Livefyre Studio Puts The Company’s Focus On User by Gavin Lau

At this point, I should probably stop calling Livefyre a commenting platform.

Actually, the company has been expanding beyond comments for a while. It launched its StreamHub product, which included more social media widgets, back in 2012. And it acquired social media curation startup Storify last year.

But the company is taking another big step in this direction with the relaunch of its core platform, which it’s now calling Livefyre Studio. The idea, basically, is to allow online publishers (whether they’re news organizations or brand marketers) to gather user generated content from anywhere online, and then to republish it anywhere in turn.

In some ways, it’s similar to what Storify already does, but it sounds like the aim here is to provide that kind of social media curation on a bigger scale, with more automation, and often for more marketing-centric uses. (This could also turn Livefyre into more of a competitor for startups like Chute and Percolate.)

In a quick demo, founder and CEO Jordan Kretchmer showed me how a customer could search for different types of content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and across the web; hand-select the content or set up rules for automated gathering and filtering; then publish it to a customized media wall on their own site, their mobile apps, or in an ad. (The search part, by the way, is powered by Storify — Kretchmer said it’s the first integration of Storify into the main Livefyre platform.)

Livefyre Studio also includes the ability to ask users for the rights to their content, and analytics capabilities to see how these campaigns are actually performing.

The company has actually been testing the platform for months, Kretchmer said, and it went live for all customers last week. For example, it was used to create Sony’s “Greatness Awaits” page highlighting content from the PlayStation 4 community, as well as Unilever’s sustainability initiative Project Sunlight.

It can be useful for news organizations, too — Fox News took advantage of the ability to include this content in custom apps, creating an election map highlighting related tweets and Instagram photos.

But judging from our conversation, as well as Kretchmer’s blog post announcing Livefyre Studio (which does mention comments, if only very briefly), the emphasis seems to be pretty clearly on the marketing side. In fact, Kretchmer told me that in the past year brands have grown from to 0 to 30 percent of Livefyre’s revenue.

And he argued that all the user generated content posted on social media presents a big opportunity for companies to connect with consumers, both on their own sites and elsewhere, but “brands don’t have internal resources for managing this stuff.”

“We have to make it as easy as humanly possible to let brands access all of these great applications,” he added.

Introducing Livefyre Studio from Livefyre on Vimeo.

Lean UX: Getting out of the deliverables business by Gavin Lau

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 10.40.41 pm


In this talk your team will learn:

- How user experience and interaction design evolve in an agile, continuous world

- Why creating a cross-functional design process increases the viability and success of your products

- How to focus your teams on creating digital experiences instead of documentation 


Speaker: Jeff Gothelf

Designers have long relied on heavy documentation to communicate their vision for products and experiences. As technology has evolved to offer more complex and intricate interactions, the deliverables we've been creating have followed suit. Ultimately though, these deliverables have come to serve as bottlenecks to the creation process and as the beginning of the negotiation process with our team mates -- a starting point for conversation on what could get built and launched.

Lean UX aims to open up the user experience design process with a collaborative approach that involves the entire team. It's a hypothesis-based design approach that tests design ideas early and often and, along the way, builds a shared understanding with our team mates that eliminates the dependencies on heavy documentation and challenging communications. Lean UX is a solution for the challenge of Agile and UX integration while it also works effectively in traditional waterfall and other hybrid environments.


Google Unveils New Cross Platform Design Language “Material Design” by Gavin Lau


Google announced a new universal design language, called Material Design, as part of the forthcoming “L” release of Google’s Android mobile operating system. The design is meant to offer a more consistent, universal look-and-feel across mobile, tablets, desktop and “beyond,” the company explains.

“We imagined… what if pixels didn’t just have color, but also depth? What if there was a material that could change its texture? This lead us to something we call ‘material design,” says Matias Durate, Director of Android operating system User Experience at Google, during the keynote this morning.

Some of the key features of the new design include an updated version of the system font, Roboto, as well as bold and dramatic colors and highly polished animations.

