"In Asian cultures, an emoji face in dark clouds would show that someone is sad and having a bad day. A face on a beach with the sun glaring means they are happy. In the United States, the emotion on the face tells the story, not the surroundings. Also, “stars for eyes could mean something completely different in Asia than using dots for eyes.”
We are always so wired-in that we are losing our ability to connect. Jonathan Safran Foer’s shares his thoughts on it in NY Times article How Not to Be Alone.
We often use technology to save time, but increasingly, it either takes the saved time along with it, or makes the saved time less present, intimate and rich. I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts. It’s not an either/or — being “anti-technology” is perhaps the only thing more foolish than being unquestioningly “pro-technology” — but a question of balance that our lives hang upon.”
We walk through streets advertising all-you-can-eat buffets and gym memberships. There’s a reason that military words like campaign, viral, and target are the vocabulary of marketing. Yet these are our walls and buildings. The city is our living room.
A nice read exploring our relationship with the cities we live in.
AOL recently released preview of their new web-based email client - Alto.
It’s too early to say anything without using it for a while but at first glance it’s a nice pleasing refresh to old boring inbox. But when you think more it’s not made for power usage. For most of us who use emails way too much for work its like the corner desk in bedroom. Mostly cluttered, sometimes messy, occasionally neat and clean ! But in any scenario it keeps you comfortable and you are aware of where what is. Now imagine someone else starts organizing your desk every morning before you even wake up. Don’t know about you but i will freak out and won’t be able to find anything.
But does this means we don’t need to innovate emails ? Or, there is nothing to improve other than UI ? And should we still write and use emails like we used to 10 years ago ?
No. Obviously not. But if you think about it conceptually the whole idea of email is perfect and don’t need to be fixed. You write a message, someone else receives it. It’s simple communication. It’s realistic, intuitive. It does the job. But – do we write the same kind of messages we used to write 5 years ago ? No.
For me a perfect email service will be that works in traditional way but understands the content & context that changes with the time.
In my email usage, almost 80% are work related threads, project discussions, follow ups.
So why not my email understands those mails and sometimes allows me to extract just the action tasks from a message instead of making me read whole threads. Shouldn’t it automatically understand which Newsletters i never open and unsubscribe me from them automatically ? Shouldn’t it understand the attachments and file-types and have a searchable archive of all files which one can browse without diving deep into multiple layers of email threads ?
Emails are not getting replaced soon. And that’s okay – because it works. So, we don’t need to invent a new system but evolve what we have already.
It’s been 65 years today of Indian Independence. 15th of August used to be something else not more than just 6-7 years ago. Going to school, flag-hosting, performances, no classes, cheesy patriotic films on TV, sweets and many other tiny little joys just like any other festival in this mad country. But now, when I am all grown-up I am just sitting in-front of this glass screen listening to some news on radio & reading tweets about it. And I have no idea where the whole excitement, joy went in all these years. Forget celebration, yesterday in a Facebook group of few friends we were talking about bad the state of country is. But that’s not what disturbs me. There are goods and bads in every person, system or country.
Something else happened this morning that made me think :
7AM I woke up. It’s generally the time when maid arrives. But today she was more than 2 hours late. Later, she told me that she got late because her son came back home this morning. I assumed that he might have been studying or working somewhere else and came back this morning because of Holiday or something.
I asked - Where does he studies ?
She said - He doesn’t studies anywhere, he was missing from a week.
Then she told me whole story, that her 7 years old and two other kids under 10 years were missing from a week. And today police managed to find them in other part of city . Apparently one of their neighbors was responsible for it who got arrested now. He works with people who send kids to other parts of country. i.e. — trafficking of children as beggars by mafia-style gangs.
And obviously, this is not the only story. If you just google a bit you will realize how big this whole “business” is and how many innocent kids lose their fortune to them.
After knowing all this, I realized it’s been a week and she never mentioned it before. Told her that she could have taken off all this time if needed. She said that she can’t afford not coming to work because of other problems, she has to keep the work going to take care of rest of family.
Made me wonder how independent we really are today.
Photograph by Smruti . Do check his gallery for some great Indian travel stories.
“It set me thinking about the importance of childhood experience, the freedom to dream, and the freedom to recreate those drams for others. These things lie at the heart of picture-making. It is evidenced … that the link between drawing, childhood play and dreaming is a strong one”—Angus Hyland, in his introduction to The Picture Book: Contemporary Illustration
The only unit of time that matters is heartbeats. Even if the world were totally silent, even in a dark room covered in five layers of foam, you’d be able to count your own heartbeats. When you get on a plane and travel you go 15 heartbeats per mile. That is, in the time it takes to travel a mile in flight your heart beats 15 times. On a train your heart might beat 250 times per mile. And we count this up and we make sense of it. We’re constantly switching accelerations; we’re jumping between time frames. That’s what we’re asking people to do every time we make something new, some new tool or product. We’re asking them to reset their understanding of time. To accept that the sequence we’re asking them to follow is the right way to do a thing. It’s like the farmer with the clock.
Excerpt from 10 Timeframes. Closing keynote by Paul Ford at the 2012 MFA Interaction Design Festival. Via @cameronmoll
Design claims to be about lofty goals like openness, clarity and progress. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places, but lately we seem more interested in things like exclusivity, celebrity, excess and vulgarity. In our relentless drive to remain relevant, we’ve become very crass.
We’ve taken the charge to be critical as an excuse to be cynical. We eschew wisdom in favor of irony. And, perhaps most damning, we choose fashion over formation. That is to say, we want to take credit for building culture even as we (merrily) chip away at it’s very foundation.
This article by Z. Bryant pretty much sums up how i have been feeling lately about design culture we have built around us. Some of the greatest minds in design are busy building platforms to share images with filters or to check-in at some place that most of the world doesn’t even care about. I am sure there are better problems that need solutions. And we tend to ignore them just because they are not cool.
Ride. This is probably the very first ambient track i did.
I still remember that day when i recorded this. I had to go to a bit outskirts of town for a client meet which got over unexpectedly early. And i spent whole afternoon just riding bike around the highway, staring at sun hiding between trees. And had this in my head playing already.