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

On the emptiness of tech myths


From the outside, regardless of who “thought” of it, that whole process seems like an amazing story in management that i’d love to hear much, much more about than who thought of a thing. Seriously. How has there not been ONE interview with Ev that talks about his decisions in that time? They seem amazing to me, but don’t correspond to some stupid, boring myth about a dude saying a sentence on a playground.

And you know what? Same thing with Apple. Seriously. What happened to Steve Jobs at NeXT that he basically solved the innovator’s dilemma? What made him such a better leader when he got back to Apple than when he left? It was amazing. But we get a 600 page bio, a movie and a million articles that say, in sum, maybe three sentences about it. For everything written, we still don’t know what he learned, what his epiphanies were, what his management was really like. We just get stupid, boring, useless myths.

Videos to watch


I love watching videos recordings of conference presentations, mostly the ones that don't deal so much with technical issues, but the ones that address culture and where the speakers share their experiences and stories. They are great to play in the background during certain types of work, and you get to see all the goodness without paying thousands of dollars in conference fees and traveling around the world. Last week I saw that both Webstock 2013 and XOXO Fest 2013 have most of their presentations online. Watch and learn.

And a short documentary on Karim Rashid, a highly prolific designer immediately recognizable by his pink suits as well as his use of bold and vivid colors and shapes. Check it.

The Effortless Method Of Making A Design Personal


The title is a little misleading as it's not about making designs in general, it's just about default user profile images. 37 Signals did something similar with Basecamp, but I like this idea better. Instead of a silhouette of a non-descript guy, the default avatar is a big colorful circle with the first letter of the users name in the center. It's nice, simple and colorful, and I just implemented this for Wookmark.

iOS 7: Hidden Gems and Workarounds


Some interesting details, such as the new "appStoreReceiptURL" to get the date of the app purchase. Perfect timing for me, since I'm about to move Capcam from paid to IAP, and having the purchase date lets me keep all features unlocked for users who paid for the app.

Becoming a designer-developer


To share my own experience, I always found design and development inherently connected. For me, it was always about creating the actual thing people use, not just creating a blueprint for it. But the reason I thought this way may have been some of my very early experiences in customizing video games in my teen years. For example, I built levels for Doom and 3D models for Quake. The tools available back then were made by fans, and extremely simple and buggy. So when you're building a level or a game character as a teenager with bare-bones tools, there is nobody to hand anything off to or explain anything to you. If you didn't figure out the whole process, you couldn't do what you wanted to do, it was that simple. And with that, I learned that the process from idea to final product is a long one, with lots of friction-points in between that can affect the result. So it just made sense to me that you needed to be intimately familiar with the whole process.

The Godfather of Apple Design Spots 4 Looming Tech Trends


“Today is what’s thought about long ago... Now today we have to we have to project, think, experiment, prototype the future... OK, the future is accelerating. We know that... But look back 40 to 50 years, and make a model of what happened from then until today. That’s what compresses into the next 10 years. Then you know what to expect.”

Design For People


If the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the industrial designer has failed. If, on the other hand, people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient—or just plain happier—the designer has succeeded.