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I really like the attitude and methods that Snarkmarket & Revelator Press used to distribute their New Liberal Arts content. While it’s not an entirely unique concept of getting enough people to buy something before a larger release, it’s notable that once they sold out of their print run they opened up the digital versions for free. Even better was that there was a no thrills web version and a pdf that I’m assuming is just like the book. While I was reading some of the chapters last night via the pdf it I started to wonder why the pdf didn’t take account that I was reading on screen (maybe a bigger font, more linear etc…) and then I was like oh ya, they do have a web version http://snarkmarket.com/nla/new-liberal-arts.html stupid me… It was a strange moment to see something in default that was easier to read on a screen than a nicer version meant to be read on paper but was on screen.
Getting back to the buy and vote idea, Threadless was the first that I remember that used the idea of testing what a lot of people (ie. a crowd) was wanting to buy. Again there’s a limited run that forces people’s hands a bit. The shirts aren’t going to be there forever. However they have a simple way of selling even more shirts if they sell out quick. You can vote by sending in your name. They collect enough names and the thing is reprinted.
While this week may have seemed kind of slow news wise, there were a number of themes that I picked up on that suggest that they could keep popping up till the end of the year. There’s info flow in all it’s multiple ways and the politics that play out when that information is distributed. It’s a no brainer that people like looking at images, but how people find them and push them out to a larger audience is something to keep an eye on. It was amazing how Twitter was a key pivot for a lot of the connections. Search is no where to be found. For those familiar with Link Drop, I try to publish it on Fridays though they tend to happen more and more on Saturdays. So keeping that in mind I figured why not just keep it on Saturdays and see what happens. Though next weekend I’m in Boston so it should be interesting to see how I publish it there.
This was a bit of wake up call after earlier this week when the WWF tried to take back their poster. A number of blogs and news sites linked back to me because I had one of the few screen shots of the One Show showing the poster as a merit award winner. While it wouldn’t take much for a company to delete the image from my flickr account for their own purposes after reading this post. I’m going to keep multiple digital copies on different servers in case anything happens to one of the files.
I don’t usually post tips kind of stuff but I thought this was worth mentioning because of the character count, and it’s a much more human post to the one I link below from AlertBox. While a person can use up to 140 characters, if they use them all up it’s much more difficult to have someone RT’it. If you don’t care about RT’s, than fill’er up.
I didn’t even know who this person was before his final tweet started making the rounds. I suspect that Madison and I even walked by his place on our dog walks. This post collects a couple more well known people passing on the word. While a certain skepticism is warranted with celebs in general, I’m assuming a publicist isn’t filtering stuff like this—so it’s interesting to read.
While I’m not a linguist I do keep an eye out for patterns in speech. I’m also not a golf expert—so reading that combination of text with something to look out for while wrapped in shop talk was worth the read.
I don’t usually follow this kind of corporate marketing talk. While it was good to break down the scene and look at what worked and didn’t, something seemed a bit off about the assessment of using humour to diffuse the situation. I think if it had been there had been a cold response it really wouldn’t of had any traction. It put a human face behind to the person responding.
This week’s collection of stuff that I’ve found interesting via Link Drop contains a lot of new themes. There’s stuff about smell, flowers and even Whole Foods. Apple makes it’s usual appearance, though in a more positive light. I also seem to be listening to a lot of personal stories via podcasts and interviews. Hopefully if it’s raining where you are like it is in NYC today, you have some time to check some links out that you may not have come across otherwise.
After reading this, I wasn’t exactly sure what people were going crazy about. I’ve used the service a couple times and was happy with the results. The kicker is that if people don’t like using it, they’re not forced to. And don’t get me started on the proposed redesigns—the idea reminds me of the stupidity that wired did when they asked people to redesign google. sigh… I did have to laugh when it was mentioned in the article about how people have tried to redesign it.
I didn’t know this designer but it still saddened me to read none the less. The Canadian design community has lost a passionate person that was doing what he loved. You can see more of his work via Mark Busse.
This was a last minute drop before I published this Link Drop. I’m really liking how magazines are taking a risk by showing people how they really are. Apparently the issue of the magazine is close to selling out already.
The interview with Liskula Cohen is worth a listen, the silence in between answers and follow up questions was a bit strange. But it wasn’t that strangeness that made me listen to it a couple more times, but more about the response to how things were settled. The rest of the podcast wasn’t too bad either.
This week’s version of Link Drop was a week late and while I hate excuses there’s a pretty good one. Last weekend I was redesigning the format of Link Drop when my computer stopped working. I wasn’t exactly happy about that so I decided I’d continue finding good stuff on the web to remember and keep working on the design when I got my computer back. It’s now Friday and I’m happy to report Tekserve did a great job of fixing everything. So with that said hopefully Link Drop next week will be a bit easier to read. As always, I’ve jotted down some of the themes that flowed with what I saw.
The Agency Problem
This kind of sums up things for me in terms of design today. While I’m not running a multi billion dollar design agency yet, I question why even online design is treated like traditional print projects. The online is handed over to the client with no proof if the thing will actually work. That’s why I wanted to talk about agile design and wondered out loud how more companies should be thinking that way…
Tuft vs. Turf
The flow and motion of the plastic was really changed up their outside view. From the street is must be quite the view.
Reading Ahead: Managing Recruiting
A fascinating comparison of finding people via all the social networks out there to older processes of using a recruiter to screen people.
The Most Interesting New Tech Startup of 2009
Working with a startup I was naturally interested in this post. As weird as it seems, perhaps government agencies are a good candidate to be thrown into start up mode considering the changes both in technology and social communication tool. Brochures are no longer how information is passed along (or at least I hope it’s in conjunction with online).
This week’s version of Link Drop has a healthy does of me at the beginning. When I read about other bloggers and their exploits, sometimes I think it’s cool to see, other times perhaps not. So if you’re in the perhaps not camp, please scroll quickly to link #4. Overall I came across a bit of everything, there’s lot’s of publishing stuff, both online and print. I think I keep coming back to that topic because it’s how people are broadcasting messages today, something we should all be in the business of. I also found it interesting how Armstrong integrated his message into a number of different outlets that again I think we can all learn from. Did I miss anything worth reading?
Video Notes from the Field
Being asked to pass along a quick thought about digital & design to potential students headed to that field, I choose to mention how digital is different than print. “Digital isn’t a one-time shot, but a constant upgrade”. For me to be included with a lot of people that I try to learn from myself on the post was quite cool to see.
The Aggregator That Newspapers Like
Some days I find it harder to explain what Daylife is then others, especially when I start mentioning Select. This article did a pretty good job explaining things on a high level and about some of the history behind the news service I work with.
Three New Foodists
I like food, I like to write—what better reason then that to start contributing to this food blog when the urge hits?
I wish I had come up with this idea first. Marking off blocks on NYC and documenting what’s around the street. Photos and google map included.
Unofficial Rules of the App Store
The potential for this site is quite important. If people regularily contribute it could give a good indication of what mistakes not to make. It could also be said that Apple should keep things open, but that’s a different debate altogether.
This week’s Link Drop is a double issue as I was preoccupied with being in SF last Friday. For this post I combined the best of what I found in the last 14 days. The biggest surprise for me was that I didn’t mention the iPhone, Apple or Google once. In their corporate place was Amazon and Zappos—no big surprise considering their news this week. There were quite a few times this morning as I was typing away with the links that I said to myself that this could be a best of year post. What I mean by that is there’s some really good content from others that I might want to save for my year end post. Maybe the summer brings out the best in us all?
