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Category Archives: Creativity

What we’ve been reading | 14th March


Silicon Valley’s youth problem NYTimes
In start-up land, the young barely talk to the old (and vice versa). That makes for a lot of cool apps. But great technology? Not so much | 12 min read


The truth about speed reading Lifehacker
Last week, we showed you Spritz – a new app that promises to help you read novels in minutes. Here’s why it might not work | 8 min read

How to build a digital strategy ready for artificial intelligence | BRW
Digital strategy is still siloed away under ‘marketing’ by most Australian corporates. But only an integrated approach can properly exploit advances like social media monitoring by artificial intelligence | 5 min read

Harvard is looking for a ‘Wikipedian in Residence’ | The Atlantic
The school’s Houghton Library is seeking someone to help make its collections as accessible as possible | 8 min read


My brain has no space for your user interface Josh Timonen
‘I imagine this ‘UI storage’ area of my brain is like the box in my closet containing a nest of computer and cables. It retains most of this UI knowledge—and I can get at it—but I have to detangle it from fifty other UI assumptions I’ve gathered over the years’ | 6 min read

How this startup turned financial advice into an algorithm and made $200M | QZ
Imagine if poring over your finances were as easy as using your favourite app, or smartphone—or any of today’s crisply designed technologies that make life easier, smarter and more efficient | 5 min read

Emotions are viral | QZ
The mood of your Facebook updates is directly influenced by the moods of those in your newsfeed | 5 min read

Japan just realised that it’s now the centre of the bitcoin universe | QZ
Japan has become perhaps the world’s most important locale for bitcoin, the digital currency that was supposed to liberate its users from the tyranny of geography—and its government is playing catch-up | 8 min read


How actors create emotions: A problematic psychology | The Atlantic
Fully inhabiting the mind, mannerisms, and reality of a fictional character can be as alienating as it is rewarding | 8 min read

100 Years of Design | Second Story
Second Story has collaborated with AIGA to create a centennial microsite that celebrates the profound impact design has had on our society over the last century | 10 min experience

Why songs have choruses | The Atlantic
The secret lies in how your brain processes sound: People love repetition | 6 min read


There are 16 leadership skillsBRW
But you only need two or three | 8 min read

Square-shaped is the new T-shaped | Medium
What’s better than knowing a little about a lot and a lot about a little? Knowing a lot about a lot |10 min read

70% of time could be used better | First Round
How the best CEOs get the most out of every day | 10 min read


Officeworks selects DesignworksB&T
STW’s strategic design agency Designworks has been appointed to Officeworks following a competitive pitch | 3min read

AFR journalist Emma Connors joins Ogilvy PR | mUmBRELLA
Ogilvy PR has appointed Australian Financial Review journalist Emma Connors as the Senior Media Strategist for the company’s PR Health and Corporate division. | 10 min read

Designworks buys New Zealand’s The Church | B&T
The Church team will move into the Designworks Wellington campus on March 10, and have already begun collaborating on a number of joint projects and new pitches | 3 min read

 
 

What we’ve been reading | 28th February

“Eye of the Tiger” played on a modified dot matrix printer | Colossal

How we make gods | Nautilus

Taking lessons from the rise and fall of divinity in online games | 15 min read

How Facebook’s news feed algorithm works | The Federalist

Here’s a hint: it rewards ad purchases | 15 min read

How we can fix online video advertising’s weakest links | TNW

The content is finally great, the audience is already here. 2014 might just be the year in which online video advertising evolves into what it should have been from the very beginning | 8 min read


In sync | The Guardian

We still don’t know if infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters can produce the complete works of Shakespeare. But after two weeks of anarchy, it appears tens of thousands of people collectively controlling a single Game Boy can beat a famous game | 8 min read

Your memory rewrites the past and edits it with new experiences | The Independent

How memory reframes and edits events to create a story to fit your current world | 4 min read

Facebook’s identity crisis | Slate

User identity was the key to Facebook’s global domination–until it wasn’t | 4 min read

