Posts tagged “frog design”

Out and About: Steve in Lisbon (1 of 2)

Last week I went to Lisbon to speak at UX Lx (you can see my presentations and more here). We had a great time exploring the city on our own, and courtesy of our kindly hosts. I’ve got some images and observations here, and some more to come tomorrow.

This sign is advertising one of those small bright yellow cars that tourists drive around while a recording guides them from place to place. But here the promotional message is rather ribald. Is this reflective of the local culture and how English is used, or is it an attempt to adapt to visitor norms? My other triangulation point was the frequent t-shirts with rather forward sayings in English, worn by people that maybe didn’t know what they meant? I saw a slender woman jogging with a “Chubby Girls Cuddle Better.” A late-middle-aged man on the subway wore a shirt reading “Rock Out With Your Cock Out.” There was just something off about the wearer and the message, seeing my own culture coming back at me in a completely different way. Was this like Engrish, or something else?

Same idea. This is an advertisement for learning English, from the prestigious-sounding “Wall Street Institute” presumably targeting people who want to improve their careers. But FUCK (and the other side, SHIT) are the reference points for learning English. For sure, these are important words in business 🙂

The reliefs in the base of the statue of St. Anthony.

Friendly key dudes.

Do they sell each of those animals as meat?

Is this frog flashing a gang sign, or suggesting his availability for romance?

Funiculars traverse the steep hills.

Stunning architecture of the Oriente train station.

Nothing says sexy like toilet paper.

At the Vasco de Gama mall, this staircase used the same handrail as the escalator. As you approached it, you’d assume you were about to get on an escalator. But no, it’s stairs. Did some architect insist on symmetry with the design of the adjacent escalator?

