Better late than never? Or, better next than never?
Sometimes, the framing we have for what we want to do and what’s been done is rightly shaped by where we might have heard/seen things done for much longer than their source was remembered. When we look at such constructs, there’s an opportunity to continue down the same line, or reset the expectations such that we might see the current roads in a different/better light.
Framing this week’s links collection around this thought. Here are those links:
Understaing Culture via Mike McGarr
Nike and Boeing Are Paying Sci-Fi Writers to Predict Their Futures via Medium
Why was the QWERTY keyboard layout invented, and why has it not changed via Brian Roemmele/Quora
Hiding America From Americans via Medium
Maximizing Your Slut Impact: An Overly Analytical Guide to Camgirling
The Case Against Quantum Computing via IEEE Spectrum
Determinants of Faraday Wave-Patterns in Water Samples Oscillated Vertically at a Range of Frequencies from 50-200 Hz via WATER Online Multidisciplinary Research Journal
And a few from here:
Concept: Olelo eBike Branding
Friction and Intention
Smart Glasses Are/Aren’t Here Yet
Under Your Nose
Updete: This was a missed submission for the GM eBike Challenge
Chances are you don’t need a design strategy to fix your product/market fit. The solution to your woes is likely under your nose already.
Within a few streams of technology and communication, there is a path of resistance when it comes to figuring out what might be the solution to fixing a product for greater market acceptance. The waves within those streams are rocks which might challenge the way in which water travels. Water, in this case meaning the way in which markets or organizational culture might flow. More often than not, what we might recognize about that issue is not what we have stated, but what was said in the context.
How then do we listen for what the context of an item might be saying? A few lenses can be gleaned from a few concurrent conversations:
X : Why is everything about mapping with you?
Me : I guess I just like to look before leaping, shooting a rifle, committing troops to a battlefield etc. I do find that looking at an environment before making a decision is quite useful whether driving a car or government policy.
That comes from a Twitter thread by Simon Wardley. There’s much to this, but simply speaking, he talks about dealing with technical debit from the perspective of using a map versus putting each of the issues and opportunities into containers. There’s more to the thread; but, that requires navigating the stated content and the context.
Meanwhile, Farnam Street has a lengthy admonition towards battling (or aligning oneself with) entropy:
…Uncontrolled disorder increases over time. Energy disperses and systems dissolve into chaos. The more disordered something is, the more entropic we consider it. In short, we can define entropy as a measure of the disorder of the universe, on both a macro and a microscopic level. The Greek root of the word translates to “a turning towards transformation” — with that transformation being chaos.
As you read this article, entropy is all around you. Cells within your body are dying and degrading, an employee or coworker is making a mistake, the floor is getting dusty, and the heat from your coffee is spreading out. Zoom out a little, and businesses are failing, crimes and revolutions are occurring, and relationships are ending. Zoom out a lot further and we see the entire universe marching towards a collapse…
These kinds of perspectives land simply in the question: “what are you offering?” As a venture, Avanceé is offering its clients efficiency and simplicity. Their processes, and the tools which are used within those processes, can be simplified, magnified, and some level of order/disorder tolerated so that there’s more clarity towards the defining goal. We craft solutions which might need to be changed in time, but not without empowering those who are managing that change the tooling necessary to adapt towards it.
But, if you didn’t engage Avanceé, how would you figure out these solutions? The easiest measure would be to simply say it out loud and hear yourself. Getting the issue/thought outside of your head and back into it via your ears will causes a resetting of the way its perceived. Will it enable you to better see than make the changes towards whatever that item is? Yes. But, only because at that point, you will have opened yourself to the realization that in order for the moment to change, the energy you need to be willing to put towards it is the first part of the map used by you and others to move on from it.
