General

IFTTT vs ifttt

by Andy Polaine on December 11, 2014

in General

You may have noticed some very short posts recently. Today actually. Except they are from a while ago. I have a recipe on If This Then That that posts the description field of my Pinboard bookmarks tagged with “blog” to Playpen. I used it to link blog more frequently, but got out of the habit of it because I couldn’t remember the format. Obviously I wasn’t doing it frequently enough.

Today I wanted to write the post about the Millennials using this method, so I checked the recipe. Apparently the IFTTT recipes are case sensitive and it was looking for the tag “blog”, not “Blog”. When I changed the recipe, it found several bookmarks of blogs that I had tagged, not surprisingly, “Blog” and auto-posted them. I initially deleted the posts again, but since they’ll show up in the RSS feed and are interesting links anyway, I have restored them. They are quite old discoveries though.

In retrospect, using the tag “blog” as a trigger was pretty dumb. I’ve changed it to something else now. Maybe it will increase the frequency of my link posts—a format that Twitter has largely killed off.

Protection Racket

by Andy Polaine on November 25, 2014

in General

On Thursday, Google launches a new service called Contributor that Gigaom bills as “a crowdfunding platform for publishers.” According to Gigaom, the program is “designed to allow web users to pay sites that they visit a monthly fee, and in return see no Google ads when they visit those sites.”

Google still takes a cut of that revenue, so now they get their money either way. In other words, the lack of click throughs become irrelevant. Readers see a thank you message or, possibly, no ads at all.

In what way is this “crowdfunding”? It’s simply a subscription model, only worse. Google are heavily responsible for the web being filled with the cruft of their poorly designed ads. Now publishers have an incentive to fill their pages with more of them, just so users will pay to turn them off.

Think of the reverse-UX behind that for a moment: “We know these ads are annoying, but instead of making them less annoying, we see an opportunity to charge people for ignoring them.” Of course, they’ll get some useful data out of that too.

It’s a protection racket. “Nice webpage you’re reading here, pal. It would be a shame if someone filled it with ads.”

Help Launchlabs crowdfund their creative co-working space

October 13, 2014

“At home you feel lonely and at the office you get nothing done.” True words from my friend and frequent collaborator, Andreas Erbe, from Launchlabs in Basel, although in my case, “at home you get nothing done and at the office you feel lonely,” is also true. Andreas and his colleague Tiziana Meletta have launched […]

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Service design combined with smart resource usage

October 9, 2014

My older brother Matt works as Lead Researcher, The Circular Economy at British Telecommunications (yes, he is older than me, although I get the bald head and grey beard). He recently gave a talk at Nesta’s Smart Resources event about his role on a project to redesign and rethink BT’s HomeHub router. Although the initial […]

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Capital One’s acquisition of Adaptive Path shouldn’t be news

October 8, 2014

Last week’s announcement by Adaptive Path that they have been acquired by Capital One sent, if not shockwaves, certainly large ripples through the tech press. Wired said it was the “death rattle of the Web 2.0 era”, Techcrunch linked it to Capital One’s launch of their new mobile wallet app. Kerry Bodine wrote that “her […]

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Learning from Raiders of the Lost Ark

September 29, 2014

I’m in the research phase for a book project that looks at how and what designers and organisations—particularly those involved in service design or complex projects—can learn from filmmakers. In the words of Peter Sellers Michael Caine, not a lot of people know that I studied film as an undergraduate and carried on until my […]

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Customer service experienced in bits

July 21, 2014

Dr Drang tells two stories of failed customer service. The first one involves him trying to assist his mother getting to the gate at the airport. I use flying a lot as an example of services involving silos that barely communicate with each other and generate terrible customer experiences as a result. Dr Drang’s experience […]

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Apple, Beats and wearable tech

June 5, 2014

All the speculation about Apple designing and iWatch and the noise about their acquisition of Beats got me wondering why we do not pay more attention to the tech we are already wearing and why some of it is socially acceptable and some not. There is a kind of inverse correlation between assistive technologies and […]

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Service Design in Japanese

May 14, 2014

I’m happy to announce that our book, Service Design: from insight to implementation has just been translated and published in Japanese by Maruzen publishing. Thanks to the translator, Yoshinori Wakizaka. If you speak Japanese, I’d love to know what you think of it and the translation. We hope this helps those working in and with […]

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Chris Risdon on Orchestrating Touchpoints

April 19, 2014

Whilst I’m at it, here’s a great talk by Chris Risdon from the same conference talking about orchestrating touchpoints. His anecdote at the beginning is priceless. I’m particularly interested in the way he takes the journey as the hub from which everything extends from. It’s service design, but he comes at it from a UX […]

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