Cat lovers, this is for you: “Ever find yourself driving behind someone with one of those “Baby On Board” stickers on their car, thinking how nice it would be if you had a way to communicate a something equally impertinent back to them? Well, now you can! No baby in the car, but you do have a cat back at home.”
In the face of overwhelming listener demand, Boars, Gore, and Swords will be deviating from their stated cause of Game of Thrones to cover all of HBO's video game vacation series Westworld. Ivan and Red worked overtime to get current, recapping episodes two, three (along with guest Walt Hickey of 538), and four over the weekend. And, of course, you can start with last week's coverage of episode one. They discuss all the fan theories, gaming references, and old-timey talk contained therein. If all that content wasn't enough, they also released a recap of episode nine of The Great British Bake Off over on their Patreon.
To catch up on previous seasons of Game of Thrones, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon.
Over the years televisions have become bigger, better and thinner. But the shiny black screens remained a dilemma for a lot of us (interior) design lovers. Why not design a television that is aesthetically attractive and that blends with your furniture? With this idea in mind Samsung Electronics asked renowned French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to design a television that complements the aesthetics of a modern home environment.
The SERIF TV is a product of two passions: technology (Samsung) and design (Bouroullec). Drawing inspiration from the simple elegance of typography, the Samsung SERIF TV forms a serif font capital “I” shape in profile (hence the name). This form enables the television to be positioned anywhere in the home. It can be placed on furniture, on a shelf or, with the attachable legs, left freestanding. The SERIF TV looks great in any type of room, as you can see from the images above and below. Whether in the living room, kitchen, bedroom or office, the timeless design makes the television blending harmoniously with its surroundings.
“From the outset of designing SERIF TV our aim was to craft an object that fused technology with our knowledge in furniture design and to create a solid presence that would sit naturally in any environment,” says Erwan Bouroullec. And Ronan and Erwan didn’t just redesign the outside of the TV; they even redesigned the user interface, coming up with an abstract but enticing setting called “Curtain mode.” Curtain mode takes whatever is being shown on the screen and blurs it, transforming it into shimmering abstract shapes like a digital curtain.
Looking closely at the design it is obvious that the SERIF TV was carefully crafted with the needs of real homes in mind. A woven removable cover hides the TV’s ports while a discreet pocket keeps the cables tidy. This makes the television look great from every angle, even from the back!
With Samsung’s SERIF TV the television is no longer a giant ugly black screen dominating a room. It is a design object that is made to fit in the world in which we live.
The SERIF TV is available in three sizes (40-inches, 32-inches and 24-inches) and in three colors (ivory white, dark blue and red).
This post has been created in collaboration with Samsung.
Fox Carolina reports that on Oct. 13, a waitress at a Greenville, SC, restaurant had just finished clearing the table when the couple who had just left returned to quickly leave a note for her.
The note, written on a napkin, commended the waitress for her “excellent service,” but also chastised her for choosing to work at the restaurant in the first place.
According to the couple, the waitress’ “place is in the home.”
“You may think that you’re contributing to your household by coming into work, but you’re not,” the note reads, while also suggesting that because the woman works her husband is seeking out another woman on his “way home from a long day at his work.”
“I felt mortified, embarrassed, humiliated even. I felt hurt, and a bit heartbroken,” the waitress said. “It is a bit disheartening and discouraging that things like this happen at this day and age.”
If the couple had asked, they would have found out that this waitress has no spouse or little ones.
“I have never been married, and have no children,” she tells WYFF-TV. “I have a very loving and supportive boyfriend who has been by my side as I have been working and trying to further my education.”
She says the couple — estimated to be in their mid-50s — were friendly and polite while she’d served them.
A friend of the waitress submitted a photo of the note to Fox Carolina. Here’s what it states in its entirety:
“Thank you for your excellent service today – you’re a good waitress. Here’s your tip: The woman’s place is in the home. Your place is in the home. It even says so in the Bible. You may think that you’re contributing to your household by coming into work, but you’re not. While you’re in here ‘working’ this is the reason your husband must see another woman on his way home from a long day at his work. Because you should be home taking care of the household duties, you may think what you are doing ‘working’ is right, it is really essentially a disgrace to his manhood and to the American family. So instead of coming to your ‘job’ and looking for handouts to feed your family, how’s about going home and cleaning your house and cooking a hot meal for your husband and children, the way your husband and God intended, and help make America great again. Praying for families and our nation. Love, (Guests’ last name)”
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“NPR is like a Furby: it’s cute, warm, fuzzy, and it tells you great stories. But inside it’s a machine — a machine that craves your attention and aspires (with good intentions) to take more and more of your time.” Vincent Farquharson
I’m what they call a Backseat Baby: one of those kids who rode to school with Carl Kasell and associated car mechanics with East Cambridge accents. So when I joined the Digital Media Design Team in June, I thought I knew NPR. As one might expect, I was in for a few surprises — lessons I have tried to synthesize into the following takeaways.
