columns

nico nuzzaci

I'm a maker and shaper of interactive experiences and services. I take photographs. I play music. I frequently run. I appreciate fashion. I like to travel. I admire simplicity and quality.

19th Aug '14

When I [Pat Symonds] arrived at Williams, I spent the first period of time just watching. I could feel the panic in this team. They felt that everything would work out fine if they could screw enough new parts onto the car. Which is obviously not the case.

www.jamesallenonf1.com/2014/...

19th Aug '14
18th Aug '14
18th Aug '14
20th Jul '14

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Fascinating piece on the economics of Uber and how much it could change the world: abovethecrowd.com/2014/07/11...

20th Jul '14
18th Jul '14

Paul Austin, from Made Thought, discusses coming at a design in a singular, simplistic way, and how staying true to this idea – not adding unnecessary complexity – can produce the best results.

http://youtu.be/ZGLRAH_G1Cs

18th Jul '14
16th Jul '14

Create

I can’t pretend to know what went into designing the Bélo, but the end result is surprisingly tone deaf. This seems like a case of a still young startup that wants to assign meaning to its stratospherically successful brand so badly that it has quickly gotten in over its head. The story that Airbnb tells in order to contextualize its new identity seems similarly hamfisted and overly self-important to the point of satire. Airbnb is successfully disrupting the tremendous and staid lodging industry, but it’s hard to imagine this particular combination of pomposity and message mismanagement from say Holiday Inn.

I generally try to avoid participating in echoing things that… smells of road rage. However, this mini-rant on Airbnb’s new logo I find somewhat funny. www.subtraction.com/2014/07/...

16th Jul '14
9th Jul '14

In their Designing for Wearables presentation at Google I/O 2014 members of Google’s Glass and Android Wear teams walked through lessons learned creating wearable UIs over the past few years. Here are my [Luke Wroblewski] notes from their talk:

www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1893

9th Jul '14
7th Jul '14

We are right to be rational and to try to increase our production and so keep manufacturing costs down. But we are also right to cherish those very imperfections we are endeavouring to eliminate. Social life consists in destroying that which gives it its savour.

— Claude Lev-Strauss

via ayjay.tumblr.com/post/908527...

7th Jul '14
4th Jul '14

Smart people have a problem, especially (although not only) when you put them in large groups. That problem is an ability to convincingly rationalize nearly anything.

apenwarr.ca/log/?m=201407

4th Jul '14
4th Jul '14

Google has a new metaphor for how design works across all of its properties. It’s called Material Design. It’s a very impressive undertaking and it’s beautifully executed. You can read through the guideline on google.com/design/. It’s an attempt to add depth to pixels, but also make sense of them.

The Verge has a video on the ideas behind Material Design.

2:22 into the video (up until 3:08) Matías Duarte, Google’s Vice President of design, touch upon something really strong. On how we are trying to make sense of it all.

If I had gotten a penny for every minute I’ve been in a meeting or workshop discussing this I would be millionaire. It’s endless. It’s almost as if my generation biggest challenge (and purpose) is to prototype what digital is and how we should relate to something that doesn’t obey to any physical rules or boundaries, such as gravity or material. Come up with constrains.

Watch video:
http://youtu.be/VcG7XtVOCX8

Heres a link to the same video skipped to 2:22:
http://youtu.be/VcG7XtVOCX8?t=2m22s

4th Jul '14
4th Jul '14

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There is a method to making an app. Iterative ceremony. Successive refinement not unlike in other crafts. App making as pottery? Place each button atop your bench wheel, sling your mud, refine the reactions on screen to touch, to sound, refine the movement of text, the size of text, the placement of text, typography macro and micro, to hyphenate or not (and if not, why, dear god, why), consider the images, to full-bleed or not to full-bleed, how to dismiss the images?—?a swipe or a tap or a dreadful [×]. Remove curves. Add curves. Gradients, the gradients. All of this surface and function is iterated about again and again. WUT you say? Yes, Yo, this is how apps are made.

medium.com/message/how-are-a...

