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

Videos to watch

9/24/17CultureDesignVideos

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.

On the emptiness of tech myths

9/24/17TechCulture

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.

TED talks are lying to you

9/24/17Culture

...the real subject of this literature was the professional-managerial audience itself, whose members hear clear, sweet reason when they listen to NPR and think they’re in the presence of something profound when they watch some billionaire give a TED talk. And what this complacent literature purrs into their ears is that creativity is their property, their competitive advantage, their class virtue. Creativity is what they bring to the national economic effort, these books reassure them — and it’s also the benevolent doctrine under which they rightly rule the world.

Designer bullshit backfire. (How designers have created a monster)

9/24/17DesignCulture

Recently SomeOne’s Hudl brand for Tesco had a rationale that was called out as ‘Designer Jargon Bullshit’ on the Creative Review blog. This struck me as entirely unfair and a clear example of bullshit backfire. The line the commenter took issue with was as follows: “[The star] is a solar system metaphor that reflects Hudl being at the centre of a digital orbit, and of family life” …Which might sound a bit overstated and outlandish, sure. But it’s the idea. Of course it’ll sound like bullshit. If you told someone Yahoo! was all about adventure, it’d sound like bullshit too. But it’s just the starting idea. It’s designers talking to other designers about where the idea came from. That’s the bit they leave out when pitching to clients for fear of sounding like a twat. Or leave in to sound incredibly artistic and insightful and blow smoke up the clients’ arses depending on how they operate. Either way, it’s the patently overblown starting point for a lot of rational decision making later on. If you start off with something really rational, you’re going to end up with a real fucking grind of a project once you’ve re-rationalised everything in a really rational way. Start with something that sounds mental and you’ve a much stronger chance of ending up with something interesting afterwards. So don’t call it bullshit. I know it certainly sounds like bullshit, but it’s actually much more delicate than that. It’s the concept made to look like bullshit so the client won’t hate it.

What screens want

9/24/17CultureDesignTech

People believe there’s an essence to the computer, that there’s something true and real and a correct way to do things. But—there is no right way. We get to choose how to aim the technology we build. At least for now, because increasingly, technology feels like something that happens to you instead of something you use. We need to figure out how to stop that, for all of our sakes, before we’re locked in, on rails, and headed toward who knows what.