What Do You Stand For?

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. Prior to lunch I really didn’t know him outside the interwebs. We had talked on Skype previously a while ago but for our lunch talk I wanted to pick his brain about a couple situations that I was dealing with. While our talk was going back and forth about things he point blank asked me what I stood for. A deceptively easy question that is anything but that to answer. For someone like myself that is OCD on the introspectiveness, I hadn’t really thought about it. I’ve always been building on top of actions and reactions to what has been presented in front of myself.

We had meet for lunch at Cipriani Dolci in Grand Central Station. After he left I pulled out my MUJI notebook and started to mind map words that felt natural to me. What I came up with above isn’t so much a process diagram about design but a way I react to the idea of design. Each piece fits together at the appropriate time. As with anything that is related to action it’s a work in progress that will change as I grow with experience. While I’m not going to talk about what each action means to me personally, if you haven’t considered what you stand for, a great exercise is to start throwing out words and see what fits. You might be surprised with what you see in front of yourself and how it might map out new directions.


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 hasn’t been fun. Adversity is rarely pretty but it shows what a person is made of. Now that I look back at the last month I can say that July was the first month that I got to start laying down a new foundation. Most of these photos from July are just me outside but shows a story that I will need some more time to reflect on.


Flying around NYC

Bad ass clouds rolling into #NYC

#EmpireStateBuilding in the middle of the #NYC storm

Soho before #walkingtoworktoday

Otis literally the perfect temperature in #NYC at the moment

#walkingtoworktoday uptown

Bryant Park #walkingtoworktoday

Rain wear by Crate&Barell

Multiple exits #walkingtoworktoday

Fancy colour names #walkingtoworktoday

Elevator type experiment #walkingtoworktoday

Lots of people #walkingtoworktoday



I wonder if these new google wifi signs fall within the MTA's outdoor system guidelines

Post nobills #walkingtoworktoday

No words needed with this sign #walkingtoworktoday

Abstracted electromagnetic spinning dot type #walkingtoworktoday


Looking up #walkingtoworktoday

Quaint corner #walkingtoworktoday

Multiple pov's #walkingtoworktoday

Inside lobby #walkingtoworktoday

Beat up taxi #walkingtoworktoday




Negroni time, this was where I had my first one six years ago


Small things make me happy: tonight it's left over Indian food and catching up with the Tour de France

Looking forward to a wireless future

.@jmspool laying the smack down on hay


Madison doing her thing

Photos, iPhones and Sharing News via Serendipity

Fire in DUMBO

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 I keep an eye out on unexpected photo sharing connections. They might not be easy to replicate with technology or aggregating socially but could potentially get there with a small upgrade when it becomes a natural action with their iPhone. Case in point, there was a fire in DUMBO and two people that I follow on Instagram shot the same thing from their different locations and uploaded it roughly at the same time. I found it fascinating to see the same action caught from two distinct POV’s. Each image gave a piece of info that the other couldn’t. While the fire wasn’t something that was going to change my day, seeing both of those images in my stream connected gave me something to pay attention to that I would have ignored otherwise if I had seen that smoke with my own eyes.

UPDATE (4.24pm 7.14.2012)

Ironically a couple hours after this post, a 3 alarm fire happened in NYC across the waterway. Images can be seen at http://pbump.net/k97-2

Photos tagged with #Seaport on instagram

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 of teams, individuals and strategic dynamics of a sport like no other for an entire month. This year might be the first when I’ve finally understood how points are won and time is saved. While I don’t have a favorite racer or team I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the trends and special features of a couple teams sites.


Team Sky

Overall I think team Sky has the best site for those interested in getting up to date Tour de France news on the team. Within seconds a viewer can get news highlights of the days stage, photos and videos in an easy to identify way. They keep the site up to date with their posts and make it easy to find archived items. In terms of typography they’ve balanced the headlines and body text simply with Verdana but added a bit of punch with their titles using a font called Cafeta. On their right rail, I really like how they’ve integrated a Spotify playlist though all songs do not play in the US. The only thing missing is a Twitter feed of the riders participating in the race or a feed of the images that the racers are taking.


Team RadioShack-Nissan

There isn’t a huge difference in terms of easy to find info with Team RadioShack-Nissan’s site to Team Sky’s. I would have liked to see more posts on the home screen to balance out the right rail modules. The density of info is a bit much for the first time viewer but can easily navigate their way once they’re familiar with the site. Unlike Team Sky, they do integrate a standard Twitter feed. While helpful to see who is saying what, the actually content from the tweets is minimized which makes it less useful. Typography wise, they’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the hiearchy using different weights and sizes including Matrix, Engschrift and Lucida. While they have large image galleries, the UI for the player is pretty poor. Half the time the buttons to advance the images was missing. Overall it’s a strong site design wise, though a bit predictable with no real technical surprises.


Moviestar Team

Technically in terms of detailed small extras, Moviestar team excelled. I really liked seeing the number of wins they’ve had, the km biked and how they integrated media types together. I was able to listen to after race commentary with the ability to download the audio file if wanted. I’m not sure how many times I would do that but it shows that they’re thinking much harder than the typical video and photo galleries that the other sites showed. They’ve also got their own custom font called Moviestar. I think it works really well for display purposes but feels pretty heavy for body copy. With that said I like how they’re looking at all the details. The home screen falls a part a bit as it’s essentially a bunch of modules. While not hard to find up to date news by clicking on the news section, I think they should have brought more headlines to the first page. Overall this site has a decent amount of creativity that the other sites missed out on.

BMC Team

I think the aesthetic heaviness of the site threw me off. Ignoring that big issue the site is practical as it is simple. It’s pretty easy to find the latest news on the racers. Unfortunately they don’t update the site after each stage. That inconsistency might throw a person off to wanting to come back over time. They too have audio podcasts but don’t take the experience as far as Moviestar.


In terms of layers, Garmin-Sharp makes scrolling a lot easier than the multiple layers that Moviestar has on the homescreen. Unfortunately a lot of those additional modules are for merchandise as opposed to helpful content. With that said the large images really add a lot of impact compared to the smaller thumbnails from the other team sites. They’ve also got a pretty decent article detail page with lots of thumbnail images. It would have been nice to have a gallery view inside the rail though they made the choice to go full screen with images and give the ability to advance images that way. It’s a pretty decent solution. My biggest confusion is the url: www.slipstreamsports.com, I’m not sure how that relates to the team name.

