Monthly Archives: April 2008

Hairballs and Wireframes

Today was spent in two ways: the Dog ways and the Interaction Design ways.
Belle was a hair ball beyond Polar Bear status and desperately needed to visit a groomer to get shaved. Given that all the pet salons that I knew of were booked up due to predicted weekend hot weather, it involved me driving up PCH in this morning a bit looking for dog salons and walking into Purr-cision Grooming in Sunset Beach and begging for Belle to get a slot at the grooming table.
I have in the past noted that Sunset Beach has a high percentage of Psychics (2 or 3 in 2 miles), 3 Happy Ending Style Message Parlors (of the Rub & Tug variety), and 3 Tattoo parlours, and one just one dog groomers. Many thanks for Mark Anthony and the crew at Purr-cision for making Belle a dog again rather than a mini-polar bear.
The second part of my day was doing my least favorite activity: wireframing. Wireframing in my book is right up there with doing one’s taxes and cleaning the toilet. Just say no.
Now I know that some folks consider wireframes to be the be all and end all of web design.
In my 12 years of designing and developing for the web, I prefer to first think about the task extensively, sketch & makes notes, and then just do it. This is much the same process I use when making art, esp. painting. I think, mull, turn things over in my mind – sometimes for weeks, make sketches, and then start the task.
In today’s case, I already had fully envisioned the finished web interaction in my head and worked out the steps, but I needed to explain it to a programmer who would help me with the perl code. First I tried to explain it in an email, but that was not full enough. So I made two diagrams in photoshop with arrows to show how the behavior/actions would happen. But that was not enough either, so I started to make a html/javascript plain version of the interaction, when I realized… gasp! shock! horror! I was wireframing. blech.
Silly me.

Urbanista Diaries : Best of Goa Photo Essay

Goa: Trip from the Airport to Panaji Goa: Downtown Panaji at Night Goa: Stars at Hotel Nova Goa: Rohit Drawing a Map of Mumbai for Me Goa: Tribute Goa: Advertising & Photography Goa: Lunch Patio Goa: Mosaics Goa: Hanging Garlands Goa: More Floral Garlands Goa: Art Deco Penguins Goa: Lovely Building Goa: Temple Entrance Goa: New DuPont Paint v. Old Portuguese Building Goa: The Times of India Goa: Our Lady Luna Goa: Our Lady Looking Over Goa: Layers of Blue Paint Goa: Noah's Ark Goa: Stop, Drive Safely Goa: Sumit & his N95 Goa: Dry Mermaid Fountain Goa: Domino's
Photos taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N82 in Goa, India.

[After a mad six week hiatus, I am back to posting my Best of Urbanista photo essays…]
As a wrap up for my Urbanista Diaries adventure, I am going to be publishing photo essays of my favorite photos that I took in each city that I visited. Some of these photos are in my flickrstream, most of them on the website, and some are new to everyone but me.
The above photos were taken in Panaji, Goa, India, from Fri. Feb. 15th, 2008 to Mon. Feb. 18, 2008. Why did I stay for 2.5 days in Panaji (Panjim) rather than go to one of the Goa beach resorts? Well, I both in Bangalore & Kerala I asked taxi drivers their recommendation for Goa, and they both said: Panaji. I wanted to go to the city (Urbanista, after all) in Goa that was the most Indian rather than the attack of the Euro-Aussie-Whatever-Party-Piglet-Beach. And I am glad I did.
Panaji was a great mix of old school Portuguese buildings, 1940s art deco architecture, 1960s concrete brutalisme, with a good dose of India. It was laid back with a strong tourist component. Most of the other tourists or holiday makers I met were down from Mumbai for the weekend.
Unfortunately, I did not get to Old Goa and the Bom Jesus Basilica, mostly due to a crooked cab driver who I would not let gouge me. Next time I will walk the 9 km rather than be shook down. I will go back eventually to see the Bom Jesus.
Click on a thumbnail and then navigate through the lightbox slideshow by putting your mouse over the top right hand side of each photo, titles along the bottom.
Enjoy the photos, two more cities to come.

The NY Times on Urbanista Diaries

Hello New York Times
… Uh… the Urbanista Diaries campaign started in mid-January and ended in early March and your article came out on April 7th. Why wait to run the article a full month after the “live” portion is over?
If you are reporting on how Nokia is marketing with a new strategy of “hiring” bloggers and/or the marketing brilliance of the Urbanista Diaries, the why did you not interview one of the four of us?
I was not hired to go on the Urbanista Diaries trip, I was given a really cool opportunity to travel to India with a great camera phone, the N82, and do what I do every day – take lots of mobile photos and moblog them to a website with geo-data.
On the hiring bit? We were not paid, nor were any of the four of us given a phone. In fact quite a few of the phones were ‘lifted’ by DHL employees or Her Majesty’s Customs on the way back to the UK after the Urbanista trip was over*. WOM World (1000 Heads) bought the plane tickets and reimbursed our hotel, food, and local transport. Nokia reimbursed / paid 1000 Heads.
WOM World (1000 Heads) has a policy, that not only do the bloggers get to be honest, but we also return the phones after the trial period. That is a loan, not a hire or a buy.
Yes, Nokia is above the curve on internet marketing, more importantly they are including the mobile community, which in turn creates brand loyalty. Apple or LG or Sony-Ericsson have never offered me to trial a device nor have they asked my opinion on its use or software. Nokia has. This is good.
But, NYT, please do a wee bit more research. kthnxbai.
* Yes, for the record, I am angry about this – crooked business makes me indignant. Given that the phones were to go back to the UK, I would have preferred them to arrived in Oxfordshire in one piece, not the box arriving but missing the phones out of the middle. If I ever meet up with the DHL dude who giggled upon receiving the last N82 for shipment… To the Moon! Fed Ex & USPS have my business from here on out.