The New York Review of Ideas
This site came out of no where (at least to me). The design and content match each other. I hate to say it, but I hope they publish their best content yearly.
A conversation with The Publisher & Editors of Politico
There’s a lot of observations a viewer could take from this round table talk. There’s the predictable print vs online aspect, but what perked up my ears was their strategy talk of wanting to own their sector in terms of being the “ESPN” of politics. Combine that attitude and energy with unique personalities and the hour went by very quickly. Afterwards I had to wonder how soon it will be till Charlie himself makes a couple appearances on Politico…
Walmart Announces a Sustainable Product Index
This gives an overview of what Walmart will be asking it’s retailers in terms of environmental impact of their products. I think this is a big deal as up until now most companies that have power to change things haven’t really stepped up to the plate.
Zappos Review Incites Reproach From Agency Creative
FYI, this link doesn’t work anymore if you don’t subscribe to Ad Age. I kept it because I wanted to use this as a perfect example of why a paid content wall doesn’t work. I thought this article was one of the best that has come out of Ad Age for quite some time because there was a great debate between the merits of the pitch and measuring how long a client actually looks at a pitch. The post that instigated the discussiondidn’t bother turning on the comments which made it a one way discussion—not a great thing for online content. With the above link there was a lot of info being added to the article which I appreciated. Now behind a wall no one is going to subscribe for one article. Now that I know there’s a time limit on Ad Age articles I’m probably not going to include them in my Link Drop anymore.
Zappos’ culture evident in their design
There’s going to be a lot of posts like this now that Amazon is going to purchase Zappos. I thought it would be funny to have this post beside the above issue of companies working with outside vendors for communication.
It’s amazing how a publisher’s branding can be transferred to well known album art in a visual way. The initial idea is still intact with the popular designs, yet the low saturation and paper crinkles also tell a story.
I liked Chris Anderson’s book Free. It’s a good business 101 in the digital age kind of refresher. Nothing really new being mentioned. What I liked even more though was how this post put those type of ideas into a larger context that I hadn’t really been thinking about.
100 Years of Design Manifestos
If I had a couple days of free time (which I don’t), I’d read all of these a couple times and try to pull out all the common themes, take those themes and look at them in the frame of today. With that info compare each of the ideas to the other time periods in the timeline and see what’s universal applicable and what’s just naive.
STVLAH: Things That Fall Over
This might be one of my fav. posts of the year in terms of making unrelated designs fit really well together. Especially in the economic period that we’re all in.
When You Put Data In, You Should Be Able to Get It Out
Did you know that if you tweet over 3,200 times, the 3,201 isn’t available unless you know how to use their api. Within that context this post talks about some of the ethical issues that digital services need to think about.
Dean + Deluca.
One of the benefits of living in NYC is that when people from other cities shoot Manhattan they capture moments that quite possibly could be taken for granted with resident. With fresh eyes it reminds me of all the cool everyday stuff floating around.
The technology, entertainment and design conference known as Ted has been starting to feel predictable as the years go by. For some reason having it overseas has invigorated it. I’m seeing and reading a lot more about the people presenting that seem kind of worth while. This site is pulling a lot of that content together in a great format for those like myself that aren’t there.
The Books of Oxford
I haven’t had time to read this yet, I’m going to after I publish this Link Drop…
Audio from the Web Fonts Panel at TypeCon2009
Litherland passed this on to me just before I was going to hit the publish button for this Link Drop so I haven’t had the chance to listen it yet. It’s hard to comment about what’s been said with this discussion about issue of licensing fonts for the web before I’ve actually heard what they have to say. But since this is my site I can say what I want. My take is that this discussion should have happened like fifteen years ago. Type designers used to be ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and distributing their typefaces. At this point I don’t know if there’s anything those same type people can say that is actually meaningful. As a collective they’ve ignored technology, ie 6 and now I’m pretty much using Arial and Georgie too much. I blame you type designers for ignoring the fact that times change. And since we’re on it, why do I have to use bitmap like typefaces for super small points? Can we please move past type being designed for paper?
July is here and with that comes the Tour de France. I’ve found a number of bike and tour related stuff that is shows the sport in perhaps a slightly different light then most people are used to reading about. There were a number of process pieces that I didn’t connect directly though on a second look might warrant it. There’s behaviour process, big question process and the big idea process along with emotional process. And as usual there’s a number of photo and type related things. I’m heading off to SF for a couple days next week, so I’m not sure what the format for next week’s Link Drop will look like. Stay tuned…
where to get off the subway
Now that I have this app I’m hope it will be easier to find my exit on Canal St or 34th St a lot easier. Up until now I’ve been choosing my train car haphazardly. Now I’ll pick it by design.
beauty made from ugly
There’s something really cool about making architectural forms out of metal shipping containers.
Lost in Translation
I really like how the abstraction on the left carries a lot of visual resonance to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to the right.
Surry Hills Library Signage by Collider
The typography of this wayfinding system is quite special. I love how the type is angled. I want to be able to do that for something in the not so distant future.
When’s the last time you saw a building get up and go for a walk?
Letter from AIGA’s incoming president
It’s amazing to me that more incoming design organization presidents don’t write a simple letter explaining what they want to accomplish. It should be mandatory to have an outline like this.
Ok, this Link Drop is even too late for my liking… But it’s better to publish it three days late as opposed to not posting it all or doing a double issue this week. With the amount of rain NYC has been getting in June, if there’s a day of sun it’s worth trying to make the most of it. This weekend there was a lot of it—hence this post is coming out on a Monday. I’ve got UX on my mind and it seemed like that came across with a lot of the posts that I thought were worth saving. But isn’t everything about some sort of experience?
Chris Anderson Interview
There’s a lot of ideas about publishing and passing on info in a world of free and not so free content. Whether you’re in publishing or not I think a lot of people can get something from listening to the podcast.
Powers of Ten x Katsu
There’s a great scale to Katsu’s work. The last clip is of him painting on a roof in nyc. I’m pretty sure it’s on a building that viewer can see from the end of the High Line.
A Feed Apart, an unofficial feed aggregator for An Event Apart: Sessions
This is a great idea created on the grassroot’s level. A couple people created a site that would collect all tweets related to the conference. I think this kind of stuff will be a must for conferences as twitter becomes a popular way of mentioning stuff that speakers give importance to.
The True Love Project
A photographer took a series of images of people under a hypnotic state. The subjects were to visualize true love.
Dog and Pony Show Design
Ever ask yourself how many design comps to show to present to a client. This post goes in depth about that.
A post about the Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. I think I’ll have to read those books at some point
Mobile Uploads to YouTube Increase Exponentially
I don’t think this info about mobile uploads will surprise anyone that it’s increased a lot since the new iPhone video capabilities came out. It just shows the power of one button click that makes things easy can be of great benefit.
This week’s edition of Link Drop is a bit lighter than usual. The summer is supposed to be less busy but that doesn’t seem to be the case and in turn that means less time to collect and filter interesting stuff on the interwebs. The new iPhone came out which made me happy as I was getting tired of my 2nd generation iPhone that I’ve had for a couple years. I’ll post a review about that once I’ve fully tested it out. Other things that caught my attention related to process and technology quite a bit.
