Archive for the ‘Community’ Category
A few months ago, we wrote wrote about how our Method alumni, Raphael Grignani and Robert Murdock, are featured in the short documentary, Connecting, filmed partially on-site at Method by Basset & Partners and Microsoft. The 18-minute documentary explores how trends in UI, interaction,
and experience have influenced culture and society.
We are excited to announce that the film is going to be screened! On June 25th,Bassett & Partners and Astro Studios will be hosting a one-night only Connecting screening in San Francisco, and a panel that will bring interactive and industrial design to center stage. The two firms are organizing a special design-centered discussion inspired by the documentary that delves into future projections for connectivity and interaction design.
Afterwards, the Q&A panel discussion will feature four prominent figures in the industry: Carl Ledbetter of XBOX, Aaron Higgins of Native instruments, Steve Mason of Obscura Digital, and Method’s former Principal, Robert Murdock, now a Creative Lead at Google Glass.
The event is a must attend for all those in the design community, especially those interested in the growing impact of interaction design. We hope to see you there!
RSVP on Eventbrite
Where: Astro Studios | 348 6th Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103
When: Tuesday, June 25 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Watch the full documentary below
Recently, Behance Network held their two-day annual conference, the 99U. The entire mission of the conference is to focus on bringing ideas to life through action – as Thomas Edison is famously quoted: “Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.”
Method held the kick-off studio session for the conference with a workshop that aimed to get attendees taking ideas to action. We led participants through a 90-minute Lightning Brand Hackathon, working through potential design opportunities for IKEA and Airbnb.
We quickly broke attendees up into groups of 7-8 to dive deep into their assigned brand. The goal was to develop uniquely branded product and service experiences that engage users in ways that are authentic to the brand and true to the core brand values. Teams were assigned either IKEA or Airbnb to explore. The final deliverable was a one-minute elevator pitch for that product or service that the team might deliver to the CEO.
The first part of the workshop focused on articulating attributes using various stimuli to generate both literal and abstract ways of expressing the brand. Then, each team built on specific product or service extension opportunities and evaluated them against the brand attributes to determine if the proposed solution was on point with the brand.
The selected solution was storyboarded and then summarized for each group to present. In 90 minutes, teams generated product or service solutions around bespoke furniture and food offerings such as the official IKEA furniture hacking community, IKEAhacks.org, an interactive diary of a Airbnb host that gives visitors “keys to my life,” and a network of “local chefs” that invite traveling guests for authentic, homemade meals.
After the kick-off workshop at Method, myself and our attendees headed over to the conference, held at the Lincoln Center. Throughout the duration of the two days, the conference maintained an incredible energy with thought-provoking discussions around how to become more action-oriented and persevere through the creative process. Experts from all walks of life shared their experiences: social/behavioral psychologists, startup founders, brand gurus, authors, educators, and designers.
After it was all over, three major takeaways emerged that resonated strongly with me.
1: Feedback is important for more than just building a good product. It helps you persevere through the darkest times.
For many speakers what kept them motivated during challenging times wasn’t a blind passion, but a constant remainder that their work was having some, big or small, impact in the world. And the best way to see that was by getting feedback from users.
Jane ni Dhulchaointigh, the founder and inventor of sugru, talked about staying motivated through a rough patch by sending samples to her friends and family and requesting that they send in a photo of themselves using the product. Seeing her product in action gave her a sense of pride, joy and responsibility to get the final product out to the world.
2: It’s not about building awesome products, but building products that help people be more awesome.
Every product idea is born out of a need, superficial or deep. But sometimes the vision for addressing that need can get blurred by the pursuit of perfection during the creative process. The result is a product that makes sense to the one who created it, but not to those who would benefit the most by using it.
For example, Ramit Sethi, author of a NY Times bestseller and a dedicated personal finance blog, talked about a personal investment guide offered by the Wall Street Journal. Although written by investing experts, the guide was way too complex to the average American. Because there was a mismatch between what the creator considered as an “awesome product” and what the user needed to become more awesome in managing their money, the product became irrelevant for many.
3: Being action-oriented is less about tactics, and more about the mindset.
The topic of fear came up consistently throughout the conference. Mainly, creators talking about the importance of looking beyond users’ needs to gain a deep understanding of their fears and concerns.
For example, Josh Reich, CEO and co-founder of Simple, an intuitive digital personal banking solution, had observed that people think they need complexity in tools that help manage their finances. But after digging deeper into the users’ minds, he realized that their fears boil down to simpler things like carelessly spending way more than they can afford. To address the latter, Simple incorporated a feature that tells the user how much money it is “safe” for them to spend at a given point in time.
The 99U Conference was a valuable escape from everyday life to get fully immersed in thoughts that inspire reflection and realization. I left both inspired and ready to bring these learnings to practice at Method.
