Tag Archives: experience

Design Experience that Matters: How to Build a Z-Rack Whiteboard and Save $150

Every design studio goes through mountains of post-it notes while brainstorming and charting ideas. We love the portability of flip-chart posters, but even after moving to a big studio in Salem we never had enough wall space.

Then we found Make Space by Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft at the Stanford’s d-school. Their design for a DIY whiteboard made from a garment z-rack was perfect: the wheels meant we could park them anywhere in the studio, and the bases nest together to reduce clutter. Building them ourselves saved money, which is great because we’re a cheapskate nonprofit and we wanted ten of them.

We made a short video to show you how we modified the Stanford z-rack whiteboard design, and to share some of the accessories we designed to make the z-racks even more useful. You can also find our HOWTO guide on Instructables. We’ve shared the z-rack parts as Autodesk Inventor and STL parts on Thingiverse so you can modify and print them yourself.


Core77

Design Experience That Matters, Book Review: The Back of the Napkin

Cartoons! They carpet the walls of our studio, and they make frequent appearances in Design that Matters presentations and TED talks. In his 2009 book, The Back of the Napkin, design thinker and professional doodler Dan Roam demonstrates how simple cartoons can help us to explain and visualize complex concepts, brainstorm more effectively and extract meaning from piles of data.

The Back of the Napkin argues that if you can draw a smiley face and a stick figure, you’re ready to become a visual thinker. The book demonstrates how even simple doodles can help ideas jump off the page.

DtM’s value is expressed in terms of novel solutions to tough problems. Where powerpoint slides and bullet points can lead to anxiety and boredom, drawing cartoons makes people happy. Happy people are more creative. Creativity pays the bills at DtM.

But there’s more! We’ve found loads of resources describing human-centered design research methods, including IDEO’s Method Cards and the LUMA Institute’s Innovating for People. Back of the Napkin is the first book we found that explains the kinds of visual “frameworks” we use for data-reduction. Frameworks help us to organize the enormous undifferentiated mass of observations and insights we collect during field research. Frameworks lead to qualitative design principles, and then to quantitative product requirements and specifications. Roam’s framework examples on pages 130-133 are worth the price of the book.

And if you buy this or any of the other books through the links in this email, Amazon will send part of the proceeds to DtM!

[The Back of the Napkin]

_____________________________________

This “Design Experience that Matters” series is provided courtesy of Timothy Prestero and the team at Design that Matters (DtM). As a nonprofit, DtM collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to design new medical technologies for the poor in developing countries. DtM’s Firefly infant phototherapy device is treating thousands of newborns in 21 counties from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In 2012, DtM was named the winner of the National Design Award.


Core77

Design Experience That Matters: Video of Our Design Sprint

Last summer, with support from the Autodesk Foundation and Lenovo, we recruited a student design team to develop an alpha prototype of our Otter Newborn Warmer. Malory Johnson, Industrial Design Fellow, joined DtM from the Columbus College of Art & Design. Karan Chaitanya Mudgal, Industrial Design Fellow, joined DtM from NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Kristine Chen, Mechanical Engineering Design Fellow, is a recent graduate of Stanford University. To support the team on the research end, we also recruited Kristen Moulton, Clinical Fellow, a second-year medical school student who had previously worked as a Research Coordinator for the NIH.

Video first, description afterwards:

The summer design sprint started with a couple weeks of orientation at the DtM studio in Salem. This included a review of the project context and background,the product requirements and specifications and the existing CAD models and physical design concepts. The team then hit the road for a series of expert interviews, both at local neonatal intensive care units and with local manufacturers.

The team then dove into concept brainstorming, some hand-sketching and lots of CAD modeling in Fusion 360. In July, the team moved to the new Autodesk BUILD Space in South Boston for alpha prototype fabrication and testing. The Autodesk BUILD Space team were superlative hosts.

After a series of late nights and endless hours sawing, sanding and soldering, the team finished the Otter alpha prototype. It’s a huge step forward for our newborn warmer program. We’re excited to continue Otter development this Fall with a student design-for-manufacture team at Olin College, and to begin field-testing the device overseas later this year.

Student design team lead Malory Johnson, who moonlights as a video producer, put together this fantastic two-minute speed-run through the summer design sprint.


Core77

Design Experience that Matters: How to Create a Rubber Prototype Using a 3D-Printed Mold

_____________________________________

This “Design Experience that Matters” series is provided courtesy of Timothy Prestero and the team at Design that Matters (DtM). As a nonprofit, DtM collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to design new medical technologies for the poor in developing countries. DtM’s Firefly infant phototherapy device is treating thousands of newborns in 21 counties from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In 2012, DtM was named the winner of the National Design Award.


Core77

Design Experience that Matters: How to Create a Killer Design Portfolio

Building a portfolio is one of the most challenging parts of pursuing a career in design. On one hand, there’s no strict formula and no defined requirements, but on the other hand, we’re creatives. Isn’t that supposed to be where we thrive? In six months, I’ve had the opportunity to see both sides of this portfolio enigma—first in assembling my own portfolio and applying for positions, and more recently reviewing others’ portfolios with DtM CEO Tim Prestero to find a good fit for the company. This puts me in a unique position: I can still clearly remember the dozens of questions I had at the outset of my job search, but now I’m equipped with the context to give answers! 

The best advice I can give is this: Design your portfolio as well as the projects it contains. Who is your audience, what are they looking for, and what’s the most effective way to deliver it to them?

Who is your audience?

Before you even open InDesign, do some research. What is the standard for portfolios in your design niche? Furniture designers have vastly different portfolios from medical designers. Use this standard as a starting block. If you have a specific company in mind, you can look up the current employees. How do the staff members talk about their work? What skills do they most emphasize? This is a great place to start, but don’t stop there! Design portfolios needs a unique, well-considered approach to properly communicate.

