The years is almost up so I figured I’d take a look at some of the things that I actually bought and list them. I decided to list it alphabetically because trying to make it a top ten would be hard to do. For example I don’t think anything can really compete with an iPad on my list. Most of the stuff isn’t that out of reach for the average person—typically when I started thinking about it most of the things I bought were somewhat affordable. What I decided to leave off the list were clothes, food and travel. Those should be saved under the category of experiences. I also didn’t include review books just for the simple fact that I didn’t buy them. I just felt if I was coming up with a Design Notes approved buying guide I didn’t want to include JPGS of things that I never saw in person or wasn’t willing to buy myself. The interesting pattern that I noticed after writing most of the reasons why something made my list was that I could carry it around with me easily, I could make something with it, it inspired me and it was affordable.
Beyond the Street: The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art
by Patrick Nguyen & Stuart Mackenzie
For anyone that is a fan of street art, there’s two books that should be added to their library. This one one of the two. Aside from hearing first person accounts of some artists a lot of the info that I’ve come across has been from the interwebs. What’s great about this book (aside from the beautiful production) are all the interviews that make up the bulk of the work. The time and effort was well appreciated by me.
I’m a huge fan of the keyboard from this app. It’s a smart way of making writing easier on the iPad. Plus the fact that I have a guesstimate of how long it will take someone to read what I’ve written is nice.
Apple iPad MC496LL/A Tablet (32GB, Wifi + 3G)
This is an obvious choice for me. I pretty much use it everyday and find new ways to do tasks every couple weeks that make life easier for me.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 12.1MP Micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Lens
I had been using the Leica D Lux 3 for a couple years, it did a great job but was really slow in terms of being able to take more than one image at a time. I also wanted something more versatile in terms of lens. The GF1 was the perfect camera to graduate to. It’s small enough to carry with me all the time, the image quality is much better and I love using it. I haven’t bought any other lenses yet, but the fact that I can is a great option. Another great feature is the auto bracketing. I could go on and on about that camera…
MUJI Recycled Paper Note – Double Ring – Dark Gray B5 – Plain 80
I would be lost without this thing. I carry it with me as much if not more than my iPad. The book is inexpensive enough that I don’t feel guilty for writing notes in it. It’s also not over designed which is the biggest issue that I find with a lot of branded notebooks out there. The inside of this black MUJI notebook is plain white paper.
MUJI Gel-Ink Ballpoint Pen 0.5mm
I buy these five at time, there’s always one in my pocket and the stream of ink makes it easy to write on almost any surface. If someone’s lost a pen I always give them one of my MUJI gel ink pens if there’s any extras in my bag.
River of News
I use a number of iPad apps to stay updated (Pulse, Flipboard, Reeder etc), however when I weant to read from my RSS feeds stored in Google Reader I start with River of News. The UI is pretty straight forward, it has the share functionality that I want and there’s some small visual design details that no one else has been able to match. I just wish they’d change their app icon—it’s brutal.
Trespass: A History Of Uncommissioned Urban Art
by Carlo McCormick, Marc Schiller & Sara Schiller
For anyone that is a fan of street art, there’s two books that should be added to their library. This one one of the two. What I like about this book is that it puts a lot of what I’ve seen into a context that I hadn’t really considered before. When ever I go through this book it inspires me—not so much to make my own art, but come up with really cool design ideas. It’s hard to explain except that I find that it’s a lot easier for me to think about designing something after I’ve seen some great art on paper.
U.N.K.L.E.: Where Did the Night Fall
This is probably my top album of the year. I’ve listened to it a million times and never tire of it. I’m actually listening to it as I write this post.
by William Gibson
While this isn’t my favourite book of the year (not sure if I have one), I’ve really enjoyed the fact that I can read this book anywhere with both my iPhone and iPad while not worrying about what page I’ve left on.]]>
Yesterday while working on a multi touch iPad UI issue with Chris Fahey, the phrase “gesture deficient” came up. We were looking at some of the iPhone swipe actions to multi delete and wondered how many people like or even know about some of the things a person can do to swipe. Essentially there’s features built around those that are “gesture deficient”, for those that didn’t know that they can swipe delete things on their iPhone. This also relates to the iPad as well. One interesting response that I was asked about on Twitter after mentioning the statement was “what is the “unsuck” definition of that?” To that I replied “possibly swipe happy or happy tapper”.
