Categories
creativity design digital technology video clip ways of use

design as building invisibility

government uk screen shot

“Something we’re trying to do in particular is let design get out of the way and let the user get to what they want,” Terrett says. “You shouldn’t come to the website and go: ‘wow, look at the graphic design’. We haven’t yet achieved that in most web interfaces; they’re still getting in the way [and] you can see the graphic design everywhere. We need to get past that.”

– Ben Terrett, Government Digital Service, UK

Design is a multifaceted word/occupation/skill/mindset/purpose/tool/thing/etc. Being much about removing as much as possible, making things invisible, takes it into a very interesting place. A place where Google has been for very long, but very few brands would consider worth going. A place where many art directors would freeze to death, yet a place many artists have lived. A place where minimalism is a close relative.

“I don’t know if I want to make any strong predictions, but I hope that technology disappears more and more from my life and you forget that you’re using it all the time instead of feeling like you’re burdened [by it].”

– Alexander Chen, Google Creative Labs

Whether or not this makes you sad, it kinda indicates what you pride yourself in doing, and what design is to you. If design is making things prettier or more useful. One designer (definition 1) could design useful, human centric service, and another designer (definition 2) could make that design “pretty”. Both say they’ve done their “design duties”. Personally, working in strategy, and creativity that activates that for brands, I’m very much for being purpose driven and hence defining what you do by what happens, the outcome. Everything in-between is a means, and really quite unimportant for very long in a project. The in-betweens, for all I care, can be invisible.

“We’re trying to get design out of the way” from Dezeen on Vimeo.

Categories
internet just a reflection social media ways of use

over-sharing, filter failure and yahoo

In short, Web 3.0 is fuelling greed for attention (validation) and I felt that I was falling into the same exhibitionist trap as everyone else. I tried to explain this to a journalist who was interviewing me about connectivity last week, but she was having none of it. The future, as far as she was concerned, was social and if you are not part of this epidemic of over-sharing you clearly have something of substance to hide.

Richard Watson, Why I’m feeling anti-social

In Over sharing, “over” is subjective. What is too much for someone is not necessarily too much for someone else (here’s where filter failure sits). The part of over sharing that is the pressure and behavior to publish or share something with frequency just because, as with a news organization which, of course, cannot stand still, I think we’ll see less of (not because “they” post less, but algorithms and filtering – so we’ll see less of it, not exist less of it). However, the simplicity of sharing what is phatic communication isn’t really a decision to produce and post anything of real value, but an instinct and reaction and will continue to overwhelm us.

It is writers, thinkers, publishers who enjoy a following because of their focused and thought through work (presentations, posts, rants etc) who are the root of this very real problem of over sharing. Having a set publishing/post frequency is ridiculous. You simply cannot know you have interesting things to share once a day. And why should you?

I hate the fact that google reader is being discontinued. RSS thinking is the way publishers, bloggers should be thinking and not like news organisations (not entirely true if you make ad money from blogging, and daily visitors count). We’ll hear from you when you have something smart to say, if you don’t, don’t.

I think Yahoo, being much more than search (The core of Yahoo nicely explored here, by Dan Petty), should take it upon them to really innovate in this area. People in some media/communications related industry are devout RSS-users, but the widespread usage is most likely overrated. That should change. On Facebook you don’t go to friends’ profiles to see what’s happened, it shows up. Why should anyone have to go to different websites daily? It’s the content I want, and I want to consume it through one interface/control center. There’s much someone like Yahoo could do here. The advertising issue/possibilities included.

Update 2013-03-26; and yes, Yahoo takes another step on the way in buying Summly. Perhaps.

Categories
creativity design digital technology video clip ways of use

brutal focus, simplicity and consequence

An example of brutal simplicity and great (for some) value is this little alarm clock that goes off if it’s sunny, and you really should get outside, and doesn’t if the weather is shit. Perfect for weekends and holidays.

Nivea Sun, Sun Alarm App from AgênciaClick Isobar on Vimeo.

do your exercise or experience blackout

Slightly more advanced idea here, but brutally focused and determined to actually work. Many digital services can fail at solving the real “flesh life problem” because they can be forgotten about, overlooked or – due to laziness and self-deception – not used enough or discontinued altogether. Sure, positive motivational drivers can be effective or maybe even more effective than threat of loss, but that’s another discussion.

From PSFK:

The FitBit tracker is able to monitor and log in various activities such as steps taken, amount of sleep, and calories burned. The hack works by connecting WeMo, an Internet-controlled power outlet, to the FitBit device. When a certain goal isn’t achieved, the power outlet automatically turns off, shutting down connected electronic devices like a gaming console, computer, or even the fridge.

The online/offline marriage is really interesting when the two, if you will, have real consequences and effects for each other should [criteria] not be met. The quantified-self-fork from this years’ CES is one example where this is highly relevant. Let’s call it real life gamification, where the game ain’t necessarily all fun…

Categories
digital internet just a reflection social media technology video clip ways of use

another kind of 2.0

I’ve recently come across quite a few articles and posts about technology, social media and how we use it and how it effects us. Not seldom in a negative way. Unsurprisingly there’s an upswing at the end of a year and beginning of a new. Wise to stop, and reflect over life in general. How to get more time over. Stay in better contact. Or the opposite. There’s this post (swedish) about digital downshifting and how it’s a trend and this post about Adam Brault quitting Twitter for a month, reflecting over the Dunbar number and how twitter is “outsourced schizophrenia”.

Twitter is outsourced schizophrenia. I have a couple hundred voices I have consensually agreed to allow residence inside my brain

In conversations about interfaces, interaction and the roll of the internet in peoples’ lives, I keep arguing that the most used interaction method will be close to invisible. I don’t agree with those saying “touch is the ultimate method” because it demands of me that I’m interested in interacting.

