Tag Archives: products

My Myers Briggs Test and The Microtrend Diary

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ENFP

A few weeks back I was asked to fill in my own Myers Briggs questionnaire to enable me to find out about what personality type I am likely to be. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is “a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions”. These preferences were extrapolated from the typological theories originated by Carl Gustav Jung, as published in his 1921 book Psychological Types. He stated that there are four main functions of consciousness, two of them being perceiving functions: Sensation and Intuition and two being judging functions Thinking and Feeling that are then modified by two main attitude types: extraversion and introversion. Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers began generating the questionnaire during World War II, believing that knowledge of personality preferences would help women who were entering the industrial workforce for the first time identify the sort of war-time jobs where they would be “most comfortable and effective”.

The idea that a set of questions with certain weighting that ask me about how I deal with certain situations and turns that into a four-letter personality type has been something that has always bemused and slightly annoyed me. Whether self discovery questions in Cosmo magazine or psychometric questionnaires that get you certain jobs depending on the results have remained a constant aggravating mystery to me. Yet I felt this was a challenge for me to overcome my anger and have personal experience to criticise against. As a result of this questionnaire I am an ENFP: an innovator and inspirer…allegedly!

Quantifying the Unquantifiable

The idea of quantifying the unquantifiable; the fluid thoughts and emotions of our everyday lives has in recent times become more and more popular as algorithms in social media focused applications have enabled us all to  invest and share data and act as conceptual self-knowledge mirrors. Originally used in organizational management, social media has enabled a more personal approach to help evaluate ourselves. Indeed the rise in self-help and self-knowledge have become a huge business and created opportunities for organisations and individuals to offer more and more self-reflective tools that allow them to record, quantify, reflect and evaluate on their everyday lives; their thoughts, feelings, mental and physical health. 

My original fascination came when I stumbled across Jonathan Harris & Sep Kamvar’s “We Feel Fine” project: An algorithm that collects around 20,000 feelings per day as expressed by the blogging community and splices up the feelings according to demographic information about the author of each feeling (age, gender, geographical location, and local weather conditions). It then presents these findings in a series of playful interfaces, each of which paints a different picture of human emotion.  Other applications/products/questionnaires have crunched this kind of qualitative, touchy feely soft data to allow you to see how good you are in bed, a rolling history of your sex life, your daily mundane activities calculated into graphical visualizations, psychological phenomena translated into quantifiable scales or your daily tweeted interests simply autoplotted into a diary format. The artist and designer Lucy Kimbell has also been investigating the evaluation cultures in management, technology and the arts; her performance/service: Free Evaluation Service is one example. And more recently Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly set up the Quantified Self program to enable self-quantifiers to meet and compare and analyse their own methods and processes of evaluation.

The Microtrend Diary: a Personal Futures Thought Experiment

The Microtrend Diary is kept in its own monthly slipcase

This initial interest in quantifying the absurdity of our feelings inspired me to consider how we might use these psychometric approaches to create personal futures services. What if you could create a self-reflective  diary that made use of our everyday thoughts to provoke us in such a way that you are able to change your future actions. As a thought experiment I devised ‘The Microtrend Diary’ during my final year on the MA Design  Interactions course in 2007 and have made a recent 2nd prototype. I am currently looking to develop this further with some initial user testing and then publish a small batch for distribution.

Daily self-fulfilling prophecy questions.

Inspired by the abundance of self-help books, self-discovery personality tests and psychometric questionnaires, the Microtrend Diary is a mirror of your daily actions and emotions that reveal provocative ways to alter your future actions. This personalised diary, is printed to order based on a set of preliminary personality questions. As the owner makes a daily record of their actions, a unique set of provocative aide memoirs are revealed under a perforated flap that suggest changing your behaviour in certain ways for the following day.

A perforated seal is torn open to reveal the daily self-fulfilling prophecy questions.

My Happiness Scale

Other pages in the diary include the hourly ‘happiness’ chart, ‘what will this day be?’ join the dots exercise, ‘crowdsourcing you future’ postcards to send to friends and a weekly ‘hopes & fears for the future’ scatter graph. After each week the diary owner is asked to plot their hopes and fear for the coming week and after each month these thoughts are plotted against a time series analysis graph identifying historical trends and pointers for the future. The self-fulfilling prophecy diary is printed weekly and each week is stored in it’s own dedicated monthly box.

Crowdsourcing Your Future: Two postcards sent to friends to plot their ideas of your own future against a timeline and a future history.

A self-addressed Futures History postcard sent to a friend and with the obligation to be returned a year later.

Futures Timeline Postcard sent to a friend with a blank timeline in order to be filled in and returned to sender.

The old FATE machines at Carters Steam Fair

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Japan April 2009

So i have returned back from the future (Japan) and will soon be uploading my piccies to flickr. But i thought i would try to also put something together, perhaps a diary thing, to tell you all about what i did and what i saw! So here is a little teaser:

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Day 6: Relaxing times at Bic Camera 4th Floor

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Day 4: Tokyo's salary men and otaku read anime comics and pump lots of money in the greedy grabclaw machine

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Day 12: Okayama- Bloodtype Horoscope vending machine offering your future according to your personality defined by bloodtype

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Day 14: Tokyo - Self-health machines test your blood pressure and test your thigh muscle strength in the automated Exercise Rodeo Chair.

The Leak Listeners

The Leak listeners are the Thames Water squad tackling the wastage crisis who use “leak sticks”-steel rods with a wooden earpiece as one end-which they hold against pipes to pick up vibrations from any water escaping. It is a method that has been used for more than a century and allows any sign of leaking water to be heard!

Exploratree Thinking Tools by futurelab + microsoft

Those clever chaps at Futurelab have created a beta online tool that enables people to think visually! Think of all those mind maps you have done in the past that have been completely disorganized and free form. But with exploratree they will help you create frameworks for futures wheel (my favourite), a compass rose (!) and a pmi!!


The 36th International Invention Convention

The 36th International Exhibition of Invention is currently being held in Geneva and is offering some genuine glimpses into the future! well maybe some left field products for the future that indeed create opportunties to laugh and gasp with delight and fear!

This is Paul Fischer and his Cervical Stretcher: an exercise and therapy device for people with cervical problems.

Via The Guardian

The robots are coming!

The future of beauty?

silver foil wraps Face Masks

Silver suits and face masks used in spas and beauty parlours today but presented like an idea of the future back in the 50′s

Spray On Condoms

And an interesting way to make condoms fit better!. A diagram to show a new product that will spray on a uniquely fit to purpose condom. The Institute for Condom Consultancy is in co-operation with Vinico and Qualo Design plan to launch a spray-on condom tailor-made for all sizes. According to Jan Vinzenz Krause, from the Institute for Condom Consultancy, “Our team is developing a type of spray can into which the man inserts his penis first. At the push of a button it is then coated in a rubber condom. It works by spraying on latex from nozzles on all sides. We call it the ’360 degree procedure’ — once round and from top to bottom. It’s a bit like a car wash. The plan is to make the product ready for use in about five seconds.” The high-tech condom will be available in a variety of colours and strengths by 2008.


Medical instruments of self knowledge

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familytreednakit.jpg Dna Synthesizer
From top left to bottom right:

Fecal Occult Blood Test.
OraQuickAdvance® rapid (oral) HIV test
Finger prick blood test
A family dna kit
A DNA synthesizer