Looking back at the things that I thought worth mentioning this week on Link Drop Today, I don’t think I could have predicted the outcome of themes that developed. Lots of diverse elements that had to do with people’s lifestyles and the consequences of those habits such as eating, water seemed like a persistent connection—surfing, wales shapes as hotels and seeing it visualized throgh consumption of people flushing toilets at watching hockey. All things I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t made a mind map of it this morning.
While it shouldn’t come as a surprise that larger people are influencing the way that some products are designed, I found the article Plus-size furniture grows with America’s girth fascinating to read. The LA Times talks about how some furniture companies are adjusting their products as society grows. Chairs are getting wider, bigger and marketed to people in as furniture that can site more than one person—though in reality will probably just sit one.
If you only have time to read a couple posts this Sunday morning, you should def. consider Core77 Wiretap: Portigal Consulting talk about the Analog Human and The Digital Machine as one to put in the cue. I’m friends with Steve but that’s not why I’m suggesting that people should read this. There’s a ton of great starting points for further discussion between design, marketing, technology and people. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the conversation there’s a lot to consider. These days I’m thinking about analytics, data and the way those elements influence design decisions. Steve mentions this quote…
We think of people with Bunsen burners and spreadsheets. It’s like the opposite of the Scientific Method: you’ve created this paradigm where it’s impossible—you reject any information that’s new because it doesn’t fit the framework of the information you already have.
There’s a lot more to the conversation that I don’t need to repeat wholesale, so just check out the post. And thanks to Christopher Butler for passing it on to me.
Edmonton (where I used to live) graphed the water consumption during the Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Game that pitted Canada vs the US. As the graph shows there’s some peak activity during the breaks between periods—essentially visualizing everyone flushing at the same time.
By any measure the Fitbit is a really great piece of technology, or so I’ve read as I’ve never used one myself. As an idea it received great acclaim from TechCrunch. But as the blog Graphpaper goes into great depth of the writer’s experience one thing becomes clear—personal management of data. It’s not so much a beef about the product as the process.
In short, you just can’t lead a normal life with Fitbit. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Fitbit experience, a lesson about the future of personal informatics, it’s that we simply won’t have accurate and reliable personal systems until the devices themselves are immune to these everyday emergencies and accidents and inconveniences.
I couldn’t help but feel the same way using RunKeeper for my iPhone. I still use it from time to time to track my walking, but even to press a couple buttons before I head to work seems a bit too much effort for what I’m going to get from it if I stop doing it for a day or two.
But by far the best response to Chris’ post was from Tiffehr. “I gave my FitBit to my dog. It actually works phenomenally well for him — I can see his data generated while I’m at work, including dog-walker visits and naps. I can monitor his weight and diet by setting up a very simple ‘menu’ of hand-entered foods”.
When a person looks at a map they think of it as something tangible, hard to argue with. Lines have been drawn so it must be accurate. The above map that Greg points to illustrates that in WW1 that wasn’t always the case. He describes the maps action “as surveying the opposing edges of dug-in/fortified landscape to outline an amorphous contested zone”. Because of the nature of war and the fact that the soldiers were always on the move meant that the map wasn’t always accurate. Greg also describes in the post that he in turn is talking about that there was some friction between those creating the map and those that had to use the map.
With spring just about here the last thing I want to do is go back in time and think about winter. But with that said photographer Laura Barisonzi has a great series titled Winter Surfing. I have a friend that does this crazy thing but I suppose with the proper gear anything can be fun.
There’s a good collection of short clips in the What Movie UIs Say About the Future. Looking at films like Minority Report, Ironman and even Microsoft’s newest products offers a glimpse of some people’s imagination. While I don’t agree with all the assessments in the post it contains enough stuff that it’s worth the read and look.
I found the above diagram through celine celines blog who in turn found it at the post Life Below 600. While I can understand what’s trying to be said here (and I tend to scroll a lot), I think if you can’t deliver a good payoff above the first 600 pixels why would anyone scroll down any further?
While things like this status board look nice, the great thing about Panic’s post is the description of some of the features and implementation of the actual board. So far the board is making everyone at Panic just a little bit more on target.
E-Mail Queue — number of messages / number of days.
Project Status — sorry for the heavy censorship — you know how it is!
Revenue — comparing yesterday to the day before, not so insightful (yet).
Live Tri-Met Bus Arrivals — when it’s time to go home!
The Panic Calendar
Employee Twitter Messages
Any @Panic Twitter Messages — i.e., be nice! They go on our screen!
Looking at their list, the only feature that I’d remove would be the Email Queue. I’m not sure how it would help someone with their work—maybe if the board displayed the number of unread emails or something about the number of emails in the day that a person working on the project must read.
Even more unique are some of the tech specs that talk about the type of screen and types of code to implement. While not mandatory this type of post shows how tech detailed they are with their thought process.
There’s a touching story about the CD of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games who died suddenly a couple months before the Olympics started. In the clip from the CBC it becomes apparent quite quickly how much respect those that worked with Leo had for him.
Dieselation compares the Jewish Museum to Guggenheim Museum in How to Succeed and Fail as a Museum.
I like how in James’ post Twitter in Four Parts he describes it as a personal AM radio station—something that I find hard to dispute with all that I’m taking in from Twitter. He breaks the post into four points: reading, writing, distribution and usability. All things to consider as things start getting pushed out there.
This will hopefully be the first & last time I mention Brad or Jen on this site, but these contrasting covers were worth noting. Why—because they were shot by the same photographer Steven Klein and shows two different directions for media hype these days.
What a great idea to promote awareness about the .Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in London. In the article Dogs and cats abandoned at Battersea home become photogenic stars of new stamps they profile the cats and dogs that made it onto the stamps.
While my friend Johanna last night was talking about nature inspired designs I immediately thought of this above image of a floating hotel designed by Jean-Marie Massaud and the Office National d’Etudes et de Recherche Aérospatiale. Image found via Young and Brilliant.