#readyplayerone / Google Is Bringing Stadia To iOS.

This might kill the Nintendo Switch for me. I’ve never been a huge Nintendo fan, I got one primarily for the new Zelda title. Since then Nintendo has been slow to release anything new and compelling. Streaming would also help me reduce the number of devices I have which is always a big plus. The only thing that might be better is if Microsoft brings their Gold Pass service to iOS.

#writing / Obama on writing.

From an adapted excerpt of President Barack Obama’s new memoir, A Promised Land published by The Atlantic comes this thought from Obama about writing while he drafted his presidential memoirs:

I still like writing things out in longhand, finding that a computer gives even my roughest drafts too smooth a gloss and lends half-baked thoughts the mask of tidiness.

I haven’t written anything by hand in so long I don’t know what I might be missing. Though it does not share any insights into his process, here’s an interesting story on Obama’s literary past including authoring his first book, Dreams From My Father.

#workflow / Dave's quintessential blogging mistake.

Quick note, if you’re not following Mr. Ruperts blog then get on it. Moving on, Dave shares a lesson learned on blogging:

I made a mistake. Three weeks ago I settled into a nice blogging flow and had a decent stream of published posts. It felt so good to get ideas out of my head. Sitting on a handful of nearly done posts, I was putting the finishing touches on one of my precious thoughvomits, I got the bright idea to spice it up by adding some illustrations…

I chuckled because I did this about a year ago inspired by blogs that use Unsplash to add an image to every post. It’s easy to search for a photo, but illustrations not so much. I concur with Dave’s thoughts including his conclusion—”Don’t do this.”

#design / The three-click rule is dead.

Boxes and Arrows makes the case for dropping old, conventional wisdom in the face of new learnings from research:

Let’s stop counting clicks. The speed, conversion rates, and user satisfaction for your product are in no way connected to the number of clicks a user makes. And once we start limiting clicks, our page quickly starts to look like a directory: a list of every option, tiny font, in alphabetical order. For the user, this ultimately ends up feeling like we’re looking for a needle in a haystack. This is not the experience we’re hoping to achieve. Instead, we should focus on the human. We should zero in on how they want to use our application. The less experience they have, the higher the risk and the stranger the situation, the more stress the task entails.

Designing to simplify a users life is always the path to victory.

#welldeserved

Thank You for Your Service Day.

I woke up this morning wondering why we say “Happy Veterans Day.” Given the sacrifice veterans have made, it seems appropriate to find a better phrase more befitting for the people it is intended to serve. I think I’m especially sensitive because we live in a time when the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces has many times called veterans who died in the line of service “losers” and “suckers.” He has used the same word to describe veterans captured in the line of duty.

I think about all of the men and women who died fighting to defend liberty and democracy in Europe and Asia from 1914 through 1975. And the ones who made it home, scarred eternally by the experience, what they endured. I think about the servicewoman and her bomb-sniffing K9 I once met on a flight — they were on their way to a fourth tour in Afghanistan. I think about my grandfather, who fought against fascism in Italy and Germany. And my father-in-law who answered the draft and dutifully served a tour in Vietnam. I think about my time at USAA learning about military families that are torn apart when a parent is deployed and the emotional toll on everyone, especially the children.

Veterans deserve more than just another “happy” day. They deserve respect and our attention. I’m not trying to suggest this has to be a solemn day, but rather a grateful one. Today is a day to pay respect to those who serve and the sacrifices they are often required to make. I’m not sure what single word or phrase could replace Happy Veterans Day; maybe it’s not important so long as those who served feel seen, appreciated, and are receiving the care they need.

#publishing / magCulture Live 2020.

If you love publishing then I have an event for you. The annual magCulture conference is now a two-day affair, November 17 and 18, with each day dedicated to a theme.

The first session has ‘Activism’ as its central theme, highlighting the power of magazines as platforms for change from both historical and contemporary standpoints. The second session is based around the theme ‘Analogue’, reminding us that there’s more to magazine-making than computers. How can editors and art directors maintain a human touch?

The speakers are a wonderful collection of designers, editors, authors, and founders from an eclectic range of publications from The Atlantic to Record Culture. The price point for admission is very affordable and the sessions run late in the UK which means early attendance here in the US.

#architecture / Hotels of Pyongyang.

A glimpse of well preserved North Korean hospitality architecture (interior and exteriors) heavenly influenced by 1970’s China, East Germany, and the Soviet Union. Looks like a bunch of Wed Anderson film sets without the heavy use of Futura.

The photos are from a new book published out of Australia.

#utopia

A message worth considering during this tumultuous time.

My brother-in-law just sent me a text with a smart and thoughtful message in response to these uncertain and stressful times. I’m sharing it here because I think more people could use his perspective.

Just my thoughts, but need to get this out there. November is finally here. I have seen a lot of hate spewed in recent months about a man who is a constant winner and overachiever, and that’s what the people who support him like about him. Yes, he’s been caught in lies and twisted the truth a little but he’s still out there proving his haters wrong time after time. Some people are jealous of someone who is successful, powerful, and has a lot of money. Throw in a hot foreign model at his side and they hate him even more. You may not have wanted him in his role, but he’s there now and there’s nothing you can do about it. I know it’s possibly going to get worse over the next several days, but like him or not, Tom Brady is really turning things around in Tampa.

Perhaps satire is not dead yet.