Durate also quickly walked through the changes in the new framework, which it’s also releasing publicly today at google.com/design. The idea is to put this framework in the hands of developers who build on Google’s platforms, so all apps have a consistent look, similar to how Apple has its own design guidelines for Mac and iOS developers.

The company is also introducing new redesigned versions of Google’s flagship apps using this new language, including Gmail and Calendar, for both Android and the web. You may recall reading about these changes recently, when some blogsgot a hold of leaked versions of screenshots showing Gmail’s redesign, featuring a cleaner and simpler interface.

On Android, the new look is called “Material,” and it supports a variety of new animation capabilities, has built-in realtime UI shadows, and “hero” elements that can be passed from screen-to-screen.


The open-sourced framework Polymer, which highlighted during the last Google I/O, was also mentioned as being a way for developers to create building blocks which work with this new design language. Polymer offers a prototyping tool that lets you build responsive websites using predefined, customizable building blocks, and was recently discussed as being a part of Google’s forthcoming design changes we covered here when it was known as its internal codename “Quantum Paper.”


On the Google Design website, the company references its goals for Material Design as follows:

  • Create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.
  • Develop a single underlying system that allows for a unified experience across platforms and device sizes. Mobile precepts are fundamental, but touch, voice, mouse, and keyboard are all first-class input methods.

Google describes the new design as being “inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic.”

The design uses familiar tactile means of interacting with its many parts, with visual cues that are grounded in reality, Google says. Its elements also recall print-based design typography, with “deliberate color choices, edge-to-edge imagery, large-scale typography, and intentional white space create a bold and graphic interface that immerses the user in the experience.”

Motion is another key element of the design, but is meant to be. “Motion is meaningful and appropriate, serving to focus attention and maintain continuity,” Google adds.

More broadly speaking, the design refresh is about making the experience of using Google’s products and services, including Android, more enjoyable for end users. Apple is well-known for having stricter design guidelines for its developer partners, and that has helped shaped how consumers perceive Apple — that is, as being a design-focused company.

Now Google is stepping up to show that it’s ready to compete on design, as well.

The move comes at a time when Apple is also moving into areas Google dominates – like cloud services. That has worried Google, sources say, since it seemed like Apple was getting better at infrastructure than Google was getting at design. Material Design is Google’s effort to change that.


Source:  http://techcrunch.com/2014/06/25/google-unveils-new-cross-platform-design-language-material-design/?utm_campaign=fb&ncid=fb

Pinterest Plans “Choose Your Own Adventure” Product by Gavin Lau


A more personalized way to pin may be on the way as Pinterest has announced a big press event in San Francisco on April 24th with the teaser image above. We’ve confirmed with the company that this will be a product announcement and CEO Ben Silbermann will speak. So what will Pinterest unveil? The startup has written that this year it’s focused on helping people discover pins related to their interests. In January it launched a preview of a new personalized homepage that learns from what people have browsed and pinned in the past. This “Explore Interests” page then presents pins related to their tastes, and uses a mosaic of different-sized tiles to highlight certain items instead of Pinterest’s iconically uniform mason grid.

A full launch of Explore Interests would match the “choose your own adventure” theme. It would also mesh with what Pinterest head of engineering Jon Jenkins told me last year was on the roadmap for 2014. At the time, he said “Pinterest isn’t fundamentally about connecting people to other people. It’s about connecting people to interests…We try to identify interests through collaborative filtering, associative rule mining, natural language processing to provide discovery. I can pin five shirts I like and Pinterest derives my interest in fashion.”



A personalized home page could use all these signals to provide a relevancy-filtered feed, much like Facebook does. That could make Pinterest a more relaxing place to visit and browse. Instead of having to hunt through topic-specific boards or know what you’re looking for with search, Pinterest will bring what you like straight to your digital doorstep. That could make it more addictive for hardcore users and more accessible to rookies. As the majority of Pinterest’s traffic now comes from mobile, I’d expect this personalization to show up on the small screen too, not just the desktop.

