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  • Khal Weir - Software is not built with “resources”, nor is it...
    nor is it built with money It is built by intelligent non fungible people Alan Cooper via mralancooper Reblogged from mralancooper 1 note Permalink Posted at 6 34 PM Notes khalblog reblogged this from mralancooper mralancooper posted this View the

    Original URL path: http://blog.khalweir.co.uk/post/13212125452/software-is-not-built-with-resources-nor-is-it (2016-04-26)
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  • Khal Weir - I want everything we do to be beautiful. I don’t...
    to be beautiful I don t give a damn whether the client understands that that s worth anything or that the client thinks it s worth anything or whether it is worth anything It s worth it to me It s the way I want to live my life I want to make beautiful things even if nobody cares Saul Bass Permalink Posted at 8 14 PM View the discussion

    Original URL path: http://blog.khalweir.co.uk/post/12522350931/i-want-everything-we-do-to-be-beautiful-i-dont (2016-04-26)
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  • Khal Weir - Beyond usable
    users smile or feel like they achieved something awesome It can be through great copy the way you deal with complaints or quirky easter eggs in your site Get this right and your customers will fall in love with your brand and become ambassadors Brand ambassadors will tell their friends about your product and be willing to engage at a much higher level This can lead to drastically reduced marketing

    Original URL path: http://blog.khalweir.co.uk/post/12290164199/beyond-usable (2016-04-26)
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  • Khal Weir
    the cinema largely because I m forced to singletask I m there to watch a film my phone stays in my pocket and unless the film is poor I m focused on watching This experience is especially good at the IMAX as the screen fills your vision and people exit via the rear so there are no distractions Mountain biking rock climbing and cooking enforce the singletask mindset too if you let your mind wander you can screw up but even if you manage not to fall or burn your dinner you ve lessened your enjoyment of the activity I love the concept of apps like IA Writer stripped to the bear essentials it s minimal and task oriented interface encourage focus and care more software should be like this Singletasking enables us to get work done faster and better relax more effectively and enjoy our leisure time those kittens will still be on YouTube later Permalink Posted at 10 39 AM May 10 The Oh yeah I have a blog update I m not going to apologise for not posting anything here for a while I hate it when bloggers do that my readership is low and the lack of posts will have had minimal impact on their lives The truth is I got distracted by tumblr check out khalweir tumblr com if you like charts graphic design animated gifs dinosaurs and bikes as much as I do moving across London and to a new job I m now a citizen of Croydonia and working as a UX Designer at dotDigital Group I ve had fun furnishing my new flat meeting new people and working on great new projects I ve got a few ideas for posts I d like to write so I ll hopefully be updating more frequently from now on but don t hold me to it Permalink Posted at 7 38 PM Nov 29 Monthly roundup November Wow 2010 is almost done Its getting cold and my friends in the North are reporting epic snowfall Rodrigo y Gabriela I was lucky enough to get tickets to see the first of their 5 London shows I m still amazed by their extraordinary skill and the sound they can create from just two acoustic guitars Holiday I took a quick break and managed to visit 3 countries over a few days Gibraltar Spain and Morocco I enjoyed good weather good people good food and some new experiences all the while cursing my terrible language skills Christmas If the Trainline have managed to sort out my tickets I ll be going home to Durham for almost 2 weeks I m really looking forward to it as well as catching up with my family and walking the dogs every day I m couriering my bike up so I can rip up the trails that I rode as a kid Christmas I am by no means a religious person but the commercialisation of Christmas freaks me out I have a low tolerance to real world shopping as it is but the streets and shopping centres are just unbearable at this time of year Not to mention the terrifying the amount of money people seem willing to part with during the festive period as advertising persuades them to buy everything from new clothing to sofas and cars on top of presents and food Permalink Posted at 8 32 PM Oct 24 Monthly roundup October Its a been a busy month I prepared a presentation for C21 Media s Ipad Entertainment Summit where the always excellent Stephen Fry gave an entertaining talk learned a bunch from some of the smartest people in my industry at the Future of Web Apps and was asked to write about user testing for probably the best digital marketing blog in the world Boxee Following from last month when I got all excited about the new Apple TV I became gradually deflated as I realised there are no TV rentals or Netflix or Lovefilm streaming in the UK Even though it is a very attractive device it simply doesn t do enough to justify its very modest price tag I downloaded Boxee to see how the project had matured and to see if one of the upcoming Boxee boxes would be a viable alternative I am impressed the interface is fast easy to use