Monday, October 20, 2014
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
futurejournalismproject:

Can You Design a Universal Font?
A few months ago Wikipedia unveiled a typographical “refresh” across its Web properties. As Fast Company pointed out at the time, doing so across 33 million pages and 297 languages isn’t easy:

“The changes might seem subtle—some readers of Wikipedia might not even know there’s a change!” says Wikimedia’s Director of User Experience Jared Zimmerman. “But for us, it starts to highlight some bigger issues.”
Those bigger issue stem from a daunting problem: Wikipedia is 100% open source and free for the world to use. But there is no free and open typeface that can render in all of the world’s languages. For those of us in the Western world, it’s not much of a problem. We’re privileged, using operating systems like OS X that license fonts for us. Plus, our Latin-based scripts are represented in the vast majority of typefaces, while most written language is actually not Latin-based…
…Historically, this has created a design culture of the haves and the have nots, in which the look of Wikipedia was subject to the whims of whatever your software providers had already licensed. When rendering its pages in your browser, all Wikipedia would ask for was “sans-serif”—basically, give me anything you’ve got that’s sans-serif! As you might imagine, this has been a mess.

Enter Google and its development of the Noto font family. The freely available font ”aims to support all the world’s languages” and achieve “visual harmonization across languages.” 
No small task but to date the two-year-old project supports 600 written languages and 100,000 characters. In July, support for Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean was added.
NPR has a good article on the background and continued development of Noto. In particular, it takes a look at whether a company like Google should be doing this at all:

[C]ritics like Pakistani-American writer Ali Eteraz are suspicious about grand plans by any of these big companies.
"I tend to go back and forth," Eteraz says. "Is it sort of a benign — possibly even helpful — universalism that Google is bringing to the table? Or is it something like technological imperialism?"
What he means is that when one group of people (in this case, Google) decides what to code for and what not to — and in what way — people who are not a part of that decision-making process, those who actually use these fonts and these languages, can feel ill-served.

"Language is the building block of people’s identities all around the world," Eteraz tells NPR, “and Google is basically saying that, ‘We got this.’”
In other words, with great power comes great responsibility.
Download the fonts here. Join the Noto Google Group here.
Image: Screenshot, Noto Sans Cherokee. 

futurejournalismproject:

Can You Design a Universal Font?

A few months ago Wikipedia unveiled a typographical “refresh” across its Web properties. As Fast Company pointed out at the time, doing so across 33 million pages and 297 languages isn’t easy:

“The changes might seem subtle—some readers of Wikipedia might not even know there’s a change!” says Wikimedia’s Director of User Experience Jared Zimmerman. “But for us, it starts to highlight some bigger issues.”

Those bigger issue stem from a daunting problem: Wikipedia is 100% open source and free for the world to use. But there is no free and open typeface that can render in all of the world’s languages. For those of us in the Western world, it’s not much of a problem. We’re privileged, using operating systems like OS X that license fonts for us. Plus, our Latin-based scripts are represented in the vast majority of typefaces, while most written language is actually not Latin-based…

…Historically, this has created a design culture of the haves and the have nots, in which the look of Wikipedia was subject to the whims of whatever your software providers had already licensed. When rendering its pages in your browser, all Wikipedia would ask for was “sans-serif”—basically, give me anything you’ve got that’s sans-serif! As you might imagine, this has been a mess.

Enter Google and its development of the Noto font family. The freely available font ”aims to support all the world’s languages” and achieve “visual harmonization across languages.” 

No small task but to date the two-year-old project supports 600 written languages and 100,000 characters. In July, support for Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean was added.

NPR has a good article on the background and continued development of Noto. In particular, it takes a look at whether a company like Google should be doing this at all:

[C]ritics like Pakistani-American writer Ali Eteraz are suspicious about grand plans by any of these big companies.

"I tend to go back and forth," Eteraz says. "Is it sort of a benign — possibly even helpful — universalism that Google is bringing to the table? Or is it something like technological imperialism?"

What he means is that when one group of people (in this case, Google) decides what to code for and what not to — and in what way — people who are not a part of that decision-making process, those who actually use these fonts and these languages, can feel ill-served.

