Sensemaking is the active conversation we have with the events that we encounter; it’s our ability to take in information, process it, and derive meaning and action from it.
Children can swipe a screen but can't use toy building blocks, teachers warn
"Teachers talk of students who come into their classrooms having spent most of the previous night playing computer games and their attention spans are so limited they might as well not be there," Kinney said.

"I've spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks – or pupils who can't socialise with other pupils, but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone."
technology  education 
What America’s internal migration tells us about the death of the mall, and the brand
Two themes being talked about in retail lately are the death of the mall, and the decline of logo-centric fashion. Both malls and (to some extent) the obsession with logos emerged in the first place due to the rise of the suburbs. Suburban developments were in many cases built around shopping malls, and the homogeneity of the suburbs created a mentality that “resulted in group think and concentration of brand interest,” Piper Jaffray argues. This environment helped logo-centric brands like Abercrombie and Fitch prosper.
2 days ago
Why Users Fill Out Less If You Mark Required Fields
If you want more users to fill out the optional fields on your form, avoid marking required fields and mark optional ones only.
forms  ux 
2 days ago
Building The Next Pixar
"Business is just an idea, like a movie," says Slatcher. "What if we did this in this place at this time, in this style of packaging, with this choice of flavors? Would it work? There's still a back and forth between creative and the audience, and you can't be like 'if I build it, they will come.' No, we're in a democratic world where everyone has opinions. If you're making your cartoon and your joke's not funny, it's just not funny, it has to go. If people don't like a flavor, they're right, we're not right."
2 days ago
Shipping an Empty Box - UX in the Enterprise
The fact is that a small team of designers and programmers with the authority to define the UX of a product will accomplish more in less time with less money than a typical dev team.
process  ux 
3 days ago
Mapping User Journeys Using Visual Languages
You can use an existing, real-world framework and reapply it to create usable journey maps. These analysis tools add value. Even people who haven’t been exposed to the frameworks before can gain lots of insights from them. As awareness of this technique grows, it is my hope that the use of these usable frameworks will become widely accepted in the industry.
3 days ago
Maybe the Voice of the Customer Isn’t
You know what makes someone a promoter? Behavior, not intention. Action, not voice.
voc  NPS 
3 days ago
Why 'lean data' beats big data
The dirty secret of big data is that no algorithm can tell you what's significant, or what it means. Data then becomes another problem for you to solve. A lean data approach suggests starting with questions relevant to your business and finding ways to answer them through data, rather than sifting through countless data sets.
bigdata  lean 
3 days ago
The Poetry of the Trading Floor, Going Beyond Bears and Bulls
For the trading floor is the last true home of the last true poets, huddled together.
language  finance 
4 days ago
It Doesn't Matter Whether Or Not You Like Your Open Office
In fact, we found that people in relatively open environments tended to have dramatically better interaction patterns than those in relatively enclosed workplaces--like response times that were twice as fast--while those in relatively enclosed environments had only modestly fewer distractions (in-person distractions may very well have shifted to email distractions).
4 days ago
The State of In-Car UX
There’s certainly some hope on the horizon with Apple and Google, though just how good these systems will be remains to be seen. One thing is clear, though: the current state of all in-car experiences is incredibly bad. For those manufacturers looking to go it alone, I don’t expect much.
automotive  ux 
7 days ago
Avoiding #RWD Limbo
Do we still have “ideas” in a world where preset patterns have proliferated? The Rule secretly did something really, really well: It provided the designer a safe zone to explore. In that space, a work-in-progress experience was more malleable. Risks could be taken. Ideas became conversation starters. “Skinning” a wireframe was never an option. Instead, the Rule incubated an honest evolution of the wireframe. Uninterrupted space to think meant room to grow ideas.
rwd  wireframing 
7 days ago
We Talk Letterpress And Design With Oddly Correct Coffee Roasters In Kansas City
My mission in life, I think, is to make people feel something. I’m more interested in staff being kind and engaging with people coming through the door than being psyched about coffee. I mean, it has to be both, but because coffee has a tendency to be pretentious on the surface — like you almost expect it to be “hipsters” doing some weird thing with coffee — well, if you can engage people with kindness and information and art beyond that, I think its a beautiful thing. It’s totally disarming to both the weird art world and the weird coffee world. I feel like we have a fun opportunity to engage people where they’re at.
