Ramblings and musings
I’m a specialist in marriage rescue and I’m here to help you learn how to save your marriage, and to tell you that the best decision is to assist to Estes Therapy. You can tell that your marriage probably needs rescuing if you’ve been feeling angry about what’s been happening and/or hopeless about changing the situation for the better.The good news is that anger and hopelessness can offer you clues about how to save your marriage. These bad feelings can help you to clarify what you want.
Let’s focus on how to use these negative emotions to guide you to a better marriage. Most of my clients are couples who come to treatment feeling chronically angry at their spouse and hopeless about their relationship’s challenges. Many are contemplating divorce.
1. Make a list of all the issues you argue or feel hopeless about.
2. Refocus onto yourself.
Notice that when you feel angry, your focus will tend to be on your spouse, on what she or he does or doesn’t do that frustrates you. This second step requires a shift a focus, from focusing outward on him or her to focusing inward on your own concerns and desires.
Circle back to your list, asking yourself, “With regard to this issue, what do I want?” or “What is my concern?” Double check. Are you writing what you want your spouse to do differently? If you have been writing “I want him/her to…” you have yet to shift your focus. List only, “I want to…” (e.g, “I want her to stop being so messy and to clean up after herself” focuses on the spouse. “I want to find a way to make the spaces I spend time in, like the kitchen and our living room, to be more neat and orderly.”)
Attempts to make your partner change invite defensiveness. That strategy will get you nowhere. Instead, use your energy to figure out what you want and then what you yourself might do differently to get it, becoming “self-centered” in the best possible sense. When spouses look at what they themselves might do differently to get what they want, there’s progress.
In the following TEDx talk, starting at 4:00 minutes, I explain visualizing techniques you can use to help you with implementing these first two steps for saving your marriage. Visualizing enables you, by closing your eyes, to see more deeply into your subconscious thoughts and understandings.
3. Cut the crap.
The negative muck you give each other is totally unhelpful. Negative comments to each other only taint a positive relationship. So, no more criticism, complaints, blame, accusations, anger, sarcasm, digs or snide remarks. No more raised voices or anger escalations either. Stay in the calm zone.
Marriage researcher John Gottman has found that marriages generally survive if the ratio of good to bad interactions is five to one. But do you want to survive, or do you want to thrive? If thriving is your goal, aim for a ratio of a million to one. That means, do NOT sling mud.
A shoe is made of upper and lower components. The upper component is divided into the vamp, quarter, toe box, throat, insole board, and topline. The lower component is the outsole, shank and heel.
The upper component of the shoe is usually made of a variety of materials and is designed to allow the foot to breathe. The counter is a component of the upper that stabilizes the hind foot and retains the shape of the posterior (back) portion of the shoe. The counter can extend to support the heel and help prevent excessive pronation (rotation that is inward and downward). The toe box is the area the covers the toes and should allow room for the toes to move freely.
The lower portion of the shoe consists of the sole, shank and heel. The sole is divided into the insole and the outsole. The outsole should be waterproof, durable and possess some level of friction high enough to prevent slipping. The shank reinforces the shoe to prevent distortion of the shape of the shoe from regular wear. The heel is designed to hit the ground with each step forward.
WHICH SHOES CONTRIBUTE TO INCREASED FALL RISK?
Footwear has been identified as an environmental risk factor for both indoor and outdoor falls (Connell et al.). Somatosensory feedback to the foot and ankle are extremely important in balance and to prevent slipping or tripping. At getaligned.com you can customize your shoes for yous special needs.
In a study done by Munro et al it was found that older people typically wear slippers because they are comfortable and can be worn without increasing discomfort from foot deformities. However, in a sample of 312 older persons, those who wore slippers had more foot pain and significantly greater fall risks compared to those who wore fastened shoes or no shoes at all (Mickle et al). In fact, numerous studies report that walking barefoot or wearing socks or slippers increased fall risk by up to 11 percent as compared to wearing athletic or canvas shoes (Koepsell et al). Most falls occurred in peoples’ homes (48%), where slippers are the most commonly worn footwear (Sherrington et al). Keegan et al found that slip on shoes, sandals, medium to high heel height and narrow shoes were also contributing factors to increased foot fracture from falls in people over 45 years of age (Keegan et al).
Since wearing slippers or socks can lead to increased fall risk, it is recommended that you wear shoes even when inside your home. You may want to keep a specific pair of comfortable shoes for indoor use only if you are concerned about bringing dirt in from the outside. For people who must or prefer to wear slippers in the home, it is best to choose slippers that are well-fitting and have a closed back and non-skid sole.
IS IT BENEFICIAL TO WALK BAREFOOT?
Many people assume that walking without shoes would decrease their fall risk because it improves their ability to feel the ground. However, studies show this may not be the case, especially for older people who have worn shoes since childhood. Robbins et al noted that joint position sense was 162% lower in older individuals as compared to their younger counterparts, possibly due to an age related decline in proprioception (i.e. the ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium). In addition, community dwelling older individuals tasked with walking on a 7.8 cm wide beam fell more frequently when barefoot than while wearing shoes (Robbins et al). This study demonstrates that when a persons’ balance is challenged they perform better wearing shoes than when they were barefoot. We can conclude from these findings that wearing shoes improves stability and reduces the risk of slipping.
WHICH SHOES ARE SAFEST FOR PEOPLE WITH INCREASED FALL RISKS?