"Language is the building block of people’s identities all around the world," Eteraz tells NPR, “and Google is basically saying that, ‘We got this.’”

In other words, with great power comes great responsibility.

Download the fonts here. Join the Noto Google Group here.

Image: Screenshot, Noto Sans Cherokee

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
<embarrased to admit> this made me click.

<embarrased to admit> this made me click.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

(Source: negritojosh)

(Source: brettbenzer)

fastcompany:

A new project from the burrito chain and author Jonathan Safran Foer puts some intelligent musings in front of you as you stuff your face.

The next time you eat a burrito, it might come wrapped up in a poem or a little philosophy from a Harvard professor. Starting today, Chipotle will be rolling out a new line of oddly literary packaging—bags and cups printed with new writing both from authors you might find in the New Yorker as well as comedians like Sarah Silverman.

Read More&gt;

fastcompany:

A new project from the burrito chain and author Jonathan Safran Foer puts some intelligent musings in front of you as you stuff your face.

The next time you eat a burrito, it might come wrapped up in a poem or a little philosophy from a Harvard professor. Starting today, Chipotle will be rolling out a new line of oddly literary packaging—bags and cups printed with new writing both from authors you might find in the New Yorker as well as comedians like Sarah Silverman.

Read More>

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

(Source: atsuperfluously)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Market Researchers: Do You Speak Visual?

“Mobile is eating the world.”

Words are so last millennium. We’re increasingly ditching text and letting pictures do the talking. In our new show-don’t-tell world, we’re communicating with brands, companies — and each other — using images, not words. Our overstuffed brains, which process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, crave this new visual vocabulary. Consider these stats:

  • Half of the photos ever taken were taken in the last two years.

  • 70 percent of actions taken on social media involve visuals.

  • Facebook has 10,000 times more photos than the Library of Congress.

  • YouTube streams 133,000 hours of video every day.

  • Facebook users post 300 million images a day.

  • Instagram logs 8,500 Likes a second.

  • Nearly 85 percent of consumers name color as the primary reason they purchase a particular product.

  • Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat and the $19 billion dollar WhatsApp continue to break records and forge new forms of creative expression.

Then there’s the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year: selfie. With usage up 17,000 percent since its origin, this winning word is a symbol of the cultural and behavioral shift we’re experiencing. (Consider the record-zapping Ellen and friends selfie at the Oscars.) The Visual Revolution has upended centuries-old habits in a snap. Where we once expressed emotion via language, we’re now relying on emoji, stickers or insta-anything. Even the prevailing social marketing mantra has been roto-rootered: it’s not what your customers say about you, it’s what they show.

The Visual Revolution, Image Economy or Visual Web, whatever moniker you prefer, is kicking the market research industry in its wordy butt. This powerfully disruptive mashup of mobile + social is as seismic to our industry as the explosion of big data. A speaker at the recent PSFK Future of Retail 2014 conference declared: “Mobile is eating the world.” The more we rely on that small screen, the more important visuals become. The more visual, the more shareable.

Images have become one of our favorite modes of organizing and comprehending the profound amount of information we encounter daily. Pioneering companies such as Tableau have made it their business to use visuals to make data understandable to ordinary people. The popularity of infographics increased by 800 percent between 2010 and 2012. The Daily Mail is getting in on this action soon, with a new app that strips the text and leaves just the pictures.

What does this mean for market researchers?

Researchers today have unprecedented opportunities to dig deeper, learn more and essentially deliver on-demand insights. In the hands of skilled researchers, the 350 million images uploaded every single day can reveal the complexities and quirks of human nature — the why behind data science’s what. The leap to the more organic Visual Web puts more power-to-the-people tools in the consumer toolkit. The massive opt-in via picture platforms translates into massive opportunity for us.

In the “olden days,” we were forced to recruit and pay respondents for their opinions. Now our target audience is willingly uploading personal brand stories via an eclectic array of social technologies. In a now classic experiment, Moleskine asked users to answer the question: What’s In Your Bag? Thousands replied, providing the brand with an avalanche of vivid detail. Can a text-based methodology yield as much?


