25/01/2012

If you design or build anything for screens, I strongly recommend you see this presentation by @wilsonminer


Wilson Miner - When We Build from Build on Vimeo.

As I said in my previous post on the Build Conference. This is the most emotive and powerful presentation on design I've ever seen. It's also the only design presentation I've ever seen get a standing ovation. If you design or build anything for screens, I strongly recommend you take 40 mins to watch this.

24/01/2012

Jonathan Ive On Simplicity

"Why do we assume that simple is good? Because with physical products, we have to feel we can dominate them. As you bring order to complexity, you find a way to make the product defer to you. Simplicity isn’t just a visual style. It’s not just minimalism or the absence of clutter. It involves digging through the depth of the complexity. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. For example, to have no screws on something, you can end up having a product that is so convoluted and so complex. The better way is to go deeper with the simplicity, to understand everything about it and how it’s manufactured. You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential."

Jonathan Ive, from the book, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
(via Aarrron Walter)

23/01/2012

I'm looking for a junior digital designer (please RT)



Do you dream in pixels?
Do you Dribbble?
Do you have a strong opinion about Helvetica?
Do you have a bookmark folder labelled "Awesome Stuff" or "Design Samples" or something?
If you do and you have an attention to detail which some think is bordering on obsession, then if so, then this may be the job for you.

The Job...
UI design is an important part of this role, so there’ll be a lot of that
You’ll work closely with the Lead Designer (me) and members of the design team, also Content Managers and Developers
You’ll work on front end pages aligned to our brand guidelines
You will have the chance develop your job around what makes you tick, as long as that isn’t bear wrestling or covering yourself in yogurt in public places.
There’ll be conferences, seminars and other social schmoozey-type events which you’ll have to clean your shoes for.
Not only will you help us deliver and develop the MORE TH>N brand, but you will also be working with the entire global portfolio of the RSA Group.
The job is based in our Horsham offices. You'll be paid in money. You'll get a pension, gym discounts, flex time, parking, expenses, annual bonuses etc etc

You'll need...
Ideally you’ll have a degree in Design
One to three years experience working in a full time design role
An impressive portfolio of lickable design work which you don’t mind us pawing
An innate understanding of user interfaces and user experience design

If you're interested or you know someone who you recommend, then email me the details.
(This job is a full time, permanent contract)

20/01/2012

Designing the perfect UX for a TV

I've thought for a while that the progression of computers, phones and other touch screen or voice activated devices have left the trusty old TV behind. Sure you can buy "smart TVs" with in built apps, but they are still a long way from where technology has taken other screen based devices in our homes/lives. Even the sad old thermostat has moved forward.

I've often sat in front of the Sky+ and BT Vision interfaces and felt the 'design pain' that all designers feel when something just isn't up to standard. With all the talk around Google and Apple's TV projects in the pipelines my mind keeps turning over what the perfect UX would be for a TV. So here are my design ideas for how it could work. They are Apple bias, because they have the most robust ecosystem, but the devices are easily interchangeable.


1. The TV can act like today's standard digital TV by receiving scheduled channels
2. It can record content to schedule - as per Sky+, BT Vision, TiVo etc
3. It can stream content on demand (iPlayer, lovefilm, Spotify, 4oD etc)

Nothing radical so far, but here is where it gets better...
4. It allows me to buy (not just rent!) content - much like the iTunes store
5. It syncs with media content with my iPhone, so i can take my recorded and bought content out with me
6. My content can then be played out on other people's TVs from my iPhone  - using Airplay perhaps

No more remotes
7. The set can be fully controlled via voice commands (ala Siri)
8. Alternatively it can be controlled via my iPad, whilst allowing me to access additional services (Twitter, Facebook, Getglue or even ZeeBox) as I watch

It calls
9. Lastly a front facing camera that works with Facetime or Skype (potentially also connects with my Wii or Kinect, but that seems a bit of a weird hardware mash for the camera & sensors)

That's my vision. That's where I think TVs could be heading. I'm putting my money down, before the big guns start rolling out their offerings. At the end of the year I'm going to look back and see how much has been fulfilled.

18/01/2012

I've updated my site


I've always had my own domain and built my own sites on it. I've got in to a habit of redesigning and rebuilding my site periodically, for no other reason than to test myself. I always set out to design something in a style that doesn't come naturally to me and build something beyond my understanding. This habit forces me out of my comfort zone and pushes me to learn new stuff.

This time round I decided that I would break from my own convention and use someone else's publishing platform. After trying out a few options I landed on Cargo, which is a beautifully built CMS, that allows a huge amount of flexibility. For the visual design I turned to a vintage, seaside style, as a hat tip to my hometown Brighton. I'm still not 100% comfortable with the style, but I'm making myself live with it for a while.

Feel free to take a look at my new site and if you have any comments send them to @martynreding

06/01/2012

Designing For Emotion by Aarron Walter



I just finished off Designing For Emotion by Aarron Walter. Usually books from the Book Apart stable arre practical 'how to' guides, but the subject matter of this title makes it more of a theoretical affair. I won't go in to a full on book review, but here are the top points I marked in the book.

1: embedding personality in to your UX leads to customer loyalty. "Personalities foster friendship and serve as the platform for emotional connections.

2: Flickr used a simple competition to save an unplanned outage. "Though the site was down and many more were inconvienced, Flickr users remember the fun they had participating in the colouring contest, and for some, how great it was to win a free year of Pro service"

3: emotional design can act as insurance to product problems. "Emotional engagement can help us look past even the most serious infractions, leaving the good more prominent in our mind than the bad."