Monthly Archives: May 2008

Not for Climbing use

climing hook as a keyring as a climbing hookSome of my friends started using climbing hooks as a key rings – back in the ’90s.

The same object is now a key ring only. The usage changes the function of the same object.

Moreover, the object prevents future mis-use: you can read NOT FOR CLIMBING USE on one side of the hook. I’m sure it’s fore safety reason (materials are different, I reckon). Is this a good example of a misleading cultural affordance? And what happens when the object is used for other purposes (e.g. fixing a net to a pole, to create an improvised goal)?

On a similar note: what does the CHINA mark mean, if visually connected to the alert written on the hook?

note to myself

from mass media to mess media to mash media

fostering participation and business rules

A couple of weeks ago I watched an Icelandic movie (Noi Albinoi; AKA Noi the Albino ), and I was really impressed by one of the most trivial scenes of the movie.

To make it short: Nói (the main character) get into the coffee of the local gas station (where Iris works as a waitress) and asks for something to drink. Normal – so far.
Then Iris asks Noi if he wants to drink it in the coffee or take it away. Again, this is really common in places such as Starbucks and similar.
The surprise is that in this case the juice is actually cheaper if the customer drinks it in.Iris

Subverting the “eat in / take away” balance has an economic reason: the juice bottle has a cost, and drinking it inside the coffee means the possibility to have it back.
But it also has a social reason, or at least a social consequence: it invites people drinking inside. The rule becomes one of the factors to spark a bit of “social life” into the bar (much needed, if you work at the coffee of a gas station in a remote fishing village in western Iceland).

Fostering participation is a difficult stuff. It involves environment design, a consistent conception of every touchpoint, a content to share, a great work on identity and trust, but also strong business rules: everything should row in the same direction. That’s the experience design, I guess.

Cognitive surplus…now I know why I’m writing here

because I have a lot of cognitive surplus to share with all of you. Or maybe just with myself

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What’s the gin in these days? How can we dissipate our will to actively contribute? LOLCATZ? youtube videos?
In my case it’s been GoogleReader, at least for the last year: I subscribed to tons of blogs, sitting at my desk and just waiting passively new posts to be captured with the powerful RSS tool.

(via Influx Insights)

Mental Models Workshop!

The "Mental Models" book coverAs you know I am reading Mental Models. I find the book pretty interesting, as it gives a different way we can give shape to user research findings; it’s time to use something more complete and insightful than Personas (I’ll try to explain why in a future post). However I had some trouble with the book when it comes to detail practical aspects of the M.M creation. As it’s common, a book can’t completely spread knowledge on practical and “tacit” skills, even if there are a lot of resources available on the site.

BUT….. Hooray!!! Indi Young will be in Brighton for a full-day workshop. Chances are I’ll be able to attend.

Can’t wait.