4th Jul '14
4th Jul '14

App

appthehumanstory

App creation has become the new art form for our generation. This is the story of the cultural phenomenon that touches all our lives.

www.kickstarter.com/projects...

4th Jul '14
4th Jul '14

Yesterday, the buss drive listened to opera. This morning: the Finish rock band ‘Lordi’. Contrast.

4th Jul '14
1st Jul '14

susie

It’s embarrassing that this is so rare that it by default turns into a big moment; this F1 weekend williamsf1.com will have their Development Driver, Susie Wolff, drive practice 1. That will make her the all time 6th female to take part in the F1 circus. Best of luck to Susie!

twitter.com/Susie_Wolff

www.susiewolff.com

1st Jul '14
25th Jun '14

All of these argue that the problem with social media is that people are trading the rich, physical and real nature of face-to face contact for the digital, virtual and trivial quality of Facebook. The critique stems from the systematic bias to see the digital and physical as separate; often as a zero-sum tradeoff where time and energy spent on one subtracts from the other. This is digital dualism par excellence. And it is a fallacy. [...] None of this is to say that social media and the web should not be critiqued. Indeed, it should be, and I hope to do that work myself. However, critiques of social media should begin with the idea of augmented reality. Is a reality augmented by digitality a good thing?

thesocietypages.org/cyborgol...

25th Jun '14
16th Jun '14

'The mother narrative to all this is carbon-fuelled expansion. Our ideologies are mere subplots.'

To succeed is to destroy ourselves. To fail is to destroy ourselves. That is the bind we have created. Ignore if you must climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil; even if all these issues miraculously vanished, the mathematics of compound growth make continuity impossible.

This article paints a scary picture: www.theguardian.com/commenti...

16th Jun '14
14th Jun '14

Exhibition

UID ’14 was all about inspiration and talent on display. Students representing 17 different countries put together two memorable days packed with ideas, visions, fresh concepts and new ways of approaching the design. Participants got a glimpse of the future from 42 highly inspirational degree projects in the study fields of product, interaction and transportation design.

Visit www.uid.umu.se/en/uid-14/the... to explore the UID (short for Umeå Institute of Design) ’14 event: the presentations, exhibition and projects.

14th Jun '14
11th Jun '14

single

Monochrome is a modern browser that brings mobile web apps to desktop.

lucianmarin.com/monochrome/

11th Jun '14
7th Jun '14

If a flower had a God it would not be a transcendental flower but a field.

Alan Watts

7th Jun '14
5th Jun '14

It’s Funny Because It’s True. Every case study film for everything that won an award in the last five years…

http://youtu.be/GD3W4x-R6OI

Via sellsellblog.blogspot.se/201...

5th Jun '14
22nd May '14

The No. 1 thing we [Google] look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.

nyti.ms/MOd758

22nd May '14
15th May '14

Life has a gap in it, it just does. You don’t go crazy trying to fill it like some lunatic.

From the movie Take This Waltz

15th May '14
12th May '14

getting-started-with-things

Since beginning of 2013 I’ve been emracing the Getting Things Done (known as GTD) task-management method described in David Allen book. It’s lovely and it works.

My tool of choice for this is the application called Things by culturedcode.com. Culture Code have release this lovely little online guide to help you get started. My recommendation, however, would be to start with the book and after have read it try out Things.

12th May '14
12th May '14

unelefante

Unelefante Artisan Chocolate Bars. Love em.

12th May '14
12th May '14

Sir Ken Robinson:

As human being we create our own lives. We create our own realties. We compose our lives. And we can recompose them. We can recreate them. We can see things differently. We can choose to see it differently. We can see it this way or we can see it that way. Often the most dreary circumstances can be transformed, not by the circumstances changing, but by our attitude for the circumstance changing, and that in due course might change the circumstances.

Eckhart Tolle:

…that in itself is perhaps the ultimate creative act. Not necessarily to create something. Not to be a reactive entity, but to create your own life.

