Wandering

I've always been interested in massive experiences, either a product or service that affects millions of people. If done well, a design team has successfully improved the lives of all of their users, while on the other hand, if done poorly, a design team has just directly inconvenienced or frustrated a large number of people.

I believe in designing for inevitable improvement, I think it is a designer's duty to find or create improved ways of doing things and indirectly motivating people to adopt that behavior. I do believe that designers are capable of nudging society in certain directions. Which I think is why I'm drawn to massive, collective experiences, these pervasive interactions that a large quantities of people would experience; products like the iPhone, laptops, driverless cars, of toothbrushes; to services like Google Drive, Uber, and the iCloud. 

I think influencing on a massive scale is the best way to enable change to occur. I don't believe in subjugating my design will onto other people, but I think that by designing desirable services, people are more likely to naturally adopt new behavior. And to explore more of these services and interactions, I sort of stumble-wandered through the internet and through my own life, collecting an assortment of successful massive experiences and some less than stellar ones.

 

INTERVENTIONS

Apps - There are too many apps at the moment, why don't our phones cull the content people need rather than forcing users to search for it?

Barnes and Noble - I think book stores are wonderful places, and I think reading is an essential part of our culture. However, Barnes and Noble does not provide any unique experience. Amazon and independent book sellers have made B&N redundant, and unless they alter their trajectory, they will not have a place in the near future.

Voter Registration - This is an incredible opportunity for sleek, efficient and obvious design. During the election cycle it is clear that registration requirements vary across states, and are in some cases used to dissuade minorities from voting. Registering to vote should be quick, painless, online, and consistent nationwide. 

 

 

 

INSPIRATIONS

Facebook Emotions - Facebook decided to limit the scope of our gut emotional reactions. They provided users with more options than a 'like', but this new sense of options actually makes it more difficult to respond in a more quantitative way.

Apple Pay / Google Wallet - Apple, Google, Samsung, etc, are all succeeding in making the wallet obsolete, which I think will actually help us tone down the amount of things we carry with us everyday.

No more headphone jack - We are welcoming the wireless world.

Linkedin - Linkedin users may not always enjoy using the web service, but may feel thay have to in order to keep up with their colleagues. I admire that Linkedin created a sense of urgency with their product that compels millions of people to use it (sometimes reluctantly).

 

 

 

Design Hypothesis

If you break it down, design is the process of creating products or services that aim to shape behavior. Whether it is used to sell more non-recyclable, carcinogenic, gender stereotyping toys for children, or to enable agents of social change, design is a tool. 

My hypothesis is that design is neutral, design does not always strive for efficiency or for effectiveness, it is simply available for use.

As a designer, I believe it is my duty to use 'design' as I see fit, to enable me to support a company or product or service that I believe in. And honestly, I am not sure I have found a company, or product or service that I really truly believe in. I know that I welcome massive services like Facebook and Linkedin, I know I appreciate the interconnectivity in products from companies like Apple and Google, and I know that while none of those companies are ethical models, they are driving change in our world and I can admire that.

5 Things for the afterlife

As opposed to the last post, where I brought in 10 objects that carried meaning for me, this question pressured a more practical response. If I had to choose 5 objects to be buried with / brought to the afterlife with me, I would have to choose objects that I feel could be useful.

For that reason, I chose my laptop, my smartphone, my sketchbook + pen, my watch, and a comic book. Assuming the afterlife is somewhat endless and I'll need to stay busy, I would rather bring things I can use to make more things, than mementos. Sketching is really important to me and I would like to be able to enjoy myself by filling an empty sketchbook. The phone and watch are not strictly practical, as I enjoy the design of them and appreciate having 'nice' things with me. My laptop can store memories of past experiences and simultaneously allow me to make more things. 

I find that I can read and re-read comic books endlessly, because each time I can focus on different aspects, like the art, or the dialogue, or the story, etc. Why this one particularly? I just happen to find the art inspiring. 

Would I choose to be buried with these things? Probably not, but I would bring them with me if I were to continue on in the afterlife.

What is Design?

 

1. Design is the process of creating products and experiences to purposefully motivate positive behavioral changes in people(s).

2. If I were to design something right now, it would be a taxonomy of smartphone design. It might not fit into my 'design ethos', but it is something I'm really excited about and would love to explore more categorically.

3. 5 Keywords I use to describe my design ethos are encouraging, high-level, contextual, necessary, indirect.

4. In the designed world, I value forced change. I think companies like Apple do a good job of forcefully encouraging people to adopt better habits. Yes, it was controversial for Apple to drop the headphone jack and USB ports, but I believe that's a necessary step in moving towards a cordless world.

5. As a designer, I am concerned that some people appreciate bad design, and in doing so are perpetuating practices or ideas that detrimental to the environment, society and the progress of innovation. I believe I am headed towards designing for the integration of digital and physical, I think right now a lot of design work is about guiding digital experience via physical input, but I think there is an opportunity for experiences to be truly balanced.

10 Things

I picked ten personal items to bring to class, items that I felt either represented an aspect of myself or manifest moments or stories that matter to me. 

1. REM Accelerate

2. A Plastic Polar Bear

3. A can of Spam

4. One Piece vol. 1

5. Z.A.C. Print blocks

6. A Wooden Bowl

7. A Carving Knife

8. A Plumb Bob

9. An Original iPod Shuffle

10. A Tin of Chesterfield Cigars from 1940

 

And after several of my friends and classmates took turns analyzing my things, they identified a few themes to this seemingly indecipherable batch of stuff. 

1. These items are each so unique and specific, there must be a larger story behind each one that assumably no one could guess.

2. Family; several of these items pertained to my relationship with different members of my family, either as gifts or mementos

3. Several of my objects also seemed to indicate a respect for tradition and craftsmanship. And for the most part everything is in good shape.

So the themes of family, individuality, mystery and craft appear to be the outstanding characteristics of my objects.