Perfectionist Mode: ENGAGE

Sometimes “good enough” just isn’t quite good enough, and that search box really does need to move 3px to the left. Unluckily for perfectionists everywhere, it can be hard to communicate to peers, higher-ups, and engineers just how important 3px can be.

It is for those unlucky perfectionists that Braden Kowitz wrote this article at the Google Ventures blog. Kowitz outlines the language disconnect, specifically focusing on the point where engineers and designers find friction: implementation.

Kowtiz suggests an understanding, flexible approach. Batch up the work into a fix-it day the way bugs are often batched. Polish as you go, instead of expecting perfection upfront. And finally, do the engineers a favor and stay away from customization icebergs (custom tasks where there is a deceptively large amount of back-end work to keep up with).

Liza Potts on CHAT and NexUX

Our very own Liza Potts recently made a mark in North Carolina. After leading a workshop for NCSU PhD students in the CRDM program (Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media), she gave a plenary talk for both the CHAT festival and the NexUX festival.

The talk addressed WRAC’s new B.A. Program in Experience Architecture and Potts’ research on UX and disaster. “That was a great experience, because it brought together scholars working in the Digital Humanities as well as user experience designers and researchers working in user experience (UX) and human-computer interaction (HCI).” said Potts.

Live Unapologetically

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Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 4.02.01 PMStop apologizing, start accepting, embrace your beauty, and take part in the movement. This past summer (2013), two grad students, Katie Manthey and Rachel Seiderman, had the opportunity to experience an internship, and became part of an important movement known as, The Body Is Not An Apology (TBINAA). This is an online activist organization founded by Sonya Taylor. The Body Is Not An Apology is a GLOBAL movement focused on radical self-love and body empowerment. This movement encourages women to own their beauty, love their scars, and accept their appearance no matter shape, size or color. As women we need to stop being beholden to the beauty that society has labeled acceptable, and live comfortably with what we are blessed with.

On February 9, 2011, Sonya wrote a Facebook status following a picture of herself in a black corset. She posted this picture to make it clear that she defines what’s sexy.“In this picture I am 230lbs.  In this picture, I have stretch marks and an unfortunate decision in the shape of a melting Hershey’s kiss on my left thigh.  I am smiling, like a woman who knows you’re watching and likes it. For this one camera flash, I am unashamed, unapologetic.” This was the status that started the movement, ever since many women have taken part of the movement in various ways, such as posting pictures, writing statuses, and even interning to demonstrate that they are living unapologetically.

Katie Manthey, a 4th year PhD student in Rhetoric and Writing with a concentration in cultural rhetorics, chose this summer internship, because she wanted an opportunity to make a difference. Katie stated that she had been a Facebook follower of TBINAA for awhile, and had been presenting on feminist issues around the body at conferences, and was excited about the opportunity to write for a mainstream audience. As content intern, one of Katie’s responsibilities were to provide two weeks of blog posts. Her blogs had to be original, and related to the theme of the week. When writing these pieces she had a specific audience to consider, which were Tumblr and Facebook.

Rachel Seiderman, a 2nd year MA student in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing with a concentration in fat activism/acceptance, discovered TBINAA through a spoken word poem on YouTube. Moved by Sonya’s piece, Rachel started following TBINAA on Facebook, and when the call for interns was posted, she knew it was the perfect summer internship. Rachel also held the title content intern, but her duties were slightly different from Katie’s. She was responsible for generating original content for TBINAA’s Tumblr, making suggestions for reblogs, and also providing images to be posted on the Facebook page. Continue reading

The Internet: Chopped & Screwed

A few years ago the Internet was introduced as a dial-up service, and it was an irrelevant tool that very few people had access to. Today, the Internet has become a requirement for communication and is accessible on any device in many places around the world. Corporate self-indulgence and the government has allowed the Internet to go from vibrant center of the new economy to burgeoning tool of economic control. Companies such as AT&T and Comcast have announced early this year that they plan to close and control the Internet through additional fees. The Verge expresses four simple ideas as to why the Internet is f**ked: 1) the Internet is a utility, 2) there is no real competition to provide Internet, 3) all Internet providers should be treated equally, and 4) the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) needs to play a more effective role.

The Internet can be considered a utility, just like water and electricity. The difference between an electricity  bill and the Internet is that the Internet offers web-hosting solutions and search screens as evidence that they’re actually providing information. There is no need for fancy words or extra charges, Internet access is a utility that should get faster and cheaper over time for customers. Instead, Comcast customers pay extra against their data caps when streaming video on their Xboxes using Microsoft’s services.

There is no real competition to provide Internet service as it’s either cable broadband from a cable provider or DSL from a telephone provider. Since DSL isn’t nearly as fast as cable, and the cable companies are aggressive in bundling TV and Internet packages together, there’s really only one choice. On the other hand, the uses of cell phones have improved tremendously, because tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung all had to fight it out and make better products in order to profit and build cliental. This is an example of  real competition. Without out any competition of course people will have no choice but to pay for certain fees for satisfactory Internet service. Continue reading