Time magazine is going to experiment with targeted marketing using a customizable magazine. Lexus is the only advertiser of ‘Mine’ so far. Magazine will be delivered in PDF instead paper.
After years of hearing about Csikszentmihalyi’s “Flow”, I finally brought a copy and read it during the flights of a recent trip. The framework work that Csikszentmihalyi laid for enhancing a person’s experience in daily life is comprehensive, concise and brilliantly straight forward — flow, or a state of enjoyment, is attained when a person is deeply focused on an activity in such a way that his sense of time and self(-inferiority) is lost. Csikszentmihalyi also observed that the type of activity that fosters flow usually have a well-defined goal and provides immediate feedback. People who frequently experience flow are those invest their attention (or psychic energy) to such an activity over an extend period of time, over which the enjoyment from the activity and the commitment of the participant form a virtuous cycle, resulting in a continuously deeper and rewarding experience.
How rare are those who can find flow in their daily work? Too many of us wander into our careers after series of random choices. When we do feel motivated, it is because of money, prestige, peer-recognition and other equally frivolous matters. How often can we stand in front of a mirror can tell ourselves that we drive to excel in our careers out of pure sense of enjoyment?
Flow serves as a wake-up call to us. Every moment not seeking enjoyment out our daily lives is a moment that we willfully discard.
Review cross-posted here.
Taking video requires users to hold the camera stably for longer than still cameras. From that requirement we have video cameras that look and operate differently from still cameras. The ability to capture video has been available in consumer camera for a long time. That capability has begun to appear in pro-sumer DLR digital cameras in 2008.
Is the form of cameras due for a reset? What will be the optimal video+still camera form?
In most consumer’s mind, cell phones sits somewhere between being an accessory and a necessity. In the difficult times that we are in now, most of us are more conscientious about our money and therefore less inclined to flush our money for the latest and greatest mobile technological marvel. That’s why the latest trend of hardware-as-service model of mobile phone designs make so much sense. Good applications and services stretch the time-span of mobile phones. We’ve seen this in the PC market for decades (Can you imagine how fast PC market would have been it software is baked into our laptops?). If anything, the current economic hardship will only drive us faster to service-model software architectures and business models.
Radio Shack in US just announced that they will carry AT&T-subsized netbook computers for $99. Sounds like a new offering but in fact is already been done by Orange in UK. Large screens of portable computers are butting up to with small screens of mobile phones, what will entail for UI and UX designers?
Music lovers returning to the physical, Touch&Feel gains on Point&Click.
Digital information is free, everywhere, infinitely producible but also context-deprived. Peripheral elements of contents consumption, like the feel of a book cover and the cracking sound of opening a new book, add richness to the experience. It also sets the stage in the the user’s mind for the act of reading help the user justify all the preparation that s/he may need to do (e.g. moving to a spot with good lighting or finding a comfortable chair).
Most interface designs these days still focus on the contents. When usability and deliver mechanisms are figured out, I predict that end-users will start looking for context-building elements again.
Recently a colleague challenged the notion of locus of attention. He insists that the singularity of our attention is bounded by each of our sense, but not the overall consciousness. In the other words, a user can comfortably pay attention to information in the audio and visual channels at the same time.
Update (07/30/2007): I browsed through the chapter about locus of attention in ‘The Humane Interface’ and just as I thought, it contradicts my colleague’s claim. To make sure that information in the book has not passed it times, I posted the question to an online forum. Two designers and one lecturer in cognitive psychology also disagrees with my colleague’s claim. Human can perform trained task with another task and split the attention between them. That mechanism allows people to drive and carry a conversation at the same time. Splitting attention is an entirely different thing as having multiple attention.
Here’s the blog of the project that we took on: http://blog.advancia.se/summerblogmulti/cgroup/
On May 17th, 14 speakers from a wide range of organizations, from software development to mass media to the academia, gathered in the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Chicago to share their views on the role of design in driving the next wave of innovation. Here’re some highlights:
Jim Hackett, CEO, Steelcase
Bumshik Hong, Vice President, Innovation & New Business Development, SK Telecom
Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Wired Magazine
Some of the presentation slides are posted here.