Notes from a talk by Alan Kay
“Turn up your nose at good ideas. You must work on great ideas, not good ones.”...”Better is the enemy of best.”...”Point of view is worth 80 IQ points.”...”People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”
In defense of "purposeless acts of design whimsy"
“One of the functions of design is to delight and amuse the audience. There’s something to be gained from indulging ourselves, once in a while, in purposeless acts of design whimsy, even if we spend our days building minutely optimized interfaces that give no quarter to artistic idiosyncrasies.”
Infographic: ‘Hope’ ‘Iraq’ ‘Economy’ ‘Oil’
bush wordsPresident Bush’s speeches have included over 34,000 words. This interactive graphic visually displays which ones pop up most frequently and when they appeared.
Curing Blackberry thumbs and tech necks
“Therapies to treat workplace woes such as a sore thumb from tapping on a hand-held computer, the aches of ‘tech neck’ from typing on a laptop or even skin irritation from chatting on a cell phone are the latest rage to hit high-end spas.”
iPhone tester: Keyboard is “a huge improvement” over thumbpads on Treo and other smart phones
“The buttons are significantly larger, you don’t have to hit them dead-center, you lightly tap them instead of punching them down, and the software is smart enough to know that you meant to type ‘Tuesday’ instead of ‘Tudsday.’ After 30 seconds, I was already typing faster with the iPhone than I ever have with any other phone. I suspect that true e-mail demons will need to adapt to the lack of tactile feedback, though.”
What do Tiffany’s and Glock have in common?
“One of the many reasons Apple, Tiffany’s, Mercedes, and others can charge a premium for their less feature laden products is quality. It’s important to point out that quality can be either actual or perceived. Did you know that Ferraris have few parts than most cars, but that the parts are of much higher quality? The same can be said for Glock. I was once told by a sportsman that Glock had done test burying their handguns in the mud, left them for 10 years, then dug them up, cocked and fired them without incident. Now that’s quality control.”
Microsoft "purging bloat to fashion sleek software"
“The chief sales point of Office 2007 (for Windows XP or Vista), which arrives on Jan. 30, is that it’s simpler, it’s more streamlined and its documents take up far less disk space…Evidently, even Microsoft saw the need for a major feature purge. ‘We had some options in there that literally did nothing,’ said Paul Coleman, a product manager.”
Why Ideo hires t-shaped people
“We look for people who are so inquisitive about the world that they’re willing to try to do what you do. We call them ‘T-shaped people.’ They have a principal skill that describes the vertical leg of the T — they’re mechanical engineers or industrial designers. But they are so empathetic that they can branch out into other skills, such as anthropology, and do them as well. They are able to explore insights from many different perspectives and recognize patterns of behavior that point to a universal human need.”
Meet the Real Sacha Baron Cohen
NPR interview with Baron Cohen (rare recent interview where he’s not in character).