Design

Get a grip on it

Innovation in packaging:

I love how the handles swing out to let you feel what it’s like to ride with them.

Jonathon Keats on Google Glass design

It’s not often one of my design heroes comments on something I worked on, so Jonathon Keats’ comments on how to redesign Google Glass were interesting to read.

To navigate this uncanny valley in time, the designer must either create something so futuristic in appearance that it arrives from beyond our collective vision of the future, or something that looks and feels like a natural extension of the present.

It mirrors one of my own new product design lessons learned from Glass (which admittedly wasn’t meant to be a huge consumer product)–either create something completely new to the world, or replace something that people already use. Simply being faster or better isn’t enough if people still need their existing solution.

Trusting the artist

Ahmet Ertegun – arguably for a long time the greatest record executive of them all – told me that unless you’re 100% sure the artist is wrong, go with their vision. – Jason Flom

True for designers as well, in my experience.

Design Sprint Kit

Great set of resources for running a sprint: Design Sprint Kit.

This is the highly, highly distilled and refined version of what designers at Google (especially Knapp, Kowitz, and Zeratsky) have been developing for years.

Absentee futures

We congratulate ourselves on the accomplishment of democracy…But regardless of who votes, what is the real meaning of any such choices if the alternatives among which we are selecting are underimagined, or clichéd – or simply absent? – Stuart Candy

My most influential role these days is less “tastemaker” and “decider” than simply “option generator”.

Design and decisions

Design is just decision-making with visual aids.

Designing better futures for Syria

My own career goal is to “help people think about the future.”

I can’t imagine a better application of that than a group from the University of Washington which helps Syrian refugee children design a better future for themselves and their families.

We asked the participants to work in pairs to fuel creativity and help ease literacy barriers. They used LEGO Mini-Figures and Bricks, art supplies, color pens, and FUJI Instamax Cameras to create the devices…

Magical devices often depict means of transportation…Mobility is a challenge in Za’atari for different reasons–many people have physical disabilities, exasperated by war trauma, and there is no public transport to assist with lack of roads…

Teams also designed devices similar to existing technology, such as Google glass, but that address particular needs in the camps. One team, who called themselves “Future’s Butterflies,” designed glasses that help discover and cure diseases.

Research and believability in design

I always believe in research. No matter what the subject matter is. You cannot do enough research, because so much believability will come out of what’s really there.

Calvin, rapid prototyper

Sending out the dogs

“Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey” – Werner Herzog

True of ideas and designs as well.