Posts tagged “display”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Peter Booth (of Tin Horse Design) – Observing the Consumer [Eastman Innovation Lab] – Maybe this is a personal bias, but I'm often very compelled by how designers (at least, those who really "get" user research) talk about research. Because they always frame in terms of what it's good for, how it helps us make better things, they speak to many of the things I love about research, as a researcher. But people that do research don't always think about it – and thus describe it – that way.
    (via Core77)
  • A lament for the bookshelf [The Globe and Mail] – So we lose forever the pleasure known to humanity for 500 years of taking a stroll up and down the aisles of someone else’s brain by perusing their bookshelves. Gone will be the guilty joy of spending a rainy afternoon at a cottage with the remnants of someone else’s childhood: their Nancy Drews, their 1970s National Geographics. Without bookshelves, you will never know the warning signs contained in the e-reader of your handsome date – you will not know for months that he is reading The Secret and Feng Shui for Dummies, even if you stay over. You will never be able to ask, as casually as you can, “Did you like this?” as you pull down, as if fascinated, Patrick Swayze’s autobiography.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Books in the Age of the iPad [Craig Mod] – I propose the following to be considered whenever we think of printing a book
    * The Books We Make embrace their physicality — working in concert with the content to illuminate the narrative
    * The Books We Make are confident in form and usage of material
    * The Books We Make exploit the advantages of print
    * The Books We Make are built to last
    The result of this is:
    * The Books We Make will feel whole and solid in the hands
    * The Books We Make will smell like now forgotten, far away libraries
    * The Books We Make will be something of which even our children — who have fully embraced all things digital — will understand the worth
    * The Books We Make will always remind people that the printed book can be a sculpture for thoughts and ideas;Anything less than this will be stepped over and promptly forgotten in the digital march forward. Goodbye disposable books. Hello new canvases.
  • In Our Parents’ Bookshelves [The Millions] – A virtue of digital books is hey take up no space at all!—but even a megabyte seems bulky compared to what can be conveyed in the few cubic feet of a bookshelf. What other vessel is able to hold with such precision, intricacy, and economy, all the facets of your life: that you bake bread, vacationed in China, fetishize Melville, aspire to read Shakespeare, have coped with loss, and still tote around a copy of The Missing Piece as a totem of your childhood. What can a Kindle tell you about yourself or say to those who visit your house? All it offers is blithe reassurance that there is progress in the world, and that you are a part of it…To the extent that bookshelves persist, it will be in self-conscious form, as display cases filled with only the books we valued enough to acquire and preserve in hard copy. The more interesting story, the open-ended, undirected progression of a life defined by books will be lost to a digital world in which there is no such thing as time at all.

Make your hardware work for you

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A vendor in Amsterdam’s Albert Cuyp Market uses spring-loaded clips to hold together the baskets of fruit, then cleverly uses the clip handles as a place to display a fruit sample. Instead of being a negative (unsightly and potentially hurty if banged into), it now is a positive, emphasizing the appeal of what they are selling.

Related: Making do, revisited

See more of my Amsterdam pictures here.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • In Recession, Strategy Shifts for Retail – It's hard to parse this piece; it's about a lot of cost-cutting stuff that is happening in retail but the tone suggests that these are innovative ways for companies to be more responsive (better customer service? better localization of products?) and integrated (linking the in-store and online experiences?). I'm skeptical and don't believe the concluding statement that this is happening because we're not spending in stores like we used to, it's too close to the whole "innovate your way out of a recession" talk and I don't think retail is an adaptable industry to take on a frame shift like that.
  • An evolutionary perspective on what we display to others with our consumption (not clear how there's anything new here, though) – Instead of running focus groups and spinning theories,marketers could learn more by administering scientifically calibrated tests of intelligence and personality traits. If marketers understood biologists’ new calculations about animals’ “costly signaling,” they’d see that Harvard diplomas and iPhones send the same kind of signal as the ornate tail of a peacock.