There’s a different pace to the end of the year. For some, its about making sure that the mistakes and opportunities of earlier in the year are taken advantage of. For some, its about next year — all of the energies of for creating and investing into this year are done with, and the strategies for hitting the ground running next year are in play. Where that lands this week’s links is one part in what is observed, and another in what is prepared. Here are this week’s links:
The ‘Fuck All’ Nature of iPad Work via The Brooks Review membership required to read
Anatomy of an AI System
Introducing medical language processing with Amazon Comprehend Medical via AWS Machine Learning Blog
How your third cousin’s ancestry DNA test could jeopardize your privacy via Vox
Anthropocene: why the chair should be the symbol for our sedentary age via The Conversation
Maintenance and Care via Places Journal
Image: Music Notes in a Bowl via Cymascope
And a few from us
Concept: Library Card Watch App
Links for 23 Nov
Having written once and found the item gone into the ether, there was the day’s events spent thinking (in the background) about what it means to be at the front of various technological shifts. This topic was made more present when asked about a new keyboard being used — it makes a bit of sense in this season to think again towards advent and technological changes.
Oftentimes, we don’t notice those changes until they happen. Part of the blindness described by “The Innovator’s Dilemma:” shifts aren’t meant to happen when perception or expectation is ready for them to happen. As a matter of course, perception and expectation serve as guardians of what is the “now.” They are the chief ocular elements of doing the best with today’s lessons and continuing them forward.
And yet, when we rely on those elements too much (to “become comfortable” if you will), there lies the opportunity for something else to come from the underside. An unforeseen circumstance, or a likely consequence. Advents of technological change very rarely reveal themselves as the “ideal” next happening. It is a toy, too bulky, requires too many things to be unlearned — advent is marked by anticipation by only those whom society seems to put into a naive bucket.
That naivety isn’t blind. It is hopeful. Blind perhaps to the encumberments of expectations. It finds its way by ignoring or even tossing back those expectations into the face of today’s perspective. Perception finds itself on even looser footing. It looks for clarity among a changing landscape, and yet it has no tools with which to clear its lenses, to focus it light, or columns to ground its paths. Perception doesn’t realign itself to technological advents until what is hoped for has come. Then, and only then, can it begin to stabilize and draw together a langauge for what the new normal must be. Expectation comes behind this — usually dragging some sense of “what it used to be” until what “used to be” becomes “forgotten.”
Depending on the industry, region, or simply hobby, one could say that most of humanity is under a technological advent. There are many prophets who would proclaim one way over another. Who would encourage a strong break from the past and a hearty embrace of what’s to come. Others who move more deliberately. Noticing the changes, and yet gathering into their quiver the arrows and supporting tools necessary — they will take aim and strike forward when conditions meet their liking. And lastly there are those who will revolt until the bitter end. They aren’t wrong in such revolting. As a matter of course, they are most necessary — these luddities enable us to not forget what we might have shifted from, and call to form expectations and perceptions which aren’t born from newness, but have some sense of being part of a continued evolution.
Today was a chance to imagine and perform on a computing device, using two hands which were doing entirely different things, to make the surface of a large screen communicate a different reality. Hopefully, it is not the last change which will happen when inventing realities on and off screens. Hopefully, more of what it means to be human will be embraced by those who wish to empower people with the tools to design such worlds.
Keeping to the usual flow of posting the week’s curated links despite the extension of the holiday weekend in the USA. Granted, Black Friday wants to be a holiday for many retailers. But, there’s probably better items on deck for some of the rest of us (for example, REI’s #OptOutside is a great excuse unless your weather is unbearable). It is worth the pause to at least read and consider that, sometimes, different perspectives should persist despite the shades of the days and seasons around us.
Desiging Perceptions Instead of absolutions via Eugen Esanu
Surveillance Kills Freedom By Killing Experimentation via WIRED
Are Pop Lyrics Getting More Repetitive via The Pudding
The Emperor and the Empty Tomb: An Ancient Inscription, an Eccentric Scholar, and the Human Need to Touch the Past via Los Angeles Review of Books
The Human Brain Is a Time Traveler via The New York Times
Image: PWC’s Next Work Methods - full-size
And a few from here:
Concept: 1847 Philanthropic Slide Deck
Conversations Create New Roads
Clarity in Conversation
Links for 16 Nov
UPDATE: thanks to @Cleverdevil, there’s now a Scribbles Gallery, making for some easier associations between content and scribbled/photgraphed images. Found via @manton’s post right after publishing this week’s links.