Continuing on the swipe theme on a touch screen, I came across the iPhone game We Sliders. At first there doesn’t seem much to it. It’s actually quite ambient. There’s no music (though that would be cool), just shifting colour as a person moves the bars. As far as I can tell the goal is to sync the bars together by moving them side to side. At first there’s just two bars, once that level is completed is becomes three and after that it increases incrementally. I managed to get to six bars last night. As far as experiences go I’d rate this pretty high just on the uniqueness of the game and the discipline to keep it very simple (yet difficult) in terms of game play.]]>
Just as the title suggests I was curious to examen how these two on demand media types benefit and distract people that want to enjoy music. Pandora allows a person to search for an artist and stream music from their choice along with other that sound similar. In theory the stream will play as long as someone wants. If they want to advance to a mystery next track they can, but with the free version this can happen only for a limited period of times. Vevo on the other hand streams high quality music videos from a fairly small library of mainstream artists. Typically someone once again will search for an artist, play the video and be forced to find a new video after the song is over. There’s playlists and other ways to find videos but before someone can view a new video they must stop watching something.
The benefit of audio streaming from Pandora is that if they’re playing an artist they like, there’s a chance that they can let the service pick the rest of the music. They can do other things while the music is on. It’s not visual like Vevo but a time saver. The biggest drawback is that the songs can get predictable after a while. For Vevo the high quality video stream is impressive. While the sound doesn’t always match up exactly with the video, the pure quality of the video is clean. The biggest issue is that if a person get’s bored of what they’re watching there’s no easy way to change the channel. A person can’t pick a new track while the audio or visual is playing. What that means is that a person must really be willing to make a good selection, otherwise there’s a couple annoying clicks before they can find what they’re looking for. In theory a person can make a playlist which will stream all the videos consecutively, but again that’s an investment in time.
Essentially it comes down to random choices of audio being selected that can’t be rewinded but forwarded versus finding exactly what you want, but having to make that choice every time with a delay in the next video. The ideal solution would be the ability to watch something that I choose and have the ability to find something new without turning the video off. This could be achieved in the mode after tapping the screen. Allow someone to search for new artists or present related videos in a results screen while the audio plays.]]>
It still amazes me how the iPhone and apps have completely changed how information can be distributed. And it’s really easy to take it for granted too—no big deal anymore, apps are just apps right? Why I think it is still worth mentioning was last night I came across IDEO’s Method Cards as an app. They’re cards that have a bunch of different exercises to think about design, process and spark ideas. I don’t recall how much those cards cost to buy as a “thing”, but it never really excited me that much to order them and have to wait for the shipping. Contrast that to me being able to sample a couple cards before I bought the whole set for $4.99. Instantly I have access to something that I can carry in my pocket that only a couple years ago was available on paper. That easy access is pretty exciting to me.]]>
Takayuki Fukatsu, the creator of the QuadCamera App (read my interview with him here) in his latest post mentions what could possibly be one of the first music videos shot with an iPhone. What makes the video compelling is the use of the QuadCamera App to give it a great stop motion feel.]]>
I don’t use that many hashtags with twitter with the exception of my image posts to #walkingtoworktoday from my iPhone. What’s strange to me is why the setting for the pound key is hidden behind the general number keyboard. To create a simple hashtag it takes three clicks. Considering the popularity of Twitter and hashtags I’m surprised Apple hasn’t bothered to update the keyboard. I doubt that replacing one key is going to cause too much of an issue. Why not switch it with the semicolon—when was the last time you used that key with your iPhone? And while we’re at it, why not have a character count tracking the number of letters in a subject line of an email. That way if I’m tweeting photos to flickr I know where I’m at in terms of words…]]>
I’ve complained in the past about the iPhone’s battery life though those issues have been somewhat resolved. But there’s another issue that I think is worth considering for an upgrade. I was playing around with my iPhone 3Gs Settings > General > Usage > Battery Percentage. With a simple switch of the button you can see what percentage of battery life is left. It’s an interesting info note, but it doesn’t really help me in terms of guessing how much time that actually means. My question is that if a percentage can be displayed why not take it a step further and show how much time is left at the current usage state. If I’m watching YouTube video, let me know that I only have forty minutes of continuous play. If I’m listening to music, maybe the usage time is two hours. Obviously I’m not an engineer so I don’t really know what it would take to do this, but my guess is that if a percentage can be calculated the effort to display time shouldn’t take that much more thought.]]>
A couple weeks ago I was approached to take a look at the MySurface iPhone app. They were curious to hear my thoughts so I was happy to check it out. The first question I asked myself as I tested it was why would anyone want or need to use this app? The quick persona that came to mind was a person that’s either an interior designer or home renovator enthusiast that wanted a bunch of swatches at their fingertips. They need something mobile so they can find surfaces quickly while on location and want the ability to explore a number of options, and once they’ve made a surface choice order it quickly.
When I opened the app for the first time it quickly zoomed past the cover screen and planted me on the color swatches. While the nav wasn’t confusing, as a first time user I wasn’t exactly sure what I was supposed to do. In subsequent visits it became obvious quite quickly but something that I think UI designer’s take for granted is the first time user experience vs returning visits. There doesn’t have to be a full blown tutorial, but some text that explains the features would have been helpful. This dialogue box can always be turned off the next time the person uses the app.
