Nokia: Culture will out – The story of the ‘joyless’ NFC vending machine experience is an all-too-common outcome when engineers dominate designers. A fair number of people were upset by my harsh take on Rackspace’s signup experience. I know my own tendency to engineer pain into the user workflow without even thinking about it, so I do tend to compensate by being hyper-alert to rough edges. One of the hardest but most educational things about Apple was how the design process was mostly about stripping out features and hard-wiring choices, all in the service of the sort of sublime user experience Nokia ignores.
The Lost Art of Pickpocketing – It’s strange to think that pickpockets are now a dying breed, largely done in by changes in society.
I, Cyborg – I was lucky enough to meet Aaron and Amber at Strata, and their work at Cyborganthropology.com is incredibly imaginative. Just talking to them made me realize I’m now living in the future.
The Open Data Manual – A short but insightful guide to the nuts and bolts of opening up data sets, from legal issues to publicity and meetups.
Get the Data – A Stackoverflow clone for data questions, with a small but growing community of users. We need something like this for the community, I’m going to try to get more involved there too.