Posts from 2010

First Autistic Presidential Appointee Speaks Out

Go, Ari.

In December, he [Ari Ne’eman] was nominated by President Obama to the National Council on Disability (NCD), a panel that advises the President and Congress on ways of reforming health care, schools, support services and employment policy to make society more equitable for people with all forms of disability.

And Ari’s open call to those of us who work in technology:

If we put one-tenth of the money currently spent on looking for causes and cures into developing technologies that enable autistic people with speech challenges to communicate more easily — so-called augmentative and alternative communication [AAC] — we’d have a vast improvement in the quality of life for autistic people and their family members.

Avoiding the Uncanny Valley of Interface Design

From Francisco Inchauste, on the topic of UI that imitates realism:

It is so easy to love a certain effect and want to use that everywhere. Not all projects need to have the selections sitting on a perfectly lit wooden bookshelf. On one hand we want to be creative and make something that is appealing and can sell the product. On the other side we have to question the cost of that approach on the experience itself and balance style and function with purpose.

The Future of Self-service Banking

Spotted this link to an intriguing ATM prototype experiment by BBVA in the comments on Khoi Vihn’s post on ATM design

ATMs were first introduced over 40 years ago and since then many features have been incrementally added to the machines, in order to fulfill the dream of a truly “automated teller”. Modern ATMs offer a wide range of banking transactions; nevertheless the actual interaction has remained largely untouched.

My Measures & Dimensions

I just discovered an iPhone app named My Measures & Dimensions that lets you take any photo and quickly draw dimensions on top of objects or spaces in the photo. Typically, I use a piece of scrap paper for this, and end up forgetting to bring it with me when I need it. After photos are marked up with measurements, they can be emailed to anyone, or added to the iPhone’s photo library.

So far, this app seems incredibly useful for several purposes. I’m using it to quickly record the measurements of rooms in our house. It’s also handy to note the dimensions of some bookshelves in our daughter’s room, so we’ll know what can fit inside. I can easily imagine several other uses too. Here’s a direct link to My Measures in the iTunes Store.

Hovers (and power users) still have a healthy future

Ryan Singer on the power of hover states and non-tablet computers:

But to the geeky or trained, the desktop is a fount of power and speed. Documents are side by side, text flies from here to there, IMs are answered and dismissed, mockups reloaded, batches processed, all with tiny movements of the fingers. For those of us who work all day on computers, touch interfaces are not an impending disruption.

Better Screen, Same Typography

Khoi Vinh on Apple’s lack of full commitment to excellent typography, despite creating oft-superior devices seemingly capable of perfection:

Steve Jobs’ vision for Apple, repeated in yesterday’s keynote address, posits that the company operates at the intersection between technology and the liberal arts. I think it’s reasonable to regard fine typography as falling within that mandate, but unfortunately, they are falling short of that promise. Building a great display for typography without building great typographic tools is a dereliction of duty.

The Death of Depth: Less and Less of More and More

Good article on attention spans and what’s affecting them.

As any experienced meditator knows, the mind has a mind of its own. Left free to wander, that’s just what it will do. When we manage the infinite demands on our attention by trying to juggle them all, we literally weaken our capacity for absorbed focus.

SFpark

Concept sounds good. But I’m concerned about more people checking their phones while driving in the city.

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