Paris: November, 2013

I just got back from a long relaxing and inspiring weekend in Paris and thought I’d post a handful pics of daily-life things I caught while was I traveling.

First up – the touch-screen in-fight entertainment system on Air Canada. Nice big screens. But seeing a mouse cursor feels like a design mistake. Plus, the text on some of the screens, such as the listing of what movies are available, was so small as to be virtually unreadable. It’s as if the system’s designers never tested their work, or used it as a passenger would. Pretty shocking.

A question to help guide the user was a nice touch.

A question to help guide the user was a nice touch. But note the visible cursor.

But can anyone read the titles of the available movies?

But can anyone read the titles of the available movies?

While many of the kiosks for getting train tickets have been replaced with touch-screen versions, it’s nice to periodically see one of the old ones still in use. The big scroll wheel below the screen is fantastic — even if, based on watching people use these machines, they seem to confuse some users.

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I went into a retrospective exhibit of work by Pierre Huyghe at the Pompidou Center which was amazing! (For more on the show see this summary or this ). One of the pieces shown was “Atari Light,” 1999, essentially the game of Pong installed on the ceiling. Not a lot of interaction in his work, but absolutely worth further investigation.

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Playing the game

Playing the game

And then back home. The big, and pleasant surprise, was that customs & immigration at JFK had installed banks and banks of new kiosks to speed things up. They were quick and easy to use — a radical improvement from the long waiting times I’ve endured before.

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