As I started moving around the images with the slider I had the option of clicking to view a larger image. The only action that I could take after making the swatch bigger was to save it. Once I pressed save it would have been a nice touch to reframe the image or denote somehow that this image is now saved. While the bigger swatch is helpful to get an idea of what the surface is like, it seems like the second screen is missing something—maybe have more info about the swatch or show related swatches that I might like to look at if I like this one… I also noticed that each swatch has a name, but no identifying number. If the swatches has a numbering system it might be easier to find something down the road—I realize I can save stuff, but once I start saving a lot of swatches a number system would be helpful to organize things. Speaking of favorites, another piece of valuable information missing is the date that I saved the swatch. There’s also no note taking ability which down the road could help explain why I wanted to use a particular swatch. Taking that a step further it would be cool if I could attach a voice memo to the image, that way I don’t have to type anything.
There’s a share feature but it really shouldn’t be labeled as such. When I tried emailing my swatches all I got in my inbox was a url to the DuPont site. There was no info about what I actually had saved. This should be fixed right away or have the button reworded. Ideally I could either email myself one or all swatches of my choosing. In the email I can see the actual images and have buttons that I can get more info. Another feature that they have is the gallery which shows 12 images of the swatches in use. They’re nice to look at but I’d take a second look at the whole feature. I would have either broken it into different sections like kitchen, bathroom etc or different types of surfaces like counter, floor etc. I’d also list the swatches in use and make it easy to save those swatches to my library…
While the first version of that app works for showing all the swatches that DuPont has, there’s a lot of things that they could make for version 2 of mySurface better. It probably wouldn’t be easy, but integrating the iPhone camera would be a huge asset. If I could take a picture and overlay the swatch on top, I could get a really quick idea of what the surface is going to look like. The stitching doesn’t have to be perfect. It just seemed natural that I’d want to overlay a swatch, and if I’m using my iPhone it feels like a natural extension to use the camera. If I’m using an iTouch I could always import an image. The other big feature would be gallery schematics. Basically have a library of line drawing with different counter shapes, tables, floors, walls etc. Within that library I could transpose my favorite swatches to see what they would look like in context. The other thing that I mentioned above was having a more robust share feature that actually emails me the swatches instead of sending me a url to the website.
My favourite iPhone apps are always the ones that make me reconsider something that I used to take for granted on screen or allows a shift in perception. The 24 HOURS: THE STARCK MIX iPhone app does just that in terms of how music is streamed, navigated and experienced. There’s only one display that shows the current time. Taking that time as a cue it streams in music that was “selected, arranged, composed and mixed by Soundwalk for Philippe Starck.” If you shake the app it shuffles the time and new music plays. And while some people might consider the way to manually change the time to be a bit of a pain, by placing a finger below the time and moving it upwards the hours, minutes or seconds can be advanced—though sometimes the time goes up, other times it goes down. They’ve made it difficult to get to a precise moment of a persons choosing. It’s a little strange but as part of the overall experience I love it. There’s a lot of metaphors that a person could read into with the idea of time + music, but it’s better to just listen and experience it.
Don’t have an iPhone? You can hear it on screen at http://radio.soundwalk.com/ though I think it’s cheating to experience it like that…
I woke up pretty early this morning and took some notes about something I heard from each hour. A lot of my descriptions are somewhat ambient, but intermixed there’s gems—Sir Mix a Lot, Sinatra vs. Presley and my favourite hour so far is 21:00:00…
04:10:23 Ambient with long sounds, hearing birds and waves…
05:26:14 Fast ambient, rocks rubbing against each other…
07:13:32 Slightly digital, kids chatting the background…
08:40:01 Upbeat mellow…
09:03:10 Xylophone trying to say something…
10:15:53 Someone speaking french as the song transitions…
11:11:11 In the airport lounge heading somewhere good…
12:37:02 Talking about skills in a down tempo way…
13:24:01 Not quite digital bagpipes, almost acid jazz…
14:38:45 Mellow upbeat walking in a cave with a beach near by…
15:50:12 Beeps, français and echos…
16:41:50 Horn, guitar and drums…
17:50:56 A couple songs fighting with each other, Sinatra vs Presley
18:02:09 Video game stuck in a telephone pinball game
19:10:06 Time to get things moving stuck on repeat
20:22:20 Blobby bubbles
21:26:50 Sounds like someone I’d want to have coffee with
22:37:09 Video game building music
23:58:55 Mono beats with a hint of bleep
00:02:18 Uptempo person ready to move
01:29:14 It’s not an organ but…
02:39:26 Slowing down in the fields…
04:10:23 Ambient with long sounds, hearing birds and waves]]>
I managed to get my hands on the soon to be released TiltShift iPhone App from Takayuki Fukatsu.
It comes out tomorrow (September 2nd, 2009). It’s now available at the app store. Takayuki Fukatsu is the developer of QuadCamera, QuadAnimator and ToyCam which I’ve also mentioned on DesignNotes.