especially with the neat iPhone app and there is an impressive amount of free content available My mind was made up I would pre order a Boxee box as soon as possible but then I read about Google TV Tumblr So I started a tumblr blog I guess its for those things I like but aren t worth a blog post tweet or a share on Facebook Scottish Beer Update I ve found Innis Gunn in a bar in Camden and in Waitrose they even had the Rum Cask yum New stuff from Apple The new Macbook Air is interesting I would have thought the iPad would really limit the market for a netbook like Mac and its apparently starting trends that we ll see in future Macbooks SSD as standard no optical media and no Flash player installed Its logical that Facetime and the App store would transition from iOS to Mac and we d see an iLife refresh The successor to Snow Leopard Lion is scheduled for a summer release lions are regarded as kings of the big cats right Will Lion be the last incarnation of OSX Seasick Steve Somehow I totally missed that Seasick Steve was playing at the Blues Kitchen this month until after he d sold out Time to sign up for Songkick Punctures Cycling to work is great until your stupid skinny tyres get a flat and you are forced to face the horror of hour long 3 mile bus journeys Permalink Posted at 2 22 PM Oct 17 Whatever happened to Microsoft As I m an avid fan of Apple products some people assume I

    Original URL path: http://blog.khalweir.co.uk/page/2 (2016-04-26)
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  • Khal Weir: Archive
    2011 The Oh yeah I have a blog update I m not going to apologise for not posting anything here for a while I hate it when bloggers do that my readership is low and the lack of posts will have had minimal impact on their lives The truth is I got distracted by tumblr check out khalweir tumblr com if you like charts graphic design animated gifs dinosaurs and bikes as much as I do moving across London and to a new job I m now a citizen of Croydonia and working as a UX Designer at dotDigital Group I ve had fun furnishing my new flat meeting new people and working on great new projects I ve got a few ideas for posts I d like to write so I ll hopefully be updating more frequently from now on but don t hold me to it May 10 2011 November 2010 Monthly roundup November Wow 2010 is almost done Its getting cold and my friends in the North are reporting epic snowfall Rodrigo y Gabriela I was lucky enough to get tickets to see the first of their 5 London shows I m still amazed by their extraordinary skill and the sound they can create from just two acoustic guitars Holiday I took a quick break and managed to visit 3 countries over a few days Gibraltar Spain and Morocco I enjoyed good weather good people good food and some new experiences all the while cursing my terrible language skills Christmas If the Trainline have managed to sort out my tickets I ll be going home to Durham for almost 2 weeks I m really looking forward to it as well as catching up with my family and walking the dogs every day I m couriering my bike up so I can rip up the trails that I rode as a kid Christmas I am by no means a religious person but the commercialisation of Christmas freaks me out I have a low tolerance to real world shopping as it is but the streets and shopping centres are just unbearable at this time of year Not to mention the terrifying the amount of money people seem willing to part with during the festive period as advertising persuades them to buy everything from new clothing to sofas and cars on top of presents and food Nov 29 2010 October 2010 Monthly roundup October Its a been a busy month I prepared a presentation for C21 Media s Ipad Entertainment Summit where the always excellent Stephen Fry gave an entertaining talk learned a bunch from some of the smartest people in my industry at the Future of Web Apps and was asked to write about user testing for probably the best digital marketing blog in the world Boxee Following from last month when I got all excited about the new Apple TV I became gradually deflated as I realised there are no TV rentals or Netflix or Lovefilm streaming in the UK Even though it is a very attractive device it simply doesn t do enough to justify its very modest price tag I downloaded Boxee to see how the project had matured and to see if one of the upcoming Boxee boxes would be a viable alternative I am impressed the interface is fast easy to use especially with the neat iPhone app and there is an impressive amount of free content available My mind was made up I would pre order a Boxee box as soon as possible but then I read about Google TV Tumblr So I started a tumblr blog I guess its for those things I like but aren t worth a blog post tweet or a share on Facebook Scottish Beer Update I ve found Innis Gunn in a bar in Camden and in Waitrose they even had the Rum Cask yum New stuff from Apple The new Macbook Air is interesting I would have thought the iPad would really limit the market for a netbook like Mac and its apparently starting trends that we ll see in future Macbooks SSD as standard no optical media and no Flash player installed Its logical that Facetime and the App store would transition from iOS to Mac and we d see an iLife refresh The successor to Snow Leopard Lion is scheduled for a summer release lions are regarded as kings of the big cats right Will Lion be the last incarnation of OSX Seasick Steve Somehow I totally missed that Seasick Steve was playing at the Blues Kitchen this month until after he d sold