Flipboard: Behind Mobile’s Most Beautiful Newsreading Magazine

When Flipboard launched on the iPad in July 2010, it was heralded as much for its design as for the novel way it aggregated and delivered news shared across multiple online networks. Thus it was described not as a social newsreader, but as a social newsreading magazine.

Credit for the design of Flipboard’s iPad app, as well as its more recent iPhone edition, is largely due to Marcos Weskamp, who has served as Flipboard’s head of design since March 2010. He works alongside two other designers, Johan Prag and Didier Hilhorst, within the broader Flipboard team.

via Flipboard: Behind Mobile’s Most Beautiful Newsreading Magazine.

How Do You Create A Culture Of Innovation?

It sounds so seductive: a “culture of innovation.” The three words immediately conjure up images of innovation savants like 3M, Pixar, Apple, and Google–the sorts of places where innovation isn’t an unnatural act, but part of the very fabric of a company. It seems a panacea to many companies that struggle with innovation. But what exactly is a culture of innovation, and how does a company build it?

While culture is a complicated cocktail, four ingredients propel an organization forward: the right people, appropriate rewards and incentives, a common language, and leadership role-modeling.

via How Do You Create A Culture Of Innovation? | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

Design Process In The Responsive Age

You cannot plan for and design a responsive, content-focused, mobile-first website the same way you’ve been creating websites for years—you just can’t. If your goal is to produce something that is not fixed-width and serves smaller devices just the styles they require, why would you use a dated process that contradicts those goals?

via Design Process In The Responsive Age | Smashing UX Design.

The Art of Apps: Paper, Tweetbot, Mixel, and Piictu creators on designing beautiful apps

At the Art Of Apps gallery event in New York City last week, seven apps were projected on TV screens to display the best user interfaces iOS has to offer. In front of each screen were the creators and designers behind apps like Paper, Mixel, Tweetbot, Piictu, Path, and the upcoming Cameo. The event was curated by Khoi Vinh, one-time designer fornytimes.com, founder of iPad collage app Mixel, and influential design blogger atsubtraction.com. Even the event website, built using Splash, a new tool for creating social-network-integrated show pages, is gorgeous and very focused on “good design.”

via The Art of Apps: Paper, Tweetbot, Mixel, and Piictu creators on designing beautiful apps | The Verge.

Change aversion: why users hate what you launched (and what to do about it)

Change is good. When a product becomes more fun or makes us more efficient, we embrace change. Technology startups often lead the way, rapidly iterating in an ongoing effort to create better experiences for their users.

But dealing with change can be difficult. We’ve all experienced it. For example, moving to a new city or changing jobs might be positive in the long term, but can be formidable in the short term. When products change and advanced users suddenly become novices, you should expect anxiety to result.

How to avoid (or mitigate) change aversion

A savvy change-management strategy can cut down on negative reactions, focus users on benefits, and make the change more successful. While we’re still learning with every launch, some principles are emerging to mitigate change aversion:

1. Warn users about major changes. Unexpected changes catch people off-guard and can provoke a defensive response. A simple message can set users’ expectations, for example: “Soon we’ll be introducing a redesigned site with new features to improve your experience. Stay tuned!”

2. Clearly communicate the nature and value of the changes. An explicit description can help users to appreciate the changes from your perspective. For example: “We’ve redesigned our site. It’s now cleaner to save you time. Here’s how it’ll help you…”. With framing like that, users will be less prone to change aversion, such as: “Ugh, it looks totally different. I don’t know why they did this, and I wish they hadn’t messed with it.”

3. Let users toggle between old and new versions. Giving users control over the timing of the change can cut down on feelings of helplessness. Allow them to play in the new sandbox before removing the old one.

4. Provide transition instructions and support. If a city changes its street layout, residents need a map of the new streets and a way to direct lost people to their destinations. The same principle applies for your product’s alterations.

5. Offer users a dedicated feedback channel. Without a way to connect with those responsible for the changes, users will vent publicly and further entrench their negativity. Users will respect you more if you actively solicit their opinions.

6. Tell users how you’re addressing key issues they’ve raised. This completes the feedback loop and assures users that their feedback is critical to prioritizing improvements. Try a simple message like: “We’ve been listening to your feedback about the changes we’ve made. Based on your comments, here’s what we’re doing…”

via Design Staff – Change aversion: why users hate what you launched (and what to do about it).

How To Build A Real-Time Commenting System

This is very interesting, as the layer of real-time commenting opens up a new way to chat, it also opens up a perfect place for spam and attacks. Below is how to do it, the question is how to implement it correctly.

The Web has become increasingly interactive over the years. This trend is set to continue with the next generation of applications driven by the real-time Web. Adding real-time functionality to an application can result in a more interactive and engaging user experience. However, setting up and maintaining the server-side real-time components can be an unwanted distraction. But don’t worry, there is a solution.

via How To Build A Real-Time Commenting System | Smashing Coding.

FatFonts: Ingenious Digits That Grow Fatter With Value

How big is the number 983? And how big is the number 983 compared to, say, 74? Unless you have a calculator in-hand, these are tough ideas to conceptualize. And even if I tell you that 983 is 13.3 times larger than 74, what’s that really mean? How does 13.3x look or feel? I sure don’t know.

FatFonts is a simple idea in presenting the relative values of numbers. By Miguel Nacenta, Uta Hinrichs, and Sheelagh Carpendale from the University of Calgary, they’re a series of numbers that grow proportionately darker by their value–the bolder the number, the greater its value.*

via FatFonts: Ingenious Digits That Grow Fatter With Value, Making Numbers Intuitive | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet

Web startups are made out of two things: people and code. The people make the code, and the code makes the people rich. Code is like a poem; it has to follow certain structural requirements, and yet out of that structure can come art. But code is art that does something. It is the assembly of something brand new from nothing but an idea.

via How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet.

Interaction Design In The Cloud

his article walks you through the current selection of cloud-based tools and provides some recommendations. The number of offerings and amount of functionality are pretty vast. For the sake of brevity, we’ll address two functions: prototyping and wireframing. But if you’re intrigued, you might want to explore cloud-based image editing, mind-mapping tools and other UX activities. These tools are already out there, and surprisingly good.

via Interaction Design In The Cloud | Smashing UX Design.

GE’s Billion-Dollar Bet on Big Data

General Electric’s (GE) first research laboratory was housed in a barn in upstate New York; its newest is going up in Silicon Valley. In a vivid illustration of how the locus of U.S. innovation has shifted from the East to the West Coast, GE is pouring $1 billion into a facility in San Ramon, Calif., that will be staffed with as many as 400 people.

San Ramon will be home to the new Global Software Center

New hires for the Global Software Center, which is set to open in June, are coming from Oracle (ORCL), SAP (SAP), and Symantec (SYMC). Bill Ruh, the vice president running the venture, was lured away from Cisco Systems (CSCO) last year.

via GE’s Billion-Dollar Bet on Big Data – Businessweek.