A guide to raise entrepreneurial kids (Part 1)

To be at the top of the game, an entrepreneur requires creativity, empathy, communication skills, problem-solving ability, practical maths, and a knack for spotting something at the right moment and having the confidence to act. These key traits of entrepreneurs like presenting an idea, handle objections, or guide someone through tough decisions have their origin in the early stages of development and can be found at home or school in everyday activities. Let’s take a quick look:

1.Developing basic skills

To be at the top of the game, an entrepreneur requires creativity, empathy, communication skills, problem-solving ability, practical maths, and a knack for spotting opportunities at the right moment, and the confidence to act. These key traits of entrepreneurs have their origin in the early stages of a kid’s life and can be found at home or school in everyday activities. Although these kinds of skills -presenting ideas, handle objections, or guide someone through tough decisions- are often associated with entrepreneurs, are in fact the basic set of skills for kids that grow up ready to take on the world, ultimately steering them towards the right opportunity. Kids that develop the passion, the attitude, the skills to spot opportunities, resilience, faith, not afraid of critics and failures, are prepared to handle whatever life throws their way.

Starting at home: There are so many activities and fun things for kids to Inspire and nurture these skills. From negotiating what’s for dinner, or making decisions about planning the week, putting someone in charge of a task or a special event at home, like planning a Bday party.

Home is the first place where kids get to learn how to be in the future.

2.Home-made skills

Raising kids with an awareness of entrepreneurship and its core skills can change their life for the better. Kids don’t need to actually be running a business, employing people, or pitching ideas to investors to gain these skills. Being a kid is already a serious business for them, so learning these skills should be fun and lighthearted. Kids are already practicing these skills at home at one point or another:  pitching, negotiating, decision making, leadership, customer service, and creative thinking. 

Practical examples: there are so many activities and fun things for kids to Inspire and nurture these skills. From negotiating what’s for dinner, or making decisions about planning the week, putting someone in charge of a task or a special event at home, like planning a Bday party. Challenges can be really fun and character-building.

Encouraging healthy debate about ways to help people or coming up with ideas to solve a problem so they can create their own framework for decision-making.  Simple ideas that are fun, entrepreneurial and valuable. The earlier someone learns these skills the more second nature they will be in the future.

3. Opportunities are everywhere

Finding entrepreneurial opportunities involves playing and observing real-life situations. Allowing kids to experience and interact with real-life entrepreneurial scenarios will open their eyes to the possibilities. Not only in opportunities but also different people with different skills. Being open to opportunities means seeing the possibility and abundance of options and results, incorporating the notion that opportunities are everywhere, they just have to be found like a treasure hunt.

Great entrepreneurs look at problems and see solutions and disruption it’s only a chance to add value. They constantly think of new ideas for products, services and new businesses. Their brains become trained to seek out opportunities, working their idea muscles every day until eventually, success becomes real. Inspiring kids into an opportunity-seeing mindset involves thinking in that way yourself. 

Foster questions that make kids think and observe their own paths and actions, opening playfully to the idea of “Why not” or “What if” Bring entrepreneurial opportunities closer by talking about their everyday activities and connect them to businesses or professions around them. Ask how they do, and how they do it, and which problems they encounter. Understanding the needs of the businesses all around you helps kids to become aware of possibilities, sparking ideas they could get involved in.

Practical example: observe situations around your home, neighborhood, or even current events that present a problem and need a solution, and bring up what could be done to solve the problem and “how could you be part of the solution, and what could you do about that?” Things like organizing the attic or organize a garage sale, or transforming a room into a ‘painting studio’ or maybe learning about things that might stir interest or relatable to kids like the technology behind video communications, healthcare professionals, or the different disciplines behind making videogames or a cartoon show. Kids will be fascinated.

Situations that need a solution at home or in the neighborhood and bring up what could be done to solve the problem and “how could you be part of the solution.


The business of creating tomorrow

Discovering your future and the right opportunities is a life-long journey. There are many careers and jobs, some more creative, some more pragmatic. But the heart and mindset of an entrepreneurial person go beyond the career choice and is a process that begins even before you start college. Our day-to-day is filled with uncertainties, markets keep changing, we are saturated and overloaded with information. How can we trust we are making the right decisions, choosing the best opportunities and developing the right skills? While the answer is different for every individual, the first step is always the right mindset.

Recalculating your thoughts

We value intelligence, personality, and character. But what is it? Luck, chance, genetic predisposition? Some believe success is based on natural abilities, others, in learning those abilities. Others think that “it is what it is”. Perception and how you see yourself can change everything. What you ‘think’ of yourself is who you are.

It’s crazy how our conscious and unconscious thoughts affect our decisions, especially at work, in our careers, in the direction of our future. And doesn’t matter if you are 7 or 47, those beliefs and mindsets will guide your steps. Is true, we all have different situations, but those conditions are not set or final, they are a starting point. And that’s where your ‘mindset’ comes in handy. What you think and believe of yourself is what’s happening: where you are right now is a result of that. And pandemic doesn’t help. neither instagraming, or streaming your day away.

Changing your beliefs can have a powerful impact on your mindset. Imagine if you could “recalculate” your direction? From the way relate to others, the way you make decisions, career or romantic ones. Normally we connect the term “successful mindset” with entrepreneurs. And that’s correct, but its just the tip of the iceberg. Learning, overcoming, trying. Imagine what would happen if you think of failure as a learning opportunity?

