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SE13 7FG
UK

Blog

Cisco's future of TV

Sam Dobbin

My thoughts:

  1. This is a house where the walls are made of TV?
  2. Your wallpaper is evil.
  3. What does the remote for this thing look like?
  4. The thing about those 'many many many scifi films' is that they tend to be dystopic visions of a future overloaded with information.

More – and possibly more constructive – thoughts on TV over at Pinboard.

Distance to content

Sam Dobbin

One of the things that I think a lot about at work is the idea of distance to content. Every streaming service works hard on content discovery, and we all shout about the breadth of content we have, but this idea of the distance between the viewer and the content is one that gets neglected.

The way I think about this distance has two aspects: firstly, that it often exists as a result of IA and UI that we take for granted, and, secondly, that, given its existence, we’re missing opportunities to celebrate it.

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Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary (Hill, Dan)

Sam Dobbin

This book crystallised many of the things that have been floating around my head during the last few projects I've worked on. Dan Hill provides a vocabulary that enables discussion of strategic design not only with others, but, for me at least, with ourselves. As a result, I've come away from the book with a much clearer stance on the role of design, the opportunities it allows, and my place within design and the context in which it operates.

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Citing Kindle clippings

Sam Dobbin

For a thing I'm writing, and because it's Sunday, and because it's raining and the pool isn't open yet, I've gone and spent way too much time nerding out in Editorial. If you, like me, are a fastidious English grad who laments the formatting of Kindle clippings, writes in Markdown and uses Editorial, this may be of use.

It's a workflow that takes a clipping file and turns it MLA-compliant citations rendered in Markdown, so you go from this nonsense:

Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary (Hill, Dan)
- Your Highlight Location 966-968 | Added on Friday, 16 August 13 06:30:24

John Thackara’s idea of the macroscope — as opposed to a microscope — a notional device or strategy that enables one to see an entire system, its composite dark matter perhaps, from the perspective of the artefact, the particular instance of matter.
==========

to this beautifully-structured wonder:

> John Thackara’s idea of the macroscope — as opposed to a microscope — a notional device or strategy that enables one to see an entire system, its composite dark matter perhaps, from the perspective of the artefact, the particular instance of matter.

(Hill, Dan, *Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary*, Kindle ebook, loc 966-968)

---

In future, I may do something to use MultiMarkdown's bibliography support. I probably won't, though. I'm lazy.

You can download the workflow here. Standard disclaimers about me being completely unsuitable for this kind of thing apply. Backups, folks.

Minimum Viable Product

Sam Dobbin

My site was hacked recently. Then it was hacked again. I escaped with no major damage, and I don't seem to be selling viagra anywhere that I can see. Still, there was a pattern emerging that I didn't like.

I normally start a redesign whenever a new technique or piece of technology makes it interesting – I did one when responsive design came in; I did another with SASS; one that was an aggregator of everything I had everywhere; one in Rails; one in my own PHP CMS – and I never finish them. No constraints, I think, no reason. This time was different, and, because I fully expected to get hacked again, I had to get something finished quickly. And that's just it: something, not everything.

So, what you're looking at now represents what is, for me, a minimum viable product. There are a few changes to my old site:

No Work

My portfolio will probably come back in the future. I was never too happy with it in its last incarnation, and I have a bit of thinking to do about how to represent UX in an online portfolio. For me, UX portfolios are best when they tell the story of a project, and pictures of websites and wireframes have never been a good way of doing that. For now, if you'd like to see my work, get in touch and I'll show you.

No History

I have a new direction in mind for this space. In the past, I've used it for telling people how to do things my way; now I'm older, I'd like to use it to think about what my way should be. It's exploratory instead of didactic, and I hope that makes it easier to write here. In any case, everything I wrote is toast. We're moving on.

More Subjects

Previously, I'd write about UX. I'd also write about design, music, architecture, words, bikes, and pies. There was a pie of the week series at one point, I remember. I deleted pretty much everything either before or immediately after publication. I'm not going to do that anymore. There are enough pie-loving UXers working in buildings and listening to music to count as an audience. They are my people.

And so: onwards.