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I don’t use gmail as my primary email service so I wasn’t affected personally that much went it went down. It affected work stuff for me, but I had ways to get around that issue. While reading about the gmail outage I came across an interesting piece of info: “According to the New York Times blog Gadgetwise, Google engineers faced extra difficulties in fixing the problem because the company uses Gmail internally”. There’s a number of conclusions that we can draw from this. A popular concept is that this is why cloud computing isn’t a great idea. While I don’t like cloud computing for other reasons, I don’t think gmail is the poster child for cloud backlash. If anything it shows how we need more than one way to communicate online. Not just email, not just via the web, not just twitter, not just sms etc. Unless there’s multiple services out there, we’re going to be in trouble when something like this happens again.
While a company should eat its own dogfood, when it’s a primary communication tool it might worth having a back up system. Arrogance that the service won’t ever fail isn’t really a great attitude for innovation. I haven’t come across how google communicated internally while the service was down, perhaps DM’s via twitter? Wouldn’t it be cool if a story comes out soon that a couple enterprising people inside the company built something on the fly so they could talk back and forth. It would show that they’re still innovative and have the skills to create something on the fly. Wouldn’t it be great for them to release the product asap? I’m sure the product wouldn’t look pretty but that’s where iteration come in. They could turn a massive failure into something positive. If they didn’t end build anything and relied on other company’s services to get themselves back on the grid—what does that suggest for their future?
This week’s collection of stuff that I’ve found interesting via Link Drop contains a lot of new themes. There’s stuff about smell, flowers and even Whole Foods. Apple makes it’s usual appearance, though in a more positive light. I also seem to be listening to a lot of personal stories via podcasts and interviews. Hopefully if it’s raining where you are like it is in NYC today, you have some time to check some links out that you may not have come across otherwise.
After reading this, I wasn’t exactly sure what people were going crazy about. I’ve used the service a couple times and was happy with the results. The kicker is that if people don’t like using it, they’re not forced to. And don’t get me started on the proposed redesigns—the idea reminds me of the stupidity that wired did when they asked people to redesign google. sigh… I did have to laugh when it was mentioned in the article about how people have tried to redesign it.
I didn’t know this designer but it still saddened me to read none the less. The Canadian design community has lost a passionate person that was doing what he loved. You can see more of his work via Mark Busse.
This was a last minute drop before I published this Link Drop. I’m really liking how magazines are taking a risk by showing people how they really are. Apparently the issue of the magazine is close to selling out already.
The interview with Liskula Cohen is worth a listen, the silence in between answers and follow up questions was a bit strange. But it wasn’t that strangeness that made me listen to it a couple more times, but more about the response to how things were settled. The rest of the podcast wasn’t too bad either.
This week’s version of Link Drop was a week late and while I hate excuses there’s a pretty good one. Last weekend I was redesigning the format of Link Drop when my computer stopped working. I wasn’t exactly happy about that so I decided I’d continue finding good stuff on the web to remember and keep working on the design when I got my computer back. It’s now Friday and I’m happy to report Tekserve did a great job of fixing everything. So with that said hopefully Link Drop next week will be a bit easier to read. As always, I’ve jotted down some of the themes that flowed with what I saw.
The Agency Problem
This kind of sums up things for me in terms of design today. While I’m not running a multi billion dollar design agency yet, I question why even online design is treated like traditional print projects. The online is handed over to the client with no proof if the thing will actually work. That’s why I wanted to talk about agile design and wondered out loud how more companies should be thinking that way…
Tuft vs. Turf
The flow and motion of the plastic was really changed up their outside view. From the street is must be quite the view.
Reading Ahead: Managing Recruiting
A fascinating comparison of finding people via all the social networks out there to older processes of using a recruiter to screen people.
The Most Interesting New Tech Startup of 2009
Working with a startup I was naturally interested in this post. As weird as it seems, perhaps government agencies are a good candidate to be thrown into start up mode considering the changes both in technology and social communication tool. Brochures are no longer how information is passed along (or at least I hope it’s in conjunction with online).
Kind of curious to see how my online persona was looking like to others, I quickly typed in my name to http://personas.media.mit.edu/. The system searches through a myriad of categories like online, books, fame, sports, management, genealogy, fashion, aggression, family, committees, medicine, media, education, movies, news, illegal, music, social, religious, medical, politics, music, legal, professional, musical, art and design. Above is the final product, while kind of cool looking I didn’t think it really help me understand anything better about myself online and I questioned how sports could have more than design… Oh well, the bigger take away for me at least was the loading screen. Watching all the data filter through the screen was actually pretty cool. By placing some of the calculations out front and visualizing it, I was willing to wait a couple minutes. If the load had been the standard loading bar I doubt I would have stayed and closed the site up.
Urban Outfitters Bike Shop website has been floating around for a while. I think part of the site’s charm and blog appeal is that it’s an easy and fun site to spend a couple minutes with. Bikes are cool, people like the idea of fixed gear and there’s enough variables that it’s hard to get bored. I’ve gone back a handful of times just to play around with the color. The price is also cheap enough that even if I wasn’t that serious about buying one, it’s still in the realm of possibility. Customization of products online isn’t new either, I can think of several shoe companies like Nike and Converse that allow people to make their own shoe. I suppose more products should follow though I suspect that depending on the type of “thing”, the production set up costs could be high. However even then a company might want to consider making a customizable site. My guess is that even if a person never buys a customizable product, the amount of time the person spends on the site increases significantly.
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…
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 week’s version of Link Drop has a healthy does of me at the beginning. When I read about other bloggers and their exploits, sometimes I think it’s cool to see, other times perhaps not. So if you’re in the perhaps not camp, please scroll quickly to link #4. Overall I came across a bit of everything, there’s lot’s of publishing stuff, both online and print. I think I keep coming back to that topic because it’s how people are broadcasting messages today, something we should all be in the business of. I also found it interesting how Armstrong integrated his message into a number of different outlets that again I think we can all learn from. Did I miss anything worth reading?
Video Notes from the Field
Being asked to pass along a quick thought about digital & design to potential students headed to that field, I choose to mention how digital is different than print. “Digital isn’t a one-time shot, but a constant upgrade”. For me to be included with a lot of people that I try to learn from myself on the post was quite cool to see.
The Aggregator That Newspapers Like
Some days I find it harder to explain what Daylife is then others, especially when I start mentioning Select. This article did a pretty good job explaining things on a high level and about some of the history behind the news service I work with.
Three New Foodists
I like food, I like to write—what better reason then that to start contributing to this food blog when the urge hits?
I wish I had come up with this idea first. Marking off blocks on NYC and documenting what’s around the street. Photos and google map included.
Unofficial Rules of the App Store
The potential for this site is quite important. If people regularily contribute it could give a good indication of what mistakes not to make. It could also be said that Apple should keep things open, but that’s a different debate altogether.
This week’s Link Drop is a double issue as I was preoccupied with being in SF last Friday. For this post I combined the best of what I found in the last 14 days. The biggest surprise for me was that I didn’t mention the iPhone, Apple or Google once. In their corporate place was Amazon and Zappos—no big surprise considering their news this week. There were quite a few times this morning as I was typing away with the links that I said to myself that this could be a best of year post. What I mean by that is there’s some really good content from others that I might want to save for my year end post. Maybe the summer brings out the best in us all?
