https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjwYdvwC8CE "Evolution. What's it like? So one day you're a single-celled amoeba and then, whoosh! A fish, a frog, a lizard, a monkey, and, before you know it, an actress. [On-screen caption: "Service limitations apply. See three.co.uk"] I mean, look at phones. One, you had your wires. Two, mobile phones. And three, Three video mobile. Now … Continue reading “Evolution. What’s it like?” The three lives of the front-facing camera
Exactly 365 days ago I set out on my independent consulting adventure, complete with the de rigueur intent to document my progress in weeknotes. Week one was an intense blur of 5am flights, meetings and bratwurst; it went un-noted. Weeks two and three likewise. For a while, I told myself there’d be “monthnotes” instead. By … Continue reading Annual Report Number One
Regular readers will know that I have a slow hunch about the value of stories in the place where they happened. So when I saw the brief for the latest BBC Connected Studio, focused on Knowledge and Learning, I packed my personal hobbyhorse and jumped on the train to Salford. It was an ace day. … Continue reading After BBC Connected Studio – gazing through a moving window
Douglas Rushkoff nails my unease at the patenting of gestures, a critical front in the commercial war being waged through intellectual property. At stake is how far governments should grant monopoly rights over something that belongs to all of us: our shared language of words and gestures. US Patent #7,812,826, though limited and not at stake … Continue reading Apple’s real innovation: a gesture made with two fingers
On Valentine's Day 1997, I left my job as a newspaper journalist to work with the small, smart team who were building a pioneering news service for the web in a squat, Leeds-look, edge-of-centre office block. "You can always come back," said my editor, "if this Internet thing doesn't work out." For a long time … Continue reading Week 790: Leaving Orange
Being text of a presentation delivered at Ignite Leeds on 2 February 2012. Who in here is holding a phone in their hand right now? OK, everyone be very quiet. Can you hear them? Did you ever wonder where they all came from? What they want? When billions of a new species appear on Earth … Continue reading A message from you mobile
As a parent of a toddler you see the world differently. Everything that's become everyday on the long slog into grown-up-dom is suddenly fresh again when seen for the first time through a new pair of eyes. With a small child at your side everything exists to be classified and clarified. Cat, dog, big, red, … Continue reading Digger!
Kelly Goto stands on the stage at Brighton's Dome, head down, staring at her palm, a perfect mimic of the modern smartphone user, and issues a simple challenge to the dConstruct audience: "Help people to stay upright." This is the pivotal moment at which digital design finds itself. After decades training people to gaze into … Continue reading At dConstruct, the real world is calling. It wants its designers back
Can one person be in three places at once? The most requested superpower among Foo Campers seems to be time travel. Maybe it's because with a dozen or more amazing things going on at once we'd like to loop round at the end of every day and do it all over again. With only one … Continue reading Breathless from the fumes of the data exhaust
Thanks to @MrAlanCooper for highlighting Rahul Sen's beautifully-written piece on the relevance of the Bauhaus movement to modern-day interaction design. The world would be a better place if more designers could cultivate such a deep appreciation of the history. I tried to comment on the Johnny Holland blog but was foiled by the pernicious Recaptcha, … Continue reading Mobile experience in use and ornament
The depths of winter, two weeks off to take stock of where we are and where we're going, a chance to catch up with family and friends. We travelled through blizzards, cooked and ate good food, lit fires, drank wine, fiddled with MP3 play-lists, time-shifted TV, and made one (thankfully minor) visit to Accident and Emergency. We … Continue reading And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet
Over the last few days I've had a chance to reflect on the relationship between the mobile web and service design. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the two are tied together, in a way that was not the case with either the PC-based web or pre-internet mobile services. Why? Well … Continue reading A tale of attention and abundance: Why service design matters on the new mobile web
The Ignite London challenge of telling the story of my 1794 heroes in five minutes and 20 slides set me thinking about other ways to package up a narrative in the most minimal way. In parallel with preparing my talk, I used the slides as the starting point for some printed material. My experimental recipe … Continue reading 1794: Prototyping a small story
This is a photo of the screen of a computer, displaying a webcam that's trained on a plinth. Not just any plinth, The Plinth. On the webcam is a whiteboard that carries a message, a message that's saying hello to my sons. They were very impressed. Lorinda (who I've never met) wrote the message. Lorinda … Continue reading One & Other in a roundabout way
Ten years ago this month the Sunday Times published an article by Douglas Adams called "How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet". You can read it here. Some starting observations: It's a tragedy that Adams died, aged 49, in 2001, depriving us of more great literature in the vein of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, … Continue reading Ten years on, can we stop worrying now?