out Time to sign up for Songkick Punctures Cycling to work is great until your stupid skinny tyres get a flat and you are forced to face the horror of hour long 3 mile bus journeys Oct 24 2010 Whatever happened to Microsoft As I m an avid fan of Apple products some people assume I m anti Microsoft that s not true I just dislike using crappy products Anyone can make a crappy product Apple s Mighty Mouse and iPad Case suck Google Wave was a flawed experiment and there is something very wrong with the way Diet Cherry Coke tastes Microsoft have done some great work their recent updates to Bing maps are very impressive and XBOX live is a great platform for online gamers and indie developers I m genuinely intrigued by Windows Mobile 7 s interface and was excited by the Courier concept video but generally Microsoft aren t major players any more The problems as I see it are Microsoft have become a huge multi headed monster Without direction and too large to act upon new trends or technology quickly Microsoft lumbers around playing catchup with the smaller companies in each market it attempts to play in Zune vs iPod MSN Live Bing vs Google search Hotmail vs Gmail Microsoft failed to embrace the web early on and ignored non enterprise smartphone usage allowing Android and iPhone to dominate that sector Its evident that Microsoft are so large and have so many divisions that none of then talk to each other take a look at a Windows PC during a typical work day and count the number of apps sharing the same look and feel The Office suite has the hateful ribbon UI which I haven t seen in any other application yet there are still traditional toolbars popup menus and tabbed interfaces Even when they do have something cool like Surface or Courier they move too slowly to get it out into the hands of the public Surface has revealed in 2007 yet remains an expensive toy for a select few retailers and hotels In the meantime cheaper and more sophisticated tech is being developed by competitors The Courier concept video was by far the coolest thing to come out of Redmond in years A potential iPad challenger the project was scrapped and apparently lead to J Allard Chief Experience Officer leaving Microsoft in frustration Legacy 66 of Windows users are running XP an OS that is approaching its tenth birthday Ten years in the tech industry is forever and when a large number of you customers haven t bought something from you in almost a decade you have a huge problem This can be attributed to Vista being a disaster users feeling an update doesn t offer any real benefits or in some cases software critical to their business doesn t work on newer versions With Snow Leopard onwards Apple have dropped support for legacy hardware they switched to Intel architecture in 2006 so to have the latest OS you need a relatively new computer This may seem mean but it allows for rapid progress Supporting legacy software convincing and transitioning users from a system they could have been using for over 10 years is probably the biggest challenge facing Microsoft Developers Developers Developers It seems like Microsoft like Google focus on the technology than the usability of their products This shows through the interfaces they produce Android for example can achieve great things but the UI is in my opinion ugly awkward to use and lacks the polish of iOS Without an emphasis on user experience even a technically great consumer product is likely to suffer Ask a switcher PC to Mac why they switched and most will answer that OSX is easier to use simply I work faster on a Mac than I do a PC due to great interface design and software Windows users have long suffered the Start menu and Explorer which despite improvements made in 7 are still cumbersome and slow to use these are the kind of interfaces designed by programers they simply work but aren t easy to use or well designed So what should Microsoft do I don t care I m a Mac user Um seriously I think competition is good and it would be a shame to see the company that helped bring PCs to the masses fade away I say they should narrow their focus or divide into smaller companies hire more UX designers and be bolder They should replace Steve Ballmer the guy is a sweaty lunatic not the spokesperson for a multi billion dollar company they need to either bring Bill Gates back or find someone with the showmanship of Steve Jobs that can define a culture for the Microsoft of the future Oct 17 2010 September 2010 Monthly roundup September Apple TV I briefly owned the previous Apple TV it didn t fit my needs at the time but I love the simplicity of this new one I m done with the hassle of downloading media the pain of codecs and formats and trailing cables from my laptop to my TV I ll be buying one of these or the Boxee device very soon New iPods The new line up is great the Shuffle proves Apple knows when they have screwed up and listen to their customers by bringing back buttons I m pleased a lot from the iPhone 4 filtered down to the Touch particularly Facetime although I feel this needs a desktop client before its truly going to useful As for the Nano wow I m really looking forward to playing with one Working on my first iPad project I ve had this idea since we first got an iPad at work but only recently have we had resources available to work on it Check out the progress at http theduckpad tumblr com New Grinderman album oh boy Spotify Twitter Redesign The new page looks great I mostly use the iPhone app or Tweetie but I might start visiting twitter com