The New York Review of Ideas
This site came out of no where (at least to me). The design and content match each other. I hate to say it, but I hope they publish their best content yearly.
A conversation with The Publisher & Editors of Politico
There’s a lot of observations a viewer could take from this round table talk. There’s the predictable print vs online aspect, but what perked up my ears was their strategy talk of wanting to own their sector in terms of being the “ESPN” of politics. Combine that attitude and energy with unique personalities and the hour went by very quickly. Afterwards I had to wonder how soon it will be till Charlie himself makes a couple appearances on Politico…
Walmart Announces a Sustainable Product Index
This gives an overview of what Walmart will be asking it’s retailers in terms of environmental impact of their products. I think this is a big deal as up until now most companies that have power to change things haven’t really stepped up to the plate.
Zappos Review Incites Reproach From Agency Creative
FYI, this link doesn’t work anymore if you don’t subscribe to Ad Age. I kept it because I wanted to use this as a perfect example of why a paid content wall doesn’t work. I thought this article was one of the best that has come out of Ad Age for quite some time because there was a great debate between the merits of the pitch and measuring how long a client actually looks at a pitch. The post that instigated the discussiondidn’t bother turning on the comments which made it a one way discussion—not a great thing for online content. With the above link there was a lot of info being added to the article which I appreciated. Now behind a wall no one is going to subscribe for one article. Now that I know there’s a time limit on Ad Age articles I’m probably not going to include them in my Link Drop anymore.
Zappos’ culture evident in their design
There’s going to be a lot of posts like this now that Amazon is going to purchase Zappos. I thought it would be funny to have this post beside the above issue of companies working with outside vendors for communication.
It’s amazing how a publisher’s branding can be transferred to well known album art in a visual way. The initial idea is still intact with the popular designs, yet the low saturation and paper crinkles also tell a story.
I liked Chris Anderson’s book Free. It’s a good business 101 in the digital age kind of refresher. Nothing really new being mentioned. What I liked even more though was how this post put those type of ideas into a larger context that I hadn’t really been thinking about.
100 Years of Design Manifestos
If I had a couple days of free time (which I don’t), I’d read all of these a couple times and try to pull out all the common themes, take those themes and look at them in the frame of today. With that info compare each of the ideas to the other time periods in the timeline and see what’s universal applicable and what’s just naive.
STVLAH: Things That Fall Over
This might be one of my fav. posts of the year in terms of making unrelated designs fit really well together. Especially in the economic period that we’re all in.
When You Put Data In, You Should Be Able to Get It Out
Did you know that if you tweet over 3,200 times, the 3,201 isn’t available unless you know how to use their api. Within that context this post talks about some of the ethical issues that digital services need to think about.
Dean + Deluca.
One of the benefits of living in NYC is that when people from other cities shoot Manhattan they capture moments that quite possibly could be taken for granted with resident. With fresh eyes it reminds me of all the cool everyday stuff floating around.
The technology, entertainment and design conference known as Ted has been starting to feel predictable as the years go by. For some reason having it overseas has invigorated it. I’m seeing and reading a lot more about the people presenting that seem kind of worth while. This site is pulling a lot of that content together in a great format for those like myself that aren’t there.
The Books of Oxford
I haven’t had time to read this yet, I’m going to after I publish this Link Drop…
Audio from the Web Fonts Panel at TypeCon2009
Litherland passed this on to me just before I was going to hit the publish button for this Link Drop so I haven’t had the chance to listen it yet. It’s hard to comment about what’s been said with this discussion about issue of licensing fonts for the web before I’ve actually heard what they have to say. But since this is my site I can say what I want. My take is that this discussion should have happened like fifteen years ago. Type designers used to be ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and distributing their typefaces. At this point I don’t know if there’s anything those same type people can say that is actually meaningful. As a collective they’ve ignored technology, ie 6 and now I’m pretty much using Arial and Georgie too much. I blame you type designers for ignoring the fact that times change. And since we’re on it, why do I have to use bitmap like typefaces for super small points? Can we please move past type being designed for paper?
Having a couple hours to push around a bunch of buttons in front of me as I flew from JFK to SFO, I thought it would be interesting to explore the playlist feature of the Delta music player. To be honest I’m not really sure why anyone would save a bunch of songs on a flight—though someone must find it useful. In any case I started saving a bunch of songs to see what unexpected questions might arise. The biggest thing that stood out to me was that I’ve invested some time creating a list, now what? What I mean by the “now what”, what can I do afterwards? I can’t export that list, and I can’t get that info out of that player. By the off chance that I wanted to purchase all those tracks there’s no easy way to do that. There’s no send, share or buy functionality. What’s up with that? There’s a perfect opportunity to explore music that I otherwise would never have listened to, and there’s no extension to take the experience further.
July is here and with that comes the Tour de France. I’ve found a number of bike and tour related stuff that is shows the sport in perhaps a slightly different light then most people are used to reading about. There were a number of process pieces that I didn’t connect directly though on a second look might warrant it. There’s behaviour process, big question process and the big idea process along with emotional process. And as usual there’s a number of photo and type related things. I’m heading off to SF for a couple days next week, so I’m not sure what the format for next week’s Link Drop will look like. Stay tuned…
where to get off the subway
Now that I have this app I’m hope it will be easier to find my exit on Canal St or 34th St a lot easier. Up until now I’ve been choosing my train car haphazardly. Now I’ll pick it by design.
beauty made from ugly
There’s something really cool about making architectural forms out of metal shipping containers.
Lost in Translation
I really like how the abstraction on the left carries a lot of visual resonance to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to the right.
Surry Hills Library Signage by Collider
The typography of this wayfinding system is quite special. I love how the type is angled. I want to be able to do that for something in the not so distant future.
When’s the last time you saw a building get up and go for a walk?
Letter from AIGA’s incoming president
It’s amazing to me that more incoming design organization presidents don’t write a simple letter explaining what they want to accomplish. It should be mandatory to have an outline like this.
I’ve been slowly reading Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein in advance of the next UX Book Club: NYC later this month. I’m only a hundred pages in but it seems like a pretty decent book. While it isn’t a fast page turner I’d recommend it as something designers should read. It falls into that genre of Donald Norman kind of reading about human interactions.
The reason why I wanted to bring up the book is a curious poem that was omitted from the pages. The book’s authours tried to get the rights to be able to publish Smart by Shel Silverstein. They were denied access by the Silverstein’s estate. To get around not having the poem the book basically suggests googling “Smart” and “Shel Silverstein”. This is the first time I’ve come across a content strategy using search. The search did work and illustrates a murky online content world that people in the real world are going in two different directions with. On the one side there’s the book authours wanting to cite a poem, willing to pay for it and are denied. There’s an estate that wasn’t willing to part with the poem for their reasons and the words don’t make it back to print where it can be paid. However online the poem is there for anyone to read with no possible way of the estate being compensated. It’s a dilemma that I’m sure will be played out a lot more as methods of spreading ideas twirl around out there in the digital world.