Created using Paper by WeTransfer
Visit 1847 Philanthropic
Lots of email newsletters have been pushed out this year. So many are a collection of links, maybe some marketed goods, rarely long-form. But, where’s the conversation? Where’s the resulting products from those conversations? The convos to the concepts to the creations?
Been a year trying something different with Avanceé. Part of this has been an alternate signal in the newly formed “bucket of links at the cost of your email.” Perhaps it’s not a problem to be open to a different path. Eigenwilligkeit a friend says. Yet maybe… it is the better path if something valuables to be hewn from this.
Forward isn’t exactly following the roads already made.
Should there be more branches like Micro.Blog, Mastadon, etc.? Should silo be defined by the niche more than the signal?
Or, is the responsibility of those who carve new roads in media and product do something new, while resonating with pieces of what is familiar from the old? It sounds philosophical but it’s not. Disruption first has to break its own chains before it can point liberty towards others’.
Each conversation is another lesson in what others might do or want to do in order to make steps forward. The most common theme comes from the peeling off of the stated problem to what the actual issue might be. Then sketching across an ocean of possibilities, guiding the direction of something simpler, something which may be better — even if we didn’t build anything to get there.
This is is Avanceé
A conversation turns to what its participants do for a living. A few questions around similarities and differences, then a path opens — “how do you step forward?” The resulting conversation is a back and forth of lessons. Some are clear, some require leaning on past experiences to stitch a relatable context. And then, the common theme arrives. The insight which was not forced upon the conversation reveals itself as a matter of the real course of productivity. This manifestation is the onus on which “work” finds its definition. It is here where Avanceé begins to articulate a simpler message, or a simply clearer one.
Those conversations bend reality. We keep bending, then start sketching.
What’s more often the case is that there isn’t enough time to think about the how and why one works. It might be done for reasons of reputation, deadline, or experiment, but its done as a part of what feels necessary to meet an attainable goal. That ideal state — experience — is what we listen for. In the heartbeat of working we are listening for how companies and their employees design their space, or experience another’s space. We listen for what they have agency towards, and what might be taken away. Between and around those artifacts, the desired expereince speaks loudly. Filtering the noise, we offer a solution which might need nothing more than a glance, or something purposefully built.
Design solves a problem. Art raises a question — @pak
Then there’s what’s built for that space. To take a conversation’s resolutions, and then create a manifestation of it which improves the state of someone’s or some team’s workspace — that part is the engineering of what had been complex into something that no longer is. For better and worse, there’s nothing about the tooling which is set in stone. That’s because what might be reengineered isn’t always software, its often also behavior and perception. We built, or draw up the detailed plans of what another builds, and then turn it loose to empower that conversation to become reality. Repacking the relationship of technology to humanity, the results land with the shape of “we should have always done it this way.”
Imagine packaging a way that understands why somebody does what they do, how they could do it differently, the benefits of being different and rapidly showing them the value and the extensibility of those lessons.
This is Avanceé.
How might you take your next steps forward? Let’s chat and find out.
Feels a bit as if this was a week of momentum gained. There was clarity regarding Avanceé (in communicating product, purpose, and value). Clarity for some regions who voted (some still being determined). And even some clarity for the way some companies will go about reporting their progress going forward. Seems like clarity is the theme to have been part of the exhaust of what’s transpired this week. Perhaps then, the selection of links on this week will offer an ability for more items to clearly come into view.
