Sunday, July 30, 2006

No, I will not get him this shirt!

Yes, all's well on the baby-boy front. As expected, I am quite busy keeping him and Marijke awake, asleep, well fed, happy, and clean (okay Marijke can do a lot of that for herself). Too busy to blog (a lot).

Well, at least this means I won't have to buy Kasper this:
(created by WIRED editor Mark McClusky)

Next week I have taken two days off, I will be at a client for two more, and will teach the second day of the 3-day Interaction Design training I give for the internet training branche of Lectric on Friday.

I hope my colleagues remember me when I show up at the office!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

User Experience, As Seen On TV

User Experience as a term has now made its appearance on American national TV! Apparently, the new television advertisement actually has an actor saying the lines, "How do we improve the user experience?"

Adaptive Path's Ryan Freitas mentions it on the Adaptive Path blog.

I think this is a good development, similar to what happened when ergonomics made it into car-seat and computer mouse advertisements, and I can't wait until it happens here in The Netherlands.

(Yes, this is typical third-degree blogging, but hey, it's good news about UX!)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Kasper pictures on Flickr

As requested by some of you: Kasper pictures on Flickr.

(update: I'll keep adding Kasper picture's to this tag)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

New arrival: Kasper!

This Saturday, July 15th 2006, at around 6PM, my son was born!
Marijke, the kid and I are doing fine. We've been at home since Saturday night, and have already had proud grandparents visit us. Expect outage and, when I do surface again, lots of baby-talk and stains on my shirt ;-)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Update: we're still pregnant

click for wider viewMy girlfriend Marijke (see her profile in Dutch on the IdeaCompany website) and I are pregnant. We have been for nine months. Over nine months now. Almost 2 weeks over 9 months. And counting...

Everything is going fine though, and up until today we still had hopes of a home delivery (30% of all Dutch babies are born at home) but it looks like we will have to go to hospital after all: it is time. Tomorrow we will see a gynecologist where we will probably schedule a time for the start of the process of administering gel, injecting hormones, etc. Not what we expected, but we understand the need.
And: If all goes well, I will be a father by the end of the weekend!

So, if I seem absent in the next couple of years months weeks days, you know why...

(Damn, there goes my reputation of just-in-time delivery!)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dan Saffer's T-Model for Interaction Design

Dan Saffer just published his model for the relationships between Interaction Design (IxD) and the fields around it:
Dan Saffer's model for Interaction Design and the fields around it
I love how it matches the ideas behind my T-model for User Experience: one can specialize, or go deep (in Dan's case into IxD), there is overlap between fields, and User Experience Design is an umbrella field that embraces a lot of other fields.

For those who wondered: In a comment on the Interaction Design mailinglist, Dan points to the following article about the lack of overlap between Interaction Design and HCI: Just How Far Beyond HCI is Interaction Design? (by Jonas Löwgren). An interesting read indeed!

Monday, July 10, 2006

My Pong ® Clock has arrived!

Since this afternoon, I am the proud owner of one of only 400 Pong ® Clocks, made by Buro Vormkrijgers (find the clock under Portfolio, Browse, Miscellaneous, Pong ® Clock).

What's so special about this clock? Check out these questions from the FAQ:

How does it work ?
The left player and the right player are playing a random game of Pong ®.
Their game runs for 24 hours, and the scoring is synched with time.
At midnight it's game over, and the start of a new game of Pong ®.
And.... you can also play a game of Pong ® against the clock, see the sales page for more info.

What happens every hour?
The left player finally scores, he sucks at playing Pong ® compared to the right player. Because of his lack of talent we reward his point, by erasing the right players score. You know what? After that he still sucks at playing Pong ®.

Can I copy the idea?
No, and our lawyers plus Atari will seriously bother you if you try to.

If you want one and haven't ordered one, I am afaid they're totally sold out...
The last 10 Pong ® Clocks of this limited and liscenced production run are to be auctioned on Ebay (you can register to be notified through the Buro Vormkrijgers website, under "Buy Online") with the proceedings going to War Child. You'll support a good cause!