We’ll also be on the lookout to see if Pinterest announces any more plans on the monetization front. Pinterest raised a jaw-dropping $225 million at a $3.8 billion valuation in October, and everyone wants to know how it will make good on that investment. After months of testing, Pinterest plans to formally launch its “Promoted Pins” ads this quarter,according to the Wall Street Journal. These ads look like organic posts from users, but brands pay to make them appear in search results and category pages related to specific topics.AdAge says Pinterest is looking to charge a pricey $30 to $40 per thousand impressions (CPM), and has been asking for $1 million to $2 million commitments from advertisers.


In my opinion, this kind of keyword-based advertising could be a very lucrative for Pinterest, because its visitors often come with a great deal of purchase intent. Promoted Pins won’t be scattershot demand generation, which has historically been Facebook’s wheelhouse. Instead, these will be demand-fulfillment ads, similar to Google’s bread and butter of search keyword ads.

And they could rake in cash for Pinterest by helping people make big purchase decisions. Dream vacations, ideal homes, children’s nurseries — there are the expensive things people pin. People know they want to vacation on St. John, buy a crib, or rent a lake house, but don’t know exactly where to spend their money. A beautified Pinterest ad could make the difference between which resort you visit, what home you lease, or where you shop for all your baby gear. With big cart sizes, e-commerce advertisers could quickly earn a return on their investment. eMarketer now gauges Pinterest at 40 million monthly users in the U.S., an audience big enough to drive serious ad revenue.

We’ll be there at Pinterest headquarters for the event on April 24 at 6pm PDT, and you can expect live updates from TechCrunch. Until now, Pinterest has acted almost like a clearinghouse for subscribing to magazines about your specific interests. But soon, it could employ big data so rather than having to subscribe to what you like, that content (and related ads) will come find you.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/15/pinterest-event

Android and iOS users spend 32%... by Gavin Lau


Android and iOS users in the US spend an average of 2 hours and 42 minutes every day using apps on smartphones and tablets (up just four minutes compared to last year). Of that, 86 percent (or 2 hours and 19 minutes) is spent inside apps, while the remaining 14 percent (or 22 minutes, down 6 percentage points compared to last year) is spent on the mobile Web using a browser. These latest figures come from mobile firm Flurry, which provides analytics and ad tools that developers integrate into their apps. The company collected data between January 2014 and March 2014 and concluded that “apps, which were considered a mere fad a few years ago, are completely dominating mobile” while the browser “has become a single application swimming in a sea of apps.”

Here are the results in graph form:

Just like last year, games took first place with 32 percent of time spent. Social and messaging applications increased their share from 24 percent to 28 percent, entertainment and utility applications maintained their positions at 8 percent each, while productivity apps saw their share double from 2 percent to 4 percent.

It’s worth underlining that Facebook’s share dipped a bit from 18 percent to 17 percent. Nevertheless, Facebook still has the lion’s share of time spent in the US, and was able to maintain its position with the help of Instagram. Flurry argues that position will become even more cemented, if not increased, once the acquisition of WhatsApp closes.

This year, Flurry broke out YouTube separately, which shows us it owns a whopping 50 percent of the entertainment category. We’ll be watching closely to see if it manages to grow its 4 percent share of time spent.

“It is still too early to predict the trajectory apps will take in 2014,” Flurry admits. “But one thing is clear – apps have won and the mobile browser is taking a back seat.” Unless this trend reverses, we can expect many more acquisitions from tech companies the size of Facebook and Google.


Source: http://tnw.to/q3Jet

The history of flat design by Gavin Lau


It seems as though any time you hear about Web design these days, you can’t help but come across the term “flat design.” While the flat Web design trend has been emerging in recent years, it seemed to have exploded in popularity thanks to large companies and organizations changing their design aesthetic to that of flat design. But where did flat design come from? And why are we seeing it on the Web? As with anything in design, knowing where a style or technique came from and the history behind it can help you make more educated decisions when it comes to the use of the design aesthetic.

Let’s walk through what flat design is, its influences from previous design periods, and how flat design became so popular today.