more often once this rolls out Google Instant Search 3 5Billion seconds saved a day amazing No Innis Gunn in London One of the things I miss most about Edinburgh I can t find any bars serving my favourite beer Ping This is so weak I m unwilling to dedicate many pixels to it I only hope Apple have plans to drastically improve it soon Still no iTunes in the cloud Its 2010 and iTunes is in its tenth incarnation and still we aren t storing our media in the cloud I was really hoping that we d be seeing a huge leap forwards with iTunes 10 rather than an interface tweak I want to be able to buy music on my laptop and have it instantly available on my iPhone without fishing around for a cable be able to log into my iTunes account and listen to my library at work and generally not to worry about my GBs of media stored on external drives I still haven t got my GetGlue stickers Where are they dammit Don t know what I m taking about Glue is a new kind of social network where you check in to stuff instead of places and earn real stickers http getglue com khal weir Sep 17 2010 Less is more For various reasons I ve moved a lot in the past few years and with each move I ve reduced my possessions After reading recent articles such as this BBC one I begun to think about minimising even further Its not even like I have that much stuff a TV a 5 1 surround system MacBook Pro iPhone a drawer of assorted computery bits a bunch of clothes a collection of Vans skate shoes a signed Faith no More poster some bike stuff back issues of Little White Lies Dirt and Wired and a small box of my remaining books and CDs which I ve yet to open since my last move But how much of that do I actually need As much as Shepard Fairey designed George Orwell novels and the WWF cookbook are nice things to own in truth I may never read them again Keeping back issues of magazines is crazy too as a majority of their content is more accessible online With the exception of the Apple goodies ok and Mike Patton s scribble I m not terribly attached to any of this stuff the only problem items are my 3 bikes yup I m a bike nerd and am currently trying to figure out a solution I ve already made a decision to stop buying music movies and games on physical media I got burned in the HD format wars and am sick of storing and lugging around shiny discs I ve been streaming music from Spotify buying from iTunes or erm acquiring it from other sources for years and can t remember the last time I bought a DVD Basically I ve come to the conclusion that I can reduce my processions further still I ll begin a clearout session this week and at some point will buy an iPad as a replacement for printed media An iPad in fact could serve as a replacement for my MacBook for a large proportion of what I m currently using it for However annoyingly I would have to keep the MacBook around to upgrade and manage the media on my iProducts but thats a separate issue that I like to call where the hell is iTunes in the cloud Having less stuff is important to me it feels good not to be burdened with an overwhelming amount of objects It wasn t long ago that I had 100s of CDs and DVDs a collection of Star Wars memorabilia and almost every major games console released in the last 20 years Nowadays it seems ridiculous that I considered any of that important and I m pleased to be free of it Sep 1 2010 July 2010 Foursquare Gowalla Fight Often hailed as the next big thing in Social Networking location based applications are increasing in popularity as smartphones become more mainstream Facebook and Twitter have proven that people love to share their thoughts with anyone that will listen so sharing your location is an obvious next step The giants in this relatively new market are Foursquare and Gowalla both use the GPS which is now commonplace in phones to allow users to create and check in at a variety of locations such as shops pubs parks and museums Achievements e g Gowalla s Cup o Joe for visiting 10 different coffee shops encourage users to explore I ve been using Gowalla for around a year now over 320 check ins but after a couple of friends started using Foursquare I thought I d give it a try too Initially there doesn t seem to be much difference between the two apps they share a lot of common functionality such as posting your check ins to Facebook and Twitter but its where they differ that is interesting Gowalla allows users to upload photos at their check ins and to add comments which only their Gowalla using friends can see The application makes use of attractive graphics and a traveller metaphor users have a passport collect stamps and pins and add items to their backpack Occasionally when checking in to a location you will find an item thats been left by another user and when creating a new location you can drop an item to become a founder As well as adding locations users can string together a collection of locations to create a trip such as sight seeing or a pub crawl Foursquare is a little more popular and as such has more locations most of the high street near my work is covered by Foursquare with only a handful of check ins available in Gowalla One of the differences between Gowalla and Foursquare is that user comments are public users can leave tips such as try the steak which you can mark as done or add to a to do list Check ins in Foursquare are awarded points although I don t yet understand the criteria used or what the idea of the points is also in Foursquare you can become a mayor of a location from repeated check ins