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Embracing Disruptive Innovation

Feb 10, 2012   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Digital design  //  No Comments

My Director shared an interesting paper on public service innovation with me the other day.

Photo of a dollar bill folded into an upward pointing arrowIf you don’t already follow William Eggers on Twitter (@wdeggers), you should. He’s the Global Public Service Director at Deloitte and a leading thinker in the realm of Public Sector innovation. He’s co-authored a study called Public Sector, disrupted: How disruptive innovation can help governments achieve more for less on how governments around the world can respond to the current climate of fiscal constraint not simply by cutting, but by innovating.

Doing more with less is a near and mid term goal for all levels of government. A tall order in the face of rising costs and shrinking budgets. This requires a dramatic re-imagining of how we go about providing programs and services to the public.

“To get more for less requires doing things differently. From security to education, from health care to defense, we need innovations that break traditional trade-offs, particularly between price and performance,” “Disruptive innovation offers a proven path to accomplish this goal, and transform public services in the process.” – William Eggers

The report suggests a framework for introducing disruptive innovation in the public sector. It has three principal components: focus (identifying what needs to be accomplished in the short and long term), shape (deciding how and where to start the disruption), and grow (protecting and nurturing the growth of disruptive technologies through the use of government tools and channels). It goes on to cite concrete examples of innovations that have been game changers.

One of the keys to making disruptive innovation work is finding the ‘good enough alternatives’ for users. In Learning & Development, where I work, the current standard is expensive and time consuming classroom learning. The report cites the as an innovative alternative that holds the potential to achieve equivalent of better results for learners.

Read the report here:

Detail Clarifies – Designing Information the Edward Tufte Way

Dec 22, 2010   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Digital design, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to New York City to attend a course on data and information presentation techniques taught by Edward Tufte, Professor Emeritus at Yale University. Tufte is one of the foremost thinkers on the subject of analytical design and data visualization. He addressed a packed house at the Manhattan Centre on his approach to creating credible, engaging and persuasive presentations.

This post is a brief writeup of my notes from the course.  If you’re interested in further info I would highly recommend that you pick up ET’s latest book Beautiful  Evidence or any of the other titles that are available on his website. Read more >>

MT2 Multitouch Table at the Ontario Science Centre

Aug 19, 2009   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Interactive  //  No Comments

For the past month I’ve been working on a project to demo and evaluate a multitouch computing platform at the Ontario Science Centre. The MT2 Table was designed by IDEUM a specialty exhibitry and media company located in Corrales, New Mexico.

In addition to being personally pumped about getting to work with this new emergent interface technology, I’m also very optimistic about its potential for creating fun and engaging exhibits. It’s still early days, but we’re working to rigorously evaluate how our visitors respond to the content that we’re offering. Read more >>

Sunset Rubdown

May 18, 2009   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Randoms, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

A recent collection of sunset pics from May 2009.

The Windmills of Bruce County

Apr 13, 2009   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Randoms, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

I spent the better part of the Easter long weekend visiting on the the shores of Lake Huron in a small town called Kincardine. The chief industry of the area is nuclear power generation. Recently, there has been move to introduce wind generation into the power supply. In the farm land outside the town, dozens, if not hundreds, of windmills dwarf the surrounding landscape. These massive, engineered forms are of a completely otherworldly scale in comparison to the rest of the landscape.

Here are the pictures from the visit.

Why do I get excited about such random stuff?

Mar 1, 2009   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Randoms, Uncategorized  //  No Comments


Yes, it’s a 2D version of a 3D classic from the Moore Push-Pin Co. of Wyndmoor, PA. The push pin re-imagined as a single piece of corrugated steel. I don’t know why this has me excited enough to post about it. I think it must have to do with one of the basic needs of a productive design exercise: change should be predicated on appreciating utility, not simply change for the sake of it. In the case of the push pin, the design was changed to use less and fewer materials. The result is a simpler, more succinct solution to a very simple problem.

Toronto Cultural Attractions Web Summit 2009

Mar 1, 2009   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Digital design  //  2 Comments

v0.3, hosted by the AGO web team.

Every four months or so, the web teams from the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Ontario Science Centre, get together to talk web. This post is a summary of the third such meeting, which took place in the AGO’s beautiful new building. Seriously, if you haven’t visited yet, do yourself a favour and go. It’s a highly pleasurable experience.

The meeting marked the introduction of new format for the summit: the un-conference. So far, each organization has had their own unique take on hosting. But with the un-conference I think we’ve found a format that offers the highest value for the time spent. Read more >>

New, custom 404 page

Feb 16, 2009   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Digital design, Randoms, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

One of those oft forgotten details that falls through the cracks when redesigning a site, the custom 404 page is an art form unto itself. Check out some of those who have tread this path before.

The trick to comedy is timing.

Feb 10, 2009   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Randoms  //  No Comments


More Fish pics

Feb 9, 2009   //   by Jess   //   Blog, Randoms  //  No Comments


Here’s a link to the flickr set