More than skills, it’s a vision

Entrepreneur and entrepreneurial concepts have certainly many things in common. But is like comparing a Jirafe with a Rhinoceros: they both have four legs, two eyes and many share many genetic traits and DNA -they even live in the African savanna- but, you don’t need to be a zoologist to recognize they are two kinds of animals. Building the mindset is more related to ‘purpose’ than to a set of skills. An entrepreneurial attitude is at its core level, resolving a problem by working out a solution. A mind is inspired by belief, that inspires others. Confident and positive, creative, resourceful, and resilient, capable of distilling concepts and ideas into actions and decisions, generating momentum an atmosphere for things to happen. An entrepreneurial person goes beyond creating a business or a start-up, an entrepreneurial person is someone who terraforms their environment, decisions, and actions into creating their own future.

More than teaching business to kids, our focus should be on inspiring them to develop their own abilities, confidence, and possibilities so they can find their own mission, understanding value, and whatever success means for them. And even in the most adverse conditions or failure, kids (and adults) will be able to find their way and purpose.

Learned skills or natural traits?

Why some people look at change and see opportunity, or when they look at problems they see solutions? Some people, when challenged, rise above and were doubted they exceed all expectations. Why? Is this a natural gift of nature? Although we are all born with a specific set of genes, with no control over our genetic allocation, we now know our lifestyle choices and different experiences through development and maturity also influence gene expression and thus exert influences over our behavior

Everyday experiences instill the “entrepreneurial” mindset, beginning within our family, and later when we go to school, college, the friends we have, and finally at the workplace. The sooner you start to understand and use these traits, it becomes a habit.

While entrepreneurship skills can be learned, and become a successful business entrepreneur, a classroom environment has its limits. Inspiring a mindset is a hands-on process, especially when you focus on leadership (and team development). Entrepreneurial instincts are naturally incorporated at home, by family members or observing other people, even friends. They may not use MBA or Masters terms, but they do understand the actions that matter to achieve success. And it focuses not only on their personal success but on helping others to reach their success.

Some people look at change and see opportunity, or problems and see solutions, like Neo when discover how the matrix operates behind 'the world’.

Where do we start?

The first step is to do a bit of “spring cleaning’, let some fresh air into the mind. Take a moment to look at your ‘mindset’ and visualize it. Are you aware of your abilities? how do you perceive your value? What do you love to do (having an ice-cream sandwich doesn’t count… unless you are planning to develop an Ice cream empire, you see, a passion can become a skill). Normally we connect the term “successful mindset” with entrepreneurs, but there’s so much more.

Strengthen confidence and trust in your abilities will boost your decision-making skills, your learning skills, and your time management. Imagine having more time to improve something you like or do something completely new. The simplest change in your mindset can have a profound impact on every aspect of your life. Imagine if you could “recalculate” your direction? From the way relate to others, the way you make decisions, career or romantic ones.

 

Practical application: if you feel brave enough, write down a list of your skills -even if it sounds small or unimportant- You might discover hidden or untapped skills. Write also what you are good at, and what you’ll like to improve. Also, exercise looking around. Focus on small situations and things that are important to you. Successful moments, mistakes…what is worthy to repeat and what to do differently. Understanding the value you could bring to your situation is the springboard to your future. Even if is a small thing, the payoff is giant. It will literally change the course of your actions. Learning, overcoming, expanding your tent. Imagine what would happen if you think of failure as a learning opportunity? or an obstacle as a chance for developing skills. The sky is the limit.

Creating an entrepreneurial mindset means inspiring people to believe in themselves and to dream big about what their future could be. It’s guiding people, teams and organizations to see the potential in ideas and situations, both individually or part of a group or community. Its creating a future.

Next: How to raise entrepreneurial kids.


Using VR in Hospital Treatments & Mental health

PAST-FUTURE

VR technology is on the rise and still requires lots of development and research. But fueled by pandemic social limitations and new therapeutic approaches, VR is skyrocketing to a different level.

From mental health treatments to physical therapy, rehab, and children's hospital treatments virtual reality therapy address all of these, and more.

Virtual Reality to Reduce Pain for Hospitalized Children

The VR technology enables pediatricians at children’s hospitals and healthcare facilities in the US to use the headsets as a procedural tool for critically ill young patients, primarily to reduce anxiety during mild to moderately painful procedures. By using VR as a calming distraction, several patients have been able to undergo these procedures whilst awake, cutting down lengthy recovery times, and reducing the need for medication. Lenovo Collaboration with Starlight Children’s Foundation® Shows how technology and hope can positively impact kids’ health to alleviate pain for young patients.

By using VR as a calming distraction, several patients have been able to undergo these procedures whilst awake, cutting down lengthy recovery times, and reducing the need for medication.

Improving the quality of life of hospitalized children

Due to the distressing nature of treatments such as a lumbar puncture, where a needle is used to withdraw spinal fluid and sometimes administer medication, our patients often receive the procedure under general anesthetic. Virtual Reality can be used in place of general anesthesia to help tolerate pain, and in fact, it is having a profound impact on the quality of life of our hospitalized children. We are seeing children who used to require general anesthesia, now able to be fully awake with minimal medications.”  Joe Albietz, MD, Medical Director at Child Life, Children’s Hospital Colorado

Digital Approach of Mental health during COVID-19

Since the pandemic started, social interactions have been limited, with authorities setting the maximum number of people in a group, in some cases imposing curfews. This all means that young individuals are subject to an increased risk of anxiety, social withdrawal, loneliness. Support groups and face-to-face services have been canceled, and many patients experienced relapses in mental conditions due to disruptions in school routines, which may serve as coping mechanisms. Children and adolescents have engaged with digital technologies so in many ways virtual reality therapy could be integrated to treat current mental health-related issues mentioned above.