As a student, it’s important to realize that teachers are a very different audience from employers. More often than not, I see people simply transfer class deliverables into a PDF, and presume the portfolio done. In a pinch, this may get the job done, but it can lead to a portfolio that doesn’t communicate anything more than technical skills. We’ve all seen the beautiful page of drawings photoshopped onto a moleskine notebook entitled “SKETCHES.” Employer Malory wants to know WHY you did those sketches. Were you thinking through closure details, or looking for a form that is consistent with a brand language? Most importantly, do your best to communicate your intentions succinctly — preferably in the page title.

What are they looking for?

Or in other words, what purpose does my portfolio serve? Student Malory would have told you that a portfolio is to show people your work, explain how you tackle problems and show the happy clients you’ve worked with. Now, employer Malory says that a portfolio’s main purpose is to substantiate the skills you claim to have. The shift in this thinking came from reviewing resumes. “Proficient with solidworks” can mean vastly different things from different applicants. Show me the results of paying attention in your CAD classes and it will set you apart from the other candidate who says the same thing but slid by. This goes beyond just technical skills, use pictures and stories to show me how you think!

As a student, one of the most common questions is how to present group work. There’s a duality of advice given about this subject. One school of thought says, “You will rarely work by yourself in the professional world, so show us that you can excel on a team of designers.” The other says, “Group work in a portfolio is never safe. How am I to gauge your skills when I don’t know how involved you were in this project?” There is still no clear answer, and every employer will tell you something different. The most I can offer is this: Be transparent about your contribution to the project. If someone else created the 3d model and render that shows your design concept, be sure to clearly call that out on the picture.

What’s the most effective way to deliver your portfolio?

As students, we’re tempted to ask for a blueprint. How many pages should my portfolio be? How many projects? What’s the best format, PDF or website? The answers are never consistent, but that’s because they are beside the point. Instead of asking, “How many pages?” think “How long will it take to review?” The problem with page count is that someone hears “three pages per project,” and then they populate those three pages with so much content that it becomes too busy to communicate anything. Take time to simplify the points of your project, dedicating a page to each point and designing the page to communicate that point as clearly and visually as possible.

Website and PDF portfolios have their applications. Ideally you should be ready to go with both. I remember thinking as a student that website portfolios were so cool and professional. Employer Malory still thinks that’s true, but the challenge is that websites are impersonal. For a job application, personalized touches set you apart faster than anything else. Pick the most relevant projects for the company you’re applying to and use those to populate your portfolio application. That being said, there are ways to be personable with a website: instead of sending an employer to your site’s homepage, consider linking them to a specific project within your website and explain why that project is relevant.

Evaluate your portfolio after it’s done.

Like any design, your portfolio needs to be tested. Sleep on it, then skim it. What does your portfolio communicate when you only read the titles and look at the pictures? Is that on message? Present your portfolio to someone, and take note of their questions. Look for points that require the most verbal explanation. This indicates a problem with either the story, or the communication of the page.

Your portfolio can be a powerful advocate for your work if you want it to be. Take as much effort to design your portfolio as you have the projects inside of it. It will show!

_____________________________________

This “Design Experience that Matters” series is provided courtesy of Timothy Prestero and the team at Design that Matters (DtM). As a nonprofit, DtM collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to design new medical technologies for the poor in developing countries. DtM’s Firefly infant phototherapy device is treating thousands of newborns in 21 counties from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In 2012, DtM was named the winner of the National Design Award.


Core77

Design Experience that Matters: Lessons Learned in Rapid Prototyping

The process of prototype fabrication is really a series of problem-solving exercises. Slot A suddenly refuses to accept Tab B, the beautiful CAD model reveals monstrous qualities when it emerges from the 3D printer, the Arduino code refuses to compile. We always find ourselves doing lots of just-in-time self-education, reading product manuals and watching YouTube HOWTO videos.

In brief, here are some of the most valuable lessons learned from our summer design sprint:

Vacuum Forming Polycarbonate

So many bubbles!  This bassinet is meant to be transparent.

Vacuum-forming clear quarter-inch thick polycarbonate sheets isn’t for amateurs! We milled molds out of stacked sheets of MDF (medium-density fiberboard), both to accommodate the limited z-height of the ShopBot CNC and to machine vacuum-channels in the middle layers. Before vacuum-forming, we had to bake the heavy polycarbonate sheets and the mold in a brick oven, or else it would develop thousands of little bubbles that made the material cloudy (see above). Unfortunately, the MDF molds took a beating from the hot polycarbonate, and after a few pulls, the polycarbonate started tearing chunks out of the mold. No mold lasts forever–even the hardened steel tools that LEGO uses for injection molding eventually wear out. Next time, we might skip MDF and instead cut a tool from the more expensive but more robust renshape.

Cleaning 3D Printed Parts

Parts from the 3D printer often come out of the machine with scratchy surfaces or other imperfections, for example marks left by the “raft” or other support material. We’ve learned that if you plan to sand the part to make it smooth and more aesthetically appealing, you are essentially committing to covering the sanded part with bondo and finishing paint. Sanded parts, especially those made from light-colored PLA, just seem to magnetically attract grubbiness. It might be skin oil from handling, smudgy whatever from dirty surfaces, but the part soon looks dingy. If you don’t have the time to sand, bondo, prime and paint, we recommend you remove the unwanted material with a chisel, blade or other scraper rather than sandpaper.

Working With Nichrome Wire

Enter the bare metal butt crimp

The Otter prototype was an opportunity to learn a lot about nichrome heating wire. Here’s the challenge: you want to establish an electrical connection with a wire that immediately heats up when you introduce a current. Soldering this kind of wire won’t work (solder melts when it gets hot). Automotive crimp connectors, which have plastic housings, don’t work (think: melting plastic). In the end, we learned that the best connectors involve mechanical clamping, for example a bare metal butt crimp (which sounds like an awesome band name), or a screw terminal.

