Everything gets a remake…

February 4th, 2016 No comments



Faster Company.
Kill, kill, kill!

Foto: Everett Collection via Shutterstock und FastCoDesign



…and neglect

My initial experience with FastCompany’s website remake was, that I could no longer find the article, I referenced in yesterday’s blog post.

We owe it to theme and template based design, and the impeccable, universal design standards of Medium, to be blessed with something close to a global web standard. It allowed us to be delighted by efficiency and elegance when working the web.

Okay web pages have become as good as okay print magazine pages.

Recently structures, organic order and reliable functionalities are in decline. Of all things, FastCompany made a first step toward negligence with their wild design remake.

Nothing wrong with the articles. You lost me on the initial page neglecting any sense of overview or orientation.

The homepage is a mess.



Hands off design

January 20th, 2016 Comments off



sluggoleaks ©Bernie Bushmiller

sluggoleaks ©Bernie Bushmiller



With mobile first being the dominant directive, you designers can bang your heads at a myriad of much needed usability issues, but you got to leave the format design at where it is.

Making it easy on the thumb, all content drops down in an endless single column. My philosopher friend Thomas Palzer welcomes back the papyrus role.



Walk like an Agyptian

Walk like an Agyptian



Welcome back the papyrus role

Early 1990, Chan Suh and Kyle Shannon ran a breakthrough website out of New York, with centered content in a single endless column. They then moved on to incorporate agency.com, which was purchased by Omnicom Group and renamed designory.

Alas, I can’t recall the name of that website, but I can fondly recall, how Kyle walked me through his agency shortly after aquiring the office space.

Archaic stuff has a way to come back, think of archaic UNIX powering Linux and OS X. Even with print design back at art school, I was consumed with the notion, that ad design left the designer only one choice, that of having the headline above or below the key visual. And of course there could only be one image.

With the American mind of an American raised abroad, the headline had to remain underneath the image (Europeans prefer the headline on top of the image —Eurotrash if you ask me…).

The automotive industry was right all along to make use of one generic headline for all model launches across all brands: “INTRODUCING THE NEW …”.

The visionary designer in the new world is on the look-out for whatever works and inherits general application. Templates of all kinds and sorts. Theme based, off the shelf CMS, coloring books for grown-ups. What have you. One for all solutions to have fun with on the way to world domination.



The year in design

December 28th, 2015 Comments off



The year in design - zeldman.com

Jeffrey Zeldmann ©Zeldman.com



The year in design

Mobile is today’s first screen. So design responsively, focusing on content and structure first.

Websites and apps alike should remove distractions and let people interact as directly as possible with content.

90 percent of design is typography. And the other 90 percent is whitespace.

Boost usability and pleasure with progressive disclosure: menus and functions that appear only when needed.

One illustration or original photo beats 100 stock images.

Design your system to serve your content, not the other way around.

Remove each detail from your design until it breaks.

Style is the servant of brand and content. Style without purpose is noise.

Nobody waits. Speed is to today’s design what ornament was to yesterday’s.

Don’t design to prove you’re clever. Design to make the user think she is.



Originally published at www.zeldman.com on December 24, 2015.


Auf Medium aus dem Original von Jeffrey Zeldman übersetzt von Mark Sargent (ungebilligte Übersetzung).



Germany’s new ICE train

December 4th, 2015 Comments off



Everything get’s a redesign



ICE 4:IcCx via Digitalform. Industrial Design




ICE 4:ICx Interior via Digitalform. Industrial Design




Today the ICE 4 train was introduced to the public, no word on the travel experience though

The express train will be in service next fall.

For a country plagued by technophobia, you’ll find technology details only briefly mentioned on Siemens’ pages. Siemens took home the contract to built the express train. Nor will you find much of any detail on the website of Digitalform. Digitalform was awarded the contract for the design. Both have in common, that no mention can be found on travelers or the travelling experience.

You may wonder, if travelers were even taken into account. What about things to do for travelers? What with board entertainment, or commodities such as WiFi, a small bag of nuts and tomato juice? What is with the bathrooms?

You won’t find any mention of putting the traveller first and center of the future of the German railway plans.



Why Mac users want windows users to upgrade

November 9th, 2015 Comments off



Windows Betriebssystem aktualisieren.

Please upgrade to Windows 10.



I know from Roger, that he waits for a couple more maintenance updates before he upgrades his operating system.

Roger isn’t stupid.

I know his OS and applications are always up to date.