Immersive VR to support mental health treatment

Virtual Reality therapy to treat anxiety, phobias, depression, stress, PTSD, and several mental health-related traumas. VR exposure therapy provides the opportunity for mental health professionals to not only reproduce real-life scenarios but also to adapt and control these environments to suit patients’ needs. This technology approach allows mental health professionals to evaluate, identify, and apply intervention protocols on patients’ fears and anxieties, in some cases showing quicker improvements, increasing the commitment to the therapy.


Transforming Anxiety into Creative Energy

Fast-paced enviroment, calendars max-out with meetings, full inbox, and 4pm calls leave us with very little time for strategic activities. Even the best jobs and the best teams experience this pressure in one form or another. The harder you work and the more motivated you are to succeed, the easier we feel we have no time to accomplish what is important to us and also to the organization advance. A week goes too fast and too furious.

Time constraints can get the better of you, and this anxiety bleeds over into how we interact with people. We want to inspire our team, but we literally don’t have the time.  How can we find the precious balance, be a good leader and still get things done? The answer maybe a bit hidden in between of meetings and dayly routine.

Small moments, big opportunities

Every day is a combination of smaller moments. So if we take those moments apart,  into smaller, more manageable situations we can make more sense of our busy schedule. With this deconstruction process we can take any situation apart and then assemble it back together in new and unexpected ways (my partner specializes in fashion pattern deconstruction and was the inspiration for this idea). Elements on a situation may have been intermingled and the way you deal with one will impact on other parts of the problem. 

How we use the small moments and brief interaction in our day? Small gestures and invisible situations can bring out the best leadership inspiration. We cannot fix everything, but we can make a difference. It makes me think of the small pebble creating big ripples in the water. I dont think even the pebble knows what is creating behind. Leading and inspiring is something you get better with practice and its done in step by step.

The first thing is to identify what these small moments in our everyday conversations and interactions at work, and even at home. We are too busy to take time but with little attention you’ll see them very clear as Neo sees the ‘Matrix’. You can seize a small moment into a learning opportunity.

Finding the ‘smaller parts’ can be a challenge, but once you identify this, everything becomes much easier and more productive.

Making space in our busy schedule is a challenge, but this terraforming creates an opportunity to growt and a vibrant playground for talent to make better products and services. Creativity is an energy and whether you realize it or not, you emit and receive energy. We have an electromagnetic field in which creative energy flows naturally, but when the polarity is disrupted our team creative energy system is affected. Is vital to pay attention, because is subtle but escalate quickly.

Become a power converter that change anxiety into creative energy

One of our focus, besides deadlines, meetings and product development is to motivate team members to grow, encourage intelligent dialogue, infuse confidence, and empowering the reach their best of their skills.Everything we do is fueled by it and foster creative energy is vital to the team and the work.  

Find quick opportunities to grow a creative playground

  • Don’t try to solve the problem, listen first.

  • Create a space for dialogue and growth.

  • Give specific, constructive feedback.

  • Take time to know people.

Don’t try to solve the problem…first listen: When someone comes to you for help, we rush giving people suggestions when they ask for help. Ask them what they think would be a good solution and then create a space to implement it or try it out. By this, the team member can develop ownership of the solution, as they learn how to seize the opportunity and make a change.

Create space for dialogue and growth: People are afraid to admit a mistake because of the consequences, understandable. But when someone comes and says, “I think I made a mistake.” Don’t jump at it with all your artillery. Create an environment for growth and show them you trust them, even when there’s a mistake in the middle. We all make mistakes, remember. Think about the time you screwed-up and how you’d liked to be treated. This is a critical moment, especially in the process of innovation where failure is essential to the exploration process.

Give specific, constructive feedback: Concentrate on positive and specific suggestions on the situation and behavior. Not the person. Kindness and accuracy are important. Finally, what was the impact of the conflict or situation? Feedback is not criticism or praise, it is about observation. It’s timely and specific. It describes but doesn’t judge, and brings an understanding of the situation or issue. It’s one of the simplest yet most effective ways to develop others, creating a pattern of learning and growth.

Take time to know people: teams are made of people, personalities and attitudes. Recognize the diffences and look for ways to connect similar interest. A quick ”How are you, how’s everything? can open up a dialogue. Kindness is never out of fashion, and a bit of empathy can overcome frustrations and give you understanding on and how to offer support. It’s about build connections to inspire growth. Especially with creative teams, artists, designers, developers, well…everyone. Strive for authenticity, not perfection. Remember that conversation is with people, not to people.

Photo by Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash

New Book on Amazon

New Book on Amazon!! Feel Warm Inside: Funny sayings for leaders of all ages.

Feel Warm Inside: Funny Sayings for Serious Leadership is the perfect antidote to traditional books about leaders and leadership! This book is a funny, honest and imaginative view of life and leadership, that will help you on your very serious journey of becoming the leader you were meant to be. Doesn’t matter if you are an experienced leader or if it’s just you and your cat…this book is for you. After all, the true measure of a great leader is not their title, or the location of your office, but their ability to adapt. Good attitude, humor, and the right mindset can help you navigate into the weird, unpredictable and ever-changing world of adulthood…and the workplace.

