Showing all posts tagged productdesign:

Looking Back at Apple Watch Keynote

I still recall Jony Ive's explaination of the Apple Watch during its keynote, which addressed all of the right key points that a wearable product should focus on. So I decided to put together a list of my favorite wearable quotes from Ive.

"We’re introducing an unparalleled level of technical innovation combined with a design that connects with the wearer at an intimate level to both embrace individuality and inspire desire. The watch senses that you are raising your wrist and then activates the display. You see an organization of apps that well knew is somehow familiar. Navigation is fluid and vital."

"Apps are designed for lightweight interaction. Smart replies and dictation let you respond quickly to messages. Glances let you swipe through information efficiently. And pressing the button below the digital crown instantly shows you friends you can contact in just seconds. And with digital touch, we’ve developed an entirely new way for you to connect intimately with others."

"We know that wearing something all day every day becomes as much about personal preference and self-expression as functionality. So we’ve designed a range of watch faces. You can personalize both their appearance and their capability."

"Personalization extends way beyond the interface. We have designed six different straps and a mechanism that makes the straps easily interchangeable with the refinement and precision that’s born of functionality. The sport band in a range of bold colors is made from a tough, durable sweat and chemical resistant high performance elastomer."

- Jony Ive

Takeaway: More wearable products should embrace intimacy, individuality, desire, expression and personalization.

The Quaint Economy and Its Influence on Products

Excerpt from Conner Sen's blog post about quaint economy:

"It gets to our complicated relationship with capitalism in this era of “late capitalism," where we’re getting close to being able to mass produce/mass consume anything we want at the flick of a switch on a 3D printer."

"Part of it, and this is what the tech utopians/dystopians miss, is the ugly side of American status-seeking and our belief that “anything anyone can have isn’t worth having," which is why we’ll continue to buy 2 carat diamonds when far-cheaper cubic zirconia alternatives may have similar curb appeal. If technology and capitalism can give us any artifact we want, then we’ll crave artifacts technology and capitalism struggle to provide (old barn wood, which is scarce). But the other part taps into our collective distrust of capitalism in recent years. Capitalism, we believe, led to the finance industry swindling us by giving some people mortgages they couldn’t afford, and selling those mortgage securities to pension funds that are supposed to provide for us in retirement. Capitalism lets soda and fast food companies market products to our kids that make them sick and increases the costs on the healthcare system. It lets retailers buy lead-based toys from China, and grocers buy monoculture and corn-based frankenfoods from big agriculture. It lets healthcare companies deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions."

"Consumers have stopped trusting capitalism devoid of values and morality. Which is where the desire for authenticity-based consumption comes in."

"If you have a unique foundational story about your product or company — you got fired from your corporate job, hiked the Appalachian Trail, and met the love of your life at a maple syrup farm in Vermont, leading you to get into the syrup business — then your passion for your work is seen as more important to you than the commerce side of the work. We trust producers that put their values, work, and customers before profits."

The Business Insider's article by Shane Ferro puts it like this. "TQE is full of ironies. For one thing, says Dominguez, much of TQE is really about a nostalgia for a modernist culture that was, at the time, 'hell bent on destroying the past.' For another, Sen writes, ‘authenticity is all about placing barriers on growth, which is interesting now that corporations and firms are trying to scale the authenticity economy.'"

via csen

Problem with Being Ahead of Your Time

  1. A product doesn't have to be superior in order to dominate a market; all that is required is just a little marketing hustle. You have to remember, the consumer believes all products of the same ilk are essentially the same. If it comes down to technologically superior features or cost, the consumer will always take the cheaper product. Advanced features are nice, but the consumer must believe they are warranted and add value to their lives.
  2. For broad market acceptance, the product must be built on open standards. This was the hard lesson IBM learned in building its products.
  3. Consumers prefer to be spoon-fed changes with teaspoons. It takes real visionaries to adopt new ideas and, unfortunately, they are few and far between. The consumer wants simple solutions they can easily assimilate. Remember, most people are afraid of major changes of any kind.

Wearable Cellphone Charger Reminds People to Donate Blood

"Y&R Moscow recently partnered with Azerbaijani cellular network Nar Mobile to create a wearable device called Donor Cable, which lets one smartphone owner easily donate power to another. Worn as a bracelet, the charging device is clever enough, but it's also inscribed with the message, 'Donate energy to save a phone, and donate blood to save a life.'"

via AdWeek

Kids in Developed Countries Need Necessities, Not Laptop

After seeing OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) and other highly-designed and technology-focused products for the developing countries fail one after another, it's quite clear that most designers and technologists have difficult time understanding what the people in developing countries really need and are struggling with.

Aarambh, a nonprofit organization based in New Bombay, recognized the disconnect and created a clever dual-purpose desk/backpack from a cardboard designed to address basic necessities needed for education -- a backpack to hold books and a desk to study on.

Relevant Articles:
In Philippine Slums, Capturing Light in A Bottle (example of how a simple, affordable solution can make a worldly difference)

Kids Don’t Need Equipment, They Need Opportunity by Ellen Ruppel Shell (originally published July 1994 from Smithsonian Magazine)

via Dornob

Faux Product Design in Advertising

I thought this was an interesting way to redesign an existing product to raise awareness around hunger. It conjures up an image of eating (that everyone can related to) and asking for help in a clever, thought-provoking way. This is something that interaction and product design industry needs more in my opinion -- rather than strictly focusing on aesthetics that often discounts cultural meaning.

Wearable Form Factor Exploration with Play-Doh

Inspired by Ferran Adrià’s method of visualizing dishes with plasticine food models, I decided to apply the same theory to designing wearables. These are some of the results of an one-hour experiment with my colleague Reuben Vollmer.

Relevant Video:
Tales of Creativity and Play by Tim Brown (talks about using Play-doh as a method of prototyping)

20th Anniversary of Nokia 2110

Twenty years ago, Nokia announced a new mobile phone that set a new standard for high-end handset. It had the largest dot-matrix screen, thinnest profile people had ever seen and the ability to send text messages (whereas most of the other phones at the time did not). The Nokia 2110 was also the first mobile phone to include a musical ringtone composed by Francisco Tarrega — now known as the classic Nokia ringtone.

The body of the phone was designed to be something people wanted to hold and caress; by accentuating subtle curves and adding soft but responsive rubber keypads. The keypads’ softness and tactility also played a huge role in the way textual menu worked. The menu used simple taxonomy and navigation to allow people to easily pickup and use it right away; eventually creating massive 20 million loyal followers.

Mico Headphones Match Songs to Your Mood

When connected to a smartphone, the headphones will play a song based on the wearer's state of mind. The sides of each ear piece also display icons to indicate whether the listener is feeling focused, drowsy, or stressed.

Possible uses:
  • Playing songs to match someone's state of mind.
  • Mico + Pandora collaboration
  • Headphones trying to improve the state of mind by playing something cheerful when the wearer feels down.
via Gizmag