prob/ideas

This is a collection of problems and ideas. I put them here so that they don’t get forgotten, and so that I don’t have to wonder about what I’ve forgotten (it’s tiring).

Problems are, inevitably, my encounters, and are not representative of everyone’s experiences.

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Helping myself organise screenshots in my phone’s photos album

I’m a little sheepish about this. This has been on my think-about list for a couple of months now. Every time I take some screenshots on my phone, I’m reminded of this. Be reminded enough times, and guilt doesn’t quite feel like guilt anymore. Oops.

But, this has indeed been a real problem for me. I have taken tons of screenshots on my phone(s). Whenever I download a new app, or I find fun/interesting/new features on existing ones, I screenshot the heck out of these flows, layouts, and interactions.

Taking these screenshots is easy, but organising and finding the right screenshots when I do need them are problematic. While Apple has gotten benevolent enough to group all screenshots into their own “Screenshots” folder, going through hundreds and thousands of screenshots looking for that “new on-boarding ABC app did for their DEF feature” is really not productive. I’m more successful at these scavenger hunts when I try to remember when I’ve taken the screenshots, than what. Because that’s what happens when organisation is chronological.

Tagging would be great, but from what I’ve seen online, I won’t be able to do it on my phone. Ugh.

So I’ve been thinking: Heck, why don’t I send these screenshots to myself on Telegram every time I take them? I would send a subsequent message with relevant keywords. The next time I need any of these screenshots, I just need to search for them within this chat.

Now, I just need to figure how to redact the private information that I have on some of these screenshots… 🤔


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Registering product warranty, and missing a proof of purchase

This afternoon I bought a thermo pot off Amazon Prime for my parents. Purchasing it was easy, and it was delivered within 2 hours, which my folks found impressive.

Less impressive was the fact that warranty registration requested for a receipt or proof of purchase. It wasn’t a mandatory field, but a line of text (in a lovely shade of red) warned that the original receipt must be presented for verification at point of service or repair.

Isn’t there now a better way to prove purchase and/or ownership than requiring a receipt?


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Hourly bell? Hated it till I want one

For 2 hours almost every Saturday, my friends and I play badminton at the OCBC Sports Arena.

Each badminton court is for an hour, and to play for 2, you need 2 one-hour slots. You don’t necessarily get the same court, so at the end of each hour, various groups of players move around the hall to their next allocated court. Inevitably, some players lose track of time, and people do some awkward, sometimes passive-aggressive standing around, waiting for the next appropriate interval to say, “We have the court for this hour”.

What I really want is a reminder bell, a gentle version of the screaming one we used to have in school, to signal the closing of the hour and the start of the next hour. Then, I imagine, everyone would gracefully bid adieu to courts no longer theirs and move on.


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Oki-gusuri: Peddling medicines in Japan

I came across a short segment on NHK last week, and it was about oki-gusuri — a practice in Japan where a variety of medications is provided by sales representatives and placed in homes. Payment is not required upfront, and is collected only when the sale rep comes around again to top up used medications and replace expired ones. You pay for what you have used, and there are no other charges.

This practice may have started as a way to market medications — it is conducted by sales representatives after all — but I thought, what a great way to provide emergent, non-critical care to individuals residing in more remote areas.

Closer to home: sure, we have first aid boxes and most of us are seldom more than 15 minutes away from a clinic or hospital. But how many of us check best-by dates only when required to, and have wondered if no-longer-best medications are at least good? I believe there is a service design opportunity in there 🧐

More about oki-gusuri here


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USB charging in hotel rooms

Every time I enter a hotel room, the second (if not first — sometimes the room is so ugh/gorgeous that my attention is drawn elsewhere) thing I look for is the charging station. If there aren’t any USB ports, then it is 🤨😒😖🤔💾

Certainly, a gang plug socket is useful for more appliances (laptops, bottle steriliser, curling irons, kettles, and karaoke systems what you have etc). But we have been charging our phones via USB for more than a decade.

Secure those USB ports though.