Feel Warm Inside is a collection of funny, motivational sayings that celebrate the irony of adulthood while at the same time delivering a thought-provoking and often hilarious dose of self-awareness and inspiration for leaders of all ages. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be you. You are far better that your Instagram pic.


Using Analytics to Predict Hollywood Blockbusters

Analytics helps us to connect pieces of research, identifying the right elements to create a unique experience. “Jurassic World” movie is the perfect case study on how research, facts and behaviors can support a multibillion dollar franchise.

Not Another Sequel

We all went ”ugh… please-not-another-sequel!” when we heard the rumor of a Jurassic Park sequel. Apparently, we were wrong. Against all odds and rumors, the dino-action sequel literally ate box office records, with a staggering 208.8 million domestically this weekend, making it the highest grossing opening weekend film of all time.

As of today, Mr. T-Rex is the richest dinusaur in the world. 1.672 billion USD box office worldwide. Raawrr!! Grossing a total of $652,270,625 in USA and $1,019,442,583 internationally. Roughly $600 millions are from Asian markets, China and South Korea leading in Asia; UK, France, and Germany in Europe and finally Mexico and Brazil in Latin America respectively.

The industry is changing the way they do business and technology is doing its part. Analytics tools had proven to be successful, making connections between pieces of research, identifying facts and behaviors. Jurassic World is relevant example of this The audience ‘body language’ was pretty clear: On that weekend, the re-post rate for Jurassic videos on YouTube was 45 to 1 (the average is 9 to 1). The trailer on the official Universal channel got 66.6m views (multi-channel networks money well invested) Twitter almost broke: #JurassicWorld peaked at 63K. The “conversation” for the film was very high and very positive on social media that weekend. Thousands and millions share trailers with their community, on multiple social channels. And that’s intent of purchase…like a kiss. Plus, no big sports events or soccer matches on TV that weekend. Add shirtless Chris Pratt and school calendars and TV were packed with dino-theme curricula. Finally, people just love seeing Pterosaurs munching on tourists! Go family-friendly entertainment! Jurassic World broke box office, scoring the biggest opening weekend in history with a sweet $511.8 million in tickets sales worldwide, outdoing even Harry Potter.

Timing is everything

“Jurassic World” was shrewdly positioned as the June blockbuster to beat, ceding April to “Furious 7” and steering clear of “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” May release. After “Tomorrowland” flopped over Memorial Day, there was some gum-flapping among box office analysts about whether Universal erred in not putting “Jurassic World” over the four-day holiday. In retrospect, it was the perfect move. The box office, which was coming off of three consecutive lackluster weekends, needed to cool down before it could heat up again.

“You could see this coming after a number of films that didn’t live up to expectations,” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There was just this hunger for a big summer tentpole film.”

The studio benefited from timing of another sort. Over the past decade and a half, the fourth “Jurassic Park” saw various filmmakers and screenwriters, such as “The Departed’s” William Monahan and “I Robot’s” Alex Proyas, come on board before getting tossed aside after failing to find the right creative direction for the film. The tortured development worked in “Jurassic World’s” favor, giving it distance from “Jurassic World III,” which is generally considered to be the series’ nadir, and lending the franchise a feeling of freshness.

Premium formats are prime

The Indominus rex, basically a T-rex on steroids, demanded to be seen on the biggest, widest, most souped-up screens possible. That meant that “Jurassic World” got a major boost from premium large format and Imax screens, along with 3D showings. The sequel took in 48% of its domestic opening weekend receipts from 3D screens while setting new high-water marks for Imax and private label PLF screens.

Those formats were in their infancy when “Jurassic Park III” was in theaters — 3D was still a novelty and Imax was reserved for nature films.

“I use my kids as a bit of a barometer,” said Anthony Marcoly, president of worldwide cinema for 3D-maker RealD. “They’ve seen the ‘Jurassic Park’ movies before, but they’ve seen them on TV or DVD. They haven’t had a chance to see a ‘Jurassic’ movie on these big [premium large format] screens or in 3D. People wanted to be brought into the world of ‘Jurassic’ and to see it in a grand fashion and just be drawn into the story.”

It also helped that Trevorrow talked up the virtues of seeing “Jurassic World” with all the extra bells and whistles on promotional videos and by appearing before screenings at the Imax TCL Theater in Los Angeles.

“This is a shared experience,” he told the crowd at one of these events. “It’s why we go to the movies.”

The exhibition industry has taken its knocks for not keeping up with the digital revolution that has upended the entertainment landscape, but “Jurassic World’s” success with tinted specs and sprawling screens demonstrates the lengths that theaters have gone to differentiate their experience from the one found in the living room or at the keyboard. Times have changed, of course, but some of it’s for the better.

Dinosaurs ripping apart humans = appropriate for children of all ages

It’s been 26 years since “Jurassic Park” first illustrated the dangers of bringing velociraptors back to life, and in that time one generation of film fans has come of age and another has emerged. That means that a group of moviegoers who were first weaned on popcorn pics with that first film have grown up and were eager to introduce their sons and daughters to the magic of a T-rex rampage.

To familiarize a new group to the pleasures of the park, Universal reissued “Jurassic Park” in 3D in 2013 in conjunction with its 20th anniversary. It also primed the pump in a nice piece of corporate synergy, hosting a special presentation of “Jurassic Park” last week on NBCUniversal Networks that included interviews with Pratt and Spielberg. The film and TV stations share a corporate parent in Comcast.