Ways of Seeing via Tom Critchlow
Sequencing is the New Microscope via PostHaven
Meet the People Hacking the Bodies for Better Sex via CNet
Pseudoarchaeology and the Racism Behind Ancient Aliens via Hyperallergic
We Thought the Incas Couldn’t Write; These Knots Change Everything via New Scientist
Researchers Defeat Most Powerful Ad Blockers, Declare a ‘New Arms Race’ via Motherboard
And a few from here:
Concept (full): Hiking Workout for Apple Watch
Perceiving Productivity Normally
Weekends in A Snap Space
Links for 9 Nov
Previously posted a small portion of this concept
Using an iPad to teach how to use a PC changes perceptions and behaviors of productivity
Over the past month, have been working with a long-time client on changing the methods used to teach a few base-applications. A previous shift, from published workbooks to organization-specific content (lived within their servers within the apps being taught), greatly increased skills retention and workshop engagement. This recent change leverages Office 365 and OneNote, using the iPad to teach those applications from OneNote’s perspective. It invites a different discussion about information transfer and retention for day-to-day tasks. This has initially proved to be quite insightful (the instructor’s view). However there is more to explore for those persons who want to employ the iPad or similar against their normal workflows — which this method of teaching seems to be exposing more of.
Replacing Productivity’s Definition?
iPad doesn’t just replace, it changes . The question gets asked each time a new model or major software update happens because the voices speaking about the platform and hardware are too far removed from what others do for. The end of the Mashable 2018 iPad Pro review says it nicely:
…It’s such an intimate creation process that it made me realize that Apple’s not merely trying to change my or your old habits. Apple’s not trying to make the iPad Pro a laptop replacement because the device isn’t one. It’s trying to do something bigger: invent a new way of creating for a new generation that is not bound to the old computing laws of clicking a mouse…
Not being bound to former methods is a invitation to think better about the jobs to be done for computing devices. And for much of what the complaints levy (moving files from one physical or virtual share to another, command-scripts for said files, approval queues, etc.), work is more like moving chairs around and a sense of control, that really isn’t work at all for most. The work is in figuring out what someone else needs to move their chairs around.
When Normal Isn’t
It is fairly normal to think about the perspective of a producer when thinking about productivity. As a matter of defining work, the perspective of a person producing the work is the only perspective that matters when doing the work. That said, what is normal about productivity might not be so normal at all. The ways in which people come up with solutions to do the job that is required, is a mix of creativity on top of the framework that defines success measures for the business. If the creativity can be repeated, it becomes a part of that framework,no longer defined as creative (definition: being a unique behavior unseen or unapplied previously) by the worker. If the framework cannot injest the behaviors, or those behaviors become detrimental to the operation of the business, then creativity as a facet of work becomes relegated to being pushed outside of the company.
So, then, what really is work? Or rather, what more aligns with the perspectives of what it means to have computing as a tool to aide/do behaviors considered productivity because we are instinctively creative?
This is one of the questions this experiment is looking to answer. However it also seems to be running alongside similar thoughts from others as it relates to connecting the “jobs to be done ” with the experience those jobs are to enable.
Might be a weekend, but pressing forward deserves play spaces not always as linear as a weekday’s newsfeed
Perhaps the entrance of a new series of iPads is not a reason to be ancy about the potentials and downsides of various technologies. But, one can’t help but look at all of the data, all of the micro and macro movements caused by this level of connectedness, and wonder if we aren’t simply evolving humanity, but also manifesting a clearer sense of what it means to be human.
Such is one of the reflections wrought by this week’s readings. Perhaps those shared here will evoke a sense of something wider and deeper for you also:
Editing A Game with Apple Pencil
Parents Have Posted 1300 Photos of Their Children by the Time They Are 13 via MIT Technology Review
Data from Millions of Smartphone Journeys Proves Cyclists Faster in Cities Than Cars and Motorbikes via Forbes
Facebook Human Rights Impact Assessment: Facebook in Myanmar (PDF)
The Macro Report: October 2018
And a few from here:
Avanceé Teams with Tymbals
Links for 2 Nov
Avanceé announces a teaming with Tymbals, an Edge Design House.
Meaningful design is impactful, sustainable, ethical, and (can also be) profitable. Embracing this ethos, Tymbals has reconnected with its own design ethos, enabling companies and movements to understand that “an investment in design is an investment into the future of enterprise value”. Demonstrating this investment, Tymbals has brokered a new partnership with Avanceé (and Inkadoo); using their enhanced design experience to change the positioning, technology, and growth prospects of their clients.