I’ve put together a quick site powered from Daylife that will collect all the latest news, photos, tweets, videos, quotes and topics on Le Tour de France 2009. It’s a month long event so I’ll be adjusting the site design as the days go on. If things shift a ton over the month in terms of how I change the design of the info flow and modules I might mention that experience in a future post. You can view the site at http://tourdefrance.daylife.com
This week’s edition of Link Drop is a bit lighter than usual. The summer is supposed to be less busy but that doesn’t seem to be the case and in turn that means less time to collect and filter interesting stuff on the interwebs. The new iPhone came out which made me happy as I was getting tired of my 2nd generation iPhone that I’ve had for a couple years. I’ll post a review about that once I’ve fully tested it out. Other things that caught my attention related to process and technology quite a bit.
#CNNfail: Twitter Blasts CNN Over Iran Election
I tried to keep the amount of blog posts related to Iran, news and the social apps that were sending out information to a minimum. Fascinating to see how CNN on tv really dropped the ball with Iran in the beginning of the election only to be castigated with those people that expected more from a trusted source.
5 Ways to Redesign a City
A quick post with links to how interaction design can help redesign a city. Personally I’m not sure why the pdf had to call out “interaction design” and not just use the profession of design…
Mapping a better world
Smart article about turning abstract concepts into information that people can understand while looking at maps.
Great collection of visualization posters. Lots to look at for reference, and if so inclined—purchase. The site is nicely designed too.
Flip Flop Fly Ball
If you like baseball or a fan of data visualization, this is the site for you. Surprised I haven’t heard of it before this week.
Is Design Thinking bullshit?
How could I not include a post with a title like that in Link Drop? Nothing really new again about design, but interesting how they compare “design thinking” to the ppt version of how a product is developed. Has a couple links included in the post worth looking at too.
Not a Daily Drawing: Work for The Webby Awards and w+k
While portfolio sites have their place, working examples like this are much more powerful in my opinion. They show the design in the real world and give it a voice from the person creating the work. Plus there’s rss, so it can be distributed to those that subscribe to the blog.
The Newsweek Redesign: Hit or Miss?
This post is probably more interesting for the comments then the actual post. A number of people voice their opinion on the new Newsweek design. What do you think, have you even picked up a copy in the last couple of years?
I liked the photo comparing three different adapters for juicing up an iPhone.
It’s been a crazy blog week for me and because of that my Link Drop is three days overdue. The High Line opened which I was happy to experience first hand early in the week. Quite a few interesting blogs passed some nice traffic to me because of it, so I thought in return I’d compile those sites near the top of this post. I also got a lot of interesting response from my AIGA post, a significant amount coming via twitter which I thought was interesting. On top of all that, there was a lot of great stuff on the net. So adding that all up I finally can present last weeks Link Drop. See you back in a couple days…
If you get the opportunity to walk the High Line at night, these are the people responsible for the great lighting design. It was one of my favourite parts of the experience walking around that first night.
Hype for Type
The person behind this site did all the right things to get the word out to the design blog sites out there. I might do an interview with them as they mentioned something kind of interesting about why they wanted to start the site in the email I got. They were “frustrated with the lack of quality and original typefaces within the design community.” I’d like to hear more about that from them.
I thought the image was a nice extension of those blocky letter forms out there at the moment.
he sees, he’s a seer
The idea has a lot of potential though I wish it did more then just use the Amazon api for suggestions. If only there was a real person behind this—or better yet a group of librarians to offer suggestions.
Kindle’s Not Working
I don’t have a Kindle and I’ve often wondered if it’s a bit overpriced considering a netbook doesn’t have any of the same limitations that Amazon has put on their machine.
I thought the video was quite amazing, and better yet I don’t think it was staged.
The New Negroponte Switch
Good presentation to look at about stuff moving away from academic discourse and application of interactive ideas in the real world.
I discovered this neat site via twitter. Cool observations on what he does.
Fun with flash—something I don’t normally say…
I haven’t actually had time to read this, but it’s next on my hit list once I have five minutes to sit down.
Can Computer Nerds Save Journalism?
Another perspective on what needs to be done with journalism. Everyone has an opinion these days it seems. I wonder if anyone aside from journalists are actually reading these things.
Microsoft Biffs the Bing Logotype
I liked this first person account of working at Microsoft as an intern and how there was actually good design going on, and how it kept getting killed. Relates to that awful Bing logo.
Data Center Overload
The whole magazine issue is quite strong content wise, the redesign looks like it came from New York Magazine. Here’s one article from the Infrastructure issue.
My friend has a great eye and mind for picking stuff to talk about.
Banksy’s Bristol show
Banksy’s got a new show, would be interested to get my hands on the book if there was one. From some of the clips it looks like a lot of his stuff from NYC is on display from the pet store.
One of the more popular posts on twitter that I mentioned this week. Fun—no?
Last night I made my way to White Rabbit one last time to hear the Dot Dot Dot SVA MFA in Interaction Design talk: The Service Designers. In the preamble we learned that the series will pick up in the fall every Wednesday evening at SVA. As a way to build community around a new program and share knowledge I really enjoyed the entire series—I think I missed one talk, maybe two over the course of its start last winter. Comparing all the talks, I think the Service Designers group was probably the most informative of all the Dot Dot Dot’s in my opinion. They all had a lot of points to consider as a designer and I would recommend any of them as speakers for events to anyone that is looking for people on the brainier side of things.
Chenda Fruchter, Assistant Commissioner, Director of Content & Agency Relations, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication, New York City
It probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise that with a title the length that Chenda has it would take some time to explain what she does. She talked a bit about NYC 311 as a whole and briefly about the newly launched www.nyc.gov/apps/311. Unfortunately the ten minutes went by really quickly so there wasn’t a lot of time to go in depth. Hopefully as the new 311 site get’s used, more information about it’s design and evolution will be published.
Jun Lee, Partner, ReD Associates, New York
On one level the talk was fascinating to hear about the role of play in children’s lives, and in theory even more so when combined with doing work with Lego as a case study. However I suspect there was an NDA signed with Lego. None of the implementation nor suggestions of what Lego should do came out except some generic points that could have been associated with a lot of toy brands that are in competition with video games.
Jennifer Bove, Principal, Kicker Studio
This presentation played well to the time limit of ten minutes. I hope that Jennifer’s slides become available online because this morning I can’t remember all of the five points she mentioned—but for what it’s worth I thought they all seemed pretty sound. The only thing that struck me as a bit strange was the questions afterwards. I couldn’t tell if it was staged or not. Something about the question of designing for failure seemed a bit expected, though on the role of iteration I didn’t think she gave a strong answer…
Sylvia Harris, Information Design Strategist
I always have a fear of hearing a speaker that I’ve already heard before. Are they going to talk about the same thing as the last time or something completely new? Thankfully her talk about her fixing the experience of the Hospital that she’s been to with her child was new to me and worth the listen. The questions afterwards were really good about how the project actually came to be as it wasn’t explained by Sylvia in the beginning.
Three of the four talks were streamed live at the time of the event at www.theuxworkshop.tv/the-service-designers. It looks like that url will also host the archived presentations which I would highly recommend watching once they go live.
This has been one of those strange weeks where everything on the outside looks the same, though on the inside there’s a lot going on. It’s been a cool week though there’s nothing I can really report on at this point. I realize that’s this is a lame way to start this week’s Link Drop, but that’s what’s been going on and typically those events around me mirror what I find interesting web wise over the week. So stay tuned and please enjoy some of the stuff that I thought was worth saving for a second read.
