Collecting all my images from #walkingtoworktoday in 2010

Looking back to see when I first tagged a photo with #walkingtoworktoday was October 19, 2009. It was the start of a project that was a continuation of a talk that was an extension of another photo project that was born from another project. Getting to this point has been an evolution to say the least. 2010 was the first full year that I was able to take a look back at all my shots for #walkingtoworktoday. There wasn’t much of a master plan for me except to keep my eyes open as I walked to work. By tagging it, posting it to Flickr and mentioning it on Twitter allowed me to create a stream that anyone could opt in or out at any time. People from quite a few countries have taken part which has been cool to see. I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Just as the above quote mentions, I can not recommend try to do something consistently on a daily basis. Looking back over the last year to see how things have progressed was a really valuable learning experience.

As I was going through all my photos it was fascinating to see what trends and patterns emerged on a semi subconscious level. Going through an entire year also allowed me to see how things changed with work, changing of camera technology while walking through four seasons of cold, heat, rain, snow, sun and damn humidity. Typical street life during the morning for me consisted of shooting bikes, taxis, posters, street art & marks, people in bad weather and various reflections among other miscellaneous things that can often be taken for granted.

At the start of 2011 I used my iPhone 3Gs and the Lecia D Lux 3 occasionally. In early July I bought a Lumix GF1, using a 20mm Aspherical Lens. It was amazing to see how the type of photos I shot changed along with the image quality. I recently picked up a 14–45mm lens which will add some ability that I didn’t have before. So this time next year it will be helpful to compare where I decided to take things. Below are all my 2010 #walkingtowork images dated with caption. Above is the slideshow version.

back to #walkingtoworktoday for a couple until I head to Canada
January 4, 2010: back to #walkingtoworktoday for a couple until I head to Canada

big fuzzy hat thing near FIT #walkingtoworktoday
January 5, 2010: big fuzzy hat thing near FIT #walkingtoworktoday

type coffee #walkingtoworktoday
January 6, 2010: type coffee #walkingtoworktoday

took some time off, now it's back to #walkingtoworktoday
January 18, 2010: took some time off, now it’s back to #walkingtoworktoday

retro Ducati type while #walkingtoworktoday
January 19, 2010: retro Ducati type while #walkingtoworktoday

new closed clothes store #walkingtoworktoday
January 20, 2010: new closed clothes store #walkingtoworktoday

big wheatpaste shoe on the wall #walkingtoworktoday
January 21, 2010: big wheatpaste shoe on the wall #walkingtoworktoday

different route #walkingtoworktoday
January 22, 2010: different route #walkingtoworktoday

there's a lake forming on Broome st #walkingtoworktoday
January 25, 2010: there’s a lake forming on Broome st #walkingtoworktoday

dudes putting up a billboard #walkingtoworktoday
January 26, 2010: dudes putting up a billboard #walkingtoworktoday

xmas tree at Washington Sq Park getting chopped up and taken down #walkingtoworktoday
January 27, 2010: xmas tree at Washington Sq Park getting chopped up and taken down #walkingtoworktoday

Flatiron snow day #walkingtoworktoday
January 28, 2010: Flatiron snow day #walkingtoworktoday

.@jim_joe is everywhere, even mercer st. #walkingtoworktoday
January 29, 2010: .@jim_joe is everywhere, even mercer st. #walkingtoworktoday

interesting way to split some typography up #walkingtoworktoday
February 1, 2010: interesting way to split some typography up #walkingtoworktoday

van guy parked on the crosswalk #walkingtoworktoday
February 2, 2010: van guy parked on the crosswalk #walkingtoworktoday

snow in Washington Square Park #walkingtoworktoday
February 3, 2010: snow in Washington Square Park #walkingtoworktoday

improvised walk sign #walkingtoworktoday
February 8, 2010: improvised walk sign #walkingtoworktoday

to set #walkingtoworktoday
February 9, 2010: to set #walkingtoworktoday

yes I was #walkingtoworktoday in the snow
February 10, 2010: yes I was #walkingtoworktoday in the snow

i pretty much only buy campers because of wet sidewalk days like today #walkingtoworktoday
February 11, 2010: i pretty much only buy campers because of wet sidewalk days like today #walkingtoworktoday

window biking #walkingtoworktoday
February 12, 2010: window biking #walkingtoworktoday

road blocks dressed in tin foil acting as Hershey kisses #walkingtoworktoday
February 15, 2010: road blocks dressed in tin foil acting as Hershey kisses #walkingtoworktoday

umbrella people #walkingtoworktoday in soho
February 16, 2010: umbrella people #walkingtoworktoday in soho

random Houston St pics #walkingtoworktoday
February 17, 2010: random Houston St pics #walkingtoworktoday

thanks for the well wishes today, you know who you are #walkingtoworktoday
February 18, 2010: thanks for the well wishes today, you know who you are #walkingtoworktoday

city bakery coffee action #walkingtoworktoday
February 19, 2010: city bakery coffee action #walkingtoworktoday

NYC Hieroglyphics #walkingtoworktoday
February 22, 2010: NYC Hieroglyphics #walkingtoworktoday

I'd like to think my M.O. is like this someday #walkingtoworktoday
February 23, 2010: I’d like to think my M.O. is like this someday #walkingtoworktoday

cool robots at Paul Smith #walkingtoworktoday
February 24, 2010: cool robots at Paul Smith #walkingtoworktoday

gray skies are going to be turning sunny soon #walkingtoworktoday
February 25, 2010: gray skies are going to be turning sunny soon #walkingtoworktoday

all this snow is making me think of Canada #walkingtoworktoday
February 26, 2010: all this snow is making me think of Canada #walkingtoworktoday

a truck went through some barriers at washington sq park and almost hit the monument #walkingtoworktoday
March 2, 2010: a truck went through some barriers at washington sq park and almost hit the monument #walkingtoworktoday

I think we're pushing the big metaphor a bit too hard here #walkingtoworktoday
March 4, 2010: I think we’re pushing the big metaphor a bit too hard here #walkingtoworktoday

park type #walkingtoworktoday
March 5, 2010: park type #walkingtoworktoday

truck that is closed #walkingtoworktoday
March 8, 2010: truck that is closed #walkingtoworktoday

one of my fav. buildings in soho #walkingtoworktoday
March 9, 2010: one of my fav. buildings in soho #walkingtoworktoday

last Wednesday #walkingtoworktoday to @Daylife before new adventures
March 10, 2010: last Wednesday #walkingtoworktoday to @Daylife before new adventures

last Thursday #walkingtoworktoday on Crosby St
March 11, 2010: last Thursday #walkingtoworktoday on Crosby St

last Friday #walkingtoworktoday looking across the street at Daylife hq (5flr)
March 12, 2010: last Friday #walkingtoworktoday looking across the street at Daylife hq (5flr)

going low-fi with a sketch book and white board #walkingtoworktoday

car trying to run over me while #walkingtoworktoday
March 18, 2010: car trying to run over me while #walkingtoworktoday

in Dumbo #walkingtoworktoday
March 19, 2010: in Dumbo #walkingtoworktoday

pylons and an unmasked wall #walkingtoworktoday
March 22, 2010: pylons and an unmasked wall #walkingtoworktoday

corner of 31st and 6th #walkingtoworktoday
March 23, 2010: corner of 31st and 6th #walkingtoworktoday

not enough sleep, let's try again. Leafs spotted for the first time #walkingtoworktoday
March 24, 2010: not enough sleep, let’s try again. Leafs spotted for the first time #walkingtoworktoday

bear with a smile coffee lid looking at me #walkingtoworktoday
March 25, 2010: bear with a smile coffee lid looking at me #walkingtoworktoday

lost cat poster #walkingtoworktoday
March 26, 2010: lost cat poster #walkingtoworktoday

redesigned lost cat poster #walkingtoworktoday
March 29, 2010: redesigned lost cat poster #walkingtoworktoday

need some coffee asap #walkingtoworktoday
March 30, 2010: need some coffee asap #walkingtoworktoday

I go by this place everyday and wonder who shops here #walkingtoworktoday
March 31, 2010: I go by this place everyday and wonder who shops here #walkingtoworktoday

more from the series who shops here #walkingtoworktoday
April 1, 2010: more from the series who shops here #walkingtoworktoday

nothing but blue sky #walkingtoworktoday
April 2, 2010: nothing but blue sky #walkingtoworktoday

bike guy about to run over me #walkingtoworktoday
April 5, 2010: bike guy about to run over me #walkingtoworktoday

looking up on 31st #walkingtoworktoday
April 6, 2010: looking up on 31st #walkingtoworktoday

fancy nokia display #walkingtoworktoday
April 7, 2010: fancy nokia display #walkingtoworktoday

ooooo going down the elevator #walkingtoworktoday
April 8, 2010: ooooo going down the elevator #walkingtoworktoday

off registered bitmap side ad #walkingtoworktoday
April 9, 2010: off registered bitmap side ad #walkingtoworktoday

infinite number of fancy watches #walkingtoworktoday
April 12, 2010: infinite number of fancy watches #walkingtoworktoday

lunchtime #walkingtoworktoday
April 13, 2010: lunchtime #walkingtoworktoday

bubble wraped elephanted chained to a door #walkingtoworktoday
April 14, 2010: bubble wraped elephanted chained to a door #walkingtoworktoday

corner of 28th st sans coffee, line stupid long at stumptown this morning #walkingtoworktoday
April 15, 2010: corner of 28th st sans coffee, line stupid long at stumptown this morning #walkingtoworktoday

the no parking sign wasn't working so they added some spray paint #walkingtoworktoday
April 16, 2010: the no parking sign wasn’t working so they added some spray paint #walkingtoworktoday

four twenty day #walkingtoworktoday
April 19, 2010: four twenty day #walkingtoworktoday

parkway near Behavior #walkingtoworktoday
April 20, 2010: parkway near Behavior #walkingtoworktoday

behind the exit door #walkingtoworktoday
April 21, 2010: behind the exit door #walkingtoworktoday

heavy traffic with Obama in town #walkingtoworktoday
April 22, 2010: heavy traffic with Obama in town #walkingtoworktoday

out the apt door this morning #walkingtoworktoday
April 23, 2010: out the apt door this morning #walkingtoworktoday

Forest on the other side of the street #walkingtoworktoday

in front of the dollar store #walkingtoworktoday
April 27, 2010: in front of the dollar store #walkingtoworktoday

sign at Eisenberg's #walkingtoworktoday
April 28, 2010: sign at Eisenberg’s #walkingtoworktoday

D. B. Foot Presses #walkingtoworktoday
April 29, 2010: D. B. Foot Presses #walkingtoworktoday

Shepard Fairey mural beside the ace hotel on 29th st #walkingtoworktoday
April 30, 2010: Shepard Fairey mural beside the ace hotel on 29th st #walkingtoworktoday

umbrella guy #walkingtoworktoday
May 3, 2010: umbrella guy #walkingtoworktoday

wig people #walkingtoworktoday
May 4, 2010: wig people #walkingtoworktoday

required reading for the day of design #walkingtoworktoday
May 5, 2010: required reading for the day of design #walkingtoworktoday

street furniture chair I doubt will be highlighted during ICFF #walkingtoworktoday
May 6, 2010: street furniture chair I doubt will be highlighted during ICFF #walkingtoworktoday

Dieuf Dieul #walkingtoworktoday
May 7, 2010: Dieuf Dieul #walkingtoworktoday

speeding boxes #walkingtoworktoday
May 10, 2010: speeding boxes #walkingtoworktoday

it's faster to use the bike lane #walkingtoworktoday
May 11, 2010: it’s faster to use the bike lane #walkingtoworktoday

umbrella in the drizzle #walkingtoworktoday
May 12, 2010: umbrella in the drizzle #walkingtoworktoday

fancy glove time #walkingtoworktoday
May 13, 2010: fancy glove time #walkingtoworktoday

is there a name for this kind of distressed address van typography #walkingtoworktoday
May 14, 2010: is there a name for this kind of distressed address van typography #walkingtoworktoday

