Would usually take a week+ to read @macstoriesnet’s iOS 12 Review, but the writing made it a one-night affair; the Shortcuts section especially. To be a “power” user & not use these would indeed diminish the value of an iOS experience www.macstories.net/stories/i…
Tomorrow & Friday could be called a more public “comong out party” for Avanceé (at @the_brigadoon’s Annapolis session)…
Looking forward to sharing a piece of how we approach humane moments alongside this age’s digitally-filtered context
Reading, listening, and watching reviews of Apple Watch Series 4 For as much as reviewer’s who have had a limited amount of time can speak to features, usability, and even nuance seems to be missed. The clarity of what Apple is doing seems to be only alluded to buy a few. Perhaps there’s room for a different take… Maybe not a review, but a different kind of perspective amidst the noise 🤔
Doing some homework around @Microsoft’s #Sketch2Code for a bit today. This is the kind of action which could easily be a workflow/Shortcuts action within an app like @fiftythree @FiftyThreePaper — for simply conveying the initial steps of a concept the way we work at least
Have had a number of positive conversations since starting on this Avanceé journey. For the most part, conversations have been positive. Something about someone focusing on their own narrative, while also being open to sowing into the lives of others, has something of its own pay off. At the same time, Avanceé was started to become its own endeavor. There’s strategy and case studies, there have been concepts and histograms, and yet the things being thought through are still a bit further out there than what is being done in the world now.
So there’s a healthy pivot (and a rewritten About page) here at Avanceé. What happens when in this conversation about the implications of changing your workflow, or changing your assumptions, is less about looking for the next profit-filling moment, and more about what’s the next livable moment? The likely areas of extension and growth for Avanceé is less about having a product that needs physical space. It is more about the equity gained when empowering others to be a better self. It is much less knowledge in a can, and more wisdom as a stimulant. Everything about the focus for Avanceé has been best met when addressing individuals and niche moments who have less a “how can I be more profitable” aim, and have more of a “what are the things we aren’t thinking about, to which (Antoine thru) Avanceé is able to not only think about, but see clearly enough to create attainable opportunity?”
Does all of this mean that Avanceé hasn’t been viable as a venture to this point? No. This was started as a genuine expression of a psychosocial and technological conversation to which there is not always as clear an answer, or as easy to find expression. There are reviewers, journalists, bloggers, analysts, vloggers, and casters. There are not as many conceptual persons pushing things to this edge. Grafting new-ish thoughts to new-ish platforms, across common and uncommon lines, for the sake of searching out what might be beyond those semantically well-formed models. Its viable as a thoughts-space, and might even be moreso as an internet business. But, figuring that out has meant to challenge assumptions, while leaning on what has largely found voice for very few.
The assumptions to reset the machine: there are changes which have always been easily available, but mostly hidden or obscured because of the processes or tools in front of our eyes now.
What are the outlets to all of these inputs that create or foster this assumption? Some of them have been expressed and will continue to. There will be some expanding of thought on a weekly article. Sharing concepts is a bit easier said than done, but not becuase its hard to create concepts — some are just bound by agreements and context such they cannot be shared until much later. There are links shared, a thread many who do similar sites might also offer. But, the value in all of this is an effect in creating something very hard to capture in a traditional pricing worksheet. Is it a service map/matrix, UI components, presentation, or reports? Probably and yes. There’s more which goes in than which is expressed out. The assumption is that by the time it goes out, it will be of such a value that you’d come back here, or share something of specific value with someone who needs a shot of something different.
(re)Starting Avanceé with with a simple assumption: here is a resource that’s impartially outside of your space, listening and learning the levers which will affect your space sooner than you are paying attention to.
Thanks to the Episode 40 from The Knoweldge Project for helping to put these thoughts into a clearer form of expression.
Clouds and rain seem to make something of a calming moment for many. For others, clouds and rain portend a change. Whether things are going to not be as they were, or that the change which was going to come isn’t. As much as we sometimes see the former, its the latter to which its harder to figure out when under the clouds and not on top of them.