Rossio train station.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] The Art of Design Research (and Why It Matters) [design mind] – [Lovely piece by Jon Freach on what design research brings to design and innovation.] And sometimes design teams don't have the patience to see the value in dragging out a study in an effort to make it scientifically or statistically significant. We're just not wired that way; we prefer to make and experiment and then analyze later. So what is research good for? 1. Learning about people's behavior; 2. Understanding and analyzing culture; 3. Defining context; 4. Setting focus…Design research is not "a science" and is not necessarily "scientific." It gives designers and clients a much more nuanced understanding of the people for whom they design while providing knowledge that addresses some of the most fundamental questions we face throughout the process. What is the correct product or service to design? What characteristics should it have, and is it working as intended? "The research" won't necessarily provide cold hard answers. But it will generate some good and feasible ideas.
  • [from steve_portigal] CBS Radio Tells Its D.J.’s to Name Titles and Artists [] – [Tying together the fortunes of radio and record sales?] Last week the head of a major radio company felt compelled to instruct its programmers to identify more of the songs played on the air, by title and artist name…at some indeterminate point in history ­ the mid-1980s ­ song identification began to vanish from the air as programmers struggled to squeeze out anything considered “clutter.” “You were always conscious about the amount of talk you would put on,” he said. “But the truth is that people tune in and tune out, and it was probably underestimated at the time how much people really wanted that information.” For record companies, having a song’s title and artist’s name mentioned on the air ­ especially if new and unfamiliar ­ is crucial marketing…“At one point in our culture there were well-schooled retailers who could help people figure out what that song was, because they wanted to buy it,” said Greg Thompson, VP at EMI Music. “In this day and age that doesn’t exist.”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Mobile Mandate: Tribute to Cultural Connectors [design mind] – [frogdesign's Kate Canales and Lauren Serota adventure in Zambia revealed some crucial truths about accessing other cultures. As much as I'm advocate for having my mind blown as an outsider, the importance of the bridge – the people who can help you make sense of it all – is paramount] As we traveled with her, she grew to truly understand why we were there and could see we were missing pieces. She found opportunities to fill those gaps, taking time to explain things to us and immerse us in the culture..We were reminded that if you are open to it, you can learn as much from insightful people like Lister as you can through days of fielding. More than that, she might have been our most powerful in-field synthesis tool. A sounding board for questions, validations, curiosities and stories. There's not much better than having multiple observations tied together in an understandable way by someone native to the culture.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre: WORST. NAME. EVER. [] – Live Nation's announcement that they were renaming the Ford Amphitheatre the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre is the ugliest naming rights agreement of the past 20 years. It's worse than the Bowl. It's worse than the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. It's worse than University of Phoenix Stadium. It's worse than the Comfort Dental Amphitheatre. By now, everyone has to understand that naming rights and sponsorship deals are an immutable aspect of society. Corporate sponsorships make possible many things that consumers take for granted.Ford's naming rights deal is over, and the Amphitheatre needed a new title sponsor. The Florida-based lawyer referral service 1-800-ASK-GARY was willing to pony up the cash, and for good reason — the next time Toby Keith or Kings of Leon or Aerosmith launches a summer tour that inclues Tampa, the announcement will include the phone number "1-800-ASK-GARY." But … but … Aesthetically. Thematically. Visually. It's awful.
  • [from steve_portigal] frogMob – frogdesign using social networking to gather data (or insights, they don’t seem sure which is which) – [If I get past the horrifyingly shortsighted copy "All photos and insights due back within one week"; "trend scrape"; "anyone can be an ethnographer for an hour" I think this is pretty fun and interesting and of course framed as an "experiment"] frogMob is based on the idea that anyone can be an ethnographer for an hour, just by paying a little more attention to the world around them. A frogMob is a trend scrape that gathers a quick visual pulse on behaviors, trends and artifacts globally. We publish the call to action on a select topic and gather original photography and stories that describe how products are used globally. The methodology and spirit of frogMob lend themselves to open collaboration. frogMob builds on the trend of using social media to run research studies, and the ability of these tools to conduct research remotely. This is where the experiment really begins.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Interaction designer Oliver Bayley's blog about 3 months in a wheelchair while recovering from a snowboarding accident – The soap dispenser and sink were co-located so no problems there. But next I needed to dry my hands. Looking around I discovered that the paper towel dispenser was on the opposite wall from the sink. In order to get to it I had to maneuver my wheelchair, which meant grabbing the grips on the wheels with wet hands. Doing this felt very disjointed and somewhat unsanitary. I was immediately struck by the apparent lack of consideration for wheelchair bound patrons of this restroom within a hospital.
  • A designer from frogdesign has her first mammogram and reflects on the experience – Two images came to me as I stood half naked responding to the technician’s requests to hold perfectly still — the first was the entwined bodies of two dancers from an article on choreographer Alonzo King that is currently featured in the design mind Motion issue, so compelling in their unity, singularity and flexibility; and the second was my daughter smiling and dancing with a sculpture at Maymont Park in Virginia — the cold stone made warm from its wave form and her delight in its human character.
  • Designer Debbie Millman goes to the beauty salon and reflects on life and aging – As I navigate through these fears, I realize that after all the years of wanting, after all the years of feeling bad about who I was and where I was and what I had, I have recently come to the realization that I don’t want life to end. Ever. And though I grimace when I look at myself naked and I have given up trying to read the small type on a menu, I want to do want to continue to get older. So what, I am nearly 50. Big deal. Whether I am fat or thin, rich or poor or with more hair on my face than I have on my head, with each observation, with each day piled high on top of another, I am reminded that I still get to be right here as it all continues to unfold in front of me.

And what about the frog?

In the The Wired 40 I was intrigued to see

2005 Rank: 22
Singapore-based Flex-tronics pioneered outsourced electronics manufacturing for blue-chip customers like Motorola and Nortel. Now the sprawling company wants to own another link in the value chain: product design.

Pardon? Flextronics already bought and then sold frogdesign.


Seems like Wired is playing kinda loose (if not completely off the mark) with their glib faux-analysis.


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