Tag Archives: Innovation

War Rooms Saving The Day w/ Buckling Down on a Project

Sometimes you just need to take over a room, sprawl out all your shit (and by “shit” I mean tons of prints outs, whiteboard markers, pens, tape, push pins, snacks, drinks, dogs, etc) just to get yourself focused in on the large challenge at hand. It surprisingly gets you motivated in an indescribable way and tunnels you in, eliminating the other normal day-to-day distractions.

In the latest situation, the project was challenging enough but then myself and the lead designer both were sick at the beginning of the creative concept sprint, and of course our deadlines were really tight and not moveable. So at the beginning of the next week, we checked out were we were and I got a little freaked out knowing how much work still needed to be done to really impress the hell out of this new client. I took some deep breaths and said, do what you need in the next 30 min in order for us to take over conference room 2 for war room madness the rest of the day. We printed out client branding examples, video stills from the best client vids, conceptual research of bad ass interface and UI graphics, site maps, and project wireframes. The room was beautifully littered with shit all over the walls and table for us to start our work session.

I think madness is key, as it helps you hone in on your messy situation and then your mind can’t even fathom other normal distractions; like email, text messages, other employees dumb chatter, etc. I usually like to start scribbling over the print outs, using like a red whiteboard marker to circle/asterisk elements on the print outs that we liked and want to pursue. Then you freestyle the hell out of your whiteboards (did I mention you HAVE to have a whiteboard in your war room?… cuz that is a must) and be sure to snap pics of your progress at certain points  because you will erase it randomly in the heat of the moment.

Then get some outside opinions. Don’t just keep your ideas within your small group, and I’ve seen some heated debates fester in that little space which is usually getting hot and smelly. Take a break, stretch, go find and call in an outsider to gauge your progress down your solution path. See if there’s other random ideas the pop up. I’ve noticed people like to be invited in, checking out your Ray Finkle style room of horror, and provide helpful spitballing. Try it out and see.

3D Motion Graphics seems to be the Next Big Thing in Visual Design

The more 3D modeling turned into animated motion graphics that I see, the more I think its the future of inspiring new cutting edge visual design. There is something completely unique about setting your 3D objects up and then upon a motion sequence, seeing how it visually looks when either the objects are moving or the camera angle is moving, and everything is churning together creating unplanned visual states, lighting affects, overlaps, etc. This type of composition building, with various visual elements at different perspectives and angles, become mind-blowing when you start to think about re-creating that without any 3D software. Its almost impossible.

3d motion graphics entry pic

In this virtual space which becomes an infinite canvas of opportunities, seeing even the simplest shapes take form into something greater can blow your mind. Like having a close zoomed-in angle with motion and color/lighting change, then change into a greater object or motion sequence … and along the way you get all these amazing visual states each with their own evolving composition. It all can go by so quickly when you’re actually watching a video, but if you break it up and export them to individual images, you start to see how this type of design can create the most innovative graphic design that starts to hint at the future of exploration. Any young designer in today’s world should at least be learning 3D modeling, if not fully embracing it.

Restaurant Wine List on an iPad, Good Idea or Bad?

I was pretty surprised when the bartender handed me the wine list menu and upon opening the book-looking thing, I saw an iPad inside it. It felt like a normal menu, but was crafted to house the iPad right in there, so clever. At first I felt like it was a bit too innovative for the normal bar experience where you want to easily view  some drink options, but the app was pretty intuitive and quickly got me to my wine selection.

I have to say this is a great idea (outside the normal pessimistic stuff like running out of power and bugs) just by having a dynamic means to update your menu and have promos and richer media. It was easy to see each section within the app to get all the drink options, and the app did have some nice brand imagery and even though I didn’t notice any, I wouldn’t of minded getting some promos for some event or special at the restaurant or casino.  I wonder when the actual dinner menus will start to be on tablets or touch displays now … I’m surprisingly open to it now.