For more information, visit Tymbals or contact Avanceé
It is often said that more data is a good thing. Whether that data is relevant or irrelevant almost doesn’t get talked about as often. Nor, does it get spoken about what happens after the data is exhausted, or there is no more relevance to collecting so much data. Chances are, the links shared this week will cause a similar state of personal and organizational reassessment — just because there’s data present, doesn’t mean there’s progress gained.
Reinforcement Learning with Prediction-Based Rewards via Open AI
An Isolated Country Runs on Mobile Money via Wall Street Journal
IBM’s Old Playbook via Stratechery
Apple’s New Map via Justin Oberine
Commentary: Why I Stopped Wearing A Bike Helmet via CyclingTips
Rationale and design of a large-scale, app-based study to identify cardiac arrhythmias using a smartwatch: The Apple Heart Study via American Heart Journal
Seth Molson is Designing the Future, One Show At A Time via Hackaday
And a few from here:
Wireframing: Portal Layout Concepts
Intuitive As Design
Links for 26 October
Arguing for intuition over prediction or known indicators? Yes and no.
In between a clearly identified problem and its “so obvious” solution is the chasm called opportunity. It is within this space so many projects live and die. Some of the better ones become well-known, not just for an ability to solve the initial problem, but for those people on its edges to also find providence towards a solution. In conversations with many about the goals for Avanceé, its clear that the problem space is one in which many just have a hard time articulating what exactly might be the issue. Not because they aren’t knowledgeable about the issues, but because clarity is a perspective, not a destination, for so many problems.
A project noticed over the weekend, Modulz seems to want to give voice to some of the problems encountered by those who are in developer and design spaces, but find the gap between demonstrating the solution and building it has too many layers. The product should be impressive when it ships. For (a not small amount of) developers and designers, it will address a very real problem in communicating clearly what the solution(s) is supposed to entail. A programmatically accurate representation of the solution, with the roadmap attached to those tasked with the tools to make the traveling smooth. It is strategically and practically correct as a design method. It isn’t living within the framing of intuition — that’s a good and bad thing.
When we share the concepts and designs from past projects, we are deliberate in sharing those pieces which sit on the side of softer-content. Scribbles, basic shapes, and low-fidelity representations of what has been eventually created leaves room for the story around what the design was supposed to communicate. This isn’t by accident. What many want to know is “what does their solution look like,” not “what is my problem not clearly stating” or “what am I not asking about the problem I’m communicating.” These questions aren’t supposed to be the basis for marketing an unknown entity. Yet, Avanceé is purposely running on that side of the track because opportunity rarely finds itself communicated in the initial conversation. Often, its in the perspective of the problem. A but more intuition than mapped prediction.
Modulz and similar approaches to enabling designers and developers to more clearly articulate solutions are an opportunity. However, this clarity comes best when leveraged with a piece of that “gut” feeling. If we were to take the term AI as augmented intelligence, then we would see that platforms like Modulz should exist not so much to make structure more explicitly understood, but augment what designers and developers do by intuition — see the problem and the solution from a different perspective. One which enables them to advance past the constraints of the issue, to the clarity of what is empowered when the problem’s core is answered.
What should we better do now that we understand the uniqueness of the world in which we live? Not that everything is by chance, there are certain mathematical principles which have been found to discover some of the most obscure aspects of this world. But, when we are presented items we thought were unique, and now find they are less so, how do we enable a better response? This week’s links presents the struggles within such a framing; and possibly measures to find order within the squalor.
