Learnings from a Meerkat interview

Last week I did an AMA at the Slack-based UX community Designerhangout as the UX research at Lookback.io with Meerkat. Meerkat, similarly to Periscope allows you to live streaming app that allows you to take questions and re-posts your interview to Youtube later which, very neat and practical. Here is a short description of the experience and the findings.

The founder of Designerhangout Jacob Rogelberg and I scheduled the AMA (Ask me anything) a week in advance so I had time to do a test recording with Meerkat before going live on @designerhangout  with their entire community and not bugging them with tech details etc. I would do this again just out of curtesy, you don’t want people waiting while you get yourself together.

I also emptied my phone for excess materials. For example i synced all my photos externally and then deleted them so I had more than 200 MB to play with, that makes it a nice experience. Mainly I do this at any point in time when you are using video on your camera over 10 minutes of recorded material. My interview was 33 minutes. That takes some overhead, clean out some space on your device.

I signed in to Meerkat with our Lookback Twitter account as I have hade major difficulties with twitter password support after adding SMS verification, that has gone awry and won’t let me back in. Twitter customer service has a lot left to wish for but thats another story.

By tagging the video #katch Meerkat allows it to catch the video on Youtube later, so its documented. I named it appropriately so if people RT it it makes sense if its of for them on not “AMA with @lookbacks UX research @heidiharman”. This way when the tweets from your Twitter and Meerkat happens, it’s clear what the clip is about.

Once you are on Meerkat, people will show up in little round circles on your Meerkat screen, thats filming you if you flip to selfie mode (frontal camera). You will also get questions thru the Meerkat app. I got most of my questions thru our UX forum (designers hangout). My thoughts this, it being a new experience for both the founder and me, was that we could have prepped up with some questions in advance. And the forum could have directed the question to be done via Meerkat, this way I as the interviewee would not have to go between 2 screens.

Things I did in the beginning were:
1. Introduce myself, name, role, company and why I’m here – for the AMA.
2. I spoke briefly about what Lookback does.
3. I started answering questions.

It seemed as if more questions started popping towards the end of the 33 minute conversation in 2 different chat-rooms, Twitter and Meerkat. If advise to keep it one Channel.

I might even set up a tripod, so I don’t have to do handhold the recording at the same time I’m looking for questions on my desktop screen, ultimately i would only be working on the Meerkat screen.

All in all, it was a neat experience with people asking great questions and it was a lot of fun teasing out new stuff. Id definitely do it again and recommend it as a great tool for this type of interviews and makes it simpler to gather the material and publish it. Best of luck with your recording, AMA, Q&A or whatever creative use you find for it. Hope this helps your future Meerkat or Periscope interview in the future.

The actual stream:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf4j7l-UWHs&feature=youtu.be

Space Apps Challenge 2015- Stockholm by NASA

The sky is not the limit! Come and explore Space to improve life on Earth at Spaceport Swedens´s Innovation competition Space Apps Challenge 2015- Stockholm by NASA on April 11-12th at SUP46, Start-Up People of Sweden who welcomes designers, programmers, artists, scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs from all ages and backgrounds.
The challenges this year is divided into the four themes Outer Space, Earth, Humans or Robotics. Read them all here: https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org/challenge/

The final program and more information about our partners will be posted at the website: https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org/location/stockholm/
We have a limited number of spots this year so be sure to apply fast to become our first testpilots !

YOU NEED TO REGISTER HERE: https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org/register

Hybrid Conf – a once in a Stockholm event

Every now and then wonderful spaces are created, #hybridconf in Stockholm was one of them. The last event was in Cardiff (UK) hosting this 2-day batch of blissful international code/entrepreneurial startup/leadership/philosophy/organisation talks.

With speakers like Scott Hanselman @shanselman, Natasha Irizarry @NatashaIrizarry on UI/UX+life,  SASS designer Hampton Catlin, Tobias Ahlin from GitHub to NASA’s Tom Söderström speaking on robotics it was two amazing days of JavaScript, Sass, lego robots, hacking stuff together(Andrew Nesbitt) and other shenanigans. Oh, did we mention bowling might be the new (ping-pong) friendly sport of startups?

Related:
UI/UX Podcast by @axbom and @beantin covered several speakers:

Image above by me, of Tom Söderström, NASA. Image below by me, Andrew Nesbitt’s talk. Thnx @zachinglis @teawithlemon for putting this together, who are also working on this wonderful new project for youth employment, “Everyone Welcome – the Book”.

