4 Nov 2009

My iPhone loves me.

November 4, 2009 501A, responses Comments Off

I thought David Kelley’s discussion of user-centered design was pretty interesting, especially in light of the ideas we’ve already explored in “Welcome to the experience economy” by Pine and Gilmour. Isn’t that part of what’s being sold here, is the experience of the thing and not just the thing itself?

Look at the cubicle, for example, which aims to make work a more pleasant experience. (I remember when that was announced, by the way. I think I asked my boss if I could have a hammock, especially since a colleague already had a life-sized cutout of Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in the office. No, I don’t know why. And he said no to the hammock.) And the underwater camera helps give you an experience you might not have been able to have by yourself. That’s a bit more explicitly experiential, but I think the larger point is that good design is part of what users enjoy about a product. No one likes crawling inside the code monkeys’ heads — that is, no one likes learning how to use something based on someone else’s idea of what should be obvious. It never is obvious.

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12 Oct 2009

Decimals are sooooo much better.

October 12, 2009 501A, assignments Comments Off

I’m getting a little frustrated, because every time I have an idea, the readings in some way address it (and usually better) a few weeks later. This time, it’s Cass R. Sunstein’s “Democracy and Filtering.”

At least last time I was smart enough to wait to talk about fractionalization, even though I wasn’t about democracy. Oh well, at least I went more in a public policy direction.

Sunstein addresses something I think is really important: that content customization is detrimental to democratic society, because people will self-limit information to that which does not challenge their own worldview.

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So I did that whole riff on identity, which yeah, but I think I’m going to go somewhere else this time. Let’s try democracy, because now I’m kind of in this place that makes my little social science-y heart go pitter-pat.

(What can I say? The theory, it infects! Read a bunch and then play spot-the-philospher with the Matrix! As a drinking game!)

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29 Sep 2009

Penguins aren’t cute.

September 29, 2009 501A, assignments, responses Comments Off

To paraphrase, “It’s the experience, stupid.”

(I tried to post this last night, but was having some issues. I think WordPress lost a few of my posts as well.)

This cute little penguin was posing for photographs. Coincidentally this is a Gentoo penguin. It's nice that they named the species after a Linux distribution. I wonder what a Debian Penguin would look like?  -photo from Paul Boxley (Lord Biro) on flickr.com

This cute little penguin was posing for photographs. Coincidentally this is a Gentoo penguin. It's nice that they named the species after a Linux distribution. I wonder what a Debian Penguin would look like? -photo and caption from Paul Boxley (Lord Biro) on flickr.com

Penguins and experiential learning

Linky goodness:

Penguin Experience at the Mystic Aquarium
Beluga Experience
The Secrets Inside Your Dog’s Mind
Mars 2112
Max Brenner
The Overscheduled Child
Obama would curtail summer vacation

Other stuff about reading, play and developmental readiness:
Can the right kinds of play teach self-control? (New York Times Magazine, Sept. 25 2009)
Educators differ on why boys lag in reading (Washington Post, March 15, 2005)

15 Sep 2009

Each new platform is a kicking, screaming toddler.

September 15, 2009 501A Comments Off

By which I mean to say, every social media service demands attention constantly.

To continue this riff on ideas about a crisis of selection, I’ve noticed several people talk about information overload, particularly within the context of multiple platforms of interactivity.

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