The PG-13 rating made the prospect of seeing pterosaurs treat tourists like birdseed something of a family event. That resulted in an opening weekend crowd that was 39% under the age of 25, a demographic that hadn’t been born or was barely verbal when the first film debuted.

“We’re getting everybody and that includes parents with kids,” said Carpou.

Hollywood take note. That’s how you build a blockbuster.

Making Sense of fragmented audiences

Audiences consume and interact with information in unexpected ways, so you have to be tuned in real-time. Consider what’s going on in the analytics and reports, and out of them. Data is generated and delivered by the same audience you are trying to connect, from video channels, chat, social media and tweets. Paying attention to the ‘vibe’ or body language cues can go a long way. Use them to your advantage. Analytics can be tricky, but they are just the tip of the data iceberg. Keep your cool, be yourself and be responsive. Pick your actions accordingly and maybe it could be the start of an unforgettable relationship.

Yesterday afternoon, Marvel Studios showed some chivalry by releasing a poster (a tweet by president Kevin Feige) congratulating Steven Spielberg and the Universal Studios team, Director Colin Trevorrow and golden boy Chris Pratt for beating the hero team, since their lost their title as the previous record holder. With these numbers, we will be seeing more Jurassic (probably without ‘The Park’) in the future.


Cost efficient UX web redesign

Understanding the business

The best way to grow bussines is to improve how users interact with the information, supporting their juourney not only digital but all the way to the experience.MileagePlus is the loyalty program from United Airlines that offers a variety of rewards to its members: from earn miles through travel shopping, dining, through literally everything you can do. Every time they swipe the airline or partner credit card, the members receive a certain amount of miles. And also, they can use those miles for travel, dining, shopping, or receive special benefits.

Understanding users to create a better experience

Earning Premier status is based on qualifying activity during the previous calendar year (January 1 – December 31). Once you qualify for Premier status, the status is valid from the date when you qualified through the end of the following Program year.

There are 5 levels or tiers of membership, from General to the most sophisticated depending on how much miles you have, earned and spent. There were 5 categories, with each one having different requirements, different rewards, different benefits, partners and so many combinations you wouldn’t believe. And every single level has its own rules, visual identity and significance. So the trouble multiplicated by 5. Also, depending on the city, the time and the kind of activity you have, the messages were different. From “Hi (Your Name) Welcome” to an interactive 6 lines of text disclaimer! insane.

Involving everyone in the Team

Qualification requirements for Premier members are complex and translating everything to a mobile app that makes sense. it was a huge challenge and a wonderfully committed team of developers, researchers, business analyst, testers, and visual designers. It took months of work, from research, creating road-maps, analyzing pains and gains, points of touch. And the prototyping, more testing, re-designs, and usability reviews to arrive at the final product.


La realidad aumentada (AR) y la realidad virtual (VR) han dejado de ser una “novedad” para transformarse en una realidad, impulsando no solo un modelo de usabilidad del futuro, sino también un potencial cambio de paradigmas en el ecosistema de negocios.Esta tecnología virtual no está solamente limitada a los juegos o al entretenimiento. E-commerce, transporte, medicina y moda se verán revolucionadas en el futuro cercano que, más que una moda tecnológica, promete ser una nueva forma de experimentar el mundo. Si bien estamos acostumbrados a las experiencias digitales, el diseño y desarrollo de experiencias e interfaces para VR y AR siguen siendo algo nuevo y muchas veces implican un gran desafío, tanto desde lo tecnológico hasta su usabilidad. Miremos algunos conceptos claves, desafíos técnicos y modelos de negocio posibles de esta nueva manera de interpretar la realidad.

Read english version here...

Realidad Premium

Las interfaces de usuario de AR han mejorado mucho, más allá del aspecto tecnológico, presentando la información de forma 'más natural', en tiempo real y principalmente, donde se encuentra el usuario. Pero en definitiva, la AR no deja de ser una “opinión” o punto de vista respecto al mundo real. Para las empresas puede representar un objetivo que, incorpora información adicional para aumentar esta opinión. Todas las formas de ver el mundo son opiniones: buenas, malas, útiles, etc. pero al fin son solo eso, opiniones, expresadas a través de datos (texto, imagen, vídeo, etc.). Por ejemplo, una imagen satelital de tu barrio (realidad) cubierta con nombres de calles, flechas u otra información es una 'aumentación'. En sentido amplio, el mundo es una plataforma y lo que vemos representado visualmente y como interactuamos, es la UX de nuestra vida.

Herramientas de diseño AR/VR

Antes de pensar en diseñar una interface de AR/VR, deberíamos preguntarnos cómo funciona. Las herramientas para diseñar y desarrollar prototipos de interfaces de realidad virtual y aumentada son diferentes de las utilizadas en el diseño y desarrollo de aplicaciones digitales tradicionales, por ejemplo, InVision, Adobe o Prototype, etc. Incluso no solo el software sino también tenemos que contar con una maquina potente como para procesar toda la información y en algunos casos gafas especiales o dispositivos para testear los resultados. Incluso para los diseñadores es difícil encontrar inspiración y más aún encontrar información sobre buenas prácticas y metodologías de desarrollo de AR/VR, ya este campo esta “virtualmente” inexplorado. Existen miles de fuentes y libros acerca de prácticas y metodologías de desarrollo de web y mobile, pero para diseños virtuales muy poco se sabe, y hasta podemos contar con los dedos de una sola mano casos de éxito comercial.