    Sometimes the message is as simple as “I’ve got resources to burn,” the classic conspicuous waste demonstrated by the energy expended to lift a peacock’s tail or the fuel guzzled by a Hummer. But brand-name products aren’t just about flaunting transient wealth. The audience for our signals care more about the permanent traits measured in tests of intelligence and personality, as Dr. Miller explains in his new book, “Spent: Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behavior.”

Frames of Reference at the Zoo

A morning at the Santa Barbara zoo reveals some interesting frames and reframes.

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Donors to the zoo are “Foster Feeders”, a more nurturing and sustaining view of how cash ends up as food.

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Adding a card to a parking meter is an attempt to present the payment-for-service device as a donation opportunity. It’s a bit of a leap and maybe not the right connotation for the zoo’s purposes.

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You could pay to ride with a plastic giraffe, or you could gaze upon a real one.

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Even the benches are up for sponsorship. Here’s a plaque-hole which may simply be a lack of maintenance but gently offers the possibility of Your Name Here.

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On display at a new exhibit: Man.

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Cockroaches made all the more frightening when a puppeteer-like hand enters the frame to flip them over, pluck out the dead ones, and drop off some food.

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Everyone gets the chance to be a zoo animal!

Mixed Signals

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From a recent rental, here’s a dashboard indicator I’d never seen before. As far as I could figure out, while the car is warming up, the engine temperature light shows a green “cool” indicator. At least, it disappeared after a few minutes, so I concluded that was associated with the car warming up. We don’t want the engine to be too cold, and any indicator at all is perhaps a bad (or less good) thing, so it seemed to be a warning. But green is good, so is it good that it’s lit up? Is it good that the engine is cool? Is it bad when it goes out?

See more of my Vancouver pictures here.

Aesthetics of interactivity

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Carnaby Street kiosk, London, July 2008

In a previous post I described an interactive display that looked like a static display. Here’s a static display that looks like an interactive display, through the color palette, the type of graphics, and the use of touchable materials (such as the black rubber) from consumer electronic devices.

See more of my London and Sheffield pictures here.

Japan pictures – part 2 of 3

I’ve uploaded nearly 1300 of my Japan pictures to Flickr. For reasons I’m sure you’ll understand, I haven’t added titles or tags or descriptions proactively, but please add comments or questions on flickr and I’ll gladly offer a story or explanation.

Meanwhile, I’m including some of my faves here, as well as part 1 and part 3.

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Safeway Update

A quick update on the lame hand-wipe station at Safeway (blogged earlier here) – an unattractive display that cleans hands (not cart handles), and doesn’t really address the perceived problem.

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It’s been shoved further against the wall, the container for the wipes is sitting open, and is empty.

Add neglect to the problem, I guess.

Why is this digital?

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This restroom-last-cleaned-at status box is a digital device that replaces a familiar paper version. I’m not totally clear what the function of this has been: enforce compliance by employees who are responsible for doing the cleaning, remind the public that (appearance notwithstanding) the institution does indeed care about restroom cleanliness?

How does making it digital improve the performance? Is it the meaning of digital (to the public, or the monitored staff?) or the usability of the technology (one button press replaces writing by hand?) or the affordances of the technology (networked data tracking to look for patterns over time/location?)…

Familiar categories; different context

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In California, gas stations usually show three prices: regular, mid-grade, and premium. Sometimes diesel is shown. Even if there is small text to explain what those prices refer to, we mostly go off of familiarity, knowing what each box in sequence is telling us.

This sign from a Speedway station in western Michigan uses a fourth slot to indicate price for another item: cigarettes. Gas stations and smokes seem to go together better in MI than in CA.

Worse than the Y2K problem

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Reminiscent of the Y2K technology problems, some older gas pumps don’t allow prices to be set about $3.00. Station owners are turning away customers or have state permission to display only the cents portion of the price.

Series

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