Personally I prefer Gowalla mainly because its more fun its in appearance and gameplay I do like the tips idea from Foursquare and a number of retailers have started recognising the power of this new phenomenon by offering specials e g Domino s will give the mayor of each branch a free pizza every Wednesday Jul 5 2010 May 2010 My Favourite Non Tech Blogs I follow over a hundred different blogs and twitter accounts most of them tech related so I can keep up to date with the latest trends and topics in my industry however I always take time to relax and read about my other interests The following blogs are among my favourites and most often visited they all have great designs and some amazing content I hope you enjoy them too kitsunenoir com How can you not love a blog that features Space Suit of the Week KN has varied content covering fashion music culture and art with frequent free mixcasts downloadable mixtapes based on themes and some fantastic wallpapers by guest artists topleftpixel com I first came across this photoblog while reseaching for a holiday in Toronto a few years back and have been following it since I love Sam s photography and the simple concept of uploading a photo every day the site reminds me of my time in a fantastic city and the alt text included on every image detailing the equipment used even influenced my last camera purchase locallemons com I m into food and enjoy cooking Local Lemons is probably my favourite recipe site The photography is beautiful dominating the page and detailing all the ingredients and stages required Its clear that the author has a real passion for food check out her Fast Food Slow Big Mac boutiquecycles com Bikes are another passion of mine I recently added a third to my stable Boutique Cycles is a simple site for proud owners to show of their custom bikes There is a subculture of riders that make building up bikes an art form sourcing just the right parts and dreaming up colour schemes littlewhitelies co uk This one is actually an independent film magazine the site features interviews and articles as well written review and encourages community feedback Every copy of the magazine is viewable online but I d really like to own some of the printed versions if only for the amazing artwork May 29 2010 Inspiration is where you find it Something I ve come to realise as I ve broadened my view on web application development is to not rely solely on conventional sources such as books and blogs for learning Think about it were you ever shown how to use a hand dryer What can their design teach you about UX design Good design is good design it doesn t have to be a web based to inspire you to create a fantastic new webapp Great customer service in an Apple store a nice touch at a restaurant or hotel that made a difference to your visit what can you take from that How can you use what pleased you in the real world and apply it to your site or application The pride and attention to detail a master knifemaker puts into his work is inspirational even if your product is virtual and your tools a mouse and keyboard Seeking inspiration from unusual sources isn t new the development methodology SCRUM is based on the sport rugby The concepts of Kanban and Just in Time first employed by Japanese factories have also been applied to software development Nature has always been a valuable source of design inspiration for example the nose cone of the Shinkansen bullet train is modelled on a Kingfisher s beak and the Fibonacci sequence is also found in the iPod s design Everything in life has a lesson to give the skill is knowing how to find and use it May 2 2010 March 2010 Book review REWORK REWORK is the new book from 37Signals a former web consultancy that now make a a suite of popular productivity web apps The book s authors are Jason Fried co founder and president and David Heinemeier Hansson partner and the creator of Ruby on Rails I ve been using 37Signal s project management tool Basecamp for a few years now While it isn t the most feature complete tool it gets the important stuff right in fact thats one of 37Signal s mantras build half a product not a half assed product Even before using any of their products I ve enjoyed reading the company s blog Signal vs Noise and have always admired their openess about the way they work and been inspired by their success I ve never read or had any interest in reading a business book before I m allergic to buzzwords and marketing speak but knowing that this would be a different kind of business book I pre ordered a copy and have read through it in only three sessions REWORK is playbook for starting or running any sized company based on 37Signal s principles with a proven success The book is very easy and fast to read each section is to the point and at most a couple of pages long The statements are bold contradicting what you have likely experienced at work however they make sense and are backed by real world examples not only from 37Signals but Amazon Zappos Dunkin Donuts and others I would recommend this book to anyone that works or hopes to someday work for themselves even if you don t there is a lot of great advice on productivity and that ll increase your employability Mar 24 2010 February 2010 4 Great movies so far this year Food Inc An eye opening look into the American food industry farmers that can t choose what to grow why it is cheaper to feed a family of four on fast food than fresh produce and how organic providers are fighting back Visit www foodincmovie com for more