December 21, 2019

Draw a bicycle

Photo by Mikkel Bech on Unsplash

genuine understanding usually depends on perceptual support

(Taking the not-wrong lesson from David Chapman’s essay about Understanding)

December 21, 2019

Personalisation is a trap

Gerry McGovern:

It’s great theory to collect all this rich customer data and then micro-target people with the exact right marketing. However, to design and maintain such personalization systems takes a tremendous effort. I have seen personalization situations that required four to five times the investment in personnel than that required for running the same non-personalized website.

Organisations that get sold on the vision of personalisation are (in my experience) fail to get told about the effort involved in maintaining that effort.

Collecting personal data has been an obsession of most organizations, whether commercial or governmental. Luckily, most of this data is never used because most organizations are simply incompetent when it comes to managing data.


Or, alternatively, given these organisations are incompetent when it comes to managing data,“terrifyingly”.

December 21, 2019

The power in un-original things

David McCullough, interviewed by Elizabeth Gaffney and Benjamin Ryder Howe in The Paris Review:

Louis Agassiz would take an odorous old fish out of a jar, set it in a tin pan in front of the student and say, Look at your fish. Then Agassiz would leave. When he came back, he would ask the student what he’d seen. Not very much, they would most often say, and Agassiz would say it again: Look at your fish. This could go on for days. The student would be encouraged to draw the fish but could use no tools for the examination, just hands and eyes. Samuel Scudder, who later became a famous entomologist and expert on grasshoppers, left us the best account of the ordeal with the fish.” After several days, he still could not see whatever it was Agassiz wanted him to see. But, he said, I see how little I saw before. Then Scudder had a brainstorm and he announced it to Agassiz the next morning: Paired organs, the same on both sides. Of course! Of course! Agassiz said, very pleased. So Scudder naturally asked what he should do next, and Agassiz said, Look at your fish.

McCullough continues:

Insight comes, more often than not, from looking at what’s been on the table all along, in front of everybody, rather than from discovering something new.

Look harder.

via Austin Kleon, via Tom Critchlow.

December 21, 2019

On co-analysis

A short article by Vita Mangan about including other people in your qualitative (design) research.

December 21, 2019

Why do kids love garbage trucks?

The lesson here is don’t over think it.

December 21, 2019

This is the most 2019 photo

via Road and Track