Paula Scher on Failure
For some reason when ever the press covers Pentagram, it’s pretty fluffy coverage with predictable results. Personally I blame the writers for being lazy. However this week I did come across an interview that I was actually able to gain some insight into. Maybe some of those design writers can learn a thing or two from a non design magazine covering a designer?
Flickr Group: Look, I taped my iPhone!
So far I’ve been lucky to escape dropping or destroying my iPhone (knock on wood). Some people haven’t unfortunately. They’ve dropped their iPhone and the screen has cracked in all sorts of weird ways. Strange thing is, if a person were to tape up their iPhone screen together it still functions. A flickr group has popped up to show what all those phones look like.
Designer Q&A with Craig Nottage
I’m not much of a pool player—but how cool would it be to have a table like this? I think this is one of those times when a design has broken out of it’s traditional form to be something even more interesting.
On the Street and On Facebook: The Homeless Stay Wired
This is one of those strange dichotomies of living and technology. If you’re a person that donates to a homeless person on the street—are you less likely to give if you noticed that they had a cell phone? That’s not covered in the article but that’s what it triggered in my head. Tech. is even more persuasive then we thought.
Movies to See Alone
Something for reference in case one is feeling like thinking about a film in being by themselves for the evening the morning.
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
I’m not a film person, but I saved this site in case I did have a couple extra hours and wanted to see something that wasn’t too hyped but was worth seeing.
A point to consider about the complexity of communication with Wave, I wonder if he’ll have the same feelings a year from now.
Went Walkabout. Brought back Google Wave.
I talk a lot about Google in my Link Drops week after week but what might be surprising is that I don’t use a lot of their products. I don’t use Google News because Daylife does a better job imho, I don’t use Gmail that much because I like having hard copies of my data (though I do have a couple accounts). Google also caters to the non mac crowd first so they also tend to not be using all the creative juice that’s out there. Sure engineers are creative and smart, but their missing a huge sector of digital spectrum by releasing PC based products first like Chrome. With all that said I’m kind of curious to see how Google Wave morphs into the future. Cool insight from a blog post about how Wave came to be. These are the kind of posts that are why corporate blogs are supposed to be. Talk about the product, share a bit of the process and publicize some of the benefits.
The embeddable newspaper
What’s strange to me as I read this is that most publishers and content creators are still gun shy about letting their content be embeddable. While YouTube might not be as profitable as it seems, what people fail to learn is that there’s a huge value in having stuff passed on that can be placed in other web sites. Sad thing, this is a concept that’s almost ten years old yet people that have never really published anything by hand or experienced that metaphor themselves are kind of out of the loop at the moment. OK–this post really didn’t have much to do with anything I just said, but that’s what I was thinking about as I read it…
Design made you do it.
This was probably my fav. post of the week though the argument is completely wrong. Designers with heavy ties to the old world of academics hold on to the holy grail of design that can change behaviour. It’s a nice concept on paper yet what is never talked about is ethics, personal righteousness and agendas. There’s a place to make the world a better place, and there’s a time to consider personal rights that leave people alone. Her post ignores all of this in responding to what I wrote about a couple d. students from Stanford last week.
RoamBi: Dynamic Data Visualization for the iPhone
I started playing around with this free app yesterday. I haven’t had time to upload my own data yet. It’s a cleaner faster version of visualizing stuff as opposed to using a traditional desktop tool to make pie charts. Real benefit aside from getting data on an iPhone, not sure just yet.
Behind the Scenes: Tank Man of Tiananmen
By far one of the most popular links that I passed on from Twitter a couple days ago. Interesting to read different perspectives of the same image through different lenses.
I’m not entirely sure why but I’m pretty happy how this week turned out for Link Drop. Lots of Design process, typography, NYC, social and business stuff. Art doesn’t usually get mentioned that much, but there’s a couple mentions of it. Usually by Wednesday I’m wondering if I’m going to have enough stuff that keep me interested, and it was the same this week. Yet I managed to find more then I’ve been able to post for a couple weeks—go figure.
This is one of my new favourite reading sites. While they don’t have a ton of free books to choose from, the option of having small chunks of the story emailed on a daily basis is nice. Through a five or ten minute read on a daily basis the chances of completing the book grow exponentially. There’s also a really nice UI that goes along with the options when a person chooses a book.
One of the most interesting aspects is the first comment suggesting that volunteering isn’t just a thing of socialists but also of religion—I just found that interesting in a non obvious way. And by my suggesting this, probably way too much of a generalization but, I’m pretty sure most people that are on the digital side have never considered how closely those two ideals in sharing knowledge are. I know I didn’t.
Making Policy Public: Predatory Equity
Every once in a while I get email from Urban Omnibus mentioning posts that they’ve put up. What I appreciate about the info is that the posts really dig into using design for improvement and talk about how they did it.
Great post for anyone that’s motivated about their career. If you’re successful you’ve probably already been in the same mindset, but it’s good to remember those ideals once in a while.
Web Visions 2009 Presentation
These pdfs are a really great source of information for people in the business of design. Like REALLY helpful—go there now and download them!
A collection of information on Agile Process—happy to see my presentation included.
I really like this combo of real life imagery and arrows juxtoposed together. It tells a story and then shows the actions afterwards. I don’t think I’ve come across this kind of visualization before.
This clock both makes me feel smarter and hurts my head at the same time.
I’d like to hang out in a room drinking fancy drinks while this dj table was bouncing around. A couple super model would be an added bonous…
The book is here
Great idea from a talented illustrator, order his book from him and he’ll add one more illustration by hand. I also noticed that he was giving shout outs to people via twitter that were buying it.
Cover Story: Finger Painting
I think by now we’ve all seen the cover of the year from the New Yorker. What you may not have known is that I mentioned him in early March, which I found via twitter a couple days before that…
If you’re in Manhattan this weekend, be sure to be facing west around Saturday, May 30 — 8:17 P.M. It’s when you can see the sun fall directly down the streets of NYC.
Mannahatta in Miniature
I love looking at anything that has to do with Manhattan, especially with this project. I think I’m going to have to check out the exhibition this weekend, can’t wait to get my hands on the book at some point soon either.
Helsinki x New York
Sometimes I think NYC is small and then I read a post like this and it shrinks even more. Nice write up from a couple friends on different sides of the pond at the moment.
Heralding the Latest Street Closures
Hopefully you’re not tired of me talking about NYC because what is going on in Manhattan with the streets is very special. Super cool to see what in my backyard. I’m so looking forward to not bumping into so many people at rush hour once the roads have been taken back to pedestrians.
Summer is just about here. It’s getting nice n’hot, the humidity is about to get a lot worse and there’s a long weekend coming up asap. Things are good in NYC at the moment for me which I’m really grateful for because there’s a lot of slowness going on around North America. Who knows when it will end, but hopefully it will make people stronger and smarter going forward. This week’s version of Link Drop is a bit smaller than usual. I was pretty busy and people had ICFF on their minds I think. The themes are similar in some cases as there’s tons of tech, typography and other artforms, but there’s also stuff about parks, maps and of course NYC. Again, if the weather is nice where you are—get outside and save these links for a rainy day…
I found this app via swissmiss yesterday—really great way to explore NYC via a map. It’s not perfect as it can’t do routes but more then makes up by allowing someone to see what business’ are in any building in the city. I was always curious to know who was behind where I work in SoHo, now I know.
