Selfless design for people not technology

Technology is evilI spent more than 8 years in the advertising industry being part of an ever maturing ‘digital’ discipline. There’s an overwhelming need for digital expertise and know-how in the industry and my greatest fear, and from what I’ve seen, is that technology is becoming the ‘big idea’ rather than the potential solutions we could create. The bandwagon has become very crowded as of late with many frantically trying to solve the puzzle and become the new masters of ‘innovation’.

Two years ago TBWA\Raad Dubai won the first gold Cannes for the Red Tomato Pizza fridge magnet in the mobile category. With a single tap of the ‘Pizza-emergency’ button you doorbell would ring moments later with your favourite Pizza delivered right in the nick of time.

Our creative boss, John Hunt, soon picked up on this and expressed the need for more Technology driven ideas. This marked a time in my career where I saw many cross-disciplined agencies go into digital overdrive. The pressure is on to add more ‘technology’ further clouding judgement and creating the expectation that consumers will simply give up there precious time to interact with these convoluted campaigns.

This made me cringe – ‘Digital’ replaced ‘social media’ as the new buzzword.

I want to lift the veil and expose some the bullshit. I tried to mute the noise and look beyond the frenzy of technology and found my answer in the original ‘digital’ campaign. There was something about this project that resonated with me, it was not the button, the bluetooth, or web the integration.

I formulated my thoughts into a model that I wanted to share with my team, but never had the chance to do so.

What If… I Could Change The Way You Sell Your Digital Solutions?

Have you ever been in a situation where you realize that trying to be too clever might be your Achilles heel? You know that moment, mid-sentence, when you actually see the audience you’re talking to glaze over in a state of confusion, spiraling into a complete loss of interest. Frustrating, isn’t it?

If I wanted to retain any credibility as a digital strategist, I would have to find a way to break through the glaze-effect. Continue reading

An Espresso-Driven UX Approach

It was during a recent espresso-fueled debate around User Interface Design and UX as a multi-disciplined field that I got myself into trouble. In order to prove the effectiveness of UX tools to a bunch of skeptics, I agreed to create a concept iPad application. I had one week.

This was first published on www.followtheuxleader.com great people, great content – check ‘em out.

So, here is what I did and how I did it. Continue reading

Bringing ‘integrated’ back!

A discussion on the LinkedIn grabbed my attention recently. The author posed the following question, “What are the challenges to developing an integrated social media campaign?”

I decided against posting my answer on LinkedIn as I’m having a serious internal debate around what the exact role of agencies within social media are. The fact that many brands resort to 3rd party “social media experts” (a term I despise) just don’t sit well with me. It also feels like evangelists (with their own business related mandates) are toting ‘Social Media’ to be the new silver bullet without really thinking about the long term implications and relevance for the brand. Continue reading

UX Sketching ‘papers’ for iPad’s Penultimate

I hate making text-notes, I never go back to read them and they just clutter my life. It’s just to damn structured, give me a sharpie and let me draw. One sketch per meeting is all I need.

I recently swapped my sharpie and A3 sketch-pad for an iPad and Penultimate. Developed by Cocoa Box (www.cocoa box.com), Penultimate is my favorite sketch application for the iPad and without a doubt the application I use most during the day.
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Less baffling and more African-doing!

I’ve not been able to add much to the User Experiencnce(UX)/Information Architecture(IA) communities the last two years. Mostly in part due to the nature of the industry I work in. Digital Marketing… Yes, where deadlines, crazy short-term acquisition targets and baffling consumers with bullshit** are the norm.

One thing I am grateful for is the fact that I stayed in touch with my Canadian friend and UX-guru Jeff Parks*.
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Loading via a blink? First tell me ‘Why’…

Someone recently asked me to write an short article about digital strategy. It was meant to go out to SA students studying a variety of digital disciplines. I tried to keep it a light-hearted and thought I’d pop it here on the old blog.

I had no clue what to write, then I remembered what my old Boss at FNB, Luis Simoes once said to me :)

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