Martin Venezky is a creative force. Best known for his collages and experimental typography, his work has appeared in Wired and The New York Times, as well as countless books. In 1997, he was listed among ID magazine’s “ID40″ list of influential designers, and in 2001, an exhibit of his collected design work was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Additionally, Martin is an Associate Professor at CCA in the Graduate Design and Graphic design programs.
He’s also the mastermind behind Appetite Engineers, an internationally recognized design firm, which just happens to be located a few blocks from Method’s San Francisco studio!
A small group of us had the pleasure of visiting Martin in his studio, which is less of a typical workspace and more of a mini wonderland for discovery and play. Every inch of wall space is covered by photo collages. Children’s toys line the book shelves and scraps of paper are everywhere. Martin explains that he likes his materials on hand should inspiration strike. As he took us through his work, his unique process, which centers around deeply engaging with the content as a means to guide design, inspired our group at every turn.
“Hearing Martin talk about his process is always so inspiring for me. His work reminds me that play is an important part of the design process. He has a unique combination of rigor and openness to chance that, in my opinion, lends itself to discovering solutions that otherwise would have gone uncovered.” – Melissa Martin, Lead Interaction Designer
“Getting the walkthrough of Martin’s painstakingly detailed and manual creation process was a breath of fresh air, to know that powerful designs can be created with everyday objects like cutouts from The Yellow Pages and regular old tape. It was also inspiring to get Martin’s POV around creativity and art, that it’s less about accuracy and perfection and more about decision and mark making, which everyone is capable of doing.” – James Lee, Insights
“It was really interesting to see someone applying traditional cut and paste graphic design while intentionally limiting the involvement of software in his process. The clusters of toys and collectables in Martin’s studio came together to create the entire space as curated collection of ephemera. This idea mirrored his work in the way that small groupings of type and graphical elements created the sum of the entire design in his work pieces.” – Mark Roudebush, Interaction Design Lead
“Martin’s work (and studio) was amazing! From super detailed book design and typography to giant posters to hand cut paper sculptures to photo collages, he does everything. And does it well. And has fun doing it! Tons of fun and food for creative thought.” – Ryan Gates, Design Technologist
Congratulations to the Global Lives Project and Method teams for winning in the Brand New Awards 2012! Out of 714 submissions, only 75 were selecte...
Congratulations to the Global Lives Project and Method teams for winning in the Brand New Awards 2012! Out of 714 submissions, only 75 were selected, with our project winning in the “Basic Identity Application” category. View the full list of winners here.
Global Lives is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven effort between filmmakers and translators to create and curate films that capture 24 continuous hours in the life of individuals from around the world, building a video library of those life experiences. Watch the video below to find out more about our work with the Global Lives Project.
London has positioned itself as the up-and-coming global hub for tech, design, and innovation. With US industry giants like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft all taking notice, the city is quickly becoming grounds for a highly competitive, and entrepreneurial tech-oriented market – predicted to contribute to the next generation of leading startups and organizations
The Evening Standard reported on the growing tech scene in London, speaking with leaders from the innovation sectors, including Method Managing Director and co-founder of Method Design Lab, Santiago Matheus.
“London is inexhaustible,” says Santiago Matheus, who in 2011 set up Method Design Lab, a programme run in conjunction with London’s Central Saint Martins School of Arts and Design. “Even when things are really choppy London keeps flying, because you have the government, the media, the creatives, the finance … At any one time, even if two or three of those are struggling, the others keep the engine going. That’s what makes London the capital of the Western world.”
Read the full article here.
Monocle Design Editor, Hugo MacDonald, visited the Central Saint Martins campus to speak with the MDL team around the accelerator’s latest initiatives and projects. With MDL directly involving the talented students at Central Saint Martins, the joint-venture aims to help students and young talent refine their creative ideas and activate for production. Santiago Matheus, Managing Director at Method and co-founder of MDL, discusses the reasons behind Method’s Involvement:
“The calibre of the students [Central Saint Martins] is unrivaled. You’ll see things at degree shows that you won’t find anywhere else. Our aim with the Method Design Lab is to turn these ideas into reality and to turn graduates into entrepreneurs in the process. It’s a chain that needs kickstarting.”
Yann Mathias and Boris Thuery, MDL Creative and R&D Directors also touch on some of the projects in the pipeline. One idea by Central Saint Martins student Hyungwoo Yoon is the Uniwrench, a universal wrench with a retractable claw, which is likely to be the first project to go into production this year.
Method is invested in helping to grow the global design community, and MDL’s latest initiatives are part of growing a talent pool of designers and entrepreneurs in the UK.
This 15-page feature reminds us about the importance of design and the value that experimentation, creativity and collaboration bring to businesses today. Method is also supporting the IncludeDesign campaign to defend the integrity of design in education in the UK.
