Saturday, 31 March 2012

Atom 18: How would you sell the design?

Problems to solve are the real challenge in the world of design. Solutions that emerge should have strong rationale and basic sense of direction to first prove its meaning. Sometimes, meaning and idealogies itself are catalyst to sell the solution. When the direction is gone wrong, quickly gyrating to the play-field and setting real benchmarks would be a viable option to prove a worthy second round.

If design does takes several rounds and a solution is still not emerging, then the selling of design ideas really becomes cumbersome, as it puts the individual under stress and questions the ability.

Its not an easy job to sell ideas to a large folks, so as it may be easy to a single person. Quite the best way to sell the design ideas has following components which also as the ways to buying it by the client/team -

1. Communicate
2. Manage
3. Own

Leaving alone skills to design, one could sell ideas if the ability to communicate well with internal team, provide support and lend co-operative work. By ways of efficient managing resources and a keen ownership will keep one floated above the rest, since human are social animals, and a team work ability from within is the best moving factor.

So What this does? I believe lot of reviews come to the core from internally, so the best way to manage is to set right with internal team all the goals. If it passes through the acid test, most probably there will be lot of support from within to guide you even on the tougher path.

Now the flip side to think is also, that winning the client's mind. If the client is willing to invest money on your design, it means your design skills needs to be on top and can go for the kill.Either way, its worth to find where your zone of comfort lies - design is not simply just to design - but as in any field it needs Management acumen to successfully cross thy obstacles!! The real selling of concept is also a need to look as somebody buying the design. As somebody opt to buy, one should also look on how would somebody buy - they will look at what communication that happens (visual or vocal), how it is managed and how do they own it?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Atom 17: Designing "Moments"

We been planning and finding the best cake shop in the city. Incidentally, for my niece first birthday function. We been trying to be make very sensible,cautious and methodological decision on this. Why so? for just a cake. This was not just the "cake" as an "object". Relation of the "object" to the "event" is highly visible and indispensable. It creates patterns of relative features.

Patterns such as Cake, decor and food are just "objects" that heightens the entire event. Each of such individual objects unify to create one wholesome experience. Deflection in one of the object can lead to the other, or may not have a consequence. It can remain and stand aloof, It can be a major, minor or a non-trigger.

When planning for an event, all the group of objects are necessarily resolved and planned. The serious onus of all those objects may not be under direct control of individual. But the effort to create a befitting wholesome experience, the objects looks to have control when they remain to be under our purview and decision. Once again, the decision and reaction to it, may well go awry, but the effort in creation of it matters. Such an effort is not just planned, but we design them. We design them through a visual picture, an imaginary cinematic experience.

We just look at the "Moments", We just design those "Moments" and we put all those efforts to seek a fulfilling, rejoicing and appreciable Moment.  Its not alone the wholesome experience, but the object that relates to the Momentary part of it, as the Cake as an object, relates to people, their emotive connections, their reaction, expression and conversations. All this is built by means of the "Moment", by analyzing how such a moment should really exist and how it had existed.

Designing products and interfaces also needs those singular moments, calculative bridging of such "Moments" with the objects are quite a process.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Atom 16: News Consumption on a Small Screen Touch Device

With the defining change of interfaces like tablets and mobile devices, reading takes a new shift. Reading is relatively transferred in easier ways with the invent of touch screen devices. The statistics also brings to extrapolate that in accordance to Pew Research: 27% Americans get their news on Mobile devices and increasing traffic to major news websites by 9%. The research also expects the number of digital news subscriptions nearly double this year.

Looking at the way News Consumption shapes up to the stats is so much relevant. This includes the shift in my diurnal activities on news reading at my own personal front. The positive factors that emerge from it as a habit that grows into an individual could be due to -

1. Easy touch screen device - smooth navigation flow (atleast broadly of the gesture)
2. Hardware quality - pure interaction with a glassy, glossy surface
3. Neat bits of information - chunked to consume easily
4. It clocks to be about 3 minutes to read a news which is quite better against large screens or monitors
5. Information revealed only on scroll, advantageous against finding whole textual data face-front
6. Psychology changes behavior of reading - at smaller piece-meals (by time and content)
7. Helps to grasp the point easily and can be easy scanning

Its pure and pure a behavioral change that has creeped due to hardware, interface and information design transitions.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Atom 15: Smoking causes cancer!

This is Star Movies Channel, and the movie "Undisputed 3" was running. Its a good movie to make one engrossed with it. We been witnessing during sitcoms and campaigns that statutory warning/ads run when people, artist or characters smoke and drink. Precisely says "Smoking is injurious to health, Drinking is injurious to health" and so on.

