1. "Don’t Be Ugly"… Google is getting better at design faster than Apple is mastering the kind of web services that have made its rival so successful. And the stock market has noticed
  2. An early experiment involved the telephone cord. In the postwar years, the copper used inside the cords remained scarce. Telephone company executives wondered whether the standard cord, then about three feet long, might be shortened. Mr. Karlin’s staff stole into colleagues’ offices every three days and covertly shortened their phone cords, an inch at time. No one noticed, they found, until the cords had lost an entire foot.
    From then on, phones came with shorter cords.
  3. Just a few years ago, Google’s apps had little sense of identity. They were all built by Google, but had few threads tying them together aside from a lowercase g. While Larry Page served as Google’s product president for a decade, perhaps he realized that the company needed a design dictator, not to point out that a button needs to be four pixels right, but to finally make design a true priority at the company. Its children had aged together but didn’t look like members of the same family. “We’re slowly starting to build a real design culture throughout Google,” Duarte says, “the teams are independent, but there is an increasing amount of communication, camaraderie, and collaboration.” Without Page’s complete organizational restructure that focused the company around seven key product divisions, some of Google’s moonshots and vibrant design concepts may never have taken off. Without the decision to create a core team of designers who would work together across product teams to keep the vision consistent, it would have all reverted to an incoherent mess — and this being Google, that eventuality often feels dangerously close.
  4. On the near-term horizon — that is, within the next 12 months — are two categories that are changing the way museums interact with their patrons and global community: mobile apps and social media…

    Two to three years out, is where we will begin to see widespread support of two technologies that are experiencing growing popularity within museum education and interpretation: augmented reality (AR) and open content. By nature, museum educators create bridges between objects, ideas, and visitors, and augmented reality can allow this to happen more fluidly and easily than ever. Open content is changing the way museums make images, documents, and other ephemera from exhibits and collections available, with the goal of placing rich media and information online that is licensed forsharing, reuseor even (if licensed for derivative works), for remixing…

    at four to five years away from widespread adoption, are the Internet of Things and natural user interfaces (NUIs). Both technologies create opportunities for interaction. The Internet of Things… is fueling considerable innovation in how devices communicate with each other and with us. Exhibits that will make use of natural user interfaces that react to touch, movement, voice, and facial expression are going to be more intuitive for museum patrons…

  5. [Ubiquitous computing] - The idea is that computing devices will disappear into the background and what you’re left with is the benefit of computing, which is information and activities.
    … Even though it’s possible to do a lot of things with your phone today, often that has the effect of pulling you into a bubble, instead of enhancing your experience.
    When you’re out walking with your family, you’re not going to pause every 20 feet and do a Google search. So the notion [behind FieldTrip app] is that you can have this process that runs in the background that knows something about where you are, and about your interests. It can proactively offer up information that can help you have a richer experience but in a way that’s seamless and doesn’t interrupt the flow of your activity.
  6. Apple’s products say, “You can’t do that because we think it would suck.” Microsoft’s products say, “We’ll let you try to do anything on anything if you really want to, even if it sucks.” People who dislike Apple’s approach or whose requirements are incompatible with it will always exist in great numbers, and the Surface is for them. It’ll probably sell well, especially if Microsoft can expand their retail presence quickly. But it’s not for me at all. Not even for testing, experimenting, or curiosity. It feels too much like using a Windows PC, which was exactly Microsoft’s intention, and it will appeal to people who want that. But that’s a world I fled 8 years ago with no intention of returning.
  7. RISR. It’s a web of sensors that connects to a cellphone and scans your “target” for body language. RISR then vibrates on your body telling you how to move in order to ensure maximum engagement

  8. we launched ChromeExperiments.com in March 2009 with 19 inspiring examples by the creative coding community of what’s possible when combining the latest web technologies with a little code and imagination. …today marks our 500th experiment
  9. 17:31 10th Sep 2012

    Notes: 2

    Tags: interfaces

    some of these are quite amusing in their accuracy

  10. using Kinect to make Matterport, a handheld device that instantly creates 3D renderings of any space.

    Seconds after pointing the device around a room, you can browse a 3D replica on your laptop…

    While Matterport hasn’t set a price for the product…Bell says it won’t be prohibitive to consumer 3D enthusiasts.

    Several of them have already answered the question “What would you scan?” on Matterport’s website in ways the company never anticipated.

    One family, for instance, wants to capture a 3D image of the houseboat it is moving from so that a young child will remember it. Employees from the USDA want to use Matterport to calculate the square footage of leaves on a plant without cutting them off.

    — Scanner Will Capture Your Room, Give You 3D Replica [VIDEO] … I’m late posting this, but it’s such a cool thing I couldn’t resist
  11. The Floppy Disk Icon means “save” for a whole generation of people who have never seen one.
  12. For its fans and advocates in the visually-impaired community, the iPhone has turned out to be one of the most revolutionary developments since the invention of Braille… They use Sendero — “an app made for the blind, by the blind,” says Tatum — an accessible GPS that announces the user’s current street, city, cross street, and nearby points of interest… the LookTel Money Reader and with it you can scan the bill you’re being handed, instead of depending on the kindness of strangers…
  13. UK government design principles for their website… They seem pretty good but at the same time I’m a bit stunned at the effort that has gone into writing them!

  14. 1. Of iPhone 4s users, 62% use Siri for some function at least several times a week, including 35% of respondents who report daily use. The least used functions are playing a video, scheduling a meeting, or playing music.
  15. One of the really tough questions to answer in relation to any technology is: When do you make something easy and when do you make it hard? This problem is perhaps most obvious in the realm of game design, since people get bored by games that are too easy and get frustrated by games that are too hard. …
    But this problem occurs in other technological arenas too. Consider typography… A well-designed text, with a highly legible typeface and appropriate spacing, places a considerably lighter cognitive burden on us than a badly designed page. …
    Reading a page done right is like sliding on the ice: we just flow right along. …
    However, as Kahneman also points out, flowing right along isn’t always the best recipe for understanding