1. My NPR ≠ Your NPR
It seems simple: NPR means different things to different people. However, the complicated structure of NPR itself has a major impact on how NPR is perceived and used, designed and managed. As a network of membership stations, many listeners experience NPR as their local broadcaster. For others it’s podcasts or Tiny Desk videos. For ~60% of News App users, NPR is exclusively about reading stories on their phones, for ~30% it’s streaming live radio.
I was surprised to learn that audience behaviors rarely overlap. People tend to stick to their preferred modes of consuming media on their preferred platforms and devices.
2. NPR is a crazy/messy/beautiful design challenge.
As you can imagine, NPR’s content, products, partners, and network structure present major design challenges. Many news organizations struggle to create great reading and viewing experiences. Audio driven companies work to design listening products with easy-to-use player controls and content management systems.
NPR must do both. At the same time. For different people who may only use a product for one feature or another. NPR is tasked with designing for an aging population of devoted existing users, while continuing to attract younger, more diverse, and potentially more tech-savvy audiences. These challenges are what make designing at NPR so fun.
While working on the NPR News App and end-of-story experiences for NPR.org, we sketched moon-shot ideas as well as MVP concepts. We prototyped on paper and in Framer. We collaborated with the News Room and the Sponsorship team. We tested assumptions with users who listen to NPR everyday in their cars and those who exclusively read NPR content on their phones.
The quick design sprints (#agile) allow for experimentation, validation, failure, and iteration. Morning stand-ups and weekly design meetings present opportunities to seek opinions from fellow designers working on different projects across the organization. Stakeholder reviews offer tough questions and needed feedback. It takes a really special and well organized team of people to address such a dynamic range of media.
3. Take advantage of design and designers across departments. (NPR is an organization of curious and talented people willing to help.)
Prior to my work with NPR Design, I had been contracted by Visuals to shoot 360 footage in Rocky Mountain National Park for NPR’s first immersive story experience. When my term began at headquarters, I was able to work with both teams and experience how a piece of particular content is designed — from start to finish.
This provided an invaluable opportunity to seek expertise and apply learnings across departments. Wesley Lindamood, the force behind the Rocky Mountain VR, is an Interaction Designer with NPR Visuals, and he became a great resource as I wrestled design questions for Digital Media products. It was similarly helpful having access to a team of UX designers as we tackled experience flows for immersive content and virtual environments on a range of platforms and devices. Things happen quickly at a news organization, so it’s best to get feedback before making changes becomes too difficult!
4. Content and design are not distinct to users, and they should not be distinct to us.
Summer 2016 was a difficult three months of news. Horrible, confusing, and polarizing things have happened in recent months, from Syria to Orlando to Baton Rouge. And as we populated prototypes with recent stories, crisis coverage headlines in the morning news began to feel less like the exception and more like the rule.
As we tested designs with users, the conversation was often dominated by the stories themselves. People didn’t see content cards or new navigation features, they saw shocking images of people at war and read about families learning to cope in a changing world. They talked about why they would tap on a story about voting fraud or how they avoid “shooter” stories in the morning.
Designing for news media is not about creating multimedia platforms or filling buckets with content. We are trying to connect people with the stories that matter to them and the information they need. And sometimes that means helping people choose not to read, watch, or listen to something.
5. Design should excite and be exciting.
At this year’s An Event Apart Conference in D.C., Dave Rupert gave a talk called “Vague, But Exciting.” The title referenced a note Tim Berners-Lee received from his boss, Mike Sendall, on the top of his 1989 proposal for an information management system. Rupert noted that our new design tools enable rapid high-fidelity prototypes, but run the risk of sharing too much information. The less detailed a cartoon, he explained, the more likely we are to see it as a representation of ourselves. The right amount of vagueness provokes people to imagine possibility, when too much information can prompt doubt.
“Ideas are meant to be messy, but they also need to excite.”
I often feel that as interaction and UX designers, we have gotten really good at identifying when something won’t work. However, the design culture at NPR is one of experimentation, explorations, and possibility. Throughout the year, sprints and design cycles are punctuated with Serendipity Days to prototype radical ideas and Zen Days to focus on professional wellness. Within three months at NPR I had the opportunity to prototype totally new interactions for legacy products, attend conferences, work with reporters, test immersive audio equipment, and shoot footage for an experimental 360° story experience.