“Johnson spends weeks with Taoist musicians, whose ritual performances bring the deceased “over to the other side”. He attends an unregistered Christian church in western China that challenges the party’s claim to be moral arbiter of society. He dines with celebrity Zen Buddhists, who dispense wisdom to real estate developers, the offspring of party aristocracy, executives and bank managers. He practises qigong – religious breathing exercises and meditation – with a master in an apartment block reserved for once-persecuted party elders rehabilitated after Mao’s death. With nicely understated irony, Johnson weaves the political rituals of the self-proclaimed atheistic CCP through this calendar: its conferences held in the Great Hall of the People, a communist temple saturated with legitimising ritual symbols; the intensely ritualistic departures and ascensions of communist leaders. “Like a Taoist priest,” he observes of Hu Jintao anointing a successor at the 18th party congress in November 2012, “Hu emulated an immortal … dyeing his hair jet-black to make himself look ageless, and surrounding himself with propaganda banners conferring immortality on the Communist party.””
Mon 04.16.12 – Here are the slides from my presentation on “A Minimalist’s Guide to the Mobile Web” from Breaking Development Orlando.
A video the presentation will be available soon on the BDConf Vimeo channel.
If you are a mobile or web design and/or developer who really would love to attend a great one track, intimate conference on the mobile web, Breaking Development Dallas will held in September 2012.
“Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.” – Wendel Berry, exerpt
“At the heart of all of these transitions is mobile. I’ve seen it have a transformative impact on some of the biggest and oldest companies on the planet. I’ve seen geniuses become dumbfounded. I’ve seen great intentions fail miserably.
I want to explore and share those stories. I do not talk want to talk about the virtues of native apps or HTML5 apps – or any other irrelevant discussion that revolves around the technology of today. Mobile is no more about the technology, as the printing press was about paper.
Instead this book will be as much a manifesto of 21st century experiences as it is a guide to using century old tools to solve the problems of today, even the ones we may not be able to define yet.”
Thur 09.29.11 – The long awaited Nokia N9 with much talked about Swipe UI and the Meego/Harmattan OS has now started to ship or will be in a store near you within the next two weeks. Well, in a shop near you if you live in Sweden, Finland, Pakistan, Kazakistan, or China, but if you live in the US, UK, Germany or many other places you are f*ck3d unto the very Ballmer. Yep, only MacroSquish for you if you live in Western Europe or the Western Hemisphere.
Order the Nokia N9online, even if your local shop doesn’t carry it, it is worth it. The Swipe UI is beautiful and very usable, the hardware delish, and Maemo’s Harmattan with a touch of Meego goodness hiding behind all the UI swipe is a geek’s delight. I have had the Nokia N950 developer phone for two weeks now and it causes mobile envy even in the most dedicated iAddict. If the Nokia N950 turns heads…
Hello lovely little Nokia N9, welcome. Go forth and prosper.
Dear reader, As a way to both pay attention and have a good record of the proceedings, I like to type out transcriptions/paraphrases of conference sessions. Here is my transcription/paraphrase for Luke W’s Mobile First presentation at Mobilism 2011. – Ms. Jen
Luke W – Mobile First
Web products should be designed mobile first.
“We’re just now starting to think about mobile first and desktop second for a lot of our products.” – Kate from Facebook
“We really need to shift now to start thinking about building mobile first” Kevin at Adobe
1. Growth = opportunity
2. Constraints = focus
3. Capabilities = innovation
“Since when did good web design suddenly get called ‘UX’? Everywhere I look now, good UI design is called ‘UX’, good type = ‘UX’, Colour? UX.”
I find Mark’s tweet to be a good place to jump off from, as I have spent the last two years scratching my head in wonder how the formerly mostly academic and large company/agency discipline of HCI/user-psychology/UX had morphed into a the job title du jour for web designers. My bafflement continued when at a party last year a prominent user experience designer introduced me to others as a mobile user experience designer. I was a bit flabbergasted, as while I am very interested in Mobile UX and I wrote my master’s thesis on how creative professionals use their mobile phones, I am very reluctant to use the title Mobile UX designer.
My preferred job title is Professional Art Weirdo, but that doesn’t go far in terms of business and professional contacts, although I do get a laugh from folks who know me when I use that title. In the course of my now decade plus career of actual practice in web design & development, as well as mobile design & now mobile app devloper, user researcher, systems designer, occasional information architect, small business strategist, plus social media bits and whatever other hat seemed fun to wear at the time when a client needed a task to be completed.
While I am most confident using the title ‘web designer’ as it encompasses the broad range of tasks that one does in the course of a freelance consultant career, I have found there to be pressure over the last two years to declare a specialty or even a sub-specialty in one’s job title – be it on LinkedIn, Twitter, one’s resume/CV, or on a business card. In the last two years to use the title ‘web designer’ is seen as either naive or one is just a small time, small business hack, even if one has mad generalist skills and a deep specialist skill set or two.
I have also spent much time lately revamping my resume/CV and portfolio in preparation for a job search, as I have decided that I would much prefer to work on a team at a company or agency than by myself as a freelance consultant. Companies and agencies or their recruiters/HR specialists want definition out their applicants or at least the appearance thereof. How does one define a decade long freelance career to folks who see a lot of resumes from specialists or bullshitters. I am not interested in misrepresenting myself.
Thus, my interest in the Great UX Debate of 2010. Go read the various links and let me know what you think:
Ryan Carson’s defense of his tweet: ‘UX Professional’ isn’t a Real Job
Andy Budd takes the first swing in Why I think Ryan Carson doesn’t believe in UX Professionals, and why I do
Mark Boulton gives a little history on the Debate in On defining UX
Cennydd Bowles finds a molotov cocktail to throw back in The pollution of UX
Scott Berkun asks ‘UX professional’ isn’t a real job? and simplifies the debate
Oliver Reichenstein in iA breaks the debate back down and reassembles it in Can Experience be Designed?
I will conclude with Scott Berkun’s second to last paragraph:
I’m fond of simply calling myself a writer. There should be a verb in your job. Usability engineers are really analysts or consultants. Designers of all flavors are, surprise, designers. Information architects are planners. If they are expected to be leaders beyond their specialization, then add the word lead. And on it could go. one word, preferably a verb, and we’re done. The pretense is fancier titles better convey the role, but I think that’s the real bullshit. Simpler titles, based on a verb, would be way more useful for clients or co-workers in figuring out what you can do for them.
And if push comes to shove, I will use the verb designer to describe myself, as well as the verb developer.