innovation

Why Orange is the New Black Matters to Online Content

Doing something once is often innovative, doing it twice is disruptive. 

orange-black-netflix

House of Cards was a smash hit, but Orange is the New Black shows that the model works, rather then just a show.  After all, not too many people remember the 2nd major Netflix program Hemlock Grove. Even better, its a sequel.

Whether you like the show or not, one has to watch how programming will change in the next 2-5 years.   On one side we have companies like Aereo who are taking existing content and putting it online ( paid services recaptured as digital ) and then on the other side you have online SAAS models who are making original content (Neftlix, Amazon Prime, hulu+, and even Youtube ).   Netflix is ten bucks a month, where Comcast might be 100 easily – that’s a huge delta.

Pending strategic business development deals ( eg. Apple + Comcast ) and changes in copyright laws / policy (Aereo getting sued ) this space will be very heated and interesting to watch for the short and long term.  Content is expensive to create, and opportunity costs for who loses out on the syndication make this an very strange space.  Content distribution is a big part of why people are concerned over the Net Neutrality legislation as well.  If the best content is not allowed to be accessed and shared, it doesn’t really matter who good the content is.  Who is at the strategic advantage here.

Models are changing, and expectations are evolving. It may be just a sequel, but its part of a much bigger conversation.

#goNetflix!

And with that, I will see if I can join the thousands of others who attempt to binge watch an online show because they can – another way this online medium has changed the user experience.

 

 

This iphone Concept brings the best of Windows 8 to iOs

I love seeing how mobile ux designers rethink and look at existing OS and how it could be improved.  Recently this concept video of live tiles appeared on the web that showed a widget / live tile version of iOs for iPhone / iPad.

When windows developed live tiles, it was a shock, but it made sense.  People wanted access to their content faster. The buttons to access those feeds were really just a formality.  However, hitting those buttons were a legacy interaction that was baked into the system, but also expectations of how a UI was “supposed” to work.

It has been universally agreed upon that as many user experiences are based on feeds, that it starts to make more sense for UI elements to simply be viewing windows of data rather then buttons that view that data – skip a step, right?   There are many ways to express this. I personally believe that the windows phone UI was a very elegant solution to this, however it is worth noting that Android introduced some widgets that addressed this early on as well.  Not everyone agreed this was a good solution, but many people have embraced it.

Apple is currently using push notifications to bring feeds to your screen while asleep.  In essence, it performs the same utility, but with a less sexy interface.  The design question at hand is at what point in the mobile experience do you want to access what type of data? Both have advantages.

Where I am fascinated by this suggested UX idea, I am even more interested in the areas where IP law overlap with Mobile UX.   Even if this solution maybe be better for a significant amount of users, there starts to be areas where a manufacturer cannot go due to threat of infractions on another companies idea or IP.  Even if people love this, apple may not be able to innovate here in fear of legal action from Samsung or Microsoft.

I question as creator, are there areas where the law should not limit the evolution of design progress.  I understand the need to protect an artists work, but I also fear that legal can in some instances prevent UI from growing, thus decreasing overall utility of an entire system / generation?   I am not a lawyer, but its a very interesting debate, in many verticals and progressions.  At some point, lessons learned should be shared with the greater group if they benefit all users.

Even though I have a few critiques for this specific design solution, I applaud any designer who puts their work out there for the public to judge. We need creators more then ever in this time of automation and optimization.  We always need both, but new ideas are rare, even if they are heavily influenced or recycled. The first step is to attempt to create something of value and improve the human condition.

 

 

 

Why Data can Often be Answering the Wrong Questions

 

Data is always historical.  However our goals are always future focused.

There is a science and art to data and strategy.   One part is very rational, and another is emotional.  Knowing how to merge the two, and depart from the obvious is where true innovation starts to occur.  

People turn to analytics to measure performance, determine data driven insights, and establish strategy based off the summation of all of this.  This type of thinking is great for identifying outliers, becoming aware of existing behavior, and a several other types of insights.  For the most part I personally think this can be incremental.  This has a place. I am not saying its good or bad. It just shows you exactly what you went looking for. 

Now lets consider another part of this equation.  Where do you want to be in x months? Could it be that we need to incorporate an entirely new way of thinking that is not currently being measured. Something that no one is looking for.  If we need to make leaps, instead of incremental milestones in progress, sometimes we need to step aside from the data and set our own goals using new tools and create new data sets.

The issue with ONLY relying on historical data is that innovation does not always show up in a data set.  Even if you crowdsource popular opinions of what people want, they can only think so far ahead.  And sometimes the true disruptions and innovative outliers are overlooked to make a prettier graph.  This is an common issue in social media.

These outliers could be the next ipad, tesla, or facebook.  Reference here to the famous Henry Ford quote ” If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”  Sometimes the data was right, but to grow and move ahead, one needs to assume the data could be wrong if you could see what the future data would look like.  Things change.

There is a science and art to data and strategy.   One part is very rational, and another is emotional. Knowing how to merge the two, and depart from the obvious is where true innovation starts to occur.  

Data can always show you where you have been. But it cannot always show you the best path forward.

pd –   18 minutes.

Which mobile company will win the auto market ?

auto-apple-car-ui-pd

I struggle using Siri to call a restaurant or fedex. I spend 2 entire minutes while driving finding the right location, and often it registers my “yes” as a “yet” and I have to start over.  The process is tolerable at best.

The outstanding question I have asked for the last 2 years is why is the car integration so bad? Apple knows I am sync’d via bluetooth, so why is the font so small, why is the UI not responsive, why can I not utilize something that minimizes the total number of touches?

It looks like finally that apple has started to form the strategic partnerships in auto interiors.  The race to the TV entertainment center has been amended to also include auto integration. And why not. We have become partial cyborgs in terms of mapping, directions, and search, and cars seem like one of the most underutilized places for tech and multitasking. Not that multitasking is safe, but I am just saying the technology and displays in car has been lagging compared to the rest of our entertainment universe.

According to PSFK,  the following auto makers will sign on:  Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo initially. BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp

I am excited to see how mobile continues to integrate into our daily commute.

 

The 3 Places that Innovation Really Come From

1. Firms with a lot of money or time.

Not always, but if you have the right culture, drive, and resources, you have the opportunity to be more creative. This does not guarantee results, but there is a reason a handful of firms continue to win Lion awards and adage mentions.  Certain places attract talent, and those places often attract jobs and resources that allow that to continue.  Culture can build culture.

2. From other industries who have a new perspective on an old problem. 

People always say great minds think alike. Really, great minds don’t.  Being the odd man out, can give you a different way of approaching a problem, and sometimes you are the disruption that everyone has been looking for.

3. From the bottom up. Out of Necessity. 

The opposite side of the spectrum is the underdog.  Ones that want it better then anyone else, and will sacrifice everything to get it.  More then resources, timing, its drive and passion that can find a way.  Sometimes even a bit of crazy.

 

Im not saying that innovation always leads to results. Thats a different topic.  But when you are looking for disruption, creativity, or different – those are the 3 places I would start.  As always, context and execution are everything.

-pd