archive-com.com » COM » O » ODANNYBOY.COM

Total: 430

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Dan Saffer // July 2005 Blog Archives
    aren t up on your design history was one of the premier industrial designers of the mid 20th century He or more correctly his firm did a staggeringly broad selection of designs from refrigerators to trains to logos and changed the look of products forever His most famous dictum is the MAYA principle Most Advanced Yet Acceptable Reading Never Leave Well Enough Alone as a 21st century designer is a little like looking into a warped funhouse mirror So many of the issues and problems he tackles during his career echo the same ones we face right now with our digital devices Of course you have to look past the casual sexism that pervades the book which should probably be expected from a book written in 1951 by a middle aged French businessman You also have to get past Loewy s not inconsiderable ego But some of the tidbits are worth it After arriving in New York after WWI Loewy began his career as a fashion illustrator Through a series of chance encounters and chutzpah he ended up designing cars and in the process helped launch the discipline of what became known as industrial design Listen to his description of the industrial products of the early 20th century and see if they don t sound like the digital products of the early 21st The first mechanical products were put together by men of ingenuity and resourcefulness Their prime objective was to make the contraption whether a coffee grinder a lifting crane or a steam engine work Will it work was the question No one gave a thought to cost and far less to appearance Products were engineered as you go and they betrayed this technique by their haphazard disorderly look Windows 95 anyone Hell for that matter three quarters of the software websites and devices out there Loewy starts working for Chrysler to redo the look of their automobiles and is immediately told by the engineers everything he can t do He spends months working on designs only to have them ignored or misinterpreted or implemented incorrectly by the engineers It s frustrating but slowly he builds trust he spends his own money building prototypes often and his business The business side of things is interesting as well In an uncharacteristically quiet moment for him Loewy describes the toil of the business trip I would like to be able to forget those business getting trips in the Middle West pushing doorbell after doorbell of small plants and factories these trips were an ordeal the long wait in the November rain for the sad streetcar that would bring me back to my hotel tired and feeling grippy disillusioned lonely and empty handed But above all so tired Loewy s business philosophy was pretty simple 1 do something well 2 deliver it on time and 3 stick to your word His other rules sprung from this philosophy and his experience 1 deliver designs on time 2 do careful follow up with the

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/new_archives/2005/07/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Dan Saffer // June 2005 Blog Archives
    impressive bridges and their resulting vistas You can often see several of them at once Pittsburgh itself was a bridge for me a link between where I was and where I wanted to go And while I ve enjoyed living here I need to cross to the other side Originally posted on Wednesday June 22 2005 Link Comments 1 Trackback 0 Waka Waka Waka Pac Man turns 25 this month Hard to believe On my Atari 2600 I definitely had Pac Man Fever As the CNN tribute rightly points out This was the first time a player took on a persona in the game Instead of controlling inanimate objects like tanks paddles and missile bases players now controlled a living creature says Leonard Herman author of Phoenix The Rise and Fall of Videogames It was something that people could identify like a hero It was the first time most of us had ever adopted a digital persona primitive as it was But perhaps its primitiveness was part of its power allowing for easier identification see the great Understanding Comics In the years following game heroes took on more distinct forms imbibed with more and more personality Link Mario Gordon Freeman et al Part of the fun of playing these games and really part of the fun and I suppose danger of the digital world itself is this taking on and playing different roles I can be one persona on my blog another on Everquest a third on IM In a broader sense I suppose we play different roles nearly everywhere we go online and maybe even in all life I m a shopper on Amazon a stock trader on Ameritrade a searcher on Google I think there s a lot to explore in this sort of role directed design But what Pac Man and his ilk can teach us is that we ll follow and identify with these digital beings these pixel versions of the self in all sorts of unfamiliar alien settings that really don t even make much sense You mean I eat that big dot and then I can eat those ghosts Imagine applying the game like principles of pac man to something that does make sense like stock trading Twenty five years of the little yellow pie chart guy and we still haven t come to terms with what games are all about and how we can use their parts in things that aren t games per se We re still like pac man running frantically around a maze pursued by phantoms Originally posted on Thursday June 16 2005 Link Comments 0 Trackback 0 Everything Bad is Good for Design Want to be an interaction designer Spend some quality time playing video games and watching TV I just finished reading Steven Johnson s latest book Everything Bad is Good for You It s a great provocative read and makes me feel much better about the hours I ve wasted spent productively on Lost Survivor and Medal