What exactly is “flat design?”

For those of you who haven’t heard of the term, “flat design” is mainly the term given to the style of design in which elements lose any type of stylistic characters that make them appear as though they lift off the page.

In laymen’s terms, this means removing stylistic characters such as drop shadows, gradients, textures, and any other type of design that is meant to make the element feel three-dimensional.

Designers today have seem to gravitate toward flat design because it feels crisp and modern, and allows them to focus on what is the most important: the content and the message.

By removing design styles that can easily date their design (or that could quickly cause their design to become outdated), they are “future-proofing” their designs so that they become relevant for longer periods of time. Not to mention, flat design seems to make things more efficient and cuts out the “fluff.”

It isn’t quite fair to have a discussion of what flat design is without discussing the opposite of flat design. The term often given for the opposite of flat design is“rich design,” which is best described as adding design ornaments such as bevels, reflections, drop shadows, and gradients. These things are often used to make elements feel more tactile and usable to users who are navigating the website or using an application.

It is important to note that rich design isn’t Skeuomorphism. Skeuomorphism is the act of making things resemble their physical counterparts to deliberately make them look familiar.

Where did flat design come from originally?

Most anything we see on the Web or digital world today has origins from its print and art ancestries. While it is difficult to determine the exact start of flat design today or where its origins started, there are a few periods of design and art in which flat design takes inspiration from.

Swiss Style of Design

swiss cover 520x325 The history of flat design: How efficiency and minimalism turned the digital world flat

The Swiss style (sometimes called the International Typographic Style) of design is the main period of design that come to mind and deserves attention for any discussion on the history of flat design. The Swiss design style was the dominant design style throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s from which it originated in Switzerland.

Swiss design mainly focused on the use of grids, sans-serif typography, and clean hierarchy of content and layout. During the 40’s and 50’s, Swiss design often included a combination of a very large photograph with simple and minimal typography.

With typography being a major element in Swiss design, the beloved Helvetica typeface was also created in Switzerland in 1957, and was heavily used on just about everything during the time.

Just like how flat Web design today was around for a while before Microsoft and Apple made it popular, the Swiss style of design can be traced as far back as the 1920’s in Germany, but it was the Swiss who made it explode in popularity and earned the namesake (for the Art History buffs, the Bauhaus school in Germanyfocused on architecture and typography, and the typography has similarities to Swiss design but where practicing this design style before the Swiss took claim).

Minimalist Design

18yk3cer2ztlsjpg 520x292 The history of flat design: How efficiency and minimalism turned the digital world flat

Another heavy influence of today’s flat Web design can be found in the history of Minimalism. The term “minimalism” is sometimes used interchangeably with today’s flat design, but minimalism was popular way before the Web was even a thought. Minimalism has its history in architecture, visual art, and design.

Minimalism has an extensive history and covers various mediums, but where flat design takes its influence from is mainly the design and visual art expressions of minimalism. Minimalism is well known for the act of removing everything in a piece, leaving just the necessary and needed elements. Geometric shapes, few elements, bright colors, and clean lines dominate most minimalism style design.

Probably one of the most popular art pieces from the Minimalism period is Yves Klein’s The Blue Epoch (seen below).

blue epoch The history of flat design: How efficiency and minimalism turned the digital world flat

It’s safe to say that a mixture of Swiss Design and Minimalism heavily influenced what we see today in the digital world and have named “flat design.”

Emergence of flat design in the digital world

History repeats itself, and the same holds true with the current flat design trend. As we seen above, flat design can be traced back all the way to the 1920’s and have influenced our current adaptation of flat design.

While many designers have worked their way to flat design when creating websites and other design pieces, it is safe to say that the likes of Microsoft and Apple made flat design pretty popular over the last several years.

Microsoft and Metro Design

0654.Metro style UI 010DA84C 520x292 The history of flat design: How efficiency and minimalism turned the digital world flat

Microsoft’s dabbing in flat design started before the current “Metro” design aesthetic was dubbed Metro. In trying to compete with Apple’s extremely popular iPod, Microsoft released the Zune media player in late 2006.

