— On Comms Design. From London

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I should probably not have made this so general, the title, I mean. What I mean is that good design for me is the trigger to make a decision. And I have been seeing this happen a lot lately when I look for things I know nothing about. In all cases, a good design of the app, the web page etc seems to be the thing that puts it over the top. I say Yes more often to things that ultimately also Look good in a short list of things I would like.

My very very smart boss at work, Mr. Roope, speaks about the implicit messages that good design and interface give out, meaning that he thinks one’s very good experience with a way something looks and works also sends out a more important message about whether you should choose that over something else. It appears to be quite true in my case and I have tried to understand why.

Primarily, I think it’s because I work in an industry which teaches the importance of design/usability etc (maybe I should strike industry and use company [smirk]). But to me, having someone think about how something looks after you’ve done all the important functional bits is interesting. It almost signals that you think of what you do beyond just the thing, that you care about how people will interact with it and how they will feel.

Of course, I could be wrong. There’s probably a bunch of nicely looking things out there that are crap but what I mean is not just a nice exterior but a way of designing something which makes your expectations (creative, quality, etc) met and your experience good. And there’s not a lot of things out there which are made like this. Consider shoe racks (a thing which I have been battling lately with my increasing collection of trainers). Most shoe racks are simply stupid and ugly looking because pretty much everyone is concerned with making a flat or slightly inclined space for shoes to sit on. Nobody thinks of other things like the space a show rack can actually take in a house, the types of shoes you need to fit etc. And finally, almost nobody thinks about HOW the shoe rack should look once you’ve installed it and you’re using it. I am still looking for one that will do all of these 🙂

Implicit messages that design sends 🙂 worth considering.

“It’s not just that it’s annoying to have 20 different conversations across 20 different apps. (Which it is.) It’s not that I mind remembering where I was already talking to someone or guessing which app they’re most likely to check quickly. (Which I do.) It’s that, by not picking a place to congregate, we’re missing out on one of the most powerfully useful new things in tech: the all-encompassing messaging app.”

Read it all here

 

Sometimes I think of the apps I could be making and I think I might be a successful serial entrepreneur. I spend about 0.01% of my time developing those ideas but love them dearly. I don’t do research but I am persuaded my insights are good.

So here’s today idea to share and I would love it if people could either point me to something that does that or, if there’s nothing out there, point me to someone who’d like to do it.

Insight: we live between a world of growing content and a world of growing pressure to be productive. As such, we try to squeeze any moment of “in between” time to add more to our brains and our bodies. We jog to work, we work standing up and doing glutes exercises, we do Kegels in the car (I heard that in a sitcom), we read on the tube, we listen to podcasts as we walk.

Problem: id you’re like me and you have a hard time getting meaningful results from minimal interaction (meaning I cannot read a novel 1 page at a time, it just does not make sense to me and if you think about you’ll also remember how you struggle with longer form). I find piecemeal interaction to be meaningless.

Solution: is there an app out there that calculates your “in between” time and selects the form of content you can consume based on two factors “increasing productivity” and “meaningful interaction”? This app will prepare a “menu” of things you can do as you walk to work and make sure they are completed by the time you get there or at least completed to a meaningful degree.

Is that out there already?

 

 

About a week ago I found that you could email Uber to see your own rating by drivers who’d taken you places. So I did, email them that is and I did. I found out that I was a 4.7 which turned out to be a life changing event because it set in motion a string of unexplainable emotions (PMS aside). I have been a fervent supporter of Uber although their brand of PR and lobby and even what I assume is the drive that sits at the heart of their business make me a bit queasy. I love Uber not because it’s cheap and convenient (that helps too) but because it allows people to be in control of their lives and their livelihood. I look at Uber drivers as small entrepreneurs who Read More

It’s interesting to gauge the stage a society is at through the concerns it has.

A couple of days ago I saw this commercial on YT and decided not to skip because it was the first time I had seen the concept of longer lives for pets. To me the pet category was always about care and maybe pampering (mainly cats :)) but it had never occurred to me that pet longevity was something people were actively thinking about. And yes I know the stories of the family dog who grew up with the family kid and, still, in all those stories the dog dies when it’s supposed to die.

It’s a sign of something different that we have placed the longevity of our pets on our radar. This means that our longevity is somehow ensured maybe, and we do not need to worry about it so much. We can start worrying about our pets. For us, maybe, the next step is immortality 🙂 Like this.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 19.38.47

Answer here. And the bit I really liked:

“It’s very clear that people sometimes do look to brands to help make their lives a little better beyond the functionality and values of the brand. But sometimes they just want a great cup of coffee or a decent beer.”

 

 

a taster of the full thing here

“He gives you a number and a date. You know in your soul that the number is half of what it should be and that the project will go a year over schedule. He promises long-term efficiencies: The $85,000 in Oracle licenses will no longer be needed; engineering is moving to a free, open-sourced database. “We probably should have done that back when we did the Magento migration,” he says. Meaning, of course, that his predecessor probably should have done that.”

Based on The Verge Live Blog

Google is building official fingerprint reader support right into Android

Doze

New apps coming to Wear (or coming with new features): Uber, Foursquare, CityMapper

Project Brillo

“Weave” is the IoT communications layer

Showing how Inbox can theoretically make stuff like TripIt unnecessary, because it puts everything you need for your trip in there

Google Now shows actions and info from apps inside Google Now. You can order an Uber or play Pandora or reorder groceries from Instacart

Listening to a Skrillex song in Spotify. He says “Ok Google, what’s his real name?” and, um, Google knows the answer. He didn’t say “Skrillex’s real name,” he said “his real name.” So Google knew what was on the screen. Inside that other app.

New product: Google Photos

Offline maps coming “later this year.”

TO BE CONTINUED

That is the question: are you selfie-ing yourself out of jobs?

I distinctly remember, a while back, one major TV station in Ro reporting on how social media profiles were becoming the number 1 go-to for HR specialists in their attempt to evaluate the suitability of candidates. The report went on to warn people about posting everything that went on in their lives on their social media profiles, with special emphasis on those late night party headshots or, worse yet, the sexy pics meant to attract attention from potential social suitors. Naturally, I can think of worse things once could post to detract attention from one’s professional accomplishments: liking pages of disreputable organizations, racial slurs or trolling are, to my mind, worse reasons to un-consider a candidate but the point I am trying to make below is that HR specialists should not look to social profiles for insight TO BEGIN WITH. Read More

pablo

 

 

and Seth Godin has the solution

I have been having this issue with people quoting articles I wrote 4-5 years ago.

Now, surprisingly, I have not always been this wise :D.

5 years ago, some things were just starting and I was making assumption about some things. Some of them may have turned out wrong. What am I supposed to do about the old articles where I was not 100% current and wise? Is it part of the blogging business to go back and rewrite things?