Notes on interaction design & development. Get the Feed.
By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

What it means to be great


Apple is a company that builds greatness because they built a process to make their customers better. They do it without permission and they do it without offense. But when the buyer perceives the change they feel in debt to the object. Getting payments on that debt of gratitude is how Apple is rewarded.

Why no one has solved event discovery


A really thorough view into the world of event services. From the outside, it's easy to look at an industry and think it would be easy to build a great service. But the details and dynamics, like the ones described in this post, only become apparent when you dive deep. A good thing to keep in mind.

Apple's approach to privacy


The most personal technology must also be the most private.

Really digging this page and the language they use to clearly explain how they use data. No legal lingo, not abstract language. It's written in a way that you simply can't disagree with it.

The State of JavaScript on Android in 2015 is… poor


In a nutshell, the fastest known Android device available today -- and there are millions of Android devices much slower than that out there -- performs 5× slower than a new iPhone 6s, and a little worse than a 2012 era iPhone 5 in Ember. How depressing.

Grit is for cowboys


Grit is a convenient trait for enticing others to comply with the uncomfortable or the uninteresting. It elevates the perseverance of such adversity to a virtue in and of itself. Just dangle that long-term goal in front of them, accuse them of lack of grit, and compliance will oft follow. But far more important than to be capable of suffering for your cause is to ask “what cause”? Am I the beneficiary here, or is someone else? Being high on grit may well mean sticking with a faulty cause for far longer. Grit is an optimization for local maxima. If you’re able to change the function, drop the grit.

Ten Lessons From a Maker by David Hieatt


So for us, just being the best is not going to be enough for us to win. Yes, we have over One hundred and fifty years of experience of making jeans within our company, and we make one of the highest quality handmade jeans on the planet. And yes, our natural indigo dyed selvedge is made by Kuroki who hand dip it ten times until the dye gets to the very core of the cotton, so they age as beautifully as a jean possibly can, but it’s not enough to win.

For us to win, we have to come up with ideas that challenge the Status Quo of an industry that had its most innovative day back in 1886. Our ideas will be how we build our company. Our ideas will be how we get people their jobs back.

Design Machines


What are we putting out in the world? If design is the expression of content, and the content is worthless, what is the point of good design? Most of the shit we are compelled to put out in the world doesn’t deserve the pixels it’s rendered on… and you know what? No one seems to care. We’ll even interrupt the readers who were baited into reading crap content with a popup badgering them to sign up for more crap content to fill their inboxes so we can “increase our reach.” We don’t actually care about content. We only care about what content can do for us. Why should anyone care about how it reads?

How to Use Photography in Branding


Photography at its deepest is a medium for storytelling. We are attuned to visual imagery, processing it quickly and deeply. It is a powerful tool to work with, and can either help or harm our designs depending on how it is used. Images take up a huge amount of space; make sure to use that space well by telling great stories.

The "Brute Force" School of Design: Prototyping over Presentations


We are not any smarter than our clients, and they know their business 50 times better than we do. I can’t do my job unless there is a really true partnership that is very honest, intense, and open. We never dress up or have an account guy talking for us—we are the ones talking to the CEO and designing as we talk. That is the layer of connection that we need to have that level of quality and speed. We are firm believers that the highest way to get an idea across is prototyping. All of us are working on becoming better prototypers, because it is everything. You have to touch it and use it and love it.

However I do think there are core, fundamental values if you really want to get into this. Learn your grids; they are everything. It is the language of what we do. The second thing is type. You can’t teach someone typography, because it takes like ten years to get decent with it. And the third thing is prototyping. Focusing on those three things is important, but honestly, the only way to get ahead is if you are working harder than the guy next to you.