The dark psychology of being a good comedian | The Atlantic

New research shows that the best humour is both a little bit wrong and a little bit right. Is there something about comedians that makes them better at subversion? | 15 min read

How Medium took calculated design risks–and won | Co.Labs

“Going to Medium, the team didn’t know what it was going to be but we knew whatever we created, it had to be different, and a step forward” | 8 min read

The Periodic Table of storytelling | Co.Labs

All your tropes in one place | 20 min read

Management consultants vs. creative agencies | Peter J Thomson

Does the future hold room for both? | 10 min read

How Netflix reinvented HR | HBR

The 127 page PowerPoint on HR practices that Sheryl Sandberg has called one of the most important documents ever to come out of Silicon Valley | 10 min read

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival launches Australia’s first-ever iBeacon campaign via DT & Ogilvy | Campaign Brief

Venues across the city are set to utilise the cutting-edge technology to encourage festival goers to explore the festival | 8 min read

17k LED lights, brought to life by tweets of hope | I.D.

Check out this beautiful piece by Designworks for Vivid Sydney

 
 

What we’ve been reading | Friday 21st February


The Vice Guide to Engagement | Google Think Insights

House of Cards is built on Big Data | Salon

By analysing its subscribers’ preferences, Netflix can be sure its original content will find an audience. But is that a good thing ? | 15 min read

Machine Language | The Verge

How Siri found its voice | 15 min read

When hardware acts like software | Ideas Lab

Digital fabrication — the ability to instruct a machine to create a form defined on a computer — is blurring the line between software and hardware | 10 min read

Invisible money | Fjord

The transformation of money will affect commerce at every level | 5 min read

The death of expertise | The Federalist

Exploring the Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers | 15 min read

Why people trust online reviews for dinner but not doctors | Quartz

‘I’d give you five stars if your hands were warmer’ | 5 min read

Why I left advertising to become a software designer | Co.Design

There’s a war for design talent between technology and advertising companies. Marc Scibelli of Infor explains why he left the ad industry after 18 years to focus on the UX of business software | 10 min read

Haven’t made it yet? Don’t stress. Big breakthroughs come in your 30′s | The Atlantic

What the ages of Nobel Prize winners tell us about creativity  | 10 min read

How technology makes creative more intelligent | Google Think Insights

Google’s Creative Platforms Evangelist talks about how new tools and platforms can help marketers create “intelligent” ads that are engaging and meaningful to consumers in the moments that matter | 8 min read

How the internet uses nostalgia | The Atlantic

Long-lost memories pop up in music recommendations, personality quizzes, and ads. Why? | 10 min read

Brand building in a digital age | Martin Weigel

Old thinking for new times | 18 min read

When Yahoo Reigned Supreme | Priceonomics

In the 1990′s, Yahoo was a really big deal. What can we learn from that? | 15 min read

A mobile content marketing strategy just became essential | Forbes

What Google’s latest algorithm update means for your content strategy | 10 min read

From foodstamps to fortune| Forbes

How Jan Koum Built WhatsApp into Facebook’s new $19 billion baby | 10 min read

Getting to the bottom of the top end of town: 5 myths about engaging execs | Marketing Magazine

It’s easy to make assumptions when marketing to senior executives. They’re impossible to reach. They don’t read marketing. They’re humourless money-men, who just need the bare facts laid out in short, sharp, staccato fashion. Interestingly, the evidence suggests the opposite | 5 min read

Your story of experience | Smart Company

In today’s connected world, consumers can navigate their own way through a brand experience and buy anything and everything at the tap of a key | 5 min read

 
 

A sceptic’s week with Google Glass

With some tipping Google Glass to further evolve change our day-to-day experiences, DT’s creative technologist and Glass sceptic Tim Devine found some surprising results after a week with the device.

In a kind of tribute to Steve Mann, the father of wearable computing, and so that I might have at least something of an informed opinion on the subject, I wore Google Glass for a week — everywhere, all the time. For thirty years Mann has worn far less sophisticated versions, so I figured it couldn’t be that onerous, and if I was to give Mann and Glass proper shrift nothing less than full immersion would do.

