Please have your papers ready. Passport, visa, customs form, medical coverage, service provider roaming agreement.
I wrote the first draft of this column from Madeira where I was attending a conference. I couldn't get on to the Internet because, irony of ironies, this was a technology conference: the 300 attendees had so overwhelmed the hotel's meager Internet that it became useless. Three hundred attendees probably meant 500 -800 IP devices, counting laptop computers, phones and all the demonstration machines, often requiring multiple IP addresses. Why not use our smartphones? We dared not. Exorbitant roaming fees imposed by the service providers struck fear into the hearts (and bank accounts) of foreign attendees. Without access to data, what was left for my smartphone to do? Almost nothing. Smart phone became stupid phone. Without a network connection, the most useful technology available in the phone was the backlit screen which meant that my smartphone was reduced to a flashlight.
Don Norman claims his goals in life are to make a significant difference, but to have fun while doing so. he established the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego which he grew to become a major center for design with a focus on the application of human-centered design principles to complex sociotechnical systems, such as healthcare and automation. He is both a businessperson (VP at Apple, Executive at HP and a startup) and an academic (Harvard, UC San Diego, Northwestern, KAIST). As co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group he serves on company boards and helps companies make products more enjoyable, understandable, and profitable. He is an IDEO Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He gives frequent keynotes and is known for his many books including "The Design of Everyday Things," "Emotional Design," and "Living with Complexity" (which argues against simplicity), and a completely revised, updated edition of "Design of Everyday Things." He has now retired from that position (his 5th retirement, the 2nd from UCSD), and is hard at work reforming design education and, of course, writing a book.