Open Tabs: Halloween Edition

Jesus Gorriti

Happy Halloween! In the spirit of the holiday, this edition of Open Tabs will cover news from this week, including the death of… lots of things.

The end of online dating
Pew have released a chewy report on online dating. It looks so mainstream now that when I tell the story on how I know the two people whose marriage was reported in NatGeo as the first marriage of people who had met online, it is is not so interesting anymore. But, arguably, the traditional online dating companies might be competing with social networks, as they become the 21st century bars: there is a measurable increase on the amount of internet users who have flirted (or flirt) through Twitter and Facebook. But don’t listen to me, there’s an article from Slate on that.

And the end of Facebook is nigh too!
Yes, death is everywhere. Anyway, Twitter is taking over Facebook for importance by future-users: teens.

Wikipedia’s dying too?
I’m a huge fan of Wikipedia. But, recent data shows that the volunteer workforce behind helping to maintain Wikipedia has shrunk by more than 1/3 since 2007.

ObamaCare
I think it is a bit unfair to personalize the failure of the launch of HealthCare.gov in the persona of a person, particularly the President. However, the fact is that Healthcare.gov is arguably one of the most important websites for millions of American citizens today, and on the launch date the website was not truly availably for most Americans. As service designers, we always talk about this critical point: you have to make sure the service works in the moment of biggest emotional investment. And healthcare and the wellbeing of your family is perhaps one of the most emotional areas to tackle.

Many of the issues have been blamed on poor design and user experience, with little testing of the website. The other side of it is a more systemic issue of a healthcare industry that is so fragmented that integration was a massive hurdle. There’s still a ways to go beyond ObamaCare to assure the wellbeing of the country, but this first step already has shown some of the major challenges, and costs, facing the government and the healthcare industry.

A good overview of HealthCare.gov’s challenges by The Guardian
The website itself: www.healthcare.gov 
A detailed PR follow up from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Was iOS 7 created in Microsoft Word?
Judge for yourself in this YouTube video.

The importance of Kinetics
I think video games are a great example of interesting new interaction models. This article from RockPaperShotgun has a good example of the care that video game designers put into communicating motion, programatically.

The accountability of algorithms
An ad agency created a campaign for the UN around women’s rights and equality, using a tricky combination of photos and autocomplete queries from Google. The results generated a fair amount of buzz around Google’s accountability for perpetuating certain stereotypes, while they defer to the impartiality of algorithms and how they don’t want to get on the way of what people really want to search for.

Pumpkin carving around the world
Fjord gets in the spirit of Halloween, with offices around the globe carving pumpkins! Check out our spooky Facebook album.

Jesus Gorriti

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