Friedrich Riha

Creative Nomad

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Facebook, Google, and the political dance

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*Illustration by David Kenyon

As a newcomer to the American lifestyle and its political machinations, I have been amazed by a number of factors. The marathon race to tie down a party nomination, the exorbitant amount of cash used not only for self promotion but to smear rivals, and, in this recent race, the ability to get away with outright lies, hollow factless statements, and hot aired accusations without being held accountable or questioned. Where did accountability go? Having lived in what people call ‘developing countries’ (Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Sierra Leone), I have seen a diverse spectrum of politicians - those who wax sweet nothings, those who pillage their country’s coffers, and those who believe in their people and invest in building their countries. I was never brought up to believe that the West had it right and all figured out, but for across the water

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Are our digital experiences eroding our real ones?

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Photo source: Karam Al-Masri/AFP/Getty Images



Over these past cold wintery weeks in New York, my thoughts have drifted in the direction of our digital lives, mainly focusing on our experiences and interactions with our digital devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops) and how they are affecting our interpersonal relationships.

It all started last year, when I temporarily relocated to New York from London. A old friend from high school reached out to me when he was in the city. “Let’s do lunch,” he texted, to which I instantly agreed as it had been over three years since we had seen each other. Over the course of lunch, what caught my attention, was that I spent more time watching him interact with his phone than catching up and maintaining eye contact in an event he had initiated. I felt cut because as soon as the introductory questions of, “how are you” and “how is your family,”

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Unproductive Productivity Theory



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 SITUATION

People are spending extensive amounts of time watching and re-watching videos online. Would it be possible to capitalise on use their computers for a greater good (of some form) while they are participating in such activities?

( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_distributed_computing_projects )

Current distributed computing projects already exist, however individuals must download and run specific programs. Nothing currently exists that makes use of current online systems, such as YouTube.


 STATISTICS

Youtube:
6 billion youtube videos are streamed each month. The average youtube video is 4 minutes and 12 seconds.

( http://www.sysomos.com/reports/youtube/)
( http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html )

This means that on any given day (average days in a month are: 29.6), 202,702,703 videos are being watched. For simplicity lets say the clips are 4

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Redesign this

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A week ago I wrote about how designers should not primarily be beauticians, but instead should be problem solvers. I also made a promise to myself that instead of just pointing at a problem I would do something proactive to combat it. I have there for created the ‘Redesign this’ series.

The Redesign this series will be posts about products which I have come across that I feel can massively benefit from some good UI and / or UX. I intend for this series to emerge as a tool that other designers can use in order to put their talents towards crafting products that are in desperate need.

At this point in time I am playing with two routes:
One being simply a basic library consisting of photos and or screenshots of the products which other designers can leverage, sort of along the paths of UX archive and Car UX
The second approach being a more fleshed out one which has more detail

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Problem solvers, not beauticians.



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Question:

What is this seemingly common occurrence where designers are redesigning digital products and services that aren’t in need of it?

A quick glance through Behance will reveal to you the sheer amount of time and effort creatives are spending on redesigning products like
Google,
Netflix,
Spotify,
Whatsapp,
Yahoo!
… to name a few.

As a designer I have always felt that I am in the profession of making peoples lives better, be in through unnoticeable seamless experiences all the way up to creating a memorable interaction users couldn’t have fathomed. We are problem solvers, not beauticians.

With this being said I feel a sense of bleakness when I come across these redesigns. This is because Facebook, Google, Spotify, etc … can afford - and have - talented people helping make their product experiences better, so why spend so much precious time trying to redesign a product that

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Post A.

You have found it.

Yes, this is where I, ( Friedrich, better known as Fritz ) will be posting my thoughts into whatever catches my attention and focus for more than 45 minutes. Nothing 2048 related, although I cannot guarantee it…

I cannot tell you where I plan to take this or where it will go. All I can say is that I would like it to be a bit of a magical journey into my mind and my thoughts, playfully toeing the line between incessant rambling and deeper thought.

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