While experimenting with the controls, I thought the UI was quite intuitive and easy to use once I took a photo. After I took the image I had a couple options to make tweaks to the image with different sliders. Another feature is that I can use images that I’ve already taken. What this means is that I can use other camera apps and import the image after wards to make changes with TiltShift.]]>
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.
Cool Hunting’s Spring/Summer 2009 Playlist
I’d recommend pressing play to this while going through this week’s double edition of Link Drop.
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).
IxDA NYC: Todd Zaki Warfel’s Prototyping for UX Practitioners
Unfortunately I missed this due to work. In any case this is a good recap for those that might have missed it too.
Unique Storyboard Method: Receipt Tape
A different type of method for telling stories. I’m going to try it when the right opportunity arises.
10 awesome videos for designers
Perfect viewing for a rainy day if you’re a designer—or just bored out of your mind.
Huffington Post and Facebook Go “Social News,” With Connect on Steroids
This has a lot of potential. I don’t think Facebook Connect should be taken for granted. It’s unlocking a lot of doors that I think most designer’s don’t even realize existed in the first place.
Journalism Students Need to Develop Their Personal Brand
I think this goes for everybody out there today…
How To Become A Social Brand REDUX
And the diagram that compliments the last post.
Creative Grab Bag
Happy to see Ethan’s book out. Lot’s of familiar names and faces involved including moi.
The Sad Strange Financial Predicament Of Annie Leibovitz
I suspect that there’s a lot of stuff going on in the background. Until that comes to light here’s one person’s take on the situation.
Website Update: Microsoft, I’m a PC – Outtakes
Remember those computers called One Laptop Per Child? These are the first images I’ve seen them in use for the intended audience.
Dark Stores; BRIAN ULRICH : NOT IF BUT WHEN
Quite the photo series of the times we live. Sort of reminded me of the Detroit series I mentioned in the last Link Drop.
More Than Just a Pokerface: Lady Gaga as Architectural Cipher
This was one of my favourite posts that I came across last week. Music, fashion and architecture combined, contrasted and critiqued.
Smart idea—compare both good and bad design at the same time. I suspect this blog will pick up some traction soon.
The Over-the-Phone Test
Good method for some but not all design ideas. While simple is ideal, understandable is a better target to shoot for.
Designers on Twitter
While I don’t take these type of lists too seriously, it was nice to be added to this one.
Hand & Arrow Icons from this post
I had no idea how many people like myself were searching for arrow cursor icon. Now you know where to find them…
THE 10 BEST FOOD TRUCKS IN AMERICA
Ok list, a couple from NYC in there.
IMG MGMT: The Nine Eyes of Google Street View
Amazing captures from Google maps. A really insane viewpoint of what’s going on out there…
Rethinking Maps and from Amazon
This book looks like a great read, though it’s a bit pricey.
I like dots, and I like visualizations—hence this is the perfect post for me.
Scientists Prove Dogs Look Like Their Owners
It’s finally official. This is what my weimaraner Madison and I look together posted on Flickr a year ago.
A going concern. Toilet signage as an international cultural artefact
Interesting to see how people all over the world show where to go the bathroom.
The future of the textbook
More questions about reading on paper.
Reading Non-Braille Books and Tactile Flash Cards for the Blind
Great idea to use design and technology to help people.
The 65 Most Annoying things about the Web Today
Good list to take note of.
Talking ‘bout (m)Y Generation
Good to hear what the kids are talking about these days too.
It’s Official: Captchas Are Bad for Business
Interesting contradiction to my mention of captcha’s a couple week’s ago in Link Drop.
Data Visualization: Stories for the Information Age
This is kind of old by interweb standards, but just in case you missed it, it’s worth a look. Lot’s of good listings of both familiar and unfamiliar data viz stuff.
Drink from Concrete & Glass
I’d love to get a set of these. Cool contrast of materials.
Nike Basketball’s 10 Best TV Commercials
This is art.
Things to consider.
The direction forward with web fonts
More about typefaces and reading on the web.
I’m always fascinated to see how people communicate to each other publicly. Since I am in the communications business it makes sense to understand how conversations go back and forth and spread. Up until recently the standard two way talk between blog post and reader was with a comments field. The writer publishes something, a reader comments. Of course a blogger can turn comments off or have a set time limit. Pretty standard stuff…
I’m not a huge fan of Tumblr for the simple fact that I’ve tried using it three or four different times but always went back to WordPress for better that control I wanted. But what I find fascinating none the less is that Tumblr has created some unique and easy ways to publish content of others—“the reblog”. The word reblog probably scares a lot in the traditional media mindset. Their first reaction is that someone’s stealing my content. Maybe, but the reblog is also pushing ideas to a larger audience that would not otherwise see/read an idea. It’s also a vote that the writer has something of value. Stuff that isn’t interesting doesn’t travel on the interwebs. This background info is important because a recent post from Jason Calacanis about Apple’s business practices titled The Case Against Apple–in Five Parts. At the time of writing this post there was over 190 comments. Not an insane number of people talking, but enough to suggest that any additional comment on that post is going to be lost in the river.