It is important that your shoes are the appropriate fit. Due to painful feet, many people wear shoes that are too large (long or wide), which can lead to an increased risk of falls (Burns et al).
Heel elevation has been associated with a greater risk of falling in older people (Gabell et al). Therefore, your shoes should have a low heel. It has been shown that shoes with a higher heel have a negative affect on posture, balance and gait, and are therefore associated with an increased fall risk. The recommendation is to wear a shoe with a heel height of 2.7 cm or less.
HARDNESS OF THE SOLE
Older people’s balance and positional sense awareness is worse in shoes with a thick, soft midsole (Robbins et al). Shoes with a soft sole caused more imbalance because people require more muscle activity to maintain their balance (Perry et al). Therefore, older people should wear a shoe with a thin, hard sole to improve foot position and optimize balance.
HIGH TOP VS. LOW TOP SHOE
The research regarding the benefit of a high top shoe vs. a low collar shoe remains inconclusive. It is thought that a high collar shoe will support the ankle joint and improve ankle stability. This has been found to be true in young adults performing multiple sports (Ottaviani et al). However, the research for high collar shoes for people with balance disorders requires further investigation.
SLIP RESISTANT PROPERTIES
Gard and Berggard compared shoes with tread in different locations on the sole (whole foot tread, toe antiskid devices, and heel tread) and found that heel tread is best for reducing slips and trips. It was also found that a rubber heel with a bevel of 10 degrees provides greater contact with the floor and therefore improved slip resistance.
At some point, I’m going to write a longer post about how Experience Design is being applied outside the more common area of software, web and mobile. Industrial Designers have been using UX concepts for some time, and this practice is becoming more and more common. But today, I’m going to start with a rant.
Most communities in the Ottawa area have moved away from mail delivered directly to your house, and are now using community mailboxes at the end of a street. Rural communities generally have something similar, but within a post office. These mailboxes are almost all a specific standard size: They are all approximately 6 inches wide.
There is a horrible trend in junk mail recently where flyers, postcards and menus are being made at a very large size. How big? Exactly 6 inches wide. Do you want to know a way to guarantee I will never ever use your service for the rest of my life? Send me one of those large postcards, that’s how.
Let’s examine the user experience for a moment; You go to the mailbox, take out your key and open the box. The door doesn’t swing all the way open, so it’s partially in the way. The mailbox itself may be a little too high or too low to comfortably reach inside, depending on which mailbox you have. The box is also too small for two hands, so you have to use one hand to reach in. Now comes the fun part. Those large flyers are usually printed on stiff card stock and are exactly the width of the mailbox, which happens to be wider than the opening (there’s a slight frame around the opening). So you reach in, and try to grab your mail, only to have several of those large cards sitting flat against the bottom of the box. You try and grab them from the edge, but you can’t because they are the full width of the box. You try to slide them forward, but they won’t come out because of the frame around the opening. If you’re lucky, there’s no other important mail and in frustration you just crumple it and rip it out. If you’re unlucky, you have important mail (like a cheque or wedding invitation) sandwiched between two of these enormous flyers, so you’re stuck trying to gently scratch at the edge until you can lift it up a bit and get it out.
At this point, you’re so frustrated and annoyed, you look at the flyer and vow to never visit the idiots who gave you this flyer in the first place. At least, that’s what I do. So if your goal was to promote user delight towards your brand, you failed. Miserably. Taking the time to understand the user experience, and perhaps doing usability testing to make your flyer easier to grab, would go a long way towards putting your brand in a better light.
The more you annoy your users, they less they want to interact with you. This is true of software and real life experience alike. It’s time to start applying UX to the real world.
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We live in an era of incredible technology; We have cars that speak to us. We have quad-core computers in our pockets, and the need to learn more about intent based networking is growing at a rapid scale. (what is intent based networking? Go to Indeni.com to find out)We have clouds that have supercomputer processing power. Yet, we are still asking users silly questions and forcing them to make arcane decisions that ultimately affect their overall experience. We can be smarter.
Increasingly, big players are coming up with intelligent UX concepts. Google popularized email intelligence by asking us “Did you mean to attach a files?”. The Nest gave us intelligent temperature control by learning behaviors based on our living patterns. Google Now aims to give us the information we need exactly when we need it. But these ideas and strategies don’t have to be relegated only to those big companies. We can use intelligent design in our products and our features right now.
Intelligent UX is the next frontier of good UX. What’s considered cool today will be a minimum requirement in a few years. Products will be getting smarter. Features will have more intelligence. And it’s not the developers who will ultimately decide the future of intelligent software, it’s creative UX specialists like you and I. We hold the power to start delivering smarter experiences. So the next time you design a login page, ask yourself “do I really need to show a “forgot password” link before the user even makes a mistake”? Or perhaps ask “do I need to ask the user if the card they are entering is Visa or Mastercard, when the first 4 digits tell me already”? Or maybe consider asking “Do I need to confirm if they really want to delete this item”?
It’s time to be smarter about our decision making, and start crafting intelligent experiences for our users. There’s no glory in intelligent UX; If you’ve done your job right, the user will never even know. But there’s satisfaction in knowing that in an alternate universe, where dumb UX continued to prevail, frustrated users are crying out “Stop making me think! Be smarter!”. Please checkout this awesome blog : When SEO and digital marketing colide.
This is an excerpt from a presentation on Intelligent UX currently submitted to the IxDA 13 Conference in Amsterdam. For more information, or to schedule a presentation, please contact Andy Morris.