Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category
To ring in the new year, PSFK has tapped some of the world’s established innovators to share their insights into what we should be on the lookout for in 2013.
Among the fascinating minds on the list is Method Principal, Marc Shillum! Marc shares his predictions for what will happen to design in 2013, exploring the two important movements he sees happening parallel to each other in 2013. Read it here.
What do you think of Marc’s predictions? What do you think will happen in 2013? Let us know in the comments!
When I began writing Brands as Patterns in late 2010, I hadn’t full...
When I began writing Brands as Patterns in late 2010, I hadn’t fully realized the potential of the argument.
What I had foreseen was the convergence of interaction design with brand thinking and how that was going to change the business of building brands forever. What I hadn’t foreseen is that that same convergence has the potential to change the face of designing for interaction as well.
It occurred to me after this week’s verdict on the Apple – Samsung patent lawsuit that this goes beyond vilifying copycat design and begins to challenge the underpinning of all design for interaction.
It is, of course, somewhat ironic, that a discipline that was founded upon recognizing and notating the common patterns of users and is responsible for creating the standardized building blocks of design has produced one of the most hotly contended intellectual property battles.
The outcome of this verdict could mean that any designer of interface or behaviors could be financially liable for whether the function or behavior they’re designing is unique, or appropriated from a commonly held usage pattern.
Of course it is the declared goal of interaction design to make use easier, and building upon commonly held usage patterns had been the primary way this was achieved.
Some of the patents being protected—the bounce back behavior, the unlock gesture, pinch and zoom—have quickly become the standard way we all have come to understand touch interfaces. It seems incredulous to design a plethora of permutations as to how a user may perform these standard tasks. But, if you think about it, this is exactly what has happened in the physical world. A pin tumbler lock is pretty much the standard for physical locks and was patented in in the 1800′s by Linus Yale. Yet if you look at your key ring, there must be at least three kinds of keys that all have different behaviors, and that does not take into account numeric combinations, electronic key cards, or biometrics.
Traditionally the choice for any competitive brand, when faced with patent issues, is to license, innovate, or avoid. And because it would be hard to imagine someone like Apple licensing its core patents to the competition, the only real choice is to innovate.
This brings about an interesting conundrum: are we really going to reinvent standard interactions to create differentiation? And do we then pass on this inherent complexity to the user?
But, therein lies the opportunity. By creating a set of behaviors, functions and organizing principles that is unique and protectable, you create a stickiness within the interface that a user grows attached to. They begin to organize their systems through your tools, create value through your functionality, access and respond to your behaviors. Much in the same way that it is easy to become accustomed to the handling of a particular car, users become accustomed to the handling of the interface.
This is the true power behind brands as patterns. Branding has moved away from the tails of planes or the logo on a business card that can only signify the breed of the company. Branding has become the way you use something, the way you interact with a company, and the way you experience their products. So far, it is as protectable by law as a logo, a trade mark, or a slogan.
So, there are 2 implications for the interaction design community to consider:
1. If this thought presents a fundamental challenge to the very core of the discipline and blocks best practices, the user will ultimately suffer. Future users may be unable to convert between interfaces and will have remaster even the simplest of tasks. The adoption of standards solves this massive problem. Imagine the web without http; measurement without standard weights or distances, or currency conversion without a centralized rates. The standard patterns of interaction are only shared between designers with an adhoc agreement to create better experiences for all users.
To protect standardization in the future, we must create a legal entity that would hold the global decisions on which interactions are kept as common and which are created into Brand IP. This would represent the Standards of Common Interaction if you will.
2. If this thought embodies the true spirit of innovation and presents the opportunity to fuel innovation for the coming centuries. It’s clear that we must all begin the race towards creating more ‘brand owned’ experiences and interactions in earnest.
Ultimately, we must delight and engage the user in the uniqueness of the product or service as it relates to the ownable pattern of the brand. To do this, we have work ahead of us.
TechCrunch recently posted an article covering Ubuntu, a newly announced product from Canonical for the Android. The device is presenting some interesting notions on multi-platform engagements – one device that can both work seamlessly as an independent phone and, when plugged into a computer screen, a full desktop experience.
Think of the implications, and what this could mean for the future of user interfaces – a single, handheld device that can switch its interface for any and every media context.
Our phones are becoming more and more the center of our communications, utilities and entertainment. We’d probably all tend to choose our phone rather than open up the laptop for quick searches or browsing online.
Method works hard for our clients to consider the entire product and service ecosystem: how their brand experience is seamless across multiple platforms, but an idea to create a single platform for all experiences would be revolutionary. Of course, the input interaction still differs between a handheld, desktop, and TV experience, but why should it originate from different devices?
