Tag Archives: XD

Custom stand

This is something I just finished for a client. I have completed design and construction of a base for an art piece from the “My Favorite Machine” series,

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The client had requested a stand to be less boisterous than the iconic culvert I had used originally. While I am immensely fond of the culverts, I understand that if she is to place this in her gallery next to her Andy Warhol prints as she said (which excites me, I admit), the culverts are a bit loud. So, I embarked on an effort to create a less loud alternative, still keeping with the original look and still structurally sound, yet a little less pronounced.

The design somewhat resembles an Egyptian Obelisk, in keeping with the metaphor of the smart phone as a monolith of the digital culture, however it is simplified and transparent, per my minimalist sculptural style. Industrial materials are used to render digital age themes in an industrial age motif.

The stand is constructed of steel in keeping with the aesthetic of the original art work, yet more understated than both the art and the previous platform. It has a much smaller footprint, being only 28 x 30 inches wide rather than 36 x 36, but it is extremely stable. The art can be easily removed from the stand and all pieces fit easily thorough doorways for easy portability. The steel legs have soft composite feet inserts to protect client’s floors.

This has been a labor of love it was very important that I create something that preserved the original spirit of the art work while making something less pronounced to better fit with the existing art collection in a home environment.

This is another step in the journey of TechXpressionism which is all about the impact of technology on our lives individually and collectively as a culture.  I hope you can enjoy these as well.

Which is it?

My cousin, Lonnie Brown was a game warden in the mountains of Colorado for many years. A good man, in a noble profession.

On one visit to his little ranch in the mountains, he showed me the bear trap he used occasionally to trap a bear needing to be relocated to a more remote area. It was a simple piece of culvert opened on one end. They would put some stinky piece of meat or something in there to attract the bear and of course close the gate once he was inside.  It wouldn’t hurt him.  Actually it might save his life. But there is not much chance of explaining that to the trapped bear.  Lonnie told be you better believe that bear makes a heckova racket inside that steel tube.

Sometimes when I am watching a usability test in which a user is lost and frustrated, clicking around on everything trying to get a foot hold, I think of that bear in a trap, thrashing about trying to get some control of his situation.  Then when someone tells me that  some stupid feature is getting a lot of clicks, i smirk a little. Quantitative data is compelling, but qualitative data is smarter.  Knowing what users do is information.  Understanding why they do it is intelligence.
My point is: A whole lot of clicking going on is not necessary necessarily a sign of success.
My question is this: What is the nature of interaction on your web site? Is it site exploration and discovery? or is it thrashing and flailing?  How can you know?

roger

Failure to communicate ebola

Texas Health systems report that a factor in missing the Ebola patient had recently traveled from Liberia was that the nurse patient records which contained that fact are separate from the info the doctors access.

Many people are surprised and appalled that this could happen.

Reality is that healthcare systems are an aggregate of disparate systems evolved of different origins serving various niches in the vast healthcare arena. just getting them to share the most common frequently used information efficiently has been the focus of healthcare IT for years. Asking for bigData intelligence that is usable and flexible to new needs such as this is a big expectation. So much work to be done.

Some naively think that having doctors and nurses on the IT design team is the answer to all the troubles facing healthcare IT.

Having domain experts, including people who are from that target user base, in this case actual medical professionals, on board is important. However, it is not a substitute for having process analysts and user experience designers who are experts in teasing out the important task and information elements and translating it into a usable high performing system. Other fields such as banking, transportation, and aerospace have learned this through a lot of trial and error over the past twenty years, Doctors are not designers any more than airline pilots, travel agents, or loan underwriters.
Healthcare UX is an area of huge need.  Of course, I have been saying this for along while.  See my previous blogs

BAD HEALTHCARE UX ON LIFE SUPPORT

http://belveal.net/2012/06/20/bad-ux-in-healthcare-on-life-support/

Roger

Fishbone-to-Wishbone: A Recipe for BrainstormChasers

BrainStorming or just Storming?

