Adam Stoddard

Adam Stoddard

I'm Adam Stoddard. I'm an independent designer, art director & web developer living and working in Los Angeles. BEHOLD MY MUSINGS!

Forcing Gestures

Future Jetpacks:

Let’s say you’re designing some way to send video from one device to another device (for example, from your phone to your TV), and you think “ah ha! instead of pressing a boring button, what if we made it so you could just flick the video off your phone’s screen up to the tv?”

I admit, it sounds neat at first. But it’s classic jetpack design, putting “wow” before “it just works”. In real world usage, the interaction falls apart.

FJP makes a great point. Just because it’s a touch screen doesn’t mean that you should automatically use a gesture instead of a button. Buttons are obvious and well understood. Clear is a great example of this kind of jetpack design. It’s a beautiful app, and clearly a lot of care went into, but I’ve found that it’s not terribly functional in real world use because it relies so heavily on gestures.

I think the author makes the argument more black and white than need be though. Gestures can be very effective if they are memorable and more functional than a button based equivalent. Pinch to zoom, two finger rotation, and swipe scrolling are examples that come to mind.

FF Chartwell is a clever font from TK Type that uses ligatures to create various types of charts from strings of numbers. If you design annual reports it might just be your new best friend.

FF Chartwell is a clever font from TK Type that uses ligatures to create various types of charts from strings of numbers. If you design annual reports it might just be your new best friend.

There’s something about adding 19th century technology to a 21st century device that really agrees with me here.

There’s something about adding 19th century technology to a 21st century device that really agrees with me here.

If by some chance I were ever in a “Brewster’s Millions” type situation, I wouldn’t buy fancy cars or a big house, but you can bet your ass I’d buy an expensive watch. Specifically, this expensive watch, the Devon Tread 1.

If by some chance I were ever in a “Brewster’s Millions” type situation, I wouldn’t buy fancy cars or a big house, but you can bet your ass I’d buy an expensive watch. Specifically, this expensive watch, the Devon Tread 1.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
- Robert A. Heinlein
Little Printer is, well, a little printer that automatically prints out tiny personalized “newspapers” that can be assembled from a wide range of internet sources.  It’s wasteful, clever, anachronistic, endearing, and wholly unnecessary. I very much want one.

Little Printer is, well, a little printer that automatically prints out tiny personalized “newspapers” that can be assembled from a wide range of internet sources.  It’s wasteful, clever, anachronistic, endearing, and wholly unnecessary. I very much want one.

The next time someone you know tells you that snakes are ugly, gross, etc. point them to this photo series of deadly snakes by Mark Laita.  Beautiful work.

The next time someone you know tells you that snakes are ugly, gross, etc. point them to this photo series of deadly snakes by Mark Laita.  Beautiful work.

New documentary about Charles and Ray Eames, coming soon to (some) theaters (probably not) near you. For everyone else, Amazon has you covered.

It seems like everyone is falling all over themselves today declaring that Nest, a “learning thermostat” is next best thing since sliced bread.
The idea is interesting, and the design is quite attractive. Heck, I kind of want one.  So what’s my beef?
I think it’s more than a little disingenuous to claim that this device will have any significant impact on overall energy consumption in the US.  A thermostat can be had for under $20.00.  Nest costs $250.00. The price virtually guarantees that it will live mostly in the domain of gadget / design enthusiasts.  
If the Nest team was really interested in making a dent in energy consumption, they would be aiming for a much lower price to make sure it gets into as many homes as possible. Instead, they’re putting out a premium product at a premium price in order to make money. There’s nothing wrong with that, but spare me the “we’re going to save the planet” speech.

It seems like everyone is falling all over themselves today declaring that Nest, a “learning thermostat” is next best thing since sliced bread.

The idea is interesting, and the design is quite attractive. Heck, I kind of want one.  So what’s my beef?

I think it’s more than a little disingenuous to claim that this device will have any significant impact on overall energy consumption in the US.  A thermostat can be had for under $20.00.  Nest costs $250.00. The price virtually guarantees that it will live mostly in the domain of gadget / design enthusiasts.  

If the Nest team was really interested in making a dent in energy consumption, they would be aiming for a much lower price to make sure it gets into as many homes as possible. Instead, they’re putting out a premium product at a premium price in order to make money. There’s nothing wrong with that, but spare me the “we’re going to save the planet” speech.

Ever have the desire to see screenshots of every version of every significant browser? Wish granted nerd. The Evolution of The Web is a visual history of web browsers and web technology. Dive in and see just how ugly the brushed metal of Safari v.1 really was.

Ever have the desire to see screenshots of every version of every significant browser? Wish granted nerd. The Evolution of The Web is a visual history of web browsers and web technology. Dive in and see just how ugly the brushed metal of Safari v.1 really was.

Created for the 125th anniversary of Coke by Turner Duckworth.

Created for the 125th anniversary of Coke by Turner Duckworth.

Want.

Want.

Excellent typographic work by Brandon Rike.

Excellent typographic work by Brandon Rike.

Japanese culture and mythology are two subjects that I’ve always been interested in. Ben Newman taps both with his book of illustrations, Bento Bestiary featuring beautifully rendered illustrations of Japanese demons.

Japanese culture and mythology are two subjects that I’ve always been interested in. Ben Newman taps both with his book of illustrations, Bento Bestiary featuring beautifully rendered illustrations of Japanese demons.