¿Como funciona el proceso? Un sensor (cámara) observa parte de la realidad. Esta imagen se combina con metadatos/catalizadores (etiquetas de geolocalización, gráficos o códigos específicos a nuestra app) y desencadena un evento correspondiente. Por ejemplo: Vamos a un museo o un lugar histórico, y una etiqueta de geolocalización en nuestra app o dispositivo nos muestra un gráfico sobre una pintura o un monumento. Esta 'match' de metadatos sobre el objeto o lugar recupera la información pertinente al respecto, combinando elementos sobre la imagen original, desencadenando un evento que muestra información pertinente.Para realizar este proceso los dispositivos tienen que contar con sensores de alta calidad, conexión en tiempo real y una UX clara y precisa. Comprender “la escena” es clave, para poder activar el ‘matching’ de información y generar la imagen “aumentada”. Estos elementos relevantes se obtienen a través de la interacción con el usuario, captando su atención a medida que observemos su contexto inmediato, intención y comportamiento, por ejemplo, seguimiento de mirada, tacto, gestos y reconocimiento de voz, determinando qué componentes del mundo real aumentar

Metodologías para diseñar interfaces AR/VR

Si bien se han producido algunos desarrollos exitosos, continuamos en una etapa de investigación y desarrollo. Empresas como Apple, Amazon y Google actualmente impulsan esta tecnología. Pero la realidad es que estamos ‘jugando’ o experimentando y los resultados de nuestras interfaces todavía no sean lo suficientemente intuitivos y de gran usabilidad como con nuestras appss web o mobile. Aunque compartimos muchos parámetros y disciplinas con nuestra contraparte mobile, crear aplicaciones de AR/VR ni se compara con ella. Una experiencia o interface de AR/VR mal o pobremente diseñada podría poner en peligro la integridad física de sus usuarios. Sumergirse en una experiencia de realidad aumentada o virtual es otra historia. El año pasado estuve en la muestra de Björk y hubo gente que salía con dolor de cabeza, mareada y desorientada. He visto gente caerse de sillas en eventos con gafas de realidad aumentada.

Asimismo, imágenes y arte que parecen espectaculares y vibrantes en un website, en AR/VR no funcionan. Los desarrolladores deben ser precavidos en este sentido. Conducir un testeo de usabilidad de estas tecnologías es todo un tema, además recordemos que estamos trabajando en 3 dimensiones. Técnicas que son eficaces en desarrollo en 2 dimensiones son a menudo ineficaces para experiencias AR/VR.

En búsqueda de una experiencia inmersiva, creamos con mi equipo salas de wireframing en 3D 'real', hecha conelementos cortados en papel y cartón colgando de hilos, con anteojos hechos por nosotros mismos, simulando una interfaz, y testeandolos en una sala a oscuras.

Nuestros usuarios voluntarios (amigos y parientes) 'navegaban’ nuestro mundo virtual como si fuera una interface 'tamaño natural'. Sin casco virtual, ya que los costos eran prohibitivos, pero tuvimos un acercamiento real que nos permitió entender los desafíos del usuario al desarrollar la experiencia. Creo que a medida que haya mayor crecimiento comercial en el área, mayores serán las herramientas que aparezcan, pero por el momento, todo es bastante casero.

Tipos de plataformas

1-Teléfonos móviles: ya hay mucho dicho respecto a telefonos móviles. Poseen cámaras de alta sensibilidad, capacidades de geolocalización, reconocimiento facial y numerosos sensores que posibilidad una experiencia contenida y focalizada.

2-Vehículos: el parabrisas del vehículo proporciona una interfaz ideal para la representación de información localizada. Muchos de estos vehículos “inteligentes” tienen ilimitada energía (eléctrica/solar) y puede soportar gran cantidad de datos y comunicaciones. Fabricantes europeos de autopartes ya están desarrollando proyecciones translúcidas de AR, que permiten a los pilotos o controladores ver información sin tener que retirar la vista del camino.

3-Dispositivos “usables” comúnmente llamados wearable techcomo gafas holodecks (como los fallidos Occulus o Google Glass) y sensores “usables”para piel, vestimenta o zapatos, que aportan datos ambientales y biométricos para ser procesados por las aplicaciones. Muchos de ellos todavía en etapa de investigación y con limites en potencia y transmisión de datos, son caros, y les falta el condimento de ‘masividad’ o necesidad’como tienen los celulares hoy en día.

Parámetros básicos para un prototipo de AR

Estas categorías nos ayudaran para visualizar la experiencia de manera holística aplicando ciertos parámetros o elementos que nos ayuden a acercarnos al objetivo de nuestra experiencia:

Desencadenante o “trigger”: Es el evento o la observación sobre el cual el “aumento” se produce. Proporcionando información acerca de los lugares de interés cercanos, habilitando a los usuarios a buscar restaurantes, hoteles y tiendas, u obtener más información acerca de ellos como los anteojos Vuzix Blade o Apple Smart Glasses.

Interactividad: es cómo los usuarios interactúan con la información 'aumentada' a través del gesto, mirada, voz y posicionamiento, incluso a través de la voz o sonidos.Un ejemplo de alta interactividad pueden ser anuncios que se abren automáticamente para revelando descuentos al acercarme. Esto lo vimos en la película Minority Report.

Naturalidad: Eventos desencadenados por objetos de realidad natural, reconocibles o integradas al medio ambiente

y/o con objetos físicos, tal como lo está utilizando Amazon.

