Bill Moggridge Would’ve Been 70 Today: The Designer of the First Laptop on Human-Centered Design | Brain Pickings

Today is Bill Moggridge’s birthday. He would have been 70. Don’t know who he is? He’s the inventor of the first laptop, championed interaction design and co-founded IDEO among other things. In short, he’s a complete bad ass!!!

Maria Popova wrote a great article on him today which is basically a summary of an interview Bill gave for Debbie Millmans latest book, Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

The article takes the best of the interview and strings it together to paint a very clear picture of Bill’s philosophy and wisdom.

I’ve pulled this quote specifically because I feel it’s important to remember that we live and breath design and creativity everyday and our clients don’t. Helping them learn and understand design better will benefit everyone in the relationship and it’s something we all can do.

“I don’t think that anyone has really told them what design is. It doesn’t occur to most people that everything is designed — that every building and everything they touch in the world is designed. Even foods are designed now.

[…]… So in the process of helping people understand this, making them more aware of the fact that the world around us is something that somebody has control of, perhaps they can feel some sense of control too. That’s a nice ambition.”

Here is the audio of the interview if you don’t have the time to read the article.

via Bill Moggridge Would’ve Been 70 Today: The Designer of the First Laptop on Human-Centered Design | Brain Pickings.

How Jony Ive’s Apple iOS 7 Hinders the Future of Design | Wired Opinion | Wired.com

John Maeda’s perspective on the debate being had around skeuomorphism (the design style used on the iPhone) versus flat design (the design style revealed for iOS 7 yesterday). Definitely worth the read. Here are two parts that stood out to me. (I added the emphasis)

“Design, like many disciplines, is about a diversity of approaches as soft solutions rather than hard truths. It’s a spectrum, not an either-or decision about whether to skeu or not to skeu.”

“For my part, I have always believed that simplicity is about doing both: subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful. The question, of course, is what is meaningful? — and the answer indeed depends on the cultural context and constraints of the decision being made or product being rendered.”

Finally, even though Google Glass is being received poorly, technology and specifically the hard ware is going to change radically and soon. Some day we’ll all be wondering why we lugged the laptops and phones around with us as we access the internet through our contact lens.

Here’s what Maeda has to say on the implications of future technology like a contact lens computer.

“In a hands-free, “eyes-free” interface world, this doesn’t mean removing a shadow or flattening a button. It means thinking way beyond the pattern of intensity rendered by pixels on a screen, to stop worrying about the dots-per-inch as if we cared to count the individual dots if we tried. Apple and other leaders in the design space should be thinking like the designers who are imagining a complete gesture-based operating system across an array of small and large display systems (like at Oblong). They should be playing with bytes, paper, and optics with a refined yet playful spirit of craftsmanship (like the folks at Berg).”

How Jony Ive's Apple iOS 7 Hinders the Future of Design | Wired Opinion | Wired.com.

82nd & Fifth | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This amazing experience – 82nd and Fifth – shows how to stay relevant as a museum in age of viewing everything through your device of choice. It’s also an amazing way to bring one the best museums in the world to those who can’t get to NYC in person!

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The site is going to present 100 pieces of art through the eyes of a curator. Each curated story is brought to life utilizing the best digital tech has to offer. From 360 rotating views to side-by-side detail comparisons to zoom-in-to-details the site allows you to experience the art almost although you were at the museum looking at.

In short, ITS BRILLIANT!

82nd & Fifth | The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

REI 1440 Project – Celebrating every minute spent outside

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Creative and fun new experience by REI.

The concept is to celebrate every minute spent outside. Users submit photos with the place and time they were shot. REI then adds them to the site in chronological order by the minute.

The hope is to create a minute-by-minute timeline of a full 24 hours of outdoor experiences through photos.

It’s a fun idea with cool interface. It’s definitely worth checking out!

REI 1440 Project – Celebrating every minute spent outside.