#CNNfail: Twitter Blasts CNN Over Iran Election
I tried to keep the amount of blog posts related to Iran, news and the social apps that were sending out information to a minimum. Fascinating to see how CNN on tv really dropped the ball with Iran in the beginning of the election only to be castigated with those people that expected more from a trusted source.
5 Ways to Redesign a City
A quick post with links to how interaction design can help redesign a city. Personally I’m not sure why the pdf had to call out “interaction design” and not just use the profession of design…
Mapping a better world
Smart article about turning abstract concepts into information that people can understand while looking at maps.
Great collection of visualization posters. Lots to look at for reference, and if so inclined—purchase. The site is nicely designed too.
Flip Flop Fly Ball
If you like baseball or a fan of data visualization, this is the site for you. Surprised I haven’t heard of it before this week.
Is Design Thinking bullshit?
How could I not include a post with a title like that in Link Drop? Nothing really new again about design, but interesting how they compare “design thinking” to the ppt version of how a product is developed. Has a couple links included in the post worth looking at too.
Not a Daily Drawing: Work for The Webby Awards and w+k
While portfolio sites have their place, working examples like this are much more powerful in my opinion. They show the design in the real world and give it a voice from the person creating the work. Plus there’s rss, so it can be distributed to those that subscribe to the blog.
The Newsweek Redesign: Hit or Miss?
This post is probably more interesting for the comments then the actual post. A number of people voice their opinion on the new Newsweek design. What do you think, have you even picked up a copy in the last couple of years?
I liked the photo comparing three different adapters for juicing up an iPhone.
It’s been a crazy blog week for me and because of that my Link Drop is three days overdue. The High Line opened which I was happy to experience first hand early in the week. Quite a few interesting blogs passed some nice traffic to me because of it, so I thought in return I’d compile those sites near the top of this post. I also got a lot of interesting response from my AIGA post, a significant amount coming via twitter which I thought was interesting. On top of all that, there was a lot of great stuff on the net. So adding that all up I finally can present last weeks Link Drop. See you back in a couple days…
If you get the opportunity to walk the High Line at night, these are the people responsible for the great lighting design. It was one of my favourite parts of the experience walking around that first night.
Hype for Type
The person behind this site did all the right things to get the word out to the design blog sites out there. I might do an interview with them as they mentioned something kind of interesting about why they wanted to start the site in the email I got. They were “frustrated with the lack of quality and original typefaces within the design community.” I’d like to hear more about that from them.
I thought the image was a nice extension of those blocky letter forms out there at the moment.
he sees, he’s a seer
The idea has a lot of potential though I wish it did more then just use the Amazon api for suggestions. If only there was a real person behind this—or better yet a group of librarians to offer suggestions.
Kindle’s Not Working
I don’t have a Kindle and I’ve often wondered if it’s a bit overpriced considering a netbook doesn’t have any of the same limitations that Amazon has put on their machine.
I thought the video was quite amazing, and better yet I don’t think it was staged.
The New Negroponte Switch
Good presentation to look at about stuff moving away from academic discourse and application of interactive ideas in the real world.
I discovered this neat site via twitter. Cool observations on what he does.
Fun with flash—something I don’t normally say…
I haven’t actually had time to read this, but it’s next on my hit list once I have five minutes to sit down.
Can Computer Nerds Save Journalism?
Another perspective on what needs to be done with journalism. Everyone has an opinion these days it seems. I wonder if anyone aside from journalists are actually reading these things.
Microsoft Biffs the Bing Logotype
I liked this first person account of working at Microsoft as an intern and how there was actually good design going on, and how it kept getting killed. Relates to that awful Bing logo.
Data Center Overload
The whole magazine issue is quite strong content wise, the redesign looks like it came from New York Magazine. Here’s one article from the Infrastructure issue.
My friend has a great eye and mind for picking stuff to talk about.
Banksy’s Bristol show
Banksy’s got a new show, would be interested to get my hands on the book if there was one. From some of the clips it looks like a lot of his stuff from NYC is on display from the pet store.
One of the more popular posts on twitter that I mentioned this week. Fun—no?
This has been one of those strange weeks where everything on the outside looks the same, though on the inside there’s a lot going on. It’s been a cool week though there’s nothing I can really report on at this point. I realize that’s this is a lame way to start this week’s Link Drop, but that’s what’s been going on and typically those events around me mirror what I find interesting web wise over the week. So stay tuned and please enjoy some of the stuff that I thought was worth saving for a second read.
Paula Scher on Failure
For some reason when ever the press covers Pentagram, it’s pretty fluffy coverage with predictable results. Personally I blame the writers for being lazy. However this week I did come across an interview that I was actually able to gain some insight into. Maybe some of those design writers can learn a thing or two from a non design magazine covering a designer?
Flickr Group: Look, I taped my iPhone!
So far I’ve been lucky to escape dropping or destroying my iPhone (knock on wood). Some people haven’t unfortunately. They’ve dropped their iPhone and the screen has cracked in all sorts of weird ways. Strange thing is, if a person were to tape up their iPhone screen together it still functions. A flickr group has popped up to show what all those phones look like.
Designer Q&A with Craig Nottage
I’m not much of a pool player—but how cool would it be to have a table like this? I think this is one of those times when a design has broken out of it’s traditional form to be something even more interesting.
On the Street and On Facebook: The Homeless Stay Wired
This is one of those strange dichotomies of living and technology. If you’re a person that donates to a homeless person on the street—are you less likely to give if you noticed that they had a cell phone? That’s not covered in the article but that’s what it triggered in my head. Tech. is even more persuasive then we thought.
Movies to See Alone
Something for reference in case one is feeling like thinking about a film in being by themselves for the evening the morning.
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
I’m not a film person, but I saved this site in case I did have a couple extra hours and wanted to see something that wasn’t too hyped but was worth seeing.
A point to consider about the complexity of communication with Wave, I wonder if he’ll have the same feelings a year from now.
Went Walkabout. Brought back Google Wave.
I talk a lot about Google in my Link Drops week after week but what might be surprising is that I don’t use a lot of their products. I don’t use Google News because Daylife does a better job imho, I don’t use Gmail that much because I like having hard copies of my data (though I do have a couple accounts). Google also caters to the non mac crowd first so they also tend to not be using all the creative juice that’s out there. Sure engineers are creative and smart, but their missing a huge sector of digital spectrum by releasing PC based products first like Chrome. With all that said I’m kind of curious to see how Google Wave morphs into the future. Cool insight from a blog post about how Wave came to be. These are the kind of posts that are why corporate blogs are supposed to be. Talk about the product, share a bit of the process and publicize some of the benefits.
The embeddable newspaper
What’s strange to me as I read this is that most publishers and content creators are still gun shy about letting their content be embeddable. While YouTube might not be as profitable as it seems, what people fail to learn is that there’s a huge value in having stuff passed on that can be placed in other web sites. Sad thing, this is a concept that’s almost ten years old yet people that have never really published anything by hand or experienced that metaphor themselves are kind of out of the loop at the moment. OK–this post really didn’t have much to do with anything I just said, but that’s what I was thinking about as I read it…
Design made you do it.
