New Clothes

by Andy Polaine on February 4, 2009

in General

If you are a regular reader (yes, you’re the one), you’ll notice that Playpen has had a spruce up with a new theme. If you’re thinking it looks quite similar to The Designer’s Review of Books, you’re not wrong. They both use the excellent Thesis theme and I really didn’t change a lot for the DRoB because I liked the typography and layout so much.

But Playpen is looking a bit start white right now, vanilla out-of-the-box white. It should look a little different soon as I finally bring up a homepage for polaine.com to represent the consulting work I do (and plan to do) more clearly, though the blog URL and name of Playpen will remain.

In the meantime, if you find anything that is broken (which might be quite a lot) or anything missing that you used to like before, let me know.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nigel Kersten February 5, 2009 at 4:07 am

If you are a regular reader (yes, you’re the one), you’ll notice that Playpen has had a spruce up with a new theme.

Actually I am a regular reader, and I only ever read your blog through my RSS reader :)

I had this conversation with a friend at Macworld. He brought up his blog and I was like “oh my god, is that what your blog looks like nowadays?”, realizing I rarely actually visit blogs in my browser anymore….

I was going to email you this, but here seems as good a place as any in case you haven’t seen it…

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-serious-need-for-play

Another random thought I was going to suggest was that The De’signer’s Review of Book’s might get some interest out of my latest reading matter…

http://www.amazon.com/How-We-Decide-Jonah-Lehrer/dp/0618620117

Not design focused at all, but lots of interesting stuff that is affecting how I think about UI design…

Nigel Kersten’s last blog post..A screensaver to send your display to sleep.

2 Andy Polaine February 5, 2009 at 10:46 am

Hi Nigel – You’re with a few hundred other people who subscribe to the feed (amazingly, given my sporadic posting recently). Nice to know you’re there and thanks for the article on play.

The whole play as development/social training angle is a difficult one, because there are lots of situations when play appears to have nothing to do with it. Sutton-Smith’s The Ambiguity of Play covers a whole range of different ‘rhetorics of play’, one of which is the developmental one.

The truth is that nobody really knows why humans and animals play, so I was pleased to see this paragraph in the article:

‘Pellegrini does question, however, how much cause and effect one can glean from these studies. “What does play do? Is it the vanguard of learning something—so does play precede those sorts of skills—or is it merely practice or consolidation of skills that are already developing?” he asks. Although no one knows, “either way, at some level, it would be beneficial,” he concludes.’

Is it beneficial on a evolutionary level? Maybe, but maybe it’s a side effect of something else beneficial. The thing that I find most fascinating about play is this aspect – that we all know it when we see it and experience it, but have enormous trouble describing exactly what constitutes play. It’s very much like love (another kind of play, really) in that respect.

I’ll mail you about the How We Decide book, looks pretty interesting. Or not. I can’t decide. Ha ha.

Previous post:

Next post: