Last.fm‘s announcement that they will be allowing their users to listen to full-length versions of millions of music tracks is one of the final nails in the coffin of the traditional recorded-music industry. Owning music is dead. The new business model for making money in the music industry is simple: Design a better music distribution … Continue reading R.I.P.: Owning Music (1880-2008)
The One Laptop Per Child is now appearing in people’s mailboxes. But I’m a little sour about all the unquestioning praise for the user interface design, which to me looks like a complete disaster. So I have a challenge for UX pundits and professionals who are also proud new owners of the XO: Say something nice about the Sugar UI. Or say something critical. But talk about the user interface for real, in detail, and don’t hold back.
‘m not going to say much about Kindle — as an iPhone owner, I find both the device and the service colossally dumb. But the breathless excitement over the supposed “death of the book” is even more preposterous, especially to book lovers like my wife and me. For us, books, periodicals, and printed matter of all sorts comprise, quite literally, the very structure of both our intellectual and physical worlds. Kindle is an insult to our world view — Amazon should think of how to support technophiles and book lovers with the same service.
One basic assumption of good experience design is that people fundamentally don’t like change. They can’t deal with it, it’s too risky, and changes will all too often lead to failures. But the human mind’s capacity to adapt to change, sometimes rapidly and seamlessly, can be astonishing.
Al Gore and Iron Eyes Cody. Go check out the original TV ads: Canoe and Horseback Whenever I am about to do something wasteful, like throwing a plastic bottle in the trash or turning the air conditioner on when it’s 74 degrees, my wife says these words to me: “Think of Al Gore.” The phrase, … Continue reading Think of Al Gore. Don’t be a Dick.
In the 17th century, a peculiar phenomenon emerged in England: men with no family or institutional ties to one another would gather informally to socialize, debate, and network with like-minded peers and colleagues, to discuss everything from politics to literature to economics, building social connections between them that hadn’t existed before. They met in taverns … Continue reading The Social Web’s Coffeehouses, Nightclubs, Country Clubs, and Taverns
In the future of the movie Idiocracy, Carl’s Jr.’s slogan becomes “Fuck You, I’m Eating”… which isn’t really a stretch from the attitude expressed in their current ad campaign. In fact, a lot of marketing today deliberately insults and degrades the consumer. Why?
As I was subtly hinting at in my last couple of posts, I have changed my Windowy ways. I have switched (back) to Mac. Finally. This is the first in an ad hoc series of articles documenting my experiences with this transition, looking at it from many perspectives: personal and cultural observations, usability and user … Continue reading Back to Mac, Part 1: Why I am Leaving Windows and Getting a Mac
I’m disappointed in the pace of technological change lately, in particular when you consider that we live in a time of war.
During World War II, some of the most astounding technological developments of all time were developed, both by the Allies and the Axis powers. In some cases existing technologies advanced by leaps and bounds, and in other cases new technologies emerged from practically nothing in less than half a decade. The list of revolutionary innovations that emerged during the war years is staggering…
At least Tony didn’t pick Heart’s “Magic Man”! Almost every Friday near the end of the day, someone at Behavior will start playing loud music to help remind everyone to stop working soon — the musical equivalent of the whistle that tells Fred Flintstone that it’s quittin’ time. This Friday, my partner Jeff blasted “Don’t … Continue reading The Don’t Stop Believin’ Game / Bristles on the Long Tail