The smartphone has reached more people and delivered more value faster than any technology ever seen. Much of the world has had to adapt to this arrival, but software design suffered the greatest reckoning. As the smartphone ascended, developers finally adopted reasonable design principles, realizing that they could not pack every feature ever seen into the smartphone experience. This recognition of the value of design — and especially, minimal design — is a good thing.
Organisational learnings and life learnings in a tough kind of a year
This week marked my first year at Uber. Anyone who remotely follows Uber, knows that this year was a hard one for us. So for someone who put their faith in Uber in this very publicly messy year, how did it feel to be in the inside? How did it feel to process and overcome these issues in front of a team? When I think of my year, I think of it in four different ways.
Urban anthropology may not be top of mind for most people (or most anthropologists for that matter), but I’m here to argue it is the key to creating livable cities for people. In fact, applying this concept to the management and design of our urban environments could be the single most important thing to ensure the livability of our urban future. This may sound outlandish, but I assure you it’s not so radical as it seems. Believe it or not, the methods used by urban anthropologists are surprisingly similar to a far more common staple of the design world: user experience research and design.
In the world of tech and product design, user experience (UX) is key. You basically can’t design something efficient for humans without it. From your favorite app to your web browser, that chair you’re sitting on to an egg beater, nearly everything goes through some kind of user testing before it’s ready for launch. Whether that’s by playtesters ahead of a video game release, or focus groups giving feedback on product messaging, vast amounts of research is being conducted in order to create the best product for “users” of all sorts.
When the operating system moves to the viewfinder, the world will literally change
“Every day two billion people carry around an optical data input device — the smartphone Camera — connected to supercomputers and informed by massive amounts of data that can have nearly limitless context, position, recognition and direction to accomplish tasks.”
How I went from a capricious boss to a powerful partner.
Early in my tenure at Puppet, I had one of my employees, José, make laptop stickers. He said we already had some, and I said, yeah, but they suck. So he designed something different. I said nope, still not right. Finally, in frustration, he said, “You clearly know what you want, can you just tell me what it is?”
I expect many of you will recognize this problem. It is sometimes called “Bring Me a Rock”, which pretty well captures its absurdity. Becoming a better leader required I find a way past it.
Adobe Spark Post is a free online design interface for quickly creating crowd-pleasing social media graphics. A previous article — Quickly Create Attention-Grabbing Social Media Graphics with Adobe Spark Post — provides step-by-step guidance on using Post to design and use custom graphics. But you can take your memes even further with Spark Post’s creative and fun inspiration tools for text. Here are some tips on how to easily transform your social graphic’s message into something snazzy that leaves a lasting impression, giving a brand-recognition boost to your social media posts.
If you closed out of Adobe Spark, the graphic you were working on was automatically saved. You can find it in the My Projects page. If that isn’t the first screen you see when you log into Spark and open Post, then click on My Projects in the menu at the top of your screen. In the next screen, click on the thumbnail of the graphic you wish to edit.
Creating interesting slides can be an art form, but many of us don’t have the time to finesse each slide. Lucky, Google Slides has a feature that can make things pretty with just a few clicks.
In Google Slides, Go to Slide > New Slide and input your text and photo. Then, take a look at the bottom right side of the screen. There’s a little star icon that will say Explore when you hover over it with your mouse.
This coming February, we’re excited to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Bay Area NewCo festival. Over 150 NewCo’s — from established players to scrappy startups — will open their doors and show how they’re transforming industries and shaping the future of business. While it’s certain that sessions at Slack, LinkedIn, Uber, and Pinterest will sell out early, here are six less well known, but truly fascinating companies I’m particularly excited to see.
“There is no such thing as a commodity product, just commodity thinking.” — David Townsend
Anthony DiNatale was born in South Boston. He entered the flooring business with his father in 1921 and began a career of craftsmanship and woodworking. In 1933, he founded DiNatale Flooring in Charlestown, working job to job, primarily in the northeast United States. In 1946, Walter Brown approached DiNatale and asked him to build a floor for a new basketball team to use. DiNatale quoted him $11,000 to complete the project, and the deal was struck.
DiNatale quickly went to work, knowing that he had to be cost-conscious to complete the construction, since he had bid aggressively to win the project. He gathered wood from a World War II army barracks and started building. He quickly noticed a problem: the wood scraps were too short for him to take his traditional approach to building a floor. So he began to create an alternating pattern, changing the direction of the wood pieces to fasten them together. He kept creating 5-foot panels, and when he had 247 of them, his work was completed.