Musings on designing experiences & (re)engineering complexity

Nov 2020

Updating A Few Experiments

The pace of posting here has certainly slowed down from the first years. In part due to activities outside of this venture, but also some sharpening as to what this space should be for — namely, innovations in thought and experiments. Since this venture started, a goal has been to begin (yet not always finish) experiments which might lie a bit further outside of the scope of what teams and companies can pull off. Then from those, apply to clients a way forward which seems (to them) simple, but has been informed from those efforts.

That said, a few experiments are still in play, and it’s worth a small update here as both bookmark and push to finish:

GoTenna and Mesh Communications (in-progress) A recent acquisition, the GoTenna mesh communications platform has enabled revisiting past lessons on mesh and distributed communications, while also looking at what these products have done to improve user experience, service experience, and financial viability.

Apple’s Scribble for iPadOS (in-progress) The iPad is the workstation for every effort, and the introduction of Scribble as an input mechanism with the latest major update allows for some reflection to what worked with Newton and PalmOS handing writing decades ago, and areas where connectivity and the typed word have embedded more into UI design than we might have noticed. This has been a very insightful experience to date.

Comparing the Ōura Ring with A Mood Ring (evolved) Again with the new and the old through comparing fashion to connectivity. This experiment has been very insightful for several reason, not the least of which being the outright ignorance of thermochemistry in wearable objects. This experiment has been recently extende with the acquisition of a face mask which has LEDs in a similar color range to the mood ring. Communicating outward is the evolved step here.

Tablets Everywhere (completed) At one point earlier this year, there were three iPads, a Kindle Paperwhite, and the Jolla Tablet grabbing various portions of a week’s attention. This has trimmed to two iPads and the Kindle, and yet the framing makes sense for almost every effort. Much like the STNG analogy in that post, there’s acknowledgment of “the right place for the right tool.” But, the connected tablet morphs into what is needed more than its being slammed into place.

Connected Glasses (completed, evolving) A second round of using connected glasses has proven some possibilities and challenges with using glasses as a bridge to experience enhancement. The Vue glasses have made their way into a solid “office accessory” due to their near-invisibility yet functionality. However, like the first experiment with Snap’s Spectacles, the augmentation is borrowing the headspace used for vision gains, but not extending other senses such as propriception, force, orientation, and more. Notifications awareness and memory catching are better described as machine senses, not biological. There’s room to evolve here; especially with adaptive lenses and spatial awareness.

Deep Thought (evolving) This is probably less of an experiment and more of a mode. Deep thought continues to be described as the “yin” to collaboration’s “yang.” And this isn’t wrong, it just is not the most complete shape of what it means to derive something harder from it. As a UI paradigm there is a simpler route than describing and enabling what makes knowledge work valuable. This will constantly evolve… it is the closest work to the core of what makes Avanceé viable.

This is good, but needs to continue to go forward. The upcoming work feels to be the most exciting yet.