YouNoodle | Compete and connect Infographic: The Amazing Evolution Of Video Game Controllers Like the games we play with them, video game controllers have grown more complex throughout the years. They’ve become more ergonomic, and their buttons have multiplied. They’ve incorporated new technologies, like haptic feedback and touch screens. And most recently, in some cases, they’ve started disappearing entirely, with buttons being replaced by the movement of our own bodies tracked by sophisticated motion sensors. As in nature, though, that evolution isn’t a simple generational march. The Evolution of Video Game Controllers, by Pop Chart Lab, is actually an update of one of the group’s earlier graphics, from 2011. But there’s one inclusion on the new family tree that represents a truly significant shift in gaming--a revolution more than an evolutionary change: the iPod Touch. Now, we game while we commute, and while we wait for our lunch, and at every other lull where we can fit in a move on Words With Friends. Buy a print of the graphic here.
Divide And Conquer: A Tale Of Two Startup Founders, Two Cities, And One Great Idea I’m fortunate to meet and work with a wide range of industrious and passionate founders of early-stage businesses, and I'm always fascinated to hear about new and unique challenges they face when starting a new business. I met the founders of Sneakz Organic about six months ago while working with one of our other early-stage ventures. I was inspired by their vision and the challenge of starting a business with the two founders based in different locations. Sneakz’ goal is to help kids (and adults) who aren’t getting enough veggies in their daily diet by sneaking vegetable nutrition into multiple products in different aisles of the grocery store. Their first product is a chocolate milkshake that sneaks in a full serving of vegetables, via sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. From big Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) to the startup mentality Both founders at Sneakz have unique career paths and diverse experiences. "From Yuck to Yum" invented in a real kitchen A tale of two cities 1. 2. 3.
Try "Location Boxing" to Get Your Brain to Switch Gears — lifehacker For the past week, I’ve been taking an hour or so at the coffee shop near my office to knock out most of my email and communications. Then when I get back to the office, I stay out of email as much as possible. The experiment has made me realize that shaking up my work environment helps me stay more focused and productive. It’s sort of like the concept of Timeboxing but with more of a physical twist. There are four main types of thinking I need to do in a typical work week. Design-thinking: Visual design and thinking about the user experienceCoding-thinking: Building new features, solving technical problemsBusiness-thinking: Internal communications, interviews, and helping out on some sales callsSupport-thinking: Bug fixes, and responding to questions from RescueTime users It’s next to impossible to do any of those simultaneously and be effective. Timeboxing is a great idea, but I’ve found it really hard to stick to. The answer? I Can Find the Right Place For the Task at Hand
3 | Tidemark's Infographics Could Change How Your Business Is Run It’s only been a few months since Tidemark, a bold Andreessen Horowitz-backed business analytics platform, emerged from its beta cocoon. But today, the fledgling company is introducing a new set of tools, aimed at helping businesses visualize their data in real time. “Business reporting is broken, stagnated decades ago, built upon stacks of dense, complex, and dated reports and dashboards that few people ever read,“ explains Founder and CEO Christian Gheorghe. "Data is nothing without context." The new feature--called Storylines--supplies visual context with a dynamic mobile interface. Gheorghe’s business is based on a simple insight--that the so-called “consumerization of technology” is having a profound impact on enterprise, thanks to the ubiquity of mobile devices. A snippet from one of the several available "Storylines." Today’s new launch is quick by some standards--after all, Tidemark was still in beta in February. A taste of a fully real-time Tidemark Storyline:
Life After Kickstarter: 5 Costly Lessons From A Kickstarter-Backed Designer For Jon Fawcett, Kickstarter success came with an unusual soundtrack: an air horn. The din started on May 7, 2012, the day Fawcett and his colleagues at Fuse Chicken, a four-person design outfit in Akron, Ohio, launched their first Kickstarter campaign. They were trying to raise funding for Une Bobine, a product of Fawcett’s design that stuffed an iPhone charging cable inside a metal gooseneck, allowing it to double as a flexible docking station and makeshift tripod. It was a simple, clever idea, and the team set out with the modest goal of raising $9,800 to put it into production. In anticipation of their micro-windfall, the Fuse Chicken office prepared a ceremony of sorts. “That lasted for about two days,” Fawcett says. In the week following the launch, the Bobine racked up a good deal of favorable press coverage. “There were some days where every five minutes we would have a new backer pop through,” Fawcett recalls. It was an undeniable, unmitigated Kickstarter triumph. 1. 2. 3. 5.
Innovation Is Dead, Long Live Innovation | Design on GOOD The pursuit of innovation has taken over pop culture as the Holy Grail every organization should strive for. From big tech, consumer electronics, and automotive, to fashion, and even food, everyone is gunning for innovation. Often perceived as "think tanking"—dreaming up solutions and ideating in multicolored Post-Its—innovation is a necessity to compete in the marketplace. The "soft innovation" and strategy process is the preliminary part of that, yes. Two years ago the inaugural No Right Brain Left Behind innovation challenge asked the creative industries to dream up solutions that could help the creativity crisis in the United States' education system. However, when it came to integrating our solutions within the educational system, it soon become clear that we didn't have a clue what we were doing. SLÖJD is our latest addition to NRBLB programming, and is a focused exercise in "hard innovation" that tackles an epic problem.