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/new_archives/2005/06/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Dan Saffer // May 2005 Blog Archives
    you are working with And not just communicate it communicate it like a designer with a design attitude You need the right ethos the authority of a designer to meet the expectations of the audience that you know what you are doing You are crafting an argument after all an argument of what the product should be Like many of the intangibles of our field I m not sure this can be taught only learned Originally posted on Thursday May 19 2005 Link Comments 0 Trackback 0 IM the Walrus Yahoo s announcement today that it s jazzing up its instant messenger amounts to adding in VOIP service to it and linking it to blogs Yawn It seems to me that Yahoo third place in the IM game behind AIM and MSN has missed the boat on this one Instant Messenger can be a platform for new things see SmarterChild and could be expanded to add more variations and emotional richness but what Yahoo doesn t seem to get is that people use IM in particular ways as a form of communication not as a replacement for another form of communication voice calls In much the same way I don t blog because email is unavailable I don t IM because I can t use my cell phone I IM because it let s me have interactions that I otherwise wouldn t be able to or want to have IM has a lot going for it as a communication method it s silent fast indicates availability and flexible enough for pauses that would be awkward in almost any other medium It s personal yet not allowing you to reveal as much of yourself as you want with as much control over your availability as you want If Yahoo really wanted

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/new_archives/2005/05/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Dan Saffer // April 2005 Blog Archives
    design What are Christian crosses or Jewish stars of Davids or the Unitarian flaming chalices except icons All those things are ways of making the ineffable tangible through things our senses can deal with sights sounds action words It is hard to think about death but it is easier to go to a funeral It is hard to describe loneliness but looking at one of Hopper s lighthouses connects you to it A few bars of Mozart s Don Giovanni will give you a language to talk about terror and despair A visit to your church mosque temple or synagogue will give you a way to think about the divine and or the sublime Or to think about thinking about the divine It s what we humans do Originally posted on Wednesday April 20 2005 Link Comments 1 Trackback 1 New Job My job search really began in earnest although I was only half aware of it at the time last August at a backyard barbecue in Somerville MA during DIS when Chad Thornton introduced me to Peter Merholz who offhandedly asked me when I was graduating After another meeting with Peter in January a long talk with CEO Janice Fraser at the IA Summit in March and finally a day of interviews two weeks ago with most of the rest of the team I was offered and accepted a job as a senior interaction designer at Adaptive Path I start about a month after I graduate Although AP is a great company with some amazing opportunities and an impressive set of benefits and perks I did agonize over the decision I met with some very impressive companies and was even offered a job at some of them But in the end you have make your best guess based on the offers you get and hope it works out In some ways it s easier to design strategies for companies than for your own life It s tough to figure out where you want to go and how to get there You need well an adaptive path to find your way Originally posted on Sunday April 17 2005 Link Comments 2 Trackback 0 Loose Lips Sink Designs For my interface class I m having my students design an adaptive product I made the mistake the other day of giving my students an example of an adaptive product Off the top of my head I used an example of an adaptive kitchen one that changes its behavior and even physical appearance based on the observed behavior of its users Guess what half my students are now doing for their project I ve seen this before with clients and even teammates You mention a half thought thinking outloud and this somehow becomes the solution at least in their minds And it is extremely difficult to dislodge once it is latched onto Where s X they ll ask at a review X You mean that thing I mentioned in the brainstorming session Yeah

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/new_archives/2005/04/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Dan Saffer // March 2005 Blog Archives
    The way we find those solutions is through brainstorming and then importantly building models to test the solutions out Now I know that scientists and architects and even accountants model things and possibly in a similar way but there s a significant difference our prototypes aren t fixed One doesn t necessarily represent the solution only a solution It s not uncommon for several prototypes to be combined into a single product Wicked Problems The problems designers are used to taking on are those without a clear solution with multiple stakeholders fuzzy boundaries and where the outcome is never known and usually unexpected Being able to deal with the complexity of these wicked problems is one of the hallmarks of design thinking A Wide Range of Influences Because design touches on so many subject areas psychology ergonomics economics engineering architecture art etc designers should bring to the table a broad multi disciplinary spectrum of ideas from which to draw inspiration and solutions Emotion In analytical thinking emotion is seen as an impediment to logic and making the right choices In design decisions without an emotional component are lifeless and do not connect with people Other disciplines I m sure do one or more of these at any given time But I think it s the combination of these that people mean or should mean when using the phrase design thinking Originally posted on Tuesday March 29 2005 Link Comments 2 Trackback 2 Metaphor and Interaction Design Presentation I m back from the IA Summit where I presented The Role of Metaphor in Interaction Design 2 5 mb pdf which was a longer version of the presentation I gave on it my thesis topic back in January I m not sure if it will make any sense without my commentary but

