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Steve Portigal
Pacifica, CA
Recent Activity
Boy I can't wait to start watching none of those movies.
What a great service! Wish you were in San Francisco!
I guess I already had the typepad setup, so it was invisible/automagic for me. I like the replies, though. I would like to get my blog theme updated to show avatars/gravatars/etc.
Toggle Commented Sep 4, 2009 on 5 Reasons To Show Yourself at Logic+Emotion
Let's see how this works and what ID of mine shows up...
Toggle Commented Sep 4, 2009 on 5 Reasons To Show Yourself at Logic+Emotion
The question reminds of that exchange from Whit Stillman's Barcelona One thing that keeps cropping up is ''subtext.'' Plays, novels, songs, all have a subtext... ...which I take to mean a hidden message or import of some kind. Subtext, we know. But what do you call the message or meaning... ...that's on the surface, open and obvious? They never talk about that. What do you call what's above the subtext? The text.
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2009 on Non sequitur: Why is there no overscore? at do_matic
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Seems like the first commenter is picking the most limited view of "need" - an aesthetic need is a valid one, so is an ergonomic need, or an economic need, or a need to shift the work between multiple members of the household, or a need to multi-task (see economic, above). Denying that those needs exist is why products fail. And parents are not parents in a bubble, they live in homes, with other items and with other activities, and baby products will succeed better when they better integrate with those things. You only have to take a look at the wide availability of KISS (etc.) logo onesies to acknowledge the large amount of projection that goes into children products. No, the infant doesn't know who KISS is, and doesn't necessarily like KISS, and didn't purchase the garment, but the parent did and does and uses it regularly and has their own emotional engagement with it. Anyway, this is a great podcast, there's a lot of good info about the state of the art, and the situation that parents find themselves in, and how they approach the problem solving. Fascinating stuff, thanks!
Just FYI, the audio file is missing here! Thanks.
Toggle Commented May 27, 2009 on Speed of Innovation at Icon-o-Cast by Lunar
Awesome! I just spent 2 weeks wandering around Amsterdam and Brussels and took almost 1000 pictures, so I was living that mode; it was fun but eventually burned me out. You can see the rate of pictures per day decline sharply by the end. I love this picture, though!
Toggle Commented May 19, 2009 on Non sequitur: Always carry a camera at do_matic
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As a child in the days before the Star Trek movies started - so when Trekdom was still slightly underground (as was fandom in general) - I was amazed to find a "Making Of" Star Trek book in my library, and I devoured it: behind-the-scene stories, discussions of bloopers and pranks, how they made the Tribbles, and so on. One of the things that is still with me decades later is the discussion of the women's costumes - (not the uniforms but for guest characters) where they wanted to create sexy not as tight but as flowy in such a way that it might drop at any time. Even as a 10-year old I thought I preferred the opposite and I guess I still do (but this isn't about me, then, is it???) so maybe that's why that evocative description stuck with me.
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I'll be speaking at the Southern district conference - info on my session is up at
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The same make-it-nice-keep-it-out-use-it-more approach was behind Method's cleaning product business as well.
Toggle Commented Dec 8, 2007 on Usability and Aesthetics at DESIGNING *for humans
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Fantastic, Rob. This will be interesting, since there are not (that I'm aware of) existing standards for showing design research work; whereas much of ID portfolio stuff is very very specified by curious to see how this plays out.
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Gah - that old chestnut ("we don't think people can tell us what they want so we don't believe in research") is part arrogant and part naive. Sony put out a book glorifying their industrial design with a similar statement. You deflect that all-too-familiar refrain nicely in this post, though. Thanks!
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I think my session on Connecting the Play of Improv with the Work of Ethnography probably belongs on your list. I'll be posting more info about the session to our blog ( over the next couple of days.
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I've written a number of things about ethnographic research over the years, but a brief introduction is at It's only a start, no doubt, for the questions that you have. I'm happy to share more information.
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