information All Tomorrow s Parties A collection of footage collected from fans and musicians over a decade of the unique Butlin s based music festival curated by bands or fans featuring Sonic Youth Nick Cave Portishead Iggy the Stooges The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Seasick Steve Lightning Bolt and more A Single Man Set in 1960 s California every single frame of this movie looks like it was taken from a glossy vintage fashion magazine The director Tom Ford is a fashion designer and previously worked as a tailor on Bond movies however there is more to the film than it s look The film follows a middle aged man Colin Firth as he prepares to commit suicide after his partner is killed in a car accident the story is compelling and the performances superb highly recommended MicMacs This is the latest film from the director of Amelie and A Very Long Engagement Jean Pierre Jeunet however it is closer to his earlier movies Delicatessen and The City of the Lost Children in its style and subject It tells the story of Bazil who s life has been ruined by two rival weapons manufacturers and his ingenious plan to get his own back with some help from on odd collection of scrap collecting friends If you ve seen and enjoyed Delicatessen you ll love this Feb 25 2010 The Death of Flash I ve never been a fan of Flash either as a developer or as a user so I m excited to see the possible beginning of the end for what has become the defacto standard for multimedia on the Web Its a common a complaint that the iPhone and upcoming iPad don t have support for Flash but why would they The Flash player is a buggy resource intensive security risk that these devices are better off without There is very little that Flash can do that can t be done with other technology such as jQuery HTML5 and CSS3 see the links below for some examples all of which will run on modern browsers without the requirement of any plugins The two main video streaming sites YouTube and Vimeo are trialing HTML5 versions of their sites using the h 264 video format in place of Flash I m hoping that the popularity of Apple s mobile devices will encourage more content providers such as Hulu and BBC iPlayer to turn their backs on Flash and embrace these new technologies For the past few weeks I ve been using ClickToFlash for Safari which blocks Flash content giving you the option to run it or not I have noticed a significant increase in the loading of pages and am not missing the horrible Flash ads that have frequently crashed my browser and brought even powerful dual core computers to their knees I m ready for a future without Flash and praise companies like Apple Google and Vimeo for taking the initiative to push the latest in Web technology to improve their user s experience JavaScript SketchPad Depth of Field jQuery Robot jParallax jQuery cloud of bacon CSS3 Animations ATAT 3D Cube Coke Can Photo Gallery HTML5 Canvas and Audio Demo Canvas Photo Demo Feb 13 2010 January 2010 Do I even need a tablet Apple are apparently going to announce their oft rumoured tablet computer possibly called the iSlate in the next few weeks and Microsoft unveiled their underwhelming stock Windows 7 on a 5 screen really new slate PCs at CES earlier this month This form factor has been tried before but hasn t been a widespread success they are often large and bulky with poor performance this new generation promise to smaller lighter and well we ll have to see about performance But still who needs them A pure touchscreen interface isn t ideal for work I can t imagine coding or writing documents with an onscreen keyboard on a regular basis more suitable although still unpleasent to spend much time using are the cheap netbooks that have become so popular So whats left web browsing and media playback I already have a great product for that in the iPhone a fair percentage of my personal web use is already done on my iPhone Using excellent mobile formatted sites like BBC and Google s web apps and apps like Facebook and Tweetie I rarely miss a larger screen About the only situation I could see the larger screen of a tablet being an advantage is as an ebook reader however the larger the screen the less likely I am to carry it which is the strength of the iPhone I always have it to hand But what will the iSlate be It makes sense that it would run existing iPhone apps however it ll be a huge disappointment if it turns out just to be an iPod touch with a big screen but equally I don t want Apple to go the Microsoft route of cramming their full OS onto a small device Having owned a few Windows Mobile devices and a touchscreen PC I know that using unmodified Windows on a touchscreen is awkward and I don t see OSX being much different Microsoft s Courier concept that cropped up a few months ago looks great and I d love to use something similar could the iSlate offer this kind of functionality Having said all of that the guys at Apple are smarter than me and its quite likely they ve thought of something I haven t and the iSlate will be the most desirable product of 2010 So I m saving for one reading all the rumours and patiently waiting on the live blogging of the announcement anyway Jan 16 2010 December 2009 2009 round up So its finally going to be 2010 from now on we get to say twenty x instead of the clumsy two thousand and x Already it feels like the future is now surely hovercars and jetpacks will follow This year I lost over 20kg took up mountain biking again started growing my own chilli peppers and got into cooking and