With Zune came a unique design style that focused on large, lower-case menu typography and background imagery (imagery was displayed based on the song or content loaded). The Zune desktop software that came paired with the Zune also followed the same design style, creating a fully integrated experience.

The design of the Zune operating system on Zune devices was drastically different than most of Microsoft’s other software availabilities at the time (namely Windows). When Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 in October 2010, it took what the company learned from the design of Zune and applied it plus more to the look and feel of the Windows Phone 7: large, bright, grid-like shapes, simple sans-serif typography and flat icons dominated the style on the Windows Phone 7.

This design would soon be called “Metro” design by its creator, Microsoft.

The design became so popular that Microsoft kept with the Metro design style and introduced it in its Windows 8 operating system, keeping with a strict grid of blocks of content, sharp edges, bright colors, sans-serif typography, and background images. This same design style is still used by Microsoft in nearly all of its software and devices such as the Xbox 360 and its current website (though the Metro name has technically been discontinued).

Apple Shakes Skeuomorphism

ios 6 ios 7  520x500 The history of flat design: How efficiency and minimalism turned the digital world flat

While Microsoft was working on its flat design style, Apple had something else up its sleeve. Apple started hinting at moving away from its use of Skeuomorphism, and then completely abandoned the perfected Skeuomorphism in favor of a more flat design with the release of iOS 7 in the summer of 2013.

Since Apple has a pretty strong following with a rather large group of early adaptors of new devices and technology, the design of iOS 7 seemed to have made flat design even more popular than it was before practically overnight.

Apple’s design aesthetic often heavily influences design of websites and apps because most designers feel that the design is appealing and modern. Thus, when Apple switched to a more flat design style, Skeuomorphism seemed to become almost instantly outdated and sites and apps that used the design style quickly found that they needed a redesign.

This is most evident in the different apps that have been updated to work well with iOS 7 — they all follow the flat design aesthetic that users of iOS 7 have become accustomed to throughout the OS.

Responsive Design

It is important to note too one of the reasons flat design has become so popular in recent years as well is the development of responsive design. As more devices are connecting to the Web, with various screen sizes and browser constraints, designers are finding that their tried-and-true design styles that relied heavily on textures, drop shadows, and fixed imagery don’t translate as well when you have to shrink those designs into smaller and smaller viewports.

Flat design allows for Web design to become more efficient. Without extra design elements in the way, websites can load much faster and are easier to resize and form around the content it holds.

This also goes hand in hand with our screens becoming more high-def and the need to display crisper imagery. It is much easier to display crisp boxes and typography than it is to make several different images to accommodate all the various devices and features out there.

The future of flat design

While no one has a crystal ball, it is safe to say that flat design will eventually run its course and will be replaced with something even more new and exciting, just like various other design styles did before it (take Skeuomorphism for example).

There are obvious flaws to flat design in the digital world (such as removing the visual clues that is needed to determine if something is clickable or not), but as designers experiment, test, and learn, flat design will evolve and eventually a new style will emerge that will leave flat design in its dust.

One clue that we may have to what the future holds for flat design (or even after) is the current design work of Google (mainly in their mobile apps). While Google’s applications are showing signs of flat design, it does not seem to be removing elements such as drop shadows; it also still uses gradients in subtle ways. The company seems to be taking the best of flat and rich designs and integrating both in a way that just works. Maybe Google have figured out something we haven’t?

While flat design seems new and exciting, and is a fastly growing trend, it isn’t nothing new in the course of design history. With influences from Swiss design and Minimalism, flat design is just a reincarnation of its print ancestry in our digital lives.


Source: http://tnw.to/h4hcx

DevArt: Google's ambitious project to program a new generation of artists by Gavin Lau

DevArt - Art Made with Code[metaslider id="156"]The exhibition is called Digital Revolution, and from July 3rd to September 14th it will explore the impact of technology on art over the past 40 years. It will feature artists, designers, musicians, architects, and developers to reveal the artistry that's all around us, from the films that we watch to the games that we play. DevArt, its final act, will showcase three large-scale, “magical” works of art from established artists, and one that's yet to be announced. That’s where you come in.

