Dear Jony, the Future of Design Is More Than Making Apple iOS Flat
I’ve got to agree with this article—while the old iOS (the one you’re currently viewing), is definitely outdated with its chunky gradient buttons and obnoxious skeuomorphism, the iOS 7 design is drastically flat and simplistic. I feel a more balanced design transition between the two mobile operating system versions would have been a better solution.
This new design literally looks like some wireframes I’ve designed (except my wireframes had higher fidelity). For a moment, I thought that I was actually looking at wireframes of the new iOS rather than their final rendering.
But, aside from a major design overhaul that I am not too pleased with so far, iOS 7 finally offers some features that have been long overdue (swipe up for frequently accessed settings like brightness, turn off Wi-Fi, Airplane Mode, etc.). There are also some other major UI changes to the calendar, photos, and Safari apps. As usual, though, I can’t wait to play around with it.
Meetup: ‘The Lean Strategy + Design Salon’, Jul. 24
It’s that time again: Join us for The Lean Strategy + Design Salon meetup, “Lean Team Experience Design with Jabe Bloom”.
It’s happening Wed., July 24, 6:30 p.m. - 8: 45 p.m. at our place (the Catalyst Group office).
We request that you wear “lean” attire. (Just kidding, please wear as many clothes as is deemed appropriate by the functioning portions of modern society.)
We’ll remind you again as the time nears, but there’s no hurt in RSVPing now, right?
Details on iOS7 Forthcoming
If you love fake linen and leather in your user interfaces, you’re going to be disappointed by iOS7.
Apple will release details at next week’s WWDC. As you may know, Jony Ive (previously the hardware designer) has been put in charge of software UI, and he’s “flattening” the interface….
Elements Shared by Creative Teams
We came across this list of attributes that creative teams share. Though it wasn’t written specifically by, for, or about designers such as us, it still feels timely as we continue to work more and more Lean-ly (using a Lean UX approach, that is).
Given we often progress through the design and development of products with a mindset that is open to revisiting decisions based on what we learn along the way, one element in the list stood out to me in particular:
6. Innovation is Inefficient
In improvisation, actors have no time to evaluate new ideas before they speak. But without evaluation, how can they make sure it’ll be good? Improvised innovation makes more mistakes, and has as many misses as hits. But the hits can be phenomenal; they’ll make up for the inefficiency and the failures. After the full hourlong Jazz Freddy performance, we never do learn why Bill and Mary are making copies for John— that idea doesn’t go anywhere. In the second act, a brief subplot in which two actors are in the witness protection program also is never developed. Some ideas are just bad ideas; some of them are good in themselves, but the other ideas that would be necessary to turn them into an innovation just haven’t happened yet. In a sixty-minute improvisation, many ideas are proposed that are never used. When we look at an innovation after the fact, all we remember is the chain of good ideas that made it into the innovation; we don’t notice the many dead ends.
Uncertainty and Scope in Lean UX Projects
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
—John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy”
At the heart of Lean Startup (and Lean UX) thinking is an acceptance—an embrace, even—of the fundamental uncertainty of product development endeavors.
In the world of Lean, we know that we can’t accurately predict a market’s reaction to a product, so we take our best guess and carefully monitor market response. We rely on iterative customer-focused product development and remain open to whatever direction the customers provide. Of course, that would be in an ideal world.
In reality, uncertainty causes tremendous anxiety, and the impulse to minimize it through planning and prediction is natural and unavoidable. This presents a challenge to organizations that want to incorporate an appropriate degree of visibility (if not certainty) in a Lean process that is otherwise open to unpredictable customer input. This tension is especially difficult at the start of a new UX project when uncertainty and anxiety tend to be greatest. However, we’ve learned that the work required to push through these tensions will produce unexpected benefits.
Run-of-the-mill Conversation About a Sign
Nick: Best sign ever? Hand drawn Heimlich instructions. Check out how annoyed the Good Samaritan looks!
Chelsey: I think it’s insinuating that only nerds would end up choking on something and need the Heimlich Maneuver.
Nick: Oh, I thought that was Ed Grimley.
Jon: Is this a sign about how to effectively mug tourists?
Georgina: This is the opposite of when they have the emergency procedure booklets on airplanes and everybody is smiling. Here, all parties involved are either hysterical, irate, or dead. I have to say I like the real-life drama involved here… Mr. Military definitely means business. I would trust him to save my life.
If RFPs are Like Dating Sites …
We came across this post by Andy Crestodina this week in which he observes that the problem with requests for proposals (RFPs) is that they’re like dating sites.
As a consultancy, we’re all too familiar with responding to RFPs—it’s practically a full-time role for more than one person. And, as a consultancy working with a Lean philosophy, which consists of cross-functional teams validating hypotheses, working towards outcomes rather than output, and not always knowing exactly where each cycle of learning will take us, the process of handling RFPs can be particularly tricky.
Going along with the dating profile analogy: Our photos are a little blurry, but you can see we’re having fun. Our likes and dislikes are somewhat vague, but get you excited. Our life goals are happiness and adventure, but you still want to know more … right? (You do.)
The point where we actively disagree with Andy is that we will continue to respond to RFPs; we have fostered many great relationships this way. Whether you meet someone in a bar, through a friend, or online, what’s important is being authentic, starting a conversation, and seeing where it goes. RFPs are a conversation starter, and often the only one available to many potential clients. The connection happens after and however it is made, and it’s that connection that matters.
If something real comes through from a profile, you’ll get a response from someone with whom it resonates. You have to remember, though, that just like dating, it’s a two-way street: You probably won’t get to a second date if the next step after receiving a proposal isn’t some questions and a conversation, and that’s fine.
So if it takes an RFP, or a referral, or even a wink, to spark the connection, so be it.