Other Teams
Below are the other team sites to compare with the sites that I thought were worth taking note of.


















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 place — I looked out the window a lot, I shot a lot from the ground floor and I even watched a lot of New York Ranger’s playoff hockey. There was a healthy collection of type driven images as always. All I can say is once September rolls around I’ll be very curious to see how July and August treated me.

Madison's first time hanging out at work

Missed this photo that @danielhowells shot of Madison and me on Sunday

Madison's current status



Madison's current status


Beat my usual time out the door by 15 minutes #walkingtoworktoday

#Walkingtoworktoday north today

A magazine store used to stand here #walkingtoworktoday


Decided to work outside for the rest of the day

Looks like a new magazine stand is replacing the old one that was taken down #walkingtoworktoday



Two of my fav buildings here

Rainy 23rd st #walkingtoworktoday

Changing the route up a bit #walkingtoworktoday

Rooftops #Walkingtoworktoday

Heavy fog looking north on Park av

Gray NYC, this isn't a black & white photo of Madison Square Park #walkingtoworktoday

#walkinghome #newhashtag

#NYC weather report: perfect outside

Another perfect morning to be outside and about in #NYC

Literally #walkingtoworktoday

Flatiron Building sneaking through the trees #walkingtoworktoday




random parking sign #Walkingtoworktoday


Changing up my route #walkingtoworktoday

Cardboard padded chair

Gated beads #walkingtoworktoday

Outdoor convo #walkingtoworktoday

Sea of taxi's #walkingtoworktoday

I walk by this clock every morning walking Madison but only discovered it today





Red, white and blue hair #walkingtoworktoday

Perfect Sunday #NYC morning walking beside the Hudson


In the longest security line ever #walkingtoworktoday Next stop Detroit


Hooked it left




Sitting while #walkingtoworktoday

Very cool place introduced to me by @aaretz

Negroni time


Bread before #walkingtoworktoday

Surfing while #walkingtoworktoday


First time I've had time to eat anything today

Sitting before #walkingtoworktoday




Early morning

A storm rolling in across the Hudson

#nofilter #skychangingeveryfiveminutes





Enjoying the train upstate tonight

Nice #NYC apocalyptic morning pt 1

Enjoying the lightning show and jazz playing in the background before #walkingtoworktoday



Outside windows #walkingtoworktoday

No filter needed

Fun #NYR facts I saw on Twitter: Nine 1-goal games. 4 OT games, including a triple OT. And NYR STILL aren't even halfway to Cup.

Even the parking lot is supporting #NYR

Time to bring out the Avery jersey #NYR

Time to turn on the AC so I can wear my Lundquist jersey tonight. #NYR

Pre game #NYR shirt ready to go before the Lundqvist jersey goes on

Game on #NYR

Game time, time for more biased officiating from #nhl and another win from #NYR

Must win game tonight for #NYR, bringing back the Avery jersey tonight



Laundry type I've never noticed walking with Madison until this morning

Inspiration is all around us #walkingtoworktoday


No time for #walkingtoworktoday

Marker facetime #walkingtoworktoday


Social media coming of age #walkingtoworktoday #makeitwork #poster

This came today

Barber Shop Hair #typography


Missing type, hopefully no one got injured when the letter came flying down #walkingtoworktoday

Abstract street art #walkingtoworktoday

Cash only #walkingtoworktoday #coffeetype

We are a cash only establishment #coffeetype

Saturday morning is already complete. Bassdrive playing and this type gem found



M.O. Of the week: Go, go, go #walkingtoworktoday

Inside outside sign #walkingtoworktoday


Sign of the times

And ironically 2 minutes on a different part of my route I got this which was kind of perfect timing


State of Gothom tonight

Heavy fog tonight

ESB from 34th st this morning walking Madison


Tired of the fog

Fair is fair #Libra


Light in #NYC has been great today


Hazy #ESB morning #walkingtoworktoday

Nice #NYC apocalyptic morning pt 2

Ford in Detroit
I was among the 250+ bloggers and press invited to Detroit to test drive a number of Ford’s new vehicles. Ford was responsible for the airfare and accommodations. Below are some of the photos of the experience.

First session with #Ford and their #GoFurtherDesign panel

Living in a virtual machine #GoFurtherDesign #Ford

Designing sound #GoFurtherDesign #Ford

Next panel with #GoFurtherEco #Ford starting

Inside a wind tunnel #GoFurtherEco #Ford

Urban density map #GoFurtherUrban #Ford

"it's like ironman driving the batmobile" #GoFurtherTech #Ford

Driving Wellness #GoFurtherTech #Ford

Decided to skip #walkingtowortoday to drive this#GoFurther #Ford

Just drove this thing #gofurther #ford

#gofurther #ford

#gofurther #ford

Off-road craziness #gofurther #ford

Off-road craziness #gofurther #ford

Off-road craziness #gofurther #ford

Off-road craziness #gofurther #ford

Looking at this great piece of urban design

I love the design effectiveness of this bench around a single tree #walkingtoworktoday

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 way to shoot the above seating area on Spring and Sullivan. As I headed down Sullivan it seemed obvious at the time that I needed to photograph each bench.

Now that a bit of time has passed I thought it was worth coming back to aforementioned bench around the tree. When it comes to design effectiveness there’s almost an infinite number of ways that it can be measured. How many hits did it get, how many RT’s, what were the sales, how much did it save and the list goes on. But is there really a way to measure something that enhances a tree on the sidewalk like a simple bench? That single tree now has been transformed into something much more. It now offers shade to a public space that otherwise would have been unnoticed as people walk by. It opens up the sidewalk to something more than just a route from point A to B.

While it’s the first design like this that I’ve come across I’m sure there are many others of a similar nature out there. I don’t have the back story on how the bench came to be but I think it would make a lot of sense for other’s that have a storefront to consider such an idea. It would cost very little and enhance space in an unmeasurable way.

#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 typography caught in the wild of NYC jumped out at me. I decided to leave the captions off of each image as the type speaks for itself. However if you choose to click on an image you’ll be able to see the original caption, often discovered and considered while I was walking to work.

Internet #walkingtoworktoday

Sidewalk boom box #walkingtoworktoday

Local type #walkingtoworktoday


There are no free lunches #walkingtoworktoday

Move your money #walkingtoworktoday

Love the type (and the copy) set above some garbage cans in Soho

Set #walkingtoworktoday

Store of no fun #walkingtoworktoday

Found this script early today, the pixel cloud was a nice added bonous.

