Monthly Archives: June 2010

Required Reading for Interactive Designers

We all know how good industrial design distinguishes products and drives success. Well if you’re an interactive designer, it doesn’t matter if you’re in marketing or product design, understanding the system you’re designing for and how it interacts with the other systems and channels surrounding it is critical. In order to improve experiences, the entire delivery system must be looked at holistically. That means everything from how the data is served all the way to where in in what context end-users interact with the finished product.

The following should be required reading for anyone in the interactive design world: The Design Council, “A User’s Guide to Service Design”

Here’s and excerpt:

Three quarters of the UK economy is due to services and 80% of employment is service related. While half of the UK’s manufacturers think design is crucial to competitiveness, our service industry, whether that’s financial services, retailers or public services, are less convinced. Only one in 10 services businesses thinks design can set them apart and make them more competitive.

That means the UK’s £1trillion service economy and its service business and public services are missing many opportunities to distinguish themselves from competitors by improving their offering, better communicating what they do or providing innovative new services.

Why I Like Baseball

From a great piece by Patrick Flood:

But that’s life, really. Things often don’t work out the way they’re supposed to. You mess up, people around you mess up, the universe conspires against you through chance and randomness. Being a human being is often about dealing with failure, both your own and other’s. Sometimes Ramon Martinez boots the ball behind you, sometimes you get hurt, and sometimes you blow the call for no apparent reason. Sometimes no one scores for you. Still, dealing with failure the right way might be just as much of an accomplishment as succeeding in the first place. That was what was so nice about Joyce and Galarraga: they dealt with it in the right way. I suspect that the way Santana deals with his teammates inabilities is probably the right way to deal with such things as a pitcher. Those are accomplishments in their own right.

Lots of people have done the baseball-as-metaphor-for-life thing. And I don’t want to make too much of it, but that’s one thing I appreciate about the summer – the little insights I gain into people and behaviors and adversity vis a vis the game of baseball.

Study: The Problem With Mass Adoption of EVs in China

From Autoblog:

This study, conducted by the Argonne National Laboratory and China’s Tsinghua University, specifically focuses on China and concludes that mass EV adoption could lead to tremendously higher emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide due to the country’s widespread use of coal as a power source.

Here’s the skinny from the study:

China currently utilizes Euro III emission standards throughout much of the nation, though Euro IV is in use in some larger cities and will slowly replace the older standard within ten years. If charged by the current coal-heavy electrical mix displayed in the table above, EVs would double the nitrogen oxide emissions of Euro III gasoline vehicles.

EVs will not reduce carbon dioxide emissions in China unless coal technologies are improved upon or a shift towards cleaner power generation occurs in the future.

Mass adoption of EVs in China will cause sulfur dioxide emissions to increase by three to ten times the current level. Even advanced technologies such as coal washing cannot reduce sulfur dioxide emissions of EVs down to gasoline-powered vehicle levels.