Another great mashup using twitter and maps. I think the ui could be slightly tweaked but as a concept that works it’s quite amazing. The center of the screen locates the latest tweets from the geography. By moving the screen to different parts of the world you can see what people are talking about. The more you zoom in or out, the info changes according to area.
Design Glut: Candlestrip
Walking around one of the off site design shows timed for ICFF, these candles were one of the things that made me stop for a moment. (I can’t believe I just blogged about candles btw…)
What is Graphic Design?
While on vacation last week Andy was cool enough to have coffee with me. We talked about what graphic design is and was… Nice to see something online that I can pass on now about the idea.
I don’t usually post portfolios because there’s enough sites out there that already do that. But I thought I’d make an exception for the speculative Olympic poster work he has on the site. Really nice ideas. Too bad the Olympics don’t pay designers for work like they used too.
Searching for Value in Ludicrous Ideas
I’ve been thinking about the fact that there might be some great ideas out there at the moment but we have no idea if they’re any good as they’re being thrown against a two sided wall of the good ol’days way of thinking and the other side that is still unknown.
Cacomixl brings up the point “What’s this trend of pages that expand by clicking “more” – like Twitter? Click away then back and the page resets to “less”. What a hassle!” Up until yesterday I hadn’t really thought about, but since he threw it out the question I’ve been thinking about a couple solutions. But before I suggest anything I was wondering if anyone seen successful examples that take a clicker back one step afer pressing the more button?
I’m hopping that publishing Link Drops on a Sunday as opposed to a Friday will stop after this week. I took the last week off hoping to get a lot of writing done, but life got in the way and I took the time to talk with a lot of people face to face. No complaints of course but I’m now weeks behind with what I wanted to have completed. Anyhow, I did still mange to find some ideas worth sharing.
Eliss – for iPhone and iPod touch
I’ve only played this game a handful of times so will it have a longevity—I don’t know. But after seeing this tweet I’ve said it before but Eliss on the iPhone is a milestone in multi-touch design and interaction: http://www.toucheliss.com/ You must buy it brendandawes I can’t really disagree. I’m only on stage three but I’m curious to see how my thinking with my hands and mind evolve.
Wooster In The White House – An Explanation
This post is worth pointing out for a number of reasons. First and foremost there’s a conversation that is going on that really hasn’t happened yet. Different channels have been created via the interwebs that are spreading info differently than people have time to recognize. Now that there’s a pause there’s some great conversations starting. The response post is worth a read too thoughts
no title thanks to tumblr
This is an amazing photo—reminds me a bit of HBO’s Voyeur stuff that was being projected on apartments last year. Scary thing is that it’s real, happening right now and probably just a couple blocks away from me.
A New Business Model for Digital Agencies
This was a great thing for me to read after my talk because I have a lot of questions how any agency can survive these days inside it’s current format. I really wanted to have a conversation afterwards about agile which didn’t really happen, my fault I don’t know. But I was happy to see others are asking the same thing.
Total Recall: The Woman Who Can’t Forget
Haven’t read this yet, but I saw a couple people reference it out there that I know, so I might as well take a look too once I get a chance to catch my breath from running around.
Music to design to
Good question to ask every once in awhile. Maybe there’s a new fav. undiscovered group within those listings you haven’t seen before.
Nice find about the typical mta ride time around NYC. I’ve played with the idea of doing something similar for walking, but I’m not sure if it would really be that helpful.
NQB WTF: Study Ball
This could be more helpful than one thinks. I’d like to give it a try to see if it’s helpful or not.
SIEGE Audio Company—The Stealth
Taking an old school idea for wires and making it contemporary. For some reason the product photo reminds me of boxing gloves.
Mies van der Rohe: demolish or not?
I think stuff like this should stay around if for no other reason then to give designers hope that you can do regular stuff and make extraordinary buildings when the right opportunity comes around.
Amazon Turns Publisher
Sure people talk about google and apple, but I think Amazon is the thing to keep an eye on at the moment. They’re selling stuff but their also making a move on editorial that could influence things in a way that a traditional publisher could never pull off.
This was a pretty good week for me overall. I got some great coverage from Slate and CNN, and from the feedback so far, I gave a good talk for CreativeMornings. But it wasn’t entirely perfect. I ended being a part of ten15am which was probably the best for everyone involved. Sometime in the not so distant future I’ll do a post on some of the more interesting things I discovered being part of that group. Theme wise it was a bit all over the place. For some strange reason air was a big theme, along with typography. There’s also a couple follow up links from last week’s Link Drop.
Kill Your RSS Reader
Slate’s technology columnist Farhad Manjoo tests out my tab system for finding good stuff on the web
Tech Trends: time to ditch RSS?
CNN’s SciTechBlog bulds off of the Slate post about my tab system. Lots of interesting comments ensue after it’s published.
Making Policy Public: Vendor Power!
This is a follow up link from my mention last week. Probably one of my favourite projects that I’ve come across this year, designer Candy Chang goes through the process designing something to demystify the rules and regulations of street vending in New York City.
Here & There influences
Another follow up link, this time about those crazy maps of Manhattan. Lots of interesting influences that I didn’t realize at first glance.
Cool to see that Verlag is now available for anyone to buy. There’s some good blurbs in this annoucement about designer and typographer working together to create something that has staying power.
Aerial Virtual tour of New York
Amazing views of New York with the ability to circle around. It would be even cooler if I could fly around the whole city aside from just a fixed point—yet it’s still quite amazing to interact with.
The publishers dilemma
There’s a couple options for publishers as they try to figure out the digital world that is now changing the typical value chain in publishing: authors –> agents –> publishers –> whole-sellers –> retailers –> consumers that could be turned into authors –> retailers –> consumers.
How to Save Media
More ideas about how old media should try to figure out how to survive in today’s world.
The Xerox Star UI
Fascinating description of digital dirt and how the shift of one pixel made it disappear. I also just like looking at the collection of icons for the UI as well.
The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time
This collection is fascinating for a bunch of different reasons, and not just for the list itself. When something akin to a best of list, there’s a lot of editorial consideration which Amazon in my mind hasn’t been known for in the past. Usually they’d put up a ranking that is compiled entirely of data of numbers that represent what people are buying. With this list, that has changed. A person compiled that which adds all sorts of subjectiveness into play. The second thing that struck me is that there isn’t a simple buy all button. What if I were rich and could actually afford all 100 of those albums. There’s no easy way to do that which is kind of surprising to me. Additionally I thought the comments afterwards was helpful too—other people could chime in to what they considered to be the best albums. A good counter balance to the amazon official list.
I feel as though this week just started and it’s already Friday. Good weather, good company and being in NYC will do that to people. But with that said there’s always time for the interwebs and below are some of the sites that I thought were worth a second look. There’s a bit more weirdness this week and less graphic design—coincidence? For this edition of Link Drop I also had a bit more coffee then usual, hence the erratic diagram. Till next week, though I’m not sure how I’m going to simultaneously post a Link Drop and a live presentation at the same time…
The Battle Between Art & The Algorithm
Apparently design lost the battle with art and now art has set its sights on the algorithm. Is deciding how something is weighted in a myriad of ways based on rational—or is it art. I think it’s art if design myself if you know what to look for.