Nails #walkingtoworktoday

AIGA posters in the hallway

Caution #type

Swift tech-nique #walkingtoworktoday


Laundry type I've never noticed walking with Madison until this morning

M.O. Of the week: Go, go, go #walkingtoworktoday


No time for #walkingtoworktoday


Barber Shop Hair #typography


Missing type, hopefully no one got injured when the letter came flying down #walkingtoworktoday

Cash only #walkingtoworktoday #coffeetype

There is no such thing as a bad typeface... just bad typography #walkingtoworktoday

We are a cash only establishment #coffeetype

Saturday morning is already complete. Bassdrive playing and this type gem found


Social media coming of age #makeitwork

Social media coming of age #walkingtoworktoday #makeitwork #poster

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 one stream of content. If I do the same search on Instagram, I’m going to see other content. The content seen through Instagram was fascinating because I could tell how long the campaign had been going because the first image uploaded was two days ago. I also saw some other stuff somewhat associated with the the television show, I say that because it was semi related to fashion of regular people. Contrast that with Twitter. Sort of the same but doesn’t have the same feel. The difference is that when the show is on, Instagram will loose it’s relevance for an hour and a community will keep an eye on Twitter to see what people think about the show. This type of communication has been going on for a while but the fact that people accept these forms of getting info at this mainstream level is quite compelling to learn from.

Nice Way to Show a Product Estimation

Screen Shot 2012-05-18 at 9.40.03 AM

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 process of figuring out the number of moving pods actually helpful and places the person in the context of their situation. I kind of wish it was site wide though. When I went to check out a van, I had the option buying some boxes. There was no way to indicate how many boxes I might need depending on the moving situation. Pods and boxes are different but a similar tool would have been helpful.

The Mobile(s) Web Speed

Just hit 100 page views per minute with the I Heart Etsy iPad app

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 nothing to blink at if it stays the same for the year. The feedback has been positive from the Etsy community with helpful suggestions on how it can be improved upon.

The most fascinating thing that was slightly unexpected was watching the live Google Analytics with the page views per minute. People were hitting Etsy with the app at over 100 page views per minute. People were literally going through 2 pages per second. I’ve never seen anything like that before. That kind of smooth browsing is not available with any experience except an app. The mobile web that takes the device into consideration is a must now. There’s no reason why a site can’t be responsive depending on the screen (as long as the timeline is willing as is the budget). But for pure speed of trying to find something, if the UI is designed in such a way, apps, especially on the iPad will enable viewable content with speed in a way that has not been seen before.

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. If you’re a fan of Etsy and have an iPad, this makes the discovery process really fast. We’ve also added some fun ways for a person to heart a product or section.

He’re our description in the iTunes store:

*** Optimized for iPad Retina ***

I Heart Etsy was designed especially for Etsy lovers. It provides an ideal browsing experience and seamlessly integrates with your Etsy profile to make your shopping experience fun, easy, and addicting.

♥ Easily view item details, favorite items, bookmark categories and add items to your cart.

♥ Find that perfect item by searching on keyword, price, and location from your favorite categories.

♥ Browse the hottest treasuries and get great gift and craft ideas.

♥ Share favorite products with friends through Facebook and Email. Coming soon, Twitter and Pinterest!

♥ Beautiful retina display images and graphics for the best browsing experience.


We value your feedback and appreciate your support. Please email us at iheartetsy@gesturetheory.com if you have any issues.

Or find us on twitter @IHeartEtsyApp

Note: The term ‘Etsy’ is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. This app uses the Etsy API but is not endorsed by Etsy, Inc.

I Heart Etsy iPad App: Loading

I Heart Etsy iPad App: Tour Info

I Heart Etsy iPad App: Home

I Heart Etsy iPad App: Category Results

I Heart Etsy iPad App: Product Detail

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 Saturday morning. The contrasting nuances between that street with Bowery and Canal are a plenty. I also like Thompson. It’s kind of cozy with the smaller shops and what feels like low hanging trees in the summer. A couple months ago I started switching up my walking to work paths. One day Thompson, the next Sullivan st. Over time I’d test out the different coffee shops for my early morning fix. My hands down favourite is Local. Easily the most consistently friendly people helping behind the counter and the fresh baking early in the morning is awesome. When I walk home it’s almost always a hundred percent going through Sullivan st. It has a different feel with all the shops and cafe’s with people, but not really crowded with tourists so it’s a fast walk to Washington Square Park.

Getting my coffee this morning at Local I couldn’t help but notice the large bench set out in front of it. As I was looking at it, it struck me suddenly that there’s a lot of public outdoor seating on Sullivan st. Walking a couple blocks between Houston and Spring st on Sullivan, here’s some of the great seats to take a moment to pause. There’s still more to shoot during the day when some of the other business open up, but these give a pretty good representation of why Sullivan st is my favourite street.


Benches of Sullivan st

Benches of Sullivan st

Benches of Sullivan st

Benches of Sullivan st

Benches of Sullivan st

Benches of Sullivan st

Benches of Sullivan st

Benches of Sullivan st

Benches of Sullivan st

Benches of Sullivan st

Diehards Type Test

diehards with Guardian Egyptian

diehards with Yoga Mobile Pro

diehards with Tisa Mobile Pro

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 put the three typefaces that are in consideration against each other. The other day I tweeted about diehards. Curious to see how it read on a different scale I’m using it for the text comparison. Below is a bit more information about each typeface from the foundries.

About Guardian from Commercial Type (PDF): A large family intended for editorial design and situations requiring complex typographic hierarchy, Guardian was designed for Mark Porter’s groundbreaking 2005 redesign of The Guardian. As a text face it exhibits a rational and clear disposition, lending a serious air to the text, while the display components capture a wide range of moods with their comprehensive range of weights.

About Yoga Mobile Pro from Font Shop (PDF): The Yoga family is a type system conceived to work for newspapers and magazines thanks to its strong personality and good legibility. The Serif weights with their sturdy serifs are a good choice for body text, but they also serve as an original headline face with their subtly chiseled counters inspired by blackletters. FF Yoga mixes the harshness of blacklettes with the balanced rhythm and round shapes of the Garalde typefaces. Yoga Sans is a contemporary alternative to Gill Sans and a sober companion to Yoga Serif.

