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

Material Design


The design changeover is being driven from the top. Ever since Steve Jobs has died and Larry took over as CEO, he's gotten the design religion, and his goal is for Google's design to remain fresh and drive trends forward perpetually. So as far as the company is concerned, this is a feature, not a bug. It's true that the individual designers responsible for doing the design often vary from project to project. However, there's a fair amount of continuity as well. The designer who initiated the design refresh announced today has been with the company since 2006; the designer I worked with for the visual refresh of 2010 now heads up design for all of Search. They are explicitly told by executives to make things fresh and remove previous constraints when imagining the new Google.

No wonder Android gets redesigned very year, management wants it to be "fresh". Problem is that design should be driven by function, not by a desire to be hip. I think that's why Android designs always seem shallow and poorly thought through below the surface.

Sweden’s proposed six-hour workday


I moved from the US (high on the list) to the Netherlands (bottom of the list) a while ago. Different jobs and sectors vary, but the theme I can confirm is that the Dutch feel more productive, generally (I work in software development). In very broad terms, the Dutch are more likely to plan and stick to those plans. Personal time and time off are valued, so you need to be efficient in your working hours. You can't really expect someone to respond to your emails after working hours. Having to work in the weekends at all is a sign of bad project management, and should be exceptional. Meetings have agendas which are sent out ahead of time. Americans are generally more optimistic, which makes for worse time management and planning, which leads to overtime and stress. Being seen at work somehow equals working, and internal guilt for not working efficiently while at work leads to more weekend work. There's a big focus how much you've 'worked' this week. Interruption is common for things which could be structured. To be honest, it's been pretty difficult to adjust, but the payoff is huge. Actual free time after work, real weekends, and longer vacations are all possible because people plan... whereas friends back home are often unable to plan vacations because they/their boss don't know how busy they'll be in 5 months.

What are common mistakes that new or inexperienced managers make?


The single most common mistake I see managers making is assuming that their job is to manage the people rather than the project, closely followed by trying to micro-manage the project itself. Trust and delegation are key to all of this. A good manager looks after a project not its people, concentrates on the big picture while letting others deal with the small details. A good manager achieves this by delegation.

Putting the Chat into Snapchat


But until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence. There’s nothing like knowing you have the full attention of your friend while you’re chatting.

I really like how they are continuing their unique take on their product.

"Objectified": Jonathan Ive

4/28/17 many of the products we are surrounded by want you to be very aware of how clever the solution was... at some level you're aware of a calm and considered solution that speaks to how you're going to use it, not to the terrible struggles we as designers and engineers had in trying to solve some of the problems.

Samsung Philosophy


Samsung will strive to ensure that reason and emotional sensibility are harmoniously embedded throughout the whole design process from cognition and the organization of thought to expression and creation.

It's a good idea for Samsung to define and declare their philosophy, and the vision of making technology work for people makes sense. But this writing style turns turns it into gibberish.

Raising a Moral Child


...criticize bad behavior and praise good character...

Well worth reading the whole post to internalize this approach to giving feedback.

The Ikea Effect


The Ikea effect is kind of simple: You build something and you fall in love with it.

Not only does “assemble yourself” furniture save them money and increase their business efficiency, it also has a psychological effect on you as a consumer that gets you to invest in the product.