Preguntas a la hora de diseñar una UX de realidad aumentada

Paradójicamente la realidad aumentada “aumenta” los problemas y desafíos, amplificando los mismos retos de usabilidad de las interfaces tradicionales, ya sea sobrecargar los usuarios de información o de como determinar una acción especifica. Para abordar problemas de usabilidad, los diseñadores deben centrarse en ciertos puntos clave:

1-¿Puede el usuario notar la diferencia entre la realidad y ’aumentación’? La confusión podría llevar a errores del usuario si una aplicación transmite una impresión errónea del mundo.

2-¿El 'aumento' (y no de precios en la canasta familiar) está alineado con la realidad? La alineación en tiempo real es muy importante ya que la realidad puede cambiar rápidamente. Por ejemplo, una app de navegación de AR, la señal de tráfico cambia su estado constantemente, pudiendo ocasionar un accidente si la info aumentada bloquea o no esta actualizada.

3-¿Cómo puede un usuario transicionar entre AR apps y aplicaciones tradicionales?Siempre hay que tener en mente al usuario, ayudándolo a resolver tareas, o en su búsqueda de contenido e información. Es una experiencia global y la AR es un elemento genial para la transición. Por ejemplo, dentro de un ambiente tradicional dedicar un lugar condicionado especialmente para AR.

4-¿Cómo debería organizarse la información 'aumentada'? Por ejemplo, si un producto viene en diferentes variedades, colores o precios, sería de gran ayuda una taxonomía coherente para agrupar productos relacionados/ alineados con la intención del usuario. Una aplicación de AR que presenta toda la información a la vez podría confundir al usuario.

Desafíos sociales

AR / VR es muy diferente a otras tecnologías informáticas tanto por lo que realiza y por sus características físicas complejas. Como toda nueva tecnología, pueden pasar años (o meses) antes de ser masivamente adoptadas. Entretenimiento, turismo y automóviles han comenzado a incorporar AR/VR a su terminología diaria de uso. La tecnología AR /VR es válida y útil dependiendo del contexto del usuario, y a las regulaciones que de privacidad que comparten con otras aplicaciones tecnológicas hermanas, la privacidad de los usuarios, de su ambiente y su seguridad son riesgos potenciales a tener en muy en cuenta. Hoy en día, los usuarios son muy escépticos -con razon- acerca de dónde y cómo las empresas obtienen nuestros datos personales y como mis hábitos de consumo ya están cualificados en algoritmos con nombre y apellido.

El futuro del negocio multidimensional

No hace falta ser un visionario futurista para entender que AR/VR se convertirá en un negocio durante la próxima década?- Si el E-Commerce y las plataformas VOD revolucionaron el mercado de como los usuarios consumen contenidos, servicios y demás aspectos de la vida cotidiana, imaginemos el próximo paso si incorporamos experiencia virtuales aumentadas. ¿Salir al supermercado sin moverte de tu living? Una locura no muy loca. ¿Comprarte ropa desde tu propio cuarto sin ir a una tienda? son aspectos que las grandes marcas como Amazon ya están implementando.

Por ejemplo, en lugar de mostrar anuncios por palabras clave, como en la web, la publicidad en AR podría mostrarse por metadata de geolocalizacion o patrones. Esta transición ya dejo de ser experimental para muchas empresas que ya están desarrollando un nuevo ecosistema de negocios.

 

Netflix, hace 14 años te enviaba 3 DVD de películas por correo, y recuerdo que era una increíble novedad, que termino desbancando a las tiendas de ‘Blockbuster’, forzando a los gigantes del cable a replantear su estrategia comercial. Esto paso prácticamente ayer.

Para muchos realidad aumentada y realidad AR son solo pruebas de concepto, pero tienen éxito y mucho potencial. Con el tiempo, nuevas herramientas y metodologías de desarrollo surgirán, convirtiendo a la realidad aumentada y virtual en una experiencia habitual para el usuario y como creadores del futuro, tenemos que estar preparados.

 

 

 

Creating a team identity.

Creating a team identity beyond language.

Audiences and markets have become globalized and teams have grown to an amazing ecosystem of culturally diverse talents, inspiring brands across the globe with unlimited growth opportunity and fresh perspectives. We have offshore teams with copywriters and designers in London, development & QC in Buenos Aires, software engineers in Chennai and marketing teams in NYC. Maybe your campus in Prague has members from different nationalities.

Inspiring and managing teams is a wonderful challenge, and with team members from different countries and different cultural backgrounds and languages, it requires also a fresh and diverse perspective as their teams itself. Wherever your team is in one office or globally dispersed, they are expected to deliver their best performance, creativity, and unique point of view into the game. So, how do we leverage, support and inspire such a diverse workforce?

Language and cultural differences.

One of the key components of every collaborative relationship is trust, and open communication among team members is key. Language proficiency is a challenge and can undermine trust between its members. Colleagues with different levels of proficiency could be perceived as less communicative or reliable, undermining healthy trust-building in each other’s abilities and skills. It is crucial to find ways to transform these differences, into creative energy. It’s important to explore those differences so we know how to interact and grow as a group.

A way to encourage this understanding of diversity is to create unstructured moments, not necessarily 'a meeting'- where everyone can share their cultural background and expectations about communication and working style. The team gets to learn more about each other by listening, sharing and asking questions and sharing about their backgrounds, even to learn what kind of food they like, or learn a traditional recipe from your home. It's amazing when teams discover that we are not that different after all.

