August 14, 2007

Echochrome

Screenshot005This game looks very cool indeed. It's based around that kind of impossible-object drawing that you'd see on the front of maths books in school but requires you to rotate & move the objects to allow a little man  to reach his goal.

I love the way it completely messes with your sense of space and yet it has a very definite internal logic of it's own. I'd imagine it's one of those games  which if played too much would cause you to see objects slightly weirdly for a while afterwards.

July 26, 2007

a lapel pin

Un A nice story from Design Observer about the emblem of the United Nations being designed, at first, as a lapel pin.

Talking with McLaughlin, I found myself thinking of that little pin. At the time, it must have seemed like a little job, almost the kind of thing an ambitious designer would consider a nuisance. We've all done projects like that, often with teeth gritted. There's a lesson here: you never know what might happen to those little jobs.

July 12, 2007

Sans For The Memories

Comicserif Someone has created a variant of all our favourite font called ... wait for it ... comic serif.

NB: alternative titles for this post included:

- The Sans Of Time
- Live At The Sans
- I Shot The Serif

July 11, 2007

The beauty of decay

0000005048I've been a fan of the Opacity website for a couple of years. It started as a portfolio site for an american photographer who visited old, abandoned buildings. It has since grown to be more about the exploration of the buildings themselves, and often includes the building's history, and any plans for the site in the future.

Most of the sites are american, but there are a few from a recent visit to Britain, and some recently uploaded Belgian ones.

The photographer has a great eye for capturing the eerie atmosphere of these places, and finds humour and beauty in a lot of the little details.

I'm generally jealous of what he gets away with, but I'm too much of a scaredy cat to try this kind of stuff myself. There are many more abandoned buildings of this nature in America, due to the fact that land isn't at a premium over there. In Leeds at least, anything vacant for more than five minutes is converted into 'luxury apartments'. Hmph.

June 25, 2007

Razor screen

T-shirt design. Always something you'd consider being restricted to the 2D printed format. Not necessarily any more. Those bods over at Sony have developed a paper thin display that bends like paper while showing full colour video.

At 0.3millmetre (0.01 inch)! the display combines Sony's organic thin film transistor, or TFT, technology, which is required to make flexible displays, with another kind of technology called organic electroluminescent display.

This potentially allows it to be worn as clothing as well as other applications where a display needs to wrapped around an object.

However:

Sony said plans for a commercial product using the technology were still undecided.

Tatsuo Mori, professor at Nagoya University's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said some hurdles remained, including making the display bigger, ensuring durability and cutting costs.

"To come up with a flexible screen at that image quality is ground breaking," Mori said.

"You can drop it, and it won't break because it's as thin as paper."

So maybe its not time to give up Illustrator for After Effects just yet!

Watch a video of the display here.

June 22, 2007

iApolloGearsPhone?

Very interesting article about iPhone, Nokia, Google, Adobe and web/desktop apps.

In short, there is a strong possibility that applications built for the iPhone will run on Nokia Series 60 devices with relatively little re-coding. [...] The applications will also run on Windows and Mac desktops with the Safari browser.

The final pieces of this jigsaw are supplied by Google and Adobe, who are working together on an open source project - Google Gears - to enable browser-based applications to function off-line. Adobe is planning to incorporate this capability into Apollo [...] which runs across desktop and mobile devices.

[This is] more than just interesting in a mobile context - it is a way of solving one of the key issues which has constrained web-style application development for phones, i.e. what happens when the device loses the network connection.

June 19, 2007

Todoist

Maybe you're not as anal as me and don't have any need for crazy rock'n'roll things like todo lists. However, if by any chance you are then Todoist is what you need. Not only is it a very nice neat design, the interaction (via judicious use of ajax) is nigh on perfect. No click is left unacknowledged; no page leaves you wondering what you should click next; the help screen is always a single instant click away (as is most of it really).  You can add new lists, create sub-lists (via indenting), colour code, and even give every item a date (via a cunning little command based interface) which is all just lovely. There some screen casts to help you get started and a host of shortcuts, an api, gmail integration, mobile access etc etc etc.

Bye bye tadalists I have a new master now!

June 13, 2007

Apple goes Web 2.0

Another Apple post. Yawn....sorry, couldn't resist... Apple.com (US version) has gone all Web 2.0 and has been redesigned for the first time since 2000. The old Aqua look (which is still used on the current UK version of the site) has been replaced with this new future look, no doubt to coincide with the Lepoard release. Apple The top navigation has changed from the Aqua look to the new style. Everything is a lot darker - black background is now preferred. Navigating within the site you'll notice new menus such as the sideway scrollbar to flick through products, ala Cover Flow and the funky rollover/dropdown menus quite similar to what our Tom did on the old DU Studio. Best of all is the Live Web Search which works in the same way as Spotlight does on OS X Tiger, although a hell of a lot quick than Spotlight. All very neat and goes to show how little there is to differentiate between web and desktops these days. And yes, I do have an unhealthy obsession with Apple.

May 16, 2007

Every second.

Rossignol quotes an article called Shaping The Future which talks about the possibility of flash memory being cheap enough in a few years to have enough to easily record a video stream of everything you see for a whole year on a single card!

I was talking to Tero the other day about memory becoming cheaper and how mp3's or photos at fairly high quality aren't getting getting any bigger, but we still agreed that people would find ways of filling even enormous capacity memory.

Perhaps recording every second of every day of our lives as video is what that will be. Makes that old grainy cine film of my parents wedding kind of seem like some priceless ancient artefact.

April 24, 2007

Understanding users, anywhere, anytime

Google lays out its Mobile User Experience strategy.

Which one are you?

A) Repetitive Now
The user is someone checking for the same piece of information over and over again, like checking the same stock quotes or weather. Google uses cookies to help cater to mobile users who check and recheck the same data points.

B) Bored Now
These are users who have time on their hands. People on trains or waiting in airports or sitting in cafes. Mobile users in this behavior group look a lot more like casual Web surfers, but mobile phones don't offer the robust user input of a desktop, so the applications have to be tailored.

C)Urgent Now
This is a request to find something specific fast, like the location of a bakery or directions to the airport. Since a lot of these questions are location-aware, Google tries to build location into the mobile versions of these queries.

Read more here.

Via Small Surfaces, a site that tracks articles about interaction design, user interface design, user experience, usability and social trends related to mobile devices.

August 14, 2007

July 26, 2007

July 12, 2007

July 11, 2007

June 25, 2007

June 22, 2007

June 19, 2007

June 13, 2007

May 16, 2007

April 24, 2007

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