This was probably my fav. post of the week though the argument is completely wrong. Designers with heavy ties to the old world of academics hold on to the holy grail of design that can change behaviour. It’s a nice concept on paper yet what is never talked about is ethics, personal righteousness and agendas. There’s a place to make the world a better place, and there’s a time to consider personal rights that leave people alone. Her post ignores all of this in responding to what I wrote about a couple d. students from Stanford last week.
RoamBi: Dynamic Data Visualization for the iPhone
I started playing around with this free app yesterday. I haven’t had time to upload my own data yet. It’s a cleaner faster version of visualizing stuff as opposed to using a traditional desktop tool to make pie charts. Real benefit aside from getting data on an iPhone, not sure just yet.
Behind the Scenes: Tank Man of Tiananmen
By far one of the most popular links that I passed on from Twitter a couple days ago. Interesting to read different perspectives of the same image through different lenses.
I’m not entirely sure why but I’m pretty happy how this week turned out for Link Drop. Lots of Design process, typography, NYC, social and business stuff. Art doesn’t usually get mentioned that much, but there’s a couple mentions of it. Usually by Wednesday I’m wondering if I’m going to have enough stuff that keep me interested, and it was the same this week. Yet I managed to find more then I’ve been able to post for a couple weeks—go figure.
This is one of my new favourite reading sites. While they don’t have a ton of free books to choose from, the option of having small chunks of the story emailed on a daily basis is nice. Through a five or ten minute read on a daily basis the chances of completing the book grow exponentially. There’s also a really nice UI that goes along with the options when a person chooses a book.
One of the most interesting aspects is the first comment suggesting that volunteering isn’t just a thing of socialists but also of religion—I just found that interesting in a non obvious way. And by my suggesting this, probably way too much of a generalization but, I’m pretty sure most people that are on the digital side have never considered how closely those two ideals in sharing knowledge are. I know I didn’t.
Making Policy Public: Predatory Equity
Every once in a while I get email from Urban Omnibus mentioning posts that they’ve put up. What I appreciate about the info is that the posts really dig into using design for improvement and talk about how they did it.
Great post for anyone that’s motivated about their career. If you’re successful you’ve probably already been in the same mindset, but it’s good to remember those ideals once in a while.
Web Visions 2009 Presentation
These pdfs are a really great source of information for people in the business of design. Like REALLY helpful—go there now and download them!
A collection of information on Agile Process—happy to see my presentation included.
I really like this combo of real life imagery and arrows juxtoposed together. It tells a story and then shows the actions afterwards. I don’t think I’ve come across this kind of visualization before.
This clock both makes me feel smarter and hurts my head at the same time.
I’d like to hang out in a room drinking fancy drinks while this dj table was bouncing around. A couple super model would be an added bonous…
The book is here
Great idea from a talented illustrator, order his book from him and he’ll add one more illustration by hand. I also noticed that he was giving shout outs to people via twitter that were buying it.
Cover Story: Finger Painting
I think by now we’ve all seen the cover of the year from the New Yorker. What you may not have known is that I mentioned him in early March, which I found via twitter a couple days before that…
If you’re in Manhattan this weekend, be sure to be facing west around Saturday, May 30 — 8:17 P.M. It’s when you can see the sun fall directly down the streets of NYC.
Mannahatta in Miniature
I love looking at anything that has to do with Manhattan, especially with this project. I think I’m going to have to check out the exhibition this weekend, can’t wait to get my hands on the book at some point soon either.
Helsinki x New York
Sometimes I think NYC is small and then I read a post like this and it shrinks even more. Nice write up from a couple friends on different sides of the pond at the moment.
Heralding the Latest Street Closures
Hopefully you’re not tired of me talking about NYC because what is going on in Manhattan with the streets is very special. Super cool to see what in my backyard. I’m so looking forward to not bumping into so many people at rush hour once the roads have been taken back to pedestrians.
This was a pretty good week for me overall. I got some great coverage from Slate and CNN, and from the feedback so far, I gave a good talk for CreativeMornings. But it wasn’t entirely perfect. I ended being a part of ten15am which was probably the best for everyone involved. Sometime in the not so distant future I’ll do a post on some of the more interesting things I discovered being part of that group. Theme wise it was a bit all over the place. For some strange reason air was a big theme, along with typography. There’s also a couple follow up links from last week’s Link Drop.
Kill Your RSS Reader
Slate’s technology columnist Farhad Manjoo tests out my tab system for finding good stuff on the web
Tech Trends: time to ditch RSS?
CNN’s SciTechBlog bulds off of the Slate post about my tab system. Lots of interesting comments ensue after it’s published.
Making Policy Public: Vendor Power!
This is a follow up link from my mention last week. Probably one of my favourite projects that I’ve come across this year, designer Candy Chang goes through the process designing something to demystify the rules and regulations of street vending in New York City.
Here & There influences
Another follow up link, this time about those crazy maps of Manhattan. Lots of interesting influences that I didn’t realize at first glance.
Cool to see that Verlag is now available for anyone to buy. There’s some good blurbs in this annoucement about designer and typographer working together to create something that has staying power.
Aerial Virtual tour of New York
Amazing views of New York with the ability to circle around. It would be even cooler if I could fly around the whole city aside from just a fixed point—yet it’s still quite amazing to interact with.
The publishers dilemma
There’s a couple options for publishers as they try to figure out the digital world that is now changing the typical value chain in publishing: authors –> agents –> publishers –> whole-sellers –> retailers –> consumers that could be turned into authors –> retailers –> consumers.
How to Save Media
More ideas about how old media should try to figure out how to survive in today’s world.
The Xerox Star UI
Fascinating description of digital dirt and how the shift of one pixel made it disappear. I also just like looking at the collection of icons for the UI as well.
The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time
This collection is fascinating for a bunch of different reasons, and not just for the list itself. When something akin to a best of list, there’s a lot of editorial consideration which Amazon in my mind hasn’t been known for in the past. Usually they’d put up a ranking that is compiled entirely of data of numbers that represent what people are buying. With this list, that has changed. A person compiled that which adds all sorts of subjectiveness into play. The second thing that struck me is that there isn’t a simple buy all button. What if I were rich and could actually afford all 100 of those albums. There’s no easy way to do that which is kind of surprising to me. Additionally I thought the comments afterwards was helpful too—other people could chime in to what they considered to be the best albums. A good counter balance to the amazon official list.
I feel as though this week just started and it’s already Friday. Good weather, good company and being in NYC will do that to people. But with that said there’s always time for the interwebs and below are some of the sites that I thought were worth a second look. There’s a bit more weirdness this week and less graphic design—coincidence? For this edition of Link Drop I also had a bit more coffee then usual, hence the erratic diagram. Till next week, though I’m not sure how I’m going to simultaneously post a Link Drop and a live presentation at the same time…
The Battle Between Art & The Algorithm
Apparently design lost the battle with art and now art has set its sights on the algorithm. Is deciding how something is weighted in a myriad of ways based on rational—or is it art. I think it’s art if design myself if you know what to look for.
Microsoft sales fall for first time in 23 years
I’m surprised more people haven’t mentioned what has happened to Microsoft this year. There’s some smart connections being made in this piece. Not to beat a dead horse for me, but the fact that I can take a pic and push it on to the internet with a message within a minute from start to finish is amazing. Am I using any tools from MSFT to do that? No…
Twitter Clients Are a UI Design Playground
This is interesting—did twitter plan to to harness the crowd to make a better UI because they really didn’t know what they were doing, or did they create such a bad experience it pissed off enough people that they decided to make their own better UI? Funny thing is, if twitter was the music industry they would have tried suing their users where as twitter encouraged it.