Connecting is a short documentary by Basset & Partners and Microsoft, exploring how our lives have shifted and will continue to shift in a more connected world. It features interviews with Method alumni, Raphael Grignani and Robert Murdock; along with designers from Twitter, Arduino, Frog, Stamen, Microsoft, and Nokia.
Discussing the components of interactive experiences and analyzing the societal and cultural impact of the coming new forms of technologies, the documentary beautifully epitomizes the current status of this hyper-connected world and how the growing relationship between technology and humans will ultimately change global behavior.
Basset & Partners sums up, “as the role of software is catapulting forward, Interaction Design is seen to be not only increasing in importance dramatically, but also expected to play a leading role in shaping the coming ‘Internet of things.’ Ultimately, when the digital and physical worlds become one, humans along with technology are potentially on the path to becoming a ‘super organism’ capable of influencing and enabling a broad spectrum of new behaviors in the world.”
Today, Co.Design featured Connecting and included their own list of takeaways from the film’s discussion:
- Our phones demand too much attention, detracting from our real experiences.
- Analog metaphors are making less sense on digital devices.
- We’re waiting for new paradigms in experiencing media like text on screens.
- UX is a living, somewhat unpredictable thing. All experiences need to be fluid and flexible now.
- You shouldn’t just try to understand a product. You should try to understand its connected network.
- An “Internet of things”–countless connected sensors–is coming (and here).
- All of our information feeds into something larger than ourselves, a “superorganism” or “colony” of digital information.
- The hive mind got so big that greater Internet thought is now manifesting locally (think Egypt’s uprising or Occupy Wall Street).
Let us know what you think – how will the role of Interaction Design change and grow in this increasingly hyper-connected world? How do you design a product to answer to our evolving communities, and changing problems?
Method is honored to have helped develop TED.com, opening up the conference’s acclaimed lectures and performances to a worldwide audience. From the very beginning of our work with TED, Method was inspired by the remarkable content presented in TEDTalk videos, which became a key feature in our design of the TED.com homepage.
Since launch, the site has become one of the most popular video sites on the web. In the first year, page views soared to 46 million. This week, TED celebrates one billion TEDTalk views!
To honor this milestone, TED and Mashable have curated TEDTalk playlists from notable members of the TED community. To get into the spirit, we made a list of the TEDTalks that have inspired, entertained, and educated our team.
What are some of your favorite TEDTalks? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @method_inc
Method’s Top 20 TEDTalks
Rodney Mullen: Pop an ollie and innovate!
Picked by: Patrick Ashmun, Client Services Coordinator
JJ Abrams: the mystery box
Picked by: Carolyn Weiss, Lead, Client Services; Ben Fullerton, Director, Interaction Design
Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity
Picked by: Marc Shillum, Principal; Kaisha Hom, Designer; Mehera O’Brien, Director, Interaction Design
“When I was running a school, I showed this to all my students during the phase of the quarter at which they feel most insecure. Many of them thanked me after, saying they felt reassured and inspired again.” - Mehera
Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability
Picked by: Mehera O’Brien, Director, Interaction Design
Bobby McFerrin plays… the audience!
Picked by: Jeremy Juel, Interaction Designer
Hans Rosling: Stats that reshape your worldview
Picked by: Mark Roudebush, Interaction Design Lead
Kevin Kelly: The next 5,000 days of the web
Picked by: Reuben Steiger, Principal
“As one of the high-priests of early Internet culture, he calmly compares the Web to a brain in quantitative terms. About 5 minutes into the talk (given in 2007) he drops the epic quote: ‘So, in total, the Internet is roughly the size of ONE human brain. But your brains isn’t doubling in size every 2 years.’” – Reuben
Aimee Mullins: It’s not fair having 12 pairs of legs
Picked by: Grace Kim, Senior Interaction Designer
Alan Kay shares a powerful idea about ideas
Picked by: Ben Fullerton, Director, Interaction Design
Burt Rutan sees the future of space
Picked by: Ben Fullerton, Director, Interaction Design
Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice
Picked by: Alexander Grunsteidl, Director, Interaction Design
“I read the book, but liked him actually talking about it in his own voice. Plus, his dressing style is representative of the spirit of TED. These ideas deeply affect my thinking about Interaction Design. Also, this is 2005 in the middle of the years we will look back to as having profound impact on how we act on and interact with our world enabled by broadband, wifi, iPhone, YouTube, Facebook, etc. etc. all emerging within a short timespan.” - Alexander
Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work
Picked by: Derek Kim, Designer
Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
Picked by: Melissa Martin, Senior Interaction Designer
Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish
Picked by James Lee, Insights
Brian Cox: Why we need the explorers
Picked by: Tomi Lähdesmäki, Design Lead
“Space is awesome, science is awesome and Brian Cox is awesome.” - Tomi
JR’s TED Prize wish: Use art to turn the world inside out
Picked by James Lee, Insights
Roger Ebert: Remaking my voice
Nikki Roddy, Marketing Associate
Marco Tempest: The magic of truth and lies (and iPods)
Picked by: Reuben Steiger, Principal
Reggie Watts disorients you in the most entertaining way
Picked by: Alis Cambol, Lead Interaction Designer
“Nobody has talked for this long and actually said nothing in the end, in the history of TED Talks.” - Alis
Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders
Picked by: Kate Butchart, Client Services Lead
We’re a diverse group of creatives at Method, always looking to learn from other thinkers and makers in the field. So, we’re especially thrilled when someone as talented and interesting as Sha Hwang is able to visit us.