The smarter move is to respond with a blog post of your own. That way a writer can control their own content while building on the broader discussion. It’s only a guess but I suspect that’s why this post Planet Calacanis was published on his own site. The catch was that there wasn’t any way to respond to that post—but there actually was a way to talk back. More akin to a nudge though. If you were part of the same Tumblr publishing system you could respond by reblogging the post and adding commentary. Sure it’s not as easy as dropping a comment box but the message of the post spreads. But if you’re the original person of the Tumblr post, people are spreading the traffic around and passing it on to others. Of course if you’re not part of Tumblr you’re left out of the conversation. Maybe it will motivate you to use Tumblr, maybe not…
However that two way, one way reblog commentary wasn’t the only thing I was noticing with the conversation started by Jason Calacanis. I tweeted his original post after seeing it mentioned by someone else I follow on Twitter. This was what I said from my iPhone “RT @iboy: Hey @JasonCalacanis, Your “Case Against Apple” is one solid post. http://bit.ly/14LOBU”. A number of people that followed me retweeted the link and it continued to spread in every imaginable direction.
One way to get people’s attention via twitter is tweeting the simple @ to the user’s name that you want to talk to. Let’s say that you have a post that’s in reaction to the original Case Against Apple post and you want to attract the attention of other people thinking about the conversation. An easy way to find those people would be to do a twitter search on anyone that’s mentioned “Case Against Apple” http://search.twitter.com/search?q=Case+Against+Apple The next step is to start replying to each of those tweets like this “@michaelSurtees Why Calacanis is way off base http://bit.ly/scJy1”. I’m not a huge fan of that type of practice but it got me to click on the link.
What’s happening is that there’s discussions, posts, reblogs, tweets and retweets and even more interjection. While I’m not going to comment on the original Apple post, I’m really intrigued by how tumblr enables/disables the conversation afterwards. To comment you have to post the original post and build on top of that. In a weird way it extends the loop while keeping everything loosely together no matter how many sites talk about it. I do realize that a tumblr user could add a third party commenting service, but why bother when you can keep everything in house?]]>
This weekend my wife Tamara wanted to pack light. She just wanted to take her iPhone, a couple cards and her keys. All things that should fit into a small change purse. She picked out one of her favourite Coach change purses but was surprised to see that her iPhone wouldn’t fit in there. I know she’s had the purse for a couple years though I’m not sure if it’s over three years old which would pre date the the iPhone. Either way it got me to think that the iPhone is the new size default. Back in the day it was the business card—if a purse couldn’t fit that, would people find it useful? Today if the purse/bag doesn’t fit an iPhone is there a lot of value to owning such an item? I wonder if bag designer’s are considering those issues now. For Tamara’s trip out, her solution was giving me her stuff to hold onto…]]>
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.
visualizing MLB hit locations on a Google Map
Really interesting post that started off with looking at data from a no hitter baseball game that morphs into something else.
MaxFunCon: Merlin Mann on Doing Creative Work; The Sound of Young America
A great podcast that I listened to a couple times. Everything he says is true and I’ve told myself with various words for a while now. After listening to the twenty eight minute podcast you might try some creative work that you’ve been stalling on.
Gawker Media revenues up 45% in first half
A positive sign that online publishing is moving forward and might be worth getting in the game sooner than later.
This American Life’s Ira Glass Points Toward the “Wide-Open” Future of Journalism
I kind of wish this article went a bit further instead of enlisting a couple traditional pull quotes and reaction from someone that heard the talk. Maybe traditional journalism still has a way to go.
A New Page
I haven’t had time to read this yet but seemed very appropriate considering how people are starting to read more and more on screen.
Interview: NPR’s Dick Meyer Discusses NPR.org Redesign, Visual Vocabulary
I pulled a various articles about the NPR.org redesign, interesting to read a couple people’s take from the inside.
NPR Moves to Rewire Its Approach to the Web
Article number deux on the the NPR.org redesign.
Making Books, 21st-Century Style: An Interview with Rick Smolan
I couldn’t help but wish there was an online version of the book they were talking about. What does that say about me?
Total Insanity: Commerce Restaurant to go Cashless
Interesting idea, not sure why they wouldn’t keep both options of cash or plastic available. The comments in reaction are fascinating.
5 live sketching tips every designer should know
Makes sense to keep up on this kind of thing.
STAGES: Art for the Lance Armstrong Foundation
This looks very cool and is on view in NYC.
Bike Porn 3 – Trek’s “Stages” Bikes
A cross section of the bikes Armstrong rode in the tour.
