Imagine it’s 15 years in the future, and you’re wearing Google Glass 3.0. The spectacles have matured far beyond their awkward picture-in-picture beginnings, now offering something much closer to true augmented reality. It’s a strange new hybrid world. You glance at a subway station and see an overlay of how long until the next train arrives. You look at a dog, wonder what type it is, and a voice in your ear identifies it as a Thai Ridgeback. Of course, commerce has kept apace. A window display at Macy’s comes to life when you look in its direction; a virtual billboard on top of the Starbucks facade rotates through a half dozen drink specials.
This future, or one like it, isn’t hard to fathom. But here’s something that’s a bit harder to pin down: What does the logo on that Starbucks look like?
That’s one of the things Hendrix hopes this project will get his designers to start considering. “We haven’t had to think about responsive identities,” he says. “We haven’t had to think about time or space. And I think those will all become more important dimensions.”
“The complexity of this conversation to this point has been: ‘Do we animate or do we not animate?’” he continues. But augmented reality—or really any interactive digital space in which a brand tries to do something more than simply announce its presence—poses all sorts of challenges. “How do you express [a mark] physically and digitally? What kind of life does it have? How is it born in that moment, and how does it go away? How does it tell you why it’s there? Those are all really interesting questions.”
But to see it as simply a matter of whiz-bang animated logos is too shortsighted. What Ideo’s really searching for is a better way of communicating in general—an identity system flexible enough to work in countless new situations, across myriad channels. “It’s a complex idea, but I think it’s actually a more human idea,” Hendrix says. “And that’s what we’re trying to work towards; a more human way of expressing identity.”
In practical UI, you are trying to give the user an elegant way to make choices. With film UI, I am trying to give the viewer the illusion of choice. I am trying to deliberately direct the viewers eye to whatever story point the director wants revealed at the time he wants it revealed. The job becomes more about illustration, especially in post where we can see how the interface is framed within the shot. We paint a small part of a much bigger picture, and our work needs to visually support what’s on screen so that we don’t disrupt the rhythm of the viewing experience.
I love film UI
Adobe has just announced its first hardware initiative, a pressure sensitive stylus and an electronic ruler that will tightly integrate with its software applications. The company’s Project Mighty stylus and Napoleon ruler have been showcased connecting to an iPad and iPhone over Bluetooth. The pen works similarly to existing styluses, but when working alongside Napoleon, the two tools can be used to create curved and angled shapes in a way that would be difficult to do with existing third-party styluses.
Watch the Oblivion GFX Montage; you always need something to aim for. I opened up Processing for the first time today in over a year, took a look at the minim library for processing sound and started writing down the logic to build a photo-based oscillator app. Can’t promise big things, but I can promise small steps and big dreams.
I love movie UI
Changing role of user research in the UX design process?
By Mark Vanderbeeken
During the Interactions 13 conference in Toronto, Paul Adams of Facebook advocated a radically different development cycle than the “ideal” user-centered one (qualitative user research first, then modelling and concept development, followed by prototyping, testing, and iteration). Instead he proposed a much faster cycle, which discards the initial user research entirely: first quick hypothesis development (based on data mining, heuristic knowledge and culling from existing behavioral research), followed by immediate prototyping, development and implementation, and then a series of fast iterations through A/B testing.
We heard similar comments from other companies and consultants - particularly in Silicon Valley - where people tell us that conventional user research is too slow and too expensive now that they have all these data that they can unleash algorithms on.
We want to open this observation to the community and discuss with you if you have heard or experienced similar assessments on the role of UX research, and in what fields in particular. Is a new trend emerging (or an old one resurging)? Are some of us changing our UX research offering in response to that? Or is it a false problem, based on unrealistic expectations on what data mining and algorithms can achieve? In any case, how do you then react to your clients (or management) asserting this new way of working?
Here’s what the internet looked like in 1995, according to an episode of the PBS show Computer Chronicles. You don’t even have to watch the whole thing if you don’t want. It’s worth it to see the still-active host, Stewart Cheifet, talk about logging on to “your favorite newsgroups” while sitting in a coffee shop with a giant desktop computer in front of him. At least he knew what he was talking about, unlike Bryant Gumbel. (ht Mental Floss)
This is brilliant!!!
The forefront of the Internet! I love looking at things like this to see how right or wrong we were at predicting, modifying, evolving or contradicting what exists today.
My favorite part was about 4/5ths of the way through when the guy talks about teaching people how to create webpages. The interactivity needs the combination of art and technology to create a new type of medium. This is exactly the birth of UI/UX design. It’s the combination of aesthetics, usability, design and technology to create a seemless yet enhanced method of looking at and interacting with information
Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy! - Louis CK
This video is all about that. It’s a great look at how transhumanism’s philosophies talk of how technology can help humans be better humans. The argument is that like Futurama, we are just as flawed, just as confused and just as normal even with incredible technology all around us.
So You’ve Discovered the Importance of Good Design. Don’t Make These Mistakes
By Bruce Nussbaum
It seems like famously engineering-centric cultures like Google are trying to integrate design thinking into their way of doing things. Even the traditionally conservative Harvard Business School now has a new multi-million-dollar I-Lab building (take that, Stanford D-school!) and recently hosted an inaugural design conference. The federal government too is undertaking initiatives to add design to its toolkit.
