Posts in category: Technology

From data to insights and strategy

From data to insights and strategy

Data collection is not the challenge. We have cheap sensors, ubiquitous connectivity, mature database tools, and inexpensive computing power. We also have decades of legacy data – both digital and analogue – in government and industry archives waiting to...
Over-reliance on data impedes innovation

Over-reliance on data impedes innovation

Insights derived from gathered data are inherently rooted in the past. Gathered data reflects what has already happened. Acting on these insights is inherently reactive. We are reacting to what had already happened. In an fairly unchanging, operationalised...
Don’t judge: “always on their phones”

Don’t judge: “always on their phones”

This video was shown at a workshop I attended. While I appreciate where the author was coming from, and why the workshop presenter chose to show it, I also found it rather judgemental and dismissive. The video belittled the true power of these technologies. It made a...
Hawaii missile warning: a hypothetical UI improvement

Hawaii missile warning: a hypothetical UI improvement

The recent Hawaiian missile warning mistake piqued my interest in just how the user interface of the WAS alert system may have contributed to the mistake, and how it could be improved. The screen-grabs used below came from here; thanks to Peter R for the link. I am...
A big psychological step forward for robocars

A big psychological step forward for robocars

GM has announced self-driving cars with no steering wheels or pedals. Laws aside, this is significant move from a psychological safety perspective. Steering wheels and pedals in cars have always signalled control to users. Even when they are not actively used in...
Human- vs machine-centric content design

Human- vs machine-centric content design

Designers generally design for humans. Human-centric design makes sense as the consumers/users are humans. There are key principles and best practices governing structure, content, and presentation. These are factors that affect a design’s accessibility, usability and...
Empathy in electronic communications

Empathy in electronic communications

Empathy and connection works in electronic communications too. It just takes us a bit of time to adapt. I really do believe that the more we spend time on these communication channels, the more we will adapt our inherent empathy and connection abilities to them....
From Facebook to direct interactions

From Facebook to direct interactions

Image via Buzzfeed. It took about five minutes yesterday, standing on a busy train platform, to decide to scale back (ok, suspend) my interactions on Facebook. Nothing bad happened. It was just another day. I probably got overtired. And Facebook wasn’t helping. I like...
Fakery gives permission

Fakery gives permission

Real or Fake? AI Is Making It Very Hard to Know, by Will Knight. The ability to fake evidence with increasing plausibility will like give more of us permission to take greater risks online. As fakery becomes more believable and easier to do, “That wasn’t me (in some...
Tech mags: from news to guidebooks

Tech mags: from news to guidebooks

I haven’t bought a computer magazine for over 15 years now. The last time I flipped through one was more than five years ago. So it was interesting to find myself standing in front of a rack of them at a newsagents recently. Computer magazines used to be my primary...
Details details details

Details details details

This is one of the monitors in a local McDonald’s. Do you notice anything odd about the display? It has been like this since I first came here over 5 years ago. The vertical white line pans left and right endlessly. Order numbers appear behind the words...
The humble index.html page

The humble index.html page

In the age of WordPress and other cheap and easy content management systems, we should not forget the humble index.html file. You can build one with nothing more than Notepad. It is a fast way to get a simple web page up; such as one with your logo and contact...
$500 census server

$500 census server

QUT students design a $500 cloud-based census server four times better than IBM’s $9 million system. This article about two university students creating a system over a weekend that “could handle nearly 40 times as many census submissions per second” made a...
Hair-trigger ads UX fail

Hair-trigger ads UX fail

Yet another user-experience (UX) fail because … advertising! If you are a regular reader of news.com.au on your phone you may have noticed this annoying behaviour: swiping to scroll/pan a story often triggers an ad to open in a new browser tab/page. This is poor...
Millennials lack social skills

Millennials lack social skills

I have often heard this assertion. Always from an older person. And across cultural and professional strata. This easy dismissal may seem like an immediately obvious truism. This may however, be judgement from a position of ignorance; with a dash of change anxiety. We...
Making money in software

Making money in software

Here are four broad approaches to make money in software development today. Let me know if you find them useful. 1. Create and maintain bespoke software for vertical markets. Conservative industries like banking, manufacturing and mining. Rely on on specialised...
It just works

It just works

On a whim I connected my Thinkpad USB Traveller keyboard to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 again recently. I haven’t done this since I bought the USB OTG cable over a year ago, Guess what? It still just worked! The phone detected both the trackpoint and the touchpad...
Mobile power

Mobile power

Do you travel with a spare battery for your phone? On the most recent trip to Europe, I used my phone to store travel information like itineraries and hotel vouchers, navigate cities, collect my thoughts (write!), communicate with friends, access exhibitions, and...
Credit card customer experience consistency

Credit card customer experience consistency

Many of our customer experiences are amalgamations of services provided by different suppliers. Take for example, the use of a credit card when travelling abroad, like the 28 Degrees Mastercard I use. In Ireland, the card did not work at all retailers (even when all...
Selling game alphas is the ultimate lean

Selling game alphas is the ultimate lean

Game companies selling alpha-release (essentially unfinished, work-in-progress) games has to represent the ultimate in lean. More game companies seem to do this. Instead of taking the more conventional, longer process of building the complete product,  testing,...
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