NEWS///LANCE ARMSTRONG SURGES BACK TO ACTION IN THE TOUR DE FRANCE ON A MARC NEWSON TREK TTX ART BIKE
Sorry for the allcaps—that was how it was in the post. The bike in view feels like a cross between a tank and some carbon fiber weaponry.
Amazon Acquisitions infographic
A timely info graphic on all things Amazon.
I really like the concept of this flat piece of material morphing into something else usable with some cut lines.
Lessons from a failed meeting with a Social Media Guru
This is quite the post, I have my guesses who it’s about but I have no way to verify. Either way there seems to have been a communication break down.
I wanted to post this because the bike and digital outlines looked cool.
James Perse surfboards
Same for these surfboards. These are works of art. I’d put them on my wall if I had the space, and cash…
Things go better with persistent branding
This diagram is kind of telling. Actions (or non actions) speak quite loudly.
Top ten problems in file prep for print
This is for the print people out there that can’t figure out why their printer hates them.
I’d like to put all my top secret digital files on this. Too bad twitter didn’t do the same thing.
Where Goldman Sachs screwed up (understanding the anti-$GS populist rage)
Another article that I haven’t had time to read just yet, but am going to over the weekend.
iPhone Apps Design Mistakes: Over-Blown Visuals
Interesting starting point for those thinking of designing apps.
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.
Chris Anderson’s Free adds much to The Long Tail, but falls short
Another review on the book Free.
9 kinds of coffee (infographic)
I’ve never seen a diagram comparing all the different types of coffee goodness in relation to each other before.
World’s Top Ten Identity Firms
While this list probably still holds true I couldn’t help but wonder if they all seem a bit “old”.
Poll Results: The Best Music Of 2009 (So Far)
I’m not a big fan of this list but it gives a good idea of what NPR thinks is worth listening to this year.
Yale Grad Designs Nooka Pop-Up Shop in NYC
Interesting background story on the Nooka pop up shop that I didn’t know about while visiting.
Barcelona at UBPA at Expo 2010
Tons of great architectural photos.
How Twitter Actually Hurts Street Vendors
This reminds me a bit about flash mobs, but with mobile food.
Michael Surtees from MFA Interaction Design on Vimeo.
So you’re thinking about becoming a designer? If I could tell you only *one thing* about going into the field, my advice would be ___________ .
At the time the request seemed simple enough. Record a video of yourself—I had an iPhone that records video and I had a MacBook Pro with a camera. No problem until I realized I didn’t have any programs on my MacBook Pro that recorded video, and trying to record myself via my iPhone without a tripod or any tool that would help me see myself as I recorded started to become an issue. That was until I realized I could open photobooth in my MBP, look into the live camera and record the motion with my iPhone. It’s as low–fi of a recording as one can get, but it worked for what I needed. Once the clip was recorded I emailed the file and was finished. Simple, and if I had felt the need to send it to YouTube it would have been fast with the push of one button.
While I probably made things more complicated then they really needed to be, that filming technique illustrated how I think mobile will be used. Because of bandwidth issues of scale, screen space, file size, wifi connection etc—all those elements need to be paired down to the users essence. The heavy lifting of the laptop allows for preferences to be set, functions to be created and plays nicely with the mobile device for the tasks that have been set up. While this time it was for recording video, gathering news via NetNewsWire or reading about my friends latest tweets all start with a laptop set up. That experience is then interwoven in a back and forth loop.]]>
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.
“there are 4 phone booths in NYC, this is one of them”
If this fact is true that’s quite amazing. When I think about how NYC was shown in film many years ago before mobile phones were out, phone booths played a role in the set. How times change.
Michael Jackson Turning Points
This post was one of the best collection of ideas relating to MJ and the way old media was.
New York Times Considers Charging $5 Per Month For Access To NYT.com (NYT)
Interesting developments going on about a paywall. It would be interesting to see how this plays on in terms of people passing on links to articles read from that site. The reason why I don’t pass that many links from WSJ—because it’s behind a paywall…
Why are Cheap Airlines so cheap?
There’s a side by side comparison of how some airlines can be cheaper then others.
jetBlue’s award system is broken #jetBlows
A point by point breakdown on why JetBlue’s point system isn’t working.
Photo of the day: Insert hands to dry
Would you put your hand inside this box?
Desperate-to-leave LinkedIn users rename accounts “delete delete delete”
I’m sure LinkedIn has a reason for not allowing people to delete their accounts, however people are going to always come up with a solution no matter what a service wants to do with other people’s data.
George Pitts: Notes On Vibe Magazine
Vibe’s founding Photography Director goes back and talks about a lot of the people he worked with and what he got from the experience.
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.
dbcounter – quick visual database stats
I’m putting this info in my things to remember pile.
how @CarinBerger changed my twitter process
This process worked for her, maybe it will for you.
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.
Innovative Airless Tires by Michelin | Toxel.com
The tire that doesn’t run on air. I wonder of we really gain much from a design like this though?