At the core of DevArt is a new website and competition from Google that hopes to inspire coders to get creative, and offers them the platform on which to do so. The winner of the eight-week competition will have the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in the DevArt area at the Barbican. In addition to the main prize, one project will be highlighted on the site’s front page each week — it’s a massive opportunity for some serious exposure.


The winning piece will be exhibited alongside artworks from three of the biggest names in digital art, and all of them will be developing their work in public through the DevArt site. “What we're trying to show,” explains Google Creative Lab’s Emma Turpin, “is that art isn't just the output, but the entire development process.” Anyone visiting DevArt will be able to follow the projects, look through each artist's code, and see that code slowly refined and developed into the final exhibit.

Zach Lieberman is one of the artists that will be developing his idea for DevArt. He’s been working in the field for over a decade, regularly creating new artworks, and he also co-authored openFrameworks, an open-source tool kit that helps others to code creatively. His work uses technology to create unexpected experiences, often incorporating gesture, sound, and more than a little showmanship.

Lieberman’s piece for DevArt is tentatively titled Play the world. It will allow visitors to play on a keyboard that samples sounds, in real-time, from hundreds of radio stations around the world. Play a "middle C" on the keyboard, for example, and it may pick up a matching note from a sports radio show in Nigeria, or a bossa nova station in Brazil. The keyboard is surrounded by a circle of speakers, and the sounds will be "geographically oriented" depending on where in the world they've come from. Like most of Lieberman's art, what's going on behind the scenes is highly complex — scanning hundreds of the world's radio stations while simultaneously analyzing pitch is no easy feat — but to the person playing that keyboard, it should feel effortless.

Taking a different approach are Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Carnet, better known as Vavara + Mar. They’ve covered a vast range of topics with their work, but the results are always clever, playful, and leave a lasting impression. In 2012 they turned a São Paulo skyscraper into a giant metronome that beat to the "rhythm of the city" based on social media activity. Their DevArt piece takes the now-everyday occurrence of speech recognition and injects a healthy dose of whimsy.

Titled Wishing Wall, it attempts to reimagine how we share our wishes with the world. Visitors will be invited to tell their wish to the wall, where the words will transform before them into a butterfly. These butterflies will be generated by analyzing speech and determining the sentiments behind the words used, and the result will be a giant wall of wishes represented by butterflies that visitors can then interact with.

The final commissioned piece will come from Karsten Schmidt, whose name will be familiar to many Londoners. His malleable, open source digital identity for the Decode exhibition at the city’s V&A museum captured the public imagination, and his new work will expand on the co-authorship ideas he first introduced years ago.

Co(de)factory (another tentative title) will play out like a performance, and, much like the DevArt competition itself, it gives the public a starring role. Schmidt has created a set of 3D-modeling tools and will invite the public to contribute a small section to a larger work either online or using computers in the DevArt area. When completed, these works will be printed live at the exhibition using a UV 3D printer, an almost theatrical machine that appears to "grow" objects from a photosensitive liquid using UV light. At least one of these collaborative artworks will be printed every day and exhibited in the space, and over 70 will be printed over the duration of the exhibition.

Taken at face value, the three projects couldn’t be more different, but all will be created much in the same way any piece of software is. The message is simple: all you need is an idea, and the ability to code it, and you can create amazing things. Anyone can sign up for the DevArt competition and start coding, regardless of experience; it even connects up with the popular software development site GitHub, so would-be art superstars just need to link up a GitHub project and updates will be pulled into their DevArt page automatically. Through the competition and exhibition, Google and the Barbican hope to encourage creative coding, but more importantly, they’re looking to show that code can be, and often is, art.


