Dan Saffer is an interaction designer and the author of four books on design: Designing Devices (2011), Designing Gestural Interfaces(2008), Designing for Interaction (2006, 2009). His newest book is Microinteractions. He is currently the Creative Director at Smart Design in San Francisco.
Don’t worry about creating things that you think will be popular for a certain group of people — just take time to explore and document for yourself. Eventually you’ll find patterns in your work and your viewpoint will emerge on its own. ”
“One of the most amazing things about us humans is our ability to create tools to remember.” — Valuable take.
Ironically, most of us will watch this video on our phones.
Great insights on drawing as a way of truly seeing the world, among other things. Found on (the resourceful) Milton Glaser’s website.
Look beyond the superficial! That's the problem with current affairs. You forget about what's important, you allow the agenda to be decided by superficial information. What am I saying? What am I talking about? Don't think about what I'm wearing! These things are redundant, superficial.”
A beautiful graphic retrospective of Vespas from 1943 to 2013, by French Creative Agency Nomoon.
Chance favors only the prepared mind.”
I really love his simple explanation about the different “Design Roles Waterfall” in the Digital Industry: Product Designer / Experience Designer / Interface Designer / Visual Designer / Production Designer. It’s also nice to see how simple software programming can solve some really tacky design problems, like dynamic color styles. Worth watching.
The creative industry operates largely by holding ‘creative’ people ransom to their own self-image, precarious sense of self-worth, and fragile – if occasionally out of control ego. We tend to set ourselves impossibly high standards, and are invariably our own toughest critics. Satisfying our own lofty demands is usually a lot harder than appeasing any client, who in my experience tend to have disappointingly low expectations. Most artists and designers I know would rather work all night than turn in a sub-standard job. It is a universal truth that all artists think they a frauds and charlatans, and live in constant fear of being exposed. We believe by working harder than anyone else we can evade detection. The bean-counters rumbled this centuries ago and have been profitably exploiting this weakness ever since. You don’t have to drive creative folk like most workers. They drive themselves. Just wind ‘em up and let ‘em go.”
Ayrton Senna, 1960 — 1994. Today would have been his 53rd birthday. Here’s a moving tribute. Great to hear Senna’s voicing his thoughts, awesome soundtrack.
Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.”
So much of what I do I love to do, but in order to do what I love to do I have to do a lot of what I don't like to do.”
National Geographic feature documentary, showing the whole production process for the Tesla Model S. The brainchild of Elon Musk – who is about as close as you’re gonna get in real life to Tony Stark – Tesla Motors aims to completely revolutionize the car industry. I’ve actually had a small taste riding the Model S with a friend the other day. The car is an incredibly powerful idea, realized. Imagine when this idea evolve to popularity.
Today’s widespread unemployment is not a jobs crisis, it’s a talent crisis. Technology is taking every job that doesn’t need a high degree of creativity, humanity, or leadership.”
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”
Hartmut Esslinger is the legendary founder of Frog Design. I’m really looking forward to reading his new book, Design Forward: Creating Strategies for Sustainable Change. You can also find an insight from Hartmut himself on the motivation behind the book here.
Have you ever seen those t-shirts, that say "shit happens"? Well, shit does happen. And sometimes it's just out of your control. There's nothing you can do about it. Most of the time though, shit happens for a reason. The problem is that we humans are stupid. We keep giving shit a lot of reasons to happen. Stop that shit.”
Last Fall I drove up to South Lake Tahoe for the first time. Here are some shots I took during the sunset. Priceless sight.
I learned to let unhealthy thoughts go. They are just thoughts — they don’t control me. They are just things that happen, like a leaf falling from a tree as I run by. Interesting phenomena, but not a determination of my life. Watch the thoughts. Learn to let them go. Get good at discomfort. Triumph over the childish selfish scared mind. ”
Simplicity is very relative after all. Some people, like Tony Stark, are very comfortable with immense displays of data. The challenge is how to display it in a way that is understandable and useful to the user at a glance. So it can remain complex – yet convey what you need simply and effectively. ”
So this is the dirty little secret in our industry. The best designers and developers rarely have more talent. They simply have more time.”
