DAILY DESIGN INSPIRATIONS 36: Printable Solar Panels that Actually Work! (#DAILYDESIGNINSPIRATIONS)

Despite places like Australia being bathed in sun, the cost of traditional silicon-based solar cells hasn’t inspired people to buy, buy, buy.

But what if you could make the technology cheaper and produce it at a higher scale? Some believe that printed solar is the way forward.

http://mashable.com/videos/blueprint:EGoAJyd016/

Leading the charge is Paul Dastoor from the University of Newcastle in Australia and his team of researchers, who are in the final stage of testing his printed solar solution.

read more here.

Daily Design Inspirations 35: Drones You Can Eat! (#dailydesigninspirations)

Via Wired.com. When drones save lives, not kill!

Every sale of this edible Pouncer drone can save 50 lives

Aquila inventor Nigel Gifford’s Pouncer drone is capable of real humanitarian aid

Nigel Gifford makes drones with a difference. His humanitarian UAV, the Pouncer, is designed to deliver food aid in disaster zones – by being edible itself. That may sound unlikely, but Gifford, 70, has a history of succeeding with unconventional projects. He’s the Somerset-based engineer behind Aquila, the Wi-Fi-beaming drone bought by Facebook in 2014 to connect 1.6 billion humans to the internet.

In 2010, Gifford imagined Aquila (originally named Ascenta) as a high-altitude drone that could be used to beam internet or mobile-phone connectivity to civilians below.

“I absolutely believed in what we were doing; I could see how this could be a major benefit in communications applications,” he says. The UAV was designed with solar panels that would give it enough power to stay airborne for 90 days, with a flexible central section that could adapt to securely carry any cargo.

The call from Facebook dramatically changed Ascenta’s fate. It bought the drone for a reported $20 million (£16 million). Now with an enlarged wingspan the size of a commercial airliner, Aquila made its first successful flight – a 96-minute cruise above Yucca, Arizona – on June 28, 2016. Gifford is delighted: “For what it started out as and has now become, it’s super.”

Post-sale, Gifford’s new company Windhorse Aerospace has focused its energies on the Pouncer, a UAV whose three-metre-wide hull can enclose vacuum-packed foods. Its structure will be made from as yet unspecified baked components that can be consumed. “It will have a 50kg payload that should feed 100 people for one day,” Gifford says. GPS will guide it to within eight metres of its target. Windhorse Aerospace will be testing its capabilities in the spring; by late 2017, it will be in production.

Will Gifford sell this drone, like Ascenta? “We have the vision; we want to take it through to development,” he says. But any partnership allowing the Pouncer to be rapidly deployed would be a priority. “The key is getting the Pouncer used for humanitarian aid,” he says. “If this existed now it would be saving lives in Syria.”

Daily Design Inspirations 34: When CX is Designed for the Nose! (#dailydesigninspirations)

s3-news-tmp-134998-tower_transit--2x1--940In early March this year, a news item struck me – the public bus operator in Singalore, Tower Transit, will pump the new scent into 100 of its buses, following a months-long partnership with the local marketing company AllSense. In an interview with the BBC, scent expert Terry Jacobson described the smell as having a “green note” that reflects the city’s biodiversity, mixed with a cool, refreshing aroma that soothes passengers in the city’s tropical climate. And while the smell is subtle, so passengers aren’t overwhelmed, Tower Transit hopes it’s strong enough to keep riders coming back—and more importantly, to lure people away from their cars.

While it is still early to see the results, those who have had a good whiff of the Transit Tower’s marketing ploy reported, for the most part, positive reactions. Most who spoke to the local news site The Straits Time and BBC welcomed the fact that it made the buses smell fresher and said it would make them want to take public transit.

That is the objective – reduce dependence own private vehicles and make the public transport option more appealing. Now, can those feelings translate to action? Time will tell. But it reminded me of how important it is to engage with customers at sensory levels, and how rarely it is practised.

And brings us to that question we are all trying to answer – in a hyper-crowded marketplace, how does a customer tell the difference between products and services? How do we create offerings that are not just efficient and beautiful, but also emotionally compelling? How do we engage with customers through other, innovative channels that are subtle, pleasant and non-intrusive? Beyond the typical mobile/computer UI approach?

The ideal customer experience should delight the customer by engaging all five senses, not just their mobile device. And smell is a key piece of that puzzle: Scents have been proven to eliminate stress, stimulate fond memories and inspire customers. The right scent has been shown to make people more comfortable at hotels, shorten the time they think they are waiting at banks, and improve sense of performance at a gym. Nike conducted research with the Smell & Taste Research Foundation that found a scented retail environment induced more favorable product perceptions in in shoppers – making them more likely to buy the shoes, and often willing to pay more for the product.