About Tisa Mobile Pro from Font Shop (PDF): Slovenian designer Mitija Miklav i drew FF Tisa to meet the technological and aesthetic requirements of modern magazine use. His primary goal was to develop a softer, more dynamic version of a nineteenth-century slab serif wood type. A large x-height and pronounced serifs make FF Tisa extremely legible in text sizes; its unique design details, including slightly exaggerated ink traps and a fairly upright italic, are evident in display applications. The typeface was selected by the TDC judges for a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design in 2007.

Now that watch batteries are dead

Image for a post... "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 executed. Awful typeface, gps worked sometimes and the site that showed my data was pretty limited. What it did show me was that a watch didn’t need a normal battery. I just had to connect it to my USB port on my air to charge it.

The new pebble is about to kickstart something that is long overdue. It does not rely on old battery power, it can talk with the most used devices in the world and it gives an opportunity to improve dialog between the device in a persons pocket and available action on their wrist. There’s opportunities there that no one else has opened up yet. I’m petty excited about what will be contributed. Thinking back I cant recall saying that about anything I’ve paid for before.

This is why I love and will wear this Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android

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 visiting NYC from Vancouver. They had been visiting they’re friend who had mentioned that MUJI was owned by Walmart. I have no idea how they got on the topic and I don’t really remember why they told me. Either way it definitely stuck with me.

So, because of the craziness of Facebook and Instagram the above tweet was apt for the day. Remembering remnants of the conversation about MUJI I wanted to reply but wanted to at least back up my claim. I did end up finding this Wikipedia page mentioning that Walmart did indeed own the company that owned MUJI.

So with that info I tweeted back what I saw and had heard. Well a lot of other people noticed and retweeted it. I have no idea how many people went to the Wikipedia page or not to confirm what they read. To two people’s credit they did mention that it was a false claim siting Ryohin-Keikaku history page on their site and their stock info.

My response whether correct or not was based on the Seiyu Groups Wikipedia page that I had originally cited. I woke up this morning and noticed a small revision to the Wikipedia page.

It’s pretty flimsy to trust Wikipedia either way but for the time being I’ll trust that the Seiyu Group page is indeed corrected. An obvious lesson is to never trust Wikipedia in the first place but I think that does a disservice to all the correct info that is there. I can’t really blame Twitter for creating a service that allows for really efficient communication. If I was designing a new Twitter from the ground up though, I would maybe allow for a way to communicate a revised tweet to all those that retweeted the original tweet with an asterisk that pointed to how the first tweet came to be.

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 thought it was a way to discover unknown opportunities. Then I did a search on what Latent errors and systems disasters meant. Apparently I read the diagram pretty incorrectly. Words like Chernobyl and Titanic were inferred. So I thought why not change the diagram to what I initially thought it was. Below I flipped the diagram vertically to what I think the environment for accidental opportunities could be. Keep in mind that I spent about five minutes on it so things still need to be fleshed out. The basic takeaway is that to get a new idea off the ground, observation and instinct need to power through challenges based on popular assumption.

I rarely end up where I was intended to go, but often I end up somewhere that I need to be.

—Douglas Adams

First time experiences and cleaning up sound with Mac OS X

I need to buy a cable for this thing. Best Buy or RadioShack?

I tried connecting this thing to old cables and new cables to no avail. Interesting experience as a first time user.

Next time I'll just go into settings to tweak things. I still don't get why it didn't work after I plugged things in #macbookair #settings

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 learn a lot. Case in point: I was trying to get a simple headphone amplifier to work on my MacBook Air. I just wanted to clean up the sound that I was listening to. The headphone amp was delivered and I couldn’t get the thing to work. The power signal was on but when I tried plugging in cable after cable things didn’t work. I have tons of cables, it’s embarrassing actually. (if anyone knows where to recycle this stuff please let me know) because I don’t need them anymore.

To make a long story short it took way too much time to get my sound to work. As the photos above document I went through stuff that should have worked once I plugged in my first cable. The audio settings for Mac OS X should work first time.

A Couple Observations about Paper by FiftyThree

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 but costs a couple dollars to buy the entire toolkit of brushes. I spent the $8 bucks with no regrets.

Comparing it to Sketchbook Pro which I can create multiple layers was something that I thought originally was going to be a deal breaker. In Sketchbook Pro I can build a quick sketch with a number of layers to add different back ground colors. As it turns out after I spent some time working with the Paper app I’m not sure it’s such a big deal. Adding additional layers would be nice but I managed pretty well on one plane. What is frustrating is that new colors can’t be added and there isn’t a way to save an image to photos. I had to email myself the image to do that.

In terms of the Paper being an app for sketching, I found them a bit looser to use than Sketchbook Pro which in turn made it easier and faster to use. The killer feature is the paintbrush tool for watercolor. It’s much livelier than the airbrush tool in Sketchbook.

When I first noted how I was trying to evolve my sketching system with my new iPad I commented that it was still faster to whiteboard or use my MUJI notebook than with Sketchbook Pro. I don’t think that’s the case with Paper. The tools and system make it really easy by not giving many options in regards to opacity and size. I’ll have to give both apps a couple days before I can definitively say which will be the best option for me. With that said ill be spending a couple more hours with Paper which was something that I didn’t do when I first bought sketchbook.

Sketchbook Pro

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 it will lead a person.

DESIGN STAFF: Story-centered design: Hacking your brain to think like a user

Good comparison of how a lot of designer’s design within a small focus when the reality of designing a system means looking at the bigger picture. There’s a couple observations on how to accomplish that process

WSJ: Lululemon’s Secret Sauce

Fascinating insight into how Lulu Lemon gathers user feedback with simple observations, how that is translated locally in the store and how that information funnels to the organization.

KEVIN MD: Why doctors aren’t prescribing health apps to patients

I’ve always wondered why there aren’t more apps out there for the health industry backed by doctors. Now I know why there’s a lot of hurdles that most people haven’t considered and why more apps won’t be in the app store anytime soon.


While there are a couple common themes that each of the designer’s talk about creating their own code to design with, each group (or person) is approaching a unique problem. For some it’s about creating images, for others there’s a need to display something that otherwise wouldn’t be possible using default tools.

FAST COMPANY: “Boy CEO” Mark Zuckerberg’s Two Smartest Projects Were Growing Facebook And Growing Up

There wasn’t much new in this article but I find it helpful whenever this is mentioned in my own process. “Can we take what used to take 10 clicks for someone to get the information they need and reduce it to three?”