Edy's Barbershop, $10 and up #walkingtoworktoday
May 17, 2010: Edy’s Barbershop, $10 and up #walkingtoworktoday

beige people #walkingtoworktoday
May 18, 2010: beige people #walkingtoworktoday

buonaiudrnata #walkingtoworktoday
May 19, 2010: buonaiudrnata #walkingtoworktoday

there's still a couple posters floating around town #walkingtoworktoday
May 20, 2010: there’s still a couple posters floating around town #walkingtoworktoday

marketing people are so creative #walkingtoworktoday
May 21, 2010: marketing people are so creative #walkingtoworktoday

analogue weather signage at the ace hotel #walkingtoworktoday
May 24, 2010: analogue weather signage at the ace hotel #walkingtoworktoday

the stuff that people can buy wholesale is mind blowing #walkingtoworktoday
May 25, 2010: the stuff that people can buy wholesale is mind blowing #walkingtoworktoday

what a street ATM looks like open and probably robbed #walkingtoworktoday
May 26, 2010: what a street ATM looks like open and probably robbed #walkingtoworktoday

I've been passing this sign for a week now #walkingtoworktoday
May 27, 2010: I’ve been passing this sign for a week now #walkingtoworktoday

newspapers still exist, they're just in different languages #walkingtoworktoday
May 28, 2010: newspapers still exist, they’re just in different languages #walkingtoworktoday

more questions in retailing, who buys this stuff #walkingtoworktoday
June 1, 2010: more questions in retailing, who buys this stuff #walkingtoworktoday

dodging traffic on 23rd & 5th #walkingtoworktoday
June 2, 2010: dodging traffic on 23rd & 5th #walkingtoworktoday

head down #walkingtoworktoday
June 3, 2010: head down #walkingtoworktoday

More van type: Mouride Touba #walkingtoworktoday
June 4, 2010: More van type: Mouride Touba #walkingtoworktoday

sunny taxi action #walkingtoworktoday
June 7, 2010: sunny taxi action #walkingtoworktoday

the asterix is the new voice bubble #walkingtoworktoday
June 8, 2010: the asterix is the new voice bubble #walkingtoworktoday

ups zipping by #walkingtoworktoday
June 9, 2010: ups zipping by #walkingtoworktoday

back when tech was simpler #walkingtoworktoday
June 10, 2010: back when tech was simpler #walkingtoworktoday

my view is a bit sideways today #walkingtoworktoday
June 11, 2010: my view is a bit sideways today #walkingtoworktoday

adding a bit of black to my orange #walkingtoworktoday
June 14, 2010: adding a bit of black to my orange #walkingtoworktoday

crossing the street #walkingtoworktoday
June 15, 2010: crossing the street #walkingtoworktoday

red bull cars everywhere #walkingtoworktoday
June 16, 2010: red bull cars everywhere #walkingtoworktoday

on bleeker #walkingtoworktoday
June 17, 2010: on bleeker #walkingtoworktoday

enjoying the morning #walkingtoworktoday triptych after a great @creativemorning at @moma
June 18, 2010: enjoying the morning #walkingtoworktoday triptych after a great @creativemorning at @moma

out front of Behavior this morning #walkingtoworktoday
June 21, 2010: out front of Behavior this morning #walkingtoworktoday

backside of the Flatiron Building #walkingtoworktoday
June 22, 2010: backside of the Flatiron Building #walkingtoworktoday

bike courier waiting for the call #walkingtoworktoday
June 23, 2010: bike courier waiting for the call #walkingtoworktoday

back in soho #walkingtoworktoday
June 24, 2010: back in soho #walkingtoworktoday

back at grumpy on 20th this morning #walkingtoworktoday
June 25, 2010: back at grumpy on 20th this morning #walkingtoworktoday

heat vs patience, decided to suffer in line at Starbucks rather than the heat #walkingtoworktoday
June 28, 2010: heat vs patience, decided to suffer in line at Starbucks rather than the heat #walkingtoworktoday

because I was carrying two iced coffees, this was all I could shoot #walkingtoworktoday
June 29, 2010: because I was carrying two iced coffees, this was all I could shoot #walkingtoworktoday

I like this type #walkingtoworktoday
June 30, 2010: I like this type #walkingtoworktoday

street washer action shot #walkingtoworktoday
July 1, 2010: street washer action shot #walkingtoworktoday

heading back on 5th #walkingtoworktoday
July 2, 2010: heading back on 5th #walkingtoworktoday

required drinking while #walkingtoworktoday
July 6, 2010: required drinking while #walkingtoworktoday

bike & dollies docked at a subway entrance #walkingtoworktoday
July 8, 2010: bike & dollies docked at a subway entrance #walkingtoworktoday

Newsstand #walkingtoworktoday
July 9, 2010: Newsstand #walkingtoworktoday

Madison Square Garden at 8:25 am #walkingtoworktoday
Madison Square Garden at 8:25 am #walkingtoworktoday

park near where I work #walkingtoworktoday
July 12, 2010: park near where I work #walkingtoworktoday

Phone Repair on Broadway #walkingtoworktoday
July 14, 2010: Phone Repair on Broadway #walkingtoworktoday

beat the rain to sNice on Sullivan & was checking out some bottle art #walkingtoworktoday
July 15, 2010: beat the rain to sNice on Sullivan & was checking out some bottle art #walkingtoworktoday

Funky Letter A #walkingtoworktoday
July 15, 2010: Funky Letter A #walkingtoworktoday

Couldn't decide on which pic to use of moi for #walkingtoworktoday, so here's 4
July 16, 2010: Couldn’t decide on which pic to use of moi for #walkingtoworktoday, so here’s 4

Guy in Yellow Rain Bag #walkingtoworktoday
July 20, 2010: Guy in Yellow Rain Bag #walkingtoworktoday

Cash Only ~atm in the lobby~ #walkingtoworktoday
July 21, 2010: Cash Only ~atm in the lobby~ #walkingtoworktoday

Corner of 30th st & Broadway (I think) #walkingtoworktoday
July 21, 2010: Corner of 30th st & Broadway (I think) #walkingtoworktoday

Looking up down the block #walkingtoworktoday
July 22, 2010: Looking up down the block #walkingtoworktoday

bike wrapped around a pole #walkingtoworktoday
July 23, 2010: bike wrapped around a pole #walkingtoworktoday

Help a Stranger Today sticker on Marky Mark's Head #walkingtoworktoday
July 26, 2010: Help a Stranger Today sticker on Marky Mark’s Head #walkingtoworktoday

A message on the side of a street cleaner in NYC #walkingtoworktoday
July 27, 2010: A message on the side of a street cleaner in NYC #walkingtoworktoday

when Twitter and tagging meet in the subway #walkingtoworktoday
July 28, 2010: when Twitter and tagging meet in the subway #walkingtoworktoday

Open with flair #walkingtoworktoday
July 29, 2010: Open with flair #walkingtoworktoday

Awesome morning sans humidity #walkingtoworktoday on 5th ave
July 30, 2010: Awesome morning sans humidity #walkingtoworktoday on 5th ave

Looking up on the street #walkingtoworktoday
August 2, 2010: Looking up on the street #walkingtoworktoday

I'm on the LIRR #walkingtoworktoday
August 3, 2010: I’m on the LIRR #walkingtoworktoday

skateboard & lines in parallel #walkingtoworktoday
August 4, 2010: skateboard & lines in parallel #walkingtoworktoday

I wonder if this brings people into the stores #walkingtoworktoday
August 5, 2010: I wonder if this brings people into the stores #walkingtoworktoday

waiting for my iced coffee outside #walkingtoworktoday
August 6, 2010: waiting for my iced coffee outside #walkingtoworktoday

Police escort in front of the McDonalds #walkingtoworktoday
August 9, 2010: Police escort in front of the McDonalds #walkingtoworktoday

Modern day phone listings by a power outlet #walkingtoworktoday
August 10, 2010: Modern day phone listings by a power outlet #walkingtoworktoday

I'm a type fan—I've always liked these blocky numbers & letters on the side of cabs #walkingtoworktoday
August 11, 2010: I’m a type fan—I’ve always liked these blocky numbers & letters on the side of cabs #walkingtoworktoday

Special Parfumes, 3 for $10 #walkingtoworktoday
August 12, 2010: Special Parfumes, 3 for $10 #walkingtoworktoday

100% Human Hair #walkingtoworktoday
August 13, 2010: 100% Human Hair #walkingtoworktoday

an arrow that is trying too hard #walkingtoworktoday
August 17, 2010: an arrow that is trying too hard #walkingtoworktoday

29 in spokes #walkingtoworktoday
August 18, 2010: 29 in spokes #walkingtoworktoday

Yellow caution tape #walkingtoworktoday
August 19, 2010: Yellow caution tape #walkingtoworktoday

ce n'est pas un vélo #walkingtoworktoday
August 20, 2010: ce n’est pas un vélo #walkingtoworktoday

looking down #walkingtoworktoday
August 23, 2010: looking down #walkingtoworktoday

looking above Madison Square Garden from a different angle #walkingtoworktoday
August 24, 2010: looking above Madison Square Garden from a different angle #walkingtoworktoday

NYC sidewalk water fountain #walkingtoworktoday
August 25, 2010: NYC sidewalk water fountain #walkingtoworktoday

silver foil key to the city #walkingtoworktoday
August 26, 2010: silver foil key to the city #walkingtoworktoday

On Sale $20.00 #walkingtoworktoday
August 27, 2010: On Sale $20.00 #walkingtoworktoday

a couple layers of type #walkingtoworktoday
August 30, 2010: a couple layers of type #walkingtoworktoday

accidental uphill minimalist #walkingtoworktoday
August 31, 2010: accidental uphill minimalist #walkingtoworktoday

noticed NYC TV Life using QR Code on bus stop billboard #walkingtoworktoday
September 1, 2010: noticed NYC TV Life using QR Code on bus stop billboard #walkingtoworktoday

biker flying by #walkingtoworktoday
September 2, 2010: biker flying by #walkingtoworktoday

unfocused triangle flags flying by #walkingtoworktoday
September 3, 2010: unfocused triangle flags flying by #walkingtoworktoday

Took a trip to Brooklyn this morning to shoot something for Salon.com #walkingtoworktoday (Fulton & S Portland)
September 7, 2010: Took a trip to Brooklyn this morning to shoot something for Salon.com #walkingtoworktoday (Fulton & S Portland)

quick tagged heart seen #walkingtoworktoday
September 8, 2010: quick tagged heart seen #walkingtoworktoday

free for all #walkingtoworktoday on 6th
September 9, 2010: free for all #walkingtoworktoday on 6th

5 layers of black (plus b/w image) in the apt elevator before #walkingtoworktoday
September 10, 2010: 5 layers of black (plus b/w image) in the apt elevator before #walkingtoworktoday

cropped repetitive type poster #walkingtoworktoday
September 13, 2010: cropped repetitive type poster #walkingtoworktoday

the outside urban office #walkingtoworktoday
September 14, 2010: the outside urban office #walkingtoworktoday

a real drop shadow #walkingtoworktoday
September 15, 2010: a real drop shadow #walkingtoworktoday

“think the gym is bad and boring...” poster #walkingtoworktoday
September 16, 2010: “think the gym is bad and boring…” poster #walkingtoworktoday

Subtle Empire State Building Inside a Mack Truck #walkingtoworktoday
September 17, 2010: Subtle Empire State Building Inside a Mack Truck #walkingtoworktoday

bulk hats & people heads inside the window #walkingtoworktoday
September 20, 2010: bulk hats & people heads inside the window #walkingtoworktoday

Lots of free going on #walkingtoworktoday
September 21, 2010: Lots of free going on #walkingtoworktoday