Using scents to not only enhance customer experiences but also to inspire certain behaviors is a growing trend in marketing. According to the latest research in the Journal of Marketing, “The Cool Scent of Power: Effects of Ambient Scent on Consumer Preferences and Choice Behavior” by Adriana V. Madzharov, Lauren G. Block, and Maureen Morrin (2015), by using warm scents in store, more attention could be attracted towards high-end products.

Aromatherapy-vs-Herbology

Recall North Carolina’s steak-smelling billboard, or the many odors of the Magic Kingdom, or city streets’ infamous Subway Smell, or magazines’ scented papers, which are themselves the olfactory offspring of the perfume-strip ads that have been around since the 80s. Traditionally, however – to the extent that scent-based advertising is traditional — smells have been used bluntly. Scent is notoriously indiscriminate: It reaches all those in its proximity, promiscuously.

Back in 2012, a U.K.-based baked potato company installed ads that waft the aroma of “slow oven-baked jacket potatoes” at bus stops whenever you press a button. More aggressively, Dunkin’ Donuts in South Korea installed dispensers in public buses. Every time their jingle came on, riders were treated to—or bombarded with—a blast of coffee aroma.

Engineers employed by the shop’s marketing agency created a machine that, air-freshener-like, “releases a coffee aroma.” And they designed the device in such a way that its scent-squirt would be triggered only by the sound of the Dunkin’ Donuts jingle – so that, “When a Dunkin’ Donuts ad plays on the radio, a coffee aroma is simultaneously released.”

What’s fascinating is that, after the commuters were subjected to the olfactory factor, they were much more likely to frequent, Dunkin’ Donuts says, a Dunkin’ Donuts store. Over the course of the campaign, more than 350,000 people “experienced” the ad, Cheil estimates – and sales at Dunkin’ establishments located near bus stops increased 29 percent. The sound-scent combination – the synaesthetic approach to advertising – seemed to be, in this case, effective.

So the use of scents makes … well, you know. The power of smell when it comes to human cognitive connection is well documented; it’s fitting and unsurprising that marketers would want to capitalize on that power when it comes to brand associations. The Dunkin’ advertisers orchestrated their experiment to optimize immediacy; the point was to create a scenario in which commuters would hear Dunkin’ Donuts, then smell Dunkin’ Donuts, then see Dunkin’ Donuts … and then, you know, taste Dunkin’ Donuts. After buying Dunkin’ Donuts.

HBR: Use Design Thinking to Build Commitment to a New Idea

A great read:

HBR: Use Design Thinking to Build Commitment to a New Idea

Roger L. Martin
JANUARY 03, 2017

 

The logic we use to understand the world as it is can hinder us when we seek to understand the world as it could be. Anyone who comes up with new ideas for a living will recognize the challenges this truism presents. It means that to get organizational support for something new, the designer needs to pay as close attention to how the new idea is created, shared, and brought to life as to the new idea itself.

The Normal Way of Generating Commitment…

Normally, we commit to an idea when we are rationally compelled by the logic of the idea and we feel emotionally comfortable with it. In the modern world, we focus disproportionately on the logic, assuming that the feelings will naturally follow. Analysis has become the primary tool in this regard. A logically plausible proposition, combined with supporting data, is presented to produce a cognitive “sense of proof.” Hence the modern equation is: logic plus data provides proof, which generates emotional comfort, which leads directly to commitment.

More here.

Daily Design Inspirations 33: Abraham Wald and the Missing Planes (#dailydesigninspirations)

During World War II, the UK and U.S. focused their air warfare plans on the use of strategic bombing, employing long- and short-range aircraft to lead the way and provide ground infantry with an upper hand. Much of the industrial war complexes of both these nations were focused on producing planes, and ensuring the safe return of an expensive, slow-to-produce bomber was a priority. After all, a plane that can make five or perhaps ten runs was worth much more than one which failed to return after a mission or two.

And many planes were being shot down by German fire, and the casualties were huge. In some years of World War II, the chances of a member of a bomber crew making it through a tour of duty were about the same as calling heads in a coin toss and winning. As a member of a World War II bomber crew, you flew for hours above an entire nation that was hoping to murder you while you were suspended in the air, huge, visible from far away, and vulnerable from every direction above and below as bullets and flak streamed out to puncture you. “Ghosts already,” that’s how historian Kevin Wilson described World War II airmen.

Where to Armour?

So here was the question. You don’t want your planes to get shot down by enemy fighters, so you armour them. But armour makes the plane heavier, and heavier planes are less manoeuvrable and use more fuel. Armouring the planes too much is a problem; armouring the planes too little is a problem. Somewhere in between there’s an optimum.