Microsoft sales fall for first time in 23 years
I’m surprised more people haven’t mentioned what has happened to Microsoft this year. There’s some smart connections being made in this piece. Not to beat a dead horse for me, but the fact that I can take a pic and push it on to the internet with a message within a minute from start to finish is amazing. Am I using any tools from MSFT to do that? No…
Twitter Clients Are a UI Design Playground
This is interesting—did twitter plan to to harness the crowd to make a better UI because they really didn’t know what they were doing, or did they create such a bad experience it pissed off enough people that they decided to make their own better UI? Funny thing is, if twitter was the music industry they would have tried suing their users where as twitter encouraged it.
Scorecard | The National Design Awards
I thought the question that they brought up about Architecture Design and Interior Design was worth mentioning. I had no idea, but I’m neither an architect nor an interior designer…
Psst, have you heard…
I liked the idea of visualizing how things are spread via the promoters, passives and detractors.
Fascinating view of how the Gameboy (often ignored by designers as a great object) evolved and reflected the time as the years went on.
“NPR maps the Energy Grid”
I find these kind of maps fascinating on a couple different levels. There’s the proximity of lines to actual cities (or distance from them), and the patterns the lines make that outline energy.
100 days of Obama’s Facebook news feed.
It would be easy to dismiss this visualization, but it’s actually quite impressive. It’s in a format almost everyone recognizes, there’s humour, there’s history and some of it is actually plausible.
That google seems to be wrecking every industry out there. But if it’s so bad why hasn’t anyone stepped up and made it better?
Telling amazing stories
Simple points to consider, hard to execute when all three measurements of 1. Collecting consistent data, 2. Designing meaningful visualizations and 3.Telling amazing stories are actually more subjective than you think.
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It wasn’t until I started circling and circling the same themes did my Link Drop reveal what I was interested in this week. As I collected stuff that I thought was worth remembering, concepts about process and community were interlinked quite a bit. Next week who knows what will grab my attention but for now here’s what I’ve got. While I recommend checking some of these sites out, if it’s nice as it’s going to be in NYC this weekend—maybe try not to spend too much time on the interweb and enjoy outside. I know I’m going to try.
Feedback for profiles on Google
At first glance this user feedback page doesn’t seem that interesting, but it’s actually quite extraordinary. There’s realtime feedback that has numbers so anyone can watch as the ideas grow—which brings me to my second point. Google has started a profile page which is what it’s looking for feedback on. That idea is it’s base. The users are giving feedback that will no doubt be part of the roadmap as the service of the profile page evolves over time.
New models for new media
Interesting way of looking at growth—not necessarily in numbers but by building a stronger bond as the service evolves.
I thought everything for this project was pretty cool—but it also doesn’t hurt that the info design is actually informative. My only beef is that they should have reformated the poster when people are looking online as a pdf.
In Defense of Eye Candy
I though this was a decent rebuttal to all the ia’s out there that consider the design that’s completed after their work to be superfluous. However I’m also concerned that someone reading this article might just think that making every button shiny and bevel’ish is the answer too.
Why We Should Get Rid of the White House Press Corps
WAPO might have a point about this—there’s also a couple good suggestions at the end. Why not have people that are experts in particular fields be the one’s to ask questions depending on the topic of the day?
Four Essential Members of a Great Design Team
I thought this breakdown was quite smart—and if a design team can fit those pieces they’re pretty lucky. Even better if a company can foster that type of environment that recognizes those roles not as official titles but as elements needed for success.
Andy Hertzfeld on Google’s News Timeline
I always find it fascinating that when “certain” companies push out new features, a lot of the blogosphere’s response is blind celebration. It’s more about the name of the company then the actual functional workings. I thought this was a good breakdown of some of the current issues with Google’s new timeline which was a nice change of pace from what I’m ususally reading about them.
Readings of the week…
If you need more stuff to read and check out, these links wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
I’m probably confusing a lot of terms with the above diagram as a concept, but it’s worth seeing if any of this makes sense. If a person is wanting to interact with something, what’s the best route to help them? Naturally every scenario is based on unique set of factors which makes the question impossible to validate with one answer. But let’s say there’s a beginner, intermediate and power user mode. Would that help more people than not?
Choose Your Own Adventure Choice: The tasks are kept to a minimum. A person has three options, they make a decision and are given three more options and so on. They’re able to drill down to the most appropriate place without having to be distracted by other options that won’t help a person.
FAQ Choices: Maybe the person wants to do something that a lot of other people want to do, yet it isn’t clear how to do it. Why not set the buttons up in the form of a question with an easy way to follow the trail.
View All Choices: Throw the user off into the deep end. Give them all options at once and let them decide what to click. Hopefully the buttons clearly describe the actions once they’re clicked. It’s helpful for those that know what they want to do ASAP.
The great thing about today is that it’s not entirely hard to let a person use any of those options for a site or service. It just takes time to implement. The designer also has to decide which option to start with. Make it dead simple (beginner mode) or give a lot of options (advance mode) and see how people try to navigate through things. The intermediate option usually comes afterwards as a support option. The typical response is to go simple and build up, but is it always so bad to throw a lot of things out there, simplify and build up again?
A couple weeks ago Daylife made some significant design and backend releases that I was quite happy to be involved with. (In reality everyone at Daylife played a significant role getting this out) I didn’t want to mention it too much until today because we just released our new Topic Beta Page. Above is what Kate Moss looks like as a topic. There are a lot of enhancements as we continue with an Agile Design process. The two things that I want to point out are the Newsmap and Topic Connections. These modules allows us to create a lot of context that we weren’t really able to show before. There’s a more detailed breakdown of the entire page at http://corp.daylife.com/topicbeta_tour
Please poke around the beta stuff and the regular topic pages and let me know what works, seems weird or things you wished the page could do.
A couple weeks ago Blogs.com asked me if I was willing to pass them on a list of design blogs based in NYC (I considered Brooklyn as part of this list) of my choosing. I thought it wouldn’t be that tough—but of course it was, not because of the quantity but because design for me can be a fairly broad term. There’s a lot of categories that blur into each other. To help me see where the blogs fell into, I made a 2×2 grid. Within the grid I made each of them have a 4 letter name so they could fit on the grid in a consistent manner—kind of like a stock ticker. As I started putting together the list, I’d check a certain number of blogs each day with the intention of if someone could only open eleven blogs (after all I’d want to include DesignNotes) each morning from NYC, which sites would give the biggest amount of great content that wasn’t overlapping each other. I also didn’t want the list to turn into something akin to what everyone else would pick as popular blogs, but show that there’s a bigger range than the expected norm that everyone lists. The sites below are what came I ended up with. That list became known as Ten Design-Related Blogs from NYC.
I’ve always been a bit skeptical of other listings like this to some degree whether from magazines or other blogs because they felt very buddy, buddy. One could argue the same thing about me—people would be wrong to think that of course, but now maybe I was wrong to be skeptical of others intentions in the past—I don’t know. But just to be fair here’s a breakdown of how these blogs flow into DesignNotes: People behind the blogs that I’ve met in person: 6/10, People I’ve shared email correspondence: 8/10, People I don’t know at all: 3/10, Number of of blogs that have been mentioned in my Link Drop: 10/10, and People I’ve had a beer with: 4/10.