baking I ve been learning Codeignitor Wordpress jQuery and continued to learn Django I saw two of my all time favourite bands live and had awesome holidays in Germany and New York Anyway so this is my lazy blogger year end post of stuff I ve liked over the past 12 months Albums Theres been a some great new music this year Fever Ray s t listen on Spotify One half of The Knife returns with a fantastic album that I just can t stop listening to Muse The Resistance listen on Spotify Ok so I admit its kinda cheesy but I think this album is great The Dead Weather Horehound listen on Spotify An awesome debut from the supergroup formed by members of The White Stripes The Kills and QoTSA this is my album of the year I saw them live in Edinburgh and was blown away Alison has an amazing stage presence and Jack White just kills on drums or guitar Them Crooked Vultures s t listen on Spotify Another debut from a supergroup Josh Homme QoTSA Kyuss Eagles of Death Metal Dave Grohl Nirvana Foo Fighters and John Paul Jones Led Zepplin I had to pay a silly amount of money on eBay to secure tickets to the Edinburgh show but it was worth it these guys rock Fuck Buttons Tarot Sport Just under an hour of awesome lo fi instrumental noise imagine Exit Planet Dust era Chemical Brothers combined with Mogwai great for coding and working out to Movies There were some really terrible movies this year with the exception of Where The Wild Things Are A beautiful adaption of the much loved children s book I m tempted to go see it again already Everything in the film is fantastically designed and takes inspiration from the source material I loved this film The Hurt Locker A superbly shot film about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq directed by Kathy Bigelow District 9 I loved this I was really into it s documentary style beginning although it gradually devolved into something more generic later on For me its between Where the Wild Things Are and this for the film of the year Moon I caught this at Edinburgh Film Festival and have been looking forward to seeing it again since Moon is a dark moody SciFi film directed by David Bowie s son starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey with a great soundtrack by Clint Mansell Drag Me to Hell Sam Raimi returns to horror and kicks ass the train wreck that was Spider man 3 is almost forgotten Avatar OK so I love SciFi movies and this is just Dances with Wolves in space but it sure is pretty and the 3D is really well done Software Spotify With a premium account I have almost all the music I could ever want on my desktop or phone legally whats not to like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 XBOX 360 Its the Call of Duty you know and love but totally Bayified I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT 1 XBOX 360 The best 80 points you ll spend on XBOX Live Marketplace Tech Apple Magic Mouse I ve always thought the Mighty Mouse was one of Apple s weakest designs its awkward to use the side buttons and the scrolling nipple gets clogged up and stops working The Magic Mouse is comfortable works really well and has replaced my Logitech MX 1000 at work Nike Sportband I recently started a running program and bought new pair of Nike compatible trainers I m still using an iPhone 3G which doesn t have Nike built in so bought the Sportband instead I really like the simplicity of it press to start a run press to end plug into computer watch the animated man run across the screen to show how much you suck at running Dec 29 2009 The Awesome power of Social Media Social media urgh its become one of my most hated of buzzwords but this week I was impressed with effectiviness of the RATM for Christmas No 1 Facebook Group It was announced yesterday that Killing in the Name was the UK s Christmas Number 1 with over half a million sales beating the latest X Factor winner Joe McElderry With just single single page on a website the RATM for Christmas Number 1 campaign had such a viral effect that it eventually generated more sales than a campaign based on one of the UK s most popular TV shows radio play etc The fact that a single person could have an idea and reach so many people in a short period of time with easy to use tools is as inspiring as it is powerful The facts are these The campaign made Sony even more money Simon Cowel is still uber rich and doesn t give a crap over 60k was raised for the homeless charity Shelter through Facebook plus RATM are donating the proceeds of sales Killing in the Name is first song to reach number one in the UK charts through downloads alone The Facebook group has almost 1 million members RATM should release a new album already Don t feel bad for this X Factor guy he sold exactly the number of singles he was going to anyway its just more people thought it would be funny to make a mockery of the system I m sure he still has a few months of excitement in the music industry before going back to restocking shelves at Tesco and opening community centres or whatever happens to these people once the new series of X Factor Pop Idol Britains got Talent starts and people forget about them I m off to start a Facebook group to bring Mountain Dew back to the UK Dec 21 2009 November 2009 Microformats Microformats are additional markup that add semantics to content in web pages their aim is so to improve the way information can be searched extracted indexed cross referenced or combined by software by describing content A good example of this is hCard heres some basic contact information in plain HTML sourcecode language html Khal Weir Work Interactive 0131 555 1234 http blog khalweir co uk 2 Some Street Edinburgh Midlothian sourcecode with that addition of the hCard microformat markup becomes sourcecode language html Khal Weir Work Interactive 0131 555 1234 http blog khalweir co uk 2 Some Street Edinburgh Midlothian sourcecode With the hCard markup this information has become more useful the content has context making it easier to be automatically processed or extracted for use in applications like Outlook or Address Book hCard is the web based equivalent of the vCard format

