Posts tagged “ethnicity”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • UX guy complains about being crap and UX guy from responds – UX guy reprints email and then attempts to address corporate culture issue; strong opinions follow but most compelling part is the insight from the UX guy himself (known as Mr. X)

    "But—and I guess here’s the thing I most wanted to get across—simply doing a home page redesign is a piece of cake. You want a redesign? I’ve got six of them in my archives. It only takes a few hours to put together a really good-looking one, as you demonstrated in your post. But doing the design isn’t the hard part, and I think that’s what a lot of outsiders don’t really get, probably because many of them actually do belong to small, just-get-it-done organizations. But those of us who work in enterprise-level situations realize the momentum even a simple redesign must overcome, and not many, I’ll bet, are jumping on this same bandwagon. They know what it’s like."

  • Health management goes for ethnic marketing/customization: Asians and diabetes – Rice is a carbohydrate that is particularly unhealthy in large quantities for people with diabetes. That's why doctors and other health care providers are increasingly trying to develop culturally sensitive ways to treat Asians with diabetes – programs that take into account Asian diets, exercise preferences and even personality traits. "Diabetes is primarily a self-managed disease, and you have to try multiple approaches with different patients. But many of those are not culturally appropriate for Asians."

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Design Research Methods for Experience Design – Triading is a method that allows a researcher to uncover dimensions of a design space that are pertinent to its target audience. In triading, researchers present three different concepts or ideas to participants and ask them to identify how two of them are different from the third. Participants describe, in their own terms, the dimensions or attributes that differentiate the concepts. Participants follow this process iteratively—identifying additional attributes they feel distinguish two of the concepts from the third until they can’t think of any other distinguishing factors.

    The benefit of this process is that it uncovers dimensions of a particular domain that are important to the target audience rather than the researcher or designer. For example, participants may describe differences in groups as “warm” versus cold” or business-like” versus fun.” Designers can then use the most relevant or common dimensions as inspiration for further design and exploration.

  • Mapping Oakland – Mapping Oakland is a research project aimed at mapping people’s perceptions of neighborhoods and urban space within the City of Oakland. Mental maps have been used in geography to understand individual perceptions of space and place for sometime. The method has proven useful in helping geographers understand how people perceive elements within the landscape for navigational purposes and to understand the cultural value of spaces. This web site provides citizens throughout Oakland access to a survey that measures how people perceive and use public open space in the City of Oakland.
  • How ethnic groups change Oakland neighborhoods – When Robert Lemon, a UC Berkeley landscape architecture grad student, was a community planner in Columbus, Ohio, he noticed that despite the car-oriented landscape, residents of the city's Latino community, for the most part, liked to get around on foot and bicycle and, as a result, were bending the neighborhood to their collective will. Taco trucks and open-air produce markets popped up in vacant parking lots on one of the city's main shopping thoroughfares. The bicycle was a key mode of transportation even though there weren't dedicated bike lanes, and colorful murals appeared on the walls of large buildings. The neighborhood had the feel of small-town Oaxaca, the Mexican state from which many of the city's Latinos hailed.

    In California, he found similar changes occurring in Oakland's Fruitvale and Chinatown neighborhoods. He is conducting a formal survey as part of a fellowship & has gone through Oakland's diverse neighborhoods, walking up and down the streets asking questions.

FreshMeat #1: Blue Hawaii, or Viva Las Vegas

FreshMeat #1 from Steve Portigal

               (oo) Fresh                  
                \\/  Meat

Pass it on!

What is the connection between quality and authenticity?
And is it really a small world after all?
Do you ever watch other people when you go on vacation?
Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard, but I find myself
constantly curious about the people I see. Did they
choose this place for the same reasons I did? If not,
what brought them here?

This seems to be a fun exercise although it’s rare to
get any answers. It does provoke self-analysis, which if
you’re me, is a good thing to do on vacation.
I found myself in Waikiki a little while ago. It’s
totally a tourist area – a few blocks with hundreds of
hotels, surf lessons, beaches, palm trees, cafes, and
restaurants. Other parts of Hawaii are considered by
some as the “real” place to go – in fact I have to fight
the need to apologize for choosing Waikiki as my

While there, I thought a lot about previous trips to Las
Vegas, which is another area that exists solely for
tourists to come and consume manufactured tourist

Vegas is typified by the Venice casino, a recreation of
its namesake (indoors), with clouds painted on the
ceiling and gondoliers who use professional audio
equipment for their singing. To me, it’s crap. Most of
the Strip is (increasingly) this sort of crap.

In Waikiki, two guys in an SUV pull up to the beach at
6:30, then leap out clad in a brand-new bright red and
gold nylon traditional toga-like outfit (obviously, it
looks nothing like a toga, but the point is, there are
no pants to it). One takes a conch shell and stoically
blows into it three times, turning 90 degrees each time.
The other scampers around carrying a burning stick and
lights all the built-in torches along the beach.

Now, this struck me as cool. Obviously, this was
completely manufactured for tourists who want to think
they’ve had some kind of authentic Hawaiian experience.
It was goofy, but I pointed out to myself that at least
it was derived from something real. To me, this form of
revisionism seemed less dangerous, less offensive, and
less crappy than mini-versions of Paris, New York, or

Is it simply the fact that Vegas passes itself off as
opulent indulgence (successfully, it seems) that presses
so hard on the inauthentic button for me? Or is the
context of Hawaii so powerfully wonderful that no amount
of Disneyfication can eliminate it? And why is it that
the guys dressed up like Klingons at the Star Trek
Experience were the most genuine thing in all of Las

Clearly further study on these locations is required. My
current hypothesis is that it is the vacationer’s intent
(gamble, relax, indulge, party, nature-immersion, etc.)
that tints the sunglasses the appropriate shade of rose.

Postscript: If you’re interested in Hawaii from a
cultural and historical point of view, check out The
American Raj
by John Gregory Dunne, in the May 7, 01 New
Yorker. He looks at the multiple ethnic groups and
cultures (the Navy being one of them) that make up
Hawaii, and does a nice comparison of Pearl Harbor (the
event), Pearl Harbor (the movie), and the sinking of the
Japanese fishing boat by the Greenville.

Postscript 2: A recent NYT travel feature “Honolulu
Proves Clichés Can Charm
” provides more description of


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