Interesting elsewhere – 11 June 2012

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • Sorry, Young Man, You’re Not the Most Important Demographic in Tech – The Atlantic So it turns out if you want to find out what the future looks like, you should be asking women. And just before you think that means you should be asking 18-year-old women, it actually turns out the majority of technology users are women in their 40s, 50s and 60s. So if you wanted to know what the future looks like, those turn out to be the heaviest users of the most successful and most popular technologies on the planet as we speak.
  • Mind Bloggling: This time it’s personal We shouldn’t have any expectancy of real privacy online – that’s not how the internet works. And right now, the reality is, the media is interested in the ‘off-piste’ activities of public servants. I’m not saying I like it, or agree with it, but I’ve accepted that that’s the way it is.So, yes, I am ‘always on’ and very conscious of who I work for when using social media. I avoid politics. I think twice before I post. I would certainly never use social media while under the influence of anything stronger than a cappuccino.
  • Culture eats strategy – and it will eat your new processes too | Flip Chart Fairy Tales Most of the techniques used in process improvement come from manufacturing and they have been very effective in reducing manufacturing firms’ costs. But service processes differ from those in manufacturing in that the customer is actually part of the process. People are unpredictable. Their behaviour and their requirements will always be slightly different in each case. While a process might look the same on paper, it is never quite the same for each customer. It will vary each time depending on how the customer interacts with the service provider. Service processes, therefore, are rarely as controllable and predictable as manufacturing ones.
  • 32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com We tend to rewrite the histories of technological innovation, making myths about a guy who had a great idea that changed the world. In reality, though, innovation isn’t the goal; it’s everything that gets you there. It’s bad financial decisions and blueprints for machines that weren’t built until decades later. It’s the important leaps forward that synthesize lots of ideas, and it’s the belly-up failures that teach us what not to do.
  • Principles of User Interface Design As in most design disciplines, interface design is successful when people are using what you’ve designed. Like a beautiful chair that is uncomfortable to sit in, design has failed when people choose not to use it.
  • Nick Bradbury: Screw the Power UsersWe’re the ones who made computers so hard to use. And we’ve done it by catering to power users – by building software for people like us instead of for people who don’t know and don’t care about all the geeky little details.So if you’re just starting to build something, make your mantra “screw the power users.”
  • BBC News – Living on mobile money The inevitable concerns about security are making most of these new services so complicated to use that you have to be slightly deranged even to bother.