But Roger works with OS X and must cope with iOS.



No updates no dynamics1

We know from media reports, that Windows users aren’t easily convinced to let go of their outdated operating system.

They lack the hands-on experience of day-by-day work with unprecedented elegant and efficient handling introduced by Microsoft with Windows 8.

Alas, it irritated them to no longer find their accustomed to start menu in the lower left corner of the screen.



Decaptivated Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Decaptivated Maslow’s hierarchy of needs..



Omitting updates? Here’s what happens in regards of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Smooth, elegant and effizient handling of modern operating systems can only be experienced during daily use in its actual environment. It takes practice which in turn influences your self-actualisation your survival depends on. That sound dramatic. Read on to learn how dramatic it really is. No personal growth and fulfilment as the result of omitting self-actualisation.

The majority of the working population is not qualified to evaluate what these new technologies hold in store for our survival. Business deciders and politicians can’t get a feel for making the right decision. They are not experienced. They are blind. The knowledge transfer is broken.

Upgrade to Windows 10.



A gastronomic audience with Gérard Depardieu

November 2nd, 2015 Comments off



Laurent Audiot and Gérard Depardieu at a watercress farm in Méréville, France Alastair Miller

Laurent Audiot and Gérard Depardieu at a watercress farm in Méréville, France Foto: Alastair Miller1



What Europe is watching is Gérard Depardieu feeding himself. At one point he rants against the globalisation and says: „Dinner shouldn’t come to us. We should go to dinner. When I want french food, I must travel to France – Not the other way around.”



How it’s being perceived is all that matters

October 24th, 2015 Comments off



Muttertag - mydays Werbung

Mother’s Day – MyDays advertising
What day of the year you know of isn’t a mother’s day?






“How it’s being perceived is all that matters”

deutsche Weltklasse Werbeserie




A young kid places her order at a MyDays service counter by imitating the reaction she expects her purchase to have on the receiver.

Another unexpected charm offensive including sound advice from Germany rolled out for Mothers Day. What day of the year can you think of that isn’t mothers day?

UT99 A new beginning with Unreal Engine 4?

October 14th, 2015 Comments off





Unreal Engine 4
A new beginning
for all you 99ers?

A new beginning.



Play Unreal Tournament

Play Unreal Tournament



Unreal Tournament Pre Alpha Season ends October. Two more weeks!

What to do?

  1. Die hard 99ers get the new UT here. Join a couple games so you get a feel for Unreal Engine 4.
  2. Now let Epic know, what you think they should keep in mind when developing your game.



Sample Control Settings

Better (not quite best) practice of flat design of Sample Control Settings



What is Unreal Engine, Unreal Tournament, UT99 and the German Unreal Team?

Unreal Engine is the engine, the core code and technologic framework of many popular online games. The engine makes for a precise and responsive multiplayer gaming experience.

Unreal Tournament is perhaps better known as UT99 because of its successors, Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Tournament 2004.

It is a first-person shooter video game, co-developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes.

During 2015 Epic Games Studio sees a tactical advantage in collaborating. Epic attempts to have developers, designers and gamers co-design Unreal Tournament. It’s a back to the roots effort together with Epic Games Studio.



Giant Map Clan (GMC)

UT99 is the insiders (90ers) name of the game, which was made popular by fellow American Hoser under his GMC moniker, an association to unify 99ers from all over the world. Fragmentation began to hurt the general dynamics and decreased the number of once flourishing clans and mapmakers around the globe.

Unreal Team is todays longest lasting, most popular Germany based team (they insist on not being a clan) led by the legendary top player Zeissel. Unreal Team hosts the largest and most reliable server base and is where to go to play UR99. With a difference, we play giant maps exclusively, a model version of the original Unreal Engine. It allows for a very fast paced game in a more 3-dimensional setting with gravity reduced and focus on skillfulness rather than visual effects.