Powering Arduino With A Buck Converter

We’ve powered countless little Arduino projects either (1) directly from the computer through a USB cable, (2) with a rechargeable lithium cellphone powerpack and a USB-B connector (Arduino Uno) or micro-USB connector (Arduino Micro), or (3) a 5V alkaline battery pack wired to the Vin pin.

For the Otter prototype, we needed the Arduino to control a relay that was sending 24V to the heater wires. It was easy to generate 24V using an off-the-shelf AC adapter power supply, but how could we also get 5V to power the Arduino without using a second power supply? Enter the humble and amazing buck converter–an inexpensive component that can efficiently generate an output of 3-12V given a 24V input. Presumably this is old hat to any electrical engineer. There exist countless varieties of “DC/DC step-down” or buck converters (ie Adafruit), so you ought to be able to find one that’s a perfect match for your project.

Cloud-Based CAD File Sharing

Autodesk’s cloud-based CAD server, called A360 (aka the web interface for Fusion360), is an amazing collaboration tool. We were able to generate CAD models on the big ThinkStation P910 desktop machines in the DtM studio, and then instantly open the same files on our ThinkPad P50 laptops when we were working at the CNC machine. Hooray for a cloud-storage system that actually works as advertised!

DON’T SHAVE THAT YAK!

Any kind of production rush can easily devolve into fun adventures in “yak shaving“: you were supposed to be testing the prototype thermal control system, and two hours later you find yourself wandering the aisles at Home Depot in search of T-handled allen wrenches.

HOWTO replace a lightbulb

_____________________________________

This “Design Experience that Matters” series is provided courtesy of Timothy Prestero and the team at Design that Matters (DtM). As a nonprofit, DtM collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to design new medical technologies for the poor in developing countries. DtM’s Firefly infant phototherapy device is treating thousands of newborns in 21 counties from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In 2012, DtM was named the winner of the National Design Award.


Core77

Design Experience that Matters: Handy Tools for Working With 3D Printers

Here at Design that Matters we do a lot of 3D printing, so we’ve built up this collection of handy but inexpensive tools for supporting our 3D printers. They live in IKEA silverware caddies mounted next to the machines and they just make the work go easier.

1. Super Lube synthetic grease for the build plate lead screw (the lube supplied with most machines gets used up quickly). A single tube of lube lasts for ages. 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cheap cutting pliers for trimming PLA spools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Metal feeler gauge for consistent results when manually leveling the printer build plate (Makerbot Rep2 works best when the 0.2mm gauge just fits between nozzle and build plate).

 

 

 

  

4. UHU glue stick for securing prints to build plate (useful even with heated build plates). This works better and is more convenient than covering the build plate with blue painter’s tape.  

 

 

 

 

5. Window scraper for removing glue residue and stubborn PLA deposits from build plate. 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Cricut craft spatula for un-sticking prints. We’ll create a little gap under the print with the window scraper, and then lever the rest of the print off the build plate with the craft spatula.  Bonus: we’re less likely to stab ourselves. 

 

 

 

 

7. iFixit metal spudgers for scraping off and digging out printed support material and other defects.

 

 

 

 

  

8. Cheap dental picks for removing support material from internal cavities.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Steel tweezers for getting gunk off the extruder nozzle without melting fingers.

 

 

 

  

 

10. We also have a couple self-healing cutting mats taped to the table next to the machine so we can fuss around with scrapers without scarring the tabletops or damaging the build plates. 

 

 

 

 

A Few More Items:

We’ve mounted an appropriate set of Allen wrenches on a 3D-printed bracket attached to every machine. 

To reduce filament-jams in our oldest machine, the trusty Replicator 2, we printed and mounted this filament guide from Thingiverse on the back of the machine:

Image by FERDYP

For storing PLA, we were delighted to discover that even the big Makerbot-brand spools fit perfectly inside a standard 5-gallon bucket. To prevent humidity from spoiling the PLA, we snap a Gamma Seal Lid on top of the bucket and throw in a handful of silica gel desiccant packs before we screw it shut.

Stay Tuned!

After a productive four years with our Makerbot Replicator 2 (and a frustrating two years with our Makerbot Replicator Gen5), we just upgraded to a Lulzbot Taz 6.  We’ve started experimenting with new filament materials and a heated printer bed.  

We find that glue sticks are still useful for first-layer adhesion, although for exotic materials like nylon some consider generic PVP-based glue sticks more effective than UHU sticks. We still prefer the combination of the window scraper and the spatula for unsticking prints. The new filament spools also fit in our airtight 5-gallon buckets for storage. The biggest change is that we no longer need the feeler gauge, given that the Lulzbot has a self-leveling bed.

Do You Have Any Tips for Us?

We’re still learning how to get the best results from our 3D printers for the least amount of effort. Some machines create rafts (print bases) that are tedious to remove. Although we’ve had success sanding parts with paper or a Dremel, the resulting smooth parts very quickly look grubby (something about dust and oil getting into the seams). For high-quality aesthetic models, we haven’t found an alternative to the laborious process of: bondo, sand, primer, paint, clear-coat. Have any of you come up with a better solution?

_____________________________________

This “Design Experience that Matters” series is provided courtesy of Timothy Prestero and the team at Design that Matters (DtM). As a nonprofit, DtM collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to design new medical technologies for the poor in developing countries. DtM’s Firefly infant phototherapy device is treating thousands of newborns in 21 counties from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In 2012, DtM was named the winner of the National Design Award.


Core77

Design Experience that Matters: Handy Tools for Working With 3D Printers

Here at Design that Matters we do a lot of 3D printing, so we’ve built up this collection of handy but inexpensive tools for supporting our 3D printers. They live in IKEA silverware caddies mounted next to the machines and they just make the work go easier.

