Interesting elsewhere – 12 October 2012

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • Design for GOV.UK, Moorhouse — Notes on design, technology and creativity As a designer, I’ve always placed a premium on graphic design as a key differentiator between good and bad products. Which it often is. But in the process of making a large scale agile product with so many unknowns, treating graphic design as a priority makes absolutely no sense. At least in the beginning. The first goal must be to have working software that fulfils users’ needs. Only then does it make sense to properly apply a layer of graphic design to elevate the product further.
  • Writing for a citizen isn’t the same as for a customer | Government Digital Service GOV.UK has fundamentally different goals, and that affects how we write the content. Engaging with the government is something you do because you have to. It’s a necessary part of being a citizen. You want to get it done as quickly and easily as possible, then get on with your life. Because there’s no profit motive, we don’t want to alter that behaviour.
  • Who wants low-cost bank accounts? If we take the unbanked, underbanked and overbanked together, then, I would strongly argue that bank accounts are the problem, not the solution.
  • Joho the Blog » [2b2k] Decisions and character The presidency is not a possible job. No one can be adequately prepared to deal with the range of issues the president faces, most of which have significant effects on very real people. The president therefore needs processes that enable him (so far it’s been hims, kids) to make good decisions, the personality that will let him embrace those processes, and the character to continue making decisions while fully appreciating the consequences of his actions.
  • Wayne Hale’s Blog | space > exploration > leadership Everybody played their part, everybody was highly motivated, everybody wanted the shuttle to succeed, and yet, within months, we were all to fail.
  • The internet has created a new industrial revolution | Chris Anderson | Technology | The Guardian The image of a few smart people changing the world with little more than an internet connection and an idea increasingly describes manufacturing of the future, too.
  • The Cooper Journal: The best interface is no interface It’s time for us to move beyond screen-based thinking. Because when we think in screens, we design based upon a model that is inherently unnatural, inhumane, and has diminishing returns. It requires a great deal of talent, money and time to make these systems somewhat usable, and after all that effort, the software can sadly, only truly improve with a major overhaul. There is a better path: No UI. A design methodology that aims to produce a radically simple technological future without digital interfaces. Following three simple principles, we can design smarter, more useful systems that make our lives better.
  • Stumbling and Mumbling: Reshuffles: the Brendan Rodgers problem Organizational capital often matters more than individual talent. Some nice evidence for this comes from a study of heart surgeons by Robert Huckman and Gary Pisano. They found (pdf) that the quality of a surgeon’s work improves with experience at the same hospital, but does not improve with his experience at other hospitals. This suggests that a surgeon’s skills are not portable across hospitals but are instead embedded in his relationships with colleagues and specific hospitals.