Weekly inspirations: July 28, 2014

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   Forget Bitcoin, this Nike vending machine makes hard-earned sweat the newest currency On the streets of New York City, there’s a vending machine full of Nike gear–socks, T-shirts, hats–so you can get some fresh workout clothes on the go. The only catch is, it doesn’t take cash, debit, or credit. It only takes your hard-earned sweat through NIKE Fuel Brand points. I first saw this idea a few months ago in the Retail Lab at R/GA and was really intrigued.  I think it is interesting to see brands like Nike and MasterCard working to create these instant gratification rewards programs for using their products and services. Read the article here. David Kwong TED Talk: Two nerdy obsessions meet — and it’s magic David Kwong is the really interesting mix of a magician and also...

Points: the world’s most advanced wayfinding sign

The more I travel the world the more I see digital signage appearing everywhere. This trend is being powered by the spread of digital devices and a society that is more comfortable with technology but the only problem is that I have found 99% of the user experience are clumsy, static and just not helpful. So I was intrigued when I saw the new Points wayfinding system which does a really nice job of combining digital and physical signage into a flexible system that can give directions to points of interest, current events, news, advertisements or show social media. Each of those categories can then change depending on the time of day and other factors. It is all controlled through a simple button interface that lets the user choose from options like lunch, events, shopping or sights. You can see it in action in the video above which was shot with the prototype sign in Brooklyn. It is...

Weekly inspirations: July 21, 2014

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED’s in-house expert Aaron Weyenberg is the master of slide decks at TED. He is their UX Lead  who creates the kind of presentations that pull you in and keep you captivated, but in an understated way that helps you focus on what’s actually being said. TED asked Aaron to bottle his Keynote wisdom so that others could benefit from it. I really like and agree with his 10 tips for making an effective slide deck, split into two parts: the big, overarching goals, and the little tips and tricks that make your presentation sing. Read the article here. You May Be Losing Users If Responsive Web Design Is Your Only Mobile Strategy This article look at the relationship between the mobile web and responsive design, starting with how to apply...

Google explains why no one uses your apps

I put this video in my weekly inspirations last week but through it was worth calling out on its own after I’ve watched it a few more times and realized just how dead on this talk really is. The video is of a session at the most recent Google’s I/O conference by Tomer Sharon who is a Google Search User Experience Researcher who broke down the age-old question: “Why is nobody using my app?”. I see so many apps and so many designers fall into these traps and have no idea how to get out of them. If you dow any design work for mobile you need to watch this video.

Bibliotheca: one man’s quest to re-design the Good Book

I am not a religious person but I have always been perplexed by the Bibles that I have seen as they a s jumble of numbers, notes, references, gutters, annotations and small type. None of this is conducive to making it something that the non-religious person would really want to pick up and read. I came across a project today from book designer Adam Greene who started a Kickstarter for a new design of the Bible called Bibliotheca. The premise behind the project is simple and even a little daring in that he wants to lay out the Bible as a collection of literature, rather than a single encyclopedic volume. Bibliotheca consists of four volumes, three for the Old Testament and one for the New. Like I said before I am not a religious person but I find myself waiting to pick up a copy because he has put a tremendous amount of thought into project with a myriad of details to make it easier to...

Weekly inspirations: July 14, 2014

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   6 Reasons Why Nobody Uses Your App There’s a dirty secret behind many of those hot new app startups you hear about every week. They have seed funding and a flashy landing page. They have everything except users, because nobody actually wanted the app. In a presentation at Google’s I/O conference, Tomer Sharon, Google Search User Experience Researcher, broke down the age-old question: “Why is nobody using my app?” You can watch the entire presentation in the video in the article which also does a nice job of simplifying the 30-minute presentation into the key takeaways. Read the article here. Tory Burch Gives The Fitness Tracker A Fashionable Makeover In an effort to make people actually want to wear wearable technology, designer Tory Burch has given the Fitbit fitness tracker a fashionable makeover....

Weekly inspirations: July 7, 2014

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   A Better Netflix with A Better Queue I am constantly fascinated to see new start-ups come in and improve upon what big brands are doing. In this case there is more than a little irony that it happened to Netflix as one developer has created the site A Better Queue which lets you filter Netflix’s instantly streaming movies by Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer, number of reviews, years, genres and lets you add movies straight to your queue. It was all done with Ruby on Rails, the Netflix API, and the Rotten Tomatoes API. It is till in the early days but if you use Netflix streaming this is the site you need to be using. Go to the site here. How GoPro Is Transforming Advertising As We Know It GoPro’s rising stock prices after its initial public offering (IPO) last week just go to show how powerful...

Speaking at the Digital Design & Web Innovation Summit

I’m happy to announce that I have been asked to speak at the Digital Design & Web Innovation Summit which will take place this September 25-26 in San Francisco. I was really intrigued with this conference when it debuted last year as it was the first one I have seen in a long time to bring together so much senior digital creative leadership from major brands in one place. This year I will have the pleasure to take the stage along side other senior creative leaders as the VP of Product Innovation for Netflix, the Creative and UX Director for Zynga, the Design Director for Square and the Head of Creative for Google. I am finalizing the topic I will be presenting and will announce it soon. You can find out more about the conference here. I will also be speaking at the Executive Digital Marketing Conference which will take place November 5-7 here in New York City. Here again I am...

Weekly inspirations: June 23, 2014

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:   How Google’s Project Ara Could Pave The Way For Next-Gen UI When you think about it, smartphones haven’t changed dramatically since the iPhone was first released in 2007. Sure, they have gotten faster, more powerful, and thinner. They have far better sound, displays, and cameras. But at the end of the day, we’re all still using our smartphones the same way we did then: by tapping a glass screen. Currently in the prototype phase, Project Ara allows you to snap together a smartphone out of individual components, almost like Lego. The advantage with this design isn’t just that you could update components, like a camera or a processor, as they become obsolete; a smartphone like Project Ara would also allow companies to explore more exotic haptic technologies, which could then be...

Nest reinvents smart home devices – again

I will openly admit that there are fe products I have purchased over the past year and a half that I love more than my Nest thermostats. I think their product is fantastic and I NEVER thought I would actually be excited to rush home to see if my thermostat has downloaded a new software update. I love the way they think, the products they make and I think Google was really smart to buy them in the age were we see so many companies starting the war to bring real home automation to consumers. We recently saw Apple announce Homekit at WWDC to try to create a standard for home automation devices that work with apple products. The announcement was interesting but lacked any partners or any products that could show the benefits of this type of partnership. Yesterday Nest made a similar announcement but with partners and real examples that really show off the potential of how cool this type of...