Sometimes, your first idea is not your best one. But you might fixate on it, especially if the idea has worked for you before. In academic terms, this phenomenon is called design fixation. In layman’s terms, we might call it getting set in your ways, experiencing tunnel vision, regurgitating old ideas, or being blinded to alternatives. advertisement advertisement As part of research published in the journal Design Studies, Nathan Crilly (who teaches engineering design at the University of Cambridge) anonymously asked 13 professional designers who work in U.K. consultancies how they deal with design fixation. These designers had an average of 21 years of experience in the field, and had plenty of ideas for getting around this common affliction. Their various approaches suggest that the tendency to get stuck on one idea, while prevalent among designers, isn’t an unfixable trait. First, here are a few things that make this fixation worse, according to these … [Read more...] about What Is “Design Fixation,” And How Can You Stop It?
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Google’s Pixel 4 phone gives up on a lot of what made the Pixel line great. At least in my personal opinion! But it does feature an intriguing technology that the company has barely explored. It’s called Soli. Led by UX legend Ivan Poupyrev in a project out of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, it’s a radar that lives just above the phone’s screen to see shapes. advertisement advertisement On the Pixel 4, Soli allows you to do things like air swipe to skip forward and backward on Spotify, or wave to Pokemon in the phone’s live wallpapers. And now, in partnership with the creative studio UsTwo, Google is launching a free game called Headed South to showcase the technology in a fully realized app. “Overall, the project goal in itself was a mix between an onboarding experience and play experience,” says Anders Oscarsson, the design lead at UsTwo who headed the project. “It wasn’t specifically about … [Read more...] about Try a free game that demonstrates Google’s latest UI tech
Last summer, Greg Smith was standing in front of a Home Depot when he got an unexpected phone call. When he answered, the voice of NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren greeted him on the other end. “I said, ‘Oh! You’re down!’ and he said, ‘No, I’m up here,'” Smith recalls. “He had called me from space.” advertisement advertisement More specifically, Lindgren had called from the International Space Station (ISS), where he was to remain for five months. Smith, a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), has for the last 25 years trained NASA’s astronaut crews in the use of IMAX recording equipment on board the shuttle and ISS. He’d worked with Lindgren before, and the two had become friends. “We were just shooting the breeze,” Smith says. In other words, an astronaut had called him from 200 miles above Earth just to say hey. “I gotta tell you, there’s nothing like getting a call … [Read more...] about Why students are sending Earth sounds to astronauts
One of the most well-known employees at the Orchard Supply Hardware store in downtown San Jose, California, is a 5-foot-tall autonomous robot. OSHbot, as he’s called, just recently celebrated his one-year anniversary at the store, which is owned by Lowe’s. His job is twofold: to help customers find items they need, and help store managers with inventory tracking. When I approached OSHbot, his facial-recognition technology identified me as a human customer and he cordially introduced himself. “Hi, I’m OSHbot,” he said in a monotone voice. “I can help you find things in the store. What are you looking for?” advertisement advertisement Technically I wasn’t looking for anything, but for the sake of research, I made something up. “LED lights,” I declared. On a screen, a list of LED bulbs appeared. I scanned and picked one at random. A map of the store appeared on the screen, with a green dot indicating our current … [Read more...] about What The Lowe’s Robot Will Do For You–And The Future Of Retail
When a bomb threat prompted officials to shut down all 900 schools in the L.A. Unified School District last December, chaos ensued. Confused parents got the news via robocall around 8 a.m. and scrambled to pick up their kids and find last-minute child care. Others didn’t get the call at all. Communication between the district, principals, and teachers collapsed. The threat exposed the existing emergency system’s weaknesses, but amid the mayhem, many educators turned to Remind, the four-year-old messaging tool for students and teachers. advertisement advertisement “We saw a 700% increase in messaging usage during that bomb threat,” says Brett Kopf, cofounder and CEO of Remind. “We started meeting with some teachers and principals, and they were telling us it was chaos. It made us realize there was a huge need to have all the communication in one single place.” Today, Remind is launching a new product called Remind for Schools, a schoolwide … [Read more...] about Remind Launches New Slack-Like App For Schools