Teams experience a lot of pressure, and members of multi-language teams frequently relieve stress by switching into their native tongue, inadvertently excluding other teammates from their conversations. We need to reverse language barriers and communication anxiety by encouraging open dialogue in teams as a whole, creating a "team identity" equipped with amazing different strengths and unique backgrounds, united in one vision. Like a team of superheroes.

Reducing language gap

The success and strength of every multi-national team reside in one basic -but rather complex- aspect: communicationHow can you measure the degree of language connection among team members? When people come from similar nationalities, the level of 'language distance' is usually low. Even if they come from different backgrounds, people can interact formally and informally, align, and build trust. They arrive at a common understanding of what certain behaviors mean, and they feel close and congenial, which fosters good teamwork.

Coworkers who are geographically separated, or come from different countries and cultures, could experience some kind of language anxiety that could prevent interactions. This originates from the inability to communicate, missing information and/or negative evaluation. This negative dynamics reduce team performance, and especially for creatives, artist, and designers, where creative energy, collaborative expression, and multi-team interaction is vital.

Creating a team identity

In a team, is important that everyone gets enough speaking time, and that everyone knows what they’re working toward. What’s our vision and why we are doing what we do. Bringing everyone around common goals and a unified vision is key. I can not stress this more! as evident it may seem, this is poorly done, and team members spot it quickly when is fake. Is has to be an honest take, not a speech. That's why you need to know the brand, the clients, the team, the story. You need to be the first one to believe it to be able to inspire it. Highlighting the importance of each diverse skill in your team will level up the group dynamics, and also how much value the team is contributing to the success of the service, product or brand. Be open about the unique appreciation for everyone’s input and encourage meta-communication. Each particular story amounts to create a more solid, trustworthy and collaborative team.

Bringing everyone around a unified vision is key. Its has to be an honest take, not a speech. That's why you need to know the brand, the clients, the team, the story. You need to be the first one to believe it to be able to inspire it.

Break down your common goal into actionable steps and outline each individual’s role and responsibilities. This reduces the chance of misunderstandings and lets everyone know that their contribution matters. Clarity of each team member’s contribution also makes it easier to address team performance as a whole. It sets expectations for what needs to be done, by who and when.

Building a team identity also entails finding common things between team members. Make space in your working day to promote team interactions, to get to appreciate each other team members. Perhaps there are teammates who share the same taste in movies, music or TV shows. Some may bond over hobbies or share information about their families, etc. Personal connections within the team make it easier to work together, trust and have a solid team identity.

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To be continued…

 


Time is passing by

CSS selectors all exist within the same global scope. Anyone who has worked with CSS long enough has had to come to terms with its aggressively global nature — a model clearly designed in the age of documents, now struggling to offer a sane working environment for today’s modern web applications. Every selector has the potential to have unintended side effects by targeting unwanted elements or clashing with other selectors. More surprisingly, our selectors may even lose out in the global specificity war, ultimately having little or no effect on the page at all.

Any time we make a change to a CSS file, we need to carefully consider the global environment in which our styles will sit. No other front end technology requires so much discipline just to keep the code at a minimum level of maintainability. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to leave the era of global style sheets behind.

It’s time for local CSS.

In other languages, it’s accepted that modifying the global environment is something to be done rarely, if ever.

In the JavaScript community, thanks to tools like Browserify, Webpack and JSPM, it’s now expected that our code will consist of small modules, each encapsulating their explicit dependencies, exporting a minimal API.

Yet, somehow, CSS still seems to be getting a free pass.

Many of us — myself included, until recently — have been working with CSS so long that we don’t see the lack of local scope as a problem that we can solve without significant help from browser vendors. Even then, we’d still need to wait for the majority of our users to be using a browser with proper Shadow DOM support.

We’ve worked around the issues of global scope with a series of naming conventions like OOCSS, SMACSS, BEM and SUIT, each providing a way for us to avoid naming collisions and emulate sane scoping rules.

We no longer need to add lengthy prefixes to all of our selectors to simulate scoping. More components could define their own foo and bar identifiers which — unlike the traditional global selector model—wouldn’t produce any naming collisions.

import styles from './MyComponent.css';
import React, { Component } from 'react';
export default class MyComponent extends Component {
 render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <div className={styles.foo}>Foo</div>
        <div className={styles.bar}>Bar</div>
      </div>
    );
  }

The benefits of global CSS — style re-use between components via utility classes, etc. — are still achievable with this model. The key difference is that, just like when we work in other technologies, we need to explicitly import the classes that we depend on. Our code can’t make many, if any, assumptions about the global environment.

Writing maintainable CSS is now encouraged, not by careful adherence to a naming convention, but by style encapsulation during development.

Once you’ve tried working with local CSS, there’s really no going back. Experiencing true local scope in our style sheets — in a way that works across all browsers— is not something to be easily ignored.

Introducing local scope has had a significant ripple effect on how we approach our CSS. Naming conventions, patterns of re-use, and the potential extraction of styles into separate packages are all directly affected by this shift, and we’re only at the beginning of this new era of local CSS.

process.env.NODE_ENV === 'development' ?
    '[name]__[local]___[hash:base64:5]' :
    '[hash:base64:5]'
)

Understanding the ramifications of this shift is something that we’re still working through. With your valuable input and experimentation, I’m hoping that this is a conversation we can have together as a larger community.

Note: Automatically optimising style re-use between components would be an amazing step forward, but it definitely requires help from people a lot smarter than me.