1. Super Lube synthetic grease for the build plate lead screw (the lube supplied with most machines gets used up quickly). A single tube of lube lasts for ages. 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cheap cutting pliers for trimming PLA spools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Metal feeler gauge for consistent results when manually leveling the printer build plate (Makerbot Rep2 works best when the 0.2mm gauge just fits between nozzle and build plate).

 

 

 

  

4. UHU glue stick for securing prints to build plate (useful even with heated build plates). This works better and is more convenient than covering the build plate with blue painter’s tape.  

 

 

 

 

5. Window scraper for removing glue residue and stubborn PLA deposits from build plate. 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Cricut craft spatula for un-sticking prints. We’ll create a little gap under the print with the window scraper, and then lever the rest of the print off the build plate with the craft spatula.  Bonus: we’re less likely to stab ourselves. 

 

 

 

 

7. iFixit metal spudgers for scraping off and digging out printed support material and other defects.

 

 

 

 

  

8. Cheap dental picks for removing support material from internal cavities.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Steel tweezers for getting gunk off the extruder nozzle without melting fingers.

 

 

 

  

 

10. We also have a couple self-healing cutting mats taped to the table next to the machine so we can fuss around with scrapers without scarring the tabletops or damaging the build plates. 

 

 

 

 

A Few More Items:

We’ve mounted an appropriate set of Allen wrenches on a 3D-printed bracket attached to every machine. 

To reduce filament-jams in our oldest machine, the trusty Replicator 2, we printed and mounted this filament guide from Thingiverse on the back of the machine:

Image by FERDYP

For storing PLA, we were delighted to discover that even the big Makerbot-brand spools fit perfectly inside a standard 5-gallon bucket. To prevent humidity from spoiling the PLA, we snap a Gamma Seal Lid on top of the bucket and throw in a handful of silica gel desiccant packs before we screw it shut.

Stay Tuned!

After a productive four years with our Makerbot Replicator 2 (and a frustrating two years with our Makerbot Replicator Gen5), we just upgraded to a Lulzbot Taz 6.  We’ve started experimenting with new filament materials and a heated printer bed.  

We find that glue sticks are still useful for first-layer adhesion, although for exotic materials like nylon some consider generic PVP-based glue sticks more effective than UHU sticks. We still prefer the combination of the window scraper and the spatula for unsticking prints. The new filament spools also fit in our airtight 5-gallon buckets for storage. The biggest change is that we no longer need the feeler gauge, given that the Lulzbot has a self-leveling bed.

Do You Have Any Tips for Us?

We’re still learning how to get the best results from our 3D printers for the least amount of effort. Some machines create rafts (print bases) that are tedious to remove. Although we’ve had success sanding parts with paper or a Dremel, the resulting smooth parts very quickly look grubby (something about dust and oil getting into the seams). For high-quality aesthetic models, we haven’t found an alternative to the laborious process of: bondo, sand, primer, paint, clear-coat. Have any of you come up with a better solution?

_____________________________________

This “Design Experience that Matters” series is provided courtesy of Timothy Prestero and the team at Design that Matters (DtM). As a nonprofit, DtM collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to design new medical technologies for the poor in developing countries. DtM’s Firefly infant phototherapy device is treating thousands of newborns in 21 counties from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In 2012, DtM was named the winner of the National Design Award.


Core77

The Volkswagen Interactive Experience at CES was promising, but not quite perfect

Filed under: ,,,

Three-dimensional gauge clusters are pretty cool. Eye-tracking tech that doesn’t work isn’t so cool.

Continue reading The Volkswagen Interactive Experience at CES was promising, but not quite perfect

The Volkswagen Interactive Experience at CES was promising, but not quite perfect originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 22 Jan 2017 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments
Autoblog

Red Bull hits the slopes in a modified F1 car for the ultimate winter driving experience

Red Bull's wunderkind Max Verstappen hit the slopes of the famous Streif ski course in Kitzbuhel, Austria in a specially modified F1 car.

Continue reading Red Bull hits the slopes in a modified F1 car for the ultimate winter driving experience

Red Bull hits the slopes in a modified F1 car for the ultimate winter driving experience originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 25 Dec 2016 12:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments
Autoblog

The American Voting Experience

This morning at 6am, I cast my vote for President of the United States. Our non-American readers may wonder what the actual UX of our voting process is like. I’ll tell you—it’s surprisingly primitive.

Here in my district in downtown Manhattan, the nearest polling place is at an elementary school down the block. The kids have school off today. At 6am, there was little indication that a key function of our democratic process is being enacted within; just a few photocopied signs taped to the closed door that say “VOTE HERE” in English, Spanish and Chinese (representative of this neighborhood’s dominant ethnicities).

Inside, I queued up in a hallway behind six people. A clearly posted sign and icon said “NO PHOTOS,” but that didn’t stop the Millennial girl in front of me from whipping out her smartphone and taking a photo of the crowded room beyond. I’ll describe that room in a moment.

The bottleneck at the end of the hallway is for sorting voters according to their district. Weeks or months before the election, the U.S. government mails voter cards to each registered voter. These cards have your district printed on them.

The voter sorting process is a little more prosaic than it is at Hogwarts. No singing hat, just a towering, stern-faced woman asking if you know your district. Half of those in the queue had their voter cards, and were swiftly sent to one of the many folding plastic desks around the room that had white signs posted on them with district numbers. If you forgot your card at home, as I did, you had to wait in a second queue at a desk near the front of the room.

While waiting in this queue, you have a chance to observe the room, which—at least in New York City—is filled with a wonderful example of American diversity. Just about every race you can think of is represented. The voters were both young and old, while the volunteer staff was predominantly elderly. In terms of gender, males and females were present in roughly equal numbers, and the aforementioned stern-faced woman handling the sorting was, I am 90% sure, transgender.