Source: http://youtu.be/9Tih_SrzXA0?t=3m47s

12th May '14
12th May '14

Just because you have stopped sinking doesn’t mean you’re not still underwater.

- Amy Hempel

12th May '14
3rd May '14

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

- Peter F. Drucker

3rd May '14
3rd May '14

tumblr_n448tgXPUc1tycj7ao1_1280

This sticker is a reminder that the most important things in life are not on the app store.

notonappstore.com

3rd May '14
3rd May '14

snapchat-theverge-2_1020

For Snapchat, the closer we can get to ‘I want to talk to you’ — that emotion of wanting to see you and then seeing you — the better and better our product and our view of the world will be.

To Spiegel (founder Snapchat), the future of communication isn’t about rethinking or upgrading phone calls as Skype, FaceTime, and Hangouts have done. It’s about imagining a future that leaves the phone metaphor behind entirely.

Source: vrge.co/1pRxPCR

3rd May '14
3rd May '14

fuel-band

As someone deeply interested in health, exercise and digital services; I have high hopes on the rumoured “watch” from Apple. I have been using Nike Fuel and Jawbone UP since middle of last year. I also use a Garmin running watch and have past 5000km with Nike+ Running. My evaluation of these services is that “they haven’t found it yet”. I now hope Apples work in this area will.

But besides my interests in the use of… what ever it might be, I’m also awaits (with excitements) how Apple will once again show how you can use design to create products that are desirable, loved and used.

That excitement is partly grounded in the fact that this time around, Apple didn’t release “it” first. They will once again re-invent. Again paint a bigger picture than their competitors.

Samsung being Samsung, releases a watch.
I doubt Apple will release a watch.

At least I hope not.

I hope it’s given a bigger purpose and innovation platform than a product that tells the time. I think it will be more about the wrist than time. Exploration around the use of wrist instead of exploitation on the concept of watch and telling time. What can ‘wrist’ add to their line of products (hardware, software and strategies like their Digital Hub)? Endless!!

This article: Apple and Nike are gearing up for a big announcement this fall, states that Apple is not releasing a smartwatch, rather a smartband.

But you don’t have to analyse rumours or read between the line of ‘Nike to shout downs Wearables Business‘ and ‘Time Cook, CEO Apple, is on the board of NIKE‘.

Just watch this video when Jonathan Ive (Senior Vice President of Design at Apple) was asked on a children’s program how he would approach the brief to design a lunch box, a school bag and pencil case “all in one”.

He said:

We’d be really careful about not having the word ‘box’. It already gives you a bunch of ideas that could be quite narrow. Cause we think of a box to be square or a cube.

I’d be VERY surprised if Apple realises a watch — timepiece, typically worn either around the wrist or attached on a chain and carried in a pocket. If so, I think it will be solely for the name (and marketing), not by design and use (after all, they’ve made the exception with iPhone).

I however won’t be that surprised if Samsung (or Google for that matter) will reverse their current direction and copy whatever Apple releases.

3rd May '14
3rd May '14

Taking a design-centric approach to product development is becoming the default, I’m sure it will be taught in business schools soon enough… [...] We’re almost to the point, or maybe we’re already there, that these are boring, obvious observations to be making. Designers, at last, have their seat at the table.

For those of us who believe in the power of design thinking to solve human problems, and to a lesser extent in the power of markets to reward solutions when the interests of consumers and businesses are correctly aligned, this was invigorating news.

In order to avoid losing its place atop organizations, design must deliver results. Designers must also accept that if they don’t, they’re not actually designing well; in technology, at least, the subjective artistry of design is mirrored by the objective finality of use data. A “great” design which produces bad outcomes — low engagement, little utility, few downloads, indifference on the part of the target market — should be regarded as a failure.

If you are only going to read one long article this week, I suggest Designer Duds: Losing Our Seat at the Table by Mills Baker.

3rd May '14
2nd May '14

Amidst the attention given to the sciences as how they can lead to the cure of all diseases and daily problems of mankind, I believe that the biggest breakthrough will be the realization that the arts, which are conventionally considered ‘useless,’ will be recognized as the whole reason why we ever try to live longer or live more prosperously.

