Backpack PLUS Will Empower Community Health Workers

Backpack PLUS Will Empower Community Health Workers

A comprehensive toolkit to empower and activate Community Health Workers.

The Third Wave of Computing
Corpus Callosum

The Third Wave of Computing

Hear more from Theo Forbath at MobileCon 2013.

As Myanmar Opens Up, Will Mobile Money Emerge?
frogs on the road

As Myanmar Opens Up, Will Mobile Money Emerge?

Myanmar is easing sanctions and its economy is opening up.

What You Will Find On a Design Researcher's Bookshelf

What You Will Find On a Design Researcher's Bookshelf

Your guide to design research education.

fragile: handle with care

As promised, here is the update on Carla Diana's "fragile: handle with care" installation project in france.

She has also been working on a workshop with local kids in Savana at the city art museum. She described the photo below as a "radioactive pizza". Check it out. Nice stuff.

Helvetica - The Movie

SXSW A few days into South By Southwest (SXSW), SXSW Film will world-premiere Gary Hustwit's documentary "Helvetica," starring Erik Spiekerman, Neville Brody, and many others, celebrating the famous typeface that was initially conceived as the incarnation of Swiss neutrality (some graphic designers say that if diplomacy were a font, it would look like Helvetica).

Alan Kay: The PC Must Be Revamped—Now

-- from CIO Insight --

Alan Kay is not a fan of the personal computer, though he did as much as anyone to create it. A winner of the Turing Prize, computer scientist Kay was the leader of the group that invented object-oriented programming, the graphical user interface, 3D computer graphics, and ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet. After helping to create the Alto, the Xerox PARC PC prototype that inspired the Apple Macintosh, he took on the role of chief scientist at Atari Corp. and became a fellow at Apple Computer, Walt Disney Co. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

While most people regard the personal computer as a modern miracle, Kay sees the PC as a chronic underachiever. To him it's an invention that, like television, has fallen far short of the potential foreseen by its early proponents.

I don't think you could find a physicist who has not gone back and tried to find out what Newton actually did. It's unimaginable. Yet the computing profession acts as if there isn't anything to learn from the past.  The things that are wrong with the Web today are due to this lack of curiosity in the computing profession. And it's very characteristic of a pop culture.

> the whole story... 

February 14, 2007

The Business of Color

As we heard from the Color Association, this year’s color is green. This is further demonstrated by clothing companies coming out with a shade of kelly green, as can be demonstrated by design sponge.But here comes Pantone (via Herman Miller) saying the color of the year is: Chili Pepper, "a deep, spicy red."

"In a time when personality is reflected in everything from a cell phone to a Web page on a social networking site, Chili Pepper connotes an outgoing, confident, design-savvy attitude," Pantone says.The prestigious, thousand member Color Marketing Group (CMG) generally concurs. The organization predicts that "deep, rich ethnic reds and warm, glowy oranges" will be the "punch" colors for 2007. CMG is also big on nature. Look for "sky blue." "Earthy browns" (think rocks, stone, and soil) should be hits as well.

Also from Herman Miller - Interestingly, the recently released DuPont Automotive’s 2006 Color Popularity Report found that "for the seventh consecutive year, silver has held its lead as the predominant color choice for vehicles globally." Silver is preferred by 20 to 25 percent of auto buyers. The color has had the longest run in the 53 years DuPont has been compiling data.Personally, I think if chili pepper red is the color of the year, then, ergo, the color combination of the year is red and green. Is this not obvious? They are complementary colors after all. Throw in some silver and you make everybody happy.And if you’ve been watching Top Design, you’ll know that Carisa has been taken over by the specter of red and green. Even she wonders what is up as all three of her designs of the show, so far, have been that color combination.

I have been taken with the red and green color combination ever since an episode of Top Chef when the table was dressed with lovely dark red flowers and bright green stems.

We think we have free will over choices, especially those as simple as color, but maybe it’s just the collective unconscious at work?

