Great ideas site – some things I liked

re-chargeable battery that doesnt need a charging thingy

re-chargeable battery that doesn't need a charging thingy

3D Chess - interesting !!

3D Chess - interesting !!

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things are becoming like people

We look at the things as we do at people.  More so now as things are becoming more alive. Till a thing is dumb (like a rock), we only looked at it from an unemotional /un-human terms. But more and more everything is becoming interactive, alive.

Which means designers should create things that look more like people.  That was my intent in creating a youtube video many years back..

The real question is how do I use this knowledge. –

1. as a hobby, reading and writing blog posts like this.

2. get trained to be hired as a user experience designer.

3. Build and own something with these principles.

I want to find opportunities of the 3rd kind. I don’t want to be an expert in this. I want to create stuff and own while learning and using these principles. My attempt to look at job search is

User experience is much beyond the look and feel

User experience includes many dimensions – Form / Behavior, Value, Emotion, Relationship etc. One can’t just ‘design’ the looks and expect the experience to be better.

Let us look at few popular examples :

Walmart  retail shop

+veLow cost,  Availability everything you want, 

-ve –  Quality, finding, help, ambience, returns service, 

GOOGLE search engine

+ve – find anything one wants, fast, accurate / reliable, easy to use, clean look, simple behavior

-ve – bland, doesn’t know me

Craiglist classifieds

+ve – free listing, find anything, no frills

-ve – reliability / trust, clutter, 

Blackberry Mobile phone

+ve – office email on phone, easy to type email, mobile web, speakerphone,

-ve – battery (much better now), small screen, memory space 

iPhone – smart phone

+ve – great looks, fun to use, lots of apps, music ( hard-disk)

-ve – slow to type on screen, costly, 

Nytimes – news paper

+ve – opinion (left wing – paul, dowd, brooks), clean look, great graphics, report unique things first, more than just news (but not great in sports)

-ve – bland /boring, doesn’t know me, 

How can user experience designer better these icons or help build a competitor. There are many dimensions for how one feels about these services /businesses. There are core values – like low cost walmart, fun apple, searchability of google – the reason these are unbeatable.  While they are difficult to beat however someone will come and change the game, making them less relavant.  Eventhough there are -ve aspects of user experience, these will continue to dominate. 

The question is whether better user experience can 

a) improve existing leaders profitability / revenues

b) change the game to create a new leader

One can also check if any of these used user experience as the USP / key differentiators to become the leaders.

World is evolving – how do I participate in it

World is changing – that I know. I can even imagine how it would change next. (Newspapers would be dead, Cable companies will go away etc).

But how do I participate in this new part of the world.

I thought :  all new stuff happens due to new ideas. So if I generate lots of ideas, I will become part of the this evolution.

But I realized that ideas are mostly fiction within my own head. They have little validity beyond my imaginations.

So I went from “ideas are king” to real projects with investment and continuous  innovation are essential part of the change. Don’t talk just do it !!

Notice how ‘life’ gets ‘new’ stuff. Mutations that happen during reproduction are the sources of change.  Similarly innovations happen in regular business (which is created to earn money not worry about innovation).  In fact innovation becomes a necessity for a profitable business.

There are two trends impacting return on investments (large scale).

1. Commoditization – increased supply with lower costs. Sharing the same pie.

2. Premium (New) – higher price due to increasing demand. Creating a new pie /extension.

Eventually every premium thing succumbs to commoditization. The idea is to ride the front end of the evolution tide.

So look for the evolution tide and get to the front part of it.  Create valid business (which makes economic sense) with high returns and innovations. Build something realistic while pushing the boundaries.

I am not talking about “green movement” kind of new. That kind require a revolution.

I am talking of smaller [ 🙂 ]  “ipod”, “google search” kind of new.

Live by the heart

I wrote in We choose through heart that emotions are very important in our decision making. Especially for the personal things.

How about living most of the day with that philosophy ?

Doing things the way ones heart desires. 

So there are two kinds of things one does – 

1. What I want to do (IM Internal motivation)

2. What I am have to do (EM External Motivation)

Living the day by heart means, IM activities are in line with my positive emotions. Don’t do for any logical reasons, do it because it feels right.

Even for EM activities, one can control “how” and “when” to suit the heart. I do things when and how I want to do.

IM activities come to you when you are excited about possibilities. You imagine a better new world.

Don’t let your logical brain screw you happiness

Don’t be driven by logic. Because it will drive you to lifeless life.  

Feel the world. Feel the excitement of new. Do it, because you feel right about it. Use logic to checkpoint as a tool – will this cost me something substantial ?

Do more if it feels good.

opportunity /idea lifecycle

  1. Observer current real world
  2. Identify drivers of change
    • lower cost
    • better experience
    • higher value
    • less risk / higher stability
    • less complexity
    • more fun
    • faster
    • easy
  3. Imagine new world
  4. Note the opportunities
  5. Generate ideas to achieve those opportunities
  6. Then just do it

opportunities are better than ideas

Opportunities are better than ideas.

Opportunities :

  • are more real than ideas.
  • are external while ideas are internal
  • require ideas to accomplish them.
  • are self fulfilling unlike ideas which most of times just give mental satisfaction

There can be many ways to achieve the opportunities.  Though many opportunities are uninspiring, it is better to pursue them than internal ideas.

So don’t start with ideas and then look for opportunities to apply them. Rather look for opportunities and achieve them whether through new ideas or copied experiences.

Opportunities could be in all aspects of life. Whatever I like to have in my life – relationships, money, fame, knowledge, experience, fun, … I need to look for opportunities to enhance them.

Don’t make TODOs of the opportunities. Get inspired and imagine through opportunities.

So the new way is :

  • observe
  • imagine
  • look for opportunities
  • brainstorm and generate ideas to accomplish those