#walkingtoworktoday through the flower jungle
September 22, 2010: #walkingtoworktoday through the flower jungle

drive by bus wheel #walkingtoworktoday
September 23, 2010: drive by bus wheel #walkingtoworktoday

wfh on a cloudy day outside my window as I'm #walkingtoworktoday
September 24, 2010: wfh on a cloudy day outside my window as I’m #walkingtoworktoday

no parking in the rain #walkingtoworktoday
September 27, 2010: no parking in the rain #walkingtoworktoday

#walkingtoworktoday by the dollar store
September 28, 2010: #walkingtoworktoday by the dollar store

ribbon + pylon + construction = my birthday #walkingtoworktoday
September 29, 2010: ribbon + pylon + construction = my birthday #walkingtoworktoday

remnants of the “think the gym is bad and boring...” poster #walkingtoworktoday
September 30, 2010: remnants of the “think the gym is bad and boring…” poster #walkingtoworktoday

Not #walkingtoworktoday, at #productfall10
October 1, 2010: Not #walkingtoworktoday, at #productfall10

3 people behind the sign #walkingtoworktoday
October 4, 2010: 3 people behind the sign #walkingtoworktoday

Nice type from the John Dory Oyster Bar #walkingtoworktoday
October 5, 2010: Nice type from the John Dory Oyster Bar #walkingtoworktoday

underground ST tile #walkingtoworktoday
October 6, 2010: underground ST tile #walkingtoworktoday

digital or analog arrow system? #walkingtoworktoday
October 7, 2010: digital or analog arrow system? #walkingtoworktoday

staycation 001 view vs #walkingtoworktoday
October 8, 2010: staycation 001 view vs #walkingtoworktoday

staycation 002 view vs #walkingtoworktoday
October 11, 2010: staycation 002 view vs #walkingtoworktoday

staycation 003 view vs #walkingtoworktoday
October 12, 2010: staycation 003 view vs #walkingtoworktoday

staycation 004 view vs #walkingtoworktoday
October 13, 2010: staycation 004 view vs #walkingtoworktoday

staycation 005 view vs #walkingtoworktoday
October 14, 2010: staycation 005 view vs #walkingtoworktoday

staycation 006 view vs #walkingtoworktoday
October 15, 2010: staycation 006 view vs #walkingtoworktoday

About to get hit by a UPS truck this morning #walkingtoworktoday
October 18, 2010: About to get hit by a UPS truck this morning #walkingtoworktoday

Tips are good karma #walkingtoworktoday
October 19, 2010: Tips are good karma #walkingtoworktoday

indestructible arrow #walkingtoworktoday
October 20, 2010: indestructible arrow #walkingtoworktoday

outside of Manhattan #walkingtoworktoday, clock at LIRR Hicksville NY stop
October 21, 2010: outside of Manhattan #walkingtoworktoday, clock at LIRR Hicksville NY stop

construction worker overhead #walkingtoworktoday
October 22, 2010: construction worker overhead #walkingtoworktoday

I can get so much further using this lane for #walkingtoworktoday
October 25, 2010: I can get so much further using this lane for #walkingtoworktoday

urban pumpkin patch #walkingtoworktoday

back to iced cofffee #walkingtoworktoday
October 27, 2010: back to iced cofffee #walkingtoworktoday

a wig for the rest of the year #walkingtoworktoday
November 1, 2010: a wig for the rest of the year #walkingtoworktoday

JOA Type in the House #Walkingtoworktoday
November 2, 2010: JOA Type in the House #Walkingtoworktoday

looking at my elevator door #walkingtoworktoday
November 3, 2010: looking at my elevator door #walkingtoworktoday

my umbrella just before it self destructed #walkingtoworktoday
November 4, 2010: my umbrella just before it self destructed #walkingtoworktoday

inside doors of the front entrance of my apt #walkingtoworktoday
November 5, 2010: inside doors of the front entrance of my apt #walkingtoworktoday

looking at the new 11” MacBook Air on the LIRR #walkingtoworktoday
November 8, 2010: looking at the new 11” MacBook Air on the LIRR #walkingtoworktoday

tagging colour study #walkingtoworktoday
November 9, 2010: tagging colour study #walkingtoworktoday

Madison wanting to be in today's #walkingtoworktoday
November 10, 2010: Madison wanting to be in today’s #walkingtoworktoday

standing #walkingtoworktoday
November 11, 2010: standing #walkingtoworktoday

Listening to Andrew Zuckerman at Creative Mornings before #walkingtoworktoday
November 12, 2010: Listening to Andrew Zuckerman at Creative Mornings before #walkingtoworktoday

simplifying home and life #walkingtoworktoday
November 15, 2010: simplifying home and life #walkingtoworktoday

kind of still like billboards in this context high in the sky #walkingtoworktoday
November 16, 2010: kind of still like billboards in this context high in the sky #walkingtoworktoday

News on the Coffee Cart #walkingtoworktoday
November 17, 2010: News on the Coffee Cart #walkingtoworktoday

I have a hard time resetting the stopwatch on my iPhone #walkingtoworktoday
November 18, 2010: I have a hard time resetting the stopwatch on my iPhone #walkingtoworktoday

it was hard to say no to everything #walkingtoworktoday
November 19, 2010: it was hard to say no to everything #walkingtoworktoday

grill of a rig #walkingtoworktoday
November 22, 2010: grill of a rig #walkingtoworktoday

vehicles coming at me in all directions #walkingtoworktoday
November 23, 2010: vehicles coming at me in all directions #walkingtoworktoday

pylon with a sense of humour #walkingtoworktoday
November 24, 2010: pylon with a sense of humour #walkingtoworktoday

inside the back of a Con Edison van #walkingtoworktoday
November 29, 2010: inside the back of a Con Edison van #walkingtoworktoday

guy on scooter going the wrong way in the bike lane #walkingtoworktoday
November 30, 2010: guy on scooter going the wrong way in the bike lane #walkingtoworktoday

bad umbrella day #walkingtoworktoday
December 1, 2010: bad umbrella day #walkingtoworktoday

blue skies #walkingtoworktoday
December 2, 2010: blue skies #walkingtoworktoday

sidewalk director on an early morning #walkingtoworktoday
December 3, 2010: sidewalk director on an early morning #walkingtoworktoday

this is some of the worst type I've seen on the side of a building #walkingtoworktoday
December 6, 2010: this is some of the worst type I’ve seen on the side of a building #walkingtoworktoday

839 #walkingtoworktoday
December 7, 2010: 839 #walkingtoworktoday

going down the sketchy part of Broadway #walkingtoworktoday
December 8, 2010: going down the sketchy part of Broadway #walkingtoworktoday

I like the grittyness of this bicycle's front system #walkingtoworktoday
December 9, 2010: I like the grittyness of this bicycle’s front system #walkingtoworktoday

this is probably a metaphor for something... #walkingtoworktoday
December 10, 2010: this is probably a metaphor for something… #walkingtoworktoday

abstract crosswalk #walkingtoworktoday
December 13, 2010: abstract crosswalk #walkingtoworktoday

I don't understand why No Borders is written on his face, but I like the additional tag #walkingtoworktoday
December 14, 2010: I don’t understand why No Borders is written on his face, but I like the additional tag #walkingtoworktoday

this was the first sticker I saw on the street #walkingtoworktoday
December 15, 2010: this was the first sticker I saw on the street #walkingtoworktoday

Jim Joe over Free Daily #walkingtoworktoday
December 16, 2010: Jim Joe over Free Daily #walkingtoworktoday

layering brown, blue & black before #walkingtoworktoday
December 17, 2010: layering brown, blue & black before #walkingtoworktoday

four cup press with three mugs at ACE Hotel #walkingtoworktoday
December 20, 2010: four cup press with three mugs at ACE Hotel #walkingtoworktoday

Up close with the letter B #walkingtoworktoday
December 21, 2010: Up close with the letter B #walkingtoworktoday

looking out my window waiting for the cable guy to fix my internet #walkingtoworktoday
December 22, 2010: looking out my window waiting for the cable guy to fix my internet #walkingtoworktoday

Upgraded Design Notes HQ #walkingtoworktoday
December 23, 2010: Upgraded Design Notes HQ #walkingtoworktoday

the Madison stare down I get when I sit at my desk at home #walkingtoworktoday
December 24, 2010: the Madison stare down I get when I sit at my desk at home #walkingtoworktoday

Blizzageddon in SoHo #walkingtoworktoday
December 27, 2010: Blizzageddon in SoHo #walkingtoworktoday

yellow & pink Vespa's caught in a snow drift on Crosby St while not #walkingtoworktoday
December 28, 2010: yellow & pink Vespa’s caught in a snow drift on Crosby St while not #walkingtoworktoday

not #walkingtoworktoday down Mercer st. meeting up with @grokstaDecember 30, 2010 for lunch
December 30, 2010: not #walkingtoworktoday down Mercer st. meeting up with @grokstar for lunch

looking up at 100 Eleventh Ave while not #walkingtoworktoday
December 31, 2010: looking up at 100 Eleventh Ave while not #walkingtoworktoday

Welcome to 2011

Looking forward on top of the Empire State Building New Years Day 2011

Looking forward on top of the Empire State Building New Years Day 2011

Looking forward on top of the Empire State Building New Years Day 2011

Looking forward on top of the Empire State Building New Years Day 2011

After reading about this tradition a couple years ago, I decided to start my own New Years tradition by visiting the Empire State Building during the first day of the New Year. This year was my second visit. What it allows me to do be thankful what I was able to accomplish, reflect on lessons learned and focus on the upcoming year. Plus it allows me to shoot some great images of the city. Last year the photos I took off the top of the Empire State Building set the tone for 2010. This year was no exception. The shot that I was looking to take again was looking south on Manhattan. I got that image but there was one other that serendipitously made my day. After walking around both observation decks I was looking southward when I red ballon drifted by. I’m going to take that as a positive sign of what’s to come this year.

I made a lot of changes in 2010. I moved on from Daylife to Behavior, travelled a bit to talk about design, tried moving Design Notes to Design Noted and came back to Design Notes. I also blogged a bit less and meet more new people face to face (usually in the early morning—shoot me an email if you want to do the same thing). I changed cameras from a Leica D Lux 3 to a Lumix GF1. I kept up with #walkingworktoday and tried shoot Madison when I could. 2010 was a strange year for the blog.

A couple months into the year my rss feed got infected with a spam. Every time I would post something, the headline in the rss feed got swapped in pharma spam. For a while I had no idea how to fix it so I started a new blog. I kept that up for a couple months until I finally was able to kill the pharma spam. That’s why I’m back to posting here. Looking back I didn’t think I had any other options though I wish I had been able to find a solution faster.

I had the opportunity to travel sharing some of the design thinking and ideas that I felt were worth mentioning. Some talks went better than others but each was such a great learning experience for me. I also was fortunate enough to talk with some great people about different technologies and even Madison. The bonous at the end of the year was being filmed showing how I would design a weather app. I’ve always had a lot of people helping me out though in 2010 it was taken to the next level.

In my next post I’m going show all my #walkingtoworktoday photos in chronlogical order for 2010. It was interesting to see the difference between using my iPhone 3GS, my D Lux 3 and half way through the year the switch to a Lumix GF1. I’ll be talking more about some of the unexpected themes that emerged during that project but one thing to point out is how each camera influenced the type of images I took.

I’ve got a lot planned for 2011. I’m going to take what I’ve learned and experienced to push it to the next stage. There’s a lot of unknowns but it’s going to be worth shooting for. This time next year will be truly fascinating to look back upon. It’s both scary and funny to realize that anything I’ve written down has provided itself as an opportunity. If there’s anything that I can share, it would be that—write down what you want because those opportunities will present itself. Thanks for taking the time to read a post or two over the last year and good luck with getting what you want.

It’s been a good year for creative people to make the best of a bad weather situation

It’s been a good year for creative people to make the best of a bad weather situation. First there were the stories of people being stranded because of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. Now there’s videos starting to emerge from Blizzageddon. Below are a couple that I’ve enjoyed. It’s great to see people react to what’s in front of them for others to experience.

