Google experiments lab delivered something truly helpful and life-changing. A Look to Speak app is seemingly a very simple concept with two columns of programmable words on left and on the right side of a mobile screen. It’s user then can simply look left or right to select a column of words which then gets split up into left and right again, allowing user to narrow it down to one word and eventually combine words into sentences that get voiced out through a mobile device.
I remember when my late grandad got struck with a stroke and spent more then two years trying to recover his speech and motorics. Communicating during that time was especially hard and more then anything it took the biggest toll on him and on the family. Should an app like this existed back then I’m sure it’d have made it so much easier for all of us.
The brilliance of this app lies in its affordance and accessibility. Pretty much anyone anywhere can have it set up regardless of social or economic situation and that provides a so needed option for people living with impairments who might not afford or have access to expensive eye-to-speech devices.
This is the sort of design and product development that inspires me the most. A simple, accessible solution with a possibility of actual life-changing impact. Big ups Google Labs!
Why are original Post-its yellow? Is it for visual ergonomics, usability maybe? Is it part of 3M brand style? There must be well thought through reasons behind it, right?
Well, here’s what Dr Geoff Nicholson (now retired VP of research & development at 3M) said when asked to explain his and his team decision - “We had some scrap yellow paper!”
That’s it. It is an accident, a coincidence that post-its came out yellow. It wasn’t designed, it just happened and people at 3M rolled with it.
Read a full interview with Dr Geoff Nicholson and see how nonchalant and funny he is about one of the most iconic accidents in product development.
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