A theoretical thinker and design lover. Maker of brand, strategy and marketing in a digital product strategy and design consultancy.  A mix of my random thoughts, interests and opinions.
  • "The method is designed not to impose a set of questions and terms on the discussion, but to allow these to emerge over the course of the conversation. We are allowing the consumer to choose a path for the interview. We are endowing them with a sense that they are the expert. We are honoring the fact that they know and we don’t. (Because they do!)"

    Grant McCracken takes a crack at defining ethnography

    I completely agree with what he is saying, but i always thought you created an ethnography, rather than did (i.e methods leading up to it) it. Perhaps I am mistaken. 

    The one bone of contention I have here is the word “consumer” — this automatically puts it into a business setting. So what McCracken is really defining is business ethnography. 

    • 1
  • "

    Above all else, sociology helps us learn to ask critical questions about both individuals and their broader context. What factors shape an individual’s life chances? How do changes in policies and laws impact people’s daily lives? Is this person’s experience typical, or anomalous?

    Learning about sociology not only enhances a writer’s ability to tell interesting stories, it also helps us tell stories that will have a powerful impact on those who read them.


    "Sociology for Storytellers"

    As a pseudo-sociologist, the skills I learned, namely the importance of the social context of, well, pretty much everything, changes everything. 

    • 83
  • "Technology has fooled us into thinking that we invent first and train our minds later."


    Do first, think later. Maybe it is an advantage, but I see it more as a problem. By doing first, you end up with a lot of bad products, services, anything out there. 

    • 1
  • "The permeation of design conversation in the traditional business world has made our profession highly topical, resulting in greater awareness of who we are, what we do and how we can impact commerce. This gradual assimilation of design into business parlance has been steadily gaining steam over the past decade-plus (somewhat conspicuously aligned with the rise of Apple and its influential brand aesthetic, which provided a highly visible case study for the possibility of design-centric thinking in business). The results have been somewhat varied. Primarily, I believe there is an unprecedented opportunity—and, I would argue, obligation—for design studios to elevate the standing of our profession within the broader professional community."

    "Forecasting: The Design Studio of the Near Future"

    While I agree with the core point being made, this creates a potential problem. By positioning the designer as the other against everyone else. With the permeation of design, does that mean the democratization of it? Is this something that can be shared and understood by many? 

    The idea of ‘elevating the practice’ is potentially alienating. While designers would certainly be positioned as the expert, they would be farther removed from the communities they are trying to serve. 

  • "

    “Big data is a term describing the storage and analysis of large and or complex data sets using a series of techniques including, but not limited to: NoSQL, MapReduce and machine learning.

    The Method for an Integrated Knowledge Environment open source project. The MIKE project argues that big data is not a function of the size of a dataset but its complexity. Consequently, it is the high degree of permutations and interactions within a dataset that defines big data.

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST argues that big data is data which: “exceed(s) the capacity or capability of current or conventional methods and systems”. In other words, the notion of “big” is relative to the current standard of computation.”


    "The Big Data Conundrum"

    The new definition of Big Data. 

    • 2
  • "In this way, a focus on episodes of performance turns our concerns from cognition, in which artifacts assist design thinking, to one of enactment, in which documents, spaces, tools, and bodies actively participating in producing the identities, responsibilities, and capacities of project constituents. It turns our attention to questions of political representation, materiality and politics. From this perspective, it is not necessarily how designers think but how they stage and orchestrate performances of the project that makes accountable, authoritative decision-making on behalf of clients and prospective users possible."
    • 2
  • "

    What has your research taught you about wearable computers?

    The idea of wearing technology is hardly new. There’s armor and swords and many other things that we’ve worn on our bodies that were the technologies of the day. That can help us think about the current obsession and where these things are going.

    The technologies that we have put on our bodies over the last multiple thousand years tend to have two functions. One of them is literal. They’re doing some kind of work to extend our physicality, or reach. The other is always symbolic, what they say to others. The armor and the coat of arms on it say “I’m on his team, keep away.” Watches from 200 years ago said, “Not only do I have the money to have a timepiece, but I believe in punctuality.” I’m interested in how you start to weave those two things together, the functional and the symbolic.

    Does that hold true today for wearable computers?

    Absolutely. The challenge at the moment is that we’re just dealing with the literal piece, not the symbolic piece. The choices about what you have on your body are entirely personal, but how they’re read by others is slightly out of your control and it’s a symbolic transaction. At the moment we’re still very much in the “task” piece of wearable computing, not in the symbolic “how do we make sense of it” piece.


    Genevieve Bell on Wearable Computers 

    Again we come back to the “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” problem that ‘innovative’ technology is encountering. We have the capability to make all these new devices like Google Glass, but we have not taken the time to think about why someone would want that beyond the literal capabilities, beyond its novel function. And the fact that it is on your body. 

    • 2
  • "Twitter is not a startup any more. It doesn’t need to hide behind the skirts of its investors, or plead that it’s too new to understand how being a prominent company works. It has been in the trenches of every major world event for the past seven years. It could even be argued that Twitter is not really a tech company – because Twitter’s future is tied with the future of news itself, it’s a media company now. And as a media company, it should know that words matter. And the lack of words – a strange, uncustomary silence – says more than Twitter’s executives may think."

    "Twitter’s Secret IPO Undermines Its Mission of Transparency"

    While a very valid point, there are several pieces of this that bother me. First off, Twitter has not been a startup for sometime. Twitter is indeed a media, communication and entertainment company now. That mission of transparency lingers from the days when it was a social network, of sorts. A way to communication 140-characters of random thoughts or events with anyone who would listen. That was then. 

    The IPO is the symptom of a larger shift that has been happening within Twitter for years now. They are no longer a social network. That is not a plausible business option for them. Yes, Twitter is inherently social, but it is not Facebook. It’s currency is information, news. That is Twitter’s business now. It is a smart business decision to keep the news about their IPO under wraps because of that shift.