Move over citizen journalism: here comes a much smarter future – By Stephen Khan

March 31st, 2015 No comments



Move over citizen journalism: here comes a much smarter future



First off or perhaps there is a simultaneous development underway, the consumer is returning to being a citizen and continues to take on responsibility. When did the citizen become a consumer anyway?



Can I still post cat pictures?

Yes you can.



Launch of redesigned German Süddeutsche paper

March 28th, 2015 No comments






Continuously creating new meaning for the brand.

This page has been updated.
Continuously creating new meaning for the brand.



Many people I know in person, prefer Germany’s Süddeutsche over other reputed German newspapers. It’s for its charming personality which comes with it’s usability. The agreeable journalistic style is a part of it.

Since Tuesday the paper’s new digital design is online including its entire print content and a paywall (10 free articles per week) in place. header Kopfleiste



While the dramatic news story unfolds of the crashing Germanwing plane, updated both the key visual and the incoming news in near real time. I have never seen this with any other site. Reports including images and news were upgraded in from of the readers eye with the news breaking.

Even though updating has been a standard routine with news sites from the very beginning, I have never experienced anything in this form. collapses into a menu kollapses into a menu



As the reader diggs into relevant content and moves down the story line by line, the header collapses into a menu and remains stationary. Parallactic scrolling, a first with one of the most popular German newspapers. A best in class example, which has Chancellor Angela Merkel’s site as the only predecessor. SZ got it right as the header-to-menu switch supports usability rather than post-flash effects.

Blog DNA and international web standard with German websites—but is it true?

More on this as German websites evolve and are leaving behind bad design characteristic of the German language web.



Schindelhauer bike beauty

March 25th, 2015 No comments








Schindelhauer Ludwig VIII:XI

Select image to enlarge. ©Schindelhauer Ludwig VIII:XI



As much as many car manufacturers have fallen behind with their interior design, bikes with no interior are standing out with astounding components: leather handlebar grip, Brook saddles, belt drives and more high tech engineering for everything else. New German engineering made in Berlin.



Why Apple’s crashing the luxury party

March 22nd, 2015 No comments



Why Apple’s crashing the luxury party




Ana Andjelic’s Medium post was originally published in Adweek on March 20th, where it was featured among Editor’s Picks.

The introduction reminds me of a first occurrence, when after 15 years in the US, I returned to Europe. At a visit of the local apple wine pub Fichtekränzi in Frankfurt it became immediately obvious that the tables occupied by bankers had more laughters and was more cheerful than the table I shared with comparably less glamorous ad people.

Modern luxury is deeply, inherently and organically intertwined with digital technology, across sectors ranging from fashion and beauty to hospitality and art. It has shifted from timeless to timely, from simple to complex, from product-first to experiential, from opulent to meaningful.

“There is no history. What I like is to do — not the fact that I did,” noted Karl Lagerfeld, who kept the famously timeless Chanel roaringly relevant and fresh for more than 30 years. Lagerfeld’s words sound eerily similar to the future-obsessed, forward-thinking approach of technology.

Read the full story posted by Ana Andjelic.





Unload your 401K

March 18th, 2015 Comments off



States United to prevent gun violence




Unsere Rentenlbeiträge werden in die Waffenidustrie investiert

Our 401K retirement plans are invested in gun companies



Our 401K retirement plans are invested in gun companies.



401k bullet



Every weapon has a history

Grey, my former agency in New York the unthinkable to unleash an idea that does¹ in support of a non-profit measure against gun violence.

A gun store on the lower East Side of Manhattan.

They invited First-time gun buyers to check it out, with hidden cameras rolling. Each weapon carried a tag with a synopsis of its violent history. The sales person explained in gory detail the notorious crime history of each weapon.



Grey Massnahmen



75% of the website visitor did a check on their 401K status to see if their retirement plan invested in public gun companies and opt to unload.

Learn how famously effective Grey’s social experiment turned out from their stellar case study.

Read in full by Tim Nudd.



¹Ideas that do was coined by Gareth Kay.



It wasn’t meant to end like this

March 17th, 2015 Comments off




The new yorker notification when you have reached your half-way through limit. ©The New Yorker.


