‘Toys are preludes to serious ideas’

Those shiny toys, they give us all the answers and leave little to the imagination. What could unleash creativity like a blank paper does for a pack of gel pens instead turns off the lite-brite of ideas. #technology  #tech #ipad

“Toys are preludes to serious ideas.”

Charles and Ray Eames

Those shiny toys, they give us all the answers and leave little to the imagination. What could unleash creativity like a blank paper does for a pack of gel pens instead turns off the lite-brite of ideas.

Charles and Ray Eames knew about the risks of shiny objects all along.

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The wisdom of Devin Wenig

Nobody has an electricity department in their company; nobody has an Internet department anymore—although they did a few years ago. I suspect that within 24 months, no one will have a mobile strategy. They’ll just have an omnichannel, connected-screens strategy.

What does “Omnichannel” mean anymore now that the analog and digital worlds have merged? Online/offline are the same thing bridged through screens.

Screen Predictability

There’s apparently a 95% chance you’ll look at the screen in the elevator.

It’s not your fault, we’ve all grown up with ubiquitous screens. Our eyes feed on all types of screens: computer screens, mobile screens, movie screens, TV screens, and virtual Times Square billboards. Any digital movement is sugar for the eyes.

Whether it’s looking at the elevator screen or your handheld, the screen also removes the discomfort of standing with strangers. The screen becomes a temporary friend.

The only screen we do ignore is the security screen. We obey and look the other way. Why can’t we do the same with other screens?

All screens fight for our attention. Giving in to them depletes the patience and boredom we require to observe and think. People have developed the attention span of fish. We have to remember that real life exists outside the bowl. The screen is just a facade.

The Economist rethinks ‘lean forward, lean back’ model

Readers should not remember the particular device on which they read an article or saw an ad, whether in print, on a smartphone, tablet or desktop.

“If we execute this correctly, all devices should fall away and leave nothing but the content,” he said.

In other words, the goal is to make content agnostic to the inevitability of format shifting.

Format Shifting

You probably have a primary screen where you do everything:  write, work, and play. 

This screen may be your Smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, or even a physical notebook.  

You may even shift freely between devices depending on which is closest. Every experience or piece of data should be transferable across formats.  

However, you probably interpret content differently across devices.

An image uploaded to Instagram looks different than it does on Flickr, mostly due to the crop.  I read quicker and comprehend better on a mobile phone.  This is probably because you can only view one window at at time, harnessing focus.  BUT I'm better at catching my own writing errors on a computer screen.  This could be due to the simple fact that the larger screen allows me to see text more broadly.  

Switching screens also benefits creativity.  If you ever get stuck on an idea, a sentence, an image, and want to see your work from a different perspective, simply move to a different screen; even a different platform.  For instance, write on Tumblr itself instead of a Word document, write in a notebook instead of a digital screen, or view an image on web and print before you publish it to a book.  

Format shifting is a great way to ensure content is universally understandable across any medium.