With that, here are this week’s links:
What Location Apps Track and Monetize via Guardian App
An iPad Future via The Brooks Review subscription required
Regulatory Complaint: Concerning Massive, Web-Wide Data Breach by Google and Other “Ad Tech” Companies Under Europe’s GDPR via Brave
Observations on Mastodon via Colin Devroe
Lasts Longer via Asymco
The iPhone Franchise via Stratechery
And a few from us:
Normal Until Disaster
Livibility as Productivity
Beyond the Portfolio - Deck from Baltimore UX Meetup
Natural disasters often spring thoughts of what works and doesn’t work about the normal processes and tools we utilize. Needing the movement of electrons to power processes might make some things visible, but also endears us to segments of living which are not as easy to keep grounded.
Avanceé has accidentally been speaking towards two roads, design as normative to computing and productivity’s redefinition. Most of this is tied to some simple and straightforward observations across several industries. Yet, even these two tracks point to a better or more perfect definition of the “living outside of the box” kind of innovation: livability.
There’s something interesting about many USA/NA conversations about areas such as transportation, education, etc. — a lot of it centers around “what does it mean to be productive?” Much of that definition of productivity begins around some conversation on return on investment. For what you put into sustainable and unsustainable systems, there has to be a measure of “overflow” by which those who invested get a positive outcome. But, when you stop quantifying that outcome in number such as efficiency, speed, profit, etc., you begin getting to those harder to define measures of happiness, contentment, livability, and more.
There’s a wonder then about taking livability and turning it (and similar hard-to-measure constructs. If we were to turn livability into that metric, then what does productivity look like:
How long can a call center agent stay seated and still maintain tonal responsibility with the customer?
Do we build schools and business parks with walking tracks or parks which separate parking from other spaces in order to foster more spontaneous interactions?
Does a credit for non-personal transportation to a workspace add to or take away from a company’s livability index, carbon credits, etc. as part of its reporting on environmental impact?
There are other questions like this worth considering as something of a livability index, and basically a definition of productivity (and consumption) which asks for active consideration of what makes a livable context.
When the box is “what is livable,” is there really productivity, or is there life?
There’s this stretch of life which happens right at the end of summer when many folks start picking up the pace. An anxiousness to the end of the year? Catching up and getting back on pace because of summer breaks? Or, maybe something a bit more is happening. Whatever it is, there’s a cause for a quickening. That means a quick review here, and a launch into more for later.
Pregancy Mode for Wearables via Twitter thread
Tesla, Software, and Disruption via Ben Evans
Post-Apocalyptic Life in American Health Care via Meaningness
What Skills Improve Pattern Recognition via Team Fit
And a few from us:
Asking Better UX Questions
Going to experiment again tomorrow… been playing w/potential tweak to service offerings. Tomorrow will be a good measure of whether that net can be cast fully
Stumbled across a discussion about user experience (UX) and a new tool from Microsoft called Sketch2Code the other week. Had this to offer:
It seems w/AI & ML we need to stop thinking about computers as “process/calc.” Rather, how they enable us to be better, while doing computing better. We sketch, they code. Can that turn into a positive for all? That’s the kind of questions I think UX should be trying to answer
This kind of response takes a certain type of accountability from the UX community. There’s a challenge it offers to think about user experience away from, and outside of, the (necessary) shape of the space. Yes, the well-worn stereotypical conversation about UX divulges into Photoshop/Sketch versus everything else, the affordances of/battles with Agile development, and whatever new tool/method can be used to convince stakeholders to “care before doing.” None of these are wrong in totality, but they also miss some of the main point of UX: improve the reliability of communication between the user and the producer.
Sketch2Code is the kind of application which seems to share in the sterotypical conversations UX and UI development folks will get into. It is an open sourced implementation of Microsoft’s Artifical Intelligence (AI) engine. It is rough around the edges, yet polished just enough for senior developers, UXers, and engineers to pick up what’s being put down — can a tool augment an aspect of the creative process that’s often where the gap between idea and execution arise (but is not seen until later)? Mentioned in another tweet, sketching is declarative; it is a different mental model than “code and show me.”