You’re half-way through, you think. Half way done.

Alas, Industrie 4.0 claimed by the German government, is only now getting out of bed on the wrong foot.

The land of poets and thinkers has long left behind both, poetry and thinking.

At Osiris we shall meet again.
We will live forever.

Illustration used for a notification by the New Yorker magazine:
“You’re half though with your free reading privilege.” ©The New Yorker.



It was the March of the year 2015. For 25 years, Europeans have been watching the new century. And welcomed it without feeling desire but ignorance rather.

Industry 4.0, is a project claimed by the German government. New poets and thinkers are prompt to consume themselves with complex issues of academic proportions (see twit pic). The big lever got pulled.





The fourth industriel revolution

Digitalisation is changing our world. The internet and modern technologies are increasingly shaping the producing industries. We are facing crucial change at the threshold to Industry 4.0.

headline of i40



Alas, platform i40, the website of the revolution looks like crap. Every mommyblogger has done a better job at designing a website with off-the-shelf software. But hold it, on the foto further up, aren’t those the same old farts from back then?



Someone has got to break the news to them

They can’t be serious!? A cluttered, unfocused website built with Drupal cannot be a beacon for Europe’s economic future. While wide spread in Europe, I have never seen Drupal used in the US much. WordPress is the internet’s operating system. It’s written for users while Drupal develops for developers. Businesses need to hire a developer for any change they wish to make on their website. It can all get done in-house when using open source theme based software. Drupal is one of the reasons why Europe is running on outdated, slow, non responsive systems.

We really don’t need to get into details, what looks like an old sock from former East Germany, cannot define Germany economic future.

How else to react to such shameless demonstrated profanity, other than with polemics?


What would Brigitte Nyborg do?

March 12th, 2015 Comments off






Adam Price: The chef
who cooked up Borgen

Price is a member of the Danish Gastronomic Academy, and together with his brother James he starred in the reality series Spise med Price (Eat with the Prices) from 2008 through 2011. Source.



German tv is experiencing an all-times high with producing BBC standard documentaries. It sharpens the citizens view on transformation and the requirement of self-actualisation.

What made American TV stand out after 9/11? The transformation from action-driven tv to human interaction driven tv.

“The West Wing is about a football team all playing for the president; Borgen is about characters standing on each column of modern democracy and actually working against each other,” says Adam Price.

Learnings in digital confirm the notion. We no longer depend on consensus among like minded people but get by working against each other. A miracle.



“Things that really mean
something take time”

Birgitte Nyborg Christensen with Bent Sejrø. Source.



Washington Post



Measured against English-language shows about politics, “Borgen” is kinetic and lean. The Aaron Sorkin-penned “West Wing” and especially “The Newsroom” are preachy and stolid in comparison. The oily acting in the U.S. version of “House of Cards” is cloyingly theatrical in the light of the Danish show’s young and naturalistic casting. The British satire “The Thick of It” is the closest comparison in the sense of dramatizing the interlocking worlds of media and politics, but “Borgen” has much more heart than the cynical UK show.

Although “Borgen” has been championed by some members of the U.S. cultural intelligentsia, and its gender politics has drawn the attention of at least one political scientist, widespread distribution in the United States has been stymied by a feeling that mainstream America will not stomach reading its television. This is a shame: One becomes quickly accustomed to the subtitles, and the show is genuinely warm and funny, not least when the effortlessly bilingual Danes drop in the unexpected English word here and there, often a curse and sometimes a telling import such as “spin doctor.”



“In Brussels, no one
can hear you scream.”

Kasper Juul with gf Katrine Fønsmark portrayed by Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, the Danish Scarlett Johansson. Source.



Subtitled or not, the show often got belly laughs from this viewer, most memorably when Nyborg’s aide Kasper Juul explains the rationale for shipping off a troublesome politician to a European Union post: “In Brussels, no one can hear you scream.”



“All forgotten, you see”

Svend Åge



As much as we enjoy US tv-series, Danish series such as Borgen or The Killing have introduced a new aesthetic to film making. Both, in a more sophisticated portrayal of what we may perceive as real and accepting what is. Borgen dissolves global frustration with politics, education and economy into acceptance of what is as long as its documentary proves it to be manageable.