Footnote on Sass:

Sass (Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets) is a stylesheet language initially designed by Hampton Catlin and developed by Natalie Weizenbaum. After its initial versions, Weizenbaum and Chris Eppstein have continued to extend Sass with SassScript, a simple scripting language used in Sass files. Sass is a scripting language that is interpreted into Cas…
Information from Wikipedia/DBpedia, article

Future Perfect – on involment in growth regions

Open Dialogues future perfect
I spent a delightful second weekend of August speaking at Future Perfect, a festival for cross-disciplinary dialogue on sustainable future(s) located at the island of Grinda in the Stockholm archipelago. At the roundtable discussion I was invited to in the pre-dialogue, I was in with Therese Engstöm  (Sime Non-Profit) Shawn Westcott (Impact Invest), Bill Peduto (Mayor of Pittsburgh), and John Manoochehri (Future Perfect’s founder) on how to build a sustainable growth region and thinking on what can be done for Pittsburgh to attract and maintain talent.

My suggestions were as follows in an extended version:

• Coding is the new literacy (enabling).
Adapt code as a language in school from class 1. Everyone should have the chance to learn  the very basic functions of a practical (coding) language, a knowledge need for whatever you pursue later in life. Everything will have elements being built and created by code, just look and think of the internet of things, and of the things you use daily; they all contain tech. Everyone should be given the privilege to have the choice to pursue coding as a language.

Even though there are brilliant initiatives such as Kiddshackday.com it’s still a private initiative that (only) benefits the children with enthusiastic parents. On the national level of every country the government should step in and make sure that every kid has the possibility to learn,  as we don’t know where the next Einstein will come from – a privileged area or not. Conclusion: coding is the new literacy for the decades to come.

The US GeekGirlMeetup is looking froward to do a joint venture GeekGirlMeetup event in Pittsburgh later this year or in the following spring.

• Involving everyone – (diversity involvement on grassroots levels)
To maintain a nation’s innovation strength that leads to growth, we need to have a diverse uptake of ideas. Having women’s ideas being a contributor to the industry is of crucial importance. Increasing the numbers of women working within tech, development and entrepreneurial roles (the STEM area) is first and foremost accomplished by elevating role-models that already exist. There is of course no easy fix, or a single answer on how to go about it, but rather a collaborative effort over boundaries of education leadership, governmental efforts, and non-profit and private actors.

I was once told that a culture takes 30 years to change. It seems clear to me that if we are dependent on this change to happen, and we really want results, we need to commit and take the challenge into a long term perspective.

Why coding is so important that it should be seen as a school subject like a language, is for inclusion of everyone, like stated in the paragraph above, involving kids from all areas of a city, and including women - especially women. 

• The UI of Growth – citizen (user) involvement
As a UI/UX-designer my job is to think about people’s behavior and  about how to make people feel smart. When people ask me what that means I try to describe to people that when they are using their  ____ (insert internet service of choice) and they get angry or confused because they don’t understand what to do, then I have failed in my profession. When a service works seamlessly and makes you feel like it’s a piece of cake, then I’ve done a good job as an interaction designer or user experience designer.

If we are to apply the same thinking to our surroundings: in a society the users are called citizens, and social-innovation is the impact that we’re looking for instead of a fancy new site or app. If the user or citizen is to be empowered, the result is benefits that all citizens can use.

When technology provides an arena (previously less accessible due to cost or availability) to act and create possibilities where feedback loops between government and citizens exist this opens up for an amazing dialogue.

That’s how politicians/governments have the possibility to think too: “How can we make this easier for people to live amazing lives, build growth businesses, and create sustainable and growth regions, and live happy and healthy lives”.

Due to having lived in many countries where systems function differently and with different perks and quirks, I have learned to see that there are no perfect systems. However, there exist smooth ways to including citizens in social innovation, for example Sweden has Vinnova (Sweden’s innovation Agency) similar to the UK’s NESTA who are both governmental organs supporting the nations to include and make it possible for entrepreneurs and organizations to innovate. Spending time in the US, this works a bit differently as the private sector often pushes money into the innovation sector. But we need to remember that the base of Silicon Valley was not built on only private investors’ investment. Silicon Valley was supported by the government in the early 1950s as the US was racing Russia to the moon with great enthusiasm for the future. I’m not quite sure where that went; do we need an enemy to keep up our enthusiasm?  (If you haven’t read Peter Thiel’s excellent book “From Zero to One” that is out in September, pre-order a copy here. Thank you Dinelle for the gift!).

“What we know Silicon Valley to be today, a land of startups didn’t just magically appear out of no where, the region has had so much money pushed in to it, beyond belief.”
– Paula Graham, Flossie. (This quote was picked up at a talk we both did at G.Hack Thursdays Club at Goldsmith University, London)

Setting up an innovation and co-creation process starts with including a wide variety of people representing society and anyone who wants to participate in the value chain. When many have a possibility to participate, we create a society where citizens take responsibility as they know that they can impact their everyday life and surroundings. 