At this second sorting line, three volunteers look up your address in a series of binders. Surprisingly, I did not have to show my ID, only state my address. They match your address to a district number, then send you to the appropriate district desk. There is an opportunity for confusion here because these desks have two numbers, one for “Election District” and one for “Assembly District.” I overheard a couple of people being told they had mixed the numbers up and were at the wrong desk.

At this district desk, a second group of volunteers look up your name in a binder. I felt bad for the elderly woman doing the looking up at this desk, as she appeared on the verge of senility; though the binder’s pages clearly featured alphabetical tabs along the margins, she had a lot of trouble finding people’s names. The woman in front of me had a last name that began with a “T,” yet the looker-upper began scanning the “V” page, could not find the name, and announced that Mrs. T must be at the wrong desk. She instructed her to go to the front of the room and start over.

Mrs. T patiently flipped through the binder to locate her own name and was finally given a ballot.

Then it was my turn. My last name begins with “N,” and the woman tried to look me up on the “P” page. I politely pointed out the error, and she looked confused and flipped to “L.” Eventually she worked her way through the book and found my name.

Next to each name is a blank signature box, which they ask you to sign. After you sign it, they hand you the ballot, a large white sheet of paper—it feels like it’s two feet long—and a manila folder to enclose it within (presumably for privacy). Then you’re sent to the back of the room, where the voting “booths” are.

I put “booths” in quotes because at this location, the “booth” is just a lectern with a white cardboard privacy shield around it on three sides. They looked like this: 

Image source: NBC New York

There were about twenty of these in the back of the room, mostly occupied. In the available “booth” that I took, the long red cord that is supposed to be attached to a pen was missing the pen, the ring having being pried open. Unbelievably, I suppose someone had stolen the pen.

I borrowed a pen from one of the district desks and went back to the “booth.” On the inside of the privacy shield are instructions on how to fill the ballots out: Color in the oval next to your candidates’ names, don’t enter multiple votes, how to do a write-in vote, et cetera. 

Image source: Patch.com

I was surprised at how poor the graphic design of the ballots are, and really regret not sneaking a photo to show you; but as an example, look at this ballot from a past election:

As you can see, it would be easy for someone unfamiliar with the process—like the woman doing the looking-up at the district desk, for instance—to become confused. Let’s say in the ballot above you are voting for Cuomo. You might mistakenly think you are meant to color in each oval next to Cuomo’s name in each row, which would count as multiple votes and your ballot would then be discounted (likely without your knowledge). On the ballot I had this morning, both Presidential candidates were listed multiple times under multiple parties. In my sleepy state, I had to stop myself from coloring in more than one oval per section because the layout was confusing.

With the ballot filled out, you carry it across the room to the scanning machines. This is an LCD screen with a slot on the bottom. It looked like this:

Image source: silive

There are no instructions as to how to orient your ballot when inserting it. A woman standing next to the machine saw my confusion and said it didn’t matter how you put it in.

I slid the ballot into the slot, which sucked it in, and expected to see some feedback on the screen repeating my choices. Instead it just said “YOUR VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED. THANK YOU” and that was it. The woman next to the machine took my manila folder, I suppose they recirculate them.

All told, it took about twelve minutes start to finish. There’s no coffee or donuts, like I’ve seen on some places in the news, this is New York so people are just in and out with no socializing or fuss.

I was surprised that no one ever asked to see my ID; if you are a registered voter and are in the correct book, that’s all you need to be given a ballot. I’m not smart enough to know how this system could or couldn’t be gamed, but I expected something a little more airport-security-like.

If you are an American voter in a different part of the country, I’m very curious to hear what the voting process is like in your neck of the woods. If you live in a different country, I’m twice as curious to know what voting is like over there. Please let us know in the comments below.


Core77

The American Voting Experience

This morning at 6am, I cast my vote for President of the United States. Our non-American readers may wonder what the actual UX of our voting process is like. I’ll tell you—it’s surprisingly primitive.

Here in my district in downtown Manhattan, the nearest polling place is at an elementary school down the block. The kids have school off today. At 6am, there was little indication that a key function of our democratic process is being enacted within; just a few photocopied signs taped to the closed door that say “VOTE HERE” in English, Spanish and Chinese (representative of this neighborhood’s dominant ethnicities).

Inside, I queued up in a hallway behind six people. A clearly posted sign and icon said “NO PHOTOS,” but that didn’t stop the Millennial girl in front of me from whipping out her smartphone and taking a photo of the crowded room beyond. I’ll describe that room in a moment.

The bottleneck at the end of the hallway is for sorting voters according to their district. Weeks or months before the election, the U.S. government mails voter cards to each registered voter. These cards have your district printed on them.

The voter sorting process is a little more prosaic than it is at Hogwarts. No singing hat, just a towering, stern-faced woman asking if you know your district. Half of those in the queue had their voter cards, and were swiftly sent to one of the many folding plastic desks around the room that had white signs posted on them with district numbers. If you forgot your card at home, as I did, you had to wait in a second queue at a desk near the front of the room.

While waiting in this queue, you have a chance to observe the room, which—at least in New York City—is filled with a wonderful example of American diversity. Just about every race you can think of is represented. The voters were both young and old, while the volunteer staff was predominantly elderly. In terms of gender, males and females were present in roughly equal numbers, and the aforementioned stern-faced woman handling the sorting was, I am 90% sure, transgender.

At this second sorting line, three volunteers look up your address in a series of binders. Surprisingly, I did not have to show my ID, only state my address. They match your address to a district number, then send you to the appropriate district desk. There is an opportunity for confusion here because these desks have two numbers, one for “Election District” and one for “Assembly District.” I overheard a couple of people being told they had mixed the numbers up and were at the wrong desk.