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/new_archives/2005/03/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Dan Saffer // February 2005 Blog Archives
    is to open a browser window tab bring up Yahoo go to weather type in my zip code and then scroll past ads to find the forecast SmarterChild is almost like a personalized RSS feed in its use and simplicity The speed that you can type questions and get a response reminds me that there are times when a command line mixed with natural language can be useful SmarterChild certainly isn t the first of these sorts of bots but it is really the most useful of them I ve encountered And you can get a sense of what these sorts of smart agents could be like in the future if say a SmarterChild was woven into an operating system I m looking forward to it and will hopefully get to design one Originally posted on Saturday February 26 2005 Link Comments 0 Trackback 0 Tattoo After 10 years of thinking about it I got myself a tattoo for my 35th birthday The artwork and inking were done by Tim Azinger I wanted a symbolic reflection of my family so you have two celtic dogs for my wife and me both born in the Year of the Dog and a celtic dragon for our daughter born in the Year of the Dragon growing out of them all intertwined by complicated knotwork Originally posted on Friday February 25 2005 Link Comments 1 Trackback 1 Clever Designing It s become almost a design cliché to talk about making things that are useful usable and desirable Indeed if I hear those three words together in a phrase once more I might scream There has to be other adjectives perhaps sub adjectives of usef ah I almost did it that can describe the types of designs that we strive to make And maybe even describe the type of designer we want to be I stumbled onto one of these adjectives a few months ago The word clever I don t take credit for affiliating the adjective with design That goes to Scott Henderson former Director of Industrial Design at Smart Design now one of the principals at Mint A while back he gave a talk about his design philosophy at a Design Unplugged evening in Manhattan In it he said that A successful design not only shows the bright wit of its creator but is smart itself instantly nimble and dexterous in its functionality That is not only is the product clever but so is its creator I really like the word clever It implies intelligence without smugness or condescension It suggests humor and slyness without being obnoxious And it also implies another of my favorite design words delight Using something clever especially the first time leads to moments of delight when you discover how clever how thoughtful it is And delight is one of the most sublime emotions that one can experience leading to long lasting good feelings about something Thus I think we should add cleverness to the pantheon of concepts to

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/new_archives/2005/02/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Dan Saffer // January 2005 Blog Archives
    the future do you think that will be Airports like London s Heathrow are preparing for the new superjumbos by installing double decker passenger ramps and enlarged baggage conveyers But but did anyone a designer think these things through The experience of airplane travel and of airports in general is currently terrible Getting on and off planes is particularly odious It s going to be great when 800 people try to get in and out through two small doors How long will it take to load and unload not only people but also baggage All I can envision are more missed connections more waiting and less personalized service In short these superjumbos are built for the airlines not for their customers Airlines should have learned from their first class service and if they haven t they should learn from Apple or Starbucks that people will pay more for a better experience Virgin gets this I think but every other airline is intent on playing a losing game with bargain basement outfits like Southwest There is another way distinguish yourself with your experience design Make the experience user centric One of the many beleaguered airlines should take note and hire a designer Or ten Originally posted on Tuesday January 18 2005 Link Comments 1 Trackback 0 Designing for Multitasking I m a big fan of having something happening in the background while I m focused on something else Like having the tea kettle on while I unload the dishwasher Even better is doing two things at once one of which I might only vaguely be aware of Like when I clean up my desk and thus remove stuff from around the wireless antenna and in doing so improve my wireless signal We don t design for this enough We re used to focusing on the task at hand Perhaps overly focused We ve been designing the equivalent of digital hammers really nice hammers that do the task at hand hammering digital nails but not much else They don t recognize us or adapt to us at all they just do the task when they could be multitasking collecting data about how it s being used and by whom adjusting itself to make it more personal and more useful For most digital things there s no sense of history and this is something that can be easily gathered If every time I visit a web site I go to the same page chances are I want to go to that page and the site or the browser should somehow acknowledge that either by simply taking me there or in some way making it easier for me to get there Computers and other digital devices register and often record our behaviors like nothing else ever has except perhaps for royal manservants And yet for the most part they are dumb to the use of this data Sure the occasional site welcomes me back but this is pretty rudimentary Amazon got this right back

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/new_archives/2005/01/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Dan Saffer // December 2004 Blog Archives
    design It has to make something better affect it in a positive way It has to be personal Few organizations do things because they want to they do things because they have to because it would be bad for them to do otherwise Designers get too bogged down in talking about process and deliverables and the other minutia of the trade With my wireframe fetish I m as guilty as anyone of this What we need to focus on is the effect of design on the organization The results in other words Thankfully we ve got some examples now Apple Samsung Nissan and OXO to name a few And lest we forget like the holidays design is also about the intangibles joy and happiness and especially delight What we do and the things we create should delight Design should be about that little something extra the way a well crafted product fits in the hand the beauty of the correct response to an action the pleasure of use It s not only about being usable and useful In the words of Miracle s Fred Gailey don t overlook those lovely intangibles You ll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile Happy Holidays everyone Originally posted on Monday December 27 2004 Link Comments 1 Trackback 0 Good News at Year s End I got some good news that two posters and a presentation about my thesis paper were accepted to the IA Summit this year Woo Hope to see some of you there Link Comments 0 Trackback 0 November 2004 Main January 2005 Archives February 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July

    Original URL path: http://www.odannyboy.com/blog/new_archives/2004/12/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive



  •