PhD Eric von Hippel describes this well in his book “Democratizing Innovation” even if from a more commercial perspective. It all starts by understanding the user and that starts with  a communication unafraid of being wrong and with out accusation towards any of the parties. It starts with an open dialogue, where both parties are trying to understand the expert user and their aim for making thing better and discovering how to do this together.

What I take with me from the event where Future Perfect set the frame for creating an arena (both in smaller pro-dialogues and open dialogues) for dialogue on future sustainability very well during is that it doesn’t start from one actor in only the environment or the government. It takes strong  leaders unafraid to collaborate who are unafraid of potentially being wrong, looking beyond failures and quick wins for new answers and possibilities who are yet unknown to us. It should be possible, after all, we have sent people to the moon.

(Please note, I’m trilingual if not more, however, Im not a native english speaker. Excuse any blurs.)

Related:

•  Peter Thiel’s excellent book “From Zero to One” that is out in September, pre-order a copy here)
• Eric von Hippel’s book “Democratising Innovation”. A free PDF of it from MIT.

Hello autumn in Stockholm 2014

Stockholm provides a selection of newsworthy tech-fests and crossover festivals/conferences this autumn in Stockholm. The list might be updated.

Future Perfect, 14-17 Augusti 2014 at Grinda, Stockholm Archipelago
Sustainability conference that also incorporates the tech perspective of the future for new creative regions etc. Discount tickets via @heidiharman

Hybrid Conf 21-22nd of August 2014, Rigoletto, Stockholm
Say hello to design and code in a merry combo for two days of bliss. A few tickets left.

Stockholm Tech Fest 4-5 Sept 2014, Waterfront Congress,  Stockholm
Startup and tech conference with some of Sweden’s and international leading names. Come meet the people and companies behind what many are calling ‘The World’s Next Hot Tech City’. 2 stages, 100+ startups, 30+ speakers, in 1 amazing place. Free tickets available via GeekGirlMeetups FB page.

Nordic.JS 18-19th of September 2014, Artipellag, Stockholm Archipelago.
Nordic.js is a two-day conference all about Javascript aiming to inspire and to get inspired, to meet and learn from others and to to bring our community closer together. The conference will take place on an island in the middle of the beautiful archipelago of Stockholm. Tickets have sold out, volunteer tickets might still be available.

 

 

GeekGirlMeetup Stockholm #makeIT

As a founder that has worked with the internationalization of GeekGirlMeetup, one thing that strikes me is strong belief that we need a diverse uptake of ideas (womens ideas) to create the next Skype and Spotify. One way to get more women into the STEM/ ICT area is to elevate the fantastic women that are already out there. If you have ideas of how to help us with our mission please don’t hesitate to contact us to grow the network or to bring new ideas to the organisation and out to the society. And what better way, but to celebrate the wonders of technology by playing with it!

GeekGirlMeetup is themed “Make IT” this year at the Science museum in Stockholm Sweden on May 24-25th.

Sign up now for tickets and speaking and lets co-create an amazing weekend.

This year we will as the theme suggest be geeking-out in maker-culture. Expect 3-printing, hardware, trans-humanism, knitting workshops and manga-creation.
With speakers, maker and creators like Stockholm maker-space, Carin Ism, Robot-Robyn, Johanna Koljonen, Nina von Rüdinger we expect total geekdom-ness at the three threads of ‪#‎creativetechnology ‬‪#‎socialbusiness‬ and ‪#‎justepic‬. After-party at Spotify!

Like what you see? Our previous themes have been:

2008 The architecture of winning
2009 GAME ON
2010 Code is Queen
2011 We love API’s
2012 Beautiful Data
2013 Enter.Space
2014 Make it

GeekGirlMeetup is a un-conference for women in web, code and startups aiming to elevate female role-models, create new networks and active knowledge exchange.

Some articles:
• The Guardian – Four groups bringing women in tech together
 VentureVillage – Diverse groups make better products

Hackaway at undisclosed location

Hackaway

Hackaway is a weekend hackathon for creatives, designers and coders, ready to take on the challenge of building and launching new web services or apps.

As the name suggests the event is held at a undisclosed location on 11-13th of April 2014 and will take place . Given the people behind it we can only expect that it will take us somewhere fun, unexpected and brilliant. The hackathon is arranged by Martina Elm, Jonny Stromberg and grandfather of Swedish hackathons Ted Valentin.

#WIM2014 Outpasing the sceptics

“Outpase the skeptics” – Cristina Stenbeck

On saturday (International Women’s day) Women in Tech day was held by MTGx, Spotify and Google at the Hilton in Stockholm. It was a fun afternoon with awesome speakers from Sweden’s Startup ecosystem such as Mai Lee Hammargren (Mutewatch), Rochelle King (Global VP of Design at Spotify) with her brilliant speech on how to lead new design principles and Michelle Guthrie (Google).