However, as a veteran of this space — who has both long observed and participated in such moves — I’ve been disappointed to see the same ole, same ole thinking about design.
By now, most global corporations (and especially the consumer-focused ones) have already tried, used, rejected, or replaced fossilized design techniques. My concern is that while these organizations move on, others who are just discovering the need for design in their worlds will start from the place so many of us passed long ago. For example, by engaging in endless debates about design thinking or what design really is (and isn’t).
The problem can be traced back to the dogma of design: a collective set of notions built up over the past decade about brainstorming, user focus, failing, unmet needs, and prototyping. These ideas were once radical but are now conventional and not necessarily useful, because we need to move beyond what is now the shallow language of design towards the underlying competency: “creative intelligence.” A sort of CQ where before there was only IQ and EQ; all objective ways to measure such competencies.
We need to move away from the outdated relics of design and towards creative competence, beginning with the following.
Not Failing Fast and Often
“Fail fast, fail often” is more mantra than meaning. It’s pure Silicon Valley startup jargon that has made its way into design thinking. This fetishism of failure actually has no place in the creative worlds of media, fashion, food, film, art, branding, or even in most technology startups.
It confuses iterating with failing. It also misses the learning aspect of failure; many successes include remnants of early iterations (not failures per se). And finally, it conflates the idea of failing once or twice with failing often. Try failing four times in Silicon Valley and then see what happens! Worse, this mantra glorifies a culture of dealing with failure that works for middle and upper class Harvard and Stanford students or rich entrepreneurs — but not for the vast majority of America.
This is where we need to displace failing and classic problem-solving techniques with a kind of playing. Done well, games can help us see complex social and economic challenges as different outcomes, pushing us to perhaps discover the most unexpected outcome is the best one. This is also where pivoting is key. Oh, not just in the cliché lean startup sense or the valley jargon of “we pivoted” — but actually taking innovation and scaling it to production, pivoting from creativity to capitalism. That’s the job of people (I call them “wanderers”) with access to financial and market resources who can help curate new concepts and place bets on which will succeed.
Beyond Brainstorming and Sticky Notes
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a swarm of yellow sticky notes filling the air, alighting and buzzing around like bees shifting on a whiteboard surface. With people yelling out dozens of ideas in a room. This is brainstorming at its most intense … and most inane. Sticky-note thinking is so yesterday: It’s a design process invented in the 1930s and copied from the advertising industry. Many have since resoundingly punctured its utility; Keith Sawyer for example shared research in Group Genius where people tended to keep their best ideas to themselves, instead tossing out their second- and third-tier guesses.
But the point of brainstorming isn’t about getting a broader set of ideas. As design consultancy Continuum CEO Harry West shared with me, “We are not interested in random ideas. We are not interested in a hundred ideas, but … in the right idea which can align a complete solution.” Brainstorming focuses too much on the idea and not on the right solution. The other problem with brainstorming is that it focuses on unmet needs instead of culturally meaningful context.
This is why I propose knowledge mining,where we look for what we embody and learn as culturally meaningful — this approach reconnects us to the ideas of John Dewey, Maria Montessori, and the roots of design. This is also where making elbows aside strategizing and thinking-without-doing. Low-cost digital fabrication, crowdfunding, and a shift back to the joys of craft move us beyond just designing minds …. to designing hands.
Teamwork That Actually Works
Think wide. Think options. Think fast. This was the charter for small multidisciplinary teams led by designers. It was standard operating procedure for design in the 1990s, yet how many companies still do this, are beginning to try this now, or list it as a cultural competence and selling point?
Throwing together strangers into a team doesn’t lead to much creativity. While their efforts are appreciated, their output is benignly insignificant. We now know that teams need trust, familiarity, and deep domain knowledge to actually produce innovation. Good creative groups are like bands or sports teams — intense, intimate, emotional — who can intuit each other.
Furthermore, such teams need to link up to the wanderers who make their living bringing ideas to life. These wanderers include talent scouts, coaches, lab chiefs, VCs, curators, and agents whose job it is to provide scale, offer financing, and help make connections to an audience. (Sometimes, wanderers aren’t individual people but communities like Kickstarter.)
We need to move away from the outdated relics of design and towards creative competence.
By shifting away from the dogma of design to the competency of creativity, business managers, designers, and creatives of all kinds gain the ability to: (1) identify and assess creative intelligence; and (2) replace outdated, unproven techniques with fresh concepts that tap into rich veins of social literature and commentary.
These veins underlie the very social movements that motivate and drive us. Take, for example, “User Experience” (or “UX”). It is a bedrock concept in design, especially valuable to digital and technology companies. But it is based on a design culture of the 1950s, where passive consumers “experience” something provided by someone else.
One of the biggest social movements today is participation — and the active making of our identities and products by ourselves. We have the tools to make. We insist on participating. We’re patrons, givers, and financiers; we’re advisors and community builders. In this context, UX becomes passé as a design concept. It should really be “User Engagement” (or “UE”), because that concept reflects one of the social movements we live in.
Once we embrace this shift, we move into richer understanding of aura, charisma, ritual, ceremony, play, spectacle — classic social movement concepts that serve up meaningful descriptions of the interplay between people and things, people and people. Instead of being born into our social engagements, we create and reframe them as we go.
Bruce Nussbaum is Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons The New School of Design and former assistant managing editor of Businessweek. Nussbaum is author of the forthcoming book Creative Intelligence.