Skeuomorph A skeuomorph /ˈskjuːəmɔrf/ is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues from structures that were necessary in the original. Examples include pottery embellished with imitation rivets reminiscent of similar pots made of metal and a software calendar that imitates the appearance of binding on a paper desk calendar. Definition and purpose Skeuomorph is compounded from the Greek: skéuos, σκεῦος (container or tool), and morphḗ, μορφή (shape). The term has been applied to material objects since 1890 and is now also used to describe computer and mobile interfaces. Skeuomorphs are deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar, or are simply habits too deeply ingrained to wash away. Donald Norman, an academic in the fields of design, usability, and cognitive science, describes cultural constraints, interactions with the system in question that are learned only through culture, that give rise to skeuomorphism. Gallery Notes
5 Rules For Crowdfunding Success From The Queen Of Multitasking Underwear (You Read That Right) Technology probably isn't the first thing most people think of when they think of underwear. Joanna Griffiths is not most people. While studying at INSEAD, one of the world's largest graduate business schools, Griffiths saw an opportunity to create a product that did more than the existing options on the market. "Thanks to technology, almost everything has evolved, everything but our underwear," she says. Griffiths needed a way to fund her new venture, Knix Wear. The campaign was a success, surpassing the $40,000 goal (by an extra $20,000). 1. Before you start your crowdfunding campaign, Griffiths suggests that it's important to study others who have done it well. 2. No matter how much experience you have in the crowdfunding space, it requires a strategic approach to reach--and exceed--your goal. 3. For many in the crowdfunding world, there are no second chances. 4. 5. Start your campaign on Monday and end your campaign on a Friday, says Griffiths. [Photos courtesy of Knix Wear]
How to Virally Grow Your Network in 5 Steps — Better Humans Want to be popular online? Want to have a network that is so vast and incredible that you can get in touch with anyone in any industry? You are going to need to work your ass off. Before the internet, you had to go to physical places to meet people. Why is today the best day to network? This. I’m going to tell you how to start taking advantage of this right now. Create content that attracts the people you want to network with. “Great Matt, these all sound like really interesting tips, but what is actually going to happen if I follow this advice?” If you follow my advice you will be doing a better job networking than 99% of people in the world. Seriously, most people in the world don’t try as hard as they could. You will get more followers on whatever social network you are using.People will know who you are and what you are knowledgable of. Start creating.
Why Aren't Our Gadgets Still Covered In Wood? The world of Mad Men is made up of wood of every conceivable grain and color. The show’s sumptuous design palette has been responsible for popularizing midcentury design again, showing everyday objects and funiture that were popular in the 1960s not as the cracked and fading relics of our grandparents’ basements but as objects that define the characters who inhabit Matt Weiner’s vivid, romantic world. But what about the design of 1960s technology? The Sylvania television set veneered in wenge? The record console cabineted in oiled walnut? These everyday gadgets remain dead to most of us, and even in Mad Men, they look creaky and obsolete. There are two reasons. "I know why electronics companies stopped using wood," says Dave Laituri, founder of Vers Audio, a Massachusetts-based company that specializes in audio equipment made out of wood. It’s a simple observation, but an important one. For one thing, it’s time consuming. It’s also expensive. Wood people speak the language of wood. So.
How Top Startups Pay Designers A few weeks ago I had coffee with an experienced product designer. Let’s call him Carl. He’d been working at a respected San Francisco startup for five years, but he was getting restless. Carl had excellent experience and skills. I fired off a few emails to several startups that were right up Carl’s alley. Unfortunately, the company significantly low-balled him on compensation. For startups, coming up with a fair offer can be difficult. At Google Ventures, we help our portfolio companies find, interview, and hire senior design talent—more than 40 top-level designers in the last two years alone. I spent a few days analyzing publicly available salary information to clarify the picture for our portfolio companies and other startups like them. The problem When I searched online for salary data, the first results were Glassdoor, AngelList, and SimplyHired. The "designer" label is really broad. The bottom line? The simple way to get informed What I discovered for San Francisco, circa 2014
8 Simple Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Your Writing There are lots of times when I’m stuck on a title for a post, or the perfect word for something I’m writing. Fortunately, we’re pretty keen on experimenting and testing here at Buffer, so I can try lots of different ideas and see what works best. Even better, though, is having some data to give me a rough guide on where to start. I found some really useful data about crafting the perfect blog post or copy, and hopefully you’ll find it useful too. 1. Create a “curiosity gap” Upworthy is arguably one of the most successful content marketing companies around, with massive successes on social media to their name. One of the tips Upworthy offers from analyzing their own success is to ensure every headline has a “curiosity gap.” A great example comes from an Upworthy story about Mitt Romney: Too vague, so readers aren’t interested: Mitt Romney Says Something Bad, Again 2. BuzzFeed is a perfect example of just how popular listicles can be. Chip Heath and corporate education consultant 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.