This week, start here:
We’re in the middle of a Golden Age for podcasts, folks — and two, in particular, reminded us this week precisely how powerful great content can be. 99% Invisible featured an interview with wayfinding designer Jim Harding, whose work in the experience design behind the new international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta is a brilliant bit of inspiration for designers of all stripes.

A surprising bit of gold for interface designers:

‘signage is usually one of the least important elements of wayfinding’

. Good stuff.

Meanwhile, best not to brag about the quality of the ‘content’ you’re producing until you’ve listened to Love & Radio’s most recent piece, Sesquipedalian — a 50-minute profile of boxing match-fixer / avant garde pianist Charles Farrell that’s nearly impossible to turn off.

If you’ve never been able to get into podcasts, despite your best efforts, might we suggest Stitcher — a free app that’s been described as the Netflix for podcasts.


It’s absolutely worth taking the time to read this Wharton report on teens and privacy in a social age, which cites Dark Matter favorite danah boyd at great length, but is particularly intriguing when discussing teen strategies for hiding content and sentiment in plain sight — effectively concealing their true feelings by hiding them in contexts understood by only a part of their networks.

As an aside: If you’ve not yet seen danah’s piece on the consequences of the Facebook timeline experiments, it’s a must-read.

On a much less-personal note, Kyle Chayka’s recent post on the history of #this is a really enjoyable read that might help some of us make better sense of Tumblr.

You’ll want to bookmark the Web Field Manual, trust us — a compendium of the best interaction design inspiration, style guides, workflows, best-practices and utilities, culled from the corners of the web.

Of course, not even the Field Manual can explain the information design genius, and occasional failures, of airline route maps. Mark Byrnes of City Lab, on the other hand, can.

We’ve had a number of discussions lately in the Almighty offices around the distribution of 3D models — and why more organizations don’t make their models freely available for use in tools like SketchUp. This week, we were turned on to Yobi3D — ostensibly the first search engine for 3D models and renderings. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole, frankly — who couldn’t use a richly-rendered model of a 1982 Porsche 911 SC Targa?

Turns out, school districts are beginning to second-guess the massive investment that many of them made in iPads. A small bone to pick with an otherwise important article: there’s quite a distinction to be made between ‘the best tools for schools to manage’ and ‘the best tools for classroom learning’ — a point on which this argument may hinge.

In tangentially-related technology news, uBeam is bringing to market a product that enabled wireless charging of mobile devices using sound waves — effectively transforming sound data into a power source for hardware. It’s an interesting idea — and a novel approach to a near-ubiuquitous charging problem.


There was a terrific piece this week in The Paris Review on the connections between the South Korean work ethic and the precision of dance, performance and choreography that marks the nation’s unique brand of pop stardom, better known as K-Pop.

For context:

A staggering 4 percent of the population of South Korea auditioned in 2012 for ‘Superstar’ K, Korea’s biggest televised singing competition. That’s 2.08 million would-be K-pop stars competing in a single year in a country with a population of fifty million. By contrast, even the behemoth American Idol only has about 80,000 contestants in a given year, amounting to a minuscule 0.03 percent of the U.S. population.

Have a great week, folks. Psy is gunning for you.