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Today’s class and readings focused on cinematic editing and the directorial voice. I thought this tied into some up-and-coming social media tools.

Vine is an app that allows users to create 6 second videos. The launch post from the company introduces their product as:


Posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger. They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They’re quirky, and we think that’s part of what makes them so special.

We’re also happy to share the news that Vine has been acquired by Twitter. Our companies share similar values and goals; like Twitter, we want to make it easier for people to come together to share and discover what’s happening in the world. We also believe constraint inspires creativity, whether it’s through a 140-character Tweet or a six-second video.

Other sites such as VinePeek (site disclaimer: This stream is coming straight from Vine and is unmoderated. You have been warned”. I have only seen one inappropriate video pop up). Create a stream of these 6-second videos.

With the constraint of only 6 seconds, how do themes and concepts for this weeks reading map to this app and the videos produced? Does the fact that it’s perpetuated by social media change any of that? Have you used this before? How and why did you edit videos the ways you did? I want to hear all about your thoughts on vine!

Seriously, I wasted way too much time on VinePeek the other day. It’s pretty cool.


I’m reading a passage from McCarthy and Wright’s Technology as Experience and this quote stuck out to me:

“…the tools for text messaging would win no prizes for usability, yet text messaging is experienced by many adults and teenagers as instrumentally and expressively useful (Katz and Aakhus 2002).”

This book is from 2004 and text messaging has improved vastly with the event of smartphones, but the sentiment behind the statement nonetheless reminded me of a show I’ve seen recently.

This weekend, I started watching House of Cards on Netflix (really great show, by the way). One thing that I’ve found particularly interesting is the show’s treatment of text messaging as part of everyday life. There are actually little pop-up windows on the screen itself showing someone’s text message. Here’s a screenshot:


In this screenshot, the man receiving the text is actually also on a conference call for work. So there are two threads going on at once, both the text conversation and the audible business conversation.

This method of showing text-based conversations on-screen might have been used elsewhere before, but this is the first time I’ve seen it, so I thought it was particularly interesting. I think House of Cards was just released a week or so ago, so to me it’s really showing the sociocultural context of text messaging–particularly the idea of texting while trying to do something else (via CSCW in fact) and multitasking as a part of our everyday lives.

I’m really interested to see if this becomes a convention in film for showing text message conversations.


Julian Bleeckers Slow Messenger506581007_236d7c07ce

The brief reading from Hertzian Tales reminded me of Julian Bleecker’s work and specifically his Slow Messenger. I find Bleecker’s work to be quite compelling and provocative.

Full disclosure: IDolce & Gabbana and I am going to be unabashedly biased towards anything that has a D&G tag on it.

Here are a few facts:

  • For those of you who have not heard about Dolce & Gabbana, it is one of the biggest (and one of the best IMO) luxury fashion houses of the world and is based in Milan.
  • Sony Ericsson has collaborated with D&G and released a limited edition of their phone called Jalou. The name of the phone is derived from a french word jaloux which means jealousy!
  • The D&G edition is plated with 24 carat gold and is faded-rose in color. There are other colors but they are do not carry the D&G tag on them.
  • The retail price of the phone is $800 and the price of the D&G edition is undisclosed. D&G is known for it’s notriously high pricing especially since it’s a luxury brand.

Since we have been reading some fashion texts and trying to apply that to interaction design, I thought this was a particularly interesting artifact to talk about. We have talked so much about a phone like the iPhone where owning the latest tehcnology is fashion. So I was wondering how does it work when it comes to something like the Jalou. Clearly it cannot be discarded as “advertising” and “branding”. It gets even more interesting when you compare the advertisements of the same phone – one made by Sony Ericsson and the other by D&G.


Dolce & Gabbana

Sony Ericsson

In class Jeff was talking about how self is defined by the discourse and that there is no “puppeteer” real version of self that exists inside of us.


I know Semiotics is not supposed to be looked at like religion and its a tool and it has holes, but I’m loving it. Call bullshit if you want, but think about how that changes everything when we design. I mean look at how we use personnas or scenarios. We build these tools up to work with a given circumstance. The specific ones are typically the ones that help us the most.

My question is about concurrent discourses (think ubiquitous computing or group interaction). Jeff used the example that he acts differently around his mother than other situations. We act a certain way given the context, but what about overlapping contexts. What about when you’re married to a co-worker. Or drinking with a professor. Is this a whole new discourse, or would you consider that a combination of discourses, and if so what changes?