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

Idiot With A Tripod from Gothamist on Vimeo.

Stranded from Eyal Dimant on Vimeo.

Trying to Design the Perfect Remote Control for TV

Over the past year I’ve spent a ton of time working & thinking about an option to experience TV on the iPad. There’s a lot of great things that can be done with a swipe or press of a finger. It opens up better conventions than are available on a set top box that has to deal with old technology and legacy issues. It also opens up one issue that every designer wants to improve—the remote control. All of a sudden if a person doesn’t have to rely on an input device that is painful to use to search and browse combined with an iPad the whole convention of TV & movie viewing changes for the better. I’ve blogged in the past about the remote control experience trying to understand how it could be improved. One remote that got my attention when it first came out through images was from Boxee because of the keyboard on one side. I’ve never tried one so I found the review from Terrence O’Brien to be helpful for pointing out a couple things I wouldn’t have considered to be an issue.

FROM SWITCHED—TERRENCE O’BRIEN: The other major hardware component is the remote, which is unique with its full QWERTY keypad on its reverse side. On the whole, it’s a wonderful creation. Using the keypad is much more pleasant than navigating on-screen keyboards with basic directional controls. That being said, there are a few design quirks that keep it from being perfect. The symmetrical controls make it very easy to grab the remote the wrong way, which had us constantly hitting “menu” when we wanted to hit “play/pause.” The remote is also just a little too wide for comfortable typing, especially since the QWERTY keys take quite a bit of force to press. (Still, we’d take the Boxee remote over the Apple TV and Roku remotes any day.) Alternatively, you can always use the iPhone app, which gives you the option of controlling the Boxee Box with virtual buttons or by using hand gestures. Still, neither the remote nor the the iPhone app offer a good solution for controlling the on-screen cursor. Unlike the Boxee desktop app, many videos require you to launch full-screen mode with the remote’s directional pad, something that is at best inconvenient and at worst maddening.

Reading about the experience of using the Boxee remote a couple themes emerged. Trying to find something to do vs a simple action. For example trying to find a show/video through exploration vs. hitting a specific channel. Again because things are being relied from the remote with an up/down & side to side action it still relies on conventions of normal remotes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. One of my favorite remotes is from Apple. It’s pretty disciplined with the number of buttons it has. The difference perhaps is that there isn’t such a physical disconnect from looking down on the remote while trying to keep one eye on the TV. The other issue mentioned that I wouldn’t have considered is the symmetry of the remote buttons. On screen it looks well balanced—but what happens when the icons and names rub off? Hopefully in V2 of the remote one of those two buttons in changed slightly in shape to signify which is which.

Blizzageddon 2010

snowy Empire State Building

Blizzageddon in SoHo #walkingtoworktoday

Blizzageddon

Blizzageddon

Blizzageddon

Blizzageddon

Blizzageddon

Blizzageddon

yellow & pink Vespa's caught in a snow drift on Crosby St while not #walkingtoworktoday

Last year there was Snowpocalypse 2009, this year it was Blizzageddon 2010. The storm came on the 26th of December and didn’t really stop till the next day. The first image came from my window as the storm started. While the winds blew snow around there was something somewhat unique to this storm—lightning. The sky occasional got really bright from thundersnow.

Early the next morning I found myself in SoHo. These are some of the images showing how quiet things were. People outside of NYC always complain and ask what’s the big deal if it snows here. It’s just snow after all. While true it also shuts down the city. Not so much to traffic from Manhattan but because the road conditions to getting to the city are brutal. It’s not worth the risk driving in. Because there barely any cars in the city there’s a chance for people to take to the streets without worrying about traffic. It’s also dead quiet. The only sounds are of those walking in the snow, laughing and clicks of camera’s going off. I find that this type of experience happens once or twice a year so it’s worth running around exploring the snow on the concrete island.

Why Flash should not be used for support pages

I have no Internet service from Time Warner & their support page is in flash which doesn't work on an iPad (currently the only way I can access the Internet at the moment)

Over the weekend I discovered why Flash shouldn’t be used for support pages. I’ve been having brutal issues with Time Warner as an internet service provider. My connection is insanely slow and at times just drops. Sunday morning my internet stopped working altogether and hasn’t come back yet. SInce I didn’t have internet service I went to my iPad with 3G to look up the phone number for TIme Warner support. There was a form field that requested my area code to provide the number in my area. The above screen was the result that I saw on my iPad. Because the page response was rendered in Flash I couldn’t get any information. It’s kind of unbelievable that no one thought that maybe Flash shouldn’t be a technical requirement to get to a phone number.

Recording my design process for an all encompassing multi platform app for @SWITCHED

Because I’m a hybrid designer of sorts, it has always been a long conversation for me to convey what I do. As I explain parts of the process, people nod their head like they understand but sometimes I wonder if they really do. Recently I received an email any designer would be thrilled to read. Chad Mumm of SWITCHED asked me if I’d be willing to design an app while they filmed the entire thing.

About a month ago I went through an intense three hours going through the entire process that made sense for me within the time frame to design an all encompassing multi platform app.

I broke the process down into six phases:
1. Use cases
· Considering what people actually want to do with a weather app (thanks to the people that responded to my question on Twitter).

2. Analyzing what is already out there
· Deconstructing a couple apps and sites already out there and comparing what they do to the use cases from the first category.

3. Exploring ideas
· Creating new features that support the user experience.

4. Wireframes
· Building out the design in form.

5. Testing + prototyping
· Working details after placing the wireframes on devices.

6. Finish, test and iterate
· Look at the prototype on the device, test what works and fix what doesn’t.

Each of those steps was ten to fifteen minute sprints that I set up for myself. It wasn’t a lot of time but gave a good idea of how an app could develop. While I put a lot of pressure on myself I really enjoyed the time seeing what I could do. I highly recommend doing a crazy exercise like that once in a while to push creative constraints.

Yesterday the film and post went live on SWITCHED. I was extremely lucky to have had Chad and his crew film me. Being thrilled would be an understatement. I now have something in real life that I can point people to that shows what it is exactly that I do.

Below I’m displaying the post, the design as it would function on the different devices and a couple photos I took as I was being filmed. There’s a lot of detail to the actual design that could easily work so don’t be surprised if I turn this into something real in the next couple of months.

The Process: Michael Surtees Reconsiders the Weather (App)

SWITCHED—The Process: Michael Surtees Reconsiders the Weather (App)

SWITCHED—The Process: Michael Surtees Reconsiders the Weather (App)

In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget and for "Process: Obstructed" for Switched

In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget and for "Process: Obstructed" for Switched

In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget and for "Process: Obstructed" for Switched

Looking at Independent Art Books and Fashion Magazines Online

Going through No Layout is sort of like visiting Printed Matter in NYC. Both have a ton of visual things to look at and flip through though the biggest difference of course is one is online while the other has to be experienced in person. A couple days ago Daniel Pianetti of No Layout introduced me to the site via email. I like what they’re trying to do. It’s essentially showing printed books and magazines online as is—it’s not try to repurpose content for online. It’s there to be looked at and discovered. If they weren’t online the chances of me actually finding any of these titles is probably zero. Now that I know about them, if I come across them in person I’m more likely to buy a copy because I’ve already been introduced. The site itself has a couple simple features. A viewer can flip through pages and if they like the title save the issue to their personalized library. The biggest issue is that these artifacts can only be viewed—not read. There’s no way to zoom in to ready the text. They do realize this as it is noted on their Facebook page that they are working on a tool to do just that. If you happen to be bored with what is being published you might want to check out some of the independent titles they’re displaying.

Looking at FlickStackr for the iPad & New York Times on Chrome

I’ve started studying apps like FlickStackr for the iPad & newyorktimes.com/chrome among among others. This is a really exciting time to be a designer because it seems like every couple months and weeks something is coming out that is really changing how people interact with information. I just started using both FlickStackr and newyorktimes.com/chrome which kind of challenge some of the old ways images and text have been displayed—so I decide to take a closer look at my initial reaction to them both.

Yesterday as I was starting to updates my iPad apps I started to browse the Genius section of the app store. One suggestion jumped out at me right away. FlickStackr was recommended and since I use Flickr a lot. Up until yesterday I have not had a very satisfying experience with Flickr on the iPad. I haven’t been able to swipe or go through a lot of images from their website or any third party app.

Basics
FlickStackr is that it displays and makes it really easy to navigate Flickr images. If a person signs in they can see their own images and those of their contacts. Everything that a person can see concerning data and section information on Flickr’s website is available—though structured better. There’s recent activity, recent from contacts, groups, viewing photo streams, view collections, view galleries, view contacts and contact profiles.

Other Feature Stuff
A person can search photos, people and groups while filtering through relevance, recency and interesting. In the action tool bar a person can save an image, open it in a browser, share via email, Twitter and Facebook, have the ability to refresh a page (important when looking at the contact photo stream). Selected individual images have the ability to be commented on, favourited, tagged, EXIF data shown, view what sets the image is contained in, what groups it is a part of and what galleries it might be in. One feature that I’m looking to play with is the location based viewable abilities.

Flow
I really liked how the app was able adjust formats in both landscape and portrait modes. Whether I wanted to view a grid of images or list view, both modes worked depending on orientation. Even as I scrolled through images the load times seemed above average. I tried this on a couple different networks and this was the case even with a slow network. If I wanted to see an image full screen it took only a tap or two. If I swiped left or right the image advanced. It was a really enjoyable experience. There were times during the day that I just left the app on with the slideshow playing in the background—that was the first time I’ve ever done that. As I was tapping from one mode or section at a time, the way the columns contracted, colapsed or expanded made sense.

Things That Could Be Improved
As I mentioned about refresh—I don’t think people realize that their contact’s images aren’t the most recent that are viewable if they don’t press the refresh button in the action drop down. Once a person discovers that feature it’s fins, but an easier way would be an auto refresh. I also think that the home button is a bit hidden if a person goes pretty deep browse. Again to quickly go home a person has to use the action drop down menu.

Best Flickr App
This is easiest the best Flickr related app that I’ve bought and used. For two dollars it’s totally worth it. As I mentioned above up until this point there hasn’t been a great Flickr app. As I was studying the UI I was really impressed how fluid everything was.

NYTIMES.COM/CHROME

Within minutes of the first mention of NYTIMES.COM/CHROME on Twitter I opened up the Chrome browser and bounced around the New York Times site to see what it had to offer. After a couple minutes I was curious to see how it handled on the iPad. It was a bit weird for a website to ask if it could allocate 10mb of space to it—but since I was wanting to see what it could do I pressed the OK button. I was happy that in the basic modes I could advance screens by swiping.

Customization
After heading back to my MacBook Pro I noticed all the different modes of display. I noticed some display views to be quite polished while others probably could use more time trying to figure out the functionality. On the iPad I really liked the slideshow mode where one screen can advance the images one by one inside each section. When pressing an image the story is displayed. I liked that I could get an overview of a section quickly and having the ability to focus on the story once I was ready.

Stack was my go to mode on the MBP. I found that I could skim the sections quite fast while viewing an image and a couple paragraphs of text. Unfortunately that mode doesn’t really work on the iPad. My fingers weren’t able to advance stories in any of the sections. I tried tapping, sliding with one finger and two—nothing helped. With that said on the web browser there’s some really helpful keyboard shortcuts that I’m using.

More Development Cycles
Gallery view has a lot of potential but needs a couple revs. They haven’t figured out how to flex image heights and widths in a dynamic way. Another issue is the actual article page. It seems like a bit of an afterthought. It feels a bit clunky, especially in the Stack mode. If I’ve read the first two paragraphs with an image and press the read more button, I see the same text on a different page. Ideally it would just advance to the second page of text. I can’t recall if I saw any articles that contained more than one image (I’ll have to keep an eye out for that).