AisleOne (ASL1) aisleone.net
A clean curated design blog that emphasizes grids, typography and whitespace done well—very calming blog.
i [love] marketing. (ILVM) anaandjelic.typepad.com/i_love_marketing
Don’t be fooled by the title, this blog is much smarter than the typical blog pushing marketing ideas. Not afraid to question the status quo out there, lots of ideas to consider.
Ashley Simko (ASMK) blog.ashleysimko.com
There’s a constant flow of great design images, quotes and thoughts daily if not hourly placed on display. I’m curious to see this blog evolves over time.
PLUS and MINUS things (P&MT) byamt.wordpress.com
The image selection is always compelling as it is unique. Lots of photography and industrial design stuff.
Graphpaper (GRPR) graphpaper.com
Here’s a blog that talks a lot about UX design in a manner that’s understandable to anyone, yet isn’t holding back from great observations.
Kottke (KTKE) kottke.org
A ton of diverse links, it’s hard to be bored when there’s a source like this out there.
PSFK (PSFK) psfk.com
They cover a lot of different areas of design and marketing. If something is kind of interesting out there in a commercial sense, they’ll probably talk about it.
Swissmiss (SMSS) swiss-miss.com
A bellwether blog for all other reblog design sites, the number of people that gravitate to what is mentioned on this site is incredible.
UnBeige (UNBG) mediabistro.com/unbeige
There’s a constant flow of news in the design world from fonts, furniture, art and architecture
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Last week I mentioned how I’m starting to post about the same themes week after week. Well this week for the Link Drop I’ve tried mixing it up a bit. There’s lots about eggs and circles. I’m not entirely sure how this happened, but when things flow whom I’m I to stop it from happening—maybe I was hungry as I was going though the sites…
Tina Fey on Amy Poehler on branding now
I think this quote is great: “Amy is funny because she doesn’t care what you think, but she does want to make you laugh. It’s a complicated and important combination.” If only we could all have the same attitude…
Video is Justice
Lots to consider with this post—just proves that what’s released into the wild isn’t always what a person can expect.
Subway Station Buttons
The MTA should steal this idea and sell buttons for $2.50 a piece. That way New Yorkers using the subway wouldn’t be overcharged…
toilet roll origami
Crazy idea—how does one come up with something like this? It would be cool to do some designs around this stuff.
This is hilarious, I wonder how many design students are going to try the same thing—and what will the reaction be from the design teacher? Shock in horror or utter disbelief in the geniusness of it…
More info on the circle, good followup after the porno circles.
Can design save the newspaper?
This is a pretty good response to the TED video of the same name. It doesn’t really surprise me that a lot of designers think this, but seriously get an idea of the economics and understand the experience that people are interacting with to get their news. Showing a portfolio of pretty pictures for five minutes isn’t going to help and it just brings down the design profession.
Happy 5th Birthday, Subservient Chicken
Great breakdown, wish more work that’s good would be written up in a format like this. Shows how the process evolved, people that worked on it and the final product.
Before I start I should just outline that I’m being a bit facetious with my “what is illustration” diagram. To some degree I think it’s not that helpful to lock any term up because it doesn’t allow for adjustment of definition over time as things evolve. It’s also a circular debate that doesn’t really prove anything in the end. But I was wondering about illustration in terms of design so I’m going to throw out the question. In terms of “Graphic Design”, graphics design has a different meaning, so does graphic artist. I prefer “design” myself as it allows for a lot broader and deep view of things, though “UX” is creeping in quite quickly. Then on top of all that there’s the management that goes along with those services. That got me to think about illustration—where does that fall into the spectrum?
Let’s say you you pick your favourite illustration and assume that many people worked to get the image out there. The image finds itself it the portfolios of the illustrator, the designer that art–directed the piece and the studio that the client started working with. Each of those three entities have a legitimate right to show the work. But then client “B” comes along. They look at each of the three portfolios—each site gives the work different context. So who does the client hire and can they expect the exact same thing in terms of quality? This is where my question of illustration falls. Each of those three types of creative can manage without the other, but can the broader term for illustration be claimed as design like a designer or studio can? Keep in mind that there’s many great illustrators that are better art–directors then art–directors that can illustrate—I’m talking about the general illustrator term… So if it’s not design, it’s probably not art so what is it—or am I just full of something?
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Over here at DesignNotes HQ there were quite a few design related links collected that found themselves in this week’s version of the Link Drop. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as this is a design blog after all. There weren’t too many surprise themes aside from weapons which suggests I might need to randomize how I find good things on the web, or talk to more people to hear what’s piquing their interest. It’s a bit of a rainy morning so you might want to press play on this song and start clicking away…
Cats and Their Designers
My weim Madison got her design fame a while back, it’s only fair that the cat people get theirs. What surprised me was the number of people that submitted their face snug to the back of their cats head…
Welcome to Illinoize.biz
This is a really good up–do of Sufjan Stevens – Illinois’ album. I’d recommend pressing the play button on this as you go through the rest of the links I have here.
I haven’t actually tried using this thing to talk with someone behind the invisible wall. It’s strange and probably wouldn’t work for me—but maybe someone else will find it fun. What interested me more is that I’m guessing most of the people that are using it are also talking about it on twitter, hence a simple search http://search.twitter.com/search?q=omegle shows whose using it…
Postopolis, Day 1
Pretty good break down of the first day, and yes having a conference on the roof of a hotel seems like the only way to go. Except maybe when it’s in the spring and the evenings are quite cold—ha. Here’s a breakdown of all the speakers: It’s… Postopolis! LA
SlideShare’s April Fool’s Prank: Cruel, Or Just Unusual?
I very much fell for this prank, at first I was like haha on me. But after reading some of the stories about people falling for it, it seemed like a huge abuse of trust from an online service. I’m never going to use slideshare again, probably will never click on on a slideshare link or embed and will probably move my one presentation that I have on slideshare to something like http://www.scribd.com/.
Debbie Millman Presentation in Edmonton
I’ve recently been getting a lot of people searching for this presentation on the blog so I figured I might as well bring it up to the front of the blog again. Debbie was one of the first people that I invited to speak in Edmonton back in the day. It’s one of my fav. design talks for what I’ve learned from. This was filmed pre–YouTube days so the files are quite large and very small. You could think of them as a visual podcast. If you only have time to listen to one of the vids, I’d go for #3 as I think every graphic designer out there should hear it.
Design Plays Well With Others*
One of my alma maters has put up design work of all the design students graduating. I still remember how much energy it took to pull something like this off. Happy to see they seemed quite organized with their collection.
Google Street View Time Lapse
I’ve flirted with the idea of doing something like this, but the time it would take to do this to the reward of seeing it didn’t seem worth doing. Maybe I was wrong—this is quite cool to watch.
TweetDecks ‘other actions’ menu bugs me
I’m happy someone is pointing this out, as good as TweetDeck is, it has a long ways to go to be a really great experience vs it now just being a better experience then what’s out there.
RAINA + KUMRA
I recently came across this site, seems like there’s a lot of interesting stuff. My only quip is that I thought the colour squares were different background options.