Somehow, brainstorming has gotten a bad rap. I was actively brainstorming at the white board with a product manager one day. As we were having excellent success at nailing the key elements of the design, he looked at me and said, “My business professor told me this wouldn’t work”.  Hmmm. I wasn’t sure what to say other than I’ve heard that theoretically, bumble bees cannot fly, yet somehow they do.

By the way, rigorous usability testing later on confirmed that the concepts we came up with in that brainstorming session were dead on target. So, I am still a little confused about who is saying brainstorming doesn’t work and why. Perhaps they’re just doing it wrong?? Or maybe I am just using the term too loosely to describe using your brain to analyze and solve problems. ??
Brainstorming  Recipes
As with all recipes, ingredients are important.  So first of all, before you begin, make sure to have an ample supply of good quality brains on hand.  This will make things go better as the process gets messy. Having these ingredients will enable you to improvise in case something doesn’t work as expected or you spot a new opportunity  that  was not anticipated.
Fishbone2Wishbone Recipe

Having been trained in Six Sigma, my tendency is to look for root causes of pain points following the five whys to begin forming hypotheses. Of course, Six Sigma was invented for manufacturing where a given product or process was already defined and typically the tools were used for trouble shooting to reduce defect rates, hence the name.  That has always made it a weird fit for design, where the purpose is the define the not yet defined product or process.

But wait.  Here’s the deal, Flipping this method on its head, one can use the same cause & effect logic to trace the root causes of a good effect, such as customer delight.  Brainstorming potential causes of customer delight based on things you know about the audience (personas), their tasks, the context, the business domain, etc. can produce some very good hypotheses for taking into design.  This can feed the lean methodology.  I have named this my “fish bone to wishbone” method. i.e., Fish bone (Ishikawa diagram) leading to an A B test (wishbone).  Get it?

Fishbone2Wsihbone-9-5
Maybe my point here is to not simply open the table to ideas, but to have some cause  & effect rationale for forming hypotheses that can then be explored and tested.  Testing hypotheses need not always require a design exercise.  In fact whether you do proceed with a design to test or not, you should attempt to prove or disprove each hypothesis with existing available data.  Sometimes this along is enough. Or it may direct you to a more focused design exercise. 

Typically, there maybe multiple ideas swirling as to what is the way forward.  Simply gathering up everyone’s assumptions and ideas is constructive IF you restate all of them as testable hypotheses. This can be a great way to cut through folk lore, eliminate churn and move the team forward. Of course (here comes the disclaimer) group dynamics are still at work and your mileage may vary. Cheers.

– roger

 FocusFast_Card_SideB_2015-09-05
wishbone-to-wishbone
or Fishbone2wishbone
copyright 2013 Roger Belveal  😉

TechXpressionism in Mesquite TX

DSC_0001Yesterday was the reception of the Texas Sculpture Association Art show in Mesquite, TX.  A nice show, great bunch of people.  Pleasant surroundings.

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I like taking photos at events like this. It’s a great way to take in the event. People are a little s kiddish about being in photos, however, I have found that if you shoot enough photos, which you can do now that film is free, after a while people just ignore you, which is perfect.

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Each audience is different. This one is a more traditional artsy crowd, mainly people my age and older. It is clear that this crowd is challenged by my brand of techy-themed art and the fact that MySparcline crossed the boundary into functional objects, the forbidden zone of art.

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Art establishment people typically express some Luddite sentiments. It was apparent here. So I am in the double dog house. It is a funny thing to feel the pressure from having colored outside the lines when among artists moire than from other crowds. How ironic is that?

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Still, it is my goal to participate in as broad a collection of art and technology venues as will have me. And presently, there is no shortage of takers, actually more than i am able to keep up with. So, I am a happy camper. Say TechXpressinism three times. Cheers!

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The guitarist’s amplifier should have been in the show. The way its owner relies on it and and appreciates the experience of using it certainly puts it into the category of Favorite machines.

– roger