The Statistical Research Group (SRG) was a classified program that yoked “the assembled might of American statisticians to the war effort—something like the Manhattan Project, except the weapons being developed were equations, not explosives. The military came to the SRG with some data they thought might be useful. When American planes came back from engagements over Europe, they were covered in bullet holes. But the damage wasn’t uniformly distributed across the aircraft. There were more bullet holes in the fuselage, not so many in the engines.

bullitholes

The officers saw an opportunity for efficiency; you can get “the same protection with less armour if you concentrate the armour on the places with the greatest need, where the planes are getting hit the most. But exactly how much more armour belonged on those parts of the plane?

220px-abraham_wald_in_his_youthEnter Abraham Wald, who was working at SRG at that time. Born in Hungary in 1902, the son of a Jewish baker, Wald spent his childhood studying equations, eventually working his way up through academia to become a graduate student at the University of Vienna where the great mathematician Karl Menger mentored him. As he advanced the science of probability and statistics, Wald’s name became familiar to mathematicians in the United States where he eventually fled in 1938, reluctantly, as the Nazi threat grew. His family, all but a single brother, would later die in the extermination camp known as Auschwitz.

And Wald came up with an interesting idea to the question of how much armour, and where.

The armour, said Wald, doesn’t go where the bullet holes are. It goes where the bullet holes aren’t: on the engines.

Wald’s insight was simply to ask: where are the missing holes? The ones that would have been all over the engine casing, if the damage had been spread equally all over the plane? Wald was pretty sure he knew.

The Missing Planes

The missing bullet holes were on the missing planes. The reason planes were coming back with fewer hits to the engine is that planes that got hit in the engine weren’t coming back. Whereas the large number of planes returning to base with a thoroughly Swiss-cheesed fuselage is pretty strong evidence that hits to the fuselage can (and therefore should) be tolerated. If you go the recovery room at the hospital, you’ll see a lot more people with bullet holes in their legs than “than people with bullet holes in their chests. But that’s not because people don’t get shot in the chest; it’s because the people who get shot in the chest don’t recover.

Wald put together a crude before-and-after diagram. The “after” image — the plane on the right — showed where the majority of the damage was, as indicated by the shaded regions. Wald determined that most of the plane — the wings, nose, and fuselage — had taken the worst beating, while the cockpit and tail were generally unharmed.

 

plane_damage

Wald theorized that the fact that the planes lacked damage in the cockpit and tail was more telling. Certainly, the Axis’ targeting of Allies’ planes was both indiscriminate and imprecise; there was little reason to believe that the Axis forces were aiming for, say, the nose, and intentionally avoiding striking the tail. Some planes had to have taken significant damage to the tail and cockpit, and all of those planes had something in common: they, unlike the ones in Wald’s data set, did not return back to base.

On Wald’s advice, the U.S. military leadership reinforced the cockpits and tails on its planes. The number of planes (and lives) saved during the World War and Korean and viet Nam wars are difficult to estimate, but the impact of this idea was huge.

 

Daily Design Inspirations 32: 13 inspiring examples of design thinking from Japan (#dailydesigninspirations)

Great piece I read today.

As digital technology becomes more sophisticated and penetrates more parts of our lives, the importance of design thinking increases, too.

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to spend a week or so in Japan and there were several bits of everyday and unassuming design that struck me.

Read on. 

Daily Design Inspirations 32: Design thinking can help Swachh Bharat (#DailyDesignInspirations)

An excellent, timely piece in Livemint.com. Can we go beyond the hype and soundbytes and use Design Thinking to change the fortunes of the movement? Can Design Thinking be used to better reframe the problems, change mindsets, and come up with real solutions? 

Livemint: Design thinking can help Swachh Bharat

Amrita Chowdhury, 13th October 2016

As we look at the second anniversary of the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission, we cannot but acknowledge how far the conversation has progressed on the vision and yet how little the needle has shifted on the outcomes.

The difference is starker in our urban areas. Cities are the windows to the nation, where the most vocal residents reside and the most influential visitors arrive. Naturally, then, the Swachh Bharat Mission efforts in cities are critical in making opinions about the efficacy of the programme itself. Rural toilet construction statistics notwithstanding, what hits us most is visible urban waste and the crumbling waste management infrastructure.

But is it just that?

Read on.

 

Design Thinking in HR! The idea of “Employee Experience Enhancement”

“Employee Experience Enhancement”. The idea that we are driving forward through our DT4HR Initiative. Using Design Thinking to improve the employee’s journey, from before joining to after leaving. Built on the principle of Empathy and Action.

Here’s a great video, on those lines.

Design Thinking News: How Design Thinking Creates Connected Health Devices That Matter

Daily Design Inspirations 31: Joe Gebbia: “Design the Farm!” (#dailydesigninspirations)

Just yesterday, at the end of a Design Challenge, we were discussing the age-old battle between the designer and the product manager. And the oldest question that is asked of a start-up: which should come first.

Joe Gebbia, in this brilliant interview points out that one doesn’t need to think that way. But design the farm instead!

Excellent watch! Here on youtube.

Joe Gebbia
Joe Gebbia