This post is as much about philosophy as it is about tech. systems—in this case from apple. Astute observations about on how things get better and how bad things perhaps should be scrapped and started over from.
Did you know that Urban Outfitters had a blog? I didn’t and it’s actually pretty good on a number of levels. First there’s the content and then there’s the actual design which sets them apart from the typical blog—I suspect that this site will do much better for their bottom line than the standard paper brochure that they mail out.
Experience Design User
Fascinating conversation and argument all in 140 character tidbytes. Personally I think the whole UX conversation is a bit silly—if you’re not designing for a person in mind in the beginning, what are you designing for?
I Heart NY? | Next-Door Neighbor
The narrative of the comic seems to be all the rage today in the UX community. I blame google’s chrome instructional pdf. However that has nothing to do with this link… Click on the image and keep clicking. There’s a nice narrative going on.
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The one big theme that I missed on my note above for this week’s Link Drop was politics. It’s been a couple weeks since I really mentioned that much, and perhaps not surprisingly it’s tied closely to tech. Other tech. things that people interact with on a daily basis include Google, Twitter and Facebook. Surprisingly no iPhone stuff… People are also still trying to make sense of things so it’s natural that info design pops up from time to time. The only surprise mention is from Nooka where Matthew came back from Japan with some new toys. I’ve seen his collection previously which is quite impressive so I found his rational for what he brought back to be interesting.
tokyo toy report
A man and his rational for the toys he bought on his recent trip to Tokyo.
Why Small Companies Will Win in This Economy
I’m not so sure this is a new trend, but some of the same factors that are making this possible could create new opportunities to do better design work. If things don’t have to scale as much, it could allows for a less mechanical result. Maybe?
a lively debate with mark cuban
Went to the Boxee NYC meetup this week, expected a bit more info on the ui/ux release front. This post in terms of debating Mark was up for a bit of discussion during the night.
Blog/Jongerius x Maharam x Nike
Pretty cool idea, I don’t think their meant for me to wear—my guess is that they’ll be more popular with the cool girls, but as a design they look nice.
Sea Dust, pt 2
These type of images are really cool and make you see things in a different light. Throw a bit of biology into the mix and you have a pretty good post.
Fashion tends to go back and fourth, let’s hope this isn’t the case for basketball shorts.
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This week’s edition of Link Drop has a heavy duty number of site that are related to visualization, though ironically I’m wondering if the idea is getting severely bloated? Another irony is that I’m starting to think is that while newspapers and logos are on their last legs, I think typography and more to the point typefaces are going to surge in quality—just throwing that out there… I’m sure there’s more to mention like how Daylife’s site should be checked out, but I’ll leave that for a future post…
Newspapers Are Dead, Long Live the News
A good summary of two other essays that were making the rounds on the internet. For those trying to lock their content under a pay fee – I wish you the best of luck. Too bad no one is going to be able to find your valuable content.
Zoolgical Typeface (2008)
I really liked how fun this was. I think logos are pretty much dead like newspapers but something like this has a lot of potential to create an identity as much as one symbol could.
What is a Pylon?
From now own it shall be known as a pylon. At least that’s what I’m going to call it. I just wonder when I’m ever going to have a conversation about a pylon. Most people don’t know the difference between aerial and times…
Looks like I’m going to take a trip to this gallery in the not so distant future.
I’m not a parent but if you have a small child you might want to check it out. The cool idea is to post questions that her children ask and post possible answers.
I’m surprised that more sites don’t do stuff like this. Give the proper law language, but also break it down in terms that anyone can understand.
Branislav Kropilak Billboards
When was the last time you walked under a billboard? Me—never. Interesting perspective that shows things in a different light.
Google’s Irene Au: On Design Challenges
As much as this might bother people, if you’re trying to get the most clicks or links or what ever the “most” means, why wouldn’t you do that? Good perspective from Google.
NYC Sitcom Map
When most of these shows were on back in the day, I was in Canada and had no idea what New York was aside from a city with some shows. Now things can be cleared up with this map.
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Keeping with the spirit of constant change and evolution I’ve made a couple adjustments to this week’s Link Drop. I’m changing the name of it back to just Link Drop from Link Drop Contextd, and shortened the date info. I’ve also included a quick theme overview of the twenty five sites that I thought were worth taking a closer look. Within the format of checking out what interested me, it’s not a huge surprise that technology played a part in a lot of the sites, but so did paper and even tactile quality. There were also a lot of pairs which usually trigger something for me.
A smart combination of words to create formulas on stuff that people are thinking about.
Data Store: Facts you can use
The Guardian has organized content in such a way that you don’t have to be an engineer to grab data. By making those figures accessible people can think more about the question they want answered as opposed to being snowballed by visuals that don’t really move a story forward
I like the fact that I can read about the why and the how of his process.
This diagram jolted me more than lot of other stat diagrams. But is it perfect as it could be?
While I haven’t had the time to read Facebook Sending More Traffic Than Google to Some Sites, it did get me to think about how people end up visiting Design Notes. Yesterday a I made a quick hit list of all the different types of site that pass links on to my blog. There’s the usual sources like Twitter, Facebook (which is usually an indirect feed from Twitter), Delicious, blogs and Tumblr. All those type of sites are what I would consider “trusted sources”. People use those sites because they’ve benefited from visiting them before so they go back. Compare that to search. I don’t really have the data but I’m guessing years back search resulted in over half of how people found my site. I was mentioning that last night to a couple friends and they had a good reason for the reduction—I’m not talking much about products as I used to, it’s more about ideas. To extend that concept—maybe talking about ideas/opinion is hard for a spider to grab on to? Just an assumption on my part.
Search is a bit of a gamble, you click on a link hopping you’ll find what you’re looking for. Compare that to a trusted source where the content has already been curated, there’s a visual cue (blogs and Tumblr typically show an image), and/or it’s not just composed of an algorithm. Another argument is that a design blog is about visual things, so other design blogs want to show off visual stuff. Other topic blogs might not have the same need for things to look good. So what’s better search or other sources? It’s hard not to be happy to have people pass traffic on to my site, whether it’s via a referral or talking about something. But I also wonder about the lack of random followers that might not come because I’m not talking about a product. StumbleUpon is one kind of site that allows people to find unusual things, but even that segment of people online is small in comparison to the entire interwebs. Maybe the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button needs to be redesigned.
This weeks version of Link Drop Contextd has a lot more videos than usual. There’s nothing to point to why this is the case. There’s also the obligatory nods to street art and politics with technology as things that interest me. The tone of a lot of blogs these days feels like people are in survival mode but also very interested in what’s next. That’s still an open question but it doesn’t hurt to keep your eyes on what people aren’t just saying but the action behind it. And that inevitably that leads to the question of will it make money? While that’s hard to judge there’s other costs involved. If you don’t do anything are you hurting yourself more?
Brendan Dawes on the craft of making
I saw this ten minute talk a couple weeks ago at White Rabbit. I don’t know Brendan at all, but much to my surprise he had a lot of good things to say about Daylife’s api. But that’s not why I think people should watch this – his creative process about putting together random pieces as an experiment are quite fascinating. He takes three different ideas to combine them for a completely unexpected experience that otherwise would not have existed.
I kind of forgot about Death Cab for Cutie but was like hmm, this video is quite compelling. And it’s animated which I don’t think would have had the same impact otherwise.