You’ve worked with them. Perhaps you’ve even been them. The people who claim "there are no problems, only opportunities". This needs to stop. Putting your head in the sand doesn’t make the tiger go away.
Working long and hard hours, one deserves a hobby. So what does a UX developer do when there’s an hour a night to spare?
My latest project is Event Monitor. A dashboard for events and happenings showing beautiful statistics all rendered in SVG (so it works great on any platform).
Please check it out and let me know what you think!
In my youth I dabbled with dark arts. I thought experimenting wouldn’t hurt, so I tried a little, but little became a lot. My addiction took up all my spare time and heavily impacted my social life. I became alienated by friends and had a hard time talking to people close to me.
That’s how I spent six years studying economics.
The first day of SIME, the European tech/startup conference, was a vivid circus of great speakers with great production values. This time in Stockholm.
Sime is a special sort of conference because it is focused on marketing entrepreneurship and creating a forum for entrepreneurs and investors. While similar conferences might slog through technical details while zombie hordes of coffee ingesting listeners try to stay awake, SIME is more about showmanship. Almost every session is 20 minutes or less, even for the big players, and our host, Ola Ahlvarsson, is always on stage pushing things along.
“Hey could you email me that picture you just took?”
While sharing online has taken the web by storm and has since become old news. Sharing digital information locally has always been a hassle away from out computers and high speed internet connections. Not any more.
Customer service is often a necessary evil. Something companies must do to wheel out stats from when there’s a PR crisis. But usually it’s costly and no one really wants to do it.
The last day at SIME, Sweden’s largest digital/web conference in Stockholm, a panel of guests took to the stage to have a panel discussion about gamification.
Gamification is the latest and greatest buzz word in a long line of hype from digital marketing companies. But gamification is different because unlike social media and the like the Gamification concept is loaned from the hugely profitable games industry.
At SIME this year the panel consisted of representatives from World of Horses Online, CCP games and an associate professor from the Stockholm School of Economics. The topic was gamification and was simply introduced as the concept of using mechanics and design from the games industry to market products and services in non entertainment industries.
Elisabet, from CCP games, really gave a show with clear and consice ideas about gamification.
She started off by describing the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.
An extrinsic motivator, which are mostly used in gamification today, are external rewards given to the player for achieving certain tasks. Such as points to shoot a bird accurately or a badge to check in at a location
An intrinsic motivator is an internal reward the player experiences because he/she achieves something in the context of the game. Internal rewards are feelings based on. Social recognition or completing a challenge.
One of her most memorable quotes was saying she’d like to Gamify the games industry by moving from extrinsic to intrinsic motivators.
Another one was a sharp critique to enforced seriousness while stating a point about humans being playful creatures:
why can we hug at a soccer game but not in the board room?
Elisabet also rocked the end of the panel by giving an example of how she would revolutionize boutique shopping by gamifying a H&M shop into a “minecraft retail experience” to, in her own words, “create a platform for creativity and self expression”.
The audience and the panel alike seemed almost shocked by the simple truths laid out by Elisabet on gamification. I bet that if she has any say, gamification will be less of a buzz word and more of a business strategy from now on.
One can only hope.
I’m writing this on an iPad balanced on my knee while I’m eating so if this post is in shambles, please check back in an hour or so and I’ll try to polish the turd.
Robin from the Stockholm School of Economics mailed me an update, apparently I got both her school and her title wrong.. Sorry Robin, keep up the great work!
Life is not a chance event
You make choices – spend your time -
to create substance. Instead of just dreaming
about what might be.
But once in a while, you need a time-out.
Peace and relaxation that give you time to think.
To define substance…
When the iPad was announced a lot of people wondered what it was for. Why carry a giant iPod touch with you instead of a small laptop? When Apple later unveiled the updated MacBook Air a lot of people asked the same thing. But the iPad is still flying off the shelves and people love the machine.
But if you’re still wondering why the iPad is good I did some snooping. Actually I’ve asked non-leading, weird, questions to every iPad user near me for close to two years just to understand the behavior. And I think I’ve solved it.
Why the iPad feels wrong for real work
Some people will tell you the iPad does multitasking and that it works great. That’s just not true. It does uni-tasking and great app switching.
The difference is it really forces you to focus on one thing at a time. I have no problem switching between apps to get stuff I need to send or reply to that email with facts from simplenote etc. But you can’t have all that on the screen at the same time like you are used to.
This makes people believe it’s hard to use for work. Simply because they have to relearn their entire workflow. The desktop experience simply doesn’t translate to the tablet and it makes people feel less efficient.
Why the iPad is awesomee
The iPad actually makes you more effective. Not efficient. You won’t be doing things at the same speed as you do on a desktop, and that might frustrate you. But it’ll also force you to think about what is most important. Usually, in both my experience and my sneaky interviews, making the end result better.
The iPad really does almost everything a desktop computer does. So far I’ve found two things it doesn’t do as well as a desktop:
- Create graphics, the iPad simply cannot compete with Adobe Photoshop and a mouse.
- Formatting text. Yes I’m serious. You can do it. But it takes forever.
The second thing the iPad doesn’t to really do highlights the efficiency vs effectiveness problem. It doesn’t format text well. But is that really what you should be doing? Yes a well formated document looks a lot more professional than a poorly formatted one. But the content is really the important thing, right? And seriously, you could’ve made a template for those visual documents years ago.
Don’t worry though, there’s probably an app for that.
The ending was intended as sarcasm and not rampant fanboyism. Though I probably am a rampant fanboy of Apple’s take on design.