ARCHINECT: Pinterest Co-Founder Evan Sharp

Who would have guessed that a couple architects were behind Pinterest? In this interview with one of the founders he talks about iteration and how some designer’s miss out on the big picture.

GIGAOM: Zynga’s CEO on leadership, startups & mobile gaming

This interview isn’t very long but gives insight into the up’s and downs of creating something with others.

HACKER NEWS: Open-plan offices must die

Interesting POV’s on the need to have space to focus on work without being in the center of things.

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

New system setup for writing (for at least the first draft)

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 the device for, I figured a week gave me enough time to observe how I used the iPad and what I liked and didn’t like about it. Initially I had a problem with the weight of the new one. I have the first iPad and the second one as well. Back in the day I wasn’t so concerned about the weight. Even after a week with the new iPad I still don’t like the weight of it. The reason that the weight is an issue for me is not so much because the iPad 2 was 200g while the new one is 250g. It’s because I’m used to reading retina with my super light iPhone 4S. It’s not a fair comparison of course but something that shouldn’t be ignored either. There’s no solution for the weight issue but I wanted to bring it up anyways.

This isn’t so much a review of the new iPad as it is a collection of notes about evolutions and changes in my behavior with what I do with both my new iPad and iPhone 4S now that they both have retina screens. The first observation is that I see the two devices more as one connected system than ever before. I think this has to do with the screen parity. I’ll write something on my iPhone and push it to my iPad. I might sketch something on my iPad and send it my iPhone. I’m starting to use Apple’s cloud with photos which I didn’t really before. This is reducing the number of times I email an image to myself.

LTE is amazingly fast. With all things being equal now, I might read more on my iPhone because of the lightness of it. On the flip side if I need something fast I’m going to use my iPad to view it. LTE makes me happy. The speed of that connection can’t really be compared with any wifi network that I’ve used. I’m lucky in that I have an unlimited data plan that I purchase back when I had the iPad 1. The speed has been cut in half since I started using it which sucks on ATT’s part but was somewhat expected. With that said it’s still faster than my wifi.

My writing workflow is changing. I’m using the iA Writer app for my iphone to compose blog posts. I never used to do this. I’m also using it to get initial thoughts down about product ideas. They’re not final drafts by any means but I’m find the stream of consciousness from typing with my iPhone to make the process easier. From there I’ll keep my iPad on with the same writing app so I can see the text. As I write I’ll use the iPad to bring in new content as inspiration as I write.

Loose wireframe sketch for a post

I’m starting to sketch loose wireframes from my ipad using the Sketchbook app for the iPad. It’s a bit slower than using a whiteboard or MUJI notebook for now but I think that’s due to getting used to the tools. It’s also not ideal situation for working with small groups. I’ve found it better when I’m using it by myself early in the morning.

Readability Settings

My reading workflow has changed a lot. I’m attributing a lot of this to the Readability app that I have on all my devices including MacBook Air. Whether I find a post through Google Reader, a tweet or maybe through an email that someone sent me, I’m almost always saving it to read through Readability to read. My only wish is that I could save highlighted passages and possibly share them after the fact. I’ll also be posting on the threat that Readabilty has to online publishers and why it would be a mistake for publishers to block the app that want to save something to read later. But this post is about how my behavior has changed.

I can’t really use my iPad 2 anymore. It feels blurry and slow. I haven’t noticed any heat issues, battery loss or extra period of time for it to charge. The iPad camera’s quality surprised me a lot. The file size was noticeably smaller compare to the same image shot with my iPhone 4s. I stream more video clips which usually come from ESPN. This may have been due to the crazy week in the NFL…

In terms of other Gesture Theory work being influenced I’m reading a lot about optimizing for the larger screen’s retina capabilities both for apps and the web. There doesn’t seem to be a perfect solution yet but there’s a couple tricks that make sense for the images fro the web to be viewed on an iPad better. When developing we look at the iPad one the same way that IE6 felt back in the day. Apps have to still work on that device. We can’t just design around the faster processing speed of the new iPad. I don’t think I could get rid of my MacBook Air and go completely iPad and iPhone for design work. If I only wrote all day it might be possible. Because I use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and inDesign with a mouse still, I don’t think I could stop using my normal workstation. If I could make everything that I design in pure code with the only graphics being photos shot from my iPhone and iPad, it’s not so far fetched of an idea. Maybe, maybe not.

I’ve been an iPad fan from day one. What I like about the iPad is that there’s no cursor. This opens up the ui in a million new ways. It flattens the need for external production (extraneous tactile buttons) which saves time. Design for gestures and ignore the plastic production and circuitry of buttons. The speed of both the network and ability to navigate faster without worrying about making a mistake. The ability to streamline processes that people couldn’t rely on interconnectivity before (I’ll talk about this more with a case study in the upcoming months).

What I don’t like. I think the weight issue is a big deal. I can’t hold this thing in one hand for a long time. It also makes it more difficult to type. The only other thing I don’t like about the iPad is the threat that print and web people feel towards it. It used to be that print didn’t like the web, now it feels like web has forgotten about that and is feeling threatened by the iPad

Next big things that I’d like see is the ability to connect two iPads to share the same screen. What I mean by this is the ability to have two iPads connect the same way that I can connect my MacBook air to a second monitor. I want the iPad to be lighter. I want more people to understand the power of saving a web site to the home screen from their iPad. Once this becomes a habit for people things are really going to take off.

On the first day of Spring things ended as they started

Spring in Washington Square Park this morning #walkingtoworktoday

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 felt warmer and I wanted to capture what I saw. Walking to work I noticed a couple things that caught my eye. There were things blooming all around the Flatiron building but I couldn’t get an image that replicated what I saw with my eyes. A couple blocks down I ended up in front of Washington Square Park. Things lucked out. I posted my daily #walkingtoworktoday image. Only later on Twitter did I find out after seeing it RT’d that it was the first day of Spring. It’s funny how people share info these days. Now I find myself looking out my window before bed. The clouds (or fog?) is coming back in and putting on quite a show. I must have shot the Empire State Building hundred’s if not thousands of times now but it never gets boring for me. It’s something I never take for granted. The final image for the night is the same one that I shot first thing in the morning. It’s just another day in the city that doesn’t have two days the same way.

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 is to find content from the Featured section. The Atlantic article is a great example of someone that observed what the house was giving an internal advantage and turned it into an advantage for himself.

