“Evolution. What’s it like?” The three lives of the front-facing camera

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjwYdvwC8CE "Evolution. What's it like? So one day you're a single-celled amoeba and then, whoosh! A fish, a frog, a lizard, a monkey, and, before you know it, an actress. [On-screen caption: "Service limitations apply. See three.co.uk"] I mean, look at phones. One, you had your wires. Two, mobile phones. And three, Three video mobile. Now … Continue reading “Evolution. What’s it like?” The three lives of the front-facing camera

Apple’s real innovation: a gesture made with two fingers

Douglas Rushkoff nails my unease at the patenting of gestures, a critical front in the commercial war being waged through intellectual property. At stake is how far governments should grant monopoly rights over something that belongs to all of us: our shared language of words and gestures. US Patent #7,812,826, though limited and not at stake … Continue reading Apple’s real innovation: a gesture made with two fingers

Mobile experience in use and ornament

Thanks to @MrAlanCooper for highlighting Rahul Sen's beautifully-written piece on the relevance of the Bauhaus movement to modern-day interaction design. The world would be a better place if more designers could cultivate such a deep appreciation of the history. I tried to  comment on the Johnny Holland blog but was foiled by the pernicious Recaptcha, … Continue reading Mobile experience in use and ornament

“The bit where the screen went black and you said ‘look up'”: on the irresistible pull of a story in the place where it happened

This is my youngest son, Pascal, when he was two years old. He's looking sheepish because he's just picked an apple. It's an apple from the orchard at Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire, the orchard where Isaac Newton first conceived of gravity. We were drawn to this beautiful, remote farmhouse for a tea break on a long … Continue reading “The bit where the screen went black and you said ‘look up'”: on the irresistible pull of a story in the place where it happened

And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet

The depths of winter, two weeks off to take stock of where we are and where we're going, a chance to catch up with family and friends. We travelled through blizzards, cooked and ate good food, lit fires, drank wine, fiddled with MP3 play-lists, time-shifted TV, and made one (thankfully minor) visit to Accident and Emergency. We … Continue reading And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet

On the way to dConstruct: a social constructionist thought for the day

A desire to put some theoretical acro props under my vague unease with the determinist narrative of so much of our technology discourse has led me to the writing of the French anthropologist Bruno Latour. His work on the social construction of science, an ethnography of the R&D lab, has a special resonance for me, … Continue reading On the way to dConstruct: a social constructionist thought for the day

All fingers and thumbs, an observation

User testing is always illuminating. The mirrored glass, the dimmed lights, and the unreal relay of sound from one room to the next. These things become familiar. But the users, no matter how carefully screened and segmented, are all different. They make every session both humbling and surprising. Last week I dropped in on a … Continue reading All fingers and thumbs, an observation

A tale of attention and abundance: Why service design matters on the new mobile web

Over the last few days I've had a chance to reflect on the relationship between the mobile web and service design. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the two are tied together, in a way that was not the case with either the PC-based web or pre-internet mobile services. Why? Well … Continue reading A tale of attention and abundance: Why service design matters on the new mobile web

Enter your 16-digit card number folllowed by Arghhh

So I got home late last night and opened a letter containing a replacement bank card. To activate it I had to call one of those automated phone lines. It taught me something interesting. Though standing in the living room just a few feet from a landline phone, I reached for the phone that is … Continue reading Enter your 16-digit card number folllowed by Arghhh

One & Other in a roundabout way

This is a photo of the screen of a computer, displaying a webcam that's trained on a plinth. Not just any plinth, The Plinth. On the webcam is a whiteboard that carries a message, a message that's saying hello to my sons. They were very impressed. Lorinda (who I've never met) wrote the message. Lorinda … Continue reading One & Other in a roundabout way

The Hyperjoy of Hypertext

In my ramble through the possibilities of Mobile Gothic, Ruskin's fifth quality of Gothic - Rigidity or Obstinacy - was the hardest to express. It may not be all of Christopher Alexander's qwan, but it's certainly an important part of it. At the time I wrote: "The articulation of the parts of the mobile user experience … Continue reading The Hyperjoy of Hypertext