This Idea must die

March 2nd, 2015 No comments


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 No comments






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 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.



The return of HTML 1.0

February 18th, 2015 No comments



Key Visual Ana Andjelica



Ana Andjelic, the omnipresent strategic thinker at Spring Studio, New York has published her reference site and speaks about why’d she done it on linkedin.

It consists of a full bleed key visual and four plain text content categories. Each listing dropped down lines of plain text, no eye candy aside from the iconic bowieesque key image, and no menu or social icons other than on the front page.

Remember when your agency asked you to act like a rock ‘n’ roll star?

Decision makers will have to use the back button to move from one to the other. The site respects their scarce time and allows for a comprehensive impressive scan in between everything else.

Have a look.



Your data somewhere in the woods

February 6th, 2015 Comments off








Wenn es regnet schüttet es.

When it rains it pours.



At Steve Jobs times a little popular reason for preferring Apple over other brand computers was the synchronisation of your data across your devices. Mobile Me, the predecessor of iCloud did that for me charmingly.

Fashion and dispair was sparked by the buzzword cloud computing, which offers synchronisation services with a difference.

It is less reliable (iCloud) and the agenda cannot seriously be considered a sync service but to relocate your data to their data hidden with that of millions elsewhere in the woods. A modern day repo act and service of no use to anyone but the service provider. Now your data is more at risk. Obviously hackers of unfriended countries know where in the woods the deforestation took place to make room for the data center.









When wars get swept into (not under) the carpet

February 4th, 2015 Comments off



Afghan weavers became refugees in Pakistan after 9/11. Now their designs are being influenced by Obama’s drone program.
Read in full by Sophie Weiner.



Categories: design, shared, transformative

German newspaper changes for good

February 1st, 2015 Comments off






Süddeutsche Zeitung

Süddeutshe Zeitung



I never was much of a newspaper reader, not even with my affinity for printed matter. Nothing much unusual for a graphic designer. Among other great German newspapers, close friends favour Süddeutsche for its tonality and appearance.

Congratulations for its clean, straight forward online design. It comes close to being blog DNA. Alas, it was hand coded. The economic and efficiency advantages of theme based design have not been recognised.

Blog DNA, and open standards are defining the international web standard. The web standard meets the habits and expectations of an international web municipality.

Detlef Haaks, CEO of Sü now wants to change the paper for good. If for the better or worse,depends on how accepting the Bavarians are in catching up with the global web standard. Germany has been ignoring for as long as the evolution has been going on.

As said the Munich paper has a formidable format online already and why fix it if its not broken? Of little surprise, the motivation is to grow readership and transform them into subscribers.

Read the full story in German by Jürgen Scharrer.



You've read half.  Resurrecting the wall.

A popup informs you when you have read half of the complimentary articles for free. Come article №7, the cartoon shows an open door with the door frame piled up with bricks. The caption reads: ‟You have hit the wall.”
Haaks sees a payment method or business model in resurrection the wall. He calls it the reconciliation of print and digital. The payment method in use during the print era implemented in digital times…



Imitation is recommended

Adored papers of anglo-saxon descent are experimenting with such paywalls. A great many make use of software right off-the-shelf. Blog DNA and open standards, pulling up alongside the successes of mommy bloggers. Design dissolves into behaviour. Especially true with returning visitors as is the case with newspaper subscribers.




of customers search the web before making a purchase decision.


of people go to the brand or product website to find relevant information about it


of users admit they decide on a company’s credibility based on its website’s design.



#infographic @irfanahmad1989



Where do I look?

A clean appearance, readable typography and immediately evident usability dominate the first impressions. Usability is key to lasting impressions.

A large bleeding image received as relevant or aesthetically significant gets all the attention or is a complete failure in the eye of the beholder.

The mental state of the viewer, her motivation, decides over success or failure.

If you want to focus on details rather, the above infographic provides average viewing time of the basic elements of your website:


  1. 6.44 sec for menu items
  2. 5.48 sec for the brand logo
  3. 5.94 sec for the key visual


Please note, if one of the smaller images would contain a nude image, it would change the average viewing time of the elements. Some statistics and infographics may sway your decision making even if they are unreliable.


Make use of universal trends. Their origins are operating systems such as OS X oder iOS. They have been tested with a large user base over an extended period of time:


  1. Unobtrusive interface design: Avoid colours, content comes first
  2. White space: Generous design. Make room for air not errors.
  3. Flipchart: tiny applications / mini apps, the front teases, the flipside resolves
  4. Blurred background images: hot items this season
  5. Blurred see through interface elements: pretend to be transparent, pretend openess.







Industry 4.0

January 23rd, 2015 Comments off



How to jump from a moving car - Illustration by Nick Hardcastle.How to escape from a moving car – Illustration by Nick Hardcastle



Industry 4.0 is the claimed buzzword by German government, a high-tech strategy to promote the computerization of the manufacturing industry. Locals here are hooked on this Web 2.0 crap.

European technology phobia is real. The antiprogress movement of German news publishers is real and spreading to the EU.

Politics have now been identified as biggest issue for the digitization of the German economy by Munich think tank “Münchner Kreis“.

By 2020 education will surpass politics as biggest issue.

It is also real, that the internet economy has become the central innovation driver for classic industries in Germany. 36 percent of the native producing operations have introduced innovation or new business models since 2013, for which the use of information or communication technology was essential.

The world believes in German design but it is true that famed German designers are all dead as Anthony Bourdain pointed out. Not long ago Germany was pitied for its service desert which has since been relocated to the web.

The one thing that may propel Germans to finally get digitally going is e-commerce. E-commerce forces German web design or the lack thereof to take on the steep learning curve of usability.

Today German chancellor Merkel used her World Economic Forum visit in Davos to remind of the urgency to catch up in the European race around the digitization. Merkel at the same time spurs the European Union to more curiosity and higher speed.



Europe is called old world for a reason

One big issue for the digitization is that it is true, that the German digital agenda is not centered around knowledge transfer, the empowerment of citizen media and sharing of business insights. Suits in Davos are listening for the German government to decide on extending their fibreglass broadband network to rural areas and that big business awaits them. It may sound awkward, but broadband has very little to do with improving knowledge transfer. Social (equal opportunity) is not on the agenda.



Stubbing out Zuck.

January 20th, 2015 Comments off






Stubbing out Zuck.



While we are at it, Berlin ad agency Heimat has shared more profound social insights and proven that empathy works with conventional tv ads than all social media combined.


Personal blogs, or say, self-sufficient content was the engine for knowledge transfer and man-made lifeblood of the web even before the event of social media.


Mainstream reach is largely owed to social media, but do we still need it. Or can it be improved on with better standards now that we know why social media sucks?


Thank you John, for pointing LeRoy’s article out to me. Reading requires 2 cigarettes.



DLD 15

January 18th, 2015 Comments off



M Ü N C H E N     L E N B A C H P L A T Z

An island of calm & optimism in a sea of Eurotechnopanic






Creature Comfort Co. brings you CatZen pillows, the adorable neck support.Come tomorrow, you lucky DLD visitors can get a CatZen pillow at Kokon right across the street and bring home the adorable neck support to your beloved ones.





Pet project

January 17th, 2015 Comments off




U N R E A L     T O U R N A M E N T

Calling all 99ers


A few Unreal teamsters are placing their bets on an UT99 Renaissance. Simply by updating their media to an international web standard.