SPIEGEL: Confessions of a Genius Art Forger

Ninakix mentioned this on Twitter a couple days ago. The biggest takeaway is that this person observed how the artists created things to such a degree that he was able to find missing gaps that if the artist had painted the scenes themself, it would be passable that what the forger created was the real thing

N+1: On the Market

I think I found this from the Longreads app, but I can’t be certain. Hopefully the internet police are ok with this. This post gave a look at what one’s person experience was like working at an art auction house.


I hope some fine establishments in NYC see this post and redesign their tables to fit iPads. I know I’d visit them to check out the ergonomics of the experience of it.

GLOBAL MOXIE: 3.1 Million Pixels Are Heavy

As awesome as the new retina screen is for the ipad, there’s so many more image formats that need to be accounted for. It’s a headache for designer’s to consider. This article talks about some of the issues we need to consider as we move forward.


Now that I have the new one, I’ll be curious to read more people’s reaction to the weight. I personally think it’s a pretty big deal and will post about it in a couple days from now. The Daring Fireball post is worth reading to compare the pre event to the actual release of the new iPad.

A LIST APART: The Best Browser is the One You Have with You

Smart practical observations to consider when designing these days.

LUKEW: Multi-Device Layout Patterns

The Layout Shifter is kind of an interesting method to work within the constraints of the browser depending on the device it’s found in. I could see this pattern being helpful for evolving how people navigate sections.

.NET: Jared Spool on usability and intuitive design

This seems pretty obvious but apparently it’s not. Watch the people using the stuff that you design. It’s actually one of the best things about being a designer.

THE VERGE: Sparrow takes flight: how a startup built the Gmail app Google couldn’t

I’m not totally convinced that Sparrow is the next best way to view email. It feels kind of slow and I don’t totally trust it. With that said it does a great job like Path of showing different interaction models that are worth observing. This post talks about some of the thinking behind the new app.

ALL THINGS D: Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann’s Lesson for Start-Ups: Go Your Own Way

There’s a lot of great points in this post.

ALJAZEERA: Russia’s election, Kony2012 and online voyeur justice

Interesting view on how transparency can be turned on it’s head.

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 back in a fair way as it stands. People do use via links when. For someone to basically create a system that really benefits themselves is self serving. I’ve never been comfortable with people throwing out the term curator either, but I’ll come back to that in a moment. There are so many ways people find content on the web. People like reading and sharing content. They don’t like spending extra time trying to figure out how they come came across it in the first place, and having to check back with other sites to see if someone else mentioned it first. For example I might read something from http://tweetedtimes.com/#!/MichaelSurtees. All those links are based on people that I follow on Twitter. I may not have seen the link from any of those people in my stream though. The Curator’s Code does nothing to help attribute this. If I want to share a link who am I supposed to mention if five people I’m following all mentioned it? As for this blog here, when I post about a link I typically talk about how I came across the article. I find it helpful to include that in the narrative.

I was surprised to see that more than a couple people felt the same way as I do about this system. Some of the private & public notes that I received included “Seems like inside-baseball journo back-patting. Also, misuse of word ‘curation’ yet again”, “Popova has stated that she dislikes the word “curation” — but she does seem to think that she has weird ownership of it as an activity”, “I’m a bit WTF about it”, “It seems to be premised on the idea that “via” was too easy to type” and my personal favorite “It reminded me of the 14-year-olds on Tumblr who whine when they’re not credited for “finding” a Warhol print. On the Internet. Laughable.”…

Ultimately my response to the Curators Code is this:

I have respect for people that actually create something, I don’t for people that overshare and think they deserve some sort of credit.

I like when people pass along stuff that I shared with my name on it but I’m not going to hold it against them if they don’t. I don’t own the links I share and no one should try to make a system that really benefits a small group of people that only link to each other.

Probably my favorite article that I’ve read calling out the Curator’s Code for what it is, is from @mattlanger titled Stop Calling it Curation. I wish I had written it myself. Some of my favorite quotes from the post:

“Curation” is an act performed by people with PhDs in art history; the business in which we’re all engaged when we’re tossing links around on the internet is simple “sharing.” And some of us are very good at that! (At least if we accept “very good” to mean “has a large audience.”)

And yet we see this sort of thing happen all the time on the internet, all these great hand-wringing debates over “proper” attribution (“proper” usually meaning “sending traffic my way as a reward for finding something first”).

The self-described “curator” of the modern day web seeks special recognition for what is nothing more than a pattern of behavior that distinguishes an individual from those with uncurious, idle minds. Rather than issuing demerits on the latter we’re instead being invited—no! implored, rather, via an “actionable code of ethics”—to heap praise upon the former. And I’m sorry, but I refuse to be bullied into giving people credit for shit they’re supposed to be doing, especially not when that comes at the price of devaluing the most important object of attribution—original content—by setting it up as just one among a multitude of things deserving of attribution.

Furthermore, Maria Popova was quoted by David Carr today saying that “When we don’t honor discovery, we are robbing somebody’s time and labor.” Which: Bull. Shit.

I could basically copy + paste the entire post…

Other stuff worth reading about comes from Marco Arment post I’m not a “curator” and Daniel Howells’ post Trying to understand The Curator’s Code’s approach to attributing discovery.

I have no idea how I missed this from BloombergBusinessweek but it’s pretty great. Additional symbols are suggested in Do We Need a Copyright Symbol for Sharing? Some of my personal favorites included below:

✉ Chain e-mail forwarded from Uncle Seymour
☕ Overheard in Starbucks
☔ Saw it out my window
♛ Tip left by a Foursquare Mayor
¿ I can’t remember—and may have totally just made this up

