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

Grit is for cowboys

9/3/15

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

9/3/15

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

9/3/15

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

9/3/15

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

9/3/15

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.

No Stack Startups

9/3/15

Of course, most of these are not even "mobile-first" businesses - they are "mobile-only". They often don’t even have web sites (or, apps for that matter): "the homepage once conferred some sense of reaching your canonical destination, it’s now your name on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon etc. that consumers are searching for”

BuzzFeed’s CEO Says Modern Media Is About Pushing Actual Content, Not Links

9/3/15

But creating viral content isn’t about getting people to share information, it’s about sharing emotion.

The “Share Statement” is what BuzzFeed internally calls the words you use to describe things you post on social media, like its articles. Peretti says the “Share Statement is “often more important than the headline” because it’s says why, not just what, they’re sharing.

BuzzFeed closely watches these Share Statements to learn what its audience wants to see. Peretti concluded “BuzzFeed doesn’t make a product. We’re a service that keeps getting better at creating content over time.”

AMA: SimpleScott

9/3/15

The creative process is a system that is needs to be designed. At SHW, while we work on projects we try to imagine designing not only amazing work but also designing the process it takes to create that work. The reality is most of the creative process doesn't happen in a vacuum. It involves others, collaborating, and sharing is at the very core of the creative process. How you design that interaction is key to successful creative projects.

The Shape of Things to Come

9/3/15

He craved products that didn’t force adjustments of behavior, that gave what Powell Jobs called a “feeling of gratitude that someone else actually thought this through in a way that makes your life easier."

What should I do about Youtube?

9/3/15

A lot of people in the music industry talk about Google as evil. I don’t think they are evil. I think they, like other tech companies, are just idealistic in a way that works best for them. I think this because I used to be one of them (*4). The people who work at Google, Facebook, etc can’t imagine how everything they make is not, like, totally awesome. If it’s not awesome for you it’s because you just don’t understand it yet and you’ll come around. They can’t imagine scenarios outside their reality and that is how they inadvertently unleash things like the algorithmic cruelty of Facebook’s yearly review (which showed me a picture I had posted after a doctor told me my husband had 6-8 weeks to live).

1234567891011