumpers
  • Dangling tennis ball from a string in the garage
  • Using visual reference in the garage of looking to the side
  • Learning how the headlight beams change shape at different distances when projected against a surface directly ahead
  • Beeping radar distance sensors
  • Backup cameras
  • Lexus' self-parking cars
  • Having a friend get out and help direct
  • Lexus' passenger side mirror automatically flip down to show the floor when put into Reverse to show distance to curb
  • Auto-folding mirrors to squeeze into narrow spots (comes standard in a lot of countries)
  • Pads or bumpers to go on the bumpers to avoid dings and dents from "love tapping" while parking
  • "360 view" Nissan and Honda have
  • Any others? I should find links/photos for these examples.
Yesterday, a friend of mine remarked as I was parking, "You San Franciscans love parallel parking and are so good at it." I definitely don't do it as well as I used to now that I don't live there anymore.

How come parking is still so tough when we feel so comfortable driving like it's an extension of ourselves. How well do these hacks or tools for parking help us bridge the gap?
While we're on the topic of parking, how about the problem of finding those elusive open spots in a huge parking area?
I always try to think of a better way to help people find a parking spot when I'm looking for parking at a huge lot like at college, the zoo, the airport, etc. I've seen a few attempted solutions. The best was probably a Westfield mall in west LA that had lights above each spot that would indicate whether there was a car in it.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Gestalt at fault?

Which way is which? Downtown Dallas. The drivers are presented with this view for about 2 seconds after braking and exiting the freeway in a very tight tunneled off ramp.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Watch your head on this bench

Spotted this fix at a friend's place to prevent scraping or poking at the sharp edges of the corners of the air conditioning unit positioned above a bench.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wrench as handle

Seems more ergonomic than most handles actually, depending on how one grasps or touches door handles. [Thanks to Ben for the photo]

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Car armrest innovation? Scirocco R

I wonder how the armrest thing on the left is meant to be used? I want to go try it now. Too bad it's only in Europe.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Literal string

Can't imagine a more effective way of explaining the situation.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chest-high wall sockets?

Why in the world are these wall sockets so high? 

One idea I had was that it was designed for standing desk but this is a conference room. Another idea was they reduced bending over or stooping to plug things in near the floor. Another idea I had was that to make cables running along the floor more conspicuous than if they laid flat on the ground. Makes me think of the motivations behind the MagSafe magnetic plug that detaches with force instead of yanking the whole machine.
Any ideas?

TED Talk: What do consumers really want?

Interesting. A couple of notes I made:

  • Experiences > Services > Goods > Commodities
    • Experiences are about Rendering the Authenticity
    • Services are about Improving the Quality
    • Goods are about Controlling the Costs
    • Commodities are about Supplying the Availability
  • Basic paradox: No one can have an inauthentic experience but no business can supply and authentic experience because all businesses are man-made objects.
  • 4 possible states of authenticity (2x2 matrix):
    1. Real real: IS what it says it is, IS true to itself
    2. Fake fake: Is NOT what it says it is, is NOT true to itself.
    3. Real fake: IS what it says it is, is NOT true to itself
    4. Fake real: Is NOT what it says it is, IS true to itself
  • The economic experience Starbucks has provided:
    • Coffee beans as a commodity is $0.02 to $0.04 cents a cup.
    • Roast it, grind it, make it available on a grocery shelf, now it's treated as a good at $0.10 to $0.15 cents per cup.
    • Take that good, brew it somewhere, now it's a service and you get maybe $0.50 to $1.00 per cup.
    • Surround the brewing of the coffee with ambiance of Starbucks and their authenticity, it's now an experience and you can charge $4.00 to $5.00 per cup.
  • Summary for business people:
    1. Don't say you're authentic if you're not authentic.
    2. It's easier to be authentic if you don't say you're authentic.
    3. If you say you're authentic, you better be authentic.
  • Summary for the consumers: Increasingly, what will make us happy is spending our time and our money satisfying our desire for authenticity.

Side note: Makes me a little happy that my functional group at work is called Experience Design.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Now packaged with less suck!

Can we party in the streets when blister packing goes away for good?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

OS X Help Menu: Denied

I wish I could see more of the help topic previews. Especially since I find the launched Help window and browsing so unwieldy for some reason.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mystery iPhone Fingerprints

I noticed some fingerprints on my iPhone around the home button at the bottom. But also around and on the area where the earpiece is. I thought, "Weird." 

Then realized that it's not surprising after considering I often pull it out of my pocket without looking and have few tactile cues to communicate which end I'm holding. If the pressed area doesn't give, then I flip it around and press - all without looking and with one hand. It subconsciously became second nature I guess.