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My weekly inspirations: July 30, 2012

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

User-Led Innovation Can’t Create Breakthroughs; Just Ask Apple and Ikea

This is a great article from the Co. Design Blog that talks about how companies should lead their users instead of the more traditional thinking what works the other way around. This is a philosophy I really believe in because I have found that user needs are based in what they are already doing so their feedback only leads to incremental and cosmetic changes instead of holistic new thinking and innovation which is what you really want. This article dives into that subject clarifying how you can change you thinking and approach to the problem.  You can read the whole article here.

Partly Cloudy: A new app combining high design with infographic style

From the creative minds at Raureif comes Partly Cloudy, a new weather app for everyone who loves design and inforgraphics. The user-friendly interface looks like a traditional clock face with the temperature, precipitation level, wind force, the day’s high/low and the weather conditions update in real-time. It is a beautiful design that combines style with informgraphics that pack a lot of info into a new small space. You can read more about the app here and download it for just 99 cents here.

10 tips for ultimate design interview success

While I normally am not a fan of these 10 ten style articles this one is worth reading if you ever plan to interview for a creative role.  I would say 99% of the designers I have ever interviewed have not done at least 2 of the critical items of this list and vast majority never do more than half of this list.  You have to realize that if you are sitting in my office I have looked at your work and I am now looking to see how you think, how you present yourself and how you are going to work with my team.  Read this list and be sure you do all of these because they really make a difference. Read the article here.

Apple’s new Mac ads are embarrassing.

I was shocked and disappointed when I saw the new series of Apple commercial that started running on the London Olympics coverage this week. I already felt like Apple’s latest round of iPhone commercials were taking the easy route of just slapping a parade of celebrities into the spots but this latest round sinks to a new low. Gone is the aspirational brand positioning that was the envy of every other company and made consumers feel like they were part of something special. This latest work coasts on Apple brand halo while portraying their consumers as either too stupid to know how to use their computers or too cheap to buy on their computers. You can see all the spots here and judge for yourself.

Wooden crank turns iPad into a music box

Little Boxes, by Joelle Aeschlimann and ECAL,Little Boxes, by Joelle Aeschlimann and ECAL, bring some analog wonder back to iPad music making–though admittedly, through a controller mechanism that simply fakes the experience very well. You see, each Little Box is a wooden box that sits on an iPad. Inside, a metal crank rotates a plate wielding two rubber tips. And these rubber tips glide across the iPad, registering as conductive finger tips for a corresponding app providing visuals and music. But the user, turning a crank much like a music box, is none the wiser. To them, the iPad just works in a new way. See the demo video here.

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