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

For a post about sharing links

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 of desktop browser content specifically so I can read it on my iPad and iPhone. While Readability isn’t the first service to offer such a service it’s the first one that has changed my reading behaviors. As I’ve used the service more for reading I’ve also noticed a shift in how I will be sharing content as well. Typically if I read something on the web and want to share it via Twitter I copy + paste the headline and link, sometimes I’ll add my own small blurb. While I haven’t kept any stats on the people that click on those links I’m guessing that there’s a 50/50 chance that they’re going to read it on their mobile phone. Most of the sites out there aren’t set up properly to display that content on a small mobile screen devices. Sure people can click on the Reader button in the browser to clean it up but it can be a bit of a pain. That brings me up to sharing content via email. I don’t send that many links via email. Typically it will be to someone at Gesture Theory that I think should read a post. Going back and forth with Roy this morning via email while he’s in Austin for SXSW I sent him a post to read from Readability because I knew he would be reading it on his iPhone. I wanted him to enjoy the experience and not have to deal with the Reader button. That’s when I realized that if I want to share a link via email, almost a 100% of the time it will be ready on a mobile device which lead me to consider not using a website’s url to share via email again. Chances are pretty high that I’ve already saved it to Readability, taken the time to think about it and felt important enough to pass it along. Comparing that to how I share on Twitter, I don’t think it’s going to change my habits as much in the short term. Ask me the same question this time next year, who knows. The big take away is this, if site’s don’t cater to how people want to read content they will find other ways to read it that makes the experience better. The irony of course is that this site that you’re reading right now isn’t set to read the type in a compelling way for mobile devices yet either. I’m hoping to make that a priority with the next redesign but that is at least a couple months off. So as reading tools become more agile it will make sites a little less compelling to visit which should concern people that make content.

App Feature Release Notes vs Stories

For an upcoming post abou 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 if it’s an app that I use regularly I’ll read the release notes carefully. It’s not because I’m not going to update the app but I’m curious to see what issues they tried fixing from a previous release and new features that they’re adding. A couple days ago that happened to Path as noted above.

The first point from the Path release notes caught my attention because I do use my Nike+ GPS watch everyday. I’ll be posting about that up & down experience once I finish my first 13 week training cycle (I’m on week 10). While I don’t use Path everyday it’s an app that people should keep an eye on. They have people from FB running it and I’m guessing if FB started as a mobile site it would be something like Path. So the combination of Nike+ GPS and Path caught my attention. The challenge with the release notes is that Path’s mention was one bullet point and a link to their site for more info that I had to manually type in.

For an upcoming post about stories vs feature release notes

Comparing those release notes to the Forbes post (Forbes is a client of Gesture Theory) to the release notes it offers a much more compelling reason why someone would want to attach their Nike+ GPS data to Path, or not depending on knowing what they are sharing. The 3rd party article is a much more compelling experience when compared to the bullet point app feature release note. The challenge is that I probably wouldn’t have seen the article if it had not been for a tweet.

Will I actually connect the two pieces of info? Not yet because I don’t think people will want to see my #walkingtoworktoday path everyday nor the same routes I take running over time. I also don’t know if I have the option to keep a run private or not. Over time I suspect that I’ll relax a bit on apps that don’t allow me to decide what I can share publicly and privately but for the time being I’ll keep an eye on other blogs that talk about their Path and Nike+ GPS experience.

I would love for Apple to evolve their app feature release notes to include hyperlinks for more info and potentially give apps more freedom to share more info in a compelling way that people would actually take the time to read the notes as opposed to ignoring them. How that could be done is allowing for images and discourage the use of bullet points.

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 what consistent themes appeared. There weren’t any surprises like the NYC set that is basically stuff that caught my eye outside. More surprising was that there was a set for windows and reflections. I had no idea that there was enough to create a set. Reading about the weather, apparently this was one of the warmest on record for NYC. That might explain why there’s a shot of me in shorts…

Pitfalls of running with open coffee
Pitfalls of running with open coffee

Iced coffee #walkingtoworktoday
Iced coffee


Coffee before the photo shoot this morning
Coffee before the photo shoot this morning

Crazy that it's warm enough to drink iced coffee in January #walkingtoworktoday
Crazy that it’s warm enough to drink iced coffee in January



Everything sounds better when horns are involved
Everything sounds better when horns are involved

Cold blue sky
Cold blue sky

Looking up at the Flatiron #walkingtoworktoday
Looking up at the Flatiron

I hope the architect designed this beam to be crooked bc it looks unbalanced #walkingtoworktoday
I hope the architect designed this beam to be crooked bc it looks unbalanced

Taking a different path #walkingtoworktoday
Taking a different path

Quiet Sunday
Quiet Sunday

Impressed at how long these letters on the building survived #walkingtoworktoday
Impressed at how long these letters on the building survived

View from Sullivan st #walkingtoworktoday
View from Sullivan st

Looking down Broome st #walkingtoworktoday
Looking down Broome st

The sun is at a completely blinding angle #walkingtoworktoday
The sun is at a completely blinding angle

Looking Dow Houston st on a rainy #walkingtoworktoday
Looking Dow Houston st on a rainy #walkingtoworktoday

The day was long as it was good. Pretty good walking view of ESB too.
The day was long as it was good. Pretty good walking view of ESB too.

State of advertising, guy taking down a billboard #walkingtoworktoday
State of advertising, guy taking down a billboard

Looking over top of Madison Square Park
Looking over top of Madison Square Park

Looks like the sky is touching the ground in NYC
Looks like the sky is touching the ground in NYC

Snowy Manhattan
Snowy Manhattan

Retro restaurant furniture on the move #walkingtoworktoday
Retro restaurant furniture on the move

Quiet walk home
Quiet walk home

I wonder how happy will this Jaguar owner be when he sees his car being towed #walkingtoworktoday
I wonder how happy will this Jaguar owner be when he sees his car being towed

Dark, windy and rainy morning around Union Square #walkingtoworktoday
Dark, windy and rainy morning around Union Square

The best part of traveling is the flight back to NYC
The best part of traveling is the flight back to NYC

Treecycle at Washington Square Park #walkingtoworktoday
Treecycle at Washington Square Park

Cold morning down sixth #walkingtoworktoday
Cold morning down sixth

Kind of curious to know the story of how all these balloons got stuck on this tree
Kind of curious to know the story of how all these balloons got stuck on this tree

Food & Stuff:
Bánh mì ftw
Bánh mì ftw

Breakfast of champions
Breakfast of champions

#NYR at stout
#NYR at stout

Great dinner and even better convo with @MarkBusse &@abusse tonight
Great dinner and even better convo with @MarkBusse & @abusse tonight

Time to celebrate Gesture Theory's full year
Time to celebrate Gesture Theory’s full year

Time to get my eat on
Time to get my eat on

Per game
Per game

It smells like it tastes #walkingtoworktoday
It smells like it tastes

Windows & Refelctions:
Loud type #walkingtoworktoday
Loud type

It's pretty ugly out here #walkingtoworktoday so here's some sort of light sculpture
It’s pretty ugly out here #walkingtoworktoday so here’s some sort of light sculpture

Eat, sleep & play. Three things to keep in balance. #Walkingtoworktoday
Eat, sleep & play. Three things to keep in balance.