Walking around on a sunday thinking about maybe going to the modern museum doesn’t mean that I want to interact with my fingers – all I want to know is the opening hours and what exhibitions are on. All I need is an answer. In a far future, when a chip is in my brain, and the internet knowledge is indistinguishable from my “flesh knowledge” questions thought are questions asked – and answered. Internet – interacting.

So I found this film very interesting. A very true 2.0 about technology is more about it being a bit boring. It’s when most of it is invisible. When it’s so obvious that we all can do almost everything but why should we.

Connecting (Full Film) from Bassett & Partners on Vimeo.

Categories
design digital just a reflection technology ways of use

urbanized technology

Some interesting thoughts, on the urban design note, from this year’s Picnic festival; urbanized technology. How cities “hack” technology that doesn’t take the context, i.e. city, into account. One example being the car, which isn’t utilized in the city in a way that the technicians behind it would have prescribed, if you will. Kind of makes sense. The new cars of today, the hybrids and the electrical ones, can be said to much better take this context into account. A hybrid runs on batteries in city environment and city driving; made possible not only because we have to cut down on fossil fuel usage, but because we know what city driving is like and so technicians and engineers take that into account.

It feels like much of the technological advancements we’re making today is about urbanizing technology. Or perhaps better explained; making technology contextually interactive. Giving data based on usage, and taking in data based on context. Urbanized technology is kind of the next step in every technology used. So we haven’t failed before, we just haven’t been there. Technology has been sand-boxed, whereas now it’s acting in an “object oriented programming” type of way. Manipulating other objects, and being manipulated by them.

Categories
flicks just a reflection ways of use

bean shaped luxury

There’s big luxury and then there’s small luxury. One of my luxuries is freshly ground coffee on Saturday and Sunday. I can’t be bothered during a work week. It’s a good idea to identify what your small luxuries are because you get more luxury in your life without breaking your wallet or going round the world. It also helps if you remind yourself that it’s luxury and not just ordinary. Just like advertising increases perceived value, and hence real value, so can reminding yourself about your small, everyday luxuries. I believe. You could also call it fooling yourself, In which case I don’t mind.

Categories
brand digital just a reflection social media strategy video clip ways of use

amex, small businesses and the concept of sponsorship

I vote for this guy not only because it looks delicious but because he seems like such a great guy.

But It’s a tight race because these guys are doing exactly what I’m missing; fast food that’s good for you. I just want some good ol’ fashion husmanskost on the go, but all I can find is fat dripping pizza on every damn corner. Hate that.

And I’m very impressed with the Amex Open Forum initiative and the momentum they have. Even though I’m disappointed by the card (at least in Sweden and online). From the small business saturday idea (below), to partnering with Facebook to provide “an Amex way” of paying for ads, and Vote Big Break above.

Being involved in a sponsorship strategy for another big global American brand, I can’t but help but reflect over the role of sponsorship. Simplified being about 1, brand awareness, and letting context/sponsored event/team/sport/etc indicate what the brand supports and affiliates itself with and thus 2, manifest position/meaning by getting a brand attribute rub-off effect. But there’s so many examples of very weak sponsorship strategies where all you get is your logo out there with very little meaning attached to this.

Not so long ago, It was impossible for Amex to do what they’re doing here, which is sponsoring small businesses and everything that comes with that; having to struggle, be a smart marketer (perhaps first time at it), smart with money, doing a bit of everything (balance sheets and tax laws anyone?), and being frustrated with hardly making ends meet. Sponsoring them by doing things for them is something that simply could not be done before. Not with this massive reach and impact. To a large extent this falls under sponsoring in my book. Supportive sponsoring. Extremely targeted and relevant. I think the concept of sponsoring is changing quite a bit.

Categories
design digital technology video clip ways of use

arduino – a perfect open source wedding

Hadn’t seen the documentary about the Arduino project before. I was struck by the the 3D printer built on open hardware Arduino, printing open source coat hangers and how this is the ultimate wedding of the connectedness, collaboration and openness of the internet, and how that is power in numbers. I’ve been facinated by MIT Media Lab for a long time, so was happy to find that representatives of MEDEA Collaborative Media Initiative down in Malmö, Sweden, were part of the Arduino project, although started in Ivrea in Italy (Arduin being an important character for the city of Ivrea) and soon consisting of a great mix of people and co-collaborators. Watch the film, there’s an interesting story behind the hardware and an inspiring case of collaboration across boarders, based on mutual interest.

Arduino The Documentary (2010) English HD from gnd on Vimeo.

Categories
business creativity digital ideas internet media technology video clip ways of use

being buyable takes mental and physical availability


Found at adverblog

This is an absolut brilliant take on the physical availability aspect, and it’s overall genius problem solving. And, knock on wood, one of the few examples of great use of QR codes, as more often than not they just constitute a higher barrier to entry (bit.ly/reveal is much better and memorable, and device independent, than a QR code that you leave behind when the bus comes…). It’s a school book example and highlights the advertising ideas vs. marketing ideas chapter, and the importance of mastering and understanding technology (and of course usage and penetration of it, which in this case is quite high given it’s South Korea) and how it can be used based on current behaviours. Mind-blowingly great I say. And it ends up being physical digital physical availability which is twisted concept.

Categories
advertising brand digital media social media video clip ways of use

it’s more fun to run the scull

As usual some really great work from Nike. Even though we’ve seen the idea and the mechanics before, it doesn’t make it less good, engaging and effective for the people activated. And I love the offline/online aspects of ideas like this. A physical run turns digital graffiti turns t-shirt.