July 10, 2011

People staring at computers

Artist Kyle McDonald installed a program on computers in two New York Apple Store locations that automatically takes a photo every minute. Now his personal computers have been confiscated by the US Secret Service. Was it worth it? Well he’s famous now!

Apple have taken over so many people’s lives. Nice to see someone that give them a taste of their own medicine. Hold on, I just have to check my iPhone…

May 6, 2011

Month of Tweets # 4

April was a month of Easter Eggs, Royal Weddings and other equally forgettable things. But so as not to forget some of the cool things I tweeted last month here is a round up of the best…

Very cool… RT @adenhepburn: New Digital Buzz Post: Xbox Kinect: Become Your Own Souvenir! http://bit.ly/dGeMG4

  • I love Kinect hacks and 3D printing so put them together and I am in digital heaven!

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Sweet… RT @PeteFyfe: This is quite smart. 3D projection mapping on a small scale for Vodafone: http://bit.ly/fC5ZRy

  • We are seeing more innovative uses of 3D projection mapping being the big brashy building projections being watched by pretty agency girls. This one is very cool.

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Gaming for a good cause – some great examples. RT @simonmainwaring: Zynga: How the virtual world can save the real world. http://ow.ly/4z1M5

  • We all know how casual gaming is a huge market and this article shows how this audience has a heart as well as spare time to waste growing virtual cabbages and such.

Interesting stuff… RT @ktroia: Razorfish5: Technologies That Will Change The Business of Brands http://ow.ly/1cbUGE

  • I don’t mind plugging other agencies as long as they are sharing great articles like this one…

Ads that analyze and target you personally – interesting article on CNN http://bit.ly/fTq4nQ

  • Immersive Labs have developed a system where your computer analyses your face to target ads just for you. Will this take off or will people think this is taking things too far?

Everyone copies, Apple included. It’s how you do it that matters – article on The Telegraph UK http://bit.ly/hS8uao

  • With Apple likely to be the most valuable company on the planet before too long it is interesting to read how they didn’t get there by being original – just by copying better than anyone else.

I like… RT @ThePersuader: Brilliant use of #RFID helps #Renaultbring Facebook ‘Likes’ to life [Video]. Love it! http://ow.ly/4G7Xg

  • In the future we will probably all be “liking” things in the real world by swiping our mobile phones. Is this a taste of what’s to come or just a gimmick?

Very cool… Nike Software Turns Runners’ Footsteps Into Loopy, Swooshy Paintings – on FastCo Design http://bit.ly/euXxOr

  • This kind of project really excites me even though I know that it would only appeal to a limited audience. But who cares? it’s looks fantastic.

They shoot they score… RT @contagiousmag: Heineken hits the back of the net with the launch of Star Player from @AKQA http://j.mp/mq4ET6

  • Could this be the future of an different kind of interactive TV experience?

I usually end with a smile but thought I’d buck the trend with this sad tale of a fantastic agency that has closed its doors due to some unfortunate circumstances. Thanks for inspiring us Modernista!

Sad story… RT @Adweek: The rise and fall of Modernista.http://bit.ly/k9jEfb

November 25, 2010

The rise of the iAd

This is the latest iAd from Nissan. Not sure where this demo video was used but it shows how engaging iAds can be. Nissan is clearly trying hard to get this new medium to work for them as this comes hot on the wheels of their Nissan Leaf iAd.

Here’s another one from Liberty Mutual around the theme of being responsible. It is built around their message that “people want to do the right thing. Now we’re making it just a little bit easier for them to live more responsible lives”.

With the announcement of iPad magazines and newspapers from Rupert Murdoch and Richard Branson we will hopefully see more creativity being spent on developing really smart uses of this new new media.

October 14, 2010

Principles of Good Design

In this fascinating video we get a glimpse of the 10 principles of good design as set out by legendary designer Dieter Rams. You can easily apply these principles to any design discipline – not just product or industrial design. Let’s take a look how they can help guide design in the digital space:

Good design is innovative.

Definitely something that defines our digital age where everyone is striving to offer new ways for people to interact with brands or content. The app phenomenon is a perfect example where the constraints of the screen size is causing people to think differently about the user experience. Flipboard for iPad is a great showcase of innovation where all your social media content is repackaged beautifully.

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Good design makes a product useful.

Utility through digital means is still a hot topic for marketers and for agencies like AKQA and R/GA who’s Nike ID work exemplifies the philosphy of making things useful.

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Good design is aesthetic.

Apple has certainly taken a lot of inspiration from Dieter Rams and this extends to their websites. As we can see in this blog post their aesthetics have inspire many other websites.

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Good design helps us to understand a product.

Usability has been important in digital since the very beginning and is still influencing how people design for the computer screen and for mobile devices. Good digital design should be intuitive and quick to comprehend. People won’t waste their time if a website is confusing.

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Good design is unobtrusive.

Dieter Rams believed that Less is More and while a lot of websites can go to the opposite extreme there are many that believe in keeping things pure. On the Obox Design blog we can see some great example of design being unobtrusive.


