frog Event: Speaker Kim Erwin at Wordpress

How do you align your organization to realize a great idea? Kim Erwin, an assistant professor at IIT Institute of Design, is tackling this question in her new book, Communicating the New.

As IIT notes, "For those tasked with innovation, creating anything new -- whether a product, service, experience, or process -- requires more than coming up with the best idea. It requires the engagement and alignment of the many individuals inside organizations who are important to its success. In Communicating the New, Kim Erwin calls out the role of communication in the innovation process as a powerful integrative tool for individuals and teams to define, accelerate and explain The New."

My Way To Steve

On October 9, 2013 frog founder Hartmut Esslinger will publish his new book Keep It Simple – The Early Design Years of Applean insider’s account of the origins of Apple’s iconic products and brand. In this abridged chapter of “Keep It Simple,” Esslinger recalls his first meeting with Steve Jobs and how this encounter eventually led to “one of the most successful and influential alliances between a designer and an entrepreneur in the history of consumer technology.” We invite you to read this chapter and share your thoughts.

The Third Wave of Computing

We have entered a new age of embedded, intuitive computing in which our homes, cars, stores, farms, and factories have the ability to think, sense, understand, and respond to our needs. It's not science fiction, but the dawn of a new era.

Hiring our Heroes App: A New Resource for Veterans

Military veterans face tough challenges when transitioning to civilian life, especially when job hunting and planning a post-military career. To help veterans and their spouses, a launcher app called Hiring our Heroes – designed by frog and co-sponsored by Verizon and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – offers access to tools, links and resources. Jen Blake, a program manager in frog’s Austin studio and a co-lead of the project with Carl Sieber and Jeff van Horn, says the app design “enables veterans to organize their journey step by step instead of doing it haphazardly or own their own.” The app took shape during a quick, three-week concept development program that began with the team interviewing friends and families of frogs who have served in the military, to better understand their concerns. “We enjoyed working on this project,” Blake adds, noting that an enhanced version might be in the works. “It’s a good product and a good cause.”

Evan Guzman, Head of Military Programs & Veteran Affairs at Verizon, spoke with design mind about the app and what it means to veterans. 

Digital Exhaust, Privacy, and the Value of Personal Data

Photo by Antonio Zugaldia

We all generate digital exhaust as we navigate our way through the world. It starts as soon as you wake up – if you are part of the 80 percent of smartphone users who check their email within 15 minutes of waking up – and continues as you drive to work using Waze or Google maps to avoid traffic. It continues throughout your day as you use tools on your PC and apps on your smartphone. But it is moving beyond just the computer in your pocket emitting digital exhaust. At frog, we are designing systems that make the very environment we live in “think” and “sense,” from cars to store, transit systems, homes, parks, and entire cities. We are at a point where we can draw a pretty accurate picture of where you went and what you did based on the tracks you leave across sensing and compute systems. 

Connecting With Users: A Design Research Primer for Healthcare

The more I work with early state healthcare companies, the more I hear that user experience is a big concern for CEOs. Patients and providers are now, more than ever, driving the decision for which products get purchased and how they get used. Much of this choice is based on whether or not the product is usable and fits within their workflow and needs. Reaching out to users and gaining insights on how they work and what they respond to is the underpinning of good user experience and key in shaping product decisions.

In this post, I provide an overview of design research and focus on some areas to help early stage healthcare technology companies plan and execute research to  gain insights from connecting with users.

Attention Retailers: The Future is Now

The digitally connected, social media-savvy shopper of today wants to make a purchase. She browses online, texts friends and checks aggregation sites that filter the best products at the right price, just for her. In the store she Instagrams pictures of merchandise and product displays, clips e-coupons and pays with a smartphone while tweeting to celebrate her finds.
For retailers of the future, imagine this scenario on steroids. It’s shopping as a seamless, stress-free journey that merges the functional and the emotional and adds memorable emotional moments along the way. The retailer of the future will choreograph every step of this journey, based on reams of deep quantitative and qualitative data that reveal the wants, needs and behaviors of shoppers.




Snow White, Steve Jobs and Apple's Awakening as a Global Design Leader

In October 2013 frog founder Hartmut Esslinger will publish his new book Keep It Simple – The Early Design Years of Apple, an insider’s account of the origins of Apple’s iconic products and brand. “Keep It Simple” is the story of Steve Jobs’ quest in the early 1980s to bring a radically new design language to the historically desert-dry sensory experience of computer technology. This process started with the so-called “Snow White” project, a design competition won by frog. Eventually, Snow White would change the trajectory of the company’s future, and redefine the way we think about consumer electronics and technology today. We invite you to read an abridged chapter from Hartmut Esslinger’s new book.

Design and the Coming Iceberg

I am a product designer. I have been part of frog for nearly 20 years. In that time I have seen our industry change quite a bit—yet it is nothing like the changes I see coming. Our industry will have a choice to make: either change radically, or be relegated to decorating the surfaces of the world.