People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Monthly Archives: July 2011

99% Conference

99%THIS JUST IN: tickets for the 99% Conference May 2012 at Time Square are now on sale.

For anyone unfamiliar with this event here’s their description:

It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.

Taking its moniker from the famous Thomas Edison quote “Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration,” the 99% Conference represents a shift in focus. Unlike the other conferences that focus purely on ideas and inspiration, the 99% is all about ACTION.

For two days each year, we bring together some of the world’s most productive creative visionaries to offer a behind-the-scenes look at their processes as they share road-tested insights on pushing ideas forward.

Finally, an event that is focused on action and not a bunch of talking heads lecturing to a roomful of listening heads.  The tickets are pricey so if anyone plans on coughing up the pocket change to attend please share what you learned with the rest of us who were unable to scrounge together the ticket fee.

And if anyone on the 99% Conference committee is reading this and wants to give us a 99% discount, that would be 99% awesome.

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Music for the Mood, Digital Stamps, Vending Machines and More

I got the trend watching briefing “Innovation Extravaganza” in my inbox last month and finally got a chance to look at it after SLA. It features over 30 innovations arranged by 14 trends/categories ranging from happiness to embedded stories.

Here are a few that I found interesting:

  • In the mood for a certain kind of music? Moodagent analyzes and profiles a user’s music collection and then creates playlists to suit their mood.
  • With emails, text messages and instant messages all around us, it’s nice to send a message via snail mail, but chances are you probably don’t have stamps. The Denmark Post now has digital stamps that you can buy via text message and a code is sent to you which then can be written on the envelope.
  • Wonder about the “who, what, when and where” of a donated item? RememberMe allows people to attach stories to donated items using RFID tags.
  • Get or send something different in the mail. Not Another Bill sends a surprise gift every month.
  • Speaking of vending machines in the last post, you can now buy a soda for a friend from a Social Vending Machine and your friend can redeem the drink with the SMS code at participating machines.
Check out the rest here. Which ones caught your attention?

Everyday Usability: Vending Machines

Did you ever try to buy a snack from a vending machine, only to have it stuck somewhere in the dispenser ring and maybe you try to shake or kick the machine in an attempt to get the snack you paid for?

This brings the classic vending machine scenario to a whole new level. I passed by this vending machine in a Boston subway station. I don’t know if shaking or kicking the machine will do anything. There’s no way to tell if the snack is stuck or the system is glitched, or both. I hope the person got their snack or money back. ~ Lisa

Vending Machine

I also had a vending machine experience, albeit a positive one.  I was sitting at Heathrow Airport waiting for my connecting flight and saw this amazingly convenient vending machine.  For about  £4 –  £10 travelers can wait for their flight with a good book. ~ Sandra

Book vending machine

What’s your vending machine story?

Check out more posts in the Everyday Usability series.

Summer Reading Booklist

Fend off “brain drain” this summer with our recommended summer reading booklist.

Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

Delivering Happiness

The Other 8 Hours

The Ten Faces of Innovation

What we’re reading this summer – 

Sandra’s Summer Booklist

The Girl With The Dragon TattooA Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Lisa’s Summer Booklist

The Way Things Look to Me

Evil Plans