Posts tagged “baggage”

ChittahChattah Quickies

Dry your eyes with an eBay for the broken-hearted [Telegraph] – There’s an interesting idea here; I’m not sure exactly why this sort of items deserve their own ecommerce site; is the narrative sufficiently appealing for buyers and sellers to replace an established player like eBay? I’d suggest they get their story straight, the site says “Never Liked It Anyway is a place where once loved gifts from once loved partners get a second chance.” If the gifts were indeed once-loved then the site’s title is not very accurate. Or maybe this is something I’d have to be a woman to understand.

The bride ditched at the altar hardly wants to save her wedding dress for a later date, while angry ex-wives are unlikely to keep the diamond earrings from a cheating husband. How about selling off those expensive gifts? A new website,, is helping dumped girlfriends and jilted brides get emotional closure – and a bit of cash to ease their heartbreak. The global site, set up by New York business consultant Annabel Acton, 28, is an eBay for the broken-hearted. Users upload an image, description and “break-up price” for their item, as well as a sob story of how they came to be getting shot of it online. From engagement rings and wedding dresses to the detritus of a cancelled wedding day, spurned women are flocking to sell their unwanted goods.

Find puppy love (cats too) through Meet Your Match [AP] – As Internet dating tips fully from losers-last-refuge to lovers-log-on, it becomes a metaphor, albeit a tortured one, for other types of services. Weren’t we screening for a good match in adopting pets a long time ago? Sounds like they have streamlined the approach, but the idea is probably strong enough to stand on its own without leveraging online dating. Although maybe that’s the journalist looking for a V-Day angle?

Meet Your Match was designed by Emily Weiss, vice president of shelter research and development for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Potential adopters answer 19 questions on subjects such as whether they want a playful or laid-back pet, how their animal will spend its days and how they will spend together time with their new dog or cat. For the pet evaluation, animals are put in a room in front of a camera. Staff members watch how quickly they settle, lie down, curl up and what else they choose to do. They watch the animals play and interact. People and pets are assigned a color – green, orange or purple – and one of three categories in each color category.

Dogs are watched for friendliness, playfulness, energy level, motivation and drive. A dog might be a laid-back couch potato, a curious busy bee or an action hero go-getter, Weiss said. Green is for dogs who like to be physically and mentally engaged, orange for middle-of-the-road dogs who enjoy regular activity and interaction, and purple for dogs who are easygoing, Cats who test green thrive on adventurous, carnival-style living. Orange is for go-with-the-flow pets, while purples require a less exciting, library-like home where they can be nothing more than a love bug, Weiss explained.

Merope Lolis tested at the ASPCA’s Adoption Center as a good fit for a purple love bug – a cat that would be on its own much of the day. But she fell in love with a beautiful calico cat before realizing that it was a “frisky cat who was going to need lots of attention when I wasn’t available. I found that information to be very useful to me,” Lolis said.

Jevons paradox [Wikipedia] – These counter-intuitive principles are handy to collect as frequent reminders that the world is a complex system of complex systems, and our presumptions about interventions leading to predictable outcomes are hopelessly naive.

The proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • FitFlops – the FlipFlop with the Gym Built In – What we girls really need is something like a flip flop that tones and trims our legs while we run errands. We have no free time…We Want a Workout While We Walk!” FitFlop midsoles incorporate patent-pending microwobbleboard ™ technology, to give you a workout while you walk. One woman reported feeling like she’d had a ‘bum-blasting’ workout after a half an hour of FitFlop-shod walking.

    (Thanks to CPT!)

  • Love Land, first sex theme park in China closed before construction completed – Photographs showed workers pulling down a pair of white plastic legs and hips that appear to be the bottom half of a giant female mannequin towering over the park entrance. The mannequin is wearing a red G-string. The park manager, Lu Xiaoqing, had planned to have on hand naked human sculptures, giant models of genitals, sex technique “workshops” and a photography exhibition about the history of sex. The displays would have included lessons on safe sex and the proper use of condoms. Mr. Lu told China Daily that the park was being built “for the good of the public.” Love Land would be useful for sex education, he said, and help adults “enjoy a harmonious sex life.”
  • Air Traveler Satisfaction Goes Up? Look Beyond The Data – The airline business scored 64 out of 100 in the first quarter of this year, a 3.2% increase over the same period a year ago. Airlines were still among the lowest-scoring businesses in the index, which measured customer satisfaction with the products or services of hotels, restaurants and 14 other sectors. Full-service restaurants scored highest at 84. Airlines scored far below their own index high of 72, achieved in 1994. "It certainly looks like most of these increases, if not all, are due to lower passenger load," says Claes Fornell, professor of business at the University of Michigan and index founder, noting that the recession has kept many Americans from traveling. The lower number of passengers "means more seat availability, shorter lines, more on-time arrival, fewer lost bags, and all that probably adds up to a slightly higher level of satisfaction." He noted that a reduction in the number of flights offered could erase the slight gains achieved in passenger satisfaction.

Benchmark, Mockup, and Prototype

Fast Company describes how Alaska Airlines has been redesigning their check-in environment. Some nice bits of process to note

White assembled a team of employees from across the company to design a better system. It visited theme parks, hospitals, and retailers to see what it could learn. It found less confusion and shorter waits at places where employees were available to direct customers. “Disneyland is great at this,” says Jeff Anderson, a member of White’s skunk works. “They have their people in all the right places.”

The team began brainstorming lobby ideas. At a Seattle warehouse, it built mock-ups, using cardboard boxes for podiums, kiosks, and belts. It tested a curved design, one resembling a fishbone, and one with counters placed at 90-degree angles to each other. It built a small prototype in Anchorage to test systems with real passengers and Alaska employees.

It appears that Alaska had some obvious (and shared) design goals: increase throughput and reduce confusion. There’s a whole class of environmental redesign projects where the goals aren’t as clear. In those cases, there’s some generative research needed to understand what aspects of the overall experience could and should be different.


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