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Inside Mobile Design and User Experience

Thoughts on mobile and social business applications, design, and user experience, by Chris Reckling.

As stated elsewhere, Alton Brown was the speaker at the Lotusphere 2008 closing session. He's definitely a favorite in our house, especially with 2 boys here. He always applies scientific principals to his cooking and goes beyond the normal recipe demo. He also seems to go to great lengths to entertain at the same time - for example, donning a dragon costume or creating some contraption to drop a turkey into a fry-o-lator or something. I actually had bought my wife his book, I'm Just Here for the Food for Christmas.

The crowd seemed to enjoy his talk and he encouraged and got feedback. We even got him to make fun about replicating - he had no idea what it meant in the Lotus sense, but that didn't stop him from making the typical jokes about the geeks being able to "replicate", especially if they eat well, etc. etc. (I don't exactly remember the context for someone yelling out "replicate" - I think he was trying to make a techie joke and someone shouted it out (must have been Australian, right?).

Anyway, the first part of the talk went over a humorous survey put together by his 8 year old daughter about TAOSRI, or Technically Advanced Otherwise Socially Retarded Individuals (corrected based on Nathan's response, for the record). Here's one picture from that series:




closingSurvey.jpg



Then he put together a few composite applications, food-wise, that is. A ramen/tuna-in-a-bag dish, vacuum packed and heated to 135 degrees in hot water, a Red Bull sorbet made with liquid nitrogen (apparently they use Notes, too, someone shouted from the floor), and a healthier cheese whiz which shot all over himself and the camera man due to the double ntrous oxide cartridges. He calls his recipes "applications" because they apply different knowledge and techniques to the food preparation task.

Alton answered questions from the audience for the last part. He's very quick on his feet and it was kind of a free-form improv Q$A. Afterwards, he stuck around for awhile to sign autographs and pose for pics. There were a lot of people there (at least 50, I'm guessing) and I did the same thing. He seemed to crack a joke or chitchat with each person and patiently waited for the camera phones to take their shots.



ChrisAndAB.jpg



I told him that I needed to bring my wife back a gift and this was going to be it - an autograph from Alton Brown. And this is what he wrote to her:



theGift.jpg



I framed it, at least, and it was a big hit on the home front. My kids were jealous, too.

That's it for now....I have some interesting items about widgets in the Notes client, but I need sleep, need sleep, need sleep.....

Chris Reckling
Program Director, UX MA Design Studio, Lotus Software

Chris Reckling | 25 January 2008 05:17:40 PM ET | Home, MA

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