“The most common misperception is the word ‘design’. People think of primarily pretty pictures or forms. They don’t understand the depth to which design goes–not only in products, but in every aspect of our life. Whether it is the design of a program, a product or some form of communication, we are living in a world that’s totally designed. Somebody made a decision about everything. And it was a design decision.” – Sam Farber (via inspireUX)

It is easy for the moment to pass and no one even realizes that a decision has been made. As a manager, I make sure that everyone on the team knows it is part of their job to notice those moments and ask questions. For example, when an engineer sees a bug report that is really a feature, he or she needs to ask questions of the product manager and the design team: is this behavior change what we really want to do? and also ask themselves and the qa team: what are the consequences of this change? It’s so easy to design ourselves into a corner without even realizing that a design activity is taking place or to simply miss an opportunity for good design.

It’s neat to see that there are a number of sites using the broadcast and recording features of Flash video. I checked out ustream today (via vator.tv). I’m not sure if it was a bug or if they planned it this way, but I couldn’t record anything longer than 4 seconds. It’s focus is live tv, but without a live audience I thought I would check out its recording features. I took me a few seconds to set up the ultrasaurus channel. I found the interface to be a bit overwhelming and didn’t manage to record a clip longer than 4 seconds.

This is the broadcast/record interface:

I think they should hide what appears to be a debug log in the info tab on the right and make it so the panel with all the video/audio controls is hidden by default. It’s way too overwhelming for the newbie and once you are settled into the UI, you don’t need those controls anyhow.

I though it was an interesting approach to show the recorded video appears on the right after you stop recording. I think that provides a visual cue that you have actually created a file. The live cam on the left might distract some folks, but it could be useful if I had recorded a snippet and continued on with a live show (assuming that’s a feature).

For reference, here’s the recording UI Flow:
security dialog appears when the window opens
initial screen

“The boundaries between art and engineering exist only in our minds.”

I love the fluid feel of Theo Jansen’s work. (It’s worth looking up some of his other creations on YouTube.) This one feels like some kind of mystical wind creature. Most impressive, though, is the way that this extraordinary act of engineering is made to seem effortless.