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Good design is honest.

Online you can easily be pulled up for using design elements that are untrue or badly Photoshopped. Make sure you keep an honest eye or it could backfire like this example from Microsoft.

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Good design is durable.

Unfortunately the digital world falls flat on its face here when we look at sites from the recent past that certainly don’t stand up today. But some sites will look as good in 5 years as they do today.

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Good design is consequent to the last detail.

“Pixel perfect” would be a term that Dieter Rams would no doubt love. But do we spend enough time thinking about every detail of a website? Take a look at some D&AD winners to see what keeping an eye on the detail looks like.


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Good design is concerned with the environment.

This principle is a little hard to apply to the digital realm. But you can still design responsibly and cater for people with certain needs though accessible design principles.

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Good design is as little design as possible.

Very hard to achieve but beautiful when realised as this collection of sites prove – on the Minimal Sites blog.

July 8, 2010

Week of Tweets #15

Last update before the holidays. Things have been a little quiet after all the Cannes fuss died down. But there were still a few gems…

RT @glueisobar: Nice campaign for Dulux: have a read of the blog and watch the film in HD on YouTube. http://www.letscolourproject.com

  • It’s been a while since anyone has “Done a Sony” but this campaign by Euro RSCG London does it and more. They are actually making the world a brighter place too.

Inspiring. RT @davidgillespie: Designing the Design Problem – Nice deck from Frog Design’s David Sherwin.

Great thoughts… RT @RobMurrayUK: RT @albionlondon: Albion Blog: How do you make something go viral?! http://bit.ly/bv9Omh by @p6_ndp
  • Good advice including – Launch at exactly the right time, make people want to share it, make it simple to share it and hit the influencers. Read the full article here.
Hilarious rant (with some painful truths) RT @PSFK: George Parker: Should We Can Cannes? http://su.pr/2TcVqH
  • I love it when people get angry. Here is one classic quote about the bean counter in advertising, “Their concern is about how many people can I lay off this week before I collect my performance bonus, stuff it into my numbered bank account beneath the sidewalks of Zurich, and flee the country before the fucking wheels fall off my so-called “Agency of the Future.” An exercise otherwise known as free-market capitalism”.

Another great cover. RT @mattbuchanan fantastic @Newyorker cover. Cute, and then it socks you in the gut: http://bit.ly/djMDEG

How Nike keep doing it… RT @danpankraz: #nike ‘we don’t do advertising, we do cool stuff’ http://bit.ly/2LY7ON
  • Very few brands achieve the same kind of status in the consumer’s mind as Nike. They say it is by “an underlying commitment to their core brand idea, having inspiration and innovation as core values and being part of the customer’s life, infusing the brand into the cultural consciousness” and more…
iLike! RT @PSFK: What An iAd Looks Like http://su.pr/2W9GpL

  • Looks like the iAd is going to be the next big money spinner for Apple. Don’t you wish you’d bought shares before in good old 1999?

Layar killer? Qualcomm unveils augmented reality platform for Google Android phones – at http://bit.ly/9tsF7B

  • You don’t here much about Qualcomm but this could be a good way for them to find a new niche. Until people get bored looking at the world through their phone screens.

Small screen 3D. NYTimes: Did a Speeding Car Just Jump Out of My Cellphone? http://nyti.ms/cFpg3u

  • Meanwhile, mobile phones are going 3D!

and finally…

This may be my last blog post because: Prince: ‘The internet is completely over’. The purple one speaks out… http://bit.ly/aRP1ff

June 17, 2010

Google Box

So this is how Google sees the future of TV. Maybe they could hire a few interface designers from Apple because this looks as ugly as hell. Then again, if the rumours are true, Apple could soon be reinventing their own Apple TV so it knocks the sock off this. Meanwhile, Yahoo are also playing in this space and this could mean that web-enabled TV will be the new battle ground for the big players because the mobile war just isn’t enough.

May 28, 2010

iPad 2015

With people queuing for the new iPad and Apple surpassing Microsoft as the most valuable technology company, you have to wonder where things will go in the future for a company many thought was dead in the water 15 years ago. If you look at the first generation iPod from 2001 and compare it to the iPod touch of today it is clearly shows a quantum leap in capabilities and possibilities. In this article Henry Blodget has some interesting thoughts about the iPad’s future but we can imagine something so much bigger. So let’s fast forward five years and try to picture how the iPad might evolve…

iPads everywhere

In the same way that some people call any vacuum cleaner a Hoover, slate devices from manufacturers like DELL and HP could be referred to as “iPads”. Will Apple try to ban people from using the term for anything other than their own devices? Is that the police banging down your door? In the future the iPad OS might be in the cloud and no matter which device you pick up, if you are a true iPad user your thumb print will grant you access to your own iPad hub with all your preferences and content. Not an iPad user? You’ll be stuck with the Android version that will still look like clipart hell. Even though you are accessing your iPad hub via your friend’s DELL slate the experience will (of course) be slower and the screen less bright. Apple will always try to make sure their hardware is one step ahead. Next time you are visiting friends remember to bring your own iPad.

