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November 2012 Archives

November 2, 2012

The future in texture...

I just read this article in the Nytimes. Steve Jobs promoted "skeuomorphic designs," use of textures on mobile devices, but the company may be removing these textures from their designs — “Clean edges, flat surfaces will likely replace the textures." While I am in favor of flat surfaces and a good use of typography, I wonder if this aesthetic appeals to mainstream users or just designers?

"He [Steve Jobs] did the same with many other virtual doodads that mimic the appearance and behavior of real-world things, like wooden shelves for organizing newspapers and the page-flipping motion of a book, according to people who worked with him but declined to be named to avoid Apple’s ire."

Anyone in the 3D field will know how important texture is. Watch "Cloud Atlas" (by Lana and Andy Wachowski, directors of "The Matrix" series). The film creates a scene based in the science fiction city of Neo-Seoul, where the character Hae-Joo Chang saves Sonmi-451 and takes her to his drab gray safe haven. He uses a remote to transform the room into a luxury apartment with a view (e.g. flipping the tiles of the gray floor to red carpet, and transforming the walls into a beautiful skyline window view or cherry blossom wall paper).

Image Credit: Animation World Network

Here is a clip of the effects produced (but they don't show that room):

I really hope that Apple can keep Steve Jobs' vision. The company already changed the screen size of the iphone5 despite Steve Jobs' wish, which changes the aspect ratio, and will make it harder to develop apps. I went to a presentation late last year with product managers from Gilt, Hearst, and Buzz Feed Media. They repeated that because there was one aspect ratio, it was easy to develop and test apps on iOS versus Android (frameworks and multiple devices fragment screen size resolutions).

Now the news is that iPad is getting an early update. Interesting changes afoot...

November 6, 2012

Surface store in Times Square, New York

I just found out from a colleague, Thomas Feliciano, who went to see the Surface tablets in the Times Square pop-up shop. He said that the current tablets, Surface RT will not run legacy apps, however Microsoft will release the Surface Pro in Q1 of 2013, which will be able to run legacy applications as well as new apps from store. I believe he said you would be able to side load Windows 7/8 (potential for a USB). It will be for users who want the power of a laptop. It will also come with a stylus (that hopefully allows people to rest their hands on the screen).


Outside the Surface store in Times Square, New York:
Credit: Thomas Feliciano

Inside the Surface store in Times Square, New York:
Credit: Thomas Feliciano

Related: Surface RT tablet

Adding this article I found today about Microsoft adding HTML5 and javascript in Windows 8:

November 7, 2012


These quotes from Marc Andreessen inspired me to take on programming after several failed attempts to learn code:

"The spread of computers and the Internet will put jobs in two categories," Andreessen says. "People who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do."
In two words, "study STEM" (science, technology, engineering and math), he says. In liberal arts, only the best of the best will make top dollar. A person will have to be good enough that his book is a best seller or her song goes global, or he'll have to be smart enough to apply philosophy to corporate strategic thinking.

This quote just re-iterates my design minifesto. I should have included artists/writers/musicians and other creatives as well, but this was a 1-week assignment in 2003 (who knew what I now know).

Since May 2012, I've been taking classes in several MOOC's (Massive Open Online Course) via Coursera, Edx, Udacity, and Codeacademy. I think having taken Fortran in my undergraduate studies in engineering left a scar for learning programming. However, this year, I took a different approach by applying Malcolm Gladwell's principle of the 10,000 hours rule to my studies -- immersing myself in programming lectures. I am more determined to learn how to code. I am currently enrolled in a couple of Python classes, and whilst completing the assignments, I hadn't see a connection or relevance to my current day job... Until yesterday! A co-worker had to run some scripts in Python. Now that I can put what I learned to use, I am more motivated to learn Python.

I found this infographic on National Geographic relating to the 10,000 rule, which might inspire you:
Credit: Courtesy of Zintro

If you want to read a great article about MOOC's, check out this one published in the Nytimes. They even spell out the finer details between the MOOC's. Btw, Kerrissa Lynch, recommended this article to me.

Next week will mark the end of "Learn to Program." Wish me luck on my final ;)

November 9, 2012

Coolest Microsoft PR project...