Coming Back
Aside from those minor issues I ‘m really excited with the potential of this site and Chrome’s ability to handle different modes to view content. They’ve given the reader options to decide how they want to read content. That is something that I hope more publications consider. RSS feed readers is something that I use, however if a publisher gives me more options than an RSS feedreader can show me, I’m more likely to visit the site.

Stuff That I Liked In 2010 (Links from other Sites)

Clicking around my blog last night I started to notice that I was clicking on some of my favourite Link Drop links. As I was doing that I figured it would make a decent post to add to my “Stuff That I Liked In 2010” series. What surprised me was that there was a lot of posts related to Canada (where I’m from), and there was a heavy dose of sports themes—go figure. This isn’t my final, final list of the year, but a conversation starter for me to reflect on the past year of stuff I posted about.

Early Quora Design Notes

A Statistical Stab at Graffiti

13 video player UIs in 24 hours

Ovechkin Hit on Jagr Animated Gif

Graphing Water Consumption During the Gold Medal Hockey Game (extreme peaks during the intermissions for the bathroom)

CBC Story about Leo Obstbaum, CD of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games who Passed Away Before the Start of the Games

What fantasy sports addicts really know

Human landscapes in SW Florida

Billy Joel On Howard Stern

Almost Unfair to Bash Magazines on iPads at this Point…

After buying Project from Virgin (see above image) I’ve almost bought the first issue of most blog worthy iPad magazine apps. I bought Wired, Glamor, New York Magazine, the New Yorker, Time, Popular Mechanics, some food mag that I can’t even remember the name of and stuff that wasn’t really even an app like Dazed. I’m just about the earliest adopter out there when it comes to trying to deconstruct what media companies are doing with apps. I have not bought a second issue from any of them.

There’s a couple reasons for this—the stuff is designed for paper, not a screen. I really have to wonder if anyone that designed for the iPad has actually tried reading the type they’ve set on screen. I also wonder if they actually use a web browser to read stuff. If so, I’d like to know their reading habits on screen and if they actually own an iPad. The type is awful, there’s zero consideration for line length, leading and pace. It’s petty easy to blame Adobe, inDesign and their workflow programs. But I also have to wonder if left in the hands of developers and engineers if we’d be better off—I doubt it.

While most of Virgin’s Project looked like it was designed in inDesign there’s aspects like the type placed over video that makes me hopeful that new programs will be developed for the iPad. Print programs can’t import video. The biggest issue holding back new methods of publishing is using print programs like inDesign. Experts in readability on paper have done a poor job translating the experience on screen. I hope some of the people dropping type try reading what they’re setting for screen because it’s not pretty. Trying to replicate one experience onto another really ignores the potential advantages. Hopefully they realize this before it’s too late. I also hope there’s a publication next year that makes me want to buy a second edition.

Stuff that I liked in 2010 (the Music Edition–Top Albums)

This year I thought I change up my reviews a bit. In the past I’ve diagramed the top ten in terms of release dates and the type of music it was. This year I found that things were more consistent in the type of music I was drawn to. So instead I thought I give a brief overview of my top albums from 2010. I can’t really pinpoint any one influence in terms of discovery. At times I found new stuff from Hype Machine, NPR on occasion and random tweets. If you’re curious to see how I’ve reviewed them in the past, here’s 2009, 2008 and 2007.

1. U.N.K.L.E.: Where Did the Night Fall
I’ve been listening to this album since it came out in May. It was the first thing I pressed play to a lot. There’s a nice balance of ambient and non ambient stuff to work to in the background.

2. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross: The Social Network
I really didn’t want to like this album but found myself listening to it a lot walking outside. I did end up seeing the movie and like a lot of others was curious to hear where each song would be scored in a scene. For the most part the tracks made sense except for one. One of my favourite tracks was In the Hall of the Mountain King. In the film they play for the backdrop of a race that felt a bit animated in a not so great way.

3. Sleigh Bells: Treats
This album will help keep the energy going past the first few cups of coffee in the morning. The speed stays pretty consistent throughout without taking any breaks. Lots of discoveries within each song.

4. Wait What: the Notorious Xx
For a while this way my top album of the year. It has a great combo of mashups between Xx and the Notorious B.I.G. Again I listened to this album a ton but when I came back to it a couple weeks ago some of the novelty had rubbed off. When including albums in my list I try to think how often I might listen to the album a year from know. This one will probably be occasional while the other top three quite a bit more.

5. The Rocketboys: Wellwisher
This EP only came out a couple weeks ago. It’s very tight and I suspect there will be a lot of attention for these guys as people discover them.

6. Massive Attack: Heligoland
I have to be honest that I’m still warming up to this album. This was the one this year that within a few listens loved it, than hated it, forgot about it and am starting to enjoy again. There’s something really good yet off with the whole thing—I just can’t put my finger on it.

7. Daft Punk: Tron Legacy
I had high hopes for this one after seeing the first movie trailer. Now that I’ve heard most of it I’m a bit disappointed. It’s a nice film score but doesn’t really compare listenabley to the Social Network soundtrack

8. The National: High Violet
This was my mainstream pick of the year. Even now as I listen to it I think it’s pretty good in that I never got tired of it and could listen to it for most of a day.

9. Beach House: Teen Dream
I got this at the beginning of the year, listened to it a ton and stopped. I didn’t find them gimmicky at all but could only handle the album in short doses after the first month.

10. There wasn’t one real other standout for me. Sure there was Girl Talk, Kid Cudi, Sufjan Stevens and even Kanye West, but I never really got into any of them the way I did with the other nine albums. I’m sure there’s a ton of great albums (not tracks) that I missed. So let me know what else I should be exploring.

Stuff that I liked in 2010 (the Product Edition)

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

Beyond the street

Beyond the Street

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.

iA Writer

iA Writer for the iPad

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)

iPad

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

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

MUJI Notebook

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

MUJI Pen

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

River of News iPad App

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

Trespass: A History Of Uncommissioned Urban Art

Trespass: A History Of Uncommissioned Urban Art

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

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.

Zero History
by William Gibson

Zero History

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.

Looking at the @Nooka Zub Zayu & Interview with Matthew Waldman

Nooka Zub Zayu

Nooka Zub Zayu

Nooka Zub Zayu

Nooka Zub Zayu

Nooka Zub Zayu

Nooka Zub Zayu

Nooka Zub Zayu

Nooka Zub Zayu

Publisher’s Note: Anyone that’s visited this blog knows that I try to mention Nooka as much as possible without over killing it. They’ll also note that there’s an ad from Nooka on the right rail—they’ve been a great supporter of this blog. I’ve also worked with them on the redesign of their website that I mentioned in this post. With all that said this post like everything else I mention form Nooka is from the point of view of a fan and not as someone that just got paid with a briefcase of cash.

When I first saw a prototype of the Zayu it was an instant favorite. It had similar face to a couple of the other Nooka’s that I owned but had evolved it enough to be something new. The worst thing a designer can do is show another designer something really cool, and than mention that the cool thing won’t be available for months. So for the last six weeks I’ve been emailing weekly to find out when the Zayu would be finally out. It came in this week so here’s the pics I took above and below is an interview that I had with Matthew of Nooka while he was still in Japan for Tokyo Design Week.

MICHAEL SURTEES: Can you talk about how the Zub Zayu came to be. To me it looks like an evolution of the Zot, Zen and outer shape of the Zirc together.

MATTHEW WALDMAN: The zirc is my favorite design we’ve released in terms of form. It sits on the wrist almost weightless as the weight is transferred to the wrist bone when worn correctly. It also allows the watch face to be worn over a sleeve. Unfortunately we as a brand need to get better at telling these kinds of stories as well, and I think this was lost when we launched the zirc. Wanting to tell this story to a broader audience (i.e. More democratic price point) was my main motivation that led to the design of the zayu. To be honest, as a designer, I am never 100% satisfied with my own work and combing the appeal of the zubs with the things I like with our higher end models is definitely an evolution.

MS: One of the other features mentioned in the press release is a new battery power saving mode. I remember you mentioning during Design Week talk with Joey Roth that batteries are what’s constraining the features that a watch can do. Has the new battery technology influenced the design of the Zayu?

MW: Unfortunately it’s the old technology that forces us to innovate in this way. Necessity is the mother of invention right?

MS: A couple practical words that I’m picking up a lot in the press release and from other blogs is time capsule, ambidextrous, and asymmetrical. That’s a bit of a shift from the futuristic philosophy that I’m used to hearing. Has Nooka’s philosophy shifted much from the last year?

MW: Who says the future is not practical? It’s all rooted in futurism. The Zayu is a universal communicator of both time and cool—what can be more Nooka?

MS: Speaking of the future, are there any materials that you’d like to use yet haven’t been able to because of cost or are hard to manufacture?

MW: Tons! low power ELs, kenetic electric batteries, flat integrated LCD and OELD, self-cleaning surface coatings, bio plastics… The problem is that being a small company, we can never afford the license fees and minimum order quantities. I’ve reached out to the 3Ms and Duponts of the world, go to the industrial trade shows and we are active with the material connexion here in NYC, so making the effort is not the issue. Perhaps some high level people reading your blog will see this and reach out to do some cool collabs?

MS: One of the strongest brand attributes that Nooka has in my opinion is how fans share what they love about the company on Twitter and Facebook and how you and others at Nooka seem to respond to almost everyone online. How do you all keep up ?

MW: Convergence! I have Twitter and facebook on my iPhone so there’s no excuse not to check in. When I’m traveling I ping people in the Nooka lab to pick up the slack. Of course, it’s a bit of an addiction as I love attention, however virtual it may be.

MS: This time next year what can fans of Nooka expect to see that’s being thought about right now?

MW: I hope apparel, new strips (belts), new sunglasses, more watches and expanded fragrance offerings.

MS: Any plans for any more pop up shops in NYC or are you focused more selling online at Nooka.com?

MW: BOTH! Thanks to you and Yumi Asai, nooka.com looks HOT and i’d love to see more purchases there. We are planning more pop-ups as well as they are doing well in Japan for us. I’ll keep you posted.

MS: What’s the most misunderstood thing about Nooka?

MW: That our product is a really the philosophy of universal communication and not the physical objects themselves. Also, people think we are a larger company than the 8 people start-up we are which actually can get in the way of some things. Of course, it’s not a bad problem to have I’m always told.

Billy Joel On Howard Stern

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

I’ve never been a huge fan of musician’s interviews back in the day when it was forced. For some reason I pressed play on the first link above from a series of interview last night from an email newsletter I subscribed from Bob Lefsetz about Howard Stern interviewing Billy Joel. As tired as I was I listened to all six parts last night before bed. Even if you’re not a fan of Billy Joel there’s so much to take in. The convo and performance was something between both of the people that was something that was worth noting. It wasn’t perfect but that’s why I listened to the whole thing in one shot.

Streaming Music to my iPhone

To be honest I thought hyping the Beatles landing on iTunes was not really a big deal—though it looks like the sales would suggest otherwise. In the iTunes top twenty there’s eight Beatles albums. Just like Wired suggested I was hopping that Apple was going to provide a streaming music service or finally release an overhaul of iTunes. Neither thing happened.

Last night as I was cleaning up my Dropbox and quickly tweeted about wishing that I could stream music from my folders in there to my iPhone. After all I can view PDFs & PPTs. Within minutes some I knew mentioned something about their app so I started diving in to my folders via the Dropbox app. Sure enough I could actually play and listen to music on my iPhone from my Dropbox.

While it frees my devices up from trying to sync my iPhone up with both my home and work MBP’s there’s still some issues. The biggest problem is that it doesn’t play music files one after another. Once the track is finshed it doesn’t play the next. Still it’s a nice runaround to stream music from the cloud. While I don’t have a ton of music if anyone wants to set up a private community shared music folder just send me an email.

LINK DROP: November 6th through Today (November, 13th 2010)

Link Drop
Another busy week flew by, managed to do a couple new things to keep life interesting. I found a lot of product related stuff with a slight nod to tech. Not really that different from what I typically find but the consistent quantity was worth noting.

