Before the month ends, the promised 3 ideas for free:

  1. Online credits as vouchers

    Instead of the usual gifts (CDs, toys, etc) wrapped around magazines and newspapers, why not try Facebook credits or Second Life Linden Dollars?

  2. Add taste and smell

    Besides wine, can’t you simulate the taste and smell of your product? And engage users throught it? It’s not impossible, and i can easily imagine a website where users have a realtime quizz trying to figure out what are the flavours of an ice cream.

  3. Gowalla/Foursquare for kids

    Not using a smartphone, but more like a Tamagotchi with a cheap data plan. Useful for parents, and paired with great game design could even be used for learning.

Now, go ahead and turn these ideas into something bigger.

Stamen Design just published their new visualization for CNN, that maps coalition casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Home and Away goes beyond the regular news reporting, showing real data that is now becoming a platform for participation, with “people using the map to post memories and share stories about their lost loved ones”.

I’m no Jay Rosen or Jeff Jarvis, but the future of journalism will be relying a lot on information visualization and social experiences, acknowledging that readers are not only consuming information, but they want to actually participate (beyond the regular comment box).

Source: Stamen Design

Despite what the profets of doom on the financial markets are saying, i’m proud of my country, Portugal.

The video above is how we present ourselves to the world at Expo 2010 Shangai. Come and meet us.

From the 12th to the 14th of May, Lisbon will be hosting some of the best speakers on User Experience, at the Ux-Lx conference. Presented by Ideias e Imagens and APPU the event features 2 days of workshops, with the last day reserved for the conference. I’ll be attending Dan Saffer‘s Brainstorming and Design Principles and Peter Merlholz‘s Product Strategy and Planning Tools, and probably drop by at some of the conference keynotes.

> Ux-Lx is organized by different levels of expertise, from beginner to advanced, with subject as diverse as Content Strategy or Game Design and Visualization. Not to miss are Steve Krug‘s talk (didn’t had the chance to order his latest book) or Luke Wroblewski‘s First Person User Interfaces. If you’re into it, it’s also a chance to get a book autographed, as many speakers are also authors (recipe for a successful conference, maybe?).

If you’re not attending, you can follow the conference in real time @uxlx , with the hashtag #uxlx. And i’m sure many of the slides will be released later on Slideshare.

P.S: Sorry Bruno, for leaving this post in draft for almost 2 months. That won’t stop Ux Lx from being a success, right ?

Last week Steve Jobs put one more nail in Adobe’s Flash coffin, further confirmed with Microsoft’s support to H.264 codec for HTML video on Internet Explorer 9. What i find amusing was the fact i left serious Flash development almost 3 years ago, becoming increasingly interested in open standarts, not only XHTML or HTML5, but also on the interoperability between systems, almost as important as “openess”.

Trying to figure out trends is on of the key assets for a creative technologist like me. Dealing with social media before it became popular, playing with Flash when it was still version 3, getting curious about OAuth in 2007, or betting that Facebook would become huge in Portugal, i wonder if this isn’t only a confirmation bias. So, what are the tea leaves that i’ve been reading lately?

  • Digital Curation Steve Rubel was one of the first to highlight it, but now we’re seeing it at a micro-level, with tweets becoming the new quotes. Who will organize the best content? Or maybe it’s just an exit strategy for journalists.
  • DIY@home The main theme at Shift10, this trend has been building up since the maker manifesto. What will happen when movements like Fabrication become accessible to the regular Joe?
  • Portable profiles Taking our digital identity TVs or cars, plugging our Facebook profile to our train seat, downloading a ticket using RFID authentication, adjusting enviromental data through sensors, it all feels to much like science fiction. Or maybe not.
  • Democratized video publishing What happened with blogging will happen again with video. We just need cheaper cameras and easier video linear editors.
  • Ad rating Ad people be afraid. We’re seeing it already with the like button on Facebook, and it’s not far fetched to expand the notion to all online advertising. Because clicks don’t matter neither your Cannes Award. It’s the consumer, stupid.

Maybe i’m dead wrong in a few years, but prescience delivers great new challenges.