Blog Archives

  1. Tablet vs eReader: Touch-me-not

    Apple has sold three million iPads in 80 days and that is a lot of pressure on the eReader market.

    ‘There are going to be five million ereaders in the United States alone this year and is estimated to grow to 15 million by 2014’ says Consumer Electronics Association. With Apple’s stride it is clear that the tablet and ereader markets are merging rapidly. All big players are worked up with iPad’s rapid climb to success. So, Amazon slashed Kindle’s price by a record breaking 27% down to $189. The Nook, Barnes and Nobles ereader product saw a price slash of 23% and retails at $199. The trailing Sony ereader sells today at $169. Given all this, they realize they are way short on features compared to an iPad. We hear a lot of research and development to bootstrap the standard reader.

    All this when iPhone 4 releases this Thursday with a new version of iBook on it. This allows users to read on that desirable fantasy of a gadget. Apparently well designed, like any Apple product, and can dent the ereader market further.

    Now what does all this rambling mean to us designers.

    I have been at client meetings lately where tablet apps are substituting traditional marketing and other promotional assets. There are more devices realized for various verticals and target markets. More devices mean more user interfaces, more challenges to differentiate, surpass and brand better. Not to mention all that content that needs to be designed to consume.

    Well it is going to rain interfaces my friend and we have to be there monitoring the sanity.

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  2. Innovation and Apparatus: How can we help you redefine your product?

    Team Apparatus has worked with startups, product management groups and product teams to create new offerings. This post is to demystify the role of a creative team or a designer in product definition. Contemplate on the graphic below.

    Click on the image to enlarge. This image is of a product star that unites competencies to create a product idea that is useful, usable, feasible, lucrative, compelling and most often, successful.

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  3. UX: Curators and Guides Available

    This post is an outcome of a question that haunts designers often – ‘What do you do for a living?’. I am, most often, bothered about overselling or understating my competence. Read on.

    When I sit down and think about an abstract version of what user experience is I do not reach a definite answer. Yet I believe that it is a lot closer to a curator, guide or an interpreter. If you take a set of information and tasks within a context, a user experience designer is converting them to bite size pieces of experiences. These experiences when strung together in a compelling sequence helps the user reach his/her goal.

    User experience design, in my opinion, is a seamless blend of pragmatism, engaging emotional narrative and sensitivity to user and technology. In other words, designers build bridges that brings the user closer to any object, tool or system by scripting an experience. I have a lot of professionals call this ‘uncommon’ sense.

    These user advocates need to be in solution definition teams to create successful products. We will talk about this soon.

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  4. A formidable collaboration in the era of tablets: Garcia Media + Apparatus

    Working on Sakshi with Garcia Media was an acute learning curve for designers at Apparatus Media Lab. Dr Mario Garcia and I have been sharing ideas on taking our collective skills and knowledge to market in India. And it is official now!

    Dr Mario Garcia and Shiva Kumar met at Apparatus, Bangalore India, to draft the details of the alliance.

    New alliance for Indian publishing: Garcia Media and Apparatus join forces

    Garcia Media today announced a strategic alliance with Apparatus Media Lab the Bangalore-based team of communication design and technology professionals.

    We believe that India is already one of the world’s most exciting markets for publishing and communication, and this alliance with the young team of AML will enhance our ability to expand our participation in projects throughout India, while sharing expertise and synergies to take India Inc. into the digital revolution from mobile phone and Internet to tablets.

    Of course, both firms are internationally recognized for their work in print design, and that will continue to be a centerpiece of our alliance.

    “It is a time for alliances,” said Mario Garcia, CEO/Founder of Garcia Media.  “We live in an exciting and unparalleled period of constant change for the media, for the way we receive information and how we disseminate it.  Few, if any, consulting firms can provide all of the services that are needed, so we at Garcia Media believe strongly in forging team work that assembles the best and most talented group to tackle each project.  We worked with Apparatus before and found the experience to be mutually beneficial, thus our joy as we announce this new professional collaboration between our already well established firms.”

    “India as a market is at the cusp of using technology towards development,” says Shiva, executive director of Apparatus. “Obviously, Garcia Media is a global player in the fields of communication, publication design and taking media companies to the next level.  We at Apparatus understand the cultural nuances of the Indian market, something which is key to successful rethinking and branding. Garcia Media brings decades of expertise to the table, and ,together with Apparatus’ track record, we will create unsurpassed opportunities for our clients.”

    One of the first joint efforts of the two firms will be the planning of a seminar about Publishing/Branding in the  Era of the Tablet, to be held in Bangalore in October 2010. More details to be announced at a later date.

    Click here to read Mario’s take on this alliance.

    For more information about the firms visit Garcia Media and Apparatus Media Lab websites.

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