It’s been awhile since my last ideation!

Okay, this one’s pretty simple. The idea is: add collaborative editing to design applications, in real-time. Like collaborative whiteboards, but with the integrated tools, note-making, and granular functions.

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In the image, the web app user is adding an ‘X’, the iPhone user is adding a note, and the iPad user is scribbling away. They all do this at the same time, or one after another.

In a real-life example, a user experience designer, a visual designer, and a front-end developer could all be working on a single interface for a brand-new iPad game that has a complex logical structure. They are currently trying to understand basic interactions from one screen to another but don’t have time to have the UX designer cook up several wireframe iterations, then have the visual and front-end designers take those frames and make a basic prototype. They have 10 hours left before development. Oh, and one lives in New York, the second in Minneapolis, and the third in Houston. In-person is not an option.

So they all use their favorite basic visual tool, i.e. OmniGraffle, Photoshop, Fireworks, and work from one screen to another, visually describing the interactions with boxes, arrows, text, gradients, shadows, and most importantly, immediate verbal communication and response.

Visual might ask, “Hey, how will the user add more players to the game?” and UX would add an Add Player function to the screen (maybe a button with a modal prompt). Then Dev would say, “iOS doesn’t support that sort of modal, but you could do this” and Dev redraws the button with an text box alert instead. Then Visual says, “That works, but it doesn’t conform to the game’s proposed visual style. Maybe this?” and so on and so forth.

Like?

This would be a blog where an image of an object with unknown utility would be displayed and users would submit their suggested uses for the object. And that’s it!

Home page for the "How Would You Use It" blog.

A very rough wireframe for the home page. (Made using iMockups for iPad.)

The uses themselves would be very succinct. In the wireframe below, 30 characters is the suggested maximum. Though it could be more, could be less. For this sort of site, simplicity seems to work well. How Would You Use It would play on this, as well as that addiction factor that Facebook and Hot or Not exploited so perfectly.

The "Add a Use" form for an object.

This is what could display when a visitor wants to "add a use."

Also…

There would need to be a more navigation to allow users to view objects that are highly popular, to view objects that the user has already rated, etc., so that all objects are accessible within one or two clicks. But the goal of this blog is for pure amusement.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how people perceive the purposes of objects they are unfamiliar with?

An object of unknown use.

How would you use this?

Oh, by the way, if this idea is already being put in use, please send me the link. Thanks!

Problem: You need to make a pizza with equal slices. But you have five kids each wanting a piece. Or seven friends. Or eleven co-workers. It’s not easy to evenly and geometrically divide a pie for these situations!

Solution: A pizza pie pan that has ruled notches on the edge, measured out to halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, sixths, sevenths, eighths, ninths, tenths, elevenths and twelfths.

Ruled Pizza Pie Pan

No more "but he has the bigger slice!"

It’s an easy add-on. Notches: That’s all I’m suggesting!

Also…

Small text on each notch (not visible in the image) would illustrate which level of division you might want to achieve: 1/2; 1/3; 1/4; 1/5; etc. up to 1/12. It could go beyond, depending on the size of the pie. For an enormous pizza, 1/16 may be needed.

There should be a noticeable “home” notch from which the ruler starts. Maybe as the other notches are labeled, this one would not be labeled. Or maybe this would be the only white notch. Or it could be the largest notch. Or the notch could extend to the center of the pan.

Color-coding might work, too, but the constant and repetitive high heat may complicate such organization. If this were to be done, a color could be used for divisions of factor four (1/4, 1/8), three (1/3, 1/6, 1/12), five (1/5), seven (1/7) and eleven (1/11).

Another thing I would add would be a “clamp” to hold the pizza still during slicing. Anyone else hate it when the pizza slides around? I do. But I’m not sure what would be an easy way to solve this. Yet.