ChittahChattah Quickies
By Portigal Consulting at 10:02 pm, Wednesday March 30 2011
  • [from steve_portigal] Design Research with Sam Ladner [Johnny Holland] – [Looking forward to checking out this podcast. Sam always has smart things to say.] Jill Christ and Andrew Harris talk with Sam Ladner about design research, and the theories behind research design. They discuss how to choose the right research method, the differences between qualitative and quantitative research, and why certain research methods are used at certain times. "What I think designers can learn from sociologists primarily is …for two centuries now, sociologists have been thinking about how people interact with each other. And all of those findings, those theories, that deep research, that deep insight, they are still valid, and they do have a great amount of applicability in the online space. …Designers could learn a lot about this idea of the “Presentation of Self”…or where sociologists have thought about “how do we work in groups together?” …there are all sorts of sociological research and theory that would help designers."
  • [from julienorvaisas] Nokia Pure Typeface [Design Boom] – [This celebration of their bespoke font will surely reach a very limited audience. Their slow-font approach and aesthetic has appeal but seems a bit misplaced.] Citing the varied but expansive demands of smartphone usage as a design consideration, alongside the potentials opened by the clarity and sharpness of contemporary smartphone screens, Nokia has worked with Maag to develop a sans serif typeface that references the varying stroke weights and more rounded flow of handwriting, creating a more open effect than the classic 'Nokia Sans'. In an interesting return to analogue, Nokia celebrates the release of the font with the commissioning of a woodblock version of the typeface. Documented in the mini-film 'Pure Reversal' the blocks were created and used for a limited-edition print run. Designed specifically for digital and mobile devices, the 'pure' typeface is expected on Nokia devices and in advertisements beginning this year.
  • [from julienorvaisas] Defend Your Research: Imitation Is More Valuable Than Innovation [Harvard Business Review] – [Shenkar makes some bold statements. Bringing discipline to "imitation" and surfacing it as an form of innovation is intriguing. However, aspects of this phenomena are integrated into most robust innovation initiatives now (competitive analysis, landscapes, reverse engineering). They also occur quite naturally in human behavior (mirroring, transference) and culture (trends, memes). In art, it's known as appropriation and is perfectly acceptable; it may be a more apt analogy for this process than imitation. I do question his characterization here of imitation as taboo.] Q: If copying is so effective, why isn’t it embraced more? A: We’ve been socialized from a young age to treat imitation as undignified and objectionable, something done by those who are unoriginal. Even in companies that embrace imitation, many executives are reluctant to use the “i” word because of its stigma. The result is that imitation is done in the dark without the strategic and operational attention it deserves.
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3 Responses to “ChittahChattah Quickies”

    I was excited to see the font; it seemed like something fresh and positive from Nokia – but the haters in the comments at really kinda scared me. Maybe this *isn’t* so great? Being naive about typography, I wasn’t able to parse the reviews, it just seemed so strong a reaction. I hope Nokia sticks to their guns and continues to innovate and claim space in all the wide-reaching aspects, large and small, of the mobile experience.

    Comment by Steve Portigal 03.31.11 @ 11:21 am

    The HBR piece reminds me of Roger Martin’s comparison of designers and business people (within his analysis of how those two groups can work better together) – a designer says “Wow, that’s cool, it’s never been done before!” and a business person says “Wow, that’s cool, it’s been done before!”

    Comment by Steve Portigal 03.31.11 @ 11:25 am

    Yeah, I think the word choice of Imitation was deliberate. Saying we should be refining things or be inspired by them is more accurate, but just isn’t as thought provoking as an endorsement for a cut and paste approach to innovation.

    Comment by Wyatt Starosta 04.01.11 @ 12:18 pm