– John Maeda

2nd May '14
1st May '14

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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

— Albert Einstein

1st May '14
25th Apr '14

Facebook’s acquisitions never seem to promise something truly new and wonderful[...] I can’t think of a single instance of Facebook acquiring another company that made me more optimistic about how the world would be different going forward. Their purchase of Moves seems no different.

subtraction.com/2014/04/24/m...

25th Apr '14
22nd Apr '14

1*unla8RLo0_q0Gc59Y06hLQ

I thought to myself, how many company CEOs are focused on culture above all else? Is it the metric they measure closest? Is it what they spend most of their hours on each week? [...] The culture is what creates the foundation for all future innovation. If you break the culture, you break the machine that creates your products. [...] The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. People can be independent and autonomous. They can be entrepreneurial.

An article (originally an email) by Brian Chesky, co-founder AirBnB.

medium.com/p/597cde9ee9d4

22nd Apr '14
21st Apr '14

The gift of dyslexia is not the inability to read or write. It’s the incredible ability to see things from different angles. That is what makes a creative genius. The dyslexic mind approaches problems by visualizing things from all viewpoints. Literally moving their mental POV to whatever angle that helps them ‘see’ the solution.

This ability allows sculptors to ‘see’ what is inside a block of marble. It enables designer to imagine things into reality. It’s this brilliant gift that makes creativity come easily. Their problem solving ability is not a result of their challenge with words. Creative problem solving IS their gift.

Above quote is pulled from a comment on this article:

www.huffingtonpost.com/soren...

I’m dyslexic, and I have stated many times that I belive that me being forced to learn how to learn and persevere in the face of failure in an early age have had dramatic consequences on my orientation through life and who I am. I, however, think it’s important to remember that it is a man-made system that casts the shadow over right and wrong when it comes to dyslexia. An absurd idea that we all fit into an academic production line. An absurd idea that not doing so is an handicap. Without this absurd angle and favourable point of view, we wouldn’t amplify the mystery of the creative thinker and paint it as special.

21st Apr '14
21st Apr '14

Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating.

“No” makes us aloof, boring, impolite, unfriendly, selfish, anti-social, uncaring, lonely and an arsenal of other insults. But “no” is the button that keeps us on.

medium.com/thoughts-on-creat...

21st Apr '14
18th Apr '14

Lately I have noticed that it’s very common that people are using certain words as synonyms when the actual meaning is completely difference. In most cases, this wrongdoing isn’t questioned. It’s accepted. Either the person/people listing is autocorrecting it when they are interpreting what is being said, or, the person/people doesn’t know the difference.

One set of words that I often hear peoples use interchangeably is: design, user experience, interaction design, visual design, graphic design, graphical user interface.

Another: idea, concept, strategy.

Another: simple, good, fast, more, better, easy.

Another: new, innovation, valuable, unique.

So, I’m extremely pleased to have stumbled upon the article ‘Innoveracy: Misunderstanding Innovation‘, where Horace Dediu shares his view on; Novelty, Creation, Invention and Innovation.

18th Apr '14
18th Apr '14

Don’t mistake speed for precocity: the world doesn’t need wrong answers in record time. [...] Look closely at decisions you think are trivial. I guarantee you’ll find better solutions around the corner.

Cennydd Bowles Letter to a Junior Designer is… sort of wonderful.

18th Apr '14
18th Apr '14

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This is Manolo, our lead guide of the Peru trek. He’s the best. Before our hike, he shared a few words with our team, which stuck with me on our 10 day trek along the Andes to Machu Picchu, and still remain in my head now the trek is finished: There is no easy. It’s all uphill or downhill. To succeed in this journey, it’s less about the physical strength, and more in the mindset. If you ask, will I make it? That’s a question lacking in confidence, and we need confidence, and trust. Trust in each other. We go as a team, so we don’t leave anyone behind. And lastly, Mother Nature is alive, so take a moment to speak to the mountains, as they will talk back. Thank you Manolo.