    Original URL path: http://blog.khalweir.co.uk/archive (2016-04-26)
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  • Khal Weir
    with no shuffle and makes changing album laborious These products would allow a younger generation to experience media the way my generation consumed it But would they want to Mar 02 nevver Math Source nevver Jan 24 Communicating the value of Design Research The days of competing on price or features is over Prices can be beaten features copied To truly stand your product must be well designed and offer a rewarding experience Not all companies fully grasp the importance of design yet Sure they hire some designers and throw around terms like UCD and UX but more than often it is without understanding Working at one of these companies can be frustrating you feel you re there as a wireframe monkey or simply as a geek that can draw to prop up and impress potential clients This lack of understanding isn t the fault of our client or colleagues however it is ours As designers we need to pitch the benefits of design effectively and build this understanding As you re reading this chances are you ll know that design research is critical to the success of a project Sadly this relatively new approach is difficult to communicate especially in a company or industry where it s benefits are yet to be widely proven It is time consuming and the output is minimal and deceptively simple looking building a set of three A4 sized personas could take months of multifaceted research Often the faster horse story or the fallacy that Apple don t do user research is used as an argument against design research You ll face blank faces when you suggest a persona project or ethnographic study and you won t get budget or time to conduct the research you want to do So what can you do Designers are passionate about their work but are generally meek and vastly outnumbered by project managers developers sales and stakeholders We need to share this passion for design and our vision for crafting a great experience with the rest of the company Get the client or team involved This is my favourite technique and can be very effective If your process is visible it can be better understood Invite stakeholders to design studios and persona building sessions Get a sketchboard going on the wall have the team play with paper prototypes perform user testing sessions with every department Use their language Every department has their own language spend time listening and get to know their lingo Stakeholders seek ROI Marketing want engagement developers understand processes Know your audience and when explaining a design or concept use their own terminology and jargon Outside of our little circle design speak sounds wooly and wanky so let s keep it to ourselves k Use appropriate tools to communicate Your client may roll their eyes at a persona but love a video sketch Again this comes down to knowing your audience and presenting your work in a way it will be best understood Experiment

    Original URL path: http://blog.khalweir.co.uk/mobile (2016-04-26)
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  • Khal Weir - The future is already here. It’s just unevenly...
    Nov 04 The future is already here It s just unevenly distributed William Gibson Permalink Posted at 10 51 AM View the discussion thread Previous post Next post Archive Random

    Original URL path: http://blog.khalweir.co.uk/post/12322173388/the-future-is-already-here-its-just-unevenly (2016-04-26)
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  • Khal Weir - The value of gaming
    slightly superior to my friends that sunk 100 hours plus weekly into games like World of Warcraft like I was doing something of value with my time Now I m jealous and regret not ever subscribing and playing along realising that watching through every episode of X Files again riding bikes and drinking beer wasn t necessarily a better use of time Investing in 10 000 hours in any activity is considered enough time to be an expert in that activity an increasing number of the current generation have comfortably clocked up 10k hours of online gaming by the time they graduate So what are they experts in what skills does online gaming give you Considering WoW as an example I recognise the game requires skills in problem solving teamwork resource management organisation strategy communication as well as encouraging research into and learning about the history backstory and geography of the world All of these are useful and admirable skills and with the equivalent of over 5 years worth of working hours before even starting their professional careers todays youth have huge potential probably without even knowing about it In Jane s talks and in her book Reality is Broken

    Original URL path: http://blog.khalweir.co.uk/post/12022210711/the-value-of-gaming (2016-04-26)
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