Bookmark Beat: EP 8
The video issue 💡 🎥 🎬
If you missed me last week, I was traveling to where I grew up… Northern California! No, not the Bay Area. More North. No, North-ier than that. Think, “basically Oregon” or, if you're not in the US, just the smallest town you can think of.
I was there for my high school reunion and we were able to get about 10 people to come out! For an average class size of 20 people, I'd say that's a pretty good turnout (we invited multiple years)!
Today's issue is a video issue. So get your picture-in-picture mode ready or throw these puppies in a playlist so you can watch'em while you eat 🍿🍿🍿
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An intro: The Kinect ain't dead yet
Gaming takes itself so seriously sometimes. With all the shooters and “it's fun because it's hard” games, it's nice to find developers who just want to make fun games! Samperson is one of those people.
His latest video The Xbox Kinect was KILLED. I almost brought it back. is a funny, yet sad, retrospective on the hardware that Microsoft was sure would be the “future of gaming”. In this video, Samperson tries to resurrect that dream… it goes about as well as you would expect 🤣
Design is hard
This video of a person having a helluva time setting up a new Apple Watch has been going around TikTok, then Twitter, then the rest of the Design-side of the internet, all week. Similar to last year's Devs watching QA test the product, this is yet another example of how testing your product is the. only. way. to know if people can actually use it…
To be honest, this feels par for the course for Apple and every other “visionary” product I've used. Despite doing this for a living, I find myself very confused by some of the design patterns that iOS and Mac OS X throws at users. Despite skeumorphism‘s ugly nature, it sure did help millions of people translate concepts from their real world in to the digital one! Often misquoted, as “Apple doesn't do user research”, this article from 2008 does help us understand where this bias towards doing unfamiliar things comes from at Apple - as it dares its people to build products that nobody has ever even thought to ask for…
But what if everything is iterative anyway?
I mean, we had “the Dynamic Data Exchange” in 1990! Where, at 11:00 in this archival video about Windows 3.0, we can see three separate programs all connect to the same data source and dynamically update. I think the future of technology is not in the lack of the imagination of the general public, but rather, the limitations of technology at a given time. We should trust the users of our technology more and co-create with them… not try to outsmart the apocryphal faster horse.
It's pretty amazing to see how far we'd already come in the 90s and how, even today, we're still taking inspiration from spreadsheets (btw, congrats to Rich for the announcement of the SvelteKit Release Candidate)
But the future could have been so much cooler…
As demonstrated by Walter Cronkite in this vision of 'The 21st Century' from 1967! Robots in the house, cheap self-sustaining buildings, and computers everywhere - these were all things to look forward to. Some of this we got - like a video connection to anyone in the world… others are coming slowly, like the 30-hour workweek 🤞 Some totally missed the mark - like 3D-printed plates and that horrid Disney Land Space Mountain architecture.
It's really fascinating to see how we imagined our world in 40 years. What will the next 40 years look like? Hopefully not a total hellscape caused by climate change 😬
Lessons Learned: UCD after MVP
My last video to share is one that I was very surprised to find on the internet! It's a presentation from my time at VMware
Pivotal Tanzu Labs. Here's the video and a second link to bookmark in case the video ever gets taken down.
The goal of this talk was to share what I learned as a designer on teams that made it past the MVP (or “minimal viable product”) and were looking to get past the inevitable stagnation that comes with it. After you ship the thing that your team has been imagining for weeks, months or even years, it can be tough to figure out what to do next. This is where Design has the most leverage - and it's the reason I tend to join companies at this stage of their product(s).
My philosophy hasn't changed much since then, but I've sure learned a lot from repeating these techniques across contexts… So, if you're interested in chatting more about this, feel free to reach out!
Coda: Be the philanthropist you always wanted to be
This last bit isn't a video, but it's something really important (and, by design, super interesting) that I stumbled on this week:
Names for Change is a social experiment that actually helps people by connecting the desire to have things named after you to the needs of folks who don't have much - the unhoused and hungry. Maybe you've always dreamed about having something named after you or you've just got a few extra bucks you'd like to donate…
In either case, I'd recommend checking out this site! Plus, it's beautifully designed 😍
As an Eagle Scout and someone who always tries to “be prepared”, I'm really excited to share my…
Tweet Thread 🧵 of the week
Because I'm having a round of “the world is definitely ending” angst, here's some useful shit one can do right now to prepare for any sort of “doomsday” event. (Hint: it's not bunkers and hoarding.)
Hope you liked this video issue. Next week, I hope to open up a bit more about my interests outside of Design. So now's a great time to subscribe or share this with your friends!
See ya next beat 🥁😎🥁