Being able to sketch, even badly, pushes conversations forward. Though yes, it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) answer all the permutations of consequences and affordances of users’ actions. But that’s not what users (and eventually stakeholders ask). They literally are asking UX: can you show me my normal, then push forward or backwards in areas that optimize what it is we (think we) see?” The UX conversation doesn’t so much address that question as much as it uses it as a means to launch into tools and methods. Sketch2Code turns that on its head. Then asks UX, does it have the skills necessary to continue the conversation while enabling what’s being built (quickly).
A concept previously shared seems like the logical evolution of Sketch2Code. Because once your can get an idea on a whiteboard, and use the non-seeing abilities of a camera to do something with that board, you only need to interact (test, tweak, and push to a public state). Yet, the ideation of this gets to a stopping point with UX because of the questions this field will ask (what are the transitions, what style library will be used, Sketch or Framer, etc.). It will get built when a developer/engineer tosses those questions aside and just starts building, or when Sketch2Code gets its obvious next “ sketch and interpret.”
For the UX space, when your tools become smarter is a better conversation. The questions that drives, will always equal a better user experience for all.
There’s something of a flood coming. At least, depending on the genre you are watching, listening to, or consumed by there’s something coming. Now, what we are doing with it, might your company be trying a different route rather than the same, or how you might be deciding to ignore it are the other questions. Developing something better than a response, while being aware of what is or isn’t relevant. Data is a flood… until it isn’t.
Why Designers Don’t Want to Think When They Read via Subtraction
The Untold Story of NotPetya, the Most Devastating Cybertattack in History via Wired
Fitbit Heart Data Reveals Its Secrets via Yahoo Finanace
Why Western Digital Firms Have Failed in China via HBR
Future of Grocery (Twitter Thread)
A few from me:
Becoming Sand Not Plants
Design, Design Systems, & Patterns
In a few weeks: Digital Humanism at The Brigadoon Annapolis
Really interesting… never met @asymco yet this is maybe the 3rd time having noticed him syncing/pivoting to a similar line of thought & work…
Listening forward to this micromobility podcast series…
Our 1st thought: “What will be the highway system/McD’s of #micromobility”
More to come in a future long-form
“Design” is a recognized topic in many corporate circles. The value of what design does for business has become the next and loudest crest of conversation. Some of the tones of this conversation are muted — design speaks to something “felt” but also “known.” Some of those tones are louder — for example, should some types of designers be credentialed, the dark patterns noticed after design is done, etc.. In all respects, the conversation is good to have. It speaks to a maturity of matter and form being a part of that identity of productivity. And at the same time, there are patterns design simply unveils, rather than it directs.
Design systems are another way to view this conversation. Design systems are a collection of patterns, components, and practices in which the teams who developed the system are saying, “here are the individual elements which make up the activity and perception of our business; if you are looking to reproduce the same results, follow alongside this template.” Design systems aren’t a formula per se, but they are elements which define a product which have usually been validated technically and in the marketplace. For the most part design systems accomplish this not by giving away the product, IP, or unique features of the company, but it does give way to the thought processes, creative methods, and sometimes a product very similar to the company core offering. If a company has a significant enough product, or is in a well-established marketplace, it is not uncommon to assume there is some design system (or branch of one) in place. At the same time, the lack of a design system doesn’t as much speak to a lack of design, but maybe a lack of being able to communicate the systems which led to the market being designed.
That said, before the design system can be put in place, and really, even before there can even be much design, there’s some pattern about the company and its culture which should be recognized. There are interdependent systems at play, before there’s something crafted or unveiled (re: design) to be spoken towards. Every crevice of the company can recognize and have a hand in crafting these items, but some will regard creativity differently than others. Design isn’t just what something looks like. A system that creates avenues for companies to empower themselves and others forward is very much a system before design — but may eventually get to a point where design can be talked about and maybe packaged into a coherent framework for others to validate, discuss, or build on top of. Pattern recognition is the responsibility of all in the company.