Not sure if this video is real or fake (actors/actresses vs. citizens), but this is so awesome (they are promoting Surface):

November 10, 2012

Great presentation from Donald Norman, Interaction South America 2012

Donald Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things presents this comprehensive overview of interaction/experience design, which cover his 6 design principles as well as visceral, behavior, and reflective states of the user:

Aside from that, he is coming out with a new book that will possibly cover projected designs of the future from now until year 2037. Here are some of my notes:

• Example of Windows mobile phone interface
• Apple volume button in earbud cord (I had no idea until watching this presentation there was a middle button)
• Brain interaction (reminds me of phantom limbs) - DARPA (this video covers research in this area)
• DIY markets (INMO: I am bracing myself for this revolution, as I hope it changes mass production, not proliferate more unnecessary products for our environment's sake)
• BMW iDrive
• Future of subscriptions
• Interesting analysis on who are Google's customers? And what are their products?
Google customers: Advertising agencies
Google's products: Us
• Great attention to accessibility (displaying text on slides when signing wasn't appropriate)
If you are interested in more ixd/hci principles, check out Jakob Nielsen: http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html

Using 3D printers in regenerative medicine

A colleague of mine, Thomas Deneuville told me about this breakthrough research in using 3D printers to create tissue templates for creating organs in regenerative medicine (was published in Nature Materials).

Dr. Anthony Atala talks about "Growing organs" by printing, knitting, weaving cellular structures (and in some cases printing directly onto the organ during surgical procedures). These videos overlap, but the first one is dated 2009, and the second one is dated 2011:

In this video, they can scan and directly print these cell lines to the organ (screenshot of a frame in this video, and video just below it):


Last, I believe this research was published this July in Nature Biotechnology. The researchers at Caltech and Harvard were able to print and grow these artificial jellyfish, called "Medusoid," that they hope to use to create heart muscle or “to clean up oil spills in a similar manner to the way a jellyfish filters out its food.”

Check out this video of these flagellating Medusoids:

November 11, 2012

New type of browsing...

Found about this via Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing. Check out this browser from Ishac and Marco and Jay Melican at CIID (formerly from IVREA, found out from Tom Igoe):

Flaps from Ishac Bertran on Vimeo.

More information here:

November 15, 2012

Strolling down memory lane... Sasu bracelets and ITP

I was strolling down memory lane looking for a particular document in my email, and I was happy to find a project that I worked on for my Toy Design class at ITP. I wrote this article for BusinessWeek on my design process for these toy bracelets. Here is the BusinessWeek slideshow that accompanied the article. In a summary, these bracelets allow kids to covertly communicate with one another using light patterns (more info).


They were also featured in this book by CFDA: American Fashion Accessories by Candy Pratts Price, Jessica Glasscock and Art Tavee, and in Material Connexion's Interactive Youths Exhibition curated by Benjamin Rosenthal in 2007.

Good times, good times, indeed.

November 18, 2012

Interesting Navigation and Site Design

Found this great education startup on linkedin via an ITP connection.

All section pages are pieced together in a continuous flow. There is a persistent nav that vanishes and appears in the top of the sections. Blog is placed last because I imagine that this is dynamic, and adding posts will not disrupt the navigation between other sections.


Taking some screenshots, just in case they revert to something more traditional:



November 20, 2012

Found this channel on YouTube: How It's Made

I am fascinated with process, and have always been as a kid. I remember just watching these types of segments on Sesame Street as a 6-year old. Right off the bat, I must have watched at least 3 videos in a row. I am always amazed at who invents these processes, and how many iterations they go through.

After watching this video, I re-read Malcolm Gladwell's "The Ketchup Conundrum" found also in his book, What the Dog Saw. Now, I understand why Heinz 57 is protective of their recipe.

November 21, 2012

Medical apps and how users use them...

Great article on medical apps, which may not be related to science, but reveal insight to two different sets of audience for potential persona creation. For example, Dr. Alvin Rajkomar does not come from a traditional life science background, but he was a programmer/physicist.




Medcalc - clinical note application
Evernote - notes app used as a "second brain"
Epocrates - drug dosages and interactions
QXcalculate - create risk profiles for his patients
Electronic health record (iPad) - compares this experience to manually writing notes; writing by hand on a Samsung mini-tablet

Electronic stethoscope - amplifies heart sounds while canceling out ambient noise

Problems with digital records - formulaic approach that does not translate to main goal (how patients fare)

Tablet computers are given or reimbursed to medical trainees (eg residents at Univ of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford)

Research published in "Archives of Internal Medicine" found increased and improved efficiency among residents.

UCSF Medical physicians use iPads and mobile computers (the big kind on wheels)

-research: social and psychological complexities of patients

Love the reference to Vladimir Horowitz for classical music connoisseurs - can keep eyes on patient while typing.

November 25, 2012

The Next 30 Years by USA Today

Visionaries talk about the future in technology, science, education, food, retail, entertainment, music and publishing:


And check out their new site redesign:

About November 2012

This page contains all entries posted to keeyool.com in November 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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