The entrepreneurs that really make it are the ones that start with an idea but are ready to change it at a moment’s notice. – Jeremy Stoppelman.

If Facebook Knows When People Break Up And Google Can Predict Flu Outbreaks, Does LinkedIn Know When Companies Are In Trouble?
However, lets say you take a company with a few thousand workers, if a significant amount of those goes from not logging in within 3-6 months to logging in frequently AND updating their profiles, then you might just have a company that’s about to cut staff. What makes this so powerful is that staff know about cuts and redundancies way before internal and public announcements are made, whispers and rumours spread like wildfire and that’s when people start logging in and updating, meaning that LinkedIn knows about cuts and redundancies too – suddenly making this data extremely valuable.

7 A/B Testing Resources for Startups and Solo Developers
If you plan to conduct A/B testing to optimize your website, there are some best practices to observe and some expectations to lay out at the beginning. For example, you (and your team, if you have one) will want to declare criteria, variables and expectations before you begin your testing. Make sure you’re not doing anything that will invalidate the results of your test. Also, make sure you’ve got enough traffic to make an A/B test worthwhile. If you’re working with a relative handful of site visitors each day, your A/B results may not be accurate. Likewise, make sure you conduct your tests over a long enough period of time to allow for variance caused by traffic fluctuations, days of the week, holidays, time of day, etc. Finally, make sure that your website is functional and optimized for excellent, fast, cross-browser performance before you commit to testing. After all, no one will care whether the button is green or red if the page takes a minute and a half to load.

The volcanic eruption at Mount Merapi is pictured in this NASA Terra satellite image. The Indonesian volcano erupted with renewed ferocity on Friday, bringing the total death toll to over 100 and blanketing the area with white ash. (Photo: DigitalGlobe / Reuters via the Telegraph).

Jimmy Wales to Announce Wiki 2.0
Wikia, the for-profit venture of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, is announcing what it is calling the “next generation of collaborative publishing”, or put shortly, “Wiki 2.0”. This next generation of wikis will include a social layer that brings game mechanics, real-time streams, social sharing and more to the previously walled-in world of the wiki.

hello. welcome to the new face of korean bbq
Introducing Korilla, the fiercest eats you’ll find on the streets… literally. What is a Korilla, you ask? It is nothing less than a Korean grillmasta serving up a complex combination of classic Korean recipes in contemporary forms. We’re talking burritos, tacos and chompers like you’ve never had before.

Adding Cabbie Know-How to Online Maps
Anyone who’s ridden in a taxi knows that cab drivers know their way around a city better than the average driver. They seem to have super-secret side-street maneuvers that shave minutes off a trip by avoiding traffic, lights, and other problems. Now researchers from Microsoft are mining cabbies’ knowledge to create faster driving paths for online maps.

New Gorillaz Album Recorded Entirely on an iPad
Blur frontman, Gorillaz mastermind and all-around pop genius Damon Albarn is already hard at work on the next release for his cartoon band, while still touring behind its latest release ‘Plastic Beach.’ But, rather than lug around a Tascam Portastudio or install a recording area on the tour bus, Albarn has turned to his iPad to create his latest musical musings. He told NME, “I fell in love with my iPad as soon as I got it… I hope I’ll be making the first record on an iPad.”

Netflix Instant Movies That Don’t Suck
You know when you go to watch a movie on Netflix Instant? So you go through all the options and there are a bunch of movies you never heard of and you’re like, “I wonder if this sucks or not?” Well, I created this Tumblr so we can all share movies that we watched on Netflix Instant that didn’t suck so that other people can benefit from our adventures.

Design and Business: The Bottom Line
This morning, I gave a speech at the RGD Design Thinkers event here in Toronto. For a first ever keynote, I think it went ok, though I probably relied on reading out my notes too much. But given that I used this forum to tell designers they can be “dictatorial, inflexible, snobby”, people were pretty friendly. It’s super long, but here’s the text, along with the beautiful typographic slides designed by my friend Timothy O’Donnell, who stepped in to save me from the indignity of having to present homemade slides to an audience of professional designers.

Minority Report, Courtesy of Kinect
Hackers have wasted no time bending Kinect to their will, and this proof of concept video for a Minority Report-esque multitouch UI is probably the most exciting mod yet. Stretch to zoom, here we come!

Safari Tools: Pad App
Safari Books Online offers a native application — Safari To Go — that enables you to read content on your iPad. This application combines all the user-friendly features of the iPad with the power of the Safari Books Online platform.

30 Rock Mocks the Fauxhemian Fashion Trend
Tonight on 30 Rock, Liz Lemon bought jeans from a store called Brooklyn Without Limits, and they made her ass look amazing. Unfortunately, though, the brand wasn’t as innocent as she thought. A compilation of the related scenes is inside.

Panasonic Lumix 14mm f2.5 Lens Review — Seeing Prime
This is a discussion of seeing (and by extension, photography) under the pretense of a lens review. If you want to read about what it feels like to use this lens, this is your place.

Life Hack – The 30/30 Minute Work Cycle Feels Like Magic
“You might think it’s crazy and stupid, but it works for me,” he said. “I sit at my desk and work for 30 minutes without distraction, completely absorbed in my work. Then, after the 30 minutes are up, I drop whatever I’m doing and go do something fun for 30 minutes. During this relaxation time, I don’t think about work at all – I play games, write, whatever, but no work. After 30 minutes, I go back to my desk, rinse and repeat.”

Para-skiing?! Stomach-droppingly amazed to see this is a real thing.

Guy ordered the exact same business card from 5 of the top online printers on Google. Here’s what they’ve sent.

Today in “Process: Obstructed” for @Switched

In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget and for "Process: Obstructed" for Switched

In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget and for "Process: Obstructed" for Switched

In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget and for "Process: Obstructed" for Switched

A couple of days ago Chad Mumm, a producer for The Engadget Show emailed me asking if I would be interested in being part of the filming of “Process: Obstructed” for Switched. It sounded like a great opportunity to show my design thinking and test what I can do. I was given the challenge to build the perfect device-spanning weather app. I don’t want to give away too much before the film is posted but it was a really quick three hours of time boxing sprints that managed to show how I think.

I broke the process down into six categories:
1. Use cases
· Considering what people actually want to do with a weather app (thanks to the people that responded to my question on Twitter).

2. Analyzing what is already out there
· Deconstructing a couple apps and sites already out there and comparing what they do to the use cases from the first category.

3. Exploring ideas
· Creating new features that support the user experience.

4. Wireframes
· Building out the design in form.

5. Testing + prototyping
· Working details after placing the wireframes on devices.

6. Finish, test and iterate
· Look at the prototype on the device, test what works and fix what doesn’t.

Each of those steps was ten to fifteen minute sprints that I set up for myself. It wasn’t a lot of time but gave a good idea of how an app could develop. I think the film will be out in a couple of weeks. Once it’s up I’ll post some of my whiteboard images and final designs of the work. While I put a lot of pressure on myself I really enjoyed the time seeing what I could do. I highly recommend doing a crazy exercise like that once in a while to push creative constraints.

Comparing, Reviewing and Talking about Product Experiences

MUJI Cal

Anyone that visits this blog once in a while or follows me on Twitter finds out pretty quickly that I’m a big fan of my iPad. I actually want a second one though I’m not seriously considering it. There’s a lot to be read about different apps, uses and experiences. For me I need to know this information both as a designer and someone that wants to keep updating things when needed.

If someone is in the digital realm I really don’t understand how they can call them fluent with what they do if they don’t have one. Its not about being a fan boy/girl but realizing what things have changed from the browser as we used to know it and how things have evolved because of the iPad screen and how information is now being served up. News consumption has changed, how data is presented, the merging of video, photo and sound and how programs are even written. Plus they need to know if it’s an appropriate channel for clients. Maybe it isn’t—but how will they know?

Last week MUJI released one free calendar app and one pay app that’s like a journal. I saw links about it popup on sites instantly. It was cool and worth a mention but I had to wonder how many people had actually had an iPad or had even downloaded the app. I downloaded it,thought it was nice but didn’t really help me much as I’m still stuck with iCal and not google calendar. There’s a subtle feature of the calendar that I think most people that downloaded it would have noticed. Instead all I read about how MUJI was “on brand target”.

There’s a suitcase graphic that moves around depending on the angle that the iPad is being titled. It’s noticeable for user, apparently not so much for video watchers. There’s nothing wrong with with talking about iPad apps if they’ve never used it-but think something about the experience of describing the experience is lost. I wonder how credible a post can be if the experience is coming strictly from observation and not from actual interaction.

I know plenty of people that have had an iPad and sold it-it wasn’t for them. Totally understandable. But I’ll never get people that dislike or sharing experiences about something without even using the thing-it’s like their adding a fuzzy layer of insulation from learning something new.

This week #walkingtoworktoday from my POV

a wig for the rest of the year #walkingtoworktoday
November 1, 2010 at 9.32am EDT: A wig for the rest of the year #walkingtoworktoday

JOA Type in the House #Walkingtoworktoday
November 2, 2010 at 9.30am EDT: JOA Type in the House #Walkingtoworktoday

looking at my elevator door #walkingtoworktoday
November 3, 2010 at 8.12am EDT: Looking at my elevator door #walkingtoworktoday

my umbrella just before it self destructed #walkingtoworktoday
November 4, 2010 at 9.14am EDT: My umbrella just before it self destructed #walkingtoworktoday

inside doors of the front entrance of my apt #walkingtoworktoday
November 5, 2010 at 9.38am EDT: Inside doors of the front entrance of my apt #walkingtoworktoday

More information about #walkingtoworktoday can be found at http://designnotes.info/?page_id=2279

LINK DROP from October 31st through Today (November 5th, 2010)

Link Drop

This was one of those weeks where I’ve been thinking about the language of digital, screens, surfaces and everything else that is doing stuff connected to a larger network. It’s kind of crazy how interconnected everything is yet hasn’t really taken connected with the majority of people out there. I suppose there’s some advantages to that though for those that are kind of impatient slow can feel like eternity. Should be interesting to see what sticks on the connected side versus hype of what’s being talked about today.

Presentation: What is Digital Creativity?
The arch of the story here is that ad agencies creative solutions are by default the product of the media of communication they use. The simple evolution of advertising creative supports this logic: when there was only print around, logos were important. With radio, slogans (jingles) took the center stage. With television, it became all about brand image communicated through the 30-second spot. Simply, creative has always been interchangeable with a specific media technology. Change this technology, and the rules of advertising creativity crumble. Why is this the case? Above all, it’s really hard to classify digital media as a communication channel. They are more of a behavioral platform. What is regarded as creative here? First, everything and anything that can modify, inspire, and introduce behaviors (think big behavioral platforms like Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, or smaller ones like thousands of Tumblr blogs, individual Facebook profiles, or just about any tool we interact with or interface that we come across online). Second, what’s regarded as creative is something that’s an inherent part of our activities. Messages are not part of our behavior, and not only because they are interrupting whatever we are doing at the time. They are external to it simply because they are not part of interactions that form that behavior. Do I need to click on an ad to complete some task, like booking a trip, online? No. Do I need to click on it in order to connect with my friends? No. Do I need to see it in order to explore maps, look at the photos, or read blogs to get inspired? No.

Everything I’ve Ever Learned About Giving Design Critiques I Learned from Tim Gunn
I went through two years of studio critiques while getting my Master’s degree in design, and have been through dozens of them in the five years since then, but I can honestly say I’ve learned more about how to appropriately give design criticism from Tim Gunn, one of the hosts of the US television show Project Runway.

SEO & the Disappearing Self
On Facebook, our communication is assessed like online advertising — how many click-throughs did it inspire? This prompts us to make what we say on Facebook sound like advertising discourse. And if the way we talk about ourselves is to a large degree who we think we are, this would not bode well for human dignity.