New software is out from a large corporation! Lets nitpick every minute detail we dislike!”
We live in a world where luxury goods and consumer electronics represent some of the most carefully crafted products available. It is exciting to have the opportunity to address real human needs as opposed to simply creating consumer desire, and to take the same skills and insights that make a product like the iPod so irresistible and apply them to the creation new and useful tools for the poor.”
I spend the day doing stuff. I feel sorry for people who spend the day complaining about stuff.”
A successful entrepreneur and innovator, Rodney Mullen is considered the most influential street skater in history, inventing most of the tricks used today. In this really passionate and fun TED talk, he sheds light on what do skateboarding and innovation have in common. Worth watching.
Wilson Miner is a digital product designer living in San Francisco and working at Facebook. Until recently, he was head of design at Rdio, a digital music service. He also worked at Apple on the first comprehensive redesign of apple.com, back in 2006.
In this inspiring and thoughtful talk filmed at Build Conference 2011, Wilson makes some powerful observations on the evolution of our digital tools, and poses some critical questions on how we as the new generation of digital designers shape our world for the future.
The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”
These days, insecure in our relationships and anxious about intimacy, we look to technology for ways to be in relationships and protect ourselves from them at the same time.”
‘Where exactly in Brazil do you come from?’ – A very recurrent question since I moved abroad.
Curitiba – pronounced “Coo-ree-chee-bah” – is the answer. It’s a thriving and innovative city in south Brazil with around 2 million people. It’s considered a model for Urban Design and one of the World’s Smartest Cities according to Forbes Magazine. Curitiba has linked flood control, environmental quality, economic development and public transportation quite successfully.
Youtube provides an easy way to get sounds, images and impressions of the city that I cannot convey with just a brief description. Here’s a compilation of videos about Curitiba, a city that has greatly influenced my passion for efficient design:
We shape our tools. And thereafter our tools shape us.”
The loss of my eyesight and what I turned out to be today is a clear evidence of how powerful forgiveness can be.
Car crash. Frontal collision, I was 3 years old. An uncontrolled Ford Maverick hit Dad’s fragile VW Bettle ’81. Bloody mayhem. No one used seat belts at that time. The Maverick’s driver – not so surprisingly – didn’t get hurt. Mom and Dad, however, literally broke the front windshield with their bodies. Mom was 3 months pregnant. She lost the baby. Dad had his face severely wounded and lost a lot of blood, though he still managed to remain conscious. I was thrown to the car floor during the collision, preventing me from getting multiple injuries. Still, my left eye got sharply hit by a cracked piece of glass from the front windshield. Precise as a scalpel. No one knew, until we arrived at the ER…
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
If you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what's next.”
The inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels. Find the best people to whom you can delegate, and know their strengths and weaknesses. If you think you can do it better, delegate anyway and try as hard as you can to close that gap by giving your colleague or employee the right feedback. Then recognize and accept that just because someone does something a little differently than you would, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. What counts is that your goals get accomplished at a sufficient level of quality.”
Some time ago, out of boredom, I started a random experiment on Instagram: To take straight shots of the different circles we see everyday around us. To keep track of it, I created a simple hashtag called #everydaycircles. You can check it out on Instagram and start submitting your own creative shots.
Here’s a selection of my favorite ones so far.
Sometimes you need to play for a long time to be able to play like yourself.”
Today I introduce my new digital space.
2012. It’s been 3 years abroad. 3 continents. 3 different countries. 6 different houses. 2 jobs in 2 different world-class companies. An uncountable number of incredibly smart people. Innumerable moments of profound personal breakthroughs.
All ignited by a simple, almost childish blog in 2005. It revolutionized my world by getting me my
first job while still in college. That was followed by a portfolio website in 2008 – made on, surprise, iWeb. It revolutionized my life completely again by uprooting me from Brazil, launching me into Europe and its effervescent digital scene.