It took me by surprise that the same contextual warnings have taken a new twist, when there was a smoking scene or a pub that appears in the movie - The warning said "Smoking causes cancer, Smoking kills. Drinking is injurious to health". This is quite phenomenally a differentiated perception, it awestruck me when reading it causes cancer (though I do not smoke for good!). The perception relatively says the end result, says that the action will lead to "this" consequence. This is widely how it can create panic, atleast it did to me. The good thing of this warning is that - it drives to frame a visualization of what an action can do. It is not generic and it is to the point. Though I still knew it can cause cancer apart from many other diseases, but when the message nails it to one particular huge disease - then your perception sways like a pendulum largely.

In the contrary, if you have to read "Drinking is injurious to health" - it now brings a context of that Smoking is more severe than drinking, Oh! this causes cancer but the other one is ok (quite injurious alone). It puts Smoking more alarming than drinking. I don't know if so drinking is not a behavior that leads to deadly disease!

I think drinking as a culture is a part of Western civilization a way to socialize and live to beat the cold weather. Frankly though in part of Asia, both these habits are quite a sinful or uninvited practice on basis of religion, customs or rituals.

The warning message is weird and neatly presented with the content saying what it has to. Atleast the first half had a message that puts viewer by surprise, panic and emotively perplexed - considering the earlier standards which was seen on cigaratte boxes, billboards and TV channels that was just a plain vanilla and sits without much invitation, though it was just saying what it has to. But the message "Smoking causes cancer" is sometimes to be treated as stern note, caring voice or consequential highlight.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Atom 14: Social Happiness : Spread the design

There lies when you found interesting, you discovered new music album, you found a new design principle, you found an ingenious design object. So what would you do?

Instant discovery leads to more happiness, elated state and a more meaningful day in a chaotic life :-). It seems that this becomes an eventual habit where one prone to find some ecstatic piece of discovery. The shape of such a discovery spreads through quickly into lot of terrains, as what if wished so. But expressions differ. But majorily it creates a sense of happiness to the discoverer, and should live to exist as molecules of expression.  So looking at research stats - "New research shows that in a social network, happiness spreads among people up to three degrees removed from one another. That means when you feel happy, a friend of a friend of a friend has a slightly higher likelihood of feeling happy too." 

The function of design challenge is not only to solve problems and create meaningful interactions. But also look at the happiness factor in a social medium. This medium is to be accounted from the ideation phase - client interaction and implementation as a solution. Design should bring in pleasant discoveries and create the unprecedented tags to the storyboard. It is not about the "Wow" factor which is once again on another plateau of creating rejoice. But this is quite an approach, where smaller targets are produced with astonishing "raised eye-brow" feelings. This is not only looking at the big picture, but profoundly fine tuning at slight reverberations and change of mundane routines. Social happiness will evolve as a part of the end result, and would pursue to exist as "word-of-mouth" and spread around with an intangible feel. It delights and proclaims of its highly valuable existence. It multiplies eventually.

Social network will start flourishing as the butterfly effect, will create the good-will and support one or the team needs. Social happiness is not outward, but an inward process, which commences at the door-step of the owner and will soon return back in lot of promises. Its a good-will factor, that brings in energy to the way work culture been to live across. Social happiness is a mood of living in present and showing commitment to the way of living the tomorrow. 

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Atom 13: How Convergence Factor lessens Information density?

Information is ubiquitous and unmanageable as days go by. But the world turning towards more handheld computing, the information is falling in a palette. The density is much more better managed, were topics of interest are getting merged and seeming to turn light.

Information density = (Information + channels + knowledge)

The world of Apps is driving through all news and trends based information into one box, where packaged to branch out into multiple arenas. The Apps start to bind the density factor and putting in condensed packages, that is manageable and sensible. Soon gone will be the days where news source as unison and single-dimensional. Its aggregating well, and this is happening widely now - as the apps try to pull all data from multiple sources and push as in from one platform, so as this clears the fuzz of looking around. Social sites like twitter build this case well. Information density does not end here, but localized information is more a need of the hour, which is in a way - personalization. Though the common platforms provide the best of information. But the star attractions of news say in "design" as viewed from flipboard - is different for me as in my view point against another person or against Flipboard favorites. Though Flipboard and design channels when aggregate to bring in best information - the Question is - Is that personalized to feed in the most appropriate data that I want? So if that is the case, there are Apps that serve in particular domain like "Houses" "Architecture" and once again What I want will certainly differ or Where my interest lies in will be really different. Once again Apps address the world of reading news in a better method, as thanks for the devices and OS that made that happen. The data or information inside a shell - Mashable and Flipboard build aggregate of information, but all data that is there is not what one wanted. So still one has to move through density of Information and seek the appropriate one.

Information density is diverging through web and then converging through the apps.If Convergence were to group with Personalization then "Personagence" should factor in, with the density cloud will be there right at the exact subjects, data or info that need to be addressed.

Convergence Factor = Personagence (Device Shift + Personalization)