There are gender wars, and then there are casualties. It wasn’t until 2011 that the behemoth toymaker LEGO acknowledged girls’ desire to build with bricks, even though the company had long before made a seemingly effortless pivot to co-branding, video games, and major motion pictures. So it’s little wonder that girls face all-too-real obstacles when […] […]Read more
Make sure your investments on web sites, apps or new real-life programs don’t fail by conducting usability and user experience testing.
“Usability testing differs from focus groups in that it involves the observation of participants as they actually use the product,” said Ian David Moss, a development consultant who works in the Arts. “They key feature of usability testing that makes it different from most other kinds of feedback-gathering methods is that it is based on direct observation rather than self-reporting….So, rather than have people sit around a room and talk about (for example) how they might react to a new feature or what challenges they face in their daily work, you have people sitting in front of a computer and trying to navigate a website’s capabilities while staff members look over their shoulders and take notes.” (more…)
Gameplay has a lot to teach us about motivating participation through joy. ‘Gamification’ is a new term, coined in 2008, for adapting game mechanics into non-game setting — such as building online communities, education and outreach, marketing, or building educational apps. Here are some ideas for how to do it.
Badges, trophies and points represent having accomplished something. Since antiquity, people have been honored with medals, crowns and other decorations. Wreaths made of bay laurel were awarded to Greek athletes, and worn by Roman poets (e.g., Ovid, at left). (more…)
Wikipedia, the free, online encyclopedia that “anyone can edit,” is a useful way to deliver scientific and cultural knowledge to the public. Wikipedia is the 5th most visited web site, with 400–450 million unique visitors per month.
It’s not “merely a larger audience, but a different audience,” says Sara Snyder, webmaster for the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, who has recently started to use Wikipedia more. She says, “Our main website is geared towards an academic-minded or university-level student, researcher, curator, or professional art historian. Yet we have information and collections that may inform or appeal to a broader set of folks, such as younger students and art enthusiasts. Wikipedia is a platform for trying to start serving those researchers too, without overhauling the current way we do business or our existing website.” (more…)
There’s a great new video on YouTube, “I’m a climate scientist.” It uses gangsta-rap flavor to bring home the point that a lot of people talking about climate change are not actual climate scientists. Here’s the video, which contains some expletives:
All publications from the National Academies Press (NAP) are now available for free as PDFs. NAP is the publishing arm of the National Academies, and publishes 200+ books a year on topics in science, engineering, and health.
Making the PDFs free is the culmination of a decade of research and sales modeling on how to finance a nimble publishing house with paid print books, with enough spare revenue to allow free release of electronic books. Here’s the evolution:
Is the art enough? Probably not. Art museum revenues are falling and museums need to experiment with new business models and ways to build a buzz and relevance with young audiences.
Yesterday, art critic Judith Dobrzynski wrote in her Real Clear Arts blog about how an upcoming nighttime event at the Hirshhorn is elitist, flaunted, and inexcusable. Dobrzynski says, “I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, if museum officials don’t believe that art is enough, no one else will either.” What do you think? (more…)
Innovation takes years, if not decades. An essay by Bill Buxton, principal scientist at Microsoft Research, introduced the idea of the “The Long Nose of Innovation.” In his Jan 2008 Business Week article, he draws parallels to the ‘long tail’ of products. This has applications to all kinds of planning.
This is what the long nose looks like as a graph (it’s a nose pointing to the left): (more…)