Buy my Books!

The Sketchnote Workbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, showing how to use sketchnotes in new ways, along with advanced tips and techniques.
Learn about and buy the book →
Download a FREE chapter →
Watch a FREE video sample →

The Sketchnote Handbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, designed to teach regular people how to create sketchnotes.
Learn about and buy the book →
Download a FREE chapter →

Mike Rohde (Color - Square)

ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes on design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books & coffee.
Read more about Mike →

SIGN UP! Get the Rohdesign Newsletter.

Entries from June 1, 2007 - June 30, 2007


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.


Sketchtoon: Two Bald Guys at Chipotle

Two Bald Guys at Chipolte SketchI received a free burrito coupon from Chipotle in my neighborhood and today, decided to redeem that sucker and enjoy a lunch away from the office, and the first day of summer.

While enjoying my steak burrito, guacamole and chips, I pulled out my Moleskine planner and made this quick doodle of two bald guys eating lunch on the patio across from me.

I thought it was interesting that they were both bald, apprently by choice. Been seeing more of the "bald by choice" lately, either to hide a receeding hairline or just for the look of it.

The sketch was done with a Niji Stylist felt tip pen and colored moments ago with Prismacolor pencils, before I scanned and posted the image on Flickr.

Got the date wrong. It should be 6/21, and it's Chipotle not Chipolte, whoops! :-)


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!


"Trying to look good limits my life." — Stefan Sagmeister

I love that quote from Stefan Sagmeister.

It questions concerns with looking good, in context of being real and taking risks. Trying new things. Doing something that may not exactly fit your image.

Why are we so concerned with looking good?

Of course, I understand why on one level. You want to look good for your friends and family, your employer, customers, prospective clients, and people in general. That's not what I mean.

I mean maintaining "appearances" rather than letting down your guard and being real.

I mean sharing weaknesses with your family and friends now and then.

Trying the sushi, kimchee or flaming cheese, exactly because eating those strange foods is both scary and exciting.

One thing for me it's not always letting others know what bothers me.

I'm getting better about being assertive and sharing these things, but it's hard. I don't want to hurt feelings. What might people think?

On the other hand, I need to be real and honest. It's limiting my life.

I'm working on it and will try to let go of looking good in exchange for being real.

How does trying to look good limit your life?

Here's Stefan's TED talk, in which he talks about happiness and how it relates to design. This quote is mentioned near the end of his 15 minute talk.

Check out more information on the design piece "Trying to look good limits my life" on Sagmeister's company website.

I've also found a Hillman Curstis short film on Stefan, sponsored by Adobe.

Finally, Stefan's interview at DesignBoom.