Baldur Bjarnason writes an immense treatise on the current sad state of software, grounded in the historical perspective of the past sad state of software.
Businesses focus on efficiencies—doing the things that net them the most money for the least effort. By contrast, taxpayer-funded public programs are designed and expected to cover everyone—including, and especially, the most marginalized. That’s why they’re taxpayer-funded; so they don’t face existential risk be eschewing profit-driven decision-making. Does this work perfectly? No. But I think about it a lot when people shit on the bigness and slowness of government. That bigness & slowness is supposed to create space and resources to account for the communities, that a “lean,” fast approach deliberately ignores.
How design fiction was co-opted. A piece by Tim Maughan with soundbites from Julian Bleecker, Anab Jain, and Scott Smith.
When your only tool seems like a smartphone, everything looks like an app.
Amber writes on Ev’s blog about products that deliberately choose to be dependent on smartphone connectivity:
We read service outage stories like these seemingly every week, and have become numb to the fundamental reality: The idea of placing the safety of yourself, your child, or another loved one in the hands of an app dependent on a server you cannot touch, control, or know the status of, is utterly unacceptable.
200 discarded objects from a dump in San Francisco, meticulously catalogued, researched, and documented by Jenny Odell. The result is something more revealing than most pre-planned time capsule projects …although this project may be somewhat short-lived as it’s hosted on Tumblr.
A deep dive into Pixar’s sci-fi masterpiece, featuring entertaining detours to communist propaganda and Disney theme parks.
The newest Gary Hustwit film is a documentary about Dieter Rams, featuring plinkity music by Brian Eno.
Rams is a design documentary, but it’s also a rumination on consumerism, materialism, and sustainability.
Prompted by his time at Clearleft’s AI gathering in Juvet, Chris has been delving deep into the stories we tell about artificial intelligence …and what stories are missing.
And here we are at the eponymous answer to the question that I first asked at Juvet around 7 months ago: What stories aren’t we telling ourselves about AI?
From Designing Products with Sound by Amber Case and Aaron Day:
Sound eases cognitive burdens.
Sound is also a powerful brand differentiator.
Sound is emotional.
Finally, sound impacts productivity.
Not every product needs sound design.
Nick Foster has put the audio of his fantastic dConstruct talk together with his slides.
It’s a terrific, thought-provoking presentation, superbly delivered …and it even has some relevance to progressive enhancement! (you’ll know what I mean if you watch/listen to the whole thing)
A nice profile of BERG’s Little Printer. That Matt Webb is a smart cookie. He is also a very thoughtful cookie.
Inspired by dConstruct, Ellen is going to start exploring the world of smart objects.
These are like chindogu, but they’re all available from Amazon with accompanying reviews.
A spot-on analysis by Khoi of the changing perception of the value in product design, as exemplified by Apple.
Those lovely BERG chaps profiled in the New York Times.
A rallying cry from Russell, urging us not to rely too much on the intangible.
How does an object’s character and/or behaviour tie in with communicating its purpose in life, how it looks and how it should be used?
A great article about the rising prevalence of "rough consensus and running code" in the real world.