Amongst other Swedes the scene was also occupied by Stina Ehrensvärd (CEO at Yubico) and Karin Nilsdotter (CEO at Spaceport Sweden) who we had at GeekGirlMeetup last year for our enter.space theme – she is always a pleasure to watch.

The key takeaway that I took with me was Cristina Stenbeck’s (Kinnevik) quote on people doubting you for whatever reason. Few of us will inherit an empire, never less all of us regardless of financial background can understand the emotion of doubt being directed at us. “We have to outpace the sceptics” – and with that I get on with my business!

Hi-Tempo hackathon lookback


The Hi-Tempo Hackathon with Protothon and Tempo documentary filmfestival took place in Stockholm (Sweden) this week. Given that I have participated at a dosen hackathon’s and arranged half a dosen hackathon’s myself, it was a pleasure to attend. New to me was the approach with film and the transmedial expression, as Protothon previously worked with several different players for different perspectives. I doubt that any of the 20-something participants knew or could predict what was to come out of this we just had to trust the process. Exciting!

We were either hackathon beginners, experienced or just technically curious of what can come out of this. By trade we were developer, design-thinkers, students from Hyperisland and Bergs School of Communication and many more.

The groups introduced themselves to principles of a transmedia approach, soon my group was working with a solid design-driven process developing a concept after trying a few different concepts. We set up goals and elaborated in the universe that Angela presented us with at the same time as we held our autonomous freedom to do what we wanted. It was fantastic to have access to Angela regarding questions and ideas on background and understanding what visuals and thoughts we could work with.

Angela Bravo’s film is her story about being the child of political refugees from a Pinochet tortured Chile. Angela grew up in Sweden hearing of her heritage, her memories are with animated style of the 80’s like heroes, superman, StarWars portraying activist and perpetrators.  A scenario as a child growing up, that has never been to Chile, Chile very easily became a Imaginary Country, what was real and what was a childhood memory and interpretation? In her documentary she follows the activists as well as Pinochets closest bystanders. We quickly identified that it is not a light subject. We wanted to create something that reaches people’s abstract mind by breaking it down to a humans character and characteristics. What makes you a hero, and makes you a perpetrator? Could this situation that happened in Chile happen again if we are comfortably numb here in Sweden and forget to learn from history?

Our group focused on making a mobile first solution for rapid spreading on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter etc. The solution identified the topic of StarWars being a nice hero/villain style to work with and decided to do a questionnaire and meme-like piece on “what real StarWars character are you?”. By answering a few questions on what life choices you make you were lead down to become Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Chewbacka or a Stormtrooper?

At the end of the personality test you became one of them, however, this was also a play on human traits, and what makes you who you are, so if you tested to be a hero like Luke Skywalker you also carried the same traits and characteristics as Silvia, an activist. The test lead to 4 short interviews with characters from Imaginary Country, activating the landscape of character building or/and deconstructing as a perspective of the movie. The solution was built entirely in Java Script, and the team consisted of 5-6 people. bit.ly/imaginarycountry Please note, this is a mobile only piece. feel free to test being both super evil and very good. You will notice that it’s not always what you think nor expect.

The pieces opened the Tempo Film Festival 2014 and have been standing this week at Debaser Strand, hornstull.

This week was also closed down by two heavyweights in the sector Annika Warn and Simon Alexandersson.

I moderated a panel of Ph.D Annika Warn, Upsala University at the Tempofilmfestival Workshops speaking on pervasive gaming showcasing some best cases in history of transmedia projects.

Simon Alexanderson Ph.D student at KTH, showed us some of the works he was making with stopmotiongraphics, 3d works and animation aiming to be able to create animated characters quicker. This methods is highly applicable, especially in Angela Bravos case where the imaginary country is illustrated by rotoscoping as well as animations though out the film. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the future of this documentary film as well as to see how the future of media, games and film blend into what future we will in a decade take for a given contemporary future.

**

Transmedia storytelling (also known as transmedia narrative or multiplatform storytelling, cross-media seriality etc.) is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies.Henry Jenkins, an author of the seminal book Convergence Culture warns that this is an emergin…
Information from Wikipedia/DBpedia, article

Blog 100 – hello illustration

blogg100-logotype-300x256Blogg 100 is Swedish initiative thats held for the 3rd year by my friend Fredrik Wass, a former journalist and now advisor at a communication agency. Blogg 100 aims to get people to blog for 100 consecutive days.

I have chosen to make a separate blog, where i make one illustration of any sort just for fun as 1. i like drawing and i miss its presence in my everyday life, 2. it is a n awesome thing to do, i really like the initiative.