Posts Tagged ‘osakabentures’

Simple Design is the same as Good Comedy

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by Fransgaard 2 Comments

I was chatting earlier with a friend of mine “OsakaSaul” Fleischman, who is working on RiteTag, a social marketing app that allows you to find associated tags to a tag you enter.

Saul mentioned that they were trying to make the user journey as short as possible and he said that it was “just logical to do“.

But it isn’t to all people.

The example I tend use is “Hailo”, an app that connects customers with black cabs with two clicks: First click to open the app and second click to “Pick me up”. But the UX work and the technology work to make this happen has been extensive.

Often when something works simple and smoothless, people thinks it is easy to do and no real effort has put into it… after all it’s just a push of a button.

And it struck me that this is very simple to another industry: Comedy. The best comedy looks effortless and playful, almost unprepared, to the untrained eye.

And it struck me that this is very simple to another industry: Comedy. The best comedy looks effortless and playful, almost unprepared, to the untrained eye.

It is no coincidence I have chosen to start the article with a picture of Jerry Seinfeld. His comedy shows, live or on TV, are all incredibly sharp. It seems like every single sentence has been worked through and stripped for any excess words, right down to the punchline.

His work is simplicity in comedy.

There is no point to this article other than next time somebody downplays the work you have done creating a desirable user experience using simplicity just remember Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais, maybe even Charlie Chaplin from the grave, and other great comedians across the globe may well be sharing your pain.

I’ll end this post with one of my all time favourite comedy sketches “Death Star Canteen” by Eddie Izzard:

The new cultural differences Facebook is creating

Posted on: October 3rd, 2011 by Fransgaard No Comments

I came into the digital industry hoping the Internet would bring the world closer together and make us all more tolerant to each other. In many ways it did; in many ways in did not. But did any of us expect the Internet, and in particular social media, to create new cultural differences?

Here is an example I got caught up in recently. I have decided not to anonymise the participants as nobody did anything wrong as such looking at the situation from their angle.  It is simply a case of a new cultural difference created by social networks, in this case Facebook.

Recently I got auto-added to a Facebook group called 11. Finger. At first I thought it was some kind of spam-bot/virus as it seem to gain a lot of followers really fast. I contacted the person who auto-added me and it turned out it wasn’t spam, she had indeed added me to the group.

In fact it turned out it was Phucisme, the Danish art duo she is part of, that was behind the group.

My first reaction was to give them a good bollocking about best behaviour and practice in social media, and I wasn’t the only one. Other auto-add victims, such as Saul from had already complained about this unacceptable behaviour.

… but something stopped me

They had only auto-invited their own Facebook contacts but still managed to get 2,000 people signing up in a blink of an eye, almost exclusive Danes. Putting this in perspective in terms of population, had the group been an American group it would have been 120,000 (60 times larger). Quite a success for a new unknown niche arts group.

Some how auto-adding users had not angered their friends living in Denmark and their friends were now auto-adding their friends without angering them either. Why was that? All things equal everybody should have been angry/confused with this behaviour. My guess it is a combination of things:

Technology acceptance. Facebook is a key part of the fabric of Digital Denmark.

Danish culture. Danes are not like the rest of the world.

  • Danes are generally not polite. They have lost the concept of respect as a nation, which is fine when they talk amongst themselves, but becomes a problem when interacting internationally.
  • Denmark tend to think of themselves as a protected society largely immune from the horrors of the rest of the world.
  • Danish people are careful people and are not entrepreneurs by heart, which means when somebody eventually does something, everybody pays attention.
  • … and finally the underground art-movement nature of the Phucisme duo and their close connection to their friends made such an auto-invite trusted.

These facts tell us why what the Phucisme duo did suited their Danish user-base well: Facebook is blindly trusted as part of the digital enviroment in Denmark.

It also explains why they didn’t consider what was acceptable behaviour internationally: People in Denmark thinks they are always right and everybody else wrong… and in Denmark, they are right.

And it shows how the Internet is creating new cultural norms and differences, which may require a new breed of digital professisonals: Digital ambassadors/translators