“Everything starts out looking like a toy” (No.8)
Observations at the intersection of data and systems.
This week’s toy: if you’ve got an iPhone, use this app to compose a melody on the Keylimba. This is edition No. 8, coming at you on August 22, 2020.
The Big Idea
When you trick your brain into having fun, you give yourself the opportunity to learn. One team working on this is mmhmm, which in addition to having a catchy name is building better tools to keep people engaged and collaborating on video calls.
What if one reason we are not enjoying video calls is the sense of being out of control, especially when the camera is not fixed on the other call participants (like in calls where some people join on mobile).
Motion sickness is not an illness; it is a physiological response to a conflict between two or more of the following senses; vision, proprioception and the vestibular system.
This study on motion sickness, done for Volvo cars, suggests that lowering the cognitive dissonance between traveling and the feeling of traveling is key for lowering the overall feeling of motion sickness. When Phil suggests using a game controller to handle video calls in the video, the “tricking your brain to have fun” aspect of this action could literally make you feel better.
What’s the takeaway? Video calls at minimum are boring when we are not engaged. They could also be causing a low level of motion sickness for particularly sensitive folks.
We’d like to know …
When listening to online music, how do you select your next song?
Click the tweet to vote.
Links for Reading and Sharing
These are links that caught my eye.
1/ Not so Top of the Pops - Most Songs get less cool over time. But how fast exactly does the popularity decay? Faster than before we had so much music, for sure.
2/ Are you ready for your closeup? - What will the job of the future look like? One thesis suggests jobs will unbundle into more specialized versions of the roles we do today. This could create superstars, or simply more places to login to do work.
3/ Now, everything feels like an e-commerce problem
In the B.C. (Before Coronavirus) times, a lot of us spent a lot of time online and bought a lot of stuff online. It seems that trend has really spiked. Note that even with this rapid change, e-commerce is at about 15% of the total market according to the Census Bureau. Even when e-commerce makes inroads on more markets, there is a lot of redesign and usability work that’s needed … everywhere.
On the Reading List
Automate the Boring Stuff with Python - a programmer’s manual by Al Sweigart
Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad - an artsy manual by Austin Kleon
What to do next
Hit reply and let me know if you’ve got links to share, data stories, or want to say hello.
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The next big thing always starts out being dismissed as a “toy.” - Chris Dixon