Can you call a concept a cultural phenomenon if different people conceive of it at the same time? Within the past few months, three publications have come to similar conclusions. The digital media agency Avenue A | Razorfish released a study called "Fast Forward: Designing for Constant Change." It consists of thirteen essays as well as research exploring how consumers' digital media habits are changing, and how this affects the design of user experiences and brands. The key take-away is: Today's online users are forced to adjust to constant change in increasingly volatile rich media environments, and they … Read more
Being of a certain vintage, we still have a soft spot for particular arcade classics from the '70s. (It doesn't hurt when they come with their own draft on tap.) So even though we're not into the whole guitar thing, we can't help but appreciate this one.
The "Pac-Man Guitar" is a 25.5-inch scale version of everyone's favorite insatiable yellow disc. And custom shop Specimen Products went well beyond the novelty factor, using "ebony, basswood, and maple with mother of pearl accents" to accompany the lacquer finish, according to Technabob.
As … Read more
My colleague Hunter Smith of frog design has used his entrepreneurial spirit to launch a budding start-up based on his two greatest passions: eco-design and skateboarding. Hunter's company, aptly named SuperGreen Boards, employs some of the most advanced eco-friendly technologies for producing custom longboards, slalom, and speedboards.
SuperGreen Boards uses bamboo, which is not only beautiful, strong, and flexible but is also sustainably harvested. Maple wood, known as the gold standard for skateboards because of its strength under the pressure of the rider, takes a minimum of 100 years to mature before it can be used. Bamboo, in comparison, … Read more
Correction 2:10 p.m. PDT: This blog initially misstated the savings for buyers of Office 2004 for Mac Student and Teacher edition if they choose to upgrade to the 2008 Special Media Edition. The savings would be $350.
Microsoft has improved on an earlier offer to those who buy Office 2004 for Mac before the new version of Office is released in January.
In September, the company said it would offer buyers of Office 2004 an upgrade to the comparable version of Office 2008 for the cost of shipping and handling.
Now, those who purchase Office 2004 for Mac … Read more
NEW YORK--On Friday afternoon at the hour that Apple launched its latest operating system, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, it was pouring rain in Manhattan. It was also windy and chilly. That didn't stop several hundred people from lining up outside the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue to get their hands on the new software, huddled underneath Gore-Tex jackets and umbrellas.
"It's the cult," commented another reporter who had also been covering the water-saturated event.
The line for Leopard appeared to be divided fairly evenly between rabid Apple fans and shoppers who'd figured they could … Read more
NEW YORK--At about 1 p.m. EDT in midtown Manhattan, I overheard a group of suit-clad thirtysomething men talking as they waited to cross Madison Avenue.
"You know, leopards are solitary animals," one of them said. The other three or four continued musing on the characteristics of the large exotic felines, and I figured that it was actually part of a conversation about Apple's latest operating system, which launches Friday at 6 p.m. I thought, wow, if fratty midtown office types are talking about Mac OS X 10.5, there must be a huge line of … Read more
Last week saw the release of Flock 1.0 beta, a Firefox engine that's been built out with extensive social-networking tools. Is it a flash in the pan, taking advantage of the latest fads, or does it herald a sea change in top-tier open source software? The changes from Firefox to Flock are hardly the work of one extension. The new sidebar includes features that let users add photos to their Flickr account by dragging and dropping, creating new posts to their self-published blog on the fly, and much more.
Microsoft Live Labs has a new "technology preview" for you to play with. It's called Listas and it's basically a social bookmarking service for keeping track of content you come across while browsing the Web, and sharing it with others. Users can make their own containers full of all sorts of links, and supplement it with text, images, and RSS feeds using a WYSIWYG editor or by just pasting in entire Web pages from their text clipboard. The service is being billed as a way to make lists, but I think its core appeal will ultimately end up as a Web clippings service.
Oddly enough, Microsoft has had their TagSpaces service kicking around since April. TagSpaces gives users a bookmarklet to tag any item they've come across while browsing, and drops it into a giant pool of tags for everyone. Listas is clearly a more advanced effort, and one designed to handle media and collaboration a little better.
After much speculation, Apple has confirmed that the next version of its Mac OS X operating system, "Leopard," will hit stores on Friday, October 26, at 6 p.m.
Among these are an improved "dock" interface for easy access to applications, more robust parental controls, the Time Machine automatic-backup service and a redesigned Finder interface.
The operating system is set to cost $129 for a single-user license and $… Read more
I know this blog is about product design and innovation but let's talk about PR for a minute. Why? Because the way you talk about your product should be part of your design process. The product design ought to incorporate the product story you want to tell. Sometimes, the story even becomes the product. Moreover, some may think PR is immune to innovation, but is in fact a field that is currently going through a series of pretty radical disruptions. The rise of social media has challenged the old way of promoting messages, and today's PR practitioners face … Read more