Archive for December, 2012

nativeye Hack Day

Friday, December 14th, 2012

We’re planning to squeeze a little more out of 2012 by ending with the inaugural nativeye hack day.

The idea is the pretty standard hack day model – get the people with the appropriate skills in the same room, add caffeinated drink and snacks of your choice and try to push out a new feature or app by the end of the day.

Some ideas will be directly related to the nativeye platform, others tangentially, others not at all.

It’s a good excuse to get together, work on something interesting and go for that buzz of making something live.

Current ideas for nativeye hack day 1 are:

  • Location-based triggers (think: geofencing, environmental triggers)
  • Scheduling nativeye dashboard actions
  • Passive data collection / working with telemetry from devices

We’ll post the outcome here and tweet throughout the day @nativeye

What’s your umwelt?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

According to the alt text of the xkcd webcomic, Umwelt is:

“the idea that because their senses pick up on different things, different animals in the same ecosystem actually live in very different worlds. Everything about you shapes the world you inhabit–from your ideology to your glasses prescription to your web browser.”

In animals it is their senses, in humans it is senses plus the tools we use to enhance those senses (our media) and our mental equipment (including our belief systems) that shapes our view of the world.

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Pirsig refers to this as “Believing is seeing”. Our eyes see what we tell them to see, rather than reporting back ‘as is’ data.

Umwelt tells us that there are a lot of filters between us and the ‘real world’.

Innovation – the informed leap

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I heard the old “Steve Jobs didn’t do research” epithet again the other day. Ford and his faster horse in another guise.

When learning to do qualitative research you are taught not to “over-empathise” with your research subjects. This is to avoid biasing their responses with your own, and to get to a more objective outcome. However empathy gained through research* plays a vital role in helping companies innovate. If they don’t understand their users pain then they don’t have the direction and motivation to do something about it.

No you can’t ask people what they want next. But through conversation and observation you can deduce what they are trying to do, how successful they are and how you might help them. This then helps you to make the informed leap that is innovation.


*For the research tecnicians out there – you don’t have to show empathy when actually conducting research, but you can demonstrate it by acting on what you’ve learned!


**UPDATE** from Henry Ford himself

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own.”

via UX Mag