At this district desk, a second group of volunteers look up your name in a binder. I felt bad for the elderly woman doing the looking up at this desk, as she appeared on the verge of senility; though the binder’s pages clearly featured alphabetical tabs along the margins, she had a lot of trouble finding people’s names. The woman in front of me had a last name that began with a “T,” yet the looker-upper began scanning the “V” page, could not find the name, and announced that Mrs. T must be at the wrong desk. She instructed her to go to the front of the room and start over.

Mrs. T patiently flipped through the binder to locate her own name and was finally given a ballot.

Then it was my turn. My last name begins with “N,” and the woman tried to look me up on the “P” page. I politely pointed out the error, and she looked confused and flipped to “L.” Eventually she worked her way through the book and found my name.

Next to each name is a blank signature box, which they ask you to sign. After you sign it, they hand you the ballot, a large white sheet of paper—it feels like it’s two feet long—and a manila folder to enclose it within (presumably for privacy). Then you’re sent to the back of the room, where the voting “booths” are.

I put “booths” in quotes because at this location, the “booth” is just a lectern with a white cardboard privacy shield around it on three sides. They looked like this: 

Image source: NBC New York

There were about twenty of these in the back of the room, mostly occupied. In the available “booth” that I took, the long red cord that is supposed to be attached to a pen was missing the pen, the ring having being pried open. Unbelievably, I suppose someone had stolen the pen.

I borrowed a pen from one of the district desks and went back to the “booth.” On the inside of the privacy shield are instructions on how to fill the ballots out: Color in the oval next to your candidates’ names, don’t enter multiple votes, how to do a write-in vote, et cetera. 

Image source: Patch.com

I was surprised at how poor the graphic design of the ballots are, and really regret not sneaking a photo to show you; but as an example, look at this ballot from a past election:

As you can see, it would be easy for someone unfamiliar with the process—like the woman doing the looking-up at the district desk, for instance—to become confused. Let’s say in the ballot above you are voting for Cuomo. You might mistakenly think you are meant to color in each oval next to Cuomo’s name in each row, which would count as multiple votes and your ballot would then be discounted (likely without your knowledge). On the ballot I had this morning, both Presidential candidates were listed multiple times under multiple parties. In my sleepy state, I had to stop myself from coloring in more than one oval per section because the layout was confusing.

With the ballot filled out, you carry it across the room to the scanning machines. This is an LCD screen with a slot on the bottom. It looked like this:

Image source: silive

There are no instructions as to how to orient your ballot when inserting it. A woman standing next to the machine saw my confusion and said it didn’t matter how you put it in.

I slid the ballot into the slot, which sucked it in, and expected to see some feedback on the screen repeating my choices. Instead it just said “YOUR VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED. THANK YOU” and that was it. The woman next to the machine took my manila folder, I suppose they recirculate them.

All told, it took about twelve minutes start to finish. There’s no coffee or donuts, like I’ve seen on some places in the news, this is New York so people are just in and out with no socializing or fuss.

I was surprised that no one ever asked to see my ID; if you are a registered voter and are in the correct book, that’s all you need to be given a ballot. I’m not smart enough to know how this system could or couldn’t be gamed, but I expected something a little more airport-security-like.

If you are an American voter in a different part of the country, I’m very curious to hear what the voting process is like in your neck of the woods. If you live in a different country, I’m twice as curious to know what voting is like over there. Please let us know in the comments below.


Core77

The American Voting Experience

This morning at 6am, I cast my vote for President of the United States. Our non-American readers may wonder what the actual UX of our voting process is like. I’ll tell you—it’s surprisingly primitive.

Here in my district in downtown Manhattan, the nearest polling place is at an elementary school down the block. The kids have school off today. At 6am, there was little indication that a key function of our democratic process is being enacted within; just a few photocopied signs taped to the closed door that say “VOTE HERE” in English, Spanish and Chinese (representative of this neighborhood’s dominant ethnicities).

Inside, I queued up in a hallway behind six people. A clearly posted sign and icon said “NO PHOTOS,” but that didn’t stop the Millennial girl in front of me from whipping out her smartphone and taking a photo of the crowded room beyond. I’ll describe that room in a moment.

The bottleneck at the end of the hallway is for sorting voters according to their district. Weeks or months before the election, the U.S. government mails voter cards to each registered voter. These cards have your district printed on them.

The voter sorting process is a little more prosaic than it is at Hogwarts. No singing hat, just a towering, stern-faced woman asking if you know your district. Half of those in the queue had their voter cards, and were swiftly sent to one of the many folding plastic desks around the room that had white signs posted on them with district numbers. If you forgot your card at home, as I did, you had to wait in a second queue at a desk near the front of the room.

While waiting in this queue, you have a chance to observe the room, which—at least in New York City—is filled with a wonderful example of American diversity. Just about every race you can think of is represented. The voters were both young and old, while the volunteer staff was predominantly elderly. In terms of gender, males and females were present in roughly equal numbers, and the aforementioned stern-faced woman handling the sorting was, I am 90% sure, transgender.

At this second sorting line, three volunteers look up your address in a series of binders. Surprisingly, I did not have to show my ID, only state my address. They match your address to a district number, then send you to the appropriate district desk. There is an opportunity for confusion here because these desks have two numbers, one for “Election District” and one for “Assembly District.” I overheard a couple of people being told they had mixed the numbers up and were at the wrong desk.

At this district desk, a second group of volunteers look up your name in a binder. I felt bad for the elderly woman doing the looking up at this desk, as she appeared on the verge of senility; though the binder’s pages clearly featured alphabetical tabs along the margins, she had a lot of trouble finding people’s names. The woman in front of me had a last name that began with a “T,” yet the looker-upper began scanning the “V” page, could not find the name, and announced that Mrs. T must be at the wrong desk. She instructed her to go to the front of the room and start over.

Mrs. T patiently flipped through the binder to locate her own name and was finally given a ballot.

Then it was my turn. My last name begins with “N,” and the woman tried to look me up on the “P” page. I politely pointed out the error, and she looked confused and flipped to “L.” Eventually she worked her way through the book and found my name.

