Type: Link

Is the Apple Watch a stalled platform?

I reply to a large portion of text messages from the watch, using customized quick responses. Tracking my exercise has helped me lose 10 pounds. But that’s about it. And they are pretty much the same ways I used the watch when I first got it.

The platform simply feels stalled.

I recall a lot of journalists claiming the same thing about the Apple TV years ago. The Apple Watch is going to take some time to become a mainstream device that everyone wants or has. Right now, it doesn’t offer anything new, it just offers another way to see what you already can on your phone. It’s going to take time to train people to leave their phone in their pockets and use the watch instead—and even longer to make that a habit that users don’t want to be without.

Mayer fails to bet the Yahoo! farm

Over all, Yahoo remains much the same business it was three years ago. It is a far-flung collection of news, entertainment and communications destinations supported by ads. Ms. Mayer was hired to build something novel. Instead, at best, she appears to be building a better Yahoo — with debatable results.

We all know Yahoo needs to do SOMETHING to shake things up. The debatable question is WHAT? Everybody is quick to point out that Mayer isn’t doing anything… but nobody seems to have a solution.

Font use inspiration

Font inspiration
Have a look at FontsInUse for some great font inspiration for your next design job. The examples are large images, complete with the names of the fonts used in the piece. There’s some really great work here, definitely worth checking out.

The light bulb at Microsoft finally turned on…

lightbulb

A little bulb hanging somewhere over a manager’s desk at Microsoft has finally shed enough light that somebody with half a brain could read the memo that Apple, and many other service companies, have understood for years.

The race to the bottom yields nothing worth having.

Users of Microsoft’s “Unlimited Storage” OneDrive service found out that they’re hosed, and going to have to find somewhere else to store their terabytes of pirated movies.

Folks, there’s just no such thing as a free lunch. There are plenty of free services out there, but even companies the size of Google kill products and services with little warning. Others may start out free, or offer something too good to be true, but come to their senses shortly after you decide it’s critical to your workflow.

If you find a service valuable, pay for it.

Results are in: The pen IS mightier than the keyboard

pen-mightier-than-keyboard

Educators are eager to know how the computers popping up in their classrooms actually affect student learning. A recent study published in Psychological Science confronts the issue head-on.

The results of the study come to no surprise to me. People who hand-write notes are more likely to process the information as it comes in (and have a much easier time recalling the information later), compared to those who basically sit there and transcribe an entire lecture or presentation on a computer.

I compare the results of this study to logo design. Even with all the modern software & hardware technology making it easier and easier to create on your digital devices, you still get better results when you sketch your logo design concepts on paper first. There’s just less distraction with the process. You don’t get hung-up on colors and precise layout when you sketch on paper, which leaves your mind to focus on the basic concept.

Yet another example I can think of is that I find that when I have a client meeting, I’m better able to understand what a client is asking for when I limit my notes to a few high-points (or not take notes at all), than when I used to basically write down every word they said. I learned over time that it’s better to HEAR what a client is saying, not LISTEN to what they’re saying. When you’re taking notes, you’re listening to what they say, but you’re not really hearing them.

Does a logo design NEED to work in black & white?

Great article! The days of a logo design NEEDING to work in black & white are long-gone. That being said, a great logo design WILL work in black & white—perhaps with a little modification. So if your logo doesn’t work in black and white, perhaps you should re-think it.

While the linked article goes against my advice on creating a logo you can live with and still get paid, I still stand behind what I wrote back in 2008.

10 Photoshop alternatives

Affinity Photo is one of the few image editors outside of Photoshop that supports the CMYK color space, so it’s the only one of these apps that I would call a true Photoshop alternative for designers. The $49 price tag ain’t too shabby, either. Of course, if you’re a web designer or photo hobbiest, you have a ton of options—including the excellent Pixelmator.