Aside from my Mann crush, as a creative technologist and practicing media artist my work has at times suffered from crushes on various technologies. There is something wonderful about expectations for a new technology — beyond the new toy anticipation the potential for a leap to occur, even if only in the imagination, is sufficient to begin all manner of feverish speculation.

My relationship with Glass as a technology reminds me of a girl I was seeing a few years ago. While crashing on a friends couch in Brooklyn after an epic romance and break up I noticed a card that read, “I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you”. Love is blind but temporarily.

Spike Jonze’s Her is closer than we think 

So the question this led me to suppose was do our relationships with technologies form in a similar way to our relationships with people? A hot flush at the beginning, fading slowly to something you could reasonably take for granted but pine for when you’re apart, replace with the new and shiny, or even do away with altogether?

A few weeks ago I found myself, a youngish creative technologist, contemplating an arranged marriage with Google Glass. Our agency, DT, was fortunate enough to acquire a couple of sets and as I run the creative technology lab I felt obliged to engage.

To be honest, if I could solve a brief with a single fold in a sheet of A4 paper I would. I’ve spent years trying to neutralise the effect technology has on me, while endeavouring to deeply understanding it — when a technology like this is pre-released and inevitably polarises the community, it ends up shrouded in media hype, shrill denunciations and misrepresentative guesswork in the rush to be earliest non-adopter.

The most useful commentary comes from direct experience no matter the device. So I flipped the SIM from my iPhone 5 into a Nexus 5, (Glass needs to be tethered to an Android phone) and strapped on Glass for a week.

Wearing Glass is like dating a celebrity

All week I scored free drinks and double takes as I went about my everyday. It was with me everywhere — driving, golfing, the beach, cycling, the cinema, a rooftop bar, work, watching a band, a restaurant, rock climbing and importantly while I lay hungover in my lounge room hammock. I didn’t skydive, fly a stunt plane, frolic with reptiles, trapeze, sword fight, juggle fire, ice sculpt, own a catwalk, hot air balloon or figure skate — though I was ready for it all, Google.

Glass brings voice interaction into a far more functional context. You have to give over to it, to the point where it sounds like you’re talking to a puppy — very conspicuous if there isn’t a puppy around. If you enunciate, and the sound environment is at a reasonable level, it’s pretty good.

Halfway into my week I found myself engaging in conversation with other computer generated voices, similar to accidentally swiping a non-touchscreen, or mentally pressing “Command-Z” when you pour salt instead of sugar into your tea. In a most illustrative case I was in the part harried, part dazed condition induced by self-checkout in the supermarket.

When asked if I wanted a receipt I accurately turned to face the machine and robotically, in perfect oral formation, enunciated “No. (Pause) Thanks.” Under normal conditions I’m as irritated and diminished as the next person by the automated voice of those machines yet here I was naturally, if automatically, having verbal exchange with one as I would any corporeal service entity.

Fear of blinking in bathrooms

Glass is great for capturing content by voice or wink detection. It’s some kind of wonderful snapping photos with the wink of an eye. Every time I posted something to Facebook it was tagged ‘via Google Glass’, and shot from my 203cm perspective. The result is a peculiar kind of kink in the cultural and visual aesthetic to the content glass captures — it will always be shot from slightly above and outside your right eye, though I eventually figured out how to take a selfie without looking at a mirror. I did find myself trying to warp my neck or body for the best shot, but generally I took photos with a quick wink. If you wish to you can imagine my cold, blinkless disposition while I line up in a bathroom at the rooftop bar.

Being unusually tall I’m used to people compelled to ask questions about my experience up there. With Glass I’ve added an entirely new set of icebreakers. Mostly I found myself looking awkwardly out of windows on trams so as to not to have passengers opposite feel like they were in my camera’s field of view. Maybe there will be a mechanical shutter door in future releases to alleviate this awkwardness. Or better still, maybe we need a new type of necklace that emits powerful infrared light visible only to Glass and not the human eye, blowing out all photos taken with Glass, like a kind of urban camo! Tech, counter tech.