Emotional Design Delivers Intangible Value
I’m not a Pottery Barn shopper so I can’t vouch for their emotional design. But it does seem like an interesting process to consider.
Tools of Engagement: The New Practice of User-Centered Design, by Robert Fabricant
Asking big questions, hard to know if the authour is right or not when we look back in a couple years.
Advertising Could Do With More of Bernbach’s Genius
I wonder if someone under thirty would write something like this?
‘Le Tour’ Rolls into Austin
I hope this show makes it’s way up to NYC. Looks fascinating.
My other pair of eyes and hands
One photographer’s experience shooting bike racing.
Italian Federation calls for redesign of Pozzato’s jersey
Maybe they should have hired a real designer instead of having the cyclist design the shirt.
JerkStrong How Lance Armstrong is like Sarah Palin.
Interesting connection between Lance and Sarah. There’s also some brand advice to be found in the post.
A lesson on (im)personal brand management from “LeVideotape” James
If this happens to be true—crazy…
I love our president. (image via Yahoo News)
This photo could turn iconic.
Black Sun, Closet Plus
I’m sure there’s a logically explanation for all these settings—but would you even want to guess?
Warnings on iPhones come in a different couple flavours. There’s the blue dialogue box that mentions how a person has surpassed their 100 twitter api calls per hour or mentioning that there was a loss of internet connection. There’s also those red pop up’s that cover the corner of an app mentioning how many “things” are inside to be clicked. I think those red dialogue boxes have been there from the beginning of the iPhon UI. As I was looking at them I kind of wondered why they were placed on the top right of the app? Was it more likely that there would be action taken if a red box popped up there. Why not on the left side, people read from left to right—maybe they flipped a coin… I’m not sure but looking at them this morning I wondered how that decision was made.
While looking at those red pop up’s I also noticed something else. There was a distinct pattern that I was clustering my apps. Curious to see how they fit together I blocked out the shapes to see the areas where my thumbs were pressing. As it happened I noticed five distinct categories of use. Task, photo, physics, reading, sound and communication. For the most part these groups came together organically. Taking a look at those patterns gives me a pretty good indication on how I use a mobile device that connects me with anything I want.
With that info in hand I figured I could map out the areas that I press the most. I could see how the proximity of my left and right thumbs related to usage on a daily basis. Each corner had varying degrees of importance while the middle was the least used.
My second screen is a lot more disorganized, but it’s not used nearly as often as my default first screen. Do you have similar usage patterns or do you have a unique system for the apps you use the most?]]>
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.
Issac Mizrahi on Metro North
Advertising that has more than meets the eye.
the problem with the big idea
Some thoughts about how advertising’s one big idea doesn’t really work these days in the digital world.
Dot Dot Dot “The Service Designers” Lecture Videos
I was at this series a couple weeks ago. Of all the people in the series I thought this one had the most take away from. I’d probably watch Jennifer Bove first, followed by Sylvia Harris.
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.
Jeff Goodby: ‘We are Becoming Irrelevant Award-Chasers’
Best quote of the week comes from this article. “We are becoming irrelevant award-chasers.”
Today Barclays-Atlantic Avenue, Tomorrow Disney-Times Square? MTA “Very Open” To Selling Subway Naming Rights
More things to come as the MTA starts selling names of their routes…
Designing the Palm Pre: An interview with Michelle Koh
This is the second process related post about the Palm Pre that I’ve added in the last couple of weeks. I’m not a huge fan of the product but I’m always curious to read how others are designing things.
iPhone GUI PSD 3.0
If you’re going to design something for mobile, this iphone pattern might be of help. The psd takes into account the new upgrades to the phone.
Tea + Coffee Tower by Wiel Arets
A friend suggested this to me after my coffee post last week. Really cool shapes…
Flyer Planter Boxes
This is by far the best idea I’ve seen so far for all those out of date newspaper boxes.
Bringing the social web into your bricks and mortar space
I’m surprised more businesses aren’t bringing in this kind of live data. Of course there’s always a fear that someone will write something derogatory though with appropriate filters those don’t have to be seen.
David Pogue’s Personal Database
I thought there was some helpful info about how to work smarter and more efficient in there.
How My 6-Year-Old Became a Citizen Journalist
Anybody and everybody is a journalist these days.
20 User Experience Books you should own
Another source of good UX books to check out.
10 UI Design Patterns You Should Be Paying Attention To
I’m not a huge fan of top ten design lists but this one seems like it’s worth reading a couple times.
First it was polaroid, now Kodachrome—film is stopping to exist.
The natural evolution from side project to full-time business
This is a good post for anyone considering a business on their own.
tattoo location chart – what a tattoo’s location means
Sometimes diagramming location isn’t just for maps. It’s also for explaining what the location of a tattoo might mean.
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.