The new market research tool: Pinterest

Think beyond cupcakes, cats and brides. The 70-million-strong Pinterest is swiftly becoming an impressive rival to Facebook, Instagram and other social sites, with a new series of pins and (finally) an API. It’s time to think of the popular platform in a new way: as a compelling marketing research tool. All things aspirational show up on Pinterest boards. They’re a product-based, dream-centered wish list, and for qualitative researchers, a digital update of the projective techniques we’ve trusted for years. As the tools of the Visual Revolution become mainstream, the benefits to research markedly increase. Respondents are fast growing more comfortable, creative and authentic about expressing themselves via snap, pin and post.

Pinterest is also intrinsically iterative. Over the past months, we’ve been using the platform to create product- or subject-driven boards during in-person interviews and triads. Within 48 hours, we assess the re-pins, likes and comments and evolve the concepts in response to the insights we’ve uncovered. Using this accelerated, rapid prototyping model, we’ve harvested significant feedback from both online and offline consumers in the U.S. and in Pinterest’s recently launched, country-specific (U.K. and France) markets.

Pinterest tips for market research

The visual audit. What’s getting pinned from the brand’s site? What’s ignored? Are your visuals optimized for Pinterest or are they invisible? Where do your pins land? On what kind of boards? One of our clients, who specializes in the pet industry, discovered that the brand was being re-pinned on boards related to women/relationships. Turns out that managing feisty dogs is perceived as similar to managing husbands. This nugget opened up a whole new direction for the company.

Recruiting. Forget the hackneyed five-uses-for-a-brick question. Use Pinterest as a highly effective screener. looking at a prospect’s board for recipes is akin to opening the fridge during an in-home session. Also, you can uncover polarizing attitudes or professional respondents. The best boards to check for polarizing attitudes: Quotes, Inspirations, Funny and, if you’re recruiting for Walmart, People of Walmart.

Customer perception and insight. Marketing researchers can use this visual Magic 8 ball to better predict trends, sales and product preferences. J.Crew pre-launched its fall catalog on the platform with the goal of matching pin popularity with production. Pinterest allows your customers to show you new ideas and lead you down a different path. Did Four Monks vinegar ever imagine teaming up with Dawn?

Keywords do count. Keep a close watch on descriptions. What verbs are pinners using to describe your products and images? A recent academic study revealed that what distinguishes Pinterest from other social sites are four simple yet powerful verbs: use, look, want and need.

Curalate for market research: image analytics

Why has a picture of rainbow fruit kabobs been re-pinned 76,012 times?

When an iPhone image snapped by your sister-in-law at a baby shower is as likely to be a winning pin as an ad agency’s pricey photoshoot, it’s vital to understand why. This is where visual analytics powerhouse Curalate comes in. An analytics platform for Pinterest and Instagram, these marketing-without-words gurus know the answer to this burning question and countless more, thanks to Curalate’s data, image recognition algorithms and powerful marketing tools. “Unlocking the power of the Visual Web” is its genius, which includes offering an easy and comprehensive dashboard, complete with competitive analysis. We’ve found Curalate to be the kind of partner that consistently innovates and pushes the boundaries.

Other promising tools and technologies

Google Helpouts. Launched earlier this month, Google’s new, real-time video service connects people with experts in various fields, with the aim of providing “Real Help From Real People In Real Time.” With Helpouts, you can get help anytime from people with expertise across a range of topics - teachers, counselors, doctors, home-repair specialists, personal trainers, hobby enthusiasts and more. Some sessions are free; others are paid through Google Wallet. As a research tool, the new service could provide subject matter experts/influencers in addition to access to brand opportunities. Sephora and Weight Watchers are already offering Helpouts.

The Hunt. A blend of gamification, images and style, the community-driven site for fashionistas provides users with a platform where they can post pictures of must-have outfits and accessories they find on social media. Hunters then track down the coveted product. The goal? Women helping other women look better. Founder Tim Weingarten says, the Visual Web isn’t shoppable and The Hunt is working to fix that. In the meantime, researchers, especially those involved with retail and the women’s market, will find this an intriguing tool to tap into the pulse of those passionate about fashion.

These are all examples of how the Visual Revolution can keep market research professionals in tune with consumers and improve the research function overall. It just might the perfect blend of art and science.

How are you joining the visual conversation?

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140318023417-1333827-do-you-speak-visual

Tuesday, December 4, 2012