Via @mycookingdiary

It’s all really lovely, but I like the ‘lastly’ bit the best.

18th Apr '14
17th Apr '14

light-ios7-keyboard-default

I constantly find myself “testing” the shift key on iOS 7. Is it on or not?

It’s true, as the article Improving Shift key design on iOS 7 keyboard points out; that they on/off/enabled/disable state has a poor visual cue, as well that the keyboard letters should reflect the currently selected state. But, I have to add salt to the matter and say that I find it extremely annoying that the keyboard automatically enabled the shift key after a sentence. I would know if it’s on or off it it was up to me to turn it on and off.

17th Apr '14
15th Apr '14

There is this illusion that this person is creative and has all this stuff, well the fact is there are literally thousands of ideas involved in putting something like this together. And the notion of ideas as this singular thing is a fundamental flaw. There are so many ideas that what you need is that group behaving creatively.

/Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar

scottberkun.com/2010/inside-...

15th Apr '14
14th Apr '14

the great arises out of small things that are honoured and cared for.

- Eckhart Tolle

14th Apr '14
14th Apr '14

I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders. I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. And, humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing, about a third of the way down the list. It was not too proud a showing for the crown of creation. So, that didn’t look so good. But, then somebody at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And, a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts.

And that’s what a computer is to me. What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.

- Steve Jobs

14th Apr '14
13th Apr '14

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Wilson Kipsang won todays London Marathon on the course record time 2:04:26. The 5km between 30-35k he did in 14:33, 35-40 in 14:38 to then set a 2:50/km pace for last 2km. This man… is not a man.

13th Apr '14
12th Apr '14

ryanair

At @Ryanair: opt out of insurance by clicking [Don't insure me] located between Denmark and Finland in the drop down.

Via @dosinga

12th Apr '14
11th Apr '14

nike_Lunar_Flyknit_chukka_october_Sneaker_politics4_1024x1024

Until yesterday, all my shoes (except my running shoes) had four things in common: simple, beautiful, understated and black. What they also had in common was: predictable, boring and anonymous.

Yesterday I came really close to extend this collection, with a pair of dark navy Jack Purcell Converse shoes.

But instead I got myself a pair of Lunar Flyknit Chukka
in Black/Total Orange-Sequoia-Parachute Gold-Volt-Sail.

Besides being absolutely gorgeous: they are by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever own and the laces matches my front door (and fridge).

11th Apr '14
10th Apr '14

We Hate Ourselves For Spending So Much Time On Facebook. So Why Do We Do It?

Users seem to wrongly predict the emotional impact of using Facebook. It seems likely that users are not aware of the mood-decreasing effects.

What’s happening, [...] failure of “affective forecasting” — the ability to predict a future emotional state. [...] psychologists have found that people are terrible at guessing how they’ll feel in the future.

If you like to dig further into the subject, I suggest you read ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ by Daniel Gilbert and/or ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman.

Our lack of insight and acknowledgement of how our mind works and the inability/handicap that comes with it, is to me also very evident when working with user experience.

10th Apr '14
9th Apr '14

But, all through this time, there has been a niggling problem, one that I’ve talked about at a couple of design conferences this year. When we’re hired by a company to work on their project, just by the nature of the engagement, we’re not as close to the problem as we need to be.

markboulton.co.uk/journal/mb...

9th Apr '14
9th Apr '14
9th Apr '14
8th Apr '14

The relationship between agency and client is often incredibly difficult and frequently humiliating. Few people have the stamina and perseverance for it.

Khoi Vinh reflecting on the agency-client relationship:

subtraction.com/2014/04/07/a...

8th Apr '14
4th Apr '14

HFJ-team

The story on Hoefler & Frere-Jones is rather sad. Such a shame. Judging by the articles I’ve read, it seems like Freer-Jones (right) was mislead by a manipulative greedy businessman (left). The whole thing just smells… bad. No moral to be found.

pencilscoop.com/2014/03/hoef...

4th Apr '14
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