Scorecard | The National Design Awards
I thought the question that they brought up about Architecture Design and Interior Design was worth mentioning. I had no idea, but I’m neither an architect nor an interior designer…
Psst, have you heard…
I liked the idea of visualizing how things are spread via the promoters, passives and detractors.
Fascinating view of how the Gameboy (often ignored by designers as a great object) evolved and reflected the time as the years went on.
“NPR maps the Energy Grid”
I find these kind of maps fascinating on a couple different levels. There’s the proximity of lines to actual cities (or distance from them), and the patterns the lines make that outline energy.
100 days of Obama’s Facebook news feed.
It would be easy to dismiss this visualization, but it’s actually quite impressive. It’s in a format almost everyone recognizes, there’s humour, there’s history and some of it is actually plausible.
That google seems to be wrecking every industry out there. But if it’s so bad why hasn’t anyone stepped up and made it better?
Telling amazing stories
Simple points to consider, hard to execute when all three measurements of 1. Collecting consistent data, 2. Designing meaningful visualizations and 3.Telling amazing stories are actually more subjective than you think.
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As I keep evolving Link Drop, I thought I’d change it up a bit with how I display the intro. I’m listing themes that I notice weeks to week and dropping the small square thumbnails. Those take a crazy amount of time to do and I’m not sure how useful they really were. If that happened to be your fav. thing about Link Drop please let me know. Not sure how the week was for you but it seemed like it was Friday just a couple days ago. Spring is almost here (aside from all the rain that NYC’s been having), but patios are just around the corner now. Thanks for checking this week’s stuff that I thought was kind of interesting as I clicked around.
Goodbye, Speak Up
And the site that allowed for a broader discussion from the bottom up has decided to stop posting. When it first started I really enjoyed the fact that it didn’t matter who you were as a designer, people wanted to discuss stuff that wasn’t really being covered anywhere else. When I was still living in Canada the site exposed me to a bunch of people. In turn that allowed me to invite a few to talk in Edmonton when I was the President of my chapter of the GDC. But as the years went by the site started to take itself too seriously, was more concerned about what the establishment thought (catered too), less about sharing and more about bragging. I’m thankful that the site was there because I certainly got a lot out of it in the beginning, it’s just too bad they never considered a succession plan to keep it going and would rather the community down.
L’Aquila Earthquake: From Online to On-the-Ground Response
I thought this round up of how news and information was collected and acted upon with the earthquake in Italy was pretty good. The only thing that I think she may have missed was on the #hastags. From what I was seeing in the early stages was that people didn’t know exactly know where the earthquake was in Italy—so I was getting most of my twitter info via #earthquake. It would be interesting to see the different stages of a news event and how twitter and mainstream news evolve during the a certain time period.
Spectrum of Online Friendship
Mike’s made a spectrum of stages that is pretty accurate if I use myself as the model. The only thing that I was wondering about was how location or proximity influences such interactions. If you’ve never meet someone but gone through most of those stages, is it easier meeting that person if they live in the same city or somewhere different?
Toyota Venza Takeover
I thought it was kind of telling that in his quick overview he mentioned “I have to start posting more online creative on this site.” Another tell–tale sign that prints kind of dead?
I love this map showing where people are buying stuff. It displays items that a person might not otherwise have seen or noticed. It also indicates which cities have really bad taste too though.
4/10 Andy Bonventre
…Creative Mornings—here’s Andy’s talk from Google. He was nice enough to tour us around the place which was really cool. The talk was pretty good though it took a bit of time afterwards for me to realize that. He actually covered a lot of ground with concrete examples of how he has worked with design people, both good and bad. If you’re still reading this text—hopefully next week the news will go out that I’m the next speaker for Creative Mornings. I’ll be talking about Agile Design in both the context of where I work at Daylife, the blog here and throw out some questions about how regular graphic design and advertising should consider it as part of their process.
Amazon’s Silent Mistake in the Face of a Social-Media Firestorm
Interesting story of how twitter and #hashtags can get a company’s attention. Though I think there were some special circumstances that might not be replicated if someone else tried getting a company’s attention. 1. They were seen as banning books (huge no, no), 2. they were seen as being discriminate, 3. people are concerned about what a company can do to push their ethics out there (perceived or not). What is surprising is that it took Amazon a bit of time to fix the situation—but people also have to realize that it takes time to actually make sure they can check the situation before a snap response from one employee. It’s public pr on steroids—which means everyone is going to learn how to react as time goes by.
Any post that uses a phrase like “i like my context deconstructed so that i can gleefully boast that my “process” is one that does not allow acceptance without thorough observation and judgment” should be noted.
Really cool concept though the video fails to deliver. By this time next year I suspect that people trying to do this kind of thing will be a lot better with a seamless experience.
Interesting pov. Kind of wish I had been there to experience the visual as much as the auditory aspect of it.
There’s a couple reasons why I’m not a huge fan of tumblr sites. One reason is when people make it really hard to find a permalink—the other is that there’s a lack of a title field. What am I supposed to name this post? Aside from getting that off my chest, what I really like is the question that’s posed at the end of this post. “instead of starting my questions with why, they now tend to start with why not…” Exactly!
You got three minutes…to destroy your brand
Slightly ironic that the Landor Blog is picking up steam while others are closing. The issue with Dominoes reminds me of a post I did a while back about Face pics are the new logo. When people think of that pizza company they’re not thinking of the logo, they’re going to be thinking about that YouTube video…
A couple weeks ago Blogs.com asked me if I was willing to pass them on a list of design blogs based in NYC (I considered Brooklyn as part of this list) of my choosing. I thought it wouldn’t be that tough—but of course it was, not because of the quantity but because design for me can be a fairly broad term. There’s a lot of categories that blur into each other. To help me see where the blogs fell into, I made a 2×2 grid. Within the grid I made each of them have a 4 letter name so they could fit on the grid in a consistent manner—kind of like a stock ticker. As I started putting together the list, I’d check a certain number of blogs each day with the intention of if someone could only open eleven blogs (after all I’d want to include DesignNotes) each morning from NYC, which sites would give the biggest amount of great content that wasn’t overlapping each other. I also didn’t want the list to turn into something akin to what everyone else would pick as popular blogs, but show that there’s a bigger range than the expected norm that everyone lists. The sites below are what came I ended up with. That list became known as Ten Design-Related Blogs from NYC.
I’ve always been a bit skeptical of other listings like this to some degree whether from magazines or other blogs because they felt very buddy, buddy. One could argue the same thing about me—people would be wrong to think that of course, but now maybe I was wrong to be skeptical of others intentions in the past—I don’t know. But just to be fair here’s a breakdown of how these blogs flow into DesignNotes: People behind the blogs that I’ve met in person: 6/10, People I’ve shared email correspondence: 8/10, People I don’t know at all: 3/10, Number of of blogs that have been mentioned in my Link Drop: 10/10, and People I’ve had a beer with: 4/10.
AisleOne (ASL1) aisleone.net
A clean curated design blog that emphasizes grids, typography and whitespace done well—very calming blog.
i [love] marketing. (ILVM) anaandjelic.typepad.com/i_love_marketing
Don’t be fooled by the title, this blog is much smarter than the typical blog pushing marketing ideas. Not afraid to question the status quo out there, lots of ideas to consider.
