VRCodes – vía @medialab

VR Codes
Andy Lippman and Grace Woo
VR Codes are dynamic data invisibly hidden in television and graphic displays. They allow the display to present simultaneously visual information in an unimpeded way, and real-time data to a camera. Our intention is to make social displays that many can use at once; using VR codes, users can draw data from a display and control its use on a mobile device. We think of VR Codes as analogous to QR codes for video, and envision a future where every display in the environment contains latent information embedded in VR codes.


Viral SpacesMIT Media Lab
VRCodes are currently being developed by Pixels.IO as a spinoff of the Viral Spaces group.

Envision a world where inconspicuous and unobtrusive display surfaces act as general digital interfaces which transmit both words and pictures as well as machine-compatible data. They also encode relative orientation and positioning. Any display can be a transmitter and any phone can be a receiver. Further, data can be rendered invisibly on the screen.

VRCodes present the design, implementation and evaluation of a novel visible light-based communications architecture based on undetectable, embedded codes in a picture that are easily resolved by an inexpensive camera. The software-defined interface creates an interactive system in which any aspect of the signal processing can be dynamically modified to fit the changing hardware peripherals and well as the demands of desired human interaction.

This design of a visual environment that is rich in information for both people and their devices overcomes many of the limitations imposed by radio frequency (RF) interfaces. It is scalable, directional, and potentially high capacity. We demonstrate it through NewsFlash, a multi-screen set of images where each user’s phone is an informational magnifying glass that reads codes arranged around the images.

VRCodes are currently being developed by Pixels.IO as a spinoff of the Viral Spaces group. See the MIT Media Lab PLDB entry and grace@pixels.io

VRCodes was initiated by Grace Woo in the MIT Media Lab as a part of her PhD thesis. Special thanks to Andy LippmanRamesh RaskarGerald SussmanVincent ChanSzymon Jakubczak and Eyal Toledano.

Recent uses of VRCodes
Newsflash [description]

Grace Woo, Andy Lippman

Newsflash shows a large display of screens which can be used in a public environment. Users can point their phone at a screen to get more data from the frontpages in front of them.

Are You An Innovator? – Open Innovation at Philips – @lindegaard


by Stefan Lindegaard | facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation | Consulting | Connecting | Promoting
Email stefanlindegaard@me.com


Join Stefan’s group on LinkedIn

That is the question Philips ask in their current open innovation challenge. Here students, entrepreneurs, and other budding inventors are encouraged to innovate around specific business challenges defined by product categories within the Consumer Lifestyle division at Philips.

Entrants are offered the chance to win a trip to Amsterdam to attend the finalist event, at which they can participate in an innovation masterclass given by Philips innovation specialists and the opportunity to present their innovation to Philips executives.

I am giving this a shout-out because my interactions over the years with Philips tell me that they are doing great things internally to develop an open innovation culture. We just don’t hear that much from Philips and I am thus glad to learn about…

SiliconRepublic.com | Latest Stories


siliconrepublic.com
Latest Stories

The Magazine Issues in New Era of Writing | theindustry.cc


It’s not very often that a product or service redefines the market in which it resides. However, Marco Arment has done exactly that with his latest project, The Magazine. The Magazine is a subscription-based application that delivers stories; stories that bring technology and writing to a crossroad. Marco specifically states in his foreword, though, that at times it will go beyond technology at times when he feels it fits his vision for The Magazine.

The Magazine 01 The Magazine Issues in New Era of Writing

Writing

Arment’s unique vision delivers these stories in a beautiful design, while being wonderfully written by a grand curation of writers.

Rather than telling readers everything that happens in technology, we deliver meaningful editorial and big-picture articles.

Full history
http://theindustry.cc/2012/10/16/the-magazine-issues-in-new-era-of-writing/

The Top 5 Techniques for Staying Up to Date in an Ever-Changing Field


 

Onextrapixel

It can often times be difficult to find the time to stay up to date in a technology-related field. With the growth of the web and of the web design and development communities as a whole, that also means that there’s far more to learn and it’s coming about at an exponentially faster rate each year. How can each of us possibly stay current on everything?

The Top 5 Techniques for Staying Up to Date in an Ever-Changing Field

It’s not possible to know everything, but it is possible to stay up to date in a niche. That’s what we as web designers and developers must do: focus on a specialty, and consistently learn more about it. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for staying up to date, and keeping inspired in our fields.