Google Glass sits somewhere between the hype and a hands free bluetooth headset with a screen/camera

My original view of Glass was that it was a thing you wore all the time and that it would more or less replace your phone. Personally I wouldn’t wear it all the time. In the Glass Explorer forums there are countless tips on when it’s appropriate to wear it or how to avoid confrontation — like a dojo really. That said, it’s been 24 hours since the end of my experience and I’ve caught myself peering longingly up to where my Glass once satiated my visual cortex… I miss it… if only a little.

Some people will love Glass and wear it all the time (afforded the excuse to wear prescriptionless designer frames). For others maybe it’s a part-time screen, with similar utility to a hands free earpiece. Either way Glass, or some other brand of face-screen coming soon, is definitely going to be part of our mediated life.

Tim Devine is a Creative Technologist at DT.

This article was originally published on mUmBRELLA.

 
 

What we’ve been reading | Friday 14th February


Crowd funding explained | 3 minutesCheap words | New Yorker

Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books? | 3 min read

Giant fungus towers will be grown in New York City this summer | New Statesman

Not a response to NYC’s overheated property market, but one possible sustainable construction method for the future | 2 min read

In 2043… | SVBTLE

“I work at an accelerator. My boss asked me to predict 2043.” | 5 min read

Technology and wealth inequality | Altman

Technology makes wealth inequality worse by giving people leverage and compounding differences in ability and amount of work | 10 min read

Facebook fraud | Veritasium

A must watch for anyone who’s ever bought Facebook ads | 9 min watch

The  hacker’s guide to getting press | Austen Allred

Learn it. Try it. | 10 min read

The science of humour | New Republic

It takes 36 hours after a tragedy for jokes about it to become funny | 5 min read

Become 5% better Ad Strategist | Medium

Overcoming everyday errors of creative strategy | 5 min read

Flappy Bird is proof that no one knows what the audience wants | Polygon

How did a game with no marketing, no story, no viral hooks, no levels, no candy, no visual sophistication, no cross promotion and no achievements capture the hearts and fingers of millions of gamers? | 5 min read

Why writers are the worst procrastinators | The Atlantic

The psychological origins of waiting (… and waiting, and waiting) to work | 10 min read

Lessons for storytellers | Contagious

TMW’s senior planner Roz Hase discusses redefining the craft of storytelling today | 5 min read

Twilight of the brands | New Yorker

It’s a truism of business-book thinking that a company’s brand is its “most important asset,” more valuable than technology or patents or manufacturing prowess. But brands have never been more fragile | 8 min read

It’s official: Pepsi has just about had it with soda | QZ

For struggling soda companies like PepsiCo, munchies, not fizzies, are the business of the future | 5 min read

Long live the brand | HBR

Brands aren’t dead, but traditional branding tools are dying | 3 min read

From the archives: Parkinson’s Law of Triviality | The Guardian

Why organisations give disproportionate weight to trivial issues | 3 min read

The art of crafting a 15-word strategy statement | HBR

All great business strategies can be summarised in a short headline. Easy to understand and communicate, they convey clarity internally and externally to the customer | 5 min read

Paul Everson moves to JWT Sydney as client services director | Mumbrella

Adding to the agency’s strategic and creative firepower, Everson’s appointment adds another string-to-the-bow of the Sydney leadership team | 2 min read

Boom time for political operatives as limping lefties make way for rampaging right | AdNews

The Abbott government has its sights set on everything from media ownership rules to competition policy. For the peddlers of political influence, it’s snatch and grab time | 1 min read

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival takes us on a sensory journey via Ogilvy Melbourne

“Through the use of artistic and sophisticated imagery, along with cutting edge technology and promotions, (the campaign) hopes to also capture the attention of a whole new audience” | 30 sec watch

Personalised print guides for showing friends around new cities | Springwise

Jauntful is a service that enables friends to create their own personalised, printed and digital travel guides for guests visiting their town | 2 min read

Renault’s off-road concept car launches a drone out of its roof | Wired

The tiny drone can be controlled through either a tablet on the dash or by setting GPS waypoints, alerting the driver of obstacles in the road, beaming pictures back to the car.