Ashley Simko (ASMK) blog.ashleysimko.com
There’s a constant flow of great design images, quotes and thoughts daily if not hourly placed on display. I’m curious to see this blog evolves over time.
PLUS and MINUS things (P&MT) byamt.wordpress.com
The image selection is always compelling as it is unique. Lots of photography and industrial design stuff.
Graphpaper (GRPR) graphpaper.com
Here’s a blog that talks a lot about UX design in a manner that’s understandable to anyone, yet isn’t holding back from great observations.
Kottke (KTKE) kottke.org
A ton of diverse links, it’s hard to be bored when there’s a source like this out there.
PSFK (PSFK) psfk.com
They cover a lot of different areas of design and marketing. If something is kind of interesting out there in a commercial sense, they’ll probably talk about it.
Swissmiss (SMSS) swiss-miss.com
A bellwether blog for all other reblog design sites, the number of people that gravitate to what is mentioned on this site is incredible.
UnBeige (UNBG) mediabistro.com/unbeige
There’s a constant flow of news in the design world from fonts, furniture, art and architecture
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Over here at DesignNotes HQ there were quite a few design related links collected that found themselves in this week’s version of the Link Drop. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as this is a design blog after all. There weren’t too many surprise themes aside from weapons which suggests I might need to randomize how I find good things on the web, or talk to more people to hear what’s piquing their interest. It’s a bit of a rainy morning so you might want to press play on this song and start clicking away…
Cats and Their Designers
My weim Madison got her design fame a while back, it’s only fair that the cat people get theirs. What surprised me was the number of people that submitted their face snug to the back of their cats head…
Welcome to Illinoize.biz
This is a really good up–do of Sufjan Stevens – Illinois’ album. I’d recommend pressing the play button on this as you go through the rest of the links I have here.
I haven’t actually tried using this thing to talk with someone behind the invisible wall. It’s strange and probably wouldn’t work for me—but maybe someone else will find it fun. What interested me more is that I’m guessing most of the people that are using it are also talking about it on twitter, hence a simple search http://search.twitter.com/search?q=omegle shows whose using it…
Postopolis, Day 1
Pretty good break down of the first day, and yes having a conference on the roof of a hotel seems like the only way to go. Except maybe when it’s in the spring and the evenings are quite cold—ha. Here’s a breakdown of all the speakers: It’s… Postopolis! LA
SlideShare’s April Fool’s Prank: Cruel, Or Just Unusual?
I very much fell for this prank, at first I was like haha on me. But after reading some of the stories about people falling for it, it seemed like a huge abuse of trust from an online service. I’m never going to use slideshare again, probably will never click on on a slideshare link or embed and will probably move my one presentation that I have on slideshare to something like http://www.scribd.com/.
Debbie Millman Presentation in Edmonton
I’ve recently been getting a lot of people searching for this presentation on the blog so I figured I might as well bring it up to the front of the blog again. Debbie was one of the first people that I invited to speak in Edmonton back in the day. It’s one of my fav. design talks for what I’ve learned from. This was filmed pre–YouTube days so the files are quite large and very small. You could think of them as a visual podcast. If you only have time to listen to one of the vids, I’d go for #3 as I think every graphic designer out there should hear it.
Design Plays Well With Others*
One of my alma maters has put up design work of all the design students graduating. I still remember how much energy it took to pull something like this off. Happy to see they seemed quite organized with their collection.
Google Street View Time Lapse
I’ve flirted with the idea of doing something like this, but the time it would take to do this to the reward of seeing it didn’t seem worth doing. Maybe I was wrong—this is quite cool to watch.
TweetDecks ‘other actions’ menu bugs me
I’m happy someone is pointing this out, as good as TweetDeck is, it has a long ways to go to be a really great experience vs it now just being a better experience then what’s out there.
RAINA + KUMRA
I recently came across this site, seems like there’s a lot of interesting stuff. My only quip is that I thought the colour squares were different background options.
This post is as much about philosophy as it is about tech. systems—in this case from apple. Astute observations about on how things get better and how bad things perhaps should be scrapped and started over from.
Did you know that Urban Outfitters had a blog? I didn’t and it’s actually pretty good on a number of levels. First there’s the content and then there’s the actual design which sets them apart from the typical blog—I suspect that this site will do much better for their bottom line than the standard paper brochure that they mail out.
Experience Design User
Fascinating conversation and argument all in 140 character tidbytes. Personally I think the whole UX conversation is a bit silly—if you’re not designing for a person in mind in the beginning, what are you designing for?
I Heart NY? | Next-Door Neighbor
The narrative of the comic seems to be all the rage today in the UX community. I blame google’s chrome instructional pdf. However that has nothing to do with this link… Click on the image and keep clicking. There’s a nice narrative going on.
I came across a timely survey from the D&AD Blog titled D&AD Members’ Survey: impact of the recession on creative business. The pdf that displays the info from the blog post looks like it was spit out of a ppt so I took the more interesting pieces of info re-displayed it. While the majority of membership of the D&AD is from the UK, I still think it’s quite valuable where ever your located. More interesting is that over 70% need to refocus attention, yet the number one way of doing it is with the same modus operandi of cost effectiveness, process and creative solutions that has been talked about for as long as the design industry decided it wanted to be more business than art. Something has got to give, creatives want to refocus yet haven’t learned to change their language or understanding of the current dynamics of diy.
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This week’s edition of Link Drop has a heavy duty number of site that are related to visualization, though ironically I’m wondering if the idea is getting severely bloated? Another irony is that I’m starting to think is that while newspapers and logos are on their last legs, I think typography and more to the point typefaces are going to surge in quality—just throwing that out there… I’m sure there’s more to mention like how Daylife’s site should be checked out, but I’ll leave that for a future post…
Newspapers Are Dead, Long Live the News
A good summary of two other essays that were making the rounds on the internet. For those trying to lock their content under a pay fee – I wish you the best of luck. Too bad no one is going to be able to find your valuable content.
Zoolgical Typeface (2008)
I really liked how fun this was. I think logos are pretty much dead like newspapers but something like this has a lot of potential to create an identity as much as one symbol could.
What is a Pylon?
From now own it shall be known as a pylon. At least that’s what I’m going to call it. I just wonder when I’m ever going to have a conversation about a pylon. Most people don’t know the difference between aerial and times…
Looks like I’m going to take a trip to this gallery in the not so distant future.
I’m not a parent but if you have a small child you might want to check it out. The cool idea is to post questions that her children ask and post possible answers.
I’m surprised that more sites don’t do stuff like this. Give the proper law language, but also break it down in terms that anyone can understand.
Branislav Kropilak Billboards
When was the last time you walked under a billboard? Me—never. Interesting perspective that shows things in a different light.
Google’s Irene Au: On Design Challenges
As much as this might bother people, if you’re trying to get the most clicks or links or what ever the “most” means, why wouldn’t you do that? Good perspective from Google.
NYC Sitcom Map
When most of these shows were on back in the day, I was in Canada and had no idea what New York was aside from a city with some shows. Now things can be cleared up with this map.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy for me, and as a result the number of posts being included in my weekly Link Drop Contextd has been reduced. That’s not necessarily a bad thing b/c I don’t think anyone has time to read forty plus entries in one sitting. If there’s any pattern this week to notice, politics played a pretty minor role in what interested me web wise. Information on display always interests me, but it’s moving in a direction where I’m wanting to see how people archive and come back after the initial burst of data. Anyhow… thanks for checking up this Friday.
