Filtered for being together and getting on

19.43, Friday 12 May 2023


Hey what’s it like to be together in different spaces?

If you live in the US or the UK, and you step into an elevator or into a waiting room, you say nothing … and wait for all the discomfort to just go away.

Hey what’s it like to be together in new spaces?

It’s a process: we will also find ourselves having new etiquette for these new technologically created situations.

Like: robot cars.

This is an amazing insight from Jim Kosem.

For instance, let’s take this scenario that gets thrown around about the autonomous, ride-sharing car that people are getting into and out of all the time. Does it work like an elevator or a bus? The real issue with driverless and shared cars is not going to be whether or not they’re safe, but how awkward the conversation will be when you get into one. What if the other person farts?

And it is totally fascinating to think what it will be about the design of robot cars, or how they are talked about, that signals to us what kind of thing they are.


The Telephone and How We Use It (1951) by Bell Telephone System.

Such as:

You do not have to shout. Speak as though the other person were in the same room.

What a medium is has to be agreed and then propagandised!


Russell Davies in 2008 on advertising and pre-experience design.

George Eastman reinvented photography with Kodak by massively simplifying the photographic process (as far as the customer was concerned). …

But I think it’s also worth looking at the way Eastman used advertising as ‘pre-experience design’.

The slogan Eastman adopted was ‘You Push The Button, We Do The Rest”.

And in particular Russell talks about the early, early iPhone ads, which focused on how to point and pinch etc.

Here are the first 9 ads for the original iPhone (YouTube).

But (his key point) iPhones weren’t necessarily quick, and the music of the ads - consistently used - took the expected tempo down:

Other phone manufacturers will tell you that doing the stuff you need on their phone is objectively, measurably just as quick as on an iPhone, but that people report the iPhone is quicker. I suspect quite a lot of that is because the music on the ads makes the pace the iPhone moves at just feel right. The ads are a component in the experience, they provide an implicit soundtrack to your experience.

Pre-experience design!


People with extreme opposing positions will come to agreement – EXCEPT if they are observed by an audience.

Research as related by Tom Stafford:

Ashley Binnquist and colleagues recruited participants with differing views on polarising views to have zoom conversations (which they termed “cross ideological conversations”). The good news: most people found the interactions more positive than the anticipated, and the tone of the discussions was rated more friendly and less characterised by conflict the longer it went on. The bad news: having the conversations in the presence of a silent audience degraded the emotional tone, limiting the shift towards a more friendly tone as the discussion progressed.

Could’ve guessed this from the state of the discourse on Twitter tbh but good to see it in black and white.


Binnquist, A. L., Dolbier, S. Y., Dieffenbach, M. C., & Lieberman, M. D. (2022). The Zoom solution: Promoting effective cross-ideological communication online. PloS one, 17(7), e0270355.


Long read on how to design games in order to catalyse friendships.

To build friendships, your game should facilitate four key factors. When these are present, friendships tend to form.

So good.

Proximity: Put players in serendipitous situations where they regularly encounter other players. Allow them to recognize one another across multiple play sessions.

Similarity: Create shared identities, values, contexts, and goals that ease alignment and connection.

Reciprocity: Enable exchanges (not necessarily material) that are bi-directional with benefits to both parties. With repetition, this builds relationships.

Disclosure: Further grow trust in the relationship through disclosing vulnerability, testing boundaries, etc.

Thank you v buckenham for this.

Ok games.

But wouldn’t it be fascinating if Zoom were built with these principles in mind. Or my iPhone.

Or an elevator.

Or a robot car.

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