MapMyFollowers is a Great Twitter Data Visualization
MapMyFollowers.com is a fabulous site that allows you to see where in the world the people who follow you on Twitter are. Up to 1000 at a time can be viewed on a map and there’s something magical about the resulting experience.

Fantasy Fans Flock to Fantasy Football
Hi, my name is Chris Bulger and I’m a fantasy football addict. Here is my typical fantasy football week:
· On Tuesday and Wednesday, I visit fantasy football sites to research players on waivers and find the best players to help my team win.
· On Thursday morning I check out my rosters to see which players I was able to claim off of waivers.
· On Sunday morning I research matchups and set my lineups accordingly. By noon on Sunday (before the games have even started), I have visited my fantasy football site upwards of 10 times throughout the week.

Artisanal Pencil Sharpening
In New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman David Rees still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. His artisanal service is perfect for artists, writers, and standardized test takers. Shipped with their shavings and a “certificate of sharpening,” these extra-sharp pencils make wonderful gifts.

What I Would Do With This: Groceries
You have here a simple question that anyone can access. Doesn’t matter that you’ve never run a linear regression in your life. If you’ve ever shopped for groceries, if you’ve ever stood in line with a candy bar, a soda bottle, and a matinee starting across town in ten minutes, you have an opinion here

Gartner report tells corporations to get moving on the iPad
In a private report to clients, the Gartner research firm is urging CEOs to clear any obstacles preventing IT departments from taking advantage of the iPad. Stephen Prentice, a VP and Gartner fellow, said in the report: “It is not usually the role of the CEO to get directly involved in specific technology device decisions, but Apple’s iPad is an exception. It is more than just the latest consumer gadget. CEOs and business leaders should initiate a dialog with their CIOs about if they have not already done so.”

Baker Ebook Framework
Baker is an HTML5 ebook framework to publish on the iPad using open web standards

Today’s Obsession: Publishing for the iPad
I’m stoked. I’ve been waiting for 1) Apple to stop forcing its own agenda and restricting the marketplace and 2) a solution to happen for designers (not necessarily developers and coders) to use in content creation. This is great for editorial pieces.

Google hasn’t yet provided any direction on Android as a tablet platform, which means that the Tab is held back by lagging application support and software that doesn’t fully take advantage of the extra screen real estate.

The New New Andreessen
While many other VC firms are still reeling from a decade of weak returns and an influx of competing capital from Russia and China, Andreessen Horowitz is doubling down. On Nov. 3 the firm announced that it has raised a second $650 million fund. (Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg Businessweek, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.) The firm also claims a new, Ovitz-inspired approach to venture capital. Andreessen wants to create a full-service VC firm that helps with all the needs of startups, from recruiting to public relations, just as CAA catered to every aspect of career development—and every personal demand—of film stars and directors.

Nice little design touch from Google: attachment reminder
Only possible down-side: reminds people that your emails are being parsed for all sorts of reasons. Still, saved me from having to do a “Doh! Here’s the attachment” note.

Mobile Users Prefer Browsers over Apps
These preferences may surprise mobile experts who consider apps to offer the best content and shopping experiences. And marketers may be frustrated as well; getting an app on a user’s home screen is a constant reminder of the brand, but it doesn’t make sense to offer an app users don’t want.

just breathe… Posted by twitter.com/stefanboublil
A wine label with braille

Candy Chang: Parties in Power

How often has the United States shifted back and forth between political parties? And how long has one party held office? To get some historic perspective during this election freak-out [October 2008], I made a timeline plotting out the political parties of all the U.S. Presidents, as well as the dominant parties in Congress (Senate and House of Representatives).

It Only Takes One Great Question (or maybe 21) to Follow that Makes Quora Valuable

Why is mobile the future?

What can we learn about the failure (for now) of Google Wave?

Design: What things do you do to challenge yourself to be a better designer?

How does Gilt’s business model work?

What are the first 5 websites you open when you arrive at work every morning?

What should you read to learn about Social Interaction Design?

Apple Inc.: Which other companies have products on par with the design-excellence of Apple’s?

What are the best blogs about data?

Since there’s no storage in the new Apple TV, how will it be possible to add apps to it?

What UX blogs, resources or books does a prospective User Experience design leader need to read?

Which publication consistently produces the best infographics?

What happened to IDEO?

Apple Inc.: What is Apple’s mission statement?

What is the most useful, shortest and most generally applicable piece of wisdom you know?

What is the best advice you could give to a young, first-time startup CEO?

What key values led to early PayPal’s culture of entrepreneurship?

What interview questions would you ask a prospective User Experience design leader for a Web 2.0 startup?

Is MySpace likely to recover?

What innate traits do great Internet product leaders share?

Why Did X Fail?: Why have personalized news startups failed?

What is the best rooftop bar in New York City?

A couple days ago I came across a post from RWW that reminded me of how I found value in Quora. The post 20 Recommended Quora Threads for Startups listed off a number of questions that had been asked. I found a couple questions that I hadn’t come across so I started following them. After that I started looking at what people in my network were looking at and added more questions that interested me. For quite a few months I had sat on one question that really didn’t spark much interest. It was only after my friend Jennifer Brook mentioned Why Did X Fail?: Why have personalized news startups failed? question on Twitter did things click for me and the Quora.

Back in the day a trait that separated smart design people from average designers was to take a look at their Delicious account to see what interested them. I think the same could be said about Quora. Topics are ok but it’s the questions that really display what someone is thinking about and how forward they’re considering things.

So in the spirit of this post I’ve listed all the questions that I’m following thus far from newest to oldest. I’ve found them all to be incredibly valuable in terms of knowledge share. If there’s something that you’re following that you think might be worth reading—just DM me or contact me through the channel that feels most comfortable.

A Couple Notes from Marian Bantjes talk for the AIGANY

Marian Bantjes talking to AIGANY

For the majority of people in attendance last night, Marian gave the perfect talk. It was effortlessly paced, she balanced personal observations with real work and inspired a lot of people. While the 3G was almost non existent inside the theatre, all the tweets that shared quotes were glowing.

Most of my notes from her talk dealt with process. What I was drawn towards was her clairity of self reflection and the reaction of why she was doing what she was doing as she was doing it. I felt that even if she had not showed one slide for her talk she would have still left the audience inspired. I summed up the talk on Twitter by suggesting that she could teach blind people to design. She wasn’t emulating a “how to”, but a “why to” think talk.

A lot of the process and reflection had to do with her book I Wonder that I’m still taking my time to read. The best part of her talk concering the book was explaining which blog posts might be printed on paper and the rational of what made the cut. Trying to elevate her blog words into something that only print could display was a great attribut to define what she wanted to communicate. The story of The Sun, the Moon, the Stars was a great story of how it came to be.

I wouldn’t disagree with much of what she had to say about design in Canada, (after all I sold everything to move to NYC myself) I couldn’t help be a bit disappointed with her remarks as someone that never needed anyone to make it here. At least from the outside it has looked like the design community in Canada has given Marian a pedestal to share her perspective more so than anyone else there.

While I did record an audio version of her talk last night that I’ll be listening over again today to discover stuff that I missed the first time, there will be a video of the entire talk available online soon from the AIGA NY. Once that’s online I’ll pass along the link as I think any designer would be smart to hear what she has to say at least once.

This week #walkingtoworktoday from my POV

I can get so much further using this lane for #walkingtoworktoday
October 25, 2010 at 9.32am EDT: I can get so much further using this lane for #walkingtoworktoday

urban pumpkin patch #walkingtoworktoday
October 26, 2010 at 9.10am EDT: urban pumpkin patch #walkingtoworktoday

back to iced cofffee #walkingtoworktoday
October 27, 2010 at 9.30am EDT: back to iced cofffee #walkingtoworktoday

vespa & water on 27th st #walkingtoworktoday
October 28, 2010 at 9.17am EDT: vespa & water on 27th st #walkingtoworktoday

Hicksville LIRR Platform #walkingtoworktoday
October 29, 2010 at 10.27am EDT: Hicksville LIRR Platform #walkingtoworktoday

More information about #walkingtoworktoday can be found at http://designnotes.info/?page_id=2279

LINK DROP from October 23rd through Today (October 30th, 2010)

Link Drop

Gotta keep the editor notes quick this week—need to run soon. Every once in a while I’ll make note about time though this week and month seriously went by so fast that I’m kind of concerned. I try to pay attention to everything (maybe to my detriment) but I felt like I blinked at it’s suddenly November and my birthday at the end of September was a couple days ago. Sigh—oh well, I wouldn’t have changed anything this month either way. What I did notice this week that hasn’t really hasn’t been mentioned before is USB. The tech finds a place in a couple of posts. I also mention “Reading”, “Readable” and books + have a typeface post. Funny what keeps my eyes open.

MAP MINT: Plan.b
Oriko Design Buro in Germany has designed Plan.b to make maneuvering through space easier for the blind. This product translates digital maps into tactile maps with sound components.

Will Instapaper and other “read it later” services change the way online content is written?
Perhaps it’s the iPad or the large screens on smartphones. Maybe it’s the increasing attractiveness of reasonably-priced ebook readers. It could just be that the constant river of news is just too engrossing to spent too much time on the shore, reading.

Flavorpill’s Favorite Finds from CMJ 2010
It’s easy to get cranky about New York’s annual CMJ Music Marathon, with its long lines, short sets, and general air of overstimulated panic. But although we generally go kicking and screaming to our first showcase and spend its last few days on the brink of collapse, we can’t deny that it brings some of the best music from around the world to our corner of the world for five days of dancing, drinking, and discovery.

CBC SPARK: Full Interview: William Gibson on Zero History
Yesterday, I interviewed novelist William Gibson in our Toronto studio. I’ve followed his work for years, ever since reading Neuromancer ages ago. Although I’ve interviewed him a few times before, I’d never met him in person, so today was a treat. Gibson is best known as a science fiction writer, and a foundational figure in the cyberpunk genre. More recently, though, he has been writing books set in the here and now, albeit a here and now infused with a distinctly Gibsonian world view. We talked about his latest novel, Zero History, part three in a trilogy.

Guerilla Artists Stage MoMA Invasion
They didn’t get permission from the MoMA to install their art. Mark Skwarek, one of the organizers of the show, says he wasn’t sure how the museum would react. “Actually MoMA tweeted about our exhibition, they basically welcomed us, so it was very positive,” says Skwarek. “I think the Museum was receptive.”

11 Principles of Interaction Design explained
This post isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list of interaction design principles, its merely an introduction to the subject. And I’m definitely not going to attempt to enter the lions den of defining what ‘interaction design’ is, that’s for another day!

32767 Invaders [Processing]
The theme of the pixel invaders has accompanied Christian Gross for several years now. The first projects was the blinkdrawer, an arduino based installation that draws random generated invaders with light. Latest in the series was the creation of 32767 invaders generated using Processing. They are collected in posters (see below) each including 2352 invaders.

“Dead Drops” preview
‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. I am ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessable to anybody in public space. You are invited to go to these places (so far 5 in NYC) to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your files and date. Each dead drop contains a readme.txt file explaining the project.

The Significant Other
Men’s fashion and style through the eyes and heart of a girl in Brooklyn.

Electronics
The Key to love, success and all your photos, files and music. (USB Key, 2 GB)

The Bantjes Covers
What follows is her own step-by-step process to produce the cover for her new book, I Wonder, recently published by Monacelli and Thames & Hudson: it’s an expository monologue, in which Bantjes reflects and rejects iteration upon iteration until she finds an acceptable solution.

Type Case
Martin Bircher has converted a European printer’s type case into a low-resolution LED news ticker.

NZ Rugby Chisel

Blackboard vs Whiteboard

blackboard

Anyone that does a lot of design work will find themselves in front of a whiteboard from time to time. I even have a mini Muji version with me by my desk. So when I ended up last night getting a tour of Debbie Millman’s great new space for her Masters in Branding program at SVA, the first thing that struck me was the wall to wall blackboard.

