2011年7月15日，我的《How To Be Black》手稿交付给哈珀柯林斯出版社的时间到期了——比原先期限晚了差不多一年。我错过了这个期限，源于大大低估了“写一本书”究竟意味着什么。正像有人告诉我的，它并非“仅仅是写很多博客”。然而，在“新期限”来到的那个月，我最终开始严肃对待，制定了严格、流水化的日程，将自己沉浸于讲长篇故事的世界中。
Across sectors, from communication technology to retail to emergency response and education, frog has explored, analyzed, and brought to market concepts with the goal of improving how we experience and share our worlds as human beings. We’ve curated some of the most daring, and widely recognized, thoughts from frog in 2012.
Download our collection of frog's most thought-provoking essays, timely interviews, and recognized projects here or browse the digital version below.
(Click to view frog's 2013 Tech Trends poster)
Yes, it’s already that transitional time when our current year ends and another begins, and today and tomorrow are quickly changing hands. Rather than look back at significant trends of the past 366 days (2012 was a leap year, remember?), we asked a wide variety of technologists, designers, and strategists across frog’s studios around the world to take a look into the future. The near future, that is. “Near” in that 2013 is not only upon us, but also very “near” that these technologies are highly feasible, commercially viable, and are bubbling up to the surface of the global zeitgeist. We believe you’ll be hearing a lot more about these trends within the next 12 months, and possibly be experiencing them in some form, too.
Last year, frog compiled its first-ever set of technology trend predictions for the year to come. Because it’s the end of 2012 (and because we are also launching our second annual edition of frog’s Tech Trends for 2013), we thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to see how we fared, in terms of foreseeing the near future.
A major takeaway of the recent Samsung/Apple patent dispute: Physical objects have retained their power in the digital age. The battle wasn’t centered so much on technical innovations but design patents--specifically, the physical look of the iPad versus that of the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Smartphones, laptops, and tablets are very much like ships from the colonial days of the past. Then, the countries with the best merchant navies dominated the seas and, as a result, became the richest and most powerful nations in the world. Today, we have shifted from shipping physical goods to digitally transmitting services and media, and companies with the best vessels control the digital trade.
Yet smartphones, tablets, and laptops are more than just vessels and delivery mechanisms for digital content. In the digital age, physical devices also serve as emblems of the complex, software-based goods and services they bring to life. In a world of ever-shifting software and application development, these symbols offer a sense of permanence and consistency. For many technology firms, iconic physical devices have replaced corporate logos as the primary representations of brand identity. Familiar artifacts, like Apple’s iPhone, serve as functional, usable, three-dimensional trademarks, simultaneously expressing the ecosystem, content, and brand values in one powerful statement.
On World AIDS Day, frog would like to thank all of the amazing partners we have had the privilege of working with in the global fight against HIV in places like South Africa and Zambia. It has been an incredible, and humbling, journey over the five years since we started working on Project Masiluleke and, more recently, on Project Mwana with the UNICEF innovation team. During that time we have been challenged and inspired by our partnerships with iTeach, Praekelt Foundation, PopTech, UNICEF, Johnson & Johnson, the mHealth Alliance, and The Well Project. We have seen first-hand how this horrible disease can bring out the best in people: compassion, determination, and innovation.
The boundaries between design and psychology are progressively blurring. With designers increasingly facing high stakes challenges and more psychologists jumping off the academic pedestal to get their hands dirty with real people in real contexts, the two disciplines are more intertwined than ever before.
About a decade ago, the job of the designer was making the path from A to B as easy and streamlined as possible. During this “usability” golden age, the main focus was to remove any type of cognitive friction along a predefined path to a predefined goal. Anyone interested in buying a book online, for example, only needed to know where they were in the process and what steps were necessary to ensure the right product was delivered to the right address. Other key elements of the experience, such as where the need for the book originated or how reading the book would enrich a person’s life, were given little to no consideration.
Today’s landscape is quite different. Designing highly usable products and services to help people buy books online is still significant but designers also have the chance to influence people’s lives and decisions on a much deeper level.