I just got back from Vancouver IxDA. Had a great time but seem to have kicked up a bit of a controversy by declaring that, as interaction designers, our medium is not technology – it's behavior. I must admit to a certain amount of surprise at the strong response, and I appreciate the immediate back up from my cohort, Jon Kolko (you can see my slides - mostly visuals - here). It is very interesting to me that this statement would seem controversial, even novel in this community. And I think it says a … Read more
I’m no patent expert, but it’s clear after a little research that patent laws were put into place for two reasons: 1) they want to encourage secretive inventors to stop stashing their cool ideas under a mattress somewhere and make them public and 2) they want to rock the boat. Apple has never been accused of keeping new ideas under wraps, but by securing their new patent for “multifunction” touch technology like pinch, rotation, and swipe, they have certainly rocked the boat. We won’t know how or if the boat will be … Read more
Everyone's talking about the new Kindle, but here's a product that may present an even more radical innovation in the e-book sector: The Talking Book, created and distributed by the non-profit Literacy Bridge, is a low cost audio player/recorder with special features for Knowledge Sharing and Literacy Learning. It was developed entirely by volunteers and costs less than $10. The device involves an ecosystem to produce and share locally relevant audio content, allowing users to record their own messages and distribute them within local networks through a device-to-device copying capability. Other features include slow play for reading … Read more
The question which brands are the best at “socializing” with their audiences is often asked, but rarely answered. Now Vitrue, a social media advertising solutions company, has attempted to capture a snapshot by releasing a Top Social Brands of 2008 list. The ranking is based on the Social Media Index (SMI), a measurement system the company launched to help track brands' share of voice on the social web. The Top 100, which range from the iPhone, CNN, and Disney at the top of the list, to Jet Blue, Puma, and Sears at the bottom of the list, were drawn from … Read more
When I had dinner with my former boss and mentor in Paris a few months ago (formerly vice president of marketing at a US-based enterprise software company, now CEO of a French enterprise software company), he shared a dirty little secret with me: "Forget about marketing," he told me, "it doesn't really matter. I spend 80 percent of my time on HR, finance, operations, and sales. Branding, marketing communications, PR - not my priorities." A few weeks later I came across a working paper called "Getting Marketing Back in the Boardroom," and seeing … Read more
These days, conferences are thankful for not having the word "economic" in their names. Yet the difference between the World Economic Forum in Davos, which, according to most accounts, was a pretty somber affair ("how did we get into this mess?"), and the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Long Beach, Calif., is not just a semantic one.
While both venues summon an elite group of thinkers and doers, TED is decidedly more optimistic. "The Great Unveiling" is this year's theme, and so far, the program has lived up to its promise: Bill Gates unleashed mosquitoes, … Read more
A few months after Barack Obama’s historic election, and a couple of weeks after the release of Barry Libert’s and Rick Faulk’s book Obama Inc. (and, of course, Obama's inauguration), the first start-ups are popping up that directly apply some of the widely heralded business lessons emerging from the innovative campaign. The fact that most of these lessons lie in the marketing domain supports the view I’ve expressed earlier and on numerous occasions: 1) Marketing will (again) become the number one change agent in business, 2) when it follows the new rules of “marketing with … Read more
By Nick de la Mare, Associate Creative Director, frog design
There's a saying I remember from when I worked in advertising: "nothing kills a bad product faster than a good ad." That seemed to make a lot of sense when I heard it, but the more I look back I realize that it's defining things so narrowly as to be absurd. What IS a product anyway? A service-based thing like a house cleaner or a mechanic? A single-minded tool like a cup or hammer? Something digital and deeply nebulous like a Wi-Fi network? And what does &… Read more
Nice clip from the German ad agency Scholz & Friends. Nothing new but good ammunition for convincing the few who have yet to see the light...
Via Federated Media
The new issue of our design mind magazine is out. The theme is "Motion," and it features a great interview with famed ballet choreographer Alonzo King, who discusses the risks and rewards of collaboration with San Francisco Chronicle dance columnist Rachel Howard:
"Collaboration is always risky. You don't have total control. Also, with choreography you have such a short amount of time to do it. If you're writing a book you've got years; a film, you can shop it around; Broadway, take it out six weeks for previews. With most choreographers, you've got … Read more