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Entries in Technology (77)



Blurry GreenToday I came across an interesting paper on Infomania — the deadly combination of email overload and constant interruptions. It's a challenging piece, which really got me thinking about Infomania's impact in my work and personal life.

Written by Nathan Zeldes, David Sward and Sigal Louchheim, the paper describes the severe effects of Infomania on productivity and quality of life for knowledge workers, as well as its impact on businesses:

In this work, we show that this phenomenon places knowledge workers and managers worldwide in a chronic state of mental overload. It exacts a massive toll on employee productivity and causes significant personal harm, while organizations ultimately pay the price with extensive financial loss.

Lately, I've been much more aware of interruptions and how they work against my productivity. I've spent about a month setting up my new home office, trying to establish a regular work pattern after the move — It's been difficult. In this in-between state I can see how damaging interruptions can be.

Fortunately, my office and work patterns have now stabilized, and I'm eliminating interruptions and distractions. Even so, there are always temptations to allow interruptions to steal my focus.

Solving this problem would have a positive and immediate impact on organizational results, while restoring computer–based communications technology to its rightful role as promoter of personal and organizational effectiveness.

I have more recently felt the need to physically avoid my office on weekends and evenings. I just want to be somewhere else, so I can recharge for the next day's work.

It's not for a lack of loving what I do — design work, my clients, and the company I work for — there is something deep within me that yearns for separation.

Time away from the computer during the workday is refreshing. I'm fortunate that a large portion of my work is research, thinking and sketching with pencil and paper.

What about your situation?
Do you feel the pressure of Infomania at work, at home? Do you have established times away from technology for refreshment? Have a journal you can write, sketch and get away from technology in?

I recommend Reading the paper and pondering the evidence.

Thanks to Dave Gray for the Infomania link!


iPhone Thoughts & Observations

iphone.jpgThe iPhone has landed.

Looks like a winner so far, even with its limitations and flaws. Let's be real, it's a v1.0 product so there will be limitations and flaws.

Overall, I think the iPhone is well balanced for a smartphone aimed at the mass market — I and that's important because I believe Apple isn't targeting only geeks with this device.

Personally I'm not getting an iPhone just yet, mostly because it's impractical for my lifestyle. I'm not mobile enough to make effective use of the thing, no matter how cool it is. :-)

I saw a CNet story about the iPhone's effect on Palm already:

Palm reports profit drop, expects iPhone effect

In that story (which doesn't bode well for Palm or the Treo) I had to chuckle at this quote from Palm Chief Executive Ed Colligan:

"They will have 30 days to return (iPhone) so we hope we'll benefit from that, if that happens" — Ed Colligan, Palm CEO

Riiiiiight! We'll benefit IF they return their iPhones?

That's all you've got Ed?

In the words of Jayne Cobb of Firefly, "I'm smelling a lot of IF coming off this plan!"

I think Palm is in trouble. Not that the Treo isn't good for what it is — but they were caught flat-footed. What do they have in response? Another Treo, this time in other pretty colors?

Or maybe a crippled pseudo-laptop thingamabob?

Yeah, I think Palm better get cracking quick on something revolutionary that customers will actually buy in this new iPhone influenced market, and not another re-hash of an the same-old solution from 1999.

The iPhone is not perfect, but it is re-shaping the entire wireless phone world, even if it's pushing competitors to respond to it.

iPhone Web Apps
I have a gut feeling that web-based iPhone apps are going to be huge. On par with the Palm app eco-system. Sure, the iPhone doesn't have a native API and may never have, but I think the next progression of Web 2.0 applications are bwoser apps for mobile devices (e.g. Safari).

Already we're seeing apps for the iPhone appear, like OneTrip and Quip and more are going to come. There's even iPhoney, an OS X-based app to test your iPhone apps.

Web developers and designers — this is your opportunity!