7 days ago
What VC’s Are Missing in a Rising World of Smartphones
I’m not saying the US isn’t central to the future of innovation, entrepreneurship, or venture investing. It will be. I’m not saying these new giants will ignore us. They won’t. I am saying that the world is changing dramatically, and ideas, innovation, entrepreneurial excellence, market power and investment prowess is now being unleashed bottom-up, everywhere.
7 days ago
Prioritising service requirements with the Kano model
The user requirements are classified by a customised questionnaire. The questionnaire is best used in a structured interview with existing or potential users of the service.
kano  prioritization 
7 days ago
'Gods' Make Comeback at Toyota as Humans Steal Jobs From Robots
Inside Toyota Motor Corp.’s oldest plant, there’s a corner where humans have taken over from robots in thwacking glowing lumps of metal into crankshafts. This is Mitsuru Kawai’s vision of the future.
“We need to become more solid and get back to basics, to sharpen our manual skills and further develop them,” said Kawai, a half century-long company veteran tapped by President Akio Toyoda to promote craftsmanship at Toyota’s plants. “When I was a novice, experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything.”
toyota  craft  robots 
7 days ago
How politics makes us stupid
Perhaps there are some kinds of debates where people don’t want to find the right answer so much as they want to win the argument. Perhaps humans reason for purposes other than finding the truth — purposes like increasing their standing in their community, or ensuring they don’t piss off the leaders of their tribe. If this hypothesis proved true, then a smarter, better-educated citizenry wouldn’t put an end to these disagreements. It would just mean the participants are better equipped to argue for their own side.
8 days ago
Has web design become too slick?
Some argue for or against these new trends, but each design needs to be built to spec for the experience you or your clients need. Are you after a one-time story or do you need people to return to a comfortable chair day after day?
design  trends 
8 days ago
Our Technology and Theirs
Of course, we can and do pursue relationships of love, friendship, and work in ways that digital firms can’t sell. These relationships, however, represent too much value for tech companies to allow them to remain off the grid for long. They want to know who is important to us and why, and what we talk about. They find ways to insert themselves into these conversations with suggestions about what topics, brands, and other people we ought to include. They encourage us to check out this bar over that one and to tell others that we are there in hopes they might join us, generating viral growth for both the bar and the platform that publishes the updates.
technology  society 
8 days ago
Why UPS Trucks Don't Turn Left
UPS engineers found that left-hand turns were a major drag on efficiency. Turning against traffic resulted in long waits in left-hand turn lanes that wasted time and fuel, and it also led to a disproportionate number of accidents. By mapping out routes that involved "a series of right-hand loops," UPS improved profits and safety while touting their catchy, environmentally friendly policy. As of 2012, the right turn rule combined with other improvements -- for the wow factor, UPS doesn't separate them out -- saved around 10 million gallons of gas and reduced emissions by the equivalent of taking 5,300 cars of the road for a year.
8 days ago
Fearing Punishment for Bad Genes - NYTimes.com
Many people at risk of serious inherited diseases would like to know if they carry the genes, yet fear a positive result could be used against them.
10 days ago
Railways and WhatsApp
Hence the problem with disrupting mobile networks with new radical technology: the notional efficiency gain tends to get buried by the rest of the underlying economics of the system, all of which you need to build just the same. 
10 days ago
The Power of Milestones
The concept that I’m talking here about here, and that I encourage teams to emphasize, is the power of milestones representing actual value.  Things that matter to the business.  Things that represent outcome not just output.  Milestones aren’t about dates; in fact most don’t have an associated date.  Rather, they are about results.
