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Introducing the “Frame Of Average”

Jay in the Frame of Average. He's average at handwriting! What's your average? Join us at http://IxDAberlin.de

Interaction Design is common ground for design sectors focussing on Services, Strategy, User Experience, Product and much more. Together with Thomas Kueber, Audrey Liehn and Kathryn Hing I do have the pleasure to nurture and grow a local chapter of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). IxDA Berlin convenes the local community of experts in related areas, together with students, novices, and all other parties interested in thought exchange and driving this design discipline forward.

At our frequent events, we present renowned international speakers and host discussions among the protagonists of Berlin’s vivid Interaction Design scene. Partnering with the industry and design schools, we constantly challenge ourselves to expand the communities horizon beyond established design paradigms. We believe that evolution comes from the community.

“Being average is what makes you normal. Let’s appreciate it.”

Our own Kathryn came up with a concept she named the “Wall of average” a while ago. Thinking of ways to emphasize on IxDA Berlins mission statement, which includes a strong focus on non-experts to the field, to students, newbies, and interested people from other professions, we came to the idea of translating that initial concept to our community.

We envisioned a frame a person can hold and peek through. The individual average goes on the frame – using chalk. At our events, you can find a photographer that is happy to get you pictured in the “FOA”. And we had some quite funny results when we tested the FOA in the wild for the first time back in June!

Starting today, IxDA Berlin is beginning to post a series of pictures taken at our events, capturing our beloved community members together with their averages. Our goal is not only to capture memories of our events and give back to the community. By sharing the images across social networks, we also hope for people to relay our call to action, to join our events, follow us along, and contribute to all of us learning.

I am super-curious for all those FOAs to come in the future!

The Frame Of Average under construction
The FOA is made of plywood and has a finish of several paint layers and decal, including special chalkboard paint on the lower part. Here’s a series of tweets capturing the creation of the physical thing.
FOA Making of - names and social coordinates on the clipboard
To ease production, we take a snapshot of everybody along with their names and social coordinates
One of the resulting raw FOA pictures
…a series of pictures is being taken…
The resulting FOA image
…and with the best picture selected and some Photoshop polish, a template is being applied before the whole thing hits the Twitterz.

Why you should join the Berlin Desknots today!

Badge of the Berlin Desknots
NOT the Austrian Flag here. We’re still looking for a proper logo – do you want to make a proposal? ;oD=

I am happy to announce that this week, Michael Scharnagl, Sven Wolfermann and me founded the Berlin Desknots around the recently established co-up Open Device Lab. “WTF is a ‘Desknot’?” you might ask.

Well, we felt the strong need for a platform to exchange knowhow and best practices around everything we as developers and designers love to create to be consumed on mobile devices: including apps and of course the mobile web. So, how do you name a meetup that is targeting everything around…

  • how to test and debug on and for Smartphones, Tablets, Featurephones, Dumbphones, mobile Gaming Consoles, … (& you name it)
  • how to ensure UX concepts perform on elderly non-Touchscreens as good as on the brand new stylo-goodness
  • how to do performance optimization for the mobile Web
  • how to enable yourself to access a large number of test devices

…and so on. The existing Meetups just don’t focus enough on these highly relevant topics, so we created one, but how to name it?

Josh Clark established a term for “every internet connected device for content consumption that is not a desktop computer or notebook”: Desknots. It’s as simple as that! So we’re proud to announce the foundation of the Berlin Desknots and welcome Josh as a honorary chairman and first member of our meetup. Please join us today on meetup.com, and save the date for our first Meetup: October 17, 2012. This first meetup will be around “Mobile Web Performance, Testing & Debugging Best Practices”.

Looking forward meeting you there!