Terry Jones founder of iD magazine said that.
This blog post is a fascinating peek behind the curtain. Could May's team have done anything to stop this photo being taken?
28. New York launched a service design studio dedicated to improving services for low-income residents.
The announcement took place at Parsons School of Design at the New School, where over 400 public servants, nonprofit leaders, and members of the design community gathered in support of the new initiative.
All good. But it sounds more like assurance and consultancy than delivery and making stuff. Early days though, early days.
29. ustwo released the second book to come out of their Auto division. It’s gorgeous and super smart as you might expect. At over 500 pages it’s comprehensive too.
It’s also an interesting way for a design studio to work. Heavy research - design fiction? But it’s not fiction it’s the future we’re already living in. Will be interesting to see where this takes them. Remember in para 19 I wrote no one seemed to be doing this in the open. Open design as competitive advantage?
30. More creepy marketing news “Channel 4 today announces a brand new interactive VoD format that enables advertisers to incorporate the individual names of All 4 viewers into the audio of their adverts for the first time.”
You read that right, into the audio of adverts. The first iteration of this is really clunky. And not a very good ad.
As ever there is a fine line between being useful and being creepy. Too often advertising is the line.
People used to say that the Minority Report end game was too rubbish to come true for advertising. The future would be smarter, more creative, better curated. Yet it increasingly looks like advertising will be lucky if it gets be to as classy as Minority Report. “John Anderton you could use a Guinness right about now” is a lot better than that Channel 4 ad. And still terrible.
Smart cities is a terrible name for anything really. Connected cities is no better.
Sounds good in the isolation of a meeting room written on a stone cold ppt slide - SMART CITIES!
These bikes in Manchester are smart and connected in the way the ppt means, but they don’t look very smart or feel very connected.
Three thoughts, three zoom levels.
I love this idea as an idea. (In that room, watching the ppt.) I like cycling around cities. I like the way the locations can be flexible. I’m in favour of digitally enabled infrastructure, just like this.
There’s a failure of service design here. Putting aside the fact that the wind or some hooligans on the way home from hooliganing have probably pushed them over and these things happen, there have been real issues with these bikes in Manchester. As this article in the Guardian reports - Manchester’s bike-share scheme isn't working – because people don't know how to share and elsewhere.
It doesn’t appear to work as well as Boris Bikes. What do we sacrifice for the perceived flexibility? Does this new private (but very public) transport only work with the well established model of fixed locations? Are we too wedded to that? How does Zip Car cope? (We discussed this a bit with Uber and Man Utd last month.)
Feels like work in progress. maybe not enough user research, maybe not enough iteration based on real data. Maybe this only works with state intervention.
If this follows the Valley model in full, presumably the private model will win. There will be five or six of these bike companies, littered all over the place and eventually one wins. Maybe then it will get tidier, smarter. People will get used to it and certain Schelling points will emerge. But then one private company dominates and we're starting to see the limitations of that.
Or maybe Burning Man really is the future of everything.
Back to the naming. Cities have always been smart. Resilient, entrepreneurial, progressive, always adapting. The smartest of human settlements. That never needed a seperate brand.
23. Statistically no-one wants your new app (that line credit Alex Russell). A few weeks ago there were lots of “Apps have won!” blog posts after the FT ditched its web app in favour of a native app. Now here’s the counter argument, although this time the stats are more compelling.
"Since January 2015, there has been a 68 percent increase in smartphone web traffic in the U.S... Americans have opened apps 22 percent less on smartphones and nearly 50 percent less on tablets compared with the beginning of 2016."
I guess the reality is that fewer people are downloading *new* apps meaning things like Facebook, Twitter and banking apps dominate. (Also the stats are US only.)
24. John Deere buys Machine Learning company. I love this. That is all.
25. In the UK, Facebook says it can reach 7.8 million users aged between 18 and 24. The Office of National Statistics, however, says there were only 5.8 million people in that age group in the whole in the country in 2016.
I'm sure traditional media outlets were completely honest and transparent about audience data.
26. Apple releases Augmented Reality Interface Guidelines. Apple has a track record of good guidelines that quickly become industry standard. The famous Human Interface Guidelines being a good example. So this is worth a read.
27. The most fascinating thing I came across since the last notes was the alphachat FT podcast with Scott Galloway. The death of advertising. File under 'a regular drumbeat of stories like this but with better charts'. Or as Larry Summers said, “Things take longer to happen than you think they will and then they happen faster than you think they will.”. (Actually loads of people have said that, seems like Hemmingway was the first. Thanks Russell.)
There is far too much here for this blog. But a few notes:
Wherever people can afford to opt out of advertising, they do. (Leaves advertisers with the audience they don't want.)
So the ad based revenue model is dying. “What does that mean for the advertising industry, if the way they built these huge streams of revenue is collapsing? what does it mean if I’m trying to buy and sell advertising?" Short answer - it means they’re screwed.
If the ratio of sub revenue to ad revenue is more than 50% means you’ll stay in business. (NYT and FT, few others.)
Build a better mousetrap and the brand will build itself. Discovery not persuasion. And therefore Amazon, Amazon, Amazon. (Amazon paid $0 for Whole Foods as the increase in Amazon’s share price more than covered the cost of acquisition. Terrifying. Remember this?)
Please listen to the podcast Don Draper has been drawn and quartered
And read the charts Death of the Advertising Industrial Complex
Here's a selection here.
Creative Review came to Manchester the other day to look at The Federation, a community of digital businesses we've set up at the Co-op. UsTwo, NorthCoders, NHS R&D, Liverpool Girl Geeks, Kainos and many others are already in there. More about that soon.
Anyway, I'm pleased with how it turned out so I'm putting it on the blog and linking to it - Ben Terrett on the importance of teamwork.
It's quite popular on Twitter. This is the best comment by far.