The Barbican has successfully showcased digital and interactive art for years, notably with2012's massively popular Rain Room, but Digital Revolution is more than that. It’s a dizzyingly ambitious show that will feature historic pieces like vintage arcade cabinets alongside contemporary work from the special effects teams behind Gravity and Inception; video games from small indies and larger developers like Harmonix, the team behind Rock Band and Dance Central; a multitude of audio exhibits from artists like Philip Glass; and what sounds like a rather special collaboration between Will.i.am and audio artist Yuri Suzuki, who’s currently crowdfunding a synthesizer that can turn anything into a musical instrument.

Through Digital Revolution, and perhaps no more so than with DevArt, the Barbican wants to tell the world that technology is everywhere, and the people that create it and create with it are, and always have been, artists. Digital art is art.

So what’s in it for Google? DevArt is the brainchild of Google Creative Lab, a free-thinking arm of the company that showcases why, before the data collection, and before the privacy scares, so many of us fell in love with the company. It’s an in-house design agency, a brand consultancy dedicated to just one company. It employs top-tier designers, developers, and technologists who are encouraged to create, innovate, and experiment for the good of Google. It was instrumental in the redesign of most of Google’s services that saw aesthetics and usability as equally important qualities, and it’s also quite unique in its willingness to work with other companies to show what’s possible with Google services. As you’d expect, DevArt showcases more than a few of these services, with all of the exhibits tapping into a couple of Google properties like its Cloud Platform or Maps API.


Discussing DevArt with Conrad Bodman, guest curator at the Barbican, and Steve Vranakis, executive creative director at Creative Lab London, it’s clear that they’re far more enthusiastic about the exhibition than the opportunity to promote Google services. Both firmly believe in the idea developers and coders are "the new creatives," and technology is the canvas for that creativity. "What we really wanted to show," says Vranakis, "is that if you give the platform and the opportunity for coders to express themselves creatively they could make something incredible."

As Bodman talks through his plans for Digital Revolution, Vranakis’ face lights up in excitement over the who’s who of artists being name-dropped. Usman Haque, whose company Umbrellium creates massive, interactive urban installations is also involved, and he’s apparently working on a giant interactive exhibit involving lasers that everyone is looking forward to. They’re looking to transfer that excitement to a new generation that has yet to discover digital art, and coding in general.

The timing, in the UK at least, couldn’t be better. As the exhibition ends and begins to move its way across the world, computer programming will, for the first time, be taught to all children in England from elementary school through to high school. The children that come flocking to Digital Revolution this summer might be wowed by the lights and interactive elements, but what they take away to their new programming classes could be far more important. "If a 10-year-old girl [visits DevArt]" says Turpin, "we want her to understand that coding can make butterflies fly and land on her hand, and show her the magic behind what they see. And that magic’s code."


Source: http://vrge.co/1lApPnD

'Hello Ruby' Teaches 4- to 7-Year-Olds How to Code by Gavin Lau


The Kickstarter-funded book, which aims to teach programming principles to children, reached its $10,000 funding goal within hours of its launch, and 24 hours later had amassed $100,000 in donations. The project hit the $200,000 benchmark Jan. 28, with 24 days to go in the campaign. "This is a book to get kids excited about technology and affect the way they perceive technology as they grow up," she says.

The world of programming, Liukas tells Mashable, is perceived as cold, logical and machine-based. But Liukas feels quite differently. She sees in the coding world a universe of creativity and playfulness beyond ones and zeroes.




Apple Gets Serious About The iPad’s Creative Power In New Ad by Gavin Lau

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 11.41.03 pm

Apple aired a new iPad advertisement during the NFL playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers today, and it’s all about creativity. It’s no secret that Apple wants to push the creative aspect of its mobile devices, which are still seen largely as consumption gadgets, and this new ad embraces a grand vision of iOS as fertile ground for inspiration and creation. “What will your verse be?” is the tagline for the ad, and the idea is that each person gets to contribute one verse to the overall poem of human experience (which is a terrible poem by the way). The iPad in the commercial is used in a number of different creative capacities, including as a filming accessory, as a prototyping tool, as a means for writing, and as a way to 3D prototype and work in the depths of the ocean...