We see that Apple is preparing to launch AirPlay Mirroring, which essentially mirrors your laptop with your Apple TV connected TV – and they’ve been working to keep all your devices in sync with iCloud.
But why all these devices for different uses? One device for home entertainment, one device for work, and and yet another device for mobile communications.
It feels inevitable that the next step will be to reduce to a single device for all these purposes. A true pocket phone-computer-media center. One such step is from Ubuntu. They’ve brought together these three uses into one Android device. They’ve previously created a free desktop operating system and a smart TV operating system, both running from your laptop, but now they’ve housed both systems in a phone. Here’s a description from their site:
When out and about, the phone operates as any other Android-powered phone; but when you slip the device into a dock connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse you get the familiar Ubuntu desktop experience.
Another neat trick: if you connect your device to a television via HDMI you don’t get the Ubuntu desktop: you get the Ubuntu TV interface. You can browse media on your phone or access online content as you would with any Ubuntu TV appliance.
Regardless of your OS preference, the use of one platform and one device interacting with users at different levels is a great step forward in truly building a holistic experience for users. They currently use a wired doc to connect to a monitor and keyboard or to the TV, but I bet we’ll be seeing wireless connection quite soon.
The dream of ubiquitous computing is that all the clunky boxes that gather dust in our lives are replaced by a network of powerful processing units so small that all you really see is the interface.
This takes us a big step closer to that, potentially giving developers and entrepreneurs a large network of devices and users to start creating for. This is exquisitely in the original spirit of ubuntu – ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’.
There is no doubt that ultimately Set Top Boxes, large desktop PC’s and laptops will be a quaint part of history the only question is how quickly. Whatever that timescale is – it just got accelerated, and that’s a great thing for all of us.
Recently I had the good fortune and privilege to give the keynote presentation at the AdMonsters Publisher Forum in San Diego. The topic of the pre...
Recently I had the good fortune and privilege to give the keynote presentation at the AdMonsters Publisher Forum in San Diego. The topic of the presentation, “What’s So Funny About Innovation?”, focused on the parallels between stand-up comedy and the difficulties of innovating within a data-driven business culture.
This year’s Aspen Ideas Festival showcased a number of speakers discussing ideas and challenges crossing various industry verticals. IDEO fou...
This year’s Aspen Ideas Festival showcased a number of speakers discussing ideas and challenges crossing various industry verticals. IDEO founder David Kelley was in attendance, hosting a talk on creative confidence and highlighting its importance in the context of collaboration. During his discussion, he touched upon the culture of prototyping, speaking to its necessity in the innovation process as a step that allows teams to collectively discuss and refine ideas into potential products.
As David Kelley touches on, prototyping is a necessary and important step for successful innovation. In a recent 10×10 piece, “Rapid Prototyping: The Wright Way to Fail,” Method’s Lead Technologist Jeremy Jackson discusses why an iterative design process that allows for testing and refinement early and often must be embraced. Prototyping – and consequently initial failure – is integral to designing a successful product, service, or experience.
“Creating something innovative is indeed a risky undertaking. To do it, you have to crash often before you are able to fly. Famed inventor of the Dyson vacuum, James Dyson crashed frequently over the 15 years it took for him to craft 5,127 prototypes of his bagless vacuum cleaner.”
Read the full piece here.
Now this is really interesting: Facebook is rumored to be talking to Skype about either a buyout or a joint venture. Skype has already recently sho...
Now this is really interesting: Facebook is rumored to be talking to Skype about either a buyout or a joint venture. Skype has already recently shown social interest with their latest software upgrade (Skype 5.0) for Windows, which allows users to chat or call Facebook friends directly through Skype.
According to this Mashable article, Google is reportedly also in early talks with Skype about a joint venture.
Could social + video conferencing be another huge shift in behavior?
Ben Malbon’s recent blog post is directed at executive innovation roles at agencies, but there are some thoughts within the post that resonat...
Ben Malbon’s recent blog post is directed at executive innovation roles at agencies, but there are some thoughts within the post that resonate with people in the product and services industries as a whole.
Adidas France created an awe-inducing commercial using advanced 3D mapping, high-power projection, and the veil of darkness. ...
Adidas France created an awe-inducing commercial using advanced 3D mapping, high-power projection, and the veil of darkness.
Compost Modern, an AIGA conference with a focus on “Sustainable Design” was recently held in San Francisco. The conference was split in...
Compost Modern, an AIGA conference with a focus on “Sustainable Design” was recently held in San Francisco. The conference was split into one day of lectures (5 and 20 minute) and one day of participant generated group discussions. Speakers included a broad spectrum of design practitioners – from storytellers to home builders to educators. The lectures presented an optimistic glimpse into design that is currently making a very real difference in peoples lives around the world.