 
 

Sex, Drugs and Helvetica: Moon’s Linda Jukic lays it on the line.

by Nextness published August 27, 2013 posted in Creativity

Charles and Ray Eames: the details are everything
Linda Jukic is Moon‘s incredibly talented Executive Creative Director. She was one of six speakers invited to honestly address the joys and challenges of making your creative ideas a reality at the recent Sex, Drugs and Helvetica design conference. These are the golden rules that underpin her work at Moon.

Create opportunity.

One of the most exciting parts of an idea is exactly where it can go and what it could truly be. Don’t be afraid to explore and share ideas beyond the original scope of work (just as long as you’ve nailed what they originally asked for). There’s a chance they may buy it and do it.

Make it real.

Whether it be an awesome render or a physical to scale mock-up, make your creative tangible for the client. The senses are exceptionally powerful, the ability to really ‘see, feel or hear’ creative gets clients going. Use it to your advantage.

Focus on the detail.

Eames said; “The details are not the details, they make the design”. Enough said.

Believe in it.

Believe in your creative idea and vision. Never lose faith in the idea or all the things that need to happen to make it happen, just the way you believe it should. As soon as you have any doubts, your team will pick up on them as will your clients and suppliers. And doubt can be just as challenging (and tricky) to manage as tight timings and small budgets and who needs another creative hurdle?

Work your butt off!

Belief is only half the equation. Effort is the rest.

Be nice.

Always be reasonable and fair, never rude or demanding. When projects are tight in timings and budget, your standards high and your creative vision clear, take the journey with a smile and with gratitude. It’s rewarding to see what is possible and exactly what and where you can get to if you treat people nicely.

Dreams can come true.

Most often design work involves compromise. So much happens between where you start and where you end up that it doesn’t feel like the same piece of work. This was one of those delightful jobs where what presented as our original creative concept and intent was pretty much what exists within the world today (with lots of crafting and detailing in between). It does happen.

More about Linda Jukic. This post was first published on Moon’s blog.

 
 

Beware THE BIG NEW IDEA.


by Nextness published August 19, 2013 posted in Creativity

'Design thinking' Google image search.
Today’s guest post is by Sven Baker, Group CEO Designworks.

I might as well concede defeat before I start.
 
I’m sorry. I HAVE NO BIG NEW IDEA. No profound insight that will shake the foundations of conventional wisdom.

A week ago I did have an idea, and at the time I thought a bloody good one! It was an idea centred on the transformative role design can play in business. Up until a week ago I was convinced of the power of Design Thinking to help transform business performance.
 I was going to be generous with our IP – I was going to share with you our Transformation process, peppered with illuminating case studies.

Such as how we’re working with New Zealand Post to revolutionise the experience of sending at retail from confusion to clarity. A new experience we co-created with customers.

How for Air New Zealand we’ve helped bust the drudgery of queuing in airports with a world first express check-in experience. And then went on to transform the nightmare of cattle class into the joy of ‘Cuddle Class.’

And finally shifting Telecom retail from selling handsets the old fashion way to selling bandwidth the new ‘smart way’ though engaging learning environments designed around the user’s world.

All of which aimed to demonstrate simply that ‘Design is a good idea’ – that as our name suggests, DESIGN WORKS.

But it appears it isn’t so.
 
A week ago disaster struck. I was checking my email and I clicked on Fast Company’s website link and there it was… My heart sunk. To my horror! A blog post by design commentator Bruce Nussbaum.
 The headline read:  ”Design thinking is a failed experiment. So what’s next?”

The last ten years of my life flashed by in an instant. All my professional endeavours have been for nothing. Design Thinking it appears was making way for a new ‘Conceptual Framework:’ CQ – Creative Intelligence. It appears I’ve been part of a FAILED experiment.

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