Archive for the ‘Apple’ category

Design Philosophy?

January 16, 2008

I thought this post on Gizmodo about Dieter Rams product design for Braun in the 1960’s and his obvious influence on Apple’s Jonathan Ive’s design was really great, but what I really found fascinating were Ram’s 10 principles for good design:

• Good design is innovative.
• Good design makes a product useful.
• Good design is aesthetic.
• Good design helps us to understand a product.
• Good design is unobtrusive.
• Good design is honest.
• Good design is durable.
• Good design is consequent to the last detail.
• Good design is concerned with the environment.
• Good design is as little design as possible.

I especially agree with the last one.

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More on the magazine audience…

January 16, 2008

To continue again what I yacked about below… when I first came on board this publication and we started re-designing, our number one priority was not to alienate our existing audience. The redesign required some (though not a great deal) rethinking of the approach writers were taking to their assignments in terms of length and spec charts, that would help the design and editorial act as one cohesive (there’s that word again!) piece, and not require work on the part of the reader. The other priority, which is a little harder to sum up, was to make the redesign accessible, modern, new and mainstream, but not to be a smack in the head. If it worked, then the regular reader would know something had changed, but perhaps they wouldn’t immediately grasp what, perhaps they’d read the magazine, find it as familiar as always, but also pick up on some sort of re-invigoration of the content as a whole.

Generally, the reader response to the redesign was good. The readers were good enough to point out problems they had (like body copy being slightly too small for the older readers, which made us increase it in size from 9pt Garamond to 9.6), but they were also kind enough to encourage the progress that the magazine was obviously trying to make. The editor did address the redesign in the first issue with the new look, which I think inspired the majority of the responses from the readers. Since then we’ve made numerous small changes here and there, and one major overhaul a couple of months ago to the look of our interior pages, and I feel a lot better about the direction of the magazine in terms of design. I also still believe however that we’re not addressing our biggest problem – how to pull in a new audience and adapt to their expectations. Basically I think we have to decide if we are going to continue on our current path, and hope that a new generation of audiophiles is constantly growing and finding the magazine themselves, or decide if we can take an Apple iPhone like approach and build our new readership by making it incredibly obvious that this magazine and the products reviewed inside are exactly what they need in their lives, even though they weren’t aware of it. Does that make sense?

Display configuration changing the way we work

January 14, 2008

I hope Apple follow the pattern of the past few years and tomorrow reveal another sweet new product I will not be able to justify buying.

I’m really interested in all this multi-touch/touch-screen/Minority Report (almost) style technology which is always being talked about, used in a couple of places (like the iPhone) but still not really having a huge impact on the day to day workplace. I’m curious to see how products like Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop (my 3 daily apps) are re-configured to work in a new environment, when eventually a touchscreen monitor is available that effectively negates the need for a mouse and keyboard. Would it encourage less rigidness and more fluidity or randomness if you are able to literally scatter electronic files on a screen in a manner similar to real-world objects?

I can imagine the work going faster in such an interface, but also imagine needing at least a 30inch monitor immediately! Anway, just thinking out loud. If Apple are the first to tout a product like this aimed at creative/graphic uses, then I need to pretty much resign myself to not being able to afford one anytime soon after!