Torben Friis (Søren Malling) is a great character to follow, possibly closest to our own professional career, which we may want to follow more closely.

Laura Christensen, Nyborg’s daughter with a stellar performance on what it’s like to suffer psychological distress.

Always a pleasure to watch Svend Åge. He picks up a little pig and clips off its tail with wire cutters. To insist, that its all forgiven and forgotten already and the piglet is fine with its bloody truncated tail. The piglet seems fine and doesn’t squeak.

Allow me to mention that Switzerland has long passed a law forbidding tail docking in hog operations. Oh dear.



The missing dashboard from WasteMatch’s engine

March 8th, 2015 Comments off



bb logo




Websites that are engines
require a dashboard, no?

Twitpic @NYCSanitation



NYC WasteMatch is an heroic idea by New York sanitation to help reduce waste by offering a free commercial materials exchange to the city’s businesses.

One party profits by having a way to securely dispose of their office material and make way for new supplies – the other profits from much needed equipment for their start-up or small business with materials from furniture to office supplies.

NYC WasteMatch is a rudimentary grass root Web1.0 type site which is far better than overbearing Web2.0 type sites featuring parallactic scrolling thereby making things more complicated than need be.

It’s existence is owed to the able collaboration of the NYC Center for Materials Reuse, the Department of Sanitation and the City College of New York. The sites straight forward functionality is owed to Norm Rutton’s iWasteNot Systems. That too is a good thing, open source reused objects are dominant drivers in the digital space.



Imitation recommended

City organisations around the globe, all eyes on NYC WasteMatch.




This proposition is of general nature. It asks to consider integration of two vital web objects for public services sites:

  1. CSS to be embedded as open source responsive theme and its distribution by iWasteNot- and Waste Match Systems (wordpress theme plugin directory).
  2. Dynamic real-time visual data chart to be considered as part of the theme.



percentage exchange rate real time chart

Real time display of what may motivate participating parties most

percent decrease in commercial waste real time  chart

All data needed for real time display of numbers and calculation is generated by the site. There are themes off-the-shelves out there that make use of the data.



Theme based design ads elegance to core functionality, and every engine needs a dashboard

Public service sites provide win-win opportunities to citizens and government agencies. Building it also offers a perfect situations to strengthen and sharpen the public organisation’s brand. With every action taken by the user confidence grows in the competence and usefulness of the agency.



theme based mobile first ,responsive

A quick mock-up to demonstrate how inherent functionality gets paired with elegance. While branding is being refocused and sharpened around the user expierience.




bb logo

Come end of March,
is open for business.



This Idea must die

March 2nd, 2015 Comments off


A compendium of answers Edge founder John Brockman collected by posing his annual question — “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?”

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact,” — Charles Darwin.

A catalog of broken theories that hold us back from the conquest of Truth.



Much effort and rigor goes into what idea we must dispose of. Is it time to consider that in the early 21. century we are picking up where the age of enlightenment left of in the 18th Century?

A belief that animals where without foresight and empathy is what we fifty-somethings grew up with.
We believed that fishes won’t feel pain since they were not equipped with a voice we could understand.

Read in full by Maria Popova.



German design walking dead

February 23rd, 2015 Comments off






Clean the ocean






Was it Anthony Bourdain who during a tv sequel on Germany suggested,
that they are all dead?




As long as our perception is dominated by digital, “terrible” must be the most used word in front of any display. Huge praise for German television, many stations are set on transformation in early 21. century.




A welcome best practice demonstration of German design from Hamburg. Product design by design agency Korefe. Subtle and simplistic as is, it clearly stands out from the over-ambitioned design confusion are confronted with on the supermarket shelves.

Today more than ever, design offers a passage to integrated marketing. Design is a more capable a problem solver where politics, education and businesses have lost their way.



People simply want it more simple

People have problems and businesses are here to solve problems (Ana Anjelica). When a product on a shelf, piled with design cluttered products, get’s our attention for its lack of design, then it resolves into behaviour (Naoto Fukasawa), gets taken of the shelf and brought to the cashiers.