July 2011
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Month July 2011

iWant iCloud

Apple recently announced the upcoming release of iCloud, their rehabilitated cloud service that will integrate desktop, iPad, and iPhone as conduits to interact with files, applications and apps. This announcement was not a revolutionary announcement, as many had expected it.

The additional announcement of iOS5 creates an integrated suite of core applications that users will spend most of their time on. They have also created a notification center that appears on a users phone or iPad that provides all changes or updates on their suite of tools in one place with links directly to specific events. This was not unlike what AOL tried with LifeStream which was a nice aggregator of all users online social content in one application.

The trend is for an ever expanding Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) where users lease software and Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) where developers can create custom cloud environments on top of iCloud. Both break with physical models of products and recognize that platforms and software are ever evolving ideas.

When Memories need Diagramming

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.” Cesare Pavese


In a social world where we digitally ping in a stream of lifecast moments, remembering what we exactly did at any moment can become a challenge. I have been experimenting with an online service called Memolane . This beta service aggregates all a users social pings into a visual timeline. Within it, a user can also create stories for postings to create a digital diary of sorts.

Memolane began as an idea pitched by Eric Lagier at Startup Weekend Copenhagen in April 2010 and was a finalist for the 2011 SXSWi Awards. Overall, the simplest ideas are always the best and this mash-up demonstrates its value – at face value.


Logorama Raises Some Interesting Questions

The internet is full of stimuli waiting to be found. The social web helps bubble up gems that are buried in the plethora of choices. Recently, a friend forwarded me a link to an intriguing short film called Logorama.

embedded by Embedded Video

I usually do not watch videos all the way through, but Logorama captured my imagination (partly due to having done brand work for many years) and the integration of over 10,000 identities contained in the film short. H5, a French graphics and animation studio created this short.

Logorama, was selected at the Week of Criticism at the Cannes Film Festival 2009 and at CineVegas in 2009. The film won the Kodak Prix at Cannes and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 82nd Academy Awards.

Thinking about Design Thinking

“Design Thinking has come in to at least give the ability to discuss Design at a strategic level. I would just prefer that over time we move back to Design as the term, after we move the business community with us.” Tim Brown, IDEO

Over the past several years, a diverse range of design communities have been actively discussing the anatomy and value of design thinking. The term “design” and “thinking” as concepts have a high degree of possible meanings and interpretations. It is these meanings that have led to interesting discussions on possible futures, as well as troubling implications about managing expectations of the benefits of design thinking.

As a member of several groups that are focused on innovation and design thinking, I have been shadowing hundreds of posts and entered a few discussions on specific topics within design thinking. My overall impression is that there are many well intentioned people who believe that the design mind is needed to solve a wide variety of contemporary problems.

With the emergence of “d schools” like Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design and an ever growing list of international schools, there is acceptance that the concept of design thinking could be the “glue” to spur corporate and social innovation. Integrating design with other disciplines to find connections through interdisciplinary classes as a core curriculum is a focus of these programs to create new value for 21st century learners.

Many believe design needs to move beyond creative and intuitive qualitative methods towards a more rigorous series of approaches to be of strategic value. Design thinking seems to have hundreds of borrowed attributes from a number of fields and reconstructed in synthetic ways both compelling and polemical. Bringing together left and right brain, qualitative and quantitative thinking, and many other cognitive models, the goal is to create a holistic & humanistic approach and response – by design.

Individuals such as Roger Martin, Tom Kelly, Tim Brown, Thomas Lockwood and many others are associated with writing directly about design thinking, or exploring specific attributes. These authors have embraced the idea of design as a purposeful plan or scheme of the mind that aggregates experience, belief, opinion, and judgement. These are curated as a series of processes, protocols, methods, and tools to create models and outcomes of higher value.