Redesigning the iPhone – is it Necessary?

Three weeks ago, Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S. The phone was a tremendous leap ahead of its predecessors, yet the much of the feedback contained a tint of disappointment. Most of that disappointment stemmed from the news that Apple did not showcase the iPhone 5. Under the hood, the iPhone 4S had been drastically improved, however it did not provide the one thing so many people had been frothing at the mouth for, a new body. This response saddened me because it displayed a general misunderstanding of product design by the media and public at large. Would it be a problem if the iPhone 5, 6 & 7 looked the same? To many, yes. However, I believe the physical design of the iPhone has reached a level of quality that should make us question changing its design to meet the public’s insatiable need for new. Continue reading “Redesigning the iPhone – is it Necessary?”

The Cloud’s Potentially Huge Liability

Cloud services are redefining how society interacts with digital projects. However, data caps imposed by telecoms could turn the promise of the cloud into a painful and costly situation for many people.

This post was originally posted on the Adaptive Path blog.

For all intents and purposes, the cloud has been an overwhelming hit. For most people with readily available high speed internet, it has taken a lot of the pain and cost away from the storage and management of digital content. Adoption of cloud services have hit the point where many people now integrate them into their daily habits. Under normal circumstances, I would consider this to be a good thing, but as things stand, I feel as though this trend is going to blow up in our face. The impending problems have nothing to do with cloud services or the cloud in general. The problem is with the policies placed around how we access it, specifically data caps from our broadband and wireless data providers.

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In Defense of Hard

This post was originally posted on the Adaptive Path blog.

The permeation of software in society has given everyone the opportunity to do what only professionals were capable of in years past. The web has only accelerated its progression. There are whole new segments of the population who are now frequently publishing their writing, editing video, and processing photos, among other things. The problem, however, is that to meet the needs of this new untrained audience, the methods of interaction have been over-simplified in the process. Instead of bringing everyone up to a higher proficiency, this is dragging everyone down, including professionals, to a lower state. Superficially designed products create superficial understandings of the subject matter. Expect more of your audience, give them a good reason why it is worth their time, and you will have a better audience as well as a better product.

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Twitter of 2006 Should Have a Talk With Twitter of 2011

Fail Whale

The diversity inherent in public design/development was considered the strength of the Web 2.0 movement. In many ways, Twitter has become the behemoth it now is based on that very notion. In an odd turn, Twitter has decided to ask developers to stop making conventional Twitter apps. To put it lightly, there seems to be a lack of historical perspective in this change in opinion. Perhaps the hardest part for myself to swallow is the fact that Twitter’s official client was not the product of an internal design team, but simply a revised version of an acquired third-party application. Continue reading “Twitter of 2006 Should Have a Talk With Twitter of 2011”

What Comes After Sharing?

This post was originally posted on the Adaptive Path blog.

Sharing ideas, work and knowledge used to be an extremely novel concept. It is now increasingly accepted as vital for community recognition and distinction for businesses. We publish all types of information online, but the sharing of ideas, thoughts and insights is arguably the most fundamental and imperative form. With the pervasiveness of sharing, its current manifestation is quickly becoming the lowest common denominator. Our standard methods of sharing are quite old (in internet years) and improvements upon them are yielding diminishing returns. The thought leaders and evangelists of ideas who fostered the sharing environment will likely push sharing to its next step. I believe the focus of this next step needs to be on behavioral and technological improvements allowing shared ideas to more easily grow beyond their initial form and also empowers communities to participate in the process.

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Design and Technology, Sitting in a Tree…

This post was originally posted on the Adaptive Path blog.

One constant that has stood the test of time in new media/technology projects has been the tension between designers and developers. There have been very few places I have worked where this tension was not one of the central issues holding back teams from generating successful final products. We, as a community, have tried countless ways to alleviate this issue, but it continues to persist despite our efforts. Sadly, I feel this issue stems less from process (although that can definitely exacerbate the situation) and more from a company’s culture and organizational approach. The seamless integration between design and technology is becoming increasingly vital to a product’s success. Up to this point, a lot of subconscious time and energy is put into the segmentation of designers and developers, but what we should really be doing is working to blur the lines between the skill sets. The companies that will thrive moving forward are the ones that resolve this tension. With that in mind, what can both designers and developers do in their everyday process to create a more mutli-disciplined approach that still works within a company’s structure?

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If You Could Subscribe To Only 20 RSS Feeds…

A big part of my morning is going through Google Reader. It is perhaps the most intense period of information consumption that I go through. If my trend statistics are accurate, I go through an average of 400 posts a day — at an almost alarming rate. This daily ritual is the center of my process for updating this blog. This all happens within about a 30 minute window. At the moment, I have 298 RSS feeds that I am subscribed to. I wondered what my list would look like if I had to limit it to just twenty. I took about 10-15 minutes to dwell on the subject enough to compile something that looked promising. Continue reading “If You Could Subscribe To Only 20 RSS Feeds…”

Flash, the iPad, He Said, She Said, the Frying Pan and the Fire

Even if the iPad is not a success, media producers are understanding the implications of using a technology that could be rendered lame almost overnight. It is as if in an instant the world saw what has been taking place for years; HTML/CSS/Javascript has been catching up to Flash – pushing it closer to being inessential. You cannot put the cat back into the bag. However, Apple is not to be applauded. They are upping the ante for how closed an experience can be for next-gen mobile devices. After the unveiling of the iPad we have heard sniping from both Adobe and Apple, however neither have the best interests of the public in mind. Continue reading “Flash, the iPad, He Said, She Said, the Frying Pan and the Fire”

Why You Should Give Away (Some) of Your Work

I am an ardent supporter of the open-source philosophy – but who isn’t? It is a safe assumption to make that just about anyone working on the web in some capacity (developer, designer, information architect, marketer, etc.) is taking advantage of free/open-source work in one way or another. The internet would not be the internet that we know without free and open-source projects moving it forward. With that in mind, I consider it the obligation of those who make a living on the internet to carry their share of the weight and offer up something in return.

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