Truly great ideas are rare. Jokers like us will probably never have one. That’s OK. We have mediocre ones all the time and they work just fine. I once had an idea to start a blog about CSS. I sucked at writing. I sucked at designing. The vibe at the time was that everything important about CSS had already been written. Nobody told me.
I didn’t just have the idea, I did it. That’s the showing up part. Hands on the keyboard, go. I barely knew what I was doing. I stumbled through even following simple walkthroughs on how to install the software. Executing your ideas is never overly comfortable.
Then never stop. Don’t get distracted by some other idea and prance away to that tomorrow. Keep doing it until you’ve done everything you set out to do and everyone and their mom knows it. I didn’t stop blogging when barely anyone read it for years. I didn’t stop when people told me I was dumb or wrong. I didn’t stop when redesigns were met with vitriol. I didn’t stop when faced with mountainous challenges like inexplicable server failure, legal trouble, and theft of the site itself.
Oh, plus, try not to be a dick. I’m convinced that helps.
This thought was written by Chris Coyier and first published on Saturday, 18 May 2013.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but laziness is definitely its father. Case in point, here’s an interesting tidbit of imaging history: the first webcam ever was actually invented by lazy students at Cambridge University who didn’t want to waste a trip to the nearby coffee pot if it was going to be empty when they got there.
This coffee machine that was the inspiration for the world’s first webcam was located in a corridor just outside The Trojan Room in the old computer lab at Cambridge University. In 1991, too many trips to an empty coffee pot led Dr. Quentin Stafford-Fraser and Paul Jardetzky to invent the world’s first webcam to help late night studiers and programmers keep an eye on coffee levels.
Once switched on, the camera would display a 129×129 pixel grayscale picture of the coffee pot at 1 frame per second on the user’s desktop. Ironically, the “webcam” actually predates the “web” by a couple of years, but as soon as the World Wide Web went up, the service was connected to the internet.
The camera was actually switched off in August of 2001, and all that’s left if you try and pull the feed is a link to the last ever picture the webcam took. The coffee machine itself was auctioned off on eBay for over $5,000 to German magazine Der Spiegel, where it was refurbished and put back to work by Krups.
Via: The New York Times:
In the early 1960s, as Lawrence Herbert drove to work in a blue Cadillac with cherry red seats, he mulled over a problem: How to create a “universal language” of color. Herbert, the owner of the Pantone printing company, had just produced a retail display card that helped shoppers choose pantyhose. He had to hand-mix the subtle beiges of each swatch, because it was so difficult to buy the exact shade he wanted from an ink manufacturer. Each company defined colors differently, and when you ordered “wheat” or “taupe” or “cream,” you couldn’t predict what you’d get.
The solution, he realized, was to create a unified color system in which each shade was expressed as a number. “If somebody in New York wanted something printed in Tokyo, they would simply open up the book and say, ‘Give me Pantone 123,’ ” Herbert says; 123 (a daffodil yellow) would look exactly the same the world over….
[click through for full piece at nytimes.com]
….We went to Google looking for the person responsible for the new design direction, but the strange answer we got is that such a person doesn’t exist. Instead, thanks to a vision laid out by a small team of Google designers, each product team is finding its way to a consistent and forward-looking design language thanks to a surprising process. They’re talking to each other….
[click through for full piece]
The wording of their headline does not specifically reinforce or challenge the idea that there actually is a single correct way of accomplishing good design. We’re well aware of how Apple’s design has been led by Jonathan Ive — presenting the world with what appears to be the ideal model of corporate design leadership. Simply put: having one lead voice. But Google is not Apple — and frankly, the entirety of Apple is not as unified as it looks at first glance.
[and while I’m on the topic….] Certainly all of Apple’s products — hardware and physical packaging — have that Apple aesthetic, but have you looked at the icons in your dock lately? Pages, Numbers, iMove, etc… all look like Microsoft products. What would it take to redesign these icons to match the Apple brand? And the Calendar, which instead of having that sleek and clean Apple look, actually opens up to some sort of faux leather-like texture at the top and goes further in this cheesy direction to actually mimic the remnants of slighty torn away pages? Is it the intention to keep these apps looking this way? And if so—why?
OK, I saw this image (below, Calendar App second row center) so here’s the deal—if your Icon is suitable enough to serve as decoration for adorable cupcakes, then it does not have the Apple aesthetic. And if you have the need for adorable cupcakes, you’d be wise to contact my friend Sara.