Digital Mindfulness, Can It Exist via Read Write Respond
Jony Ive on the Apple Watch and Big Tech’s Responsibilities via Financial Times
Wearable Technology and Blindness — A Look at the Tap Keyboard
A New IKEA Report is An Unsettling Look at Life in the 21st Century via Fast Company
Two Hundred Fifty Things An Architect Should Know via Michal Sorkin
And a few from here:
Inventing the Other Stuff
Concept: Sunday Thought Continued
Experience Strategy & Engineering Complexity
Links for 19 Oct
Sunday Thought via Twitter
In between the actual projects taken up by this Avanceé banner, there’s some intentional thinking space given to creating or exploring items in a fuller fashion than perhaps where some of those projects might travel. Sometimes, this comes out fully expressed into a concept or process that’s mostly useful to others (for example, the SmartTrip Apple Watch Concept App spoken about on a few occasions). These expansions of thought, process, and tooling take their own direction, oftentimes coming into nothing, or needing a bit more discipline, knowledge, or resource-capacity to come to a clear conclusion. However, its intentional to keep these. They inform Avanceé’s direction, as well as how this effort continues to be shaped forward.
An idea — lightly expressed — will rarely garner much of a view. An idea with something behind it, something tangeable such as code, interactive screens, physical textures, etc. does more to the psyche. These are the elements of the other parts of what it means to do something out-of-the-box. Where a new box is created, and instead of skating to where the puck is going, there’s a new field made with altogether new rules. Is it necessary that every new idea does this? No. But, can inventing beyond current perspectives be done any other way?
Knowledge, experience, and creativity can join together and make nothing much more than noise. Or, it can have the affect of resetting the field. The theory of disruption flows down this line. And so does any applications of change and risk management. Creativity is the most intentional of these buckets. Knowledge is recognized, with experience accounted for. Creativity arises from the output of these projects and either informs what might have been a foolish journey from a fruitful one. Lightly or harshly expressed, intentionally thinking of ways to get outside of what’s familiar doesn’t just have the effect of inventing “other stuff,” but also the effect of shaping what others only later come to understand.
Coming to the halfway point of October with all indications that the holidays will have as much lights, noise, and perspectives as ever. There’s a wonder with some if this year’s holiday season will land more on the side of taking a deep breath, or just waiting for the next shoe to drop. In whatever case, weather swings and sings along with familiar and unfamiliar themes in this week’s links.
Jeff Hawkins is Finally Ready to Explain His Brain Research via NY Times
Steph Curry and the New Palm Want You to Forget Your Phone via Fast Company
Is this Finally the Beginning of the End for the Password via Popular Mechanics
Helm Is A Personal, Private Email Server via The Verge
A few lights posted here as well:
Revisualized: MODT Transit Ticket App
Experience Strategy & Engineering Complexity
Links for 12 Oct
Came across a few terms when looking further into some of the problem spaces of digitally-augmented teams and organizations: experience strategy and complexity. Both of these terms speak to both the problem to be addressed, and the opportunities which lie at solving them. However, they might do so from differing perspectives and roles.
Experience Strategy really is the “strategy and planning” end of design. It is also the aspect closest to the emotional response of the client/customer. Experience strategy builds off of the other three aspects of user experience (if we are using the pictured matrix to define/describe UX).
Complexity is expressed throughout the three other squares within this matrix.
For Interaction Design, you are expressing everything from the physics of movement (screens, textures, colors, time-between-endpoints, etc.) to how those physics are programmed in such a manner to be testable and consistently deployed.
For User Research, the benefit of feed back to drive measured and unmeasurable outcomes cannot be overstated. But, until there is enough research to inform strategic decisions, nothin about what’s measured in the experience can have lasting value.
For Information Architecture, the structure of information, even down to the tone of language and the formatting of page/screen layouts informs the experience. Strategy is leveraged not just in what has been measured and works, but also in what has been transformed as media and mediums rise and fall in use/acceptance.
Augmenting processes and teams with tools and behaviors which have digital (both connected and not) means dealing with both experience and complexity. The challenge of process is not being bogged down by complexity, while not turning a blind eye towards its friction and impacts. The friction noticed within experience strategy enables the opportunity for solutions which seem simple on reflection, but are layered in how they arrived to that perception.
This isn’t a roadmap towards a better solution, but more like the gravel on the path. Mapping user experience around these skills and perspectives enables Avanceé to better address team and market challenges. But, also enables Avanceé’s clients to best express their problem areas so that a clear measure of success can be seen and achieved.