Related Links
Daring Fireball: Jon Gruber's Fist Impressions of the iPhone
iPhone User Guide (via Daring Fireball)
iPhone Dissasembled (via Daring Fireball)
The Talk Show Podcast: Dan Bejamin & Jon Gruber Talk iPhone (34 min)
Fake Steve Jobs Blog: Crack you up humor from a pseudo Steve. (Rated R language)
The Morning After - Scobelizer
Tech Ronin: First Person Report on my new iPhone
Derek Punsalan: A look at the iPhone, after all the ritz and glamor
37signals: Ta-Da List for iPhone
Geek With Laptop: Palm Pushes OS-II to 2008 (via Phil)


My Podcast Interview on The Micro ISV Show

ch9bot.gifA few weeks ago, I was invited by author, micro-business owner and new MakaluMedia logo design client Bob Walsh, to be interviewed on Microsoft's The MicroISV Show (a podcast for software developers) with co-host Michael Lehman:

It's a brave new world for MicroISVs in which it's no longer enough to drag some controls onto a form and simply make sure they're lined up and the tab order is right. The mantra "form follows function" is becoming more and more important for developers as advent of Windows Vista, WPF and Silverlight once again change the expectations of how customers perceive software. You've got to "put your best face forward" and think about design of the user experience right from the beginning.

In this episode, Michael Lehman and Bob Walsh talk to Mike Rohde, designer and art director for MakaluMedia, about the changing role of design in software development and how and why MicroISVs must incorporate design thinking into their development process.

Listen to The Micro ISV Show #22 podcast:

• Putting your best face forward - The growing importance of design for MicroISVs
• Direct Podcast MP3 Link (Size: 36MB, Runtime: 40:13)

We had a great time! I had an opportunity to talk a bit about my views on design being more than window-dressing on applications, the importance of starting early with a designer, how to choose a designer, vector-based development tools and how they may effect developers and designers, and more.

Bob worked in questions about my creative process, asked how I generate so many sketch ideas, and even slipped in a mention of my Moleskine Planner Hack project.

Have a listen and let me know what you think.


Friday Tidbits: Pudding, Journler & Northern Room

Here are a few Friday tidbits to share:

Ataraxis Pudding Launches
stack.jpgPudding, a tool crearted by Michael Sica, launched last Friday. It's a web-based tool for sharing creative work with others. Pudding allows you to post images of your work in a private account, for clients and colleagues, to view and comment on. It comes in many flavors depending on your needs, free 30 day trial and a tour to see what Pudding can do.

Journler Gets 4.5 Mice from Macworld!
Journler Icon DesignMy friend Phil Dow's wornderful mac application Journler just received 4.5 mice from Macworld, in an August 2007 review. I've talked about the icon I designed and how I love the application — so it's very nice to see a great guy like Phil, seeing success and critical acclaim for the hard work he's invested in Journler.

Good Tunes: Northern Room
onlyseconds.jpgA few weeks ago I came across the local Milwaukee band Northern Room, via my good friend Joe Phillips. They have a great sound, which I quite like. I'd categorize their sound as similar to Snow Patrol, U2, Coldplay, and O.K. Go. Check out Northern Room on iTunes, Purevolume and SonicBids.

That's all — have a great weekend everyone!


Panoramio (and logo) are acquired by Google

logo-panoramio.gifCongratulations to my friends Eduardo, Joaquín and José of Panoramio, in the recent Google acquisition of their startup!

From the Panoramio blog post on May 31st:

The integration of photos from Panoramio in Google Earth has been so successful since John Hanke suggested it that we see the acquisition of Panoramio as a natural consequence. We have tightened our relationship with Google Earth more and more in recent months, and at the end we decided to walk one step further. After so much work together, honestly, we couldn’t imagine a better scenario than selling Panoramio to Google.

I was honored to work with "the boyz" back in October 2005, when we created the Panoramio identity (along with two other identities after it, including Cursoo).

I'm very excited for the Panoramio team, and just as excited that the identity work for the project had a small part in helping the team get to the next level.

Congratulations guys! :-)

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