Weekly inspirations: March 27th, 2015

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   This Audi Emits Nothing but Water Vapor, So Its Billboards Are Made of That Too Innovative products deserve advertising that itself is innovative—embodying the promise of what’s for sale in the way it’s being sold. This Audi campaign from German agency thjnk does a nice job of that. The Audi A7 Sportback h-tron uses a fuel cell coupled with a hybrid battery and additional electric motor in the rear. Notably, nothing but water vapor comes out of the exhaust. And so, Audi created billboards that similarly leave nothing behind. Read the article here.   Instagram’s new Layout app automatically generates photo collages Instagram released a new app this week called Layout that lets users easily stitch together multiple photos by automatically generating layouts to make a collage. The...

Simple new way to record your iOS screen on a Mac

If you are like me you have always wished there was an easy way to get a real-time record of your iOS screen without any special equipment. Those videos come in handy for having a video with your app in the iTunes store, sharing prototype designs and builds with clients or for making tutorials for friends and family. The good news is that its now easy to do if you have a Mac running OS X 10.10 Yosemite and  iOS 8 on an iPhone 5 or newer, iPad 3 or newer, iPad mini or newer, and iPod touch (5th gen). Here are the 5 easy steps that will have you recording your iOS device in no time.   1.) Connect your iOS device to your Mac   2.) Launch Quicktime Player   3.) Go to File > New Movie Recording   4.) Click the arrow next to the record button and select your iOS device under ‘camera’   5.) Unlock your iOS device and you will see it appear on your...

Weekly inspirations: March 20th, 2015

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   Why iPod and Nest Creator Tony Fadell Thinks Like a Child As a product designer, Fadell’s constantly fighting the inclination to habituate, and he’s come up with three basic ways to avoid its trappings and manage to find and solve invisible problems. Habituation is the idea that the more we experience something, the more we get used to its quirks and inconveniences, and the less we question it. In many ways habituation is the opposite of disruption and a barricade to brainstorming new, innovative ideas. This article looks at how Google design chief Tony Fadell is constantly fighting the inclination to habituate, and he’s come up with three basic ways to avoid its trappings and manage to find and solve invisible problems. Read the article here.   Why We Need A Haptic Design Language For Wearables...

The best new tools for mobile design

Three years I wrote an article on what I thought were the best mobile design tool and I still get asked that question a lot so I thought it was time to update the list. I wrote the original article because as soon as you start designing mobile web sites or mobile apps you see that the current set of design tools just aren’t built for the challenge. The problem is that you need to see and interact with your designs on a mobile device to really know if it going to work the way you wanted and if it will meet the users context. So after a lot of research and trying out a lot of different tools here are some of the best ones I’ve found so far.   Best New Design Tool Sketch – Free trail / $99 The biggest change in my digital design workflow in the past three years has been the introduction of Sketch from Bohemian Coding. This hasn’t been a small change for me...

Weekly inspirations: March 13th, 2015

My apologies for taking a week off from the weekly inspiration list but things have been so busy that for the first time in a long time I just forgot to write it last week. So this week the list is a little suppressed with two weeks of good reading so as usual here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   This Woman’s Bruises Will Heal if You Pay Attention to Her Billboard U.K. domestic violence charity Women’s Aid created this clever digital poster campaign for International Women’s Day on March 8. The digital billboard shows the bruised face of an abused woman, shot by the photographer Rankin. It uses facial recognition technology to recognize when people actively pay attention to the image. Those who look at the screen get feedback via a live video feed that runs along the bottom of the ad as a visual ticker tape, registering...

Weekly inspirations: February 27th, 2015

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   How To Brand Yourself In The New Economy: be the Lemonade In a recent global poll only 13% if people said that they were highly engaged in their jobs and not looking for other opportunities. This means that now, more than ever, to navigate successfully in this new economy, we must brand our work and ourselves in terms of the value we bring to our target audience.  We have to show them in their terms where and when we do our best work. It is a delicate balancing act but this article does a nice job of starting to lay some of the things you can do to be successful. Read the article here.   Rotate This Travelers’ Clock To Switch Time Zones Effortlessly If you’re a frequent traveler who has an analog time piece fetish, this clock by Korean design studio Elevenplus will be your new best...

Astropad app turns iPads into Wacom killers

I’ve done my design work with a Wacom tablet for as long as they have been around. I love creating with a pen instead of a mouse because it is just so much more fluid compared to designing with a mouse which always felt was like drawing with a bar of soap. For years I have also been trying to find some way to justify getting a Wacom Cintiq tablet but the $2,000+ price tag has always kept me from getting one. Then this week I came across a new app called Astropad and everything changed. Half of Astropad runs on your Mac and the other half on your iPad to turn your iPad into a Cintiq style display where you can use it to control and draw on your Mac. It is obvious that the app creators really made this for designers and really spent a lot of time trying to solve common problems with apps like this.  The first feature I love is that the connection between the Mac and iPad can be...

Weekly inspirations: February 27th, 2015

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   A Lightbulb-Shaped Projector Could Power The Smart Home Of The Future Beam, a lightbulb-shaped gadget, promises projects your smartphonescreen onto any surface you want. Launched on Kickstarter this month, the $350 projector screws into any lightbulb socket, so you can set it up anywhere you’d normally stick a lamp, allowing you to play videos on your wall, view digital photo albums on your kitchen table, or, in general, make your smartphone screen a (literally) bigger presence in your house. Read the article and see it in action here.   Your Brand Needs a Visual Style Guide: Here’s How to Create One Style guides or brand bibles contain all the necessary information to create whatever assets, advertising, web site or collateral any company needs keeping it all consistent and on brand. So, if...

Creative Director Douchebag Detector Device

While I take my work seriously I am well aware of all the clichés that creative directors fall in to. It’s always amazing how such a creative group can all act so much alike. I recent found the Creative Director Douchebag Detector Device which is really funny site to be able to really narrow in on which creative director stereotype you are working with. It is really funny and a great diversion or stress relief if you need it. Check out the site here.

Weekly inspirations: February 20th, 2015

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   Jonathan Ive and The Shape of Things to Come The internet exploded this week with the lengthy and very interview with Apple design chief Jony Ive. It is one of the best looks I’ve seen into his thinking, how things are done at Apple and much more. It is a must read for anyone interested in creativity, design and tech. Read the article here.   Collaboration Between Chef and Designer Helps Lead US to Bocuse History When the United States team made culinary history at the 2015 Bocuse d’Or with its second place win—the first time an American team reached the podium of the international competition – both the food and the serving pieces contributed to the victory. Central to the team’s success was the show-stopping meat platter prepared by USA team leader Philip Tessier, displayed on a custom...