Design is the recognized topic, but pattern recognition isn’t as much noted. It doesn’t sound so “modern” even though design is nothing more than communicating that there was a pattern which was recognized. Enabling members of your team/org/company to become pattern recognizers puts them on the path of holding and maintaining substantial conversations which might result in communicating better design. And as that happens, design doesn’t just land as the “topic” but as something very core to how that company operates. Can design happen without a design system? Yes. Can you afford to have systems which aren’t able to be communicated by those who use them (not just those who build them)? No.
Reading The Botany of Desire, came across a thought which might provoke some future writings:
What if the issues we (humanity) comes across is because of instead of evolving to be like the plants (which more or less dominate landmass, we are evolving to be like the sand (silicon, computers, etc.)?
It has been something of a flashback in seeing how many have made their way over to MicroBlog. Sure, Twitter acting out has a lot to do with that, but there’s probably something a tick under the surface with a lot of social groups and social networks which grow over a particular size or gain some kind of celebrity/global affluence. There’s always someone and something mining a path just a bit differently… until others also figure out the new road and make it their own also.
The preface says it clearly, as do the links for this week:
When the Bible Becomes An App via Laridian
How to Raise an Optimistic Human in a Pessimistic World via Common Sense Media
Diversity on Micro.Blog, from a Minority Viewpoint via [@vega](https://micro.blog/vega)
The Making of Future Man via NYR Daily
China is Leading in Artifical Intelligence — and American Businesses Should Take Note via Inc Magazine
Americans Own Less Stuff, and That’s Reason to Be Nervous via Bloomberg
Google Data Collection Research Report via Digital Content Next (PDF)
And a few from here:
Productivity As Identity
Network Effects and Twitter Removal
Brigadoon Annapolis in September
Thinking about taking some more chances with the content posted through this @microdotblog account and it hits that some of the reason that the jump hasn’t already happened is because of so many of the network effects gained (chained?) to Twitter. Whereas some people find it easy to make the migration, a carefully curated — and global — conversation around several topics just isn’t able to happen here (yet).
Yet, if/when it does will it merely be like when Jaiku was removed from the social media sphere and usurped by Twitter (the network being better because of quantity and quality of those conversing), or will it be more like a series of isolated conversations, loosely held together by the threads the pioneering users have made? Can’t really remove something that’s grafted itself into a fabric of conversation so easily. And at the same time, when it is removed, what will its overall effect be on those who chart what comes next?
Shifting modes of transportation invites a revisit into what productivity looks like. When one adds a commute, they add contemplative time. If they are the driver, there’s less time to spend in connected-thought, yet more time can be spent in and out of deep thought. If they instead add a physically exerting style of commute, doing work is more the space of contemplate and solving than of ticking off task boxes or replies. To add a more passive method invites the ability to reply, to tick the boxes, and even to segment the moment into aspects of deep thought. What does productivity look like if it is all of these modes interdependently being given place and priority?
Within this exploration of digital humanism, productivity has been given an inspector’s gaze. When the work is connected and digital, there’s some bending of the rules which have normally governed workspace. Perhaps becuase we realize that connecting dots needs is less about space and more about relationship. Perhaps productivity is more or an assumed identity than it is a destination. And therefore, we take the routes towards becoming productive when opportunity enables us to do so with the least amount of friction.
Tools and techniques shape and inform this character called productivity. Writing in an office, cafe, or classroom seems different, but the identity taken on is the same. Does it matter that the structures which compensate productivity recognize that space for its identity to be held onto? Yes. And there’s the challenge. Information-based fields aim to unattach the location from the activity — grant the worker agency to work. While other fields reshape themselves to the realities of the less context-imposed spheres around them. Does it matter that Slack makes us always available? Does it matter that the cafe’s wifi blocks Slack? Where does the work matter?