Registrieren und an der Gestaltung teilnehmen

Register and get involved with the design



What’s good about Engine 4

  • I finally got to play it on a MacBook Air from 2014 (1.7GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB Memory, Intel HD graphic card 500 1536MB) and I am convinced, it may well be as responsive as was UT99, it feels different because of the settings can’t be configured as low gravity, increased jump capability and further distance throws of the translocator.
  • Installation went smooth with an interface both effizient and elegant supported by a modern day website accepting the global standard.
  • Epic acts responsive toward the community of users and developers. The design is adaptive toward the requirements of our time. Flat, reduced, clean and okay usability.
  • The dynamics of a bundled studio, developer, designer, user approach promises increased momentum. Recruitment of new players and the return of former players of defunct clans will make for that momentum as long as the tools are in place and are being improved continuously. Epic has already become a provider with utility needed for the alpha launch early this year.
  • The challenge now is on the clans to from, reform and beginn to work with the tools given. But first let Epic know your needs and what you are wishing for!
  • A challenge especially for administrators and clan leaders to mobilise and provide their clans with the tools needed. Clan leaders may make an effort to get in touch with their peers. While administrators may want to replace there outdated bulletin boards with today’s blog systems and readily available forum plugins.





Yes to sports attitude - No to military attributes

Klares Ja zu sportiver Attitüde – Entschiedenes Nein zu Militärattributen



What can be optimised and what is sub-optimal

  • Overload. Good design is removal. I finally got Unreal to run on a well equipped MacBook Air from last year. Playing the game made the vent rotate and generate noise, even though the alpha game at this stage carries less of a load than what to expect from the final version. Textures and lighting effects are still under development. With my Mini Mac from early 2009 (2,26GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 4GB 1067 MHz memory, NVIDIA GeForce 9400 256 MB) I can’t get the game to run.
  • Epic still seems to believe, that kids want to play war games. Wrong. Gamers want to show off their skills. They are digital athletes . and a sweat shirt and sweat pants are more appropriate for the characters than army gear. A competition for best sports gear and fashion is in place. An attempt to get the game off the German index.
  • Epic, don’T get stuck half way. All eyes and energies on the development for the early 21. Century. Who says Unreal players wish to be warriors? They want to be athletes. It’s a multi user family game, get it straight in your demographical research. Some just want to take a short break and get their heads emptied preferably in Instagib sports arenas or multiplayer giant maps with hide outs .
  • Epic has already taken on the role of an enabler and continuously stay in perpetual beta mode.
  • Epic must remain a leader listening to their gaming communcities and provide the tools, so clans can commit and create maps and avatars of their own. The map maker is essential. Make it a best practice usability case study accessible to popular operating systems including the new iPad.

  • Still fewer emphasis on weapons. More emphasis on translocator. Respawn instead of deadly drama. Help get the game off of the German index.
  • Sport arenas or rooms we are familiar with from our childhood days, playgrounds from familiar surroundings instead of dark war sceneries.



7 things Epic need to hear from you here

  1. Find answers in kicking stuff not adding stuff.
  2. A leaner game! Remove overload. Keep game simple responsive and fast.
  3. Engine 4 most be more responsive than the original engine not less.
  4. Continuous improvement of intuitiv map maker. Perhaps make it available as OS independent web application.
  5. An option for low gravity settings.
  6. Keep 99 translator functionality.
  7. Don’t make players drag their feet. Keep dodging at what it was.




Way to go Epic, many thanks, and the best you gamers can do now

Go thank Epic and let them know
what you think on the forum they set up for you!



Epic Games logo

Unreal Tournament (Find help instructions in the menu)







A mouse to arouse

October 13th, 2015 Comments off



EXCLUSIVE: Why Apple Is Still Sweating the Details on iMac



Aside from fear of poverty, my greatest German Angst is the fear of an end of the desktop revolution. Today’s inside story on Apple’s new iMacs, Steven Levy published on Medium, comes as a relief.

Read in full by Steven Levy.

Apple’s standalone keyboard, trackpad, and mouse just got a lot better
By Jacob Kastrenakes



What the new NY.gov taught us about service

October 6th, 2015 Comments off






Since its launch a year ago, NY.gov doubled its unique users and quadrupled pageviews and mobile traffic.

Since its launch a year ago, NY.gov doubled its unique users and quadrupled pageviews and mobile traffic.



What worked, what didn’t & what’s next


  1. The future of digital government is mobile.
  2. Service reigns supreme.
  3. Connect emotionally.
  4. Good design means taking away.
  5. Never stop improving.
  6. Spread the love.


In two weeks, we’ll kick off our first-ever Agency Redesign Summit, where we’ll talk about the next phase of NY.gov: expanding our technology and design framework to the State’s 60+ agencies. We’ll be rolling out access to reusable web components, our universal navigation, the Drupal Content Management System, cloud hosting, the NY.gov content strategy, style guides, and much more. It’s a new age for State government, and the team can’t wait to embark on this next milestone for digital service design in New York.

Read in full by Rachel Haot on medium.