Next to each name is a blank signature box, which they ask you to sign. After you sign it, they hand you the ballot, a large white sheet of paper—it feels like it’s two feet long—and a manila folder to enclose it within (presumably for privacy). Then you’re sent to the back of the room, where the voting “booths” are.

I put “booths” in quotes because at this location, the “booth” is just a lectern with a white cardboard privacy shield around it on three sides. They looked like this: 

Image source: NBC New York

There were about twenty of these in the back of the room, mostly occupied. In the available “booth” that I took, the long red cord that is supposed to be attached to a pen was missing the pen, the ring having being pried open. Unbelievably, I suppose someone had stolen the pen.

I borrowed a pen from one of the district desks and went back to the “booth.” On the inside of the privacy shield are instructions on how to fill the ballots out: Color in the oval next to your candidates’ names, don’t enter multiple votes, how to do a write-in vote, et cetera. 

Image source: Patch.com

I was surprised at how poor the graphic design of the ballots are, and really regret not sneaking a photo to show you; but as an example, look at this ballot from a past election:

As you can see, it would be easy for someone unfamiliar with the process—like the woman doing the looking-up at the district desk, for instance—to become confused. Let’s say in the ballot above you are voting for Cuomo. You might mistakenly think you are meant to color in each oval next to Cuomo’s name in each row, which would count as multiple votes and your ballot would then be discounted (likely without your knowledge). On the ballot I had this morning, both Presidential candidates were listed multiple times under multiple parties. In my sleepy state, I had to stop myself from coloring in more than one oval per section because the layout was confusing.

With the ballot filled out, you carry it across the room to the scanning machines. This is an LCD screen with a slot on the bottom. It looked like this:

Image source: silive

There are no instructions as to how to orient your ballot when inserting it. A woman standing next to the machine saw my confusion and said it didn’t matter how you put it in.

I slid the ballot into the slot, which sucked it in, and expected to see some feedback on the screen repeating my choices. Instead it just said “YOUR VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED. THANK YOU” and that was it. The woman next to the machine took my manila folder, I suppose they recirculate them.

All told, it took about twelve minutes start to finish. There’s no coffee or donuts, like I’ve seen on some places in the news, this is New York so people are just in and out with no socializing or fuss.

I was surprised that no one ever asked to see my ID; if you are a registered voter and are in the correct book, that’s all you need to be given a ballot. I’m not smart enough to know how this system could or couldn’t be gamed, but I expected something a little more airport-security-like.

If you are an American voter in a different part of the country, I’m very curious to hear what the voting process is like in your neck of the woods. If you live in a different country, I’m twice as curious to know what voting is like over there. Please let us know in the comments below.


Core77

How smartphone technology is improving your ownership experience

Filed under:

It is a good possibility that your life could get much easier if you have a smartphone and a vehicle that’s less than three years old.

Continue reading How smartphone technology is improving your ownership experience

How smartphone technology is improving your ownership experience originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Sep 2016 12:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments
Autoblog

Experience Jeep’s 75th Anniversary at Easter Jeep Safari | AutoblogVR

Filed under: ,,,,,,

Get a full 360-degree off-road view of Jeeps in their natural habitat at Moab.

Continue reading Experience Jeep’s 75th Anniversary at Easter Jeep Safari | AutoblogVR

Experience Jeep’s 75th Anniversary at Easter Jeep Safari | AutoblogVR originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments
Autoblog

3 Ways to Reimagine the End of Life Experience

Over the past few months, designers and healthcare providers from around the world have been collaboratively working on reimagining the end of life experience—one of the most critical challenges facing our aging populations. 

Each year around 55 million people worldwide and over 2.5 million in the United States face the end-of-life. In the U.S., the end-of-life experience has shifted dramatically since the 1950s, as death has moved away from the home into institutions like hospitals and nursing homes. By the 1980s, less than 17% of people died at home. We believe the people and unmet needs behind these numbers inspire a huge opportunity for design.

In June, Core77 spoke with Dr. BJ Miller, an advisor for the OpenIDEO challenge and Senior Director and Advocate, Zen Hospice Project, and Dana Cho, IDEO partner and Managing Director of IDEO Palo Alto, about their work, insights from the stories collected on OpenIDEO in the first phase of the challenge and how design can truly make an impact in people’s end of life experiences

We followed along as the challenge progressed and now, with the 2016 Core77 Conference right around the corner where we’ll be featuring Dana Cho as a keynote speaker, we wanted to followup with three major themes that emerged from over 300 contributions to the OpenIDEO challenge.

Healing Sounds

Of the top 10 ideas for this challenge, two of them linked sound and healing. Yoko Sen’s “Sound Will” is working to create a sound environment within hospitals to empower patients and help shift the conversation from, “disease control and prevention to a focus on personal spiritual and emotional needs.” 

“Music at the End of Life” from Ned Buskirk is a music hospice program that encourages local musicians to not only build relationships with the dying but also act as modern day griots, singing the personal stories of those who are dying or have passed.

Both of these powerful projects center the patient’s humanity and dignity and bring an element of holistic wellness into an often sterile space.

Connected Education and Planning

Technology can only solve so much of a problem—general education around the space and planning for patients and their loved ones have to be central in designing for death. Justin Magnuson, Living Fully Handbook, is a website designed to encourage intergenerational and community conversation around planning for one’s end of life experience. The idea of “connectedness” is central to Magnuson’s proposal—between patients and caregivers, community and resources, and providers outside of their local networks.  Liz Ramsay’s “In My Hands” website is similar in scope in that it empowers people to plan their own path for their end of life experience.

Dawn Gross proposed “Death Ed,” an educational course targeting grade school students. In her proposal, Gross pointedly explains, “Today, there are drills for lockdowns and earthquakes, yet nothing about death and dying, a practice arguably more prevalent and a part of life than sex.” 