Digital storytelling at its best

The New York Times has just raised the bar, really high, for digital storytelling with the publishing of “Snow Fall: Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.” Beyond the fact that this is a beautiful experience, well written story and seamless integration of multiple technologies this story has far reaching implications. Here are the three that are most important:

1. Maturity of the web. This marks a clear step forward for the web owning its own identity. It emphatically says, “the web is MORE than just print digitized.”

2. Long form content can be successful. When you make great content, regardless of length, people will consume it. We’ve already seen this time and again with the popularity of TED talks. I’m looking at this as the first step to slowing our web consumption down.

3. A move away from CMS only. The only way this story can be created is by moving outside of the current CMS for the NYT. This is important because it’s marking an increasing understanding and willingness to create custom content and then create an experience appropriate for that content as opposed to the standard, “just fit into the CM” way it’s done now.

What makes this experience so great? It’s a well written, engaging story told in six parts that seamlessly integrates video, slide shows, functionality and motion graphics. None of it seems forced. Nothing feels like an afterthought. It all works together to create an immersive experience that gives the reader the ability to choose how surface or deep they want to go into the story.

Here are some screen grabs from the story.

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 10.46.03 AMOpening screen: A looped video of snow drifting over the mountain. The type is exposed above the fold to invite the reader to scroll down.

 

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 10.46.10 AMInline video: Hear the story in their own words or just keep reading it’s up to you. Either way, the video is integrated brilliantly into the text. I also like the person name being highlighted in the text as an additional cue that there is something interactive to experience.

 

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 10.46.25 AMMotion graphics: Here is the first use of motion graphics with a beautiful and smooth 3D fly through of the mountain range allowing the reading to get familiar with the ski resort and the back country where the avalanche happened.

 

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 10.47.10 AM

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 10.47.37 AMInline slideshows: Character development is important piece of any good story. Here, the use of slide shows is perfect to get a more intimate knowledge and connection with the main characters of the story. Again, the names in the text are highlighted as an additional cue that there is something interactive to experience.

And, that’s only on the first page of six!

For a deeper dive into the thinking behind getting something like this done and what it might mean for storytelling on the web, here is a great article/interview with the Graphics Director Steve Duenes and Deputy Director, Digital Design Andrew Kueneman from NYT on the Atlantic.

So, what does all this mean for creative firms like us? To me, it’s presents an exciting opportunity to tell stories and communicate ideas in engaging and powerful ways. It also means educating our clients on the benefits of creating stories like this. We started to do it with Access Effect stories but, as you can see, there is A LOT more that can be done!

Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek – Multimedia Feature – NYTimes.com.

CSS Baseline: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly | Smashing Coding

Type on the web is evolving all the time. This article is another in the growing library of the possibilities to set type beautifully.

At the very least it’s worth the read from an awareness point of view.

CSS Baseline: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly | Smashing Coding.

If you’re feeling really geeky, check out this site that is adapting Bringhurst’s “Elements of Typographic Style” to the web. I found the part on kerning especially interesting. here is the link to the site The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web

Five Trends Driving Traditional Retail Towards Extinction – Forbes

These five trends highlight the steady march to a 100% complete digital life.

The one trend that really highlights just how completely digital our lives will be is the subscription purchases such as new razors that will auto purchase and ship at a set interval. No more stores at all.

At the very least, it would reduce C02 output because we are driving much less due to online purchasing.

Five Trends Driving Traditional Retail Towards Extinction – Forbes.

Fixing A Broken User Experience | Smashing UX Design

We run into this all the time. How to improve a user experience of completely broken system? Go backwards!

This process, while intuitively backwards, makes a lot of sense when dealing with legacy systems, design, development and experiences that are run by multiple departments and stakeholders.

Here is how the process breaks down:

Fixing A Broken User Experience | Smashing UX Design.

Fixing A Broken User Experience | Smashing UX Design

We run into this all the time. How to improve a user experience of completely broken system? Go backwards!

This process, while intuitively backwards, makes a lot of sense when dealing with legacy systems, design, development and experiences that are run by multiple departments and stakeholders.

Here is how the process breaks down:

Fixing A Broken User Experience | Smashing UX Design.