“Ill-defined problems, short project schedules, and a lack of patience are common conditions in design, and these can often lead to poor solutions. Doing research demands being comfortable with ambiguity in the early stages of a project in order to attain eventual clarity. This usually occurs through a process of synthesis—cutting the raw data down to size to find patterns and themes. It is this clarity that can enable a designer to focus on the right part of the problem at the right time in the right way. “But what should we focus on?” is one of the most common questions in the business. Even the legendary Charles Eames expressed a similar sentiment when asked about the boundaries of design. He responded, “What are the boundaries of problems?”—The Art of Design Research (and Why It Matters) - Atlantic Mobile
“It needs saying that Kafka’s books are, among other things, funny, sentimental, and in their own way, yea-saying. I am so weary of the serious Kafka, the pessimist Kafka. Kafkaesque has become synonymous with the machinations of anonymous bureaucracy- but, of course, Kafka was a satirist (ironist, exaggerator) of the bureaucratic, and not an organ of it. Because of this mischaracterization, Kafka’s books have a tendency to be jacketed in either black, or in some combination of colors I associate with socialist realism, constructivism, or fascism- i.e. black, beige and red. Part of the purpose of this project for me, was to let some of the sunlight back in.”—JACKET MECHANICAL: Kafka
“Language is communication, and my father was fastidious about it. Often when we got into particularly deep conversations, he’d pause and continue the rest of the discussion in written form where he could distill his thoughts into a sharp crystalline relief.”—
Please note the ridiculous typo on the front cover, which in effect, re-titles one of the most important books of the 20th century. I just noticed this today May 15, 2007, more than 4 years after this redesigned cover first hit the bookshelves.
The correct title is “A History of Western Philosophy.”
I wonder if Lord Russell would have been ‘philosophical’ about this? “Mr. Russell, the graphic designer thinks the title works better on the cover this way: ‘A’ would hurt the rag, ‘The’ works much better.”
I am now sitting in my office, with my chin resting on my fist, thinking about the thousands of philosophy students who have read this book and NOT noticed this. Quick, pick up a copy before they do.
The reasons for the shift are economic as well as cultural, most people in these professions agree. Managed care took a bite out of therapists’ incomes in the 1990s. Psychiatry, the most male-dominated corner of therapy, increasingly turned to drug treatments. And as women entered the work force in greater numbers, they proved to be more drawn to the talking cure than men — in giving the treatment as well as in receiving it.
“Usually women get blamed when a profession loses status, but in this case the trend started first, and men just evacuated,” said Dorothy Cantor, a former president of American Psychological Association who conducted a landmark study of gender and psychology in 1995. “Women moved up into the field and took their place.”.
What I’m trying to get at is a sense that cataloging is a bit like case law: special cataloging rules apply in even the most specific of situations. Just take a quick glance at some of the documentation on cataloging rules for a sense of that. It’s incredible. As a librarian friend of mine once said, “Some catalogers like it hard.”
…The tricky part about digital humanities is that its lifeblood is in the details. For example, this section from the Tillett paper I mentioned earlier looked at the relationship between precision and recall:
"Studies … looked at precision and recall, demonstrating that the two are inversely related — greater recall means poorer precision and greater precision means poorer recall — high recall being the ability to retrieve everything that relates to a search request from the database searched, while precision is retrieving only those relevant to a user."
It’s a huge step to sacrifice detail (hence, precision) in favor of recall. But, perhaps that’s the step we need, as long as recall can elicit precision, if asked. Certainly in the case of computers, the less fiddly the special cases, the more straightforward it is to make a match.
I was especially delighted by Hoover’s observation that, although girls are more likely to say, “I’m sorry,” they are actually far less sorry when they make a mistake than boys who don’t say it, but are “in the doghouse” for a long time. This dramatizes the ritual nature of many women’s apologies. How often is a woman who is “always apologizing” seen as weak and lacking in confidence? In fact, for many women, saying “I’m sorry” often doesn’t mean “I apologize.” It means “I’m sorry that happened.”
Like many of the rituals common among women, it’s a way of speaking that takes into account the other person’s point of view. It can even be an automatic conversational smoother. For example, you left your pad in someone’s office; you knock on the door and say, “Excuse me, I left my pad on your desk,” and the person whose office it is might reply, “Oh, I’m sorry. Here it is.” She knows it is not her fault that you left your pad on her desk; she’s just letting you know it’s okay.
“It should come as no surprise that some members of this group perceive the world as equal opportunity: they are already on the field, playing with each other, not realizing that they’ve put barriers up around the field that make it difficult for others to participate.”—FarukAt.eş
“Questions about whether design is necessary or affordable are quite beside the point: design is inevitable. The alternative to good design is bad design, not no design at all. Everyone makes design decisions all the time without realizing it—like Moliere’s M. Jourdain who discovered he had been speaking prose all his life—and good design is simply the result of making these decisions consciously, at the right stage, and in consultation with others as the need arises.”—from Book Design: A Practical Introduction, by Douglas Martin
“Now we’re really moving away from established user interface patterns. Would you notice the arrows? Would you understand what they mean? Would you try to click them? The arrows convey lots of information: they tell you that the section can be expanded, and once expanded, how tall it will be and where it will be placed. These arrows also present a much bigger click target than the previous arrows, which is good. But they still don’t look like a button. (They go grey when you hover over them, but it’s not obvious.)”—
If we’ve learned anything from Facebook’s many redesign and privacy fiascoes, it’s that major overhauls of large websites don’t go over well. [Digg] tried to launch way too many things all at once, and the result was a buggy platform that frightened users.
