There’s a whole market of games emerging that encourage interacting with a physical environment through a virtual platform. Its about creating content and sharing experiences with users, regardless of distance between them. It’s a really cool idea that I think is going to blow up. If you’re interested, check out Dokobots. I downloaded the app before the panel was even over.
March 12, 2011
Posted by Lisa Valencia
I had no idea how many amazing sites NASA has. I’m usually a NOAA nerd, but I think I found a new hobby. Since the topic was visualization; you should see for yourself…
Download the most recently transmitted, raw images from the Mars Exploration Rover to play with:
Legitimize your paranoia about near earth asteroids… http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch/
These two were the highlight but you have to install unity 3D. The visualizations are updated to as close to real time as you can get with this type of data.
http://climate.nasa.gov/Eyes/ zoom in on the Apophis asteroid and see how close to earth it’s trajectory is predicted to near earth in 2029
http://solar system.nasa.gov/eyes/index.html (Still in its beta stage) Takes a little bit of playing with; it’s fun to zoom in and out of the solar system but double click on voyager 2 – it’s 8 billion miles away.
Today was a great day at SXSW for me. I saw four great panels, and learned many great insights. But out of the four panels, the one titled: “Banks: Innovate or Die!” was by far the one which left me thinking. In my eyes, its purpose lies in the reinvention of banking as consumers know it today. The essence of the panel was about whether banks have become too big to innovate.
The panel featured Anne O’Brien formally from Citibank, Joshua Reich from Bank Simple, Rob Garcia from Lending Club, Brett King from Bank 2.0 and Bob Weinschenk from Smarty Pig. Five very successful persons from the banking world who had strong opinions on what needs to change, and whether they in essence, can change.
The problem was, we never got to that conversation. It quickly detoured to be about customer service and how good or bad corporations and/or start-ups do in that space. (more…)
I am classifying this panel as Reinvention in our SXSW analysis because I feel we have to be open to rethinking common user interface conventions to reach the unique market commonly known as ‘tomorrow’s future.’
I attended the Designing for Kids session today hosted by a slew of uber-talented folks from PBS for a discussion of how they design the web experiences that complement their extensive TV cartoon line-up. Let’s call a spade a spade. Most truly creative people have blocked out their childhoods entirely cause suppressing all that pain and misery is what makes them so cool, deep and hip at present. So how do you even begin to design a user experience for an age range that your own brain has locked in dark psychological vault, leaving you with no insights to draw upon?
All joking aside, how do you creatively engage the alien-seeming mental landscape known as ages 2-4, 4-6 and 6-8? According to our eloquent panel, the biggest danger seems to be in making assumptions, cause we all know how that cliche goes. The biggest one being that children are simply shorter, smaller users. Don’t bother putting a pause button on your video player interface for the super young, cause user research shows that when a 3-year-old is ‘done’ at any point with your content…that they just run away! Buttons labeled ‘BIG’ effectively communicate making the cartoon clip of choice enlarge on screen and activate play versus the typical adult icons. In other scenarios, you don’t have to kill yourself over-thinking the UI of game play segments because children naturally just want to tap the screen as much as they possibly can. Also, if you have the money, you really need to invest in user testing. And this is an area where you don’t cut corners or hire just anyone. According to the panel, because children are such unique creatures in terms of mental processing, your “moderator can make or break the study.” Moderators for these projects have to make children feel comfortable, like they are not performing for a teacher or parent, and exhibit a near Super Nanny ability to casually draw children from distractions to re-focus on the test materials at hand.
Yep, the term “trend” is on its way out and it’s being replaced by the meme according to the guys at Rocket Boom who created http://knowyourmeme.com They spend every day tracking memes and identifying what really makes a meme sticky. So what are memes exactly? They are organic approaches to culture that have a life of their own. They spread, reproduce and replicate. Memes are a cross between fame and street cred. Most grow up on the internet, hit their stride when the NY Times covers them and then die if overexposed. Here’s some great examples from the panel of memes with staying power:
And one of my personal favs…the facepalm.