Free iPads

Today colour printers cost very little as companies like HP and Canon make a fortune on ink cartridges. With Apple making more and more money from apps, advertising and content they could actually give away the iPad but make it useless if you don’t get all your content from them. In this scenario you would see iPads lying around in Starbucks waiting to be picked up so you can access your own iPad hub with all your music, magazine subscriptions and secure access to your social network.

iAd therefore iAm

We’ve seen a preview of the iAd solution from Apple. Five years from now it will be so sophisticated that it will know everything about you, where you are and what you are doing next. In this article from Oren Frank he imagines a predictive context device that knows your every want and need. Brands will be clamouring to be part of this holy grail of advertising. They will be able to target the right person at the right time and place with the right message for them. They still won’t be able to use Flash in their ads but it really won’t matter. How about privacy in all this? Well of course people will be able to opt out. But those who do will soon regret it as their lives will be a lot poorer and empty. In the iAd future there will be a new class of people – the sponsored few. If you’re not connected to your favourite brands then who are you? Oh, and of course Apple would have bought Facebook by 2015 with instant access to all the personal data that comes with it.

How do you see the iPad evolving in the next 5 years? Or will it just be a flash in the pan?

February 3, 2010

Week of Tweets #6

Time for another round up of the tweets/retweets I made this past week that I think deserve a second viewing…

I’m watching… RT @adamcoomes: The future of the web: trends to watch http://is.gd/6Xgxf

  • Interesting Mashable article – What the Web of Tomorrow Will Look Like: 4 Big Trends to Watch. It will be accessible anywhere, will not focus around the computer, will be media-centric and social media will be its largest component. Read it all here.

Video- The Dawn of Apple’s Dominance: Digital Hub Strategy 2001, Revisited. http://bit.ly/9OxVFy

  • In 2001 Steve Jobs set out his vision for the future… and it hasn’t deviated. Read the article.

Good points RT @Razorfish: Why most digital ads still fail to be effective (via @adagehttp://bit.ly/b85JEO

  • They are too complex. They take too long to get to the point. They are ambiguous. They are visually bland — or, worse, ugly…. and the list goes on.

Great RT @gracesmith: Better User Experience With Storytelling http://is.gd/7ixIu is really fantastic article (via @jankowarpspeed)

  • Smashing magazine always has great content. This is no exception.

Thanks! RT @ScottSeaborn: DigitalBuzz Slideshare: 2010 Youth Trends Report: If you’re looking for some insights…http://bit.ly/cUi6nq

2010 Youth Trends Report Part1

  • Check out the other presentations here.
and some wisdom to send you on your way…
Great quote RT @BBHLabs: “I like the wisdom of crowds but I don’t like the output of crowds” Michael Lebowitz of @bigspaceship at #smw
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iPadvertising

With all those empty spaces appearing on websites viewed by iPad users, it clearly wasn’t going to be long before advertisers saw an opportunity. The little blue brick icon representing a missing plugin was the perfect invitation for Lego to develop the first Flash-free iPadvertising…

ipad-lego

January 29, 2010

iPad hearts Gifs

oclzjWithin minutes of the iPad announcement from Apple, the blogs and Twittersphere lit up with complaints about what it lacked rather than what it offered. No camera, multi-tasking etc. One of the biggest gripes (even from Adobe itself) is the continued lack of support for Flash. The iPad isn’t the ultimate web surfing experience if you don’t have access to all those amazing Flash websites, videos and (dare I say it?) banners.

Of course, with all Flash banners you are expected to provide a gif backup just in case the user has no Flash plugin. Now those poor, neglected gifs will be taking centre stage on the iPad.

felixwalkLet’s take a little walk back in time to the early days of the web when 12k gif banners were all you had to play with. To steal from a blog post by Valerie Potter of Computerworld.com “the venerable GIF89a image format, released by CompuServe in 1989, allowed you to store multiple images in the same file; the images being displayed one after another, like a flipbook. It’s was great format for simple animations. Animated GIFs were immensely popular in the Web’s early years. They were quick to load (which was of paramount importance when most people were using dial-up), often silly and usually lots of fun”. The Dole gif banner at the top was not an example of how gifs usually looked – 928k not being the norm.

coffeeSo here’s the challenge to digital creatives everywhere. Don’t forget the humble gif after spending hours making the coolest Flash banner. Your gif may not be a direct translation of your Flash banner either because it probably won’t work. Think about the limitations of the gif animation and adapt your concept accordingly. Hey, you may even surprise yourself and come up with something like this from Almap BBDO in brazil. Their Coffee Piloa banner was deceptively simple and won a Gold Lions at Cannes. It shows milk continually pouring into a cup of black coffee, but the coffee never changes colour. The message? This is strong coffee.

So maybe the gif is going to have a comeback! Your younger interactive designer may not even have heard of them and will laugh like kids seeing a vinyl record. But sometimes you can do an awful lot with just very little. The only downside? Perhaps only those using the iPad will get to see the result.