There’s a reason there isn’t Twitter version 4. or Facebook version 4; they make changes to their websites with gradual phases and staggered rollouts, making it all seem like the same platform, when in reality everything has been overhauled at least a dozen times.
Today I was driven insane by an article implying that Netflix could serve as a model for the music industry. I could go paragraph by paragraph and pick apart the argument, but that would be needlessly pedantic. I’ll quote one to exemplify what is wrong.
“With Netflix consumers have proven they will rent content – even re-run content – and stream it from the cloud. They will pay for digital content they could get for free through illegal means. They will pay if the service allows streaming through multiple devices – including mobile.”
With Netflix customers have not proven they will rent content. They have proven they will rent visual content. Visual content is a subset of the macro concept of content, and consumer behaviors in relation to such has no intrinsic corollary to aural, printed or other forms of content such as games. To put it another way, in the hierarchy of content, what applies to a sub-type does not necessarily apply to its siblings. This article uses this fallacy as a way to call for emulation of Netflix by music services.
“There are two things you have to do to make people pause. The most important is to explain, as concisely as possible, what the hell your site is about…The other thing I repeat is to give people everything you’ve got, right away. If you have something impressive, try to put it on the front page, because that’s the only one most visitors will see.”—The Hardest Lessons for Startups to Learn
‘Somehow, despite all of our constant communication and over-sharing on Twitter, we still like to avoid “serious” conversations about jobs, salaries and what it would take to get your friend/buddy/idol to work with you. So, to scratch this itch, Josh Pyles and I spent the last weekend putting together WouldHire.com.’
I’m passionate about enabling people to understand, and visual explanations are crucial for understanding many concepts. But because our tools are so weak, we usually resort to describing when we should be depicting. And those few visual explanations are almost all static. One-off pictures, tediously drawn for a specific situation. One-size-fits-all pictures, identical for every reader.
Dynamic pictures are ideal for visual explanations, because the parameters can represent information to be conveyed. As the information changes, so does the picture. For example, we could draw a picture that explains the carbon emissions of a country. Which country? Any country — just plug in its data. The static artist is stuck drawing one-off pictures for each country, instead of a single generalized picture.
Dynamic pictures needn’t be one-size-fits-all either. A dynamic picture can adapt to the specific reader and that reader’s context. It can teach the reader what he actually wants to know, not merely what the artist guessed that everyone wanted to know.
“What I’d like to do away with is the whole ‘album’-based way of organizing and viewing photos. I don’t want to sort photos into albums once and then view them that way for the rest of time. I want each photo to know where and when it was taken and who and what is in it. (That’s the hard part, of course). And then, voila! You can show your grandmother all the recent photos with you and your sister (trivial). You can show your girlfriend all the trips you took when you were young (show all the clusters of photos that have you prominently in them that were taken between, say, 6 and 18 years of your birthdate and aren’t based in your hometown). You can show your architecture-loving friends all pictures that are just of buildings, regardless of when or where they were taken. And so on. Whatever type of photos you need, you can find - no more, no less.”—Marius Kempe, answering What would the perfect UI/UX for browsing large photo albums look like? - Quora
“If several years ago you stopped challenging yourself, you’re going to be bored. If you work for some guy who you used to sit next to, and really, he should be working for you, you’re going to feel undervalued, and you won’t come back. So, my heartfelt message to all of you is, and start thinking about this now, do not leave before you leave. Do not lean back; lean in. Put your foot on that gas pedal and keep it there until the day you have to make a decision, and then make a decision. That’s the only way, when that day comes, you’ll even have a decision to make.”—
“The Gruen transfer is the moment when consumers respond to “scripted disorientation” cues in the environment. Spatial awareness of their surroundings plays a key role, as does the surrounding sound, art, and music. The effect of the transfer is marked by a slower walking pace.”—Gruen transfer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”—Tom Robbins quotes
“I don’t like making decions, first of all. I try to never, ever make them about anything. For example, if we eat at the place that you chose for dinner, I will silently brood over my veggie wontons and wish plague o’ both your houses because I wanted the tacos. But if I had chosen that taco place, I would just end up flinging the taco meat at you like a monkey in a caged zoo who is unhappy.”—The Frenemy.: Booze Handbook
“I always have confidence that I’ll figure something out. I just have that confidence that things are going to work out fine. But that’s the problem. I also see that in every other entrepreneur’s idea. It’s even more pathetic because I have enough experience to clearly see the flaws in their reasoning and the gaps in their execution. But then I have that moment where I lean back on the chair, stair into space for second, and say “wait a minute — you know, there just might be a way here”. And pretty soon I’m up at the whiteboard sketching out a possible path to daylight and I’m just as excited as they are.”—