Neutrality of the Net

Tim Berners-Lee: “When, seventeen years ago, I designed the Web, I did not have to ask anyone’s permission. [3]. The new application rolled out over the existing Internet without modifying it. I tried then, and many people still work very hard still, to make the Web technology, in turn, a universal, neutral, platform. It must not discriminate against particular hardware, software, underlying network, language, culture, disability, or against particular types of data.”

My Old House – Google Map

Please excuse me while I try out Googles Map API (better late then never). Too bad they have no map data for cities in Asia. Next up will be some way to hook this into plazes to automatically track my movements – the ultimate automated stalker.

User experience: A research agenda

“Over the last decade, ‘user experience’ (UX) became a buzzword in the field of human – computer interaction (HCI) and interaction design. As technology matured, interactive products became not only more useful and usable, but also fashionable, fascinating things to desire. Driven by the impression that a narrow focus on interactive products as tools does not capture the variety and emerging aspects of technology use, practitioners and researchers alike, seem to readily embrace the notion of UX as a viable alternative to traditional HCI. And, indeed, the term promises change and a fresh look, without being too specific about its definite meaning. The present introduction to the special issue on ‘Empirical studies of the user experience’ attempts to give a provisional answer to the question of what is meant by ‘the user experience’. It provides a cursory sketch of UX and how we think UX research will look like in the future. It is not so much meant as a forecast of the future, but as a proposal – a stimulus for further UX research. ” Read the complete article. Via infodesign.

Table Flip Clock

This clock takes those old school flip clocks that were so popular in the 70’s to new … heights. I love the design and like those old bedside clocks the sound of the numbers flipping help detail the passage of time.

Does information need architects?

More on the “species”:
“… it was surprisingly hard to find someone willing to call herself an information architect. “I don’t like to call myself that because … ” was a common phrase used as people introduced themselves. Similarly, the question of the precise definition of information architecture was frequently raised and almost as frequently skirted. This is surprising at a conference whose attendance is booming and in a profession the value of which is clear and clearly increasing.
Nevertheless, the dividing line among information architects is real. One group tends more toward control and using expertise to create a structure that should work the same way for every user. The other tends more toward flexibility and enabling user interaction to determine the structure of the site and the content of the answers.”
Read the full article.


The Intellicot concept has received a great deal of exposure of late, most of which was surprisingly positive. Designed by four male designers who would appear to have never had children themselves, this cold monstrosity has all the features the modern parent, who wants to distance themselves from their babies, could desire. These features include:
Video monitoring so you don’t actually have to be in the same room as your child; automatic rocking to eliminate that tiresome task of rocking your child to sleep – let the machine do it; the motorized raising system seems a useful way to alleviate back pain but I wonder if it would be better to simply exercise; and a safety window which eliminates “prison style bars” with a fish tank/science experiment approach (I’m sure babies don’t have the concept of prison bars). Perhaps they need to go start over and integrate some of these features in a warm baby-centered design. The original sketch looked much better than the end result.

Piin Arrows

I like how Piin uses these simple arrows to point out defects or damage on their goods. Many stores simply mark the price down and put a damaged tag on it but Piin takes that extra step to help improve their customer experience – a rarity in Taiwan.

10 Fun Ways To Get Your Children to Eat Healthier

I don’t think we have much of a problem with this yet. Catriona tends to like the right foods, isn’t too fussy about meat, and can’t stand “yucky bubbles” (soda). For the most part she is an active and healthy young girl. This in contrast to the couple we had lunch with who were bribing their daughter with chocolate so she would eat her french fries. An article on Interactive Dad gives us 10 Fun Ways To Get Your Children to Eat Healthier. Advice we could all listen to.
“Parents and caregivers have the responsibility to introduce healthy food choices to young children. Children learn from the meals you offer, the way you serve food, the way you shop, and the examples you set. They develop habits early that, once learned, can last a lifetime. So it’s never too early to make a change. It’s important to take every opportunity to promote a healthy active lifestyle.”

The Information Architect Species

A lighter look at what disciplines those who practice IA might have practiced before or in addition to becoming IA’s.
“Given that IA as a profession is really only about 10yrs old (or at least, that’s the figure I hear bandied about), it makes sense that *most* IAs have a ‘past life’ of one kind or another. This has got me to thinking that there are probably about six different species of Information Architect, based on the kind of professional past life they’ve had (nor not).”
Read The six species of Information Architect at disambiguity

Finding the Best and Worst Seats on an Airplane

The summer holiday season is fast approaching and many of us will be flying home with families in tow. In my experience Asian airlines are fairly accommodating to travelers with families but once you hit American and Canadian airspace all bets are off. LoveMySeat helps take the guess work out of choosing the carrier and seating that will give us the most comfort at the end of a long journey.
“Instantly locate the best and worst Rated airline seating locations on your flights with the air carriers such as Southwest, American, United and Delta. Access to color-coded seating charts, power locations, in-flight services and air travel resources.” Consumer Guide to Airline Seating

Tike Tech Double Stroller

Now that I have two children of the age where they could both be in a stroller I have been looking seriously at some kind of double or tandem strollers. It’s certainly easier than carrying one and pushing the other. For a moment I am going to imagine that I am not living in a city in Taiwan but somewhere that has wide sidewalks and long trails where a sporty stroller like this would be appropriate. The rigged frame and wide tires look perfect for taking your children out for a run. $299.00US by X-Tech Outdoors.

Frog Pod

Currently our bathroom remains in order for about 2 days a week, the rest of the week we have bath toys and supplies strewn all over the place. A house with a 2 year old and a messy dad can be like that. The thoughtfully designed Frog Pod looks like a fun way to add some order to the chaos. I’m especially fond of the fact that it’s handle acts as scoop, allowing for a quick tidy up after a serious period of play in the tub. $29.99 from Baby Outfitters.