To me, there is a distinct movement towards a particular style and I would be very surprised if Apple were ignorant of it. It’s not “flat design” per se and it’s certainly nowhere near the “Metro” levels that people are suggesting they may follow, but it’s a mellowing out of the visual indicators that people need to trigger the idea of a tappable element. Why? Because this is not 2007 anymore, and we are all now fully aware of the medium and the process; we don’t need to be led garishly by the hand. There is still a sense of depth and tactility but done in a refined and suggestive way, sensitive to the changed perceptions that people have of interacting with touchscreens.
That’s something important not being talked about nearly enough in all this “Apple is moving towards flat design” chatter: it’s not that flat design is necessarily “better”, it’s that Apple can start changing some things now because so many people have become accustomed to using the iPhone (and smartphones in general) over the past 5+ years. Not as much hand-holding in the design is required. Apple no longer has to try as hard to make new users think they’re just doing something like pressing a bunch of buttons on a screen. Hopefully that’s liberating for the design team.
Seeing this in IMAX 3D was the best thing I’ve done since getting my eyes lasered. Having peripheral vision continues to be an unexpected joy.
It makes me really anxious when glass starts cracking in space.
You think you are safe… you are not.
It’s easy to forget — even for a Disney nerd like myself — that before Walt Disney died of lung cancer in December of 1966, EPCOT (the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) was supposed to be a real city. The code name “Project X” was given to the undertaking that would eventually become Walt Disney World, which today includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom parks.
Fascinating. And the rabbit hole goes deeper still.
[via Tim Maly]
Allison Fass reporting on Peter Thiel’s talk at SXSW this year where he recounted the time in 2006 that Mark Zuckerberg turned down Yahoo’s $1 billion offer to buy Facebook:
His only partial rationalization at the time was that in the history of Yahoo, it had made two $1 billion offers that were also turned down. And those were to eBay and Google. “At least I could actually make a pseudo-scientific argument that in every case Yahoo offered $1 billion and it was rejected, it was the correct thing to do,” said Thiel.
I should say that I know absolutely nothing about any sort of talks/deals between Tumblr and Yahoo. And I’m not sharing this to suggest that Tumblr should turn down such a supposed offer (my initial gut feeling is actually that such a partnership would make a lot of sense). I just found it fascinating given how closely the reported number is to the key number repeated in Thiel’s story.
Speaking of blues… “Schumpeter” of The Economist has this to say about Microsoft and Windows 8:
This is why Windows 8’s poor performance matters. It was an attempt to solve the innovator’s dilemma by creating an operating system and a user interface for both PCs and mobiles. Mr Ballmer hoped that consumers would want to move effortlessly from PCs to tablets to smartphones—and that Microsoft would be able to invade the mobile markets while simultaneously reigniting demand for its core PC products. But so far the reverse has happened: Microsoft has reinforced suspicions that it does not understand hand-held devices while simultaneously alienating its core PC users. It is possible that Microsoft will be able to solve this problem with future iterations of Windows 8. But it is looking likely that the two types of device need different operating systems. Microsoft’s biggest rival, Apple, has kept the two devices separate. That bodes ill for Mr Ballmer’s strategy. The comparison with New Coke actually understates Microsoft’s problem. Nothing forced Coca-Cola to introduce New Coke: tongues and throats do not change much. And all the firm had to do to rectify its error was to bring back the old version. Technology firms, in contrast, must innovate to survive. Restoring the start button will not restore Microsoft to its former glory.
It’s not that Microsoft isn’t trying to innovate, it’s that the type of innovation they chose to move forward with was ill-conceived. And this may well end up hastening their long-term woes. It’s the proverbial “rock and hard place”. It’s a textbook example of why innovators have dilemmas.