360 – Urban Villages in Paris (1920)
I’m not that familiar w/ the history of urban planning of Paris, but I’ve always enjoyed looking at how the city rolls out. This map is shows that spiral in a really nice way that integrates some of the different breakout percentages.
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This is such a cool idea, def. going to make my own nyc version of this. It might be kind of do a trade w/ someone in a different city that makes one too…
You Can’t Sell News by the Slice
I kind of like collecting these type of stories about how object to monetizing news. The thing is, this question is practical in almost any other industry at the moment – not just news.
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WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN
Since discovering this site a couple weeks (maybe month ago), I’ve been fascinated with the re-contextualization of this info into something it was never intended to be.
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I’m still kind of thinking wtf happened w/ the CCTV building fire.
This week I thought I go with quantity and quality for Link Drop Contextd and leave the commentary short and sweet and let the site titles speak for themselves. Considering how much I enjoy football and that it’s the super bowl this weekend, I’m surprised that I didn’t come across that many related links. I’m also surprised that I didn’t mention one related link about Twitter. Till next week or blog post, ciao…
QuickPost 2: Super Bowl Ad Live-Blog.
Interesting concept, kind of interested to read the commentary once things get to the fourth quarter and many beers have been drank. Too bad it’s not open to anyone commenting…
Haven’t had a chance to read all of this info, but it looks like a great reference none the less
As I’m focusing more on quality vs quantity it’s interesting to see how smaller patterns emerge after a weeks worth of filtering. This week seemed to be a combo of ux, tech and ideas – not a huge departure from most of my Link Drop Contextd’s I realize. What is different again is the format. Still tweaking it a bit. Aside from the size of images and format the colour is also slightly different. I’ll be posting about that later today. Until then happy Friday clicking.
Flowing Data put together a visualization of tweets around the time of Obama’s inauguration. Really fascinating to watch the spikes leading up to and after 12 noon on the 20th of January 2009.
I really like the idea behind the modules of Bug Labs, this post is a good starting point to click off a bunch of links that look at opening up the user experience as they move forward.
I was underwhelmed by the options at the last Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt among many other things (like no cameras to photograph design stuff – it’s not art after all). I’m not sure how the vetting process happened last time, this time they’ve opened up the nominations which makes me very happy. If you think something should be nominated you now have the opportunity. You can also view what has already been nominated and by who. Great transparency, let’s just hope when the open the exhibition a person can take photos for their own private use…
I’ve walked through this exhibition at the MoMA a couple times though I haven’t paid that much attention to it aside from photographing it. Next time I’ll be taking a closer look.
I’m not a huge fan of micro sites (or flash), this one maybe shouldn’t even be categorized as such anyways – but, it’s a really informative site on what to pair cheese with. Next time I buy some cheese I’ll be keeping this site in mind with what I want to drink with it.
I liked how they broke down how forum discussions tend to flow. But the better info they present is in the form of a question about how to follow a twitter discussion.
I was kind of skeptical if people would even submit photos to cnn to have them stitched together. Looks like some people are and the visuals is kind of cool. I think the ui is slightly jittery but as a first attempt it’s pretty cool.
Wanting to take a look back so I can figure out how to proceed with 2009, I grabbed a bunch of notable posts that I thought were worth spending a bit more time with. Below each image I’ve made a note now that I’ve had some time away from each of the original posts. Here’s to the new year and thanks for visiting, and linking and commenting and…
This seemed like a great idea at the time, trade my shuffle with someone else and hear some new music. I ended up trading but due to my own business it took way too long to trade back with her. I learned my lesson – anyone else want to try trading?
I wanted to combine some of my photography with a listing of location. Another idea with good intentions, problem was it took a lot of time to map it out and I had no way of exporting the data offline if I wanted to. So after a while I stopped posting to that map.
This was before things really took off with Obama, I had seen the Hope graphic floating around the web but this was the first image I saw of it actually on the streets. A while after that post someone mailed me a couple of the posters. That was a very good day.
There was an interesting discussion after I posted this – unfortunately when I installed Disqus after the fact that comment stayed in the old database of comments. In effect the person was objecting to the commercialization of the idea of the Ghost Bike. At the time I was pretty much on the opposite side thinking that a company shouldn’t have to worry about worry such things. As I’ve walked a lot through the city and seen those white bikes out there, that person may have been correct with their objections.
This project is still going on for a couple weeks, but the number of people that saw it and contacted me after this post was quite amazing. Not sure where this project will end up but up until now it’s been interesting to watch it grow.
There was three events that were sort of art, sort of design that I really enjoyed seeing. One was MoMA’s Design and Elastic Mind Exhibition, Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum and Buckminster Fuller at the Whitney. I would have luved to have blogged more about the last two exhibitions but since they don’t allow photography inside I’ll just mention that it’s a stupid policy that will hurt them more than what it will help. Banksy’s installations would be up there too in really good things to have seen now that I think about it.
Just like the Frietag instruction booklet I mentioned above, Camper’s shoes are a product that other designers should want to strive for. They are perfect for the weather of NYC and never wear out. There’s only two brands of shoes that I buy, Camper and Giraudon.
There’s a lot of really smart stuff in this book. In my top 3 of things to read, and more interestingly I don’t think this book will date itself as much as some of the others along the same genre that came out this year.
For all the chatter of sites that tagged brands, I think Dear Adobe changed the game more so than any other UGC site. If I was wanting to study site concepts for company’s, this is where I would start. And no, Adobe didn’t design the site.
With the economy as it is at the moment, I thought the above poster was quite topical that I saw last night as I walked to the Lazarides Gallery New York(ok show btw). It’s a strange time, having dinner in the Meatpacking district, some restaurants were full while others were dead on a Sunday night. More noticeable for me inside my 60 floor apartment is the speed of the elevators. They’re faster, fewer people inside the elevator, and stop at less floors. My guess that people have been moving out and heading back to their original cities. The people that have a number of contingency plans will survive and probably find themselves in a better spot, however those that freeze up might not do so well.
There’s two predictable sections of a site that I like checking out once I’ve bounced around from page to page. The first is the “About” category closely followed by “Contact”. The thing that really frustrates me about contact info on a large percentage of sites is that all they have is an email address. I can understand that people that work from where they live might want to keep their address unlisted – but at least mention the city that you’re residing in. For the most part I’m just curious but I also like to have an idea of where the site’s people are coming from. If I were to guess why it’s the case that the city isn’t mentioned – it’s either intentional or completely unintentional which is kind of ironic. If it’s intentional you probably have your reasons for not wanting to advertise it. If it’s unintentional it probably has to do w/ the fact that you already assume that people know where you’re located. Either way it seems like you’re not communicating all that you should. Am I completely off with my assumptions about why the location is missing?