Techniques for Staying Up to Date

1. Teach Others

The quickest route to learning something new and keeping up to date is to simply research it, of course. But, who’s there to make you get that research accomplished? A great way to force yourself into the habit of constantly keeping up with the latest technologies and trends is to teach yourself by teaching others.

Teach Others

If you can educate another in any way, you’re likely to go above and beyond to truly understand the relative concepts, to make sure you’re using best practices, and you’re likely to spell the concept out in a way that is truly understanding, both for the learner and yourself – the teacher.

Teaching can come in a wide variety of forms: blogging, writing tutorials, giving advice and feedback in forums, or doing private teaching consultations. It’s possible to turn many of these into additional income streams as well, so keeping up to date isn’t a chore, but rather can be more integrated with work.

One could even go the extra mile and create a course on Learnable, publish a podcast/screencast or write a book/eBook on a particular in-depth subject. Surely you’ll need to know something about the chosen topic to write something truly in-depth, but at any level creating learning material for others is a great way to begin to learn about a new topic, or for larger projects, a great way to expand one’s knowledge on a subject. Leer más “The Top 5 Techniques for Staying Up to Date in an Ever-Changing Field”

How to Create Content Maps for Planning Your Website’s Content | via sixrevisions.com


http://sixrevisions.com

How to Create Content Maps for Planning Your Website's Content

Content mapping is a visual technique that will help you organize and understand the content of a website. It can be a simple and valuable part of your site’s overallcontent strategy. This short and simple guide should help you get started.


What is Content Mapping?

Content mapping is similar to mind maps, but it’s focused on a site’s content. It will help you explore and visualize your content.

More specifically, content mapping allows you to see your content as it relates to the goals of your client, the goals of your site users and all the other pieces of content in your website (as well as external websites), allowing you to spot gaps (and opportunities) in your content development strategy.

I’ll cover two types of content mapping in this guide:

  1. Mapping your content to goals (the goals of the client and the goals of site users)
  2. Mapping your content to other content

We’ll focus on creating functional content maps that can be used (and understood) by everyone involved in the development of a website.

Note: Content mapping may lead to mind-melting over-complication! Content mapping should be quick and easy (just like a brainstorming session), but when you start referring to paragraphs as “information units” and blog posts as “content blocks”, it may be a sign that you may be making the process more complex than it needs to be.

We’re not building a site map, so try to keep your head above the concept of web pages and websites. You should keep yourself open to external content (e.g. tweets) and websites.

Why Should You Create Content Maps?

The primary purpose for creating content maps is to help you begin content development with a strong focus on site goals and the types of content you need to produce.

Below are some other reasons why you should create content maps.

Content Mapping Helps with Technology Decisions

By having a good vision as to the direction and potential requirements of the site’s content, we can make wise decisions at the start about the technologies we’ll use, and make sure that the content management system we choose will meet the needs of our content.

Content Mapping Helps Create a Shared Vision

Through common language and a shared vision of how everything works and fits together, you can encourage collaboration and additional idea-generation between the different individuals, teams and components involved in the website production process.

Content Mapping Helps Quickly Spot Gaps and Opportunities

By being able to visualize your content, you can potentially spot gaps that need to be filled and opportunities for additional content.

What You Need to Get Started with Content Mapping

Here are some things you’ll need in order to get the most out of content mapping:

  • An understanding of business goals: This includes knowing your clients well, and knowing what they want to get out of their website’s content.
  • An understanding of the site’s users: You know what content the site’s users need and why they go to the website.
  • An understanding of content requirements: You know the requirements and limitations (e.g., style, technical, legal, etc.) of the content you will produce.

If you’re working on an existing site or a site redesign project, it would also be wise to conduct a content audit (which I discuss in an article about incorporating content strategy into the web design process) to get an idea of what content already exists. While this might not be an incredibly fun experience, discovering content that can be re-purposed will save you tons of time in the long run.

Content Mapping Tools

In my opinion, the tools you use for content mapping aren’t hugely important; you could scrawl these maps on your kitchen wall using crayons if you wanted to.

However, it’s a good idea to create content maps using web-based tools that allow you to quickly share your outcome with the rest of your team.

Any tool that allows for diagramming and mind mapping can work. Two of my favorite tools are OmniGraffle (a diagramming tool for Mac) and Balsamiq (a wireframing and prototyping tool).

You can use a diagramming tool like OmniGraffle to create a content map.

Mapping Content to Goals

Your first two content maps should be linear. And, to be honest, they’re not really maps at all, they’re more like a paired list.