Get the frogblog Vista Sidebar Gadget!

We have been doing quite a bit of gadget work lately here at frog. As an experiment, myself and Senior Visual Designer Tim Wong decided to create a frogblog RSS reader gadget. Since gadgets are essentially just HTML and JavaScript there is no reason that you can't include other browser technologies such as Flash and Flex. In this gadget the Flash piece is handling all of the XML parsing and the actual list of news items. Since it is running locally there are no sandbox restrictions for reading in external XML which is nice. The arrows allow you smoothly scroll up and down through the items.

There is one strange bug when you first click on an item in the Flash movie as it doesn't open up the browser. But after that first click items opens the browser to view the news items as expected. We are looking into this bug but we think it has to do with the IE 7 instance which displays the gadgets.

Having Flash in the sidebar opens up a TON of possibilities for cool gadgets like MP3 players and system monitors. Stay tuned for more!

If you are running Vista you can download the gadget here. Just save the ZIP file to your hard drive, rename it so that it has .gadget as the file extension and double-click to install.


Managing Schizophrenic Projects: A Summary

A couple of weeks ago I spoke at the MX Conference (Managing Experience) put on by the nice folks at Adaptive Path. My topic was "Managing Schizophrenic Projects".

Very Cool Market Tracking Visualization

[Updated with full link, thanks Michael]

Twitter: The Missing Messenger

I will admit, I never answer my cellphone. I'm all for communication, but if I'm out with someone, or working, or doing anything that requires my attention, I don't like how much an unexpected call takes me away from what I'm focused on. I'm apt to try all manner of communication technologies - always hoping something will simultaneously support my desire to stay in touch with people I like, and not to be distracted. Tall order, I know. But it was with such optimism that I signed up for Twitter, a new messaging platform by Obvious, whose founders created some of the original blogging technology, and more recently, Odeo.

Twitter is perhaps the best example of a new kind of blog that some are calling a "tumblelog." The tumblelog is a bit like the old link lists: quick one or two-line entries - sometimes just a picture. Twitter in specific allows you to post, through a variety of means (IM, phone, web), short messages meant to describe what you are doing at any given moment. By establishing contacts on the site, you can also get a collected list of what all of your friends are posting.

In addition to all the established channels for posting, Twitter's API's have also made it possible for others to create tools for posting. One tool that has done a lot to make Twitter flourish is called Twitterific, by IconFactory. Camping out quietly in the toolbar, Twitterific pops a small window up whenever someone in my Twitter contacts list has posted something new. Like Outlook, or any Growl-integrated product, the window fades out and I can go back to what I was doing without having to act on anything. All day, I get nice little messages like "Thinking of summer art retreats" and "Rhododendron extract is the answer."

Twitterific is an interesting solution for someone like me. It's basically blogging reduced to what the Russian linguist and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin referred to as "the phatic function. (see note below)" Like saying "what's up?" as you pass someone in the hall when you have no intention of finding out what is actually up, the phatic function is communication simply to indicate that communication can occur. It made me think of the light, low-content text message circles Mizuko Ito described existing among Japanese teens - it's not so important what gets said as that it's nice to stay in contact with people. These light exchanges typify the kind of communication that arises among people who are saturated with other forms of communication.

Is Twitter the future? Will it become the one address I use for hassle-free communication? Or is it, as one of my co-workers pithily put forth, merely "Dodgeball for people who don't go out." Ouch! You decide.

Comedy Central Shows that Personas are Too Simplistic

In today's New York Times there is an article about the proliferation of serious authors getting interview spots on Comedy Central's Daily Show and The Colbert Report. This has turned into an unexpected boon for writers who would otherwise be appearing on shows such as Charlie Rose, often causing their Amazon rankings to jump from the 300,000's to top 300.

User Experience is a Harsh Mistress

So JetBlue has just learned the downside of establishing an outstanding user experience - when things go wrong and you don't deliver, the flak is tremendous.