Copying design: Form and function

Posted by: on Sep 1, 2012 | No Comments

It seems a lot of people conflate form and function. This is happening with recent Apple designs being ripped off by Samsung and other manufacturers.

People typically cite prior art such as previous generation laptops or phones and say Apple copied those.

You will find however that in most (but likely not all) cases this is a class error. Often they think that the functional elements of a design (flip open screen, integral keyboard, touch screen, or home button) represent the total design aesthetic.

Trade dress disputes are about form. People who say Apple just built on phones or laptops of the past are often missing the nuance of design. Angles. Texture. Finish. Materials. Weight. Volume. Proportions. These add up together to create an end result – the design.

Why leaving the house sucks

Posted by: on Apr 20, 2011 | No Comments

This is a perhaps atypical post for me… Long ish but hopefully interesting.

I often feel like I’m in the wrong job. I love the real world, being outside, being with my family. Staying indoors all the time in front of a computer is a bind, thought it obviously conveys benefits to my family so one can’t complain. I am also incredibly privileged to spend most of my time applying my sometimes hard to constrain creative urges, rather than plodding along doing dull grey work.

Working outside of the corporate office is something that all companies should strive to support. It is challenging, buy we should be driving forward developments to make it less so for more people. There was a recent article about this and increased productivity I read, and it holds true.

The little flourishes make life great

Posted by: on Mar 3, 2009 | No Comments

It is the little flourishes, flashes of beauty, or pleasant surprises that make life great. Like a beautifully struck cymbal that sticks out at you from within a song, I noticed a little touch in OS X Leopard for the first time today. I downloaded a .ICS calendar event file for the forthcoming Grails “Twitter in 40 minutes” Webinar, and noticed in my dock the icon for it:

Click for large version

Not only does the event file’s thumbnail show the month and day, it also shows a summary of the text and the start and end time, all beautifully rendered. A lot of effort will have gone into make this rendering look great, even though you may only see it a few times a year, if that.

That’s attention to detail, based on the understanding that the little things make a difference.