The first map will map your content to the goals of your client. The second map will map your content to the goals of the website’s users.

Mapping Content to the Goals of the Client

We can map the business goals of the client to the content that will achieve those goals.

Here’s a simple example of mapping content to the goals of the client:

Mapping Content to the Goals of the Site Users

For the other map, you’ll then want to map the content to the goals of the users of the site.

Here’s how you might map content to some of the goals of site users:

What Are These Content Maps For?

As you can see in the above examples, some client goals and user goals may have multiple results. This is a good thing — the more results, the better because we then have the potential to meet their goals in more than one way.

You should gain two insights from these maps:

  • An idea of the content you need to produce, as well as a list of any existing content you can readily use.
  • Labels for your content. These could be simple labels like “Help and Support” or “FAQ”.

Mapping Content to Other Content Leer más “How to Create Content Maps for Planning Your Website’s Content | via sixrevisions.com”

Paper Prototyping and 5 Analog Tools for Web and Mobile Designers


1stwebdesigner - Web Design Blog

Designers love analog tools. No wonder. These tools lets us physically interact with interfaces and speed up the design process, like paper prototyping. What takes hours in the digital world can be sketched out in a matter of minutes.

That’s why analog methods of prototyping are especially valuable right at the beginning of projects – when speed matters the most. Working with paper, or perhaps a whiteboard, can accelerate the speed of our learning loops. Sketch, feedback, sketch, feedback, sketch feedback – you can go through dozens of iterations in one day and you’ll set solid foundations for the rest of the work. Consider it kind of premium insurance. Getting rough feedback quickly can save you a lot of work.

No wonder, according to research by Todd Zaki Warfel, paper prototyping is still the most commonly used prototyping method! Yes, while we tend to disagree if we should code prototypes or just use prototyping software, the use of analogue tools in our design process is unquestionable! Honestly, I don’t know any designer who is not going through early stage paper prototyping sessions.

Of course in paper prototyping we pay the price of low-fidelity and while it might not be a problem for your team to discuss lo-fi deliverables, in my experience, it’s always a problem for stakeholders. To avoid misunderstandings and accusations that you’re playing with paper instead of working, just make paper prototyping an internal method for your team.

Analogue methods are supported by User Experience pioneers such as Bill Buxton, author of Sketching User Experience and Carolyn Snyder author of Paper Prototyping. They highly recommend breaking away from the computer once in a while and collaboratively work on the analog side of the design moon. According to them, paper prototyping:

  • keeps all team members motivated (as they can easily participate in paper prototyping sessions)
  • lets designers iterate quickly and gather feedback very soon in the process
  • gives designers freedom since paper has no boundaries

preview large goodprototypingbook design tools design tips design

And though many believe that the rise of tablets may end paper prototyping in the next couple of years, I’d disagree. The physical nature of paper prototyping, its speed and straight forward form (understandable by anyone), makes it unbeatable by any digital gadget. Tablet devices are just another medium of digital prototyping (perhaps better than computer, who knows…) than replacement of analog methods.

In recent years we can observe attempts to optimize paper prototyping by the creation of dedicated tools. I tried most of them and I’m addicted to some (UXPin, UI Stencils). They hugely improved my workflow. Dedicated paper prototyping tools gave me speed that exceeds everything that I tried before. I feel more professional with a well crafted notepad in hand than a crumpled piece of paper with messy sketches on it. This confidence helps me discuss my analog work both with teammates and stakeholders. Most of the tools that I present below have been around for couple of years and I guess they’re doing great.

My fingers are crossed for these brave entrepreneurs.

Have fun!

Note: At the end of article I listed some of my favourite printable templates – they are ready to use and FREE!

UXPin – Paper prototyping notepads



Popular paper prototyping notepads with an original idea. User Interface elements are printed on separate sticky notes, which let you quickly create prototypes and iterate by re-sticking parts of the interface. Additionally, notepads are equipped with a sketchbook (with printed browser/iPhone), project kick-off and personas forms, as well as diagramming, gridded, paper. Hard-covered, well-designed and beautifully crafted books are $29.99 with free DHL delivery to USA, Canada and EU, if you buy any 3 of them. Since people from Google, IBM, Microsoft use them – UXPin notepads has sort of become an industry classic.

Finished prototypes can be auto-converted into digital, HTML, wireframes by UXPin App and this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen in the User Experience Design field.

Phone Doo – Magnetic boards  Leer más “Paper Prototyping and 5 Analog Tools for Web and Mobile Designers”