A random collection of things that inspire, interest and trouble me
from the world of design, politics, art and culture.

A break in transmission

Posted: January 18th, 2010 | Author: ktcita | Filed under: Blog, events, information design, user experience | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Apologies for the severe lack of posting. I have started a new job and just can’t seem to find the time to blog. I hope this will settle down in the next couple of weeks.

I am also enjoying attending design events in London, something I didn’t have the chance to do when living in Reading. Last week I went to St. Bride’s Library to listen to Paul Stiff and colleagues talk of their research into 19th century information design. They are looking at how people used to read information for action, a difficult task as it is not the kind of reading that many people have written about. There is a related exhibition at the library full of timetables, maps, tables and forms.

The ‘indicator’ map below is part of the exhibition. I saw this in a class given by Michael Twyman at Reading University last year. The tape measure is used to find any street with accuracy. Note the numbers along the sides of the map and the lines that would be used to line up the tape. Lining up a set of numbers listed after a street in the index would allow users to find the street.


Next week some UX folks from Google are speaking at a UX UPA event at the Truman Brewery. Very much looking forward to that. You can read more about that event on the UX UPA Eventbrite page.

Reading and watching

Posted: December 8th, 2009 | Author: ktcita | Filed under: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Today I have been watching Copenhagen TV via Oneclimate.net. There have been some very thought provoking interviews and some inspiring films on there so far. You can also keep track of course via Twitter (#COP15), or the Tck Tck Tck live blog, or even the on demand videos from the UNFCC. It is interesting how much more I feel a part of this conference than I did that of Bali, basically down to the ability to access live streaming video and read the Twitter stream.

I also watched a very interesting talk on the next big thing in digital media (or below if the player works for you), put on by the Paley Centre for Media. The talk was convened by Quincy Smith from CBS Interactive and introduces and explains the ideas and funding models behind start ups like Boxee, Chartbeat, Hot Potato, Jelli, gdgt.com and Tapulous. Of some interestwas Chartbeat which is a real time analytic service that allows companies to track what people are doing on their sites in real time and adjust the content or direction accordingly.

Tomorrow is a reading day and I am going to sit myself down with a nice cup of tea to read Futerra’s Sell the Sizzle report which calls on campaigners and the government to stop selling doom and gloom about the climate and instead talk about how living a low-carbon life will be heavenly. The name of the report comes from the idea that with sausages you don’t sell dead pork, you sell the sizzle and smell of them cooking. It’s all about positive framing. You can download it on Futerra’s site.

I am also going to read a working paper entitled Culture|Futures Cultural Transformations for a Cultural Age, edited by Olaf Gerlach-Hansen. This investigates how “culture interconnects with the reality of climate change and with ecology. It aims to establish a set of common understandings and definitions, and to identifiy important perspectives for cultural strategies for sustainable development”. You can download the report on the RSA’s Arts & Ecology site.

I also plan on wading through the many useful articles on user experience on the Usability Professional’s website. This is to swot up on what I hope will be my new career. Enough with print, bring in the digital.