Art or cleaning supplies?
Art or cleaning supplies?

damien hirst sale #walkingtoworktoday
damien hirst sale

All kind of wax #walkingtoworktoday
All kind of wax

I'm not too sure how appropriate is this Mad Men poster #walkingtoworktoday
I’m not too sure how appropriate is this Mad Men poster

Sad #walkingtoworktoday

Flashy help wanted sign
Flashy help wanted sign

The details #walkingtoworktoday
The details

I never noticed that there were different colored tiles at this bodega before #walkingtoworktoday
I never noticed that there were different colored tiles at this bodega before

Front page of NY papers #walkingtoworktoday
Front page of NY papers

Xmas came early, just delivered from amazon
Xmas came early, just delivered from amazon

I hit 200 miles #walkingtoworktoday since I started wearing my nike+ gps watch since late December
I hit 200 miles #walkingtoworktoday since I started wearing my nike+ gps watch since late December

Sidewalk trash
Sidewalk trash

Subtle smile #walkingtoworktoday
Subtle smile

Framed chalk down Sullivan #walkingtoworktoday
Framed chalk down Sullivan


Old space invader on Thompson st
Old space invader on Thompson st

I've walked from 31st to 14th st with my Nike+ gps watch - its still trying to link the gps #garbage
I’ve walked from 31st to 14th st with my Nike+ gps watch – its still trying to link the gps #garbage

No complaints but it's kind of weird that I can wear shorts in NYC at the moment
No complaints but it’s kind of weird that I can wear shorts in NYC at the moment

Plastic lamppost spikes #walkingtoworktoday
Plastic lamppost spikes

Steel door on Sullivan st #walkingtoworktoday
Steel door on Sullivan st

178 1/2 Spring St door typography #walkingtoworktoday
178 1/2 Spring St door typography


Wfh today isn't so badWfh today isn’t so bad

wfh instead of #walkingtoworktoday
wfh instead of #walkingtoworktoday

Not really surprising what color the Empire State Building is tonight
Not really surprising what color the Empire State Building is tonight

Gray morning sans bw filter
Gray morning sans bw filter

ESB in my favorite color tonight
ESB in my favorite color tonight

Snow finally
Snow finally

Not much too see of the Empire State Building at the moment
Not much too see of the Empire State Building at the moment

Low ceiling in Manhattan tonight
Low ceiling in Manhattan tonight

An empty gym is my favorite kind of gym
An empty gym is my favorite kind of gym

Soho square #walkingtoworktoday
Soho square

Misc type on Sullivan st #walkingtoworktoday
Misc type on Sullivan st

Arial inspired tagging
Arial inspired tagging

grungey no parking type #walkingtoworktoday
grungey no parking type

Antler lights for my desk
Antler lights for my desk

No bike parking #walkingtoworktoday
No bike parking

Good m.o. to live by: no standing no stopping
Good m.o. to live by: no standing no stopping

To 14 st
To 14 st

Crazy type

Undercurrent photo shoot with Justin Steele:

Watching @justinsteele1 prepping for a shoot this morning
Watching @justinsteele1 prepping for a shoot this morning






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. It does a good job of discovery both from location and genre. They also have an iPad version that takes advantage of the bigger screen real estate. However that’s not why I’m mentioning the app. A couple weeks ago they introduced a car mode. They’ve taken the essentials of the app to a whole new level of simplification. When apps first came out for the iPhone there was a movement suggesting that they should only do one or two things really well because of the small screen size. As designers get used to the screen they’re figuring out ways to add a lot of stuff (for better or worse). With TuneIn Radio’s car mode they’ve brought the essentially features to the bare minimum. There’s four large buttons to find a station and a large window to display what is currently on. For a driver this in theory makes the decision easier and hopefully faster so they can pay attention to the road. The people behind this app seem to get the user behavior depending on how they’re using it.

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

The New Yorker Mail Section from their iPad Issue

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 haven’t subscribed to the Economist yet but do with the New Yorker. The New Yorker does a pretty decent job enhancing the content when possible. Audio of authors reading and enhanced photo galleries improve the experience. There’s one feature though that I don’t understand why they haven’t included. The mail section is where people write in to discuss issues related to past articles. The added commentary that builds off of the original article makes me want to read the original article if I hadn’t already. The problem is that the New Yorker doesn’t link back to the article. I suspect there could be technical reasons why they can’t link from iPad issue to iPad issue but there isn’t really a reason why they can’t link back to the website. They could easily pull the article within the app. Hopefully with a future release they consider it because I suspect a lot of readers would appreciate it.

Talking about the Launch of Undercurrent.com

Recently Gesture Theory launched the new Undercurrent website. This was a great project to work on both professionally and personally. I hold a lot of the people that currently work there and those that had been there at some point in time. Typically when we launch a product or site I’ll go through the process on the blog. This time instead I’m going to point to an interview I did with Matthew Carlin of Undercurrent where we discuss some of the finer points of the site titled Production Notes: Undercurrent.com. Below are some of the screen shots of the site in various devices.

Undercurrent Air Home

Undercurrent iPad

Undercurrent iPad

Undercurrent iPhone

Undercurrent iPhone

Reading vs Writing in Braille

Braille is one of those things that has always fascinated me. A lot of what I do is based on observation so taking that tool away yet still being able to communicate is something that I wish I knew more about. So when I come across a post about it once in a while I’ll pay attention to it. I also like paying attention to patterns. I came across this modified Rubik’s Cube that has eliminated the color and swapped it for braille. A day afterwards Engadget posted about a Braille writing program for the iPhone.

I don’t know much about this Rubik’s cube aside from seeing it posted on a blog. The idea of taking a visual tool such as the color blocks that need to be matched with both eyes and hand have been swapped with mind and hand. I’d be curious to see who could match things up faster. A first time person with sight or a first time blind person. My gut suggests the blind person would complete it first.

BrailleTouch Helps Visually Impaired Users

Everything that the BrailleTouch is why I love the iPad and for this example the iPhone. It’s bassically compressing expensive hardware into a touch software solution. The braille program negates the need for expensive hardware while increasing the efficiency of typing in braille. It was interesting to hear the disclaimer that this app isn’t a solution for texting while driving. You can read more about this at Engadget’s post Georgia Tech researchers turn an iPhone into a Braille writer with BrailleTouch app.

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