Angelina Stanford and I started our conversation with a show down. "I’m going to have to limit you to an hour," I told her. "You’re going to have a hard time with that," was her reply. Boy was she ever right! I just wanted this conversation about fairy tales to go on and on and on. Fairy tales are a staple of many a childhood — I know I spent hours as a kid reading from Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. Thanks to the influence of people like Andrew Pudewa I have been sharing original versions of fairy tales with my own kids for years. But I have never dug this deep or looked at fairy tales in quite this way before — Angelina and I dig deep into the history, the objections, the importance and so much more. I have a new favorite episode of the podcast. You might too! Enjoy. You can find the show notes for this episode at https://pambarnhill.com/ymb41
Your Morning Basket: YMB #41 Why Fairy Tales are Not Optional: A Conversation with Angelina Stanford
Jared Spool: Let’s start with a little history. A lot of user experience stuff that’s come into organizations has always been grassroots. It’s always been a bunch of folks who were down at the bottom of the food chain saying, “You know, we could make this better. We could make this operation more efficient, we could make customers more satisfied, we could grow this.”
Occasionally organizations say, “We want to have great design.” There are these natural tensions in organizations. Design and user experience, particularly when you’re doing it for the very first time, is not cheap and it’s not fast.
It’s an investment. You have to get people who know how to do this work, you have to slow down the work in order to make sure you’re doing the right thing. You have to change your processes, which over time have evolved to produce faster and faster, but with no real notion of a great experience behind them, so they’ve been ignoring that.
You may have created a lot of what would be known in the trade as legacy debt. You have these systems that don’t make it easy to do things. If you were a large travel agency, someone in the travel business, you’d probably have this massive reservation system that was built in the ’70s or the ’80s that was always intended to be used by employees.
Never was it conceived that you would actually let consumers do things with travelers—passengers book their own travel. Now, you have to do that and you’ve got these problems like the descriptions for the hotel rooms are in this internal jargon that makes perfect sense to a travel agent, to someone on the customer support line, but when you show that jargon to the customer, they don’t know what that means.
Now, you have to translate all that content into something that is not just a description of the hotel room, but actually sells the hotel room. You’ve got all of this investment that you have to make. All the internal codes, all the internal software, all the internal processes were geared to a system that was intentionally trying not to be a great customer experience, but instead just to be serviceable by a trained employee.
To undo that, to actually shift that around, the organization has to make a huge investment. Until recently, most organizations weren’t ready to make that investment, instead they did the opposite. They kept piling more stuff into these systems that eventually created so much debt that now they have to stop what they’re doing and reinvent themselves.
To do that requires massive executive support. This isn’t just the executive saying, “Yes. This is the year that design’s important, we’re all going to focus on design,” and then you ever hear about it again.
These are executives that are making decisions like, “No, that thing that we would have shipped last year is no longer acceptable and we’re not going to ship it this year. We’re going to undo what we did and take the hit and rejigger everything, in order to get something that is a better customer experience out.” This is really the big crux of things, because companies that start today don’t have this problem.
The textbook example is to compare Airbnb to, say, Hyatt hotels. The interesting thing about Airbnb and Hyatt hotels is that Hyatt’s been around for 40 years and Airbnb has been around for less than 3. The thing is that Airbnb is making a dent.
There was a memo circulated around the hotel industry recently that stated that in cities like New York there are 35,000 rental spaces available in Airbnb. The hotel industry is getting hit. Their occupancies are dropping.
What used to be 90 percent occupancies in cities like Chicago, New York, and LA are now running at on average 80 percent. They’re attributing a lot of this to Airbnb. How does a company like Hyatt become competitive against Airbnb?
A weekly interview show about the web and the friends who make it.
http://www.veritas.org/Talks - Does God exist? How do we know if there is a God? In a world of skepticism, is it still possible to believe? Tim Keller, speaker, author, and senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the challenges posed to belief in the contemporary world.
Drawing upon the arguments laid out in his book The Reason for God, Keller argues that belief is here to stay. From The Veritas Forum at the University of California, Berkeley, 2008.
Over the past two decades, The Veritas Forum has been hosting vibrant discussions on life’s hardest questions and engaging the world’s leading colleges and universities with Christian perspectives and the relevance of Jesus. Learn more at http://www.veritas.org, with upcoming events and over 600 pieces of media on topics including science, philosophy, music, business, medicine, and more!
Tim Keller visits Google’s Mountain View, CA, headquarters to discuss his book, "The Reason for God." This event took place on March 5, 2008, as part of the Authors@Google series.
The planet hadn’t seen a major war between all the Great Powers since the downfall of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. But 99 years later the dam breaks and a Pandora’s Box of violence engulfs the planet.
99% Invisible-38- Sound of Sport
by Roman Mars
published on 2011/10/13 02:53:22 +0000
If Dennis Baxter and Bill Whiston are doing their job right, you probably don’t notice that they’re doing their job. But they are so good at doing their job, that you probably don’t even know that their job exists at all. They are sound designers for televised sporting events. Their job is to draw the audience into the action and make sports sound as exciting as possible, and this doesn’t mean they put a bunch of microphones on the field. This episode of 99% Invisible is produced by Peregrine Andrews for Falling Tree Productions. It is an extract from a much longer, and really stunning doc called “The Sound of Sport.”
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99% Invisible-15- Sounds of the Artificial World
by Roman Mars
published on 2011/06/23 22:19:31 +0000
A tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world.
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99% Invisible-43- The Accidental Music of Imperfect Escalators by Roman Mars | Free Listening on SoundCloud
99% Invisible-43- The Accidental Music of Imperfect Escalators
by Roman Mars
published on 2011/12/19 06:26:41 +0000
“There’s a secret jazz seeping from Washington’s aging Metro escalators - those anemic metal walkways that fill our transit system…they honk and bleat and squawk…why are you still wearing those earbuds?”
-Chris Richards, “Move along with the soundtrack of Metro’s screechy, wailing escalators” Washington Post
Ever since the industrial revolution, when it became possible for products to be designed just once and then mass produced, it has been the slight imperfections and wear introduced by human use that has transformed a quality mass produced product into a thing we love. Your worn blue jeans, your grandmothers iron skillet, the initial design determined their quality, but it’s their imperfections that make them comfortable, that make them lovable, that make them yours.
And if you think that a “slightly broken” escalator can’t be lovable, then our own Sam Greenspan would like to introduce you to Chris Richards.
Chris Richards is a music critic for the Washington Post, and after years of ignoring the wailing and screeching of the much maligned, often broken escalators in the DC Metro, he began to hear them in a new way. He began to hear them as music.
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99% Invisible-44- The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
by Roman Mars
published on 2012/01/06 03:34:37 +0000
The Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis became most famous at the moment of its demise. The thirty-three high-rise towers built in the 1950’s were supposed to solve the impending population crisis in inner city St. Louis. It was supposed to save the urban poor from the indignities of the downtown slums that lacked natural light, water and fresh air. And for a short while, it worked. It was a housing marvel. But when conditions started to decline, everything got very bad, very fast.
It got so bad, only two decades after it was built; the housing authority blew it up. The image of the first Pruitt-Igoe controlled implosion circled the globe.
The implosion footage became the unassailable proof that Modernist architecture and federal housing just didn’t work.
Chad Freidrichs is the director of the new documentary The Pruitt-Igoe Myth and in the film he examines all the reasons people cite for the demise of Pruitt-Igoe.
In this episode of 99% Invisible, we focus on the popular idea that the architecture was to blame.
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