Friday, March 20, 2009


(repost, now with more video)


SXSW inspired a lot of cognitive dissonance. I'm not even sure I can get it all out into words. It's clear in my brain. I don't have a lot of time for really cohesive blogging anymore, but I'll try.

Part of that dissonance might be related to that last thing. There were a lot people at SXSW with plenty of time to blog about a lot of things and have very important thoughts. And by "very important" I mean asinine and pathetic. That combined with a huge emphasis on panels and "core conversations" inspired a lot of hate.

At the same time, I was again really inspired by SXSW this year. If there was one overriding theme to the entire event, it was this: Things suck, but you're awesome. Most presentations (and yes I tried to stick to the proper presentations) ended with some variant of this (and Kathy Sierra's really did).

Saturday I mostly played in the Lego pit and hit up BarCamp, but I did make it to Designing the Future of The New York Times, which I went to, of course, because of the brilliant Khoi Vinh, but found myself far more impressed with his colleague Tom Bodkin (here's his bio w/ pic on the SX site). His years of experience in a much richer design process and culture spoke rather profoundly, I thought, to a room full of mostly design hacks (myself, of course, included).

My first two panels talks on Sunday were excellent. First was Being a UX Team of One by Leah Buley, which was totally humbling and inspiring at the same time. Lots of great stuff that I want to do but am not doing yet in my UX practice. She has a few preso's up already on slideshare, including this same one given last year. The second was Jared Spool's talk. I've seen Jared speak before so I knew it was going to be good. It was. Apparently other people knew it was going to be good too. About two rows in front of me was a who's who of web design.

Somehow I missed this on Sunday, which was dumb of me. After giving the keynote a miss to go visit Mellow Johnny's with Jay I wandering in and out of sessions until stumbling into Gary Vaynerchuk's Q&A in the big room. I was so glad I did. My opinion of him did a 180. Previously, I wasn't a fan (go here to decide for yourself). But seeing him speak live to that audience I realized, he's a motivational speaker, and my kind of motivational speaker at that: a no bullshit one. Plus he could get Eeyore excited about life.

Monday there was some more good stuff going on, but all I really cared about was the Bruce Sterling session. I did go to Presenting Straight to the Brain, which was good, Kathy's stuff particularly. I have strong opinions about that stuff, though, and I can't believe no-one is poo-pooing panels and telling people to emulate rockstars. Mid-day I got to hang out with @thedandee some more which was a good thing. Eating, as well, since I hadn't eaten in about 24 hours. After lunch we both went to the aforementioned and inspiring talk by Kathy. Then, Bruce. He was awesome.

I'll be huffduffing all the talks I went to plus all the ones I wished I'd gone to, for those who want to catch/keep up but want a filter. I'll probably fill in some gabs with quick vid or pic posts here as well.

Update 1: Leah Buley has posted the presentation as well as the design templates she showed off in said presentation.

Update 2:

Update 3: Khoi Vihn's SX recap. And Mike D, from the comments: "Jared Spool? Fantastic. I’d rather watch him talk about peeling carrots for an hour than listen to five social media consultants introduce themselves for a half hour and then open up Q & A."

And finally, the most interesting bit, Carissa's take on the weekend:

Oh and have I failed to mention my new record that you can download for free?

<a href="">This Town by Daniel Miller</a>

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Holographic Ring Interface

Holographic Interface - round interface - Ringo from Ivan Tihienko on Vimeo.

(This had been sitting in drafts since January, probably because I was going to add to it, but I'm just going to publish w/o comment now.)


The web site of Branislav Kropilak now features larger scale images of the beautiful parking garages series, and the stunning billboards series of photographs.

...I am increasingly becoming convinced that there is more truth in these 'found' architectures than any of the works that feature in contemporary architectural magazines...these images invite us to consider the signs themselves as pure structure, signifying nothing but themselves.
I'm always fascinated with anything that can recontextualize objects without actually moving them or adding to them.

Via the links of one of my more brilliant IRL friends, Steve Collins.