Now that I’ve had a couple of days with my new iPhone GS I thought it would be interesting to compare my old behaviour with my slower 2nd generation 16 GB iPhone I used to have. I noticed a great improvement with my everyday stuff. The keyboard is a lot faster and smarter. I rarely make mistakes hitting the wrong key which in turn has made typing easier. I’ve heard people complaining about the horizontal mode, for me I rarely use it because the visible screen is too small. While the copy + paste feature isn’t unique to just the 3GS, it is something that I’m using on occasion for email. Search was another welcome feature for the OS upgrade.
The camera is back to being fast. For the longest time it would take forever to open—it was brutal. I know can open my iPhone, press the camera button and take a shot is less than a couple seconds. Really helpful for me when I see something that catches my eye walking around NYC. The video is another great piece of hardware. The video quality is pretty good considering where it’s coming from. Experimenting with some video sites to upload, YouTube is in a great position as it only takes one click to upload from the iPhone. Flickr is the big loser in that when I tried to email the video it didn’t work, Vimeo was a pain as I had to upload from my computer and it wasn’t instant. While I won’t be using video all the time it’s nice to have it. I’m really curious to see what people start using it for.
Surfing the web is really fast. It’s always been decent through wifi but it’s even better now. I’m disappointed in the 3G network. I was expecting faster load times outside. I’ve noticed that the network doesn’t pick up very well while walking. When I’m standing it’s a different story—things load pretty smoothly. It’s kind of weird. Because the web is a lot faster I’m using some different apps that I haven’t really used before. I’m using Evernote to collect things and checking a couple headlines with Net Newswire. I’m also back to checking up on flickr. If I need to search for an image I’ll use Cooliris.
I had high hopes for Tweetdeck on the iPhone but it’s crashing all the time. While it’s cool to see multiple columns that are synced with my desktop, it visualizes direct messages poorly. I like how Twitterfon threads those conversations. I’ve fond myself going back to Twitterfon after my short lived excitement for the Tweetdeck.
Would I ever go back to my old iPhone—probably not.The speed enhancements that make recording ideas and capturing visuals is an amazing tool. Could the network be better—yes. But for the day to day activities that makes life this designer’s life interesting I don’t think I would let it be more than an arms length away from me.
Just noticed I didn’t mention music or podcasts, that’s kind of interesting…]]>
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…
Inside the GPS Revolution: 10 Applications That Make the Most of Location
There’s a lot of interesting ideas in this one, every designer should read this.
Crowdsourcing: What It Means for Innovation
Some additional comments about crowdsourcing. Not much new insight into the idea but worth a quick glance.
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.
The Difference Between Analogue And Digital Part II: Time
I’m always interested in reading about people’s experiences from the two worlds out there, real and digital. They take a comparative view of how scheduling and time works out in both of those world’s.
The Next Google? Fifty Promising Tech Startups
Nice to see Daylife included in the list, you can read about it here.
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.
Use Their Work Free? Some Artists Say No to Google
I got really mad after reading this article. It’s completely arrogant and ignorant to treat design like this. Especially when they can actually afford to pay people to be art directed.
Can You Estimate The Value Of Exposure?
Interesting post from the original NYT article I referenced above.
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.
Flickr Mobile for Android & iPhone Shows You Photos Taken Nearby Your Current Location (Sort of anyway)
Pretty cool feature, I’ve tried it on my iPhone with ok results. It’s location is a bid broad but the concept is fascinating.
Why the iPhone will never be the biggest money generating platform
There’s a lot to consider with this post and the reference info. Interesting to note that the iPhone is about 1% of the mobile market.
The iPhone is a Subscription
A different way to look at how the iPhone is sold.
Art & Copy (Advertising Industry Documentary, Sundance 2009)
I want to see the film Art & Copy, seems like it could be more interesting then Helvetica…
Re-envisioning The Trading Floor
I kind of wished they went into more depth with the trading floor.
Whatever you do, don’t center that logo!
Funny how American Eagle Outfitters is causing such discomfort to Mr. Kingsley at Landor.
Palm Pre Launches with System Fonts by Font Bureau
I’m not sure the Palm Pre is really going to make a dent to the iPhone, but I’m always interested in reading how typefaces are developed for on screen applications.
A collection of what’s been released typeface wise for 2009 so far.
Hug Chair by Ana Kraš
I really like the balance of this chair. I wonder what it’s like to sit in…
Ross Racine creates artwork from fictitious communities and subdivisions.
I luv this idea.
WSDOT South Central Region Sign Shop – Flickr set
We see signs all day long every day. But have we really considered how their produced? Here’s a bunch of photos of street signs being made. Cool stuff.
I like this idea more then turning the volume to 11.
From “Top Gun” to top shot
Cool collection of photos and process on how it was captured.
girl at a window
This type of photo collection is actually quite difficult to pull off successfully.
Readerville 2000-2009, Thanks for the Memories
It’s too bad that this site has stopped. They had quite the run to say the least.