I came across this interesting concept of a shirt via the shirt designer’s site Blackbeltjones. You too can buy the Axis of Praxis. Build, then Think shirt at http://224851.spreadshirt.net/en/DE/Shop. Combining that idea along with the quote I saw via MarcSchil’s twitter “change before you have to.” which was quoted originally from today’s WSJ made me consider a couple things. Those types of attitudes are what making things work today while others follow case studies of yesteryear. While not groundbreaking, I do wonder if that type of attitude will manifest itself into the process of design – notably in graphic design. Industrial design has rapid prototyping and just about anything online goes through some sort of beta phase (along with private invites), but what does graphic design have? Are the process and methods that ruled the stages of design outdated – will designers be learning from other creative types for original thinking?
After reading Kevin McCullagh’s Core 77 article Design is changing in myriad ways. Are you? I started making a number of connections to other posts that I’ve come across lately. Kevin writes “game changers map out future opportunities by exploring the interplay between their current know-how and potential new applications for it in a changing world” and he goes on to explain how this is done. That statement was preceded by explaining in detail about how design has always been in flux though today the evolution is creating multidimensional issues that didn’t have to be considered at any other point in history. For those designers that see their work as a matter of communication and not as an offline vs. online thing, this article speaks to their transitional ability already. If you grew up on print and remember the days of Linotype Kevin’s article is worth purusing.
But it would be arrogant to think that designers are the only people going through a crazy transition today. How about photographers? Two posts from Alec Soth’s blog are worth checking out. They both have to do w/ him questioning the quality or lack there of of photographs on flickr. Is there more originality going on w/ product shots on eBay? The first post is titled Where are the great pictures on Flickr? and the second is Shore, King & Street Fashion…
And the last of the connected posts is from Dave Gray illustrating the Generalist and specialist approaches. I typically swing towards the idea that the generalist approach is the way to go, but then I wonder if anyone can truly attain a level of greatness if you’re good in a lot of areas as opposed to being the best in one?
“The neo-nomad… would seem to apply just as well outside the hothouse atmosphere of San Francisco, and I think it should be extended to cover a broader range of workers than just the high-tech startups because it refers to an attitude and a way of organising daily life rather than to any specific technology.”
+ Bill Thompson
Once you have a laptop it’s easy to forget how hard it was to be portable before you could connect to the net outside or even write a simple editable note for future reference. I remember buying my first MacBook in the spring last year so I could stay connected while I was visiting New York. The photo above was from me enjoying free wifi at Bryant park. I eventually upgraded that laptop for a MacBook Pro, but I digress… I only bring this up to illustrate the article from the BBC called In search of the neo-nomadvia Architectradure (who happens to have a couple other valuable links related to the concept). It’s a good reference piece to understand how work and home space is evolving.
Sara Cantor and her blog the Curious Shopper talk about the experience of selling from a booth for the first time at Lessons from the other side.
Lesson 1: Don’t stare at shoppers. Don’t even look at them. Forget what you know about manners. Don’t smile at anyone. It only freaks them out. Don’t even make eye contact. At all. Resist the urge to watch the endless parade of fascinating people walking by your booth…
I haven’t picked the book Citizen Marketers yet, but it does sound interesting. On their Church of the Customer Blog they describe the book as this: “Citizen Marketers” is all about social media and how it’s fostering the growth of amateur culture. The early adopters of social media are at the forefront of a societal shift that’s rapidly changing the nature of marketing, public relations and corporate communications. The traditional era of one-way message delivery taught in business schools and practiced for decades by all manner of business is being supplanted by two-way and multiple-way message delivery, where everyday people are the messengers as well as the message itself.
Before design talks I like to ask myself a number of questions so I can be a more active listener. Naturally the questions change depending on who’s talking and what their subject matter is. With Jeffrey Zeldman, I know him as one of the leaders in “web standards”. He has a well respected name in a diverse field, so I was interested in what he had to say. The title of his talk was Selling Design, so web standards wasn’t going to be priority number one of the night. Not such a bad thing considering the AIGA organized the event. So what was I looking to get out of the talk – I wanted to learn something I didn’t know, find out his design process, learn about what makes him different.
Something I didn’t know was that he started off in an ad agency before going into the web. And like most others when the web was in it’s early commercial side, those that created sites didn’t have a lot of experience. What they did have was an understanding of the brands they were working on. In one example, his knowledge of Batman helped convince the client that he should design the site. He knew what would diminish the image of Batman and what wouldn’t.
Is it simple enough to create great work only if the client is great? Perhaps not so true – VW wasn’t apparently nit the easiest client to deal with during the glory DDB days. Zeldman concluded that the great ads that got created was that the agency never stopped working on the same job. If you always do your best, even after three or four sets you will still come up with great stuff.
Respect your clients, simple enough – it’s a two way street. But you also have to be able to smell trouble. If you’re getting a lot of paperwork before the project starts, that may indicate a lack of focus. If the problem is hidden in all the early documentation that could indicate other problem issues that could pop up later on.
Zeldman also talked about the importance of being calm and methodical. You need to be able to explain your creativity and research in a clear manner – hence your process. This is helped along with having a relationship with the client before you start showing the design. It’s also important to keep reminding the client where you are in the scope of things, what has already been agreed and what’s going to be achieved.
Along with being able smell trouble, you need to be able to translate what the client is trying to say. As he talked about this, it seemed like I had heard a similar thing at another talk in Edmonton. The point being that you need to understand and interpret what they client is saying.
Everybody understands design today, or at least everyone reacts to design emotionally. When talking about your work to the client, convey the meaning as opposed to the raw technical things that are obvious in front of their eyes.
And you also need to be able to respond to criticism. What is it that they don’t like, and why. He used some examples from Dan Brown – push back, look into it, get agreement. Both sides need to feel as if they’ve gained something from it.
The overall talk was a good refresher on a business that happens to be in design. There wasn’t any shocking new pieces of info, but it didn’t need to be like that either. He related to the audience and in turn the crowd gave their full attention.
In a bit of gossip – the AIGA is getting a new website – probably in December.
I’m not a huge fan of design magazines, but I do have to say that it was nice to see the image from 37 Signals this morning. While I haven’t bought this issue of How Magazine yet, I will once it comes out. I’m looking forward to reading about design + business working hand in hand in a practical way. They’ve also created some great software and published a pretty influential pdf. To say that they’ve got a lot of “stuff” going for them is an understatement.
Here’s one for the creative writer’s ethics board out there if such a thing existed. I subscribe to the Edmonton Oilers email newsletter to stay in touch with one of the things that I liked about Edmonton – their NHL hockey team. On August 25th, 2006 the headline of the Oilers newsletter said “Season Seats SOLD OUT! Mini-Pack Lottery Registrations Begins!!” and yesterday I got this email “Oilers Will Have Tickets Available Throughout Season”. So at the end of August I would have assumed that season tickets means something like the tickets for the season are sold out. Now should I assume that I can buy tickets for the hockey season? So which was/is it?
Sad day for those who bought into the August email hype, good day for those that didn’t subscribe to their newsletter and wouldn’t have known about the issue in the first place.
Have you ever wondered how and why IKEA products are named the way they are? According to Wikipedia, names are used as opposed to code numbers because it’s easier to remember. The names themselves come from a number of countries and ideas. From Wikipedia:
Upholstered furniture, coffee tables, rattan furniture, bookshelves, media storage, doorknobs: Swedish placenames (for example: Klippan)
Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture: Norwegian placenames
Dining tables and chairs: Finnish placenames
Bookcase ranges: Occupations
Bathroom articles: Scandinavian lakes, rivers and bays
Kitchens: grammatical terms, sometimes also other names