I may be way off here, but before I was only thinking about a single discourse. That makes sense. But when we have a lot going on (as we often do) what does that mean for semiotics?

While reading about reflective qualities of the interface, it made me think of not only The Reflective Practitioner, but the way it was conveyed seemed to me that this type of interface quality is not only to strike a conversation with the artifact, but also to make us think and ask questions of the world around us (and the examples of net art and digital art presented were pretty epic). Anyways, I started looking for an example of an “artish” augmented reality type of design to comment on, and I found this:

This augmented reality pet was pretty interesting from the fact that the pet actually has pretty realistic behaviors, and that I could have a pet without actually having it in my house (as I am allergic to pet dander). But that was pretty much the only thing I liked about it (along with all of the comments of it on youtube – comments), as I didn’t like that I had to constantly keep adding semacode markers to allow the dog to move and behave in a larger amount of space. That didn’t seem like something a real dog would need in order to move around (and also, it makes me think that this would eventually be monetized, and the amount of cards one would have to buy would be epic, potentially leading to a large amount of waste when this whim of an interaction is over with), along with having an owner put this much effort in to having a pet move. While having a device that overlays the dog in real life is part of AR, I would have liked to see this interaction pushed further – incorporate our glasses, or other types of “reflective” surfaces in the environment to bring the dog to other environments. After all, a dog pretty much comes and goes wherever it pleases, and having a dog that sat still until you prodded it didn’t make me engaged with it at all.

I guess the only part of this interaction that would make me reflective would be the fact that this would not want me to get a pet, because it would serve as a reminder of all the effort I would need to put into the care of the alive being. If this was the intent of this interaction, then it certainly has succeeded, as it made me think (and then the authors would also have another exemplar of an interface to put in their mixed reality category, although I didn’t think that lumping mixed reality and digital art as reflective interfaces meant the same thing to me – they are pretty much different, in my eyes, as the mixed reality apps usually are meant to place more information in our environment to help us make the choices we need to make, whereas digital art helps us to push our understanding of the world around us and what we can do with it. This app, even though it may push developers to change the world, doesn’t really make me reflective in the same way the authors intended, so I guess I am looking for others’ thoughts here).

If you haven’t seen “text rain” before, it’s pretty darn cool, and is the kind of cool stuff I usually keep around in my head for off the wall concepts.

Bluetooth to combat drink-driving (British Police)

I thought this is very interesting for the police to use the current technology and wanted to share this.
Basically, the police carrying a device and near the pubs or clubs, they send messages to the Bluetooth enabled cell phones. In this way, they say they can discourage the drunk driving.
I thought this is a clever way to prevent car accidents caused by the drunk driving. However, the counter argument was that it can increase accidents. The argument is.. if the drivers receive messages while driving, the messages can distract driving, leading to more accidents.
Interesting use of the current technology~!

Nowadays, everybody seems talking about the importance of “sociability” in design. I have no doubt with the importance of “sociability.” However, I feel like people talk only about positive aspects of “sociability.” In fact, when I read the following paragraph from today’s reading. I felt so shameful that I thought that “sociability” might be an option in design.

“To designing for usability, utility, satisfaction, and communicative qualities, we should add a fifth imperative: designing for sociability. When IT systems fail to support the social aspect of work and leisure, when they dehumanize and de-civilize our relationship with each other, they impoverish the rich social web in which we live and operate, essential for both well-being and efficiency.”

Is it true that “sociability” should be a fifth imperative? Is “sociability” always a good thing? What is the relationship between “privacy” and “sociability”? Is “privacy” a subset of “sociability” in a bigger picture? or Are “privacy” and “sociability” against with each other?

Actually, the above doubtful questions came from my interest in the design of ebooks. I have been interested in “the design of (mobile) ebook (devices)” and “reading activities” – if I am lucky enough, I want to pursue this research interest at least until I finish my dissertation.

Are “ebooks” and “reading activities” related to “sociability”? Should “sociability” be a fifth imperative in the design of ebooks? People might say “yes! why not?” (especially, from a social constructivism perspective, I guess). However, from my own experience, social interaction with friends was sometimes less helpful than my own interaction with texts (sudden comprehension after reading over and over). Do I still need to concern about “sociability” in the design of ebooks? Shouldn’t “sociability” be an option? Doesn’t it depend on readers’ learning styles, for example?

My final question! So, what criteria (or factors) do I need to take into account in judging if “sociability” should be a fifth imperative (if “sociability” should be an option)?