A data visualization expert, Sha is the founder of Movity and current design technologist at Trulia (Trulia acquired Movity in 2010). He’s also been listed as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, has given data visualization presentations at the White House, and as we found out, is and incredibly funny, kind and patient teacher.
Over the course of one week, Sha came to Method’s San Francisco studio and led us in two private workshops, taking us from understanding the principals of data visualization to prototyping our own projects.
In our first session, Sha covered how we can look at data as a material and the various questions and strategies that can drive visualizations of data. We looked at examples from various sources and discussed ways to find, gather and organize data. We also explored ways to start collecting data about ourselves and our neighborhoods. Asking questions, like ‘How do I spend my money?’ ‘How often do I check an electronic device each day?’ and ‘How many steps do I take during my commute?’
By the end of session, we brainstormed the type of data we wanted to collect over the next few days, so that we could begin to sketch and further refine, and figure out the best tools to turn our prototypes into built projects.
With Sha’s help, we were set with data and new tools for exploring how to visually bring our information to life. The entire workshop was truly fascinating and inspiring. We couldn’t be more grateful to Sha for spending his time with us!
On Saturday, the world lost design legend Bill Moggridge to his battle with cancer. We at Method are heartbroken. For a special few here, Bill was a colleague and friend, but he was and remains an inspiration to all of us. Inventor of the first laptop computer and founder of the interaction design field, Bill had a profound impact on our world.
Fittingly, there are already a number of remarkable tributes to Bill online, including articles by our friends at Fast Company and The LA Times. The Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum–which Bill had directed since 2010–created this beautiful video.
For our own tribute, a few of us at Method would like to share our memories of Bill and his influence:
“Throughout my career, Bill remained a touchstone for what I imagined interaction designers should be. Not just in terms of what we do as a discipline, but in how we should behave toward both the people we design for and the people we design with. Whenever I talked to him – whether it was when he visited live|work for his book, Designing Interactions, or my very first day at IDEO where he sat down and spent time with me talking about my journey as a designer to date, or the moment when we spoke about my brief time at Twitter and I introduced him to Evan Williams for an interview in his book, Designing Media – I was reminded of how important it was to remain warm, and humble, and generous regardless of what you feel your achievements have been. It is simply impossible to teach interaction design without making constant reference to him and his work. ”Uncle Bill” was and will remain a person for us all to aspire to.” – Ben Fullerton, Director, Interaction Design
“I stopped Bill on the steps of the Cooper Hewitt. He didn’t know me, yet he picked up on my accent and spent ten minutes talking with me, a stranger, about life the universe and everything. It was as if I had known him forever.” - Marc Shillum, Principal
“So much has already been said about Bill Moggridge’s impact on the design community and what we do for a living, but I’m astounded when I think of the larger impact he’s made on the world. Bill changed how we create. His influence on design education, his conscious and explicit focus on creating with an ‘empathetic eye,’ changed design forever, and directly resulted in more comfort, safety, satisfaction and pure joy in the form of products and services than anyone could have imagined. His legacy is greater than a single invention or technology. He has gifted the creators with a process of seeing and designing our own ideas through a superior lens.” – Mark Roudebush, Interaction Design Lead
“I don’t think I’m being over sentimental when I say that none of us here at Method would be doing what we do, the way that we do it, if it hadn’t been for Bill Moggridge. He has been the single biggest influence on my professional life. In my early teens, I read an article about him and his incredible work. It was because of that article that I knew I wanted to be a designer. Through my early product design education, it was Bill and IDEO that gave me the version of design that I knew I wanted to emulate. Studying computer-related design at the RCA, it was Bill’s work in forming ‘Interaction Design’ that gave context and meaning to our studies. I was then lucky enough to work with him during my internship at IDEO SF in 1999. I have never been so star struck as I was the day I saw him eating lunch in the same building. Soon I learned that Bill was not just someone to idolize professionally; he was the warmest, most open, most generous, thoughtful and inspiring man I have ever met. I also got to know him through his support in the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. My proudest career achievement is having Bill write a paragraph about my work in Service Design in his book, Designing Interactions. - Chris Downs, Principal
For more information on Bill Moggridge.