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Link Drop from 02.13.10 to 02.19.10 | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Link Drop from 02.13.10 to 02.19.10

Link Drop Themes

We’re half way through February and I finally feel that I’m back into a good rotation for Link Drop. The first couple weeks we’re a bit tough for me to get into the groove with. It was equal parts trying to start the new site Link Drop Today and partly figuring out when the best time to post stuff. I’ve also been testing out how I pass on these links through Twitter. For the most part I now know when to send something out or to keep it in house before I pass the link along. Enough about process, this week was about energy, Facebook and process. I’m not sure how energy popped up a couple times aside from having that post about design questions in the back of my mind. I celebrated a milestone yesterday with Design Notes turning five. I’m either doing something pretty well or pretty slow—I suppose time will tell how I keep the blog interesting for myself. As always if you have any suggestions on how I can make things better, please shoot me an email.

The McQueen Question.

There’s much to be said about Alexander McQueen and what happened last week. While I wasn’t versed closely with his design’s he seemed like an interesting character who had an impressive future ahead of himself. In terms of what to point towards in reaction I found the Sartorialist’s post The McQueen Question. worth mentioning in terms of a business—will it continue or stop? Lots of great comments in reaction to the question.

How to Make It in America, the Mixtape

It would be hard not to keep an eye out to the online marketing of How to Make It in America from HBO. While the show hasn’t even been on tv yet it seems like they’ve been able to cut through a lot of the noise that comes with a new show. Of course it might not hurt that I’ve been bombarded with ads on Facebook or that I’ve seen the first episode on YouTube. The show feels a couple years late but compared to most stuff on tv these days it should do pretty well. Back to their marketing—their mixtape that is hosted on Facebook is pretty good and worth a listen. Even better is that you can download the tracks.

78 Reasonable Questions to Ask about Any Design

Found via Dailogue Through Design, 78 Reasonable Questions to Ask about Any Design by Stephanie Mills suggests a lot of things a designer should think about.

Speed, death and interactive graphics

Great post from Greg Speed, death and interactive graphics talking about how the NYT displayed the info of the the Olympic luge athlete that died, and how other display information could influence how news is shown and discussed.

LAPTOP REFLECTIONS

Really cool idea about LAPTOP REFLECTIONS. A camera was set up to take a screen shot and image of the user at the exact same moment. As a rational, they talk about the screen: “The screen sees me the whole time while I am looking at it, I am not embarrassed by it, it is neutral, invisible even, I don’t register its existence, it is just a glowing surface. The screen is inextricably connected to my life. It is a door that I pull shut behind me, which gives me access to a space where I can disappear. It is my gateway to information, it is my space for communication, it is a space where I carry out my work and enjoy myself. I entered into this connection and I am addicted to it”.

Text Trends

Martin John Callanan has created some static and animated comparisons of Text Trends worth taking a look at. He describes what’s going on by “using Google data it explores the vast search data of its users. The animation takes the content generated by search queries and reduces this process to its essential elements: search terms vs. frequency searched for over time, presented in the form of a line graph”.


Leech Plug: Tell Your Electronics When to Stop Sucking

A small way to reduce energy is to unplug items when not in use. While that might seem easy enough there’s still the issue of those items that are being recharged like a mobile device or camera battery. In the post Leech Plug: Tell Your Electronics When to Stop Sucking No Smarties shows a practical design that pops the chord out of the socket once the charge is complete. That way no excess energy is spent.

Twitpics from Space

CNET has a great photo gallery from Japanese astronaut Souichi Noguchi Twitpics from Space. He’s been taking photos as he passes the earth and sending them down on Twitter. While we’ve all seen images taken with sophisticated cameras his images offer something fascinatingly new yet similar because he’s using a normal everyday camera.

Font Aid IV: Coming Together

Font Aid IV: Coming Together is a contribution to the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti through Doctors Without Borders. For twenty dollars you can purchase the ampersand type set that “represents the idea of people coming together to help one another”. Impressive how almost 400 designers contributed on the project.

Life-size Dinghy Model Kit

Micheal Rylander points to this great art piece of a model boat made at life size from artist Michael Johansson.

Electric Bike by Yuji Fujimura

Speaking of energy saving devices, the idea behind this Electric Bike by Yuji Fujimura is that a person while riding can charge their laptop or power up the display area on the bike.

Future Algorithm of the Social Web

Continuing on my theme last week of looking at Facebook the post Future Algorithm of the Social Web by Rachel Tipograph piqued my interest. Generally speaking I think on occasion people put way too much weight into letting a computer decide choice options for information. With that said if you were to ask someone if they were happy with the type of information that Facebook displays on their news feed the answers is probably not. It’s not entirely Facebook’s fault, people’s interest change. Unless people have the option to tweak what interests them there will be issues having a computer predict what they will like by simply measuring clicks and time spent. That is only going to marginally improve a person’s experience.

Side effects of developing for yourself

Here’s a good contrasting post to the idea that a designer (or developer) shouldn’t take their own personal experience out of the process when they work on a project. Marco Arment talks about the Side effects of developing for yourself

Nookafesto

Nooka has been a great supporter of Design Notes and Link Drop Today since I started. Because of that support it always feels a bit weird posting about them, however I do think their stuff kicks ass which means from time to time I’ll pass along stuff that I think is worth mentioning. I don’t do sponsored posts which mean if I like something from a supporter I’ll write about it because I want to. So with that said I do think it’s worth reading Nooka’s Nookafesto, a reason d’etre for a couple reason. Every company or designer for that matter should from time to time reflect on who they are and what they stand for. I like Nooka’s example because they’re putting it out there as a work in progress. They’re fans will let them know if it’s working or not. Something more of companies should have an ear out for.

Early Quora Design Notes

While the title Early Quora Design Notes sounds kind of familiar that’s not why I’m pointing to Art Papers post. Why I am reading it is because it gives a great breakdown of their process for developing Quora up to it’s current version. For those that haven’t developed a lot of products there’s some great insight into how they’re working things out.

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