Now, ask me what time it is! :-)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Going to EURO IA? Buy a 1 Euro ticket from Amsterdam!

Update (july 11): I ended up not buying my ticket to Berlin through Transavia. The tickets themselves were cheaper (EUR 0,00 instead of the promoted EUR 1,00), but the flying times were bad for me and the tax was high enough to make me reconsider. In the end I decided to spend my KLM Flying Dutchman miles on a free ticket where the tax (EUR 93) was lower than Transavia's (EUR 116) and the times suited my schedule better.

In case the cost of travel is holding you back from attending the upcoming EURO IA conference, here's a sweet deal: is offering 1 Euro tickets from Amsterdam to Berlin on Tuesday, July 11 only (excluding quite some taxes, which you'd have to pay anyway).

Even if you're not Dutch but plan to attend EURO IA, this may be of interest since an international ticket to Amsterdam plus this 1 Euro ticket may well be cheaper than a direct flight to Berlin.

I intend to stay up on Monday and try to get in on the deal. You too?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Great design, great event: Oz-IA

(It's conference-announcement season!)

I love the design of this site's navigation! It reminds me just a little bit of my poster for EURO IA 2005. Anyway, it is very appropriate for this site as we're dealing with the Oz-IA Conference & Retreat.

This event is scheduled for the same weekend as the EURO IA (September 30 - October 1) and Keith Instone already suggested a live link between the two conferences. I like the idea very much and want to see this happen!

(I was asked by the organizers to use the tag: ozia2006 but I don't really do tags, I do categories. But wait, I can create a category on the spot: ozia2006!)

Categories for [BEEP]

Thanks to Gretchen of the Young Ladies Christian Fellowship and her post on Blogger Categories, I now have the opportunity to add my own categories to this blog!

In fact, you can create a category on my blog too! Any URL in the shape of<category> (for example this one with category = UX) will bring you to a page with all my posts that contains the chosen tag or category in the post's content (okay, only the first 100 and only the ones published after June 6 2005).
The secret behind these categories is a bit complex, and involves using Blogger's Blog Search, some javascript in a hidden post, and a script called feed2js. But Gretchen has written a clear explanation in simple steps, and for me it worked witin 5 minutes!

Now I have to think about the categories that I want to offer....Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I am a Technosocial Architect

Thomas Vander Wal just wrote a great article that I want you to go and read, right now.
(forget about this blog for a second. Go read Thomas' article. But do come back, please ;-))

Technosocial Architect
Okay, so what if it's long? If you're not going to read it all, at least read the following quotes:
I am deeply interested in how people interact, how people use technology, and the role of information in this equation. My main interest is information and information use, when do people want it and need it, how people acquire it. I am utterly fascinated by how technology plays in this mix and how important design is.

[Designers] have to think of the information as the focal point. We have to think of people actually connecting with other people (that is individuals not crowds) and start to value that person to person interaction and sharing on a massive scale.

People who understand the social interactions between people and the technologies they use to mediate the interactions, need to understand the focus is on the social interactions between people and the relationship that technology plays. It is in a sense being a technosocial architect.

This goes beyond information architecture, user experience design, interaction design, application development, engineering, etc. It has needs that are more holistic (man I have been trying to avoid that word) and broad as well as deep. It is a need for understanding what is central to human social interactions.
I feel like Thomas looked into my soul. I am a Technosocial Architect!
Amen, brother!

Another conference coming to Europe: Gel

Last year's EURO IA in Brussels (to be followed by this year's EURO IA in Berlin) was an attempt to bring a conference such as the IA Summit to Europe while adding some local flavor.

A conference that is following this path is euroGel, the European edition of the succesful Gel conference series. The event's one-line description reads:
euroGel 2006 will be a Europe-wide conversation about good experience, featuring speakers from across the continent.

What other conference features artist, thinkers, visual designers, jugglers, architects, photographers, writers, pranksters and more? Gel does, and so will euroGel, according to the partial list of presenters on the website.

So, if it doesn't conflict with your plans to attend "my" event in Berlin (after all, I am on the program committee, and hope to present a panel) I encourage you to attend euroGel!