NEWS: Infographic Of The Day: When Do Criminals Prowl The Streets?By: Cliff Kuang
The time that robberies, shootings, and assaults happen during the day reveals a lot about the mindsets of the perpetrator.
Trulia has produced another wonderful interactive chart, this time showing various types of crime, and what time of day they occur in 25 of America’s largest cities.
Trulia has taken a stab (pun intended) at this data before, in a map showing exactly where crimes occur in a given city. But by offering this data as a time series, it actually ends up being even more interesting, from a sociological point of view. The fact is, the various categories of crime imply different states of mind in the criminal, and as a result, they have a different ebb and flow throughout the day.
Take assaults, for instance. The impulse to beat on someone is clearly crime of passion — it’s not a crime of opportunity. You punch someone because you’re angry, and people get angry all throughout the day. Given that, check out this chart. The timeline is organized from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.:
As you can see, once you throw out the hours of 3-5 a.m., when most people are asleep, assaults actually happen at a pretty even pace throughout the day. Mornings, afternoons, and nights: They’re all equally good times for getting pulled into some argument where a fist flies.
Contrast that with robberies. These are clearly crimes of opportunity: You rob someone with a fair bit of premeditation, and your chief concern is not getting caught. Ergo, robberies usually happen during the day, with peak reporting at about 5 p.m. Why then? Probably because that’s when people start arriving home from work to discover they’ve been robbed:
Of course, the one exception seems to be Philadelphia, where people get robbed all the time, no matter if the streets are busy, people are home, or whatever. That seems baffling until you think about it a little. There probably comes a point when a city is so high crime that criminals aren’t too afraid of ever getting caught. Hence, they can get away with all kinds of stuff no matter who sees them — there’s a tipping point where crime goes from being a transitory, temporal thing to a culture that’s self-sustaining and hard to check. Philadelphia, for anyone who’s ever spent any time there, would seem to confirm this: The hoodlum culture there is nearly unchecked, and you can hear plenty of stories of people getting robbed or shot in broad daylight.
Which brings us to shootings. These are clearly the most heavy-duty crime, and the one where the consequences of getting caught are the most dire. As a result, they tend to happen in the wee hours when there’s less likely to be witnesses:
Which isn’t to say that shootings are always planned. But you have to believe that the chances of getting seen and caught weigh in the back of the mind of anyone thinking about pulling out a gun.
Check out the entire fascinating series of charts here.
iPad 3: Faster, Better, Smarter, But Also A Bit Too Familiar
Today, Tim Cook walked onto the stage in San Francisco and cooly declared the end of the PC era, ushered in by the iPhone and iPad. And then, after a bit of crowing about Apple’s remarkable sales on all fronts and announcing that Siri would now speak German, French, and Japanese, he unveiled the new iPad 3.
The tech heads among you will want to know specs, and my colleague Kit Eaton is all over them. Basically, the thing has a super high-def “retina” display, 4G, a better camera, and voice dictation. But there were some subtle changes to the design—so subtle that you probably wouldn’t notice, and you certainly can’t see them in the pictures here.
One crucial detail remains: The curving lip of the thing, which is perhaps the one detail that will never leave, aside from the huge screen. That’s simply because it allows you to pick it up off a table with one hand. (Why isn’t there a curving lip on the iPhone 4? Because it’s small enough that with one hand, you can lift it by gripping two opposing edges with your finger and thumb.)
But as I’ve pointed out before, the footprint of actual industrial design has rapidly shrunk, so that there really isn’t that much you can design with the case of the iPad. Plus, the iPad is approaching the physical dimensions where it can’t get much thinner without being actually unergonomic. All of which still means Apple is less and less defined by the actual feel of the objects themselves than the “feel” of how those pixels move after you touch the screen.
In that respect, iPad 3 doesn’t depart much from it’s predecessor, which is probably the biggest disappointment. Apple’s UI’s remain clean and relatively good—but they’re not putting distance between competitors such as Microsoft, whose new Windows 8 OS is quite impressive. They also remain wedded to silly graphic flourishes such as the wooden bookcase in iBooks and severely linear menu hierarchy. One small exception to this lack of progress is the new iPhoto for iPad, which has all sorts of clever little details to it, such as tapping on an area of a photo to adjust its exposure and color, and a new geo-tagging tool that let’s place a picture on a map. Yet the OS overall is remaining fairly static. Rumors of haptic feedback proved not to be true.
Perhaps that’s simply because Apple is becoming less of a maker of things—such as computers and UI’s—and more of a container of other people’s creations. In other words, they’re less concerned with the UI than filling it with apps designed by others. As that burden of being a store rather than just a product grows, the locus of innovation moves.
But Apple has an unprecedented ability and market standing which allows it to lead the way in how people use their technology. They also have a massive install-base that keeps them grounded. The question is: Which will ultimately determine how they develop products in the future?
Brainstorming: Can you force creativity?
Anyone that has worked in marketing will be familiar with the concept. You get a ton of people in a room and get them to try and be creative for an hour or so to come up with ‘ideas’. I’ve even been on ‘brainstorming training’ where tips and tricks for better brainstorming are unveiled.
“We all have different ways of coping with the boredom that comes with a daily routine. Some of us take to YouTube, others smoke.”—Cliff Kuang, Co.Design
The Future of Design is User Experience
Most companies I meet have a hard time connecting quality engineering with quality design. This is even true in the tech world. Some products are built on well-coded architecture, yet look like basic WordPress templates. Others are beautifully designed with minimal functionality.
The disparity between these two skill sets is becoming increasingly important to a company’s success. More than ever companies are calling for people who can apply knowledge and creativity in both computer science and design.
Cliff Kuang, Editor of Fast Company’s Co.Design, agrees.
“Issues of design matter now
in a way they never have before.”
At WeStory, WeWork’s quarterly speaker event, Cliff Kuang spoke about the impact designers will make on future industries. He believes the role of designers is changing. They’re emerging from a history of marginalizing themselves as professionals who only fix ugly products. Now, designers are also the people a company calls when the product doesn’t function well.
This is because design isn’t just about aesthetics anymore. It’s about the user’s experience: the enjoyment users derive when interacting with a product.
When building a product or service, often times the missing key factor is making sure what’s built connects with its audience. Kuang believes, “Design is the relationships fostered around core interactions.”
He uses one aspect of Amazon’s Kindle as an example of great user experience design. Amazon spent billions of dollars to personalize each Kindle to each customer’s experience, so a customer would receive a personal greeting when turning on her Kindle for the first time. For instance, mine would say, “Hello, Jon!” This personalized greeting is meant to symbolize the initiation of a dialogue and relationship between the product and its user.
As more and more companies adopt these techniques, the field of user experience design will become increasingly ubiquitous. Within the next ten years the role of Chief Experience Officer will be a prominent part of any major organization.
But, until that day, Kuang says, “We’re waiting for common things redone in extraordinary ways.”