Gijs Bakker

This is a portfolio/blog of Gijs Bakker, UX (interaction and UI) designer from Amsterdam.
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Adapting to new media and devices

It is interesting to see how new media and new devices (or a combination of both) have the ability to change the way we (inter)act, think and behave.

I once attended a few workshops about of the impact of (new) media, which made me more receptive to this subject.
For example how tweets force us to limit our ‘message’ to a certain amount of characters, making the messenger focus on the core of what he really wants to say (much like text messages) Or the way satellite navigation software (and apps) have largely removed the necessity of planning the best way to get to our destination but instead just get in the car and drive.

The character limit for a tweet forces us to get down to the ‘core’ - or at least, whatever the writer believes is the core

The character limit for a tweet forces us to get down to the ‘core’ – or at least, whatever the writer believes is the core

Creative use of Facebook thumbnail grid
There are also more creative uses. An example on Facebook:
The Facebook photo page shows a grid style of the users photo. I once saw a photographer (also the little brother of a friend of mine) who had the idea of uploading cropped pieces of a large picture of himself. He uploaded more than a dozen small parts of the large photo, I assume that the oldest photo is the bottom-right photo and the newest photo is the top-left photo. The result was one large picture, made up of the individual cropped pieces; a creative way to take advantage of Facebook’s existing photo grid.

Recurring ‘dislike’ gag
Another example can be seen on Youtube. It is a running gag that is now generally used by commenters. A video can be given ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’, nothing common here. If a commenter is positive about the video (and would ‘like’ it) he could post a remark about the ‘dislikers’, including the number of ‘dislikes’. A good existing example to make this clear: A video has 4,665 likes and 46 dislikes (see image below) A commenter posted: ‘We need a time machine and 46 condoms’. The implied meaning is obvious. The number of dislikes could increase of course, rendering the commenter’s reference to ’46′ less valid, but nevertheless the statement remains.

A commenter makes a snappy remark about the dislikers, incorporating the amount of dislikes. Naturally, the dislike counter is dynamic and currently displays 48 instead of 46

A commenter makes a snappy remark about the dislikers, incorporating the amount of dislikes. Naturally, the dislike counter is dynamic and currently displays 48 instead of 46

Hashtags to convey mood and opinion
Of course there are numerous well known and lesser known examples. A well known example is probably the creative use of hashtags in tweets. Hashtags enable the tweetcontent to be searchable by others, but are also perfectly able to convey the overall tone of the message. Although it is often a cynical or sarcastic remark at the end of a tweet, I think it can be considered as a custom written emoticon.

And so forth..
Another hardware or device oriented example I’ve seen is using a front-camera equipped phone that functions as a mirror.
The use of a smartphone’s bright screen or camera flasher (if available) as a flashlight is yet another example of using certain features for alternative purposes.

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