Weeknote 303

September 12th to 16th

This was week 303, as in Roland TB-303.

This was another short week: my long weekend on German Northern Sea Island Föhr lasted until Tuesday. We were really lucky with the weather and could spend many late summer/early fall days outside. Above is a shot taken from our balcony.

Some news that popped up this week: re:publica 12 was announced (May 2-4/2012) and we're going to work with them again. We're very excited, e.g. about the new location, and looking forward. We've been invited by XING to give a talk about multiscreen on September 28th. The event is already booked out and the guestlist looks as if we're going to meet a lot of known, but also a dozen of new faces.

Philipp refined our first drafts for Yakima. The first step for this project ends this week and we're currently quite happy with the preliminary result. He also made some more tweaks to Ecola and we're going to send out reworked drafts next Monday.

I was quite busy the last two days preparing a closing presentation for the first conceptual phase of Wapato. The meeting yesterday involved more than 10 people, including some decision makers that hadn't been involved with the project so far. I learned a lot about presenting an iPad prototype to a quite heterogenous bunch of people: on one hand, technical capabilities are currently quite limited – you can't really present with Keynote for iPad, fully mirroring the iPad screen to a large projection. Of course there's jailbreaking, but if your prototype involves some sophisticated behaviour or animation, you might encounter a lot of show-stopping crashes. CPU and RAM don't seem to be fully ready yet. On the other hand, one of the attendees said for him the effect of first seeing the concept and prototype presented via projection, then holding the device in his own hands and actually touching the prototype had a great effect. He liked what he saw leaned back during the presentation, but when holding it in his hands afterwards, he experienced an increase of another 50%. File under: unconscious presentation dramaturgy.

I also spent some time preparing three simple Wapato click (or tap) prototypes for a User Experience Test that's going to take place next week. I'll be at the lab for two days and am looking forward to a lot of interesting observations and insights.

Last week I wrote how it can be quite exhausting to work with us. What did I mean? When we're working on a project, we need to understand what it is about. We don't like just executing self-contained briefings. And this might include questioning a client's or partner's intended tactics – if we think they're taking the wrong route to reach their aims and fulfill their expectations. This often leads to contructive arguments, and we see it as our duty to come up with drafts and recommendations for better and more appropriate routes to take. In the best case, we finally take decisions together with our clients/partners and cooperate on projects very closely. We're designers, not service providers.

I'll be gone now, leaving the office early to pick up my daughter from Kindergarten. We'll have chocolate icecream and a cappuccino (me!) together. Just as every Friday.

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