11 days ago
The myth of the endless ladder
My argument is not that it’s impossible that we’ll soon be blessed with vast new sectors of good, middle-class jobs. The world’s complicated, and no one knows what the future’s going to bring. My argument is that we can’t take it as a given that that’s going to happen—and we certainly can’t assume that machines have the best interests of workers at heart. Ultimately, it’s a virtuous cycle—except when it’s a vicious one.
11 days ago
Death Rays
These tragedies go to the core of an issue as pressing as it is uncomfortable to think about: Have advances in technology, improved treatment methods and more comprehensive screening protocols led to systematic, excessive irradiation of patients?
13 days ago
4 economic facts that say “bootstrap now”
Whether you’re at a profit-generating business and making do on the scraps left over after the C-suite and the stock market take their cut…

Or you’re raking it in, relatively speaking, thanks to your high-tech salary at a venture-backed startup…

…you’re on your own.
13 days ago
Readability of the New Nutrition Label
Nutrition labels have looked the same for decades. But the FDA plans to redesign them to make them easier to read. By comparing the old and new nutrition labels, you can see why the new design is faster to scan and easier on the eyes.
readability  design 
13 days ago
Nest’s Smoke Alarm Stumble Is a UI Lesson for Everybody
One of the device’s key features was that you could wave at it to turn it off. Turns out, sometimes people wave their arms around when there’s a fire in the house, too. Thus, as CEO Tony Fadell put it, “This could delay the alarm going off if there was a real fire.” Oops.
nest  ui 
14 days ago
How to Deliver More Software Projects On Time
Set hard deadlines. Manage to them compassionately. Seek ways to cut scope and do fast follows. And have the trust in your engineering leadership when they tell you that the date is unrealistic and must be changed.
15 days ago
Face is not the Future
Zuckerberg’s biggest strength is his willingness to adjust and adapt, as seen by Facebook’s mobile pivot. This acquisition, though, suggests that pivot was rooted more in a response to the facts on the ground than it was in a fundamental appreciation of why smartphones are the best bicycle yet, and that makes me pessimistic.
19 days ago
Lean startup is like a sine wave
You create an experiment and learn. Then your learning curve starts to flatten. You need to absorb and interpret your data. You need to make decisions and put your decisions into action. And then at that point you are ready to start a learning cycle again. Out of the building, then inside the building, then outside again. Learn, build, measure, learn, rinse repeat.
19 days ago
Design for the Real World
“Should I design it to be functional or to be aesthetically pleasing?” This is the most heard, the most understandable, and the most mixed-up question in design today. “Do you want it to look good, or to work?” Barricades erected between what are really just two of the many aspects of function. It is all quite simple: aesthetic value is an inherent part of function.
design  aesthetics 
19 days ago
Super normal
I specifically quoted Morin’s advice about ‘the familiar fading away’ and ‘delight’ because it is not in line with what happens when you encounter a Super Normal object without context. If an object is well-designed, or even perfectly designed, equipped with the essentials, it will generally not produce delight and surprise.

Instead, it will seem correct. It will not annoy; it will be trusted, and it will be often used. But the key to Super Normal objects is their utility is complete and perfect, and thus they will be thoughtlessly, easily used. If you own a Super Normal object, you likely feel a deep fondness for it.
design  simplicity  minimalism  philosophy 
19 days ago
New roles for technology
People, companies and governments find it hard to discuss the ultimate goals of technological change in the abstract. The great insight of Asimov et al was that it is easier to ask such questions when the technology is personified: when you can look it in the face. Like spacefarers gazing back at the home planet, robots can serve not just as workers and partners, but as purveyors of new perspectives—not least when the people looking at them see the robots looking back, as they one day will, with something approaching understanding.
robots  future 
19 days ago
Designing for the lowest common denominator
So why are we still designing for one type of user? Why can't I, as a power user that has a powerful 27” computer, enjoy the previous Facebook UI with the glorious images and large typography? I'd definitely use it more.
facebook  design 
20 days ago
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