If thinking through these questions provokes more questions, it likely because when we talk about productivity as identity, we are talking about a time-value replacement which isn’t easy to explain, yet, readily able to be heard:
In the social act model, communication takes the form of a gesture made by an individual that evokes a response from someone else. The meaning of the gesture can only be known from the response, not from the words. There is no deterministic causality, no transmission from the gesture to the response. If I smile at you and you respond with a smile, the meaning of the gesture is friendly, but if you respond with a cold stare, the meaning of the gesture is contempt. Gestures and responses cannot be separated but constitute one social act from which meaning emerges.
Esko Kilpi and others have long drove into the context that work is changing. Yet, what they and others seem to allude to, but not outright say, is that so many derive identity from their inputs, that they define life only by them. If the work and workspace begin to change, then that identity isn’t just challenged, but its altered. In another article, Kilpi lays out 10 principles of digital work, and in doing so offers the ingredients for a different identity than the one which has defined productivity/work for the past 3-5 generations. Creating value is an instigating work, not a digging work. Productivity is therefore not what you do, but an aspect of whom you are. To this, augmentation by connected devices and services takes on another, far more invasive premise: evolution.
Tossing about whatever sticks. Or, are we making trails inside and beyond the streams other conversations and concepts have chosen for themselves.
Sounds a bit etherial to ignite this week’s links with such a statement. But, there’s something to be said for pushing forward until clarity makes itself known. Some people and movements know this well before others. Some just stumble around until a shoreline is found.
Here are this week’s links:
2FA, SMS, and You via Julia Ferraioli
No Shirt, No Swipe, No Service via Slate
The Unbearable Awkawardness of Automation via The Atlantic
The End of Internet History and the Last Ad via Rambling Space
Emergence of Digital Twins (PDF)
Giants of the Deep via The Atlantic
Just one piece from us this week: Awareness or Aware-less
Reminder that Avanceé’s founder, Antoine RJ Wright, will be speaking at the Brigadoon Annapolis Dinner/Lecture in September. Learn more and purchase a ticket for the dinner and/or lecture.
Tweeted the other day about some new explorations happening with indentity and authentication and it was pretty clear that it isn’t just a question about technology finding its way of being useful but not overwhelming. There is (as there is often) as sense of connected technologies either making us more aware of the surroundings around us, or making is less aware of who we are in the context of this world around us.
The commentary about the “end of the ad-based internet” also contributes to such a view. If social networking is more or less surveillance of a different term, then what we are aware of is that we have less agency to move about. If we make social media posting the default (the “Google is tracking you all the time” discussion) then being connected indeed contributes to being aware-less of the works of the world around us. We go from being purveyors of a world we are meant to discovering, to consumers of worlds in which others discover for us.
So then what does it mean for these tools and their threads to make us more aware? Is it as simple as “agency?” Can I control the flow, control the tone, or filter? Perhaps? Maybe its a sense of “turning it off without reprisal from the social-validating relationships around us?” Does being digital portend being connected to other spheres with and without agency to do something about it? And if so, what are the responsibilities left at the door of those who are connected to? What can we really be aware of when there are so many ways to connect the dots?
The answer to all of these is probably “yes.” Those who are near-native to connected spaces will find novelty in being disconnected, in taking agency around what connectivity offers. Those who are a bit less native will endow less value to connectivity that doesn’t remind them of a “more pure” version of themselves. The structures around them, while changing the rules of what it means to be “in community” will buck against their feelings of what is nature, what is honest, and what isn’t healthy (for them).
Awareness of yourself; aware-less of yourself. Almost more philosophical than it is technological and literal. Leaves us almost where we started:
When devices begin to become more embedded within one’s personal social fabric, do we gain awareness of other sensory possibilities, or do we lessen our awareness of the world(s) around us?