Intimate Storytelling

Storytelling is central to humanizing the end of life experience. Patients can feel disconnected from the world beyond their four walls and technology enables patients, family and caregivers to connect with one another in new and interesting ways. Jim Rosenberg’s “I Know Something,” is a proposal to set up a peer-to-peer storytelling platform connecting people around the world in their journeys. 

The end of life is a universal experience. Yet when you are in the experience it feels like alien, uncharted territory. Everything is new—the emotions, medical questions, financial worries, family communication, legal requirements, you name it—even though literally millions of people have stood in your same shoes before. How can we learn from everyone who has gone before us and break through the sense that we are in this alone?

Another tech-enabled project, Ken Rosenfeld’s “Get to Know Me” , enables patients and their families to share their personal stories with their caregivers through a web portal and in-room “story” tablet. As Rosenfeld explains, “It will help providers gain a deeper understanding of the individual behind the patient, and also permits families to connect with, and reflect on over time, their loved one’s personhood and deeply-held values.”

And the most jubilant of the ideas is Vibhu Krishna’s “Vykarious,” an online platform where strangers can help check off items on patient bucket lists. The simple but effective idea allows patients to “lead a mission” and “transform the traditional bucket-list into a dynamic journey towards fulfillment and deep human connection.”

More on the Top 10 ideas to emerge from OpenIDEO’s challenge on reimagining the end of life experience here.

Learn more about designing for death at this September’s Core77 Conference in Los Angeles. Buy your ticket today!


Core77

3 Ways to Reimagine the End of Life Experience

Over the past few months, designers and healthcare providers from around the world have been collaboratively working on reimagining the end of life experience—one of the most critical challenges facing our aging populations. 

Each year around 55 million people worldwide and over 2.5 million in the United States face the end-of-life. In the U.S., the end-of-life experience has shifted dramatically since the 1950s, as death has moved away from the home into institutions like hospitals and nursing homes. By the 1980s, less than 17% of people died at home. We believe the people and unmet needs behind these numbers inspire a huge opportunity for design.

In June, Core77 spoke with Dr. BJ Miller, an advisor for the OpenIDEO challenge and Senior Director and Advocate, Zen Hospice Project, and Dana Cho, IDEO partner and Managing Director of IDEO Palo Alto, about their work, insights from the stories collected on OpenIDEO in the first phase of the challenge and how design can truly make an impact in people’s end of life experiences

We followed along as the challenge progressed and now, with the 2016 Core77 Conference right around the corner where we’ll be featuring Dana Cho as a keynote speaker, we wanted to followup with three major themes that emerged from over 300 contributions to the OpenIDEO challenge.

Healing Sounds

Of the top 10 ideas for this challenge, two of them linked sound and healing. Yoko Sen’s “Sound Will” is working to create a sound environment within hospitals to empower patients and help shift the conversation from, “disease control and prevention to a focus on personal spiritual and emotional needs.” 

“Music at the End of Life” from Ned Buskirk is a music hospice program that encourages local musicians to not only build relationships with the dying but also act as modern day griots, singing the personal stories of those who are dying or have passed.

Both of these powerful projects center the patient’s humanity and dignity and bring an element of holistic wellness into an often sterile space.

Connected Education and Planning

Technology can only solve so much of a problem—general education around the space and planning for patients and their loved ones have to be central in designing for death. Justin Magnuson, Living Fully Handbook, is a website designed to encourage intergenerational and community conversation around planning for one’s end of life experience. The idea of “connectedness” is central to Magnuson’s proposal—between patients and caregivers, community and resources, and providers outside of their local networks.  Liz Ramsay’s “In My Hands” website is similar in scope in that it empowers people to plan their own path for their end of life experience.

Dawn Gross proposed “Death Ed,” an educational course targeting grade school students. In her proposal, Gross pointedly explains, “Today, there are drills for lockdowns and earthquakes, yet nothing about death and dying, a practice arguably more prevalent and a part of life than sex.” 

Intimate Storytelling

Storytelling is central to humanizing the end of life experience. Patients can feel disconnected from the world beyond their four walls and technology enables patients, family and caregivers to connect with one another in new and interesting ways. Jim Rosenberg’s “I Know Something,” is a proposal to set up a peer-to-peer storytelling platform connecting people around the world in their journeys. 

The end of life is a universal experience. Yet when you are in the experience it feels like alien, uncharted territory. Everything is new—the emotions, medical questions, financial worries, family communication, legal requirements, you name it—even though literally millions of people have stood in your same shoes before. How can we learn from everyone who has gone before us and break through the sense that we are in this alone?

Another tech-enabled project, Ken Rosenfeld’s “Get to Know Me” , enables patients and their families to share their personal stories with their caregivers through a web portal and in-room “story” tablet. As Rosenfeld explains, “It will help providers gain a deeper understanding of the individual behind the patient, and also permits families to connect with, and reflect on over time, their loved one’s personhood and deeply-held values.”

And the most jubilant of the ideas is Vibhu Krishna’s “Vykarious,” an online platform where strangers can help check off items on patient bucket lists. The simple but effective idea allows patients to “lead a mission” and “transform the traditional bucket-list into a dynamic journey towards fulfillment and deep human connection.”

More on the Top 10 ideas to emerge from OpenIDEO’s challenge on reimagining the end of life experience here.

Learn more about designing for death at this September’s Core77 Conference in Los Angeles. Buy your ticket today!


Core77

Experience the 2016 Quail Motorsports Gathering in glorious technicolor beauty

Filed under: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Didn’t make it to The Quail? Our high-res image gallery may be the next best thing.

Continue reading Experience the 2016 Quail Motorsports Gathering in glorious technicolor beauty

Experience the 2016 Quail Motorsports Gathering in glorious technicolor beauty originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Aug 2016 18:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments
Autoblog