If you haven’t had them sit still enough to catch their QR code on the back of their shirts, those feisty fifty SXSurrogates running around the Austin Convention Center are from all of the different departments from within GSD&M. While they are there to learn, of course, their primary focus is to relay great information for those who couldn’t make it down to SXSW this year.
They blog, they tweet and, oh my, they like to eat in Austin. You can meet them all here. Click each individual to see what they’ve been up to so far.
With two days of Surrogating under their belt, they’ve racked up a variety of posts on our blog. Check out some of these:
Interactive doesn’t mean we can’t talk about nature. Evan covers Biomimicry.
Here Dallas talks about marketing to American Dads.
Liz recommends her favorite places around Austin to check out while you’re not in sessions.
Keri grew up in Austin along with SXSW. She discusses their 25th anniversary and music apps.
One of our Project Managers, Lauren Walker has been relating many of her panels to focus and fitness and how it all fits together. Lauren shares an important quote from the Sprinter Life Session in her post Short and Sweet. Coincidentally, she also happens to be short and sweet.
She loves to run around Town Lake. She lives here.
It’s 8 am and your email suddenly jumps from 2 unread emails to 12. How many of them are relevant and did you actually want? Ever heard of bac’n?
I hadn’t. It is the kind of email that you kind of wanted, you registered for it, but maybe youdidn’t really want it right then. Well, long story short, we need to keep our emails short and sweet and see if we can bundle them so we don’t overwhelm the consumers. I concur, I need to find a way to turn off my shopping emails when it is the end of the pay period and just have them sent to me at the beginning of the pay period when I have money to make spontaneous buying decisions.
This is definitely under the “Better World” purpose for me. Who wants to keep getting their inboxes overwhelmed with email? If we had less emails from spam and bac’n then we would have more time for better things.
The following is a brief lead-in to the work of Khoi Vinh, Design Director at NY Times.
HISTORY // Creating order is a intuitive. Go back in history and the fundamentals of creating things rely on lines/grids. The most simple objects and tools reflect this. Take the brick. A grid in it’s own right. You start piling up bricks and you create a grid system. The grid system becomes a wall, that creates order and unique societies.
LOOK AT PRINT // The basic principles of print still apply. Using the international paper standard, leverage the grids to organize your story. For the web, you can add order, continuity and most importantly, harmony with your information. Allow your audience to predict where to find information. And make it easy to add new content consistent with what you already have in place.
PROCESS BASICS // Make sure you include these steps in your process:
Research: Understand the technical, content and business constraints It’s reasonable to expect to know what you’re working with before you get started.
Prepatory Design: Use pencil sketches to try different approaches to quickly get to some ideas that may work. Use whatever form you like for this. Whether it’s pencil or Illustrator. Keep sketching to stay loose throughout. Try to do basic math calculations where you can with the space. Start with hacking away at 960×568 page. At a high level, consider the rule of thirds with 3 regions to your page. You’ve got 8 columns, which break down into 16 units.
NEXT // While anticlimactic, that’s as far as this post is going to go. But please check out these resources as you’ll find them much more compelling (and credible) in describing how to use lines and boxes.
Before the internet we found other ways to consume media like magazines or actually talking to one another. This made it simple for media to typecast individuals into groups and for a lack of a better word, would force us to use that outlet for information.
With the internet, we can consume as much or as little media from various outlets as we want. We digitally graze.
In the US, users download 18 songs per month on iTunes but only (up to) 2 songs are from one album. Think back in the day when you had to buy an album just to hear one song.
This ability to connect with what or who we want can either make us more diverse or typecast us into a certain mold. The panel on Digital Diversity was on overview of how alike and different we are on the internet but we can all be grouped in some shape or form.
The key takeaway for me was to not let the internet define who I am by my search habits and continue to seek out new information in different ways that suit me and perhaps connect me to like-minded peers along the way.