The middle of the year has passed and there’s some sense of “if you haven’t made that 2018 change now, then you better get on it” with some of the reads from this week. At the same time, its refreshing to continue to be revealed aspects of life that weren’t as easy to see earlier in the year. Perhaps, links are just as much about what we catch now, as it is what we might have missed later which has come into a clearer view:
An Ancient Device Too Advanced To Be Real Gives Up Its Secrets At Last via Big Think
Augmented Eternity and the Potential of Prediction
Inside Magic Leap’s Quest to Remake Itself As An Ordinary Company (with A Real Product) via Wired
Imaginary Problems are the Root of Bad Software via Medium
Kobayashi Mary Management via Rands in Repose
The Tablet World via The Brooks Review
Tokyo’s Long Lines Lead to Magic (and Life-Changing Ramen via Afar)
And a few from us:
Reading, Recognizing, & Lenses
Concept: PhD Search Notebook
Reminder: Avanceé will be presenting a lecture towards the topic of digital humanism at the Brigadoon Annapolis Salon Dinner & Lecture in September. Join us for the event, or get in touch if this is something you’d want for your team/org or event.
Concept: PhD Search Notebook (made with Paper for iOS)
Years before the genesis of Avanceé, there was Mobile Ministry Magazine, a website and magazine geared to assisting faith-based groups better understand and apply mobile and other connected technologies. The challenge then was it was a perspective much further out than some groups were willing to consider. Yet, it was heard in time, and the audience grew and sparked several other movements (many of which still heavily influencing faith and connectivity today).
In its nadir, MMM began talking about some of the next maneuvers of connectivity and the faith. Though not spoken about directly, machine learning figured heavily into that view. This too was a viewpoint much further ahead of where many in the space were attending. It was also beyond the scope of MMM to speak towards those areas (even if it did demonstrate what’s possible from the mobile-appendage and connected services). Since MMM’s closing, it has been interesting to see others experiment towards a life beyond mobile also.
Bible Lens is a new application from the folks at YouVersion. It uses a combination of images taken on the mobile device, along with YouVersion’s dataset containing Bible references, cross-references, topical subjects, and more to create an image-text mashup. It uses what it can discern from the image against that dataset in order o create this image-text mashup. In doing so, YouVersion hopes that it will highlight to the user (and then to whom the user shares) the connection between the lives they live and the Biblical text they follow.
YouVersion began as a bible reading application. It was their intention to do what other bible applications had failed to do — increase reading (and therefore knowledge and application) by non-pastoral persons. Bible Lens seems to take that vision and push them into another direction: from encouraging reading, to now recognizing. This sounds like a shift of mission, however, it is an acknowledgement that contextualization is more difficult than just assigning literacy. Comprehension happens within a context of how ones lives, and it seems YouVersion is aiming to use machine learning to connect the images we take of our lives, to the codecs we use to navigate. This can be dangerous (there are several cannons of the Christian bible for example; does YouVersion cross-reference all of them, or just a set the user selects, or a set they select). This can also be advantageous to developing better machine learning models (image and non-image based) which enable other types of filtering, contextualization, and even mashups not even imagined.
YouVersion does recognize however their view of reading isn’t the end-point for literacy. This machine-assisted viewpoint is something many industries are coming to, and not all have been able to imagine well enough to navigate, or be motivated enough to move once imagined. What’s outside of the box for them was taking reading from their container to the images people have on their connected devices. From there, they added value by connecting their lives to the codes which bind them together. How might other companies figure out similar? It might be as simple as going from reading to recognizing what else lies outside of their boxes. At least, that’s what Avanceé aims to help groups realize.
There’s sometimes no getting around this point — there’s just a whole lot out there to sift through, and even more right behind it. Does it matter to highlight so little in a sea of so much? Perhaps. But, what about when we highlight the sea, its waves, and the lands it brushes up against? There’s a lot more than sediment being pushed around. There’s a lot more happening than just the links as shared:
Exploring How and Why Trees ‘Talk’ to Each Other via Yale 360
What if Stories Are Brain Code via Renaissance Chambara
A Math Theory for Why People Hallucinate via Quanta Magazine
Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not via Wired
You’re Not Listening by Rands in Repose
We Will Not Get Bigger, We Will Not Get Faster via Future Human
The Bullshit Web via Pixel Envy
Everything Bad About Facebook is Bad for the Same Reason via Quartz
Only one item from us this week: Concept: Interaction Design App