Apparatus has been proud to use legacy design practices in the digital realm. We have been involved in great projects that span across print and digital too. We found a new tool that can make this ‘walk across’ better. I personally am looking forward to use this, in context, for a project.
With a tool like this brands can interlink their print marcomm to their online presence easily, online stores can create offline catalogs with specific promotions, corporates can lead their engagements to contextually correct media assets, publishers can segue readers into richer content and more. I believe this is just a beginning – an aesthetically pleasing QR code. But there are going to be more soon.
Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry. This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles—similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends. -Doug Bowman, Creative Director, Twitter
I personally love these simple clean up jobs in graphic design that demands rigor and simplistic construction. The perceived change may be minimal. Yet the rationale and impact is immense. Read more about this brand refresh here.
The 140 character micro blog has been an elusive thing to conquer. Our followers stats have been roving in the 480 to a little over 500 area. Do I need more? I do not have an answer. We have not consciously done a campaign yet. Probably it is time.
I got into designing for web in early 1998 and since then there has been a flurry of browsers. We have used them to interact or consume information on the Internet. Some of them died an early death. A few survived and a few late entrants have proved stellar.
I reluctantly registered for a two day conference in support of Akshaya Patra and Anant called Social India. There were significant talks by experts in social media marketing from India and North America. For me, as an entrepreneur and a user experience designer, there were lessons to learn. What did I know?
Social media is a strong influential channel that can be leveraged by brands and businesses to work in tandem with traditional media. Enterprises should include them in the larger communication or marketing strategy to strengthen it. In India businesses have woken up to this fact recently and are working with digital agencies to create a strategy.
Most of these social media agencies have evolved from traditional web marketing or customer relationship management. So there is very little or no creative leadership to put together contextually correct, multi channel, strong campaigns that impact. I personally do not believe that silos of facebook contests make for a social media campaign and most of the solutions were that. The quality of destination content could be better with decoupages that involve photographs, videos and critical user contributions. Most brand case studies were counting heads as metrics.
The North American agencies were more evolved. I was impressed with the case study for Knorr Sidekicks presented by Eric Weaver of Ant’s Eye View. Salty is a salt shaker character who tugged at the heart strings of women who put dinner on the family table and he had them ‘following’ him. Take a look at this television commercial introducing Salty.
There were similar insights and case studies of Shashank Nigam from Simpliflying, an agency that focusses on social consumer connect for airline businesses, on Spicejet introducing Bombardier viral video. I should also mention Jim Long, a photojournalist at NBC and his insights into a new publishing paradigm. His talk was over Skype from New York. Fabulous!
The spirit and energy of independent publishers, bloggers and other participants engaged me. Particularly Prasant and his Lighthouse Insights. I cannot forget Kiruba, a TEDx representative in India. He is from Pondicherry and works out of Chennai. Kiruba is an energetic compère with a penchant for interacting with people. Good to connect.
Unlike a design conference, there was humility, participation, camaraderie and free exchange of ideas. I am ditching those black tee chic design junkets and sticking to honest ones like this. The closure with Sean Moffitt of Wikibrand fame was apt. This was a valuable weekend of new connections, lessons and possibilities.
Apparatus is now armed to create informed extensions of user experience design that weaves itself well with the social media world. We will create cohesive products and communication that engages to acquire new users or retain them.
The Apparatus portfolio has evolved over the last eight years. It has a fair share of information portals, enterprise applications, brand communication, web and mobile apps. There are a bunch of publications designed for print and tablet too. Please do view this full screen and write to us soon. (And do select ‘presentation’ mode.
While I was busy with my tablets and Facebook’s ‘awesome’ announcements (that was not so awesome) there is a new property in the social media landscape. And this addition is Google+. While the world thinks it is too late, Mark Zuckerburg sounds worried. What is in it for me?
I am in. I recently got an apparently precious Google+ invite and I am in. I have made a few circles and am in a few. I have been visiting a rather vacant stream of mine in this newest social media network known to mankind. I see nothing novel or compelling enough to stay on. Not yet.
The new web is about consuming content. There are services like Qwiki and apps on iPad that are geared to make this consumption memorable. In this paradigm Google+ cannot take me to an empty stream while I am filling my circles over days. They can integrate their own ‘What do you love’ to start me off, probably.
The first thing that I hated about Google+ is that I have to build my entire social landscape back. It took me over four years to populate, cull, further trim and create the optimal friends set on Facebook or my follow fellows in Twitter. Not to mention all connected services on web, mobile and tablet. Now if I have to do that all over again, as a user, I need a better incentive than drag and drop into circles.
Google+ also wants to do things different (read ‘not like Facebook’) and so they have my updates in a square on the right. Not a circle on the left. Lame! And +1 is the perfect example of a dumb idea made to look like an epiphany through relentless reccurrence. There are more such peeves.
I was happy that Mark’s product, through FBConnect, was expanding walls and unifying the social space. Now I can use products and services across the web with my Facebook credentials. So was Google. Now the walled gardens have expanded into large warring sovereign states. I am stuck with one foot in my feed and other in circles. Eric Schmidt thinks this is a happy situation and as a user I do not. He better listen to me.
I am not planning to get into Picasa or point my Hipstamatic to Google+.
As of now, from recent statistics, it looks like there more men, more engineers and developers, more Americans (and the far second are Indians) and very few Europeans on Google+. I wonder if Google+ will have a plan and a clear strategy to add and retain – engaging and emotive all at once. Or will it join this list of failed parties. Things can change and I hope it finds a niche even if it is like Ravelry.
Dear Google+: I am in. Find a trick to keep me in.
Apparatus is going to be eight years next month. We are constantly trying to redefine ourselves as a creative business. Lately we have been pursued for partnerships from across Europe and I have been talking history. This presentation is to walk interested people through our progress, our competencies and our goals. Take a look at this presentation.