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michael | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

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RE:DESIGN/Inspire talk about turning serendipity into predictable patterns of inspiration

Last week I was in Chicago as a presenter for RE:DESIGN/Inspire. The format was slightly different in that there was an emphasis to have the audience participate as much as […]

Humanless iOS 6 Maps

As with most people that live in a city like NYC that have an iPhone, people are regretting the iOS 6 upgrade because of maps. It’s almost impossible to find […]

What Do You Stand For?

A couple months ago I reached out to Stefan Boublil for lunch. I had a lot on my mind and I was curious to see where the convo would go. […]

This was a July Worth Documenting in Photos

For the past five months I’ve been in a reactionary mode. Everything that I’ve known has changed. I was blindsided in ways that I wouldn’t want anyone to experience. It […]

Photos, iPhones and Sharing News via Serendipity

Photo sharing now is as second nature as tweeting something that a person overheard, publicizing a Kickstarter project link or doing something that people ignore on Facebook. With that said […]

Reviewing some of the Tour de France Team Websites

I’m having a bit of Tor de France withdrawal today as there’s no cycling today. July is one of my favourite months because the Tour de France shows the best […]

Looking Back at May & June of 2012 in Photos

Every couple months I’ll take a step back and look at some of the natural patterns emerged with the photos that I shot. May and June was all over the […]

Looking at this great piece of urban design

A couple weeks ago I shot a series of photos on Sullivan’s benches that were in front of stores. The idea for the series came as I was on my […]

#Typography caught in the wild of #NYC

Going through a couple months (February — June) worth of photos tonight that I took, I was looking for a theme to tie a bunch of images together. Almost immediately […]

What I read this week: Link Drop 004

Pack Light

Recently I came across a great post over at Peta Pixel going over 50 Quick Photography Tips in Less Than 15 Minutes. Number 7 stuck with me. Simply pack light. […]

Social media coming of age #makeitwork

Hashtags are nothing new, especially on posters and ads. But something struck me walking past the #makeitwork poster. If I look for that hashtag on Twitter I’m going to get […]

Nice Way to Show a Product Estimation

I was going through U-Haul’s website today and came across a nice, informative and slightly humorous way to make selecting moving pod boxes less boring. The language they use makes […]

The Mobile(s) Web Speed

The I Heart Etsy iPad app from Gesture Theory has had some modest success so far with the number of downloads. It’s not a cash cow but the consistency is […]

The I Heart Etsy iPad App

I’m really happy to mention that Gesture Theory launched the I Heart Etsy iPad app. It was really exciting to see how we could build a product like this internally. […]

Benches of Sullivan st

NYC is big and unique enough that it’s hard for me to say there’s one city street that is my favourite. I really like walking down Elizabeth early on a […]

Diehards Type Test

Over at Gesture Theory we’re testing out a couple fonts for a project. Being someone that really enjoys the craft of typography I thought it was a great opportunity to […]

Now that watch batteries are dead

The USB cable is the best thing to happen to watches since the removable strap. I’ve had my ups and downs with the Nike+ GPS watch. Great concept but poorly […]

Walmart does not own MUJI*

It started simply enough. I had seen the above tweet which made me laugh but also reminded me of something that a friend had told me back when they were […]

Environment for Accidental Opportunities

Coming across the diagram above, the first thing that made me take notice was the idea of trajectory of accident opportunity. I immediately read it as something positive. Basically I […]


WIRED: An Essay on the New Aesthetic By Bruce Sterling So the New Aesthetic is really a design-fiction, it’s a postulated creative position. By metaphorically pretending that machines are our […]

First time experiences and cleaning up sound with Mac OS X

The only thing better as a designer than seeing someone use the thing that a designer designed is going through a frustrating first time experience. It offers the opportunity to […]

A Couple Observations about Paper by FiftyThree

The sketching ipad app Paper by FiftyThree seemed to come out of nowhere with a vengeance Thursday morning on the interwebs. The app is free to download with one brush […]

Link Drop for the last week

BLOG MAVERICK: Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort Everyone has a passion, everyone has a finite amount of time. This post talks about how using time will indicate where […]

Observations with the new iPad & iPhone 4s working together after a week

It has now been over a week since I’ve been using the new iPad. While my habits of use will be evolving as I find out what I’m comfortable using […]

On the first day of Spring things ended as they started

Waking up this morning I didn’t even realize it was the first day of spring. What I did notice looking out the window that the light looked sharper, the air […]

Link Drop for the last week

THE ATLANTIC: The Man Who Broke Atlantic City I don’t use Instapaper that much for reading things that I’ve saved. What I do like going back to the app for […]

iPhone 4s vs the new iPad Camera via Camera+

I shot both images within a couple moments of each other. No filters were used with either one when using Camera+. Biggest issue for me is if I want to […]

Curator’s Code — No thanks

My initial reaction about reading about the Curator’s Code was that it was one of the most ridiculous things that I’ve read in a long, long time. People do link […]

Why I probably won’t use a website’s URL to share a post via email again

Since Readability came out a week or two ago for the iPhone and iPad I’ve noticed that my web reading habits have changed quite a bit. I’m saving a lot […]

App Feature Release Notes vs Stories

Almost daily I’m updating apps on my iPhone and iPad. Half the time I’ll just press the Update All button without too much care. For the rest of the time […]

Photo Themes from January and February

It has been a couple months since I collected all the photos that I shot in one place. Instead of going chronological I decided to group them organically to see […]

The most interesting iPhone app update to me is TuneIn radio – they now have a car ui mode

One of the more recent iPhone app updates that caught my eye was from TuneIn Radio. TuneIn Radio simply streams radio stations that make their feed available on the internet. […]

Why Doesn’t the New Yorker iPad App link out to Articles Discussed in the Mail Section?

Of all the magazines that try to publish the same content from their print magazine to their iPad version, the Economist and the New Yorker have set the bar. I […]

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