While I won’t comment on the actual illustration (I think it could be simplified a bit), the color bounces off the black in a way that a white board could never achieve. It looks amazing. Sure a whiteboard’s purpose isn’t to make things look pretty, I have to admit that I’d love to make a blackboard like this. I suspect that the best balance would be to have one wall painted for a blackboard and the opposite wall painted for a whiteboard. That way the best of both worlds can be used.

Bending Music Borders Through Simple Technologies like Gift Cards & Air Balloons

Spotify Worldwide

SWITCHED: Weather Balloon Servers Could Take Pirate Party to the Air

A couple unrelated posts if combined showed an interesting pattern of circumventing the traditional ways of listening and buying music. There’s tons of ways to do this already but with the scheme to be able to listen to Spotify through buying gift cards and a ballon playing music in the air shows that people are testing gray areas of what it means to be a border. It’s amazing that while the music industry complains and contracts people are thinking about new ways to distribute and listen to music which brings me to the video below that describes what’s out there in terms of technology that an artist might want to consider for promotion.

After watching the above YouTube video I couldn’t help but think there’s a bit of a music tech bubble going on. His last point while predictable is at least poignant.

FUTURE PERFECT: iPad/cash register the Square dongle for processing credit cards.

While it’s a bit hard to see the Square Dongle attached to the top left headphone jack of the iPad—it’s yet one more thing that the iPad is disrupting. This time the idea of commerce. With that simple tool a person can turn their iPad into a cash register. How much more fun and relaxation can a person have by setting up a simple unit like that. It’s only a matter of time when the idea of a simple lemonade stand takes off with tools like this. A person can start as small as they want, not need much initial capital and try businesses because the risk is minimal.

Opportunity through Constraint, Looking at iA Writer’s Keyboard

I kind of tried avoiding the iPad app iA Writer right after the release as I read tons of blog posts about it. At the time I wasn’t sure if people were mentioning it because they’ve actually used it, or if they were pushing it due to personality. There’s been a bit of time since the initial release and I’ve started using it. Last week while on the LIRR heading out of the city with a couple people from Behavior, Chris Fahey showed me iA Writer going through a number of the features. Up until that point most of the blog posts I had read talked about aesthetics, not functionality. Maybe the hype was warranted because this app is all that I’m going to be using to make notes and possibly rough drafts for blog posts. (This is the second post that I’ve used this app for).

The small things that play a big part for me include knowing how much time a post could be read in and the Dropbox integration. The typeface used is also pretty great in readability and size. However the reason for the post isn’t so much for those features but for the additional row that has been designed for the keyboard.

A. This advances the cursor forward or behind single words.

B. Open and close parenthesis, press once to open and press again to close.

C. Cursor movement, this button is worth the full price alone. Instead of using the delete key or finger tap, this button moves back or forward one tap at a time. If WordPress ever comes out with an iPad app it better have this feature.

Those three simple keyboard features are extremely helpful but it also sheds light on part of the design process that a lot of design people miss or take for granted. Most people would look at the default iPad keyboard and leave it as is. Sure there’s technical constraints but they looked at the keyboard harder and figured out a way to build off of the constraints. Adding a new row gave the app the killer feature that no other note taking app has (as far as I’ve seen). I know as I continue to design I’m going to file this small but important idea of building off of constraints as opposed to just taking some things for granted.

REVIEW COPY: One Million by Hendrik Hertzberg

One Million Cover

One Million 01

One Million 02

I was recently contacted by John Clifford of Think Studio in NYC who designed the cover of the book Graphic that I reviewed a couple weeks ago. He and Herb Thornby had designed the book One Million by Hendrik Hertzberg and was curious to know if I would be interested in checking it out. I was so within a couple days I had a copy in my hands.

The idea behind the book is to display a million dots while pulling out numbers that seem like data though very quickly becomes a story through information. As I was reading the pages it struck me that I was looking at the full circle of life. Common data was placed in the context of births, deaths, geography, military, space, time, travel, jail, money among many other categories. For instance we learn that 150,300 people crossed the Brooklyn bridge on foot on opening day, May 24,1883 while 150,835 US deaths in a day happened in 2008. It’s information like that to compare that makes the book fascinating.

In the design each dot that has a number associated with it is pulled out on the page. Along with the number is the context of what it means. While the book is 200 pages flipping through each with essentially the same number of dots it never got boring. I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of cool website or app this book would make. Each dot could easily have an association that when clicked/pressed could provide more information. Those dots would also be live so some of them over time would move.

The biggest issue i had with the book is that the sources are not listed. I didn’t doubt that the actual numbers were real but it seems like a strange omission. Calling the book a toy doesn’t really omit the need. I think fans of typography and order will enjoy this book though I think there’s broad appeal to those that are interested in the social sciences or people that just like the story of humanity.

BOOK INFO
Title: One Million
Author: Hendrik Hertzberg
Publisher: Abrams Image

This Week’s #walkingtoworktoday from My POV (October 18th through October 22nd, 2010)

About to get hit by a UPS truck this morning #walkingtoworktoday
October 18, 2010 at 8.48am EDT: About to get hit by a UPS truck this morning #walkingtoworktoday

Tips are good karma #walkingtoworktoday
October 19, 2010 at 9.37am EDT: Tips are good karma #walkingtoworktoday

indestructible arrow #walkingtoworktoday
October 20, 2010 at 10.05am EDT: indestructible arrow #walkingtoworktoday

outside of Manhattan #walkingtoworktoday, clock at LIRR Hicksville NY stop
October 21, 2010 at 9.35am EDT: outside of Manhattan #walkingtoworktoday, clock at LIRR Hicksville NY stop

construction worker overhead #walkingtoworktoday
October 22, 2010 at 9.19am EDT: construction worker overhead #walkingtoworktoday

More information about #walkingtoworktoday can be found at http://designnotes.info/?page_id=2279

LINK DROP from October 18th through 22nd 2010

Link Drop
I can’t believe it’s already been a week since my staycation was over and had to change gears with what’s going on outside the blogosphere. And October is almost over already—yikes. Most of the links and sites this week that resonated with me had a strong media bias, either with TV, entertainment or technology combining the two. If you’re new to Link Drop I basically want to archive some stuff that I think is valuable and excerpt some of the text from the post. When I have more time I’ll start writing more of a rational—but since I only had half an hour this morning—what you see is what you get. I’m guessing that most of those sites I found via Twitter, either through my own exploration or RT. You can view on Delcious which sites I found where.

BUSINESS INSIDER: The Future Of Television And The Digital Living Room
I think we’re in the first inning of second screen technologies and applications, and this movement will create whole new experiences that the 50+ crowd will lament as “ruining the TV experience.” The 15-30 crowd will feel like this is what TV was meant to be – social.

Yelle La Musique
Everything from the Brazil Jesus statue hula-hooping to Clint Eastwood, the Taj Mahal, and Justin Bieber have cameos. At one point a flaming car flies from the sky into a camper, which then explodes into a mountain of kittens. Paris Hilton sits on a huge version of her chihuahua. Popsicles fly through the air as cats play guitars on icebergs. Finally at 1:20 I realized that the whole thing was strikingly similar to the feel in one of my favorite videos of all time, Leave Me Alone by Michael Jackson…

SAI: How Facebook Decides What To Put In Your News Feed – These 10 Secrets Reveal All
The more digital our daily lives become, the more perplexing the questions seem. Will the growth of social media destroy our notions of privacy? Is democracy helped or harmed by the cacophony of opinions online? And perhaps most confounding: Why does that guy I barely know from the 10th grade keep showing up in my Facebook feed?

PANIC BLOG: Spinner Rage
Did you know the French have over 300 words for “ennui”? It’s true. Similarly, a designer has over 14,000 words for nit-picky things that annoy them that nobody else in the world cares about. In this case, 300 words. Hooray! I’ve found a new thing you won’t care about! Prepare to have your eyebrows melted.Designers, do you see anything wrong with this spinner I found on the web? It’s pretty subtle. Look close! The problem is specifically with frame five…

WELCOME TO OPTIMISM: why the internet is causing an increase in TV viewing
One liner? We’re going to see more live TV with simultaneous back channel for conversation and gaming via online and mobile devices… and starling.tv is about to launch a dedicated platform to provide this service – and own this space.

THE ALT REPORT: Spoiled tweens send 3000+ texts per month
I have a real job and I manage a team of 7 people in the office and we don’t send that many emails per day. It is just so baffling that my spoiled tween son sends 100 texts per day. Really glad I got him ‘unlimited’ plan bc our bill was $1k last month. Was hella pissed, and threatened to get him a pay-as-u-go phone.

THE NEXT WEB: Twitter makes me like people I’ve never met and Facebook makes me hate people I know in real life
Twitter is a whole different animal. There are no page invitations to ignore, events to opt-out off or people tagging you in photos. Basically Twitter is built on the whole idea of serendipitous finds; you are bombarded with tweets, but only if you choose to, and pick what is good, and ignore the rest.

Just Spotted
JustSpotted shows you what your favorite celebrities are up to and where they were last spotted. We aggregate the latest sightings, tweets, status updates, news articles & blog posts from all over the web for thousands of celebrities around the world. You can choose to become a fan of the celebrities you care most about and we will always keep you up to date.

From the desk of…
Project: A site dedicate a site solely to canvas of the Desk. A Desk is where we work. Symbolic. Psychical. Present. A second home. A Desk is a platform. A hearth. Roots are planted. It’s where upon hours on hours pass. Personally, I want to be (and have always been) inspired by my work space. I’m surrounded by “my stuff” helps me think and conjure new ideas. I covet solitude; it gives me more time to think. I’m one of those organized clutter types. I always have torn pages for inspiration on my cork boards and Polaroids of friends which reminds me, I must retell that story. I’m always putting things up, taking things down; keep it choppy and not get too comfortable. Still, I crave familiarity.

TECH CRUNCH: ‘Fast Company’ Influence Project Proves Online Influencers Have No Actual Influence
Well, no Bob, as a participant, I most certainly did not find The Influence Project a worthwhile experience, not in the slightest. First of all you all but ignored the guy who actually won and picked your own winners, presumably because a vignette of iJustine will drive more traffic to your website than a profile of the unknown outside of the tech industry Jeremy Schoemaker.

SEARCH ENGINE LAND: Life With Google TV: My First Day Review & Impressions
Down at the bottom of the viewing window (sorry the image is small — the Droid ate my originals of some pics, remember!), I had options to expand the image to fullscreen. I did this, and it was awesome. There it was! Content from the internet flowing onto my TV, without some laptop being awkwardly hooked up somewhere. And then it started going wrong. My wireless network wasn’t pumping out enough bandwidth for me to watch this in HD quality, causing a lot of buffering and a little “hey, maybe you should turn HD off” message to appear.

Using Flickr as a Blog

Recently I noticed a couple friends using Flickr essentially as a blog where there’s a decent amount of text corresponding to the images. James added a playlist (which is worth a listen btw) and link to an image while Chris used a photo and video set to display and explain a process sketch. While adding text to an image in Flickr isn’t new I was struck at how close in time I noticed both of them using Flickr for more than just photos. I also thought it was interesting to compare this to how something wouldn’t work like this in Facebook. While people using Flickr do have the option to make something private it just feels more shareable and less intrusive than with other walled gardens.

At the moment we’re living in a fragmented media world. There’s so many tools that basically function the same to publish content. What defines each product is how others can find it, save it and talk about it. With James’ playlist it also found a place on his blog. For comparison I took a screen shot of the same content displayed on Big American Night. I follow James both on Flickr and RSS with his blog so I probably wasn’t going to miss this playlist. But for those that don’t have the inclination trying to follow all methods of publishing it presents a challenge. Is there one tool that can aggregate and display meaningful information that maintains the uniqueness of each platform while making it easy to discover stuff while saving time for the publisher not having to reformat content a million times?

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