Mike Monteiro: In Praise of the AK-47

July 28, 2015

So what is the designer’s role in this? Design is an ethical trade. And yes, it is a trade done for money. But we have a choice in how we make that money. A designer possesses a set of skills necessary to get something made. And needs to properly assess how they are putting those skills to use. But, won’t someone else just design it?

A great answer by Mike Monteiro on the question whether we can separate the intent from an object and if one can appreciate an AK-47 for it’s “good” design on an aesthetic level although it’s designed purpose is to kill.

Dear Design Student – In Praise of the AK-47

PostStatus on the Thesis / Automattic Case

July 24, 2015

Brian Krogsgard wrote a post on Post Status about the Thesis VS Automattic Case. It sums up pretty much everything from the beginning of their dispute about GPL to the nature of licenses and patents and sheds some light on possible outcomes of this whole debate. It’s the most thoroughly researched article you will find on this topic and Brian managed to let both sides speak without taking sides for on or the other.

Chris Pearson and Matt Mullenweg have hardly communicated with one another in the last five years, but they are ideological enemies. They have very strong personalities and unshakable beliefs on business and software. This is a story of their dispute, their idealism, and the implications it will have on the WordPress project.

The post is about 10’000 words long, so go grab some coffee or other beverage and take some time to read it. It’s worth it.

Post Status – Thesis, Automattic, and WordPress

Associated Press opening their archives

July 23, 2015

Associated Press announced that they will make their video archive public and will upload more than 550’000 historical video clips to YouTube.

The YouTube channels will include more than 550,000 video stories dating from 1895 to the present day. For example, viewers can see video from the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, exclusive footage of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941,Marilyn Monroe captured on film in London in the 1950s and Twiggy modeling the fashions of the 1960s.

This is great. Tons of historical video material right at our fingertips.

YouTube Channel – AP Archive

Baymard Institute – E-Commerce Usability Research

July 23, 2015

Baymard conducts original large-scale research studies on e-commerce usability.

The research is published in articles, reports, and benchmark databases. Topics include e-commerce search, homepage and navigation design, the checkout process, and mobile sites.

If you are looking for extensive research on E-Commerce Usability, look no further. The full guidelines are priced at $150 each but there’s also a lot of articles for free.

Baymard Institute

Web Design: The First 100 years

July 22, 2015

So the world of the near future is one of power constrained devices in a bandwidth-constrained environment. It’s very different from the recent past, where hardware performance went up like clockwork, with more storage and faster CPUs every year.

And as designers, you should be jumping up and down with relief, because hard constraints are the midwife to good design. The past couple of decades have left us with what I call an exponential hangover.

(Maciej Cegłowski)

Web Design: The First 100 Years

Logitech changes name to logi

July 21, 2015


In case you missed it: A few weeks ago, swiss company Logitech revealed a new logo as well as a change of their name to logi. I do like the new logo and the explanation for the name change makes perfect sense to me:

“If we look out five or ten years, it’s going to seem odd for a company to call itself “something-tech,” says CEO Bracken Darrell. “There will be tech in your clothing, in your shoes, in your tires. To be Logitech at that point will seem awfully 1980s.”

Also, it reminds of that other company which cropped “…Computers” off it’s name in 2007.

Wired – New Logitech logo: ‘Hey, We Don’t Just Make Mice Anymore’