Link: Isaac Asimov Asks, “How Do People Get New Ideas?”

January 5, 2015

Isaac Asimov on the circumstances of creativity from 1959:

It seems to me then that the purpose of cerebration sessions is not to think up new ideas but to educate the participants in facts and fact-combinations, in theories and vagrant thoughts.

His term “cerebration sessions” is a wonderful 1950's term. I might steal that.

And the concept of giving participants “sinecure” tasks to do for payment—making the creativity a less important task—is genius. Getting paid to "think" is probably more common now than back then, but it's still a difficult sell.

Link: Affordances

June 19, 2013

Dan Wineman's insight on affordances, look and feel, discoverability and "joy":

Affordances are the baby to skeuomorphism’s bathwater.

Especially if you ignore that he's talking about iOS 7, these are good, reasoned principles. My two cents (and I generally avoid talking about skeuomorphism) is that as a design trend, I'm afraid we're ignoring non-power and novice users.

Link: Share Your Knowledge

March 10, 2013

Remarkable “open” post from Saad Ahmed at Viget about how they get business. What struck me is the concise way that he summarized what Viget blogs about (and to whom):

What’s different, though, is our primary focus on sharing our knowledge and experience with our fellow web developers, designers, and marketers instead of catering to the C-suite.

Not to mention that they have four different blogs for four different audiences. Something so simple, yet the leaders all do this well (and maybe instinctively).

Link: The Standards Manual

February 16, 2013

A little break to nerd out over the awesome 1970 NYC Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual by the great Massimo Vignelli1. Allegedly found in a locker at Pentagram under some old gym clothes (which makes it even cooler). I love the "Diagram of Basic Sign Distribution" on page 3. Even more, though, I love that it's Akzidenz-Grotesk, which is pretty much the best typeface ever.

  1. Oddly, this is the second time in less than 10 posts that I've referenced Vignelli, the American Airlines redesign being the first. 

Link: Food for Thought

February 16, 2013

The brilliant Dan Cederholm on web design:

Freely distributed information that’s relevant to the person reading it.