Sketch-Noting & The Art of Interaction

I saw these wonderful slides about Sketchnotes and The Art of Interaction Design in Slideshare and thought I can share the wealth. :).

Just go through them, they are really wonderful.




Scott Forstall and The Skeuomorphic Design

Scott Forstall

     Three weeks ago, Scott Forstall, the Senior Vice President of Apple Software was fired from the company.  And, Sir Jonathan Ive, who was taking care of Apple’s Hardware Design will take over his position.  In his new position at Apple, Jonny Ive will be the head of ‘Human Interface’ in which he will be taking care of both Hardware and Software Design which was formerly headed by the legendary Steve Jobs.  That’s Good News.  But the Bad News is that Scott Forstall had been fired.  Rumours say that Forstall had been fired from the company because he refused to sign the apology letter for the failure of Apple Maps.

   As far as I have seen in the news articles that I have read, many have been talking in the sense Scott Forstall leaving Apple as a ‘Good Thing’.  But, I would say ‘No’.  They wrote that they did not like ‘Skeuomorphic Designs’ that Mr. Forstall had been creating in the iOS.  I will come what Skeuomorphic Design later.  They all have been writing like that they never ever liked or loved the Softwares that Apple had been creating under Scott Forstall’s Lead. He created the world’s best mobile operating system, iOS.  It’s not just iOS, it’s ‘The iOS’.

   Did not they like it and praising Apple for the same ?  Did not they use Calendar feature of iOS which was using ‘Skeuomorphic Design’ ?  Apple’s iPhone has been the best because of its Software and not just the hardware.  I am not getting any philosophical here but it is a good thing to see the best side in everybody.  If one product fails, does your reviews have to be so stinging  ?  It is a question that I am posing for the entire Interface Enthusiasts and Technology Appreciators.

   So coming to ‘Skeuomorphic Design’, what is ‘Skeuomorph’ ? According to Wikipedia, A skeuomorph or skeuomorphism is a design element of a product that imitates design elements that were functionally necessary in the original product design, but which have become ornamental in the new design.  We  have read earlier in one of our class readings of CGT 512 (Once upon a time, remember ???), by Donald A. Norman about using age-old  traditional representation for the new products.  In Skeuomorph, it is simply the part of the design itself.

For example, Artificial Leather Grain on the Calendar Icon of iOS and in many other applications.  I tried to research more on the question that whether a Skeuomorphic Design a Good thing or Bad.  After hours of Google search, I can just say that it just depends on the context that we are using the design and the current mind set of the people.  It’s not a question of ‘Why ?’ but ‘Who ?’.  Being in this industry of creating software for people, we can never ignore the question – Who we are dealing with ?  Like most of the answers, the answer is ‘It Depends …’. :).

Thanks. :).

News Article – Improvements in Google Apps.

     I thought that Google Apps. were perfect than anything else on my phone.  After reading these articles, now, I am re-thinking my decision.  You can read the news article from here – Fixes in Google Apps.  Moral of the Story : As Interface designers and Programmers, I think we should have a keen eye hereafter looking for improvements than just looking for their problems.  

News Articles – Cascading Problems of Poor Documentation & iOS 6 Flaws

     I read the following article in Mashable and thought I can share.   You can read it by clicking here – The Real Reason Silicon Valley Coders write Bad Softwares.  The article generally talks about self-taught engineers, their poor english, documentations and unorganized code which causes the problems to cascade in a product’s life cycle with good explanations and examples.  The other aritcle takes down iOS 6 by explaining its problems of usability – Say, the colors used, search results, inconsistent design etc.,  You can read it here – iOS 6 Problems.  I sometimes have this question over my mind – Does Apple make these mistakes because Steve Jobs is no more :(.  Take a dig if you are interested.

Thanks. :).

Movies on ‘Typography’ & ‘Visualization’

     Friends,  I thought I definitely should share this.  There is a series of documentaries by independent film maker – Gary Hustwit, called as the ‘Design Trilogy‘.  All the three movies are must watch for Designers.  Of the three movies, Helvetica is a movie which is completely based on typography.  After last week’s presentation on ‘Typography’, I got reminded of Helvetica.  Mike Parker, the typographer of ‘Helvetica’ would have talked in the documentary.  I never knew that so much details goes into while designing a typeface.  It is visual treat to watch the details that goes into the alphabets while crafting them.  I have embedded the trailer below to get a sneak peek on the documentary.

Helvetica In Motion from Positive Pictures on Vimeo.

     Also, Edward Tuefte has posted the movie ‘Teaching To See’ in his Vimeo channel.  ‘Teaching To See’ is a movie on Inge Druckerey,  a teacher on Visualization.  This movie is all about the how she taught her students to Visualize.  :).  This is documentary movie is must watch for getting a different perspective on looking at designs.  I have the embedded the movie from ET’s channel below.

Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See from Edward Tufte on Vimeo.

Thanks. :).

How ‘Social Media’ can change the World !

     Clay Shirky, a multi-faceted American writer is both a consultant and teacher on socio-economic effects of the Internet.  He has given a presentation in TED Conference (June 2009) on how social media can make history.  Dr. V would have certainly known about him.  Take a look at this video to know more on how it can make it happen.  You can read more about him if you are interested here.

Thanks. :).