“The future of the computer is to essentially make it disappear—a disconnected interface, so the house or the office or the building or the city is the computer.” —Mark Rolston, Chief Creative Officer, frog
The students at Groves High School were holding back tears. After weeks of discussion, they had decided to focus their efforts on providing food to homeless people. None of them had any personal experience with the issue, so the designers invited a homeless advocate from the community to visit their class and share his experiences. But during a pause, a familiar voice rang out: “I don’t think I ever told any of my students that have been here at Groves this, but I’ve been homeless.”
In the 40+ years that frog has been crafting products, much has changed for industrial design. In today's connected world, the proliferation of digital components and technology experiences requires designers to create new ways of harmonizing software with beautiful, practical hardware. In this short documentary, several of frog¹s industrial designers and mechanical engineers discuss the principles they implore to make physical products real and meaningful to consumers today.
Sao Paulo lies deep and vast over the horizon. Where one continuous line of buildings stands—extending further (by far) than the view from, say, Greenpoint towards midtown Manhattan—such skylines persist in every direction. The effect swallows all individual orientation but rewards with nothing so much as a sense of being…cradled. This apparent sense of drama continues even into Sao Paulo's open spaces, such as the one in which we now stood, Parque Ibirapuera, a quietly contrasting gap in the endless march and roll of buildings and roads.
frog is honored to accept an International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) from the International Designers Society of America (IDSA) http://idsa.org/idea-2013-design-strategy. IDEA is recognized as the preeminent international design competition and referred to as “the Oscars of Design.” frog's Collective Action Toolkit received a Bronze in the Design Strategy category.
The personal computer is dying. Its place in our lives as the primary means of computing will soon end. Mobile computing—the cell phone in your pocket or the tablet in your purse—has been a great bridging technology, connecting the familiar past to a formative future. But mobile is not the destination. In many ways mobile devices belong more to the dying PC model than to the real future of computing.
Clients come to frog to discover the next breakthrough product or service that will inspire and delight their customers. Increasingly we’re hearing from banks and other financial institutions that are seeking design strategies to accelerate innovation in their organizations. Like consumer products and entertainment companies, banks want to create more dynamic and engaging user experiences based on the real needs—both emotional and practical—of their customer base. And once they define these opportunities they need to push the best ideas through the organization toward realization. In many cases, our design strategy approach has helped accelerate the process of getting innovations to market—in ways that often surprise our clients.
On July 3, frog’s Milan studio will host a Lean Startup Circle to discuss the methodology, challenges, and best practices. Click here for more information.
The lean startup methodology, and its Minimal Viable Products strategy have grown hugely popular, but what are the challenges of applying lean startup and how can it be applied when working with external companies?
Lean startup is a product design and realization methodology formulated by Eric Ries. The approach borrows from production practices, such as lean manufacturing and kanban, which focus on execution and adaption as strategies to achieve innovation (a more throughout review of lean startup can be found here.) Although the name includes the word ‘startup,’ the concepts can be applied to companies of any size—from a one-person startup to big, multi-national companies.
In the outskirts of Musanze, in northern Rwanda, mattresses have become a tool for female empowerment, family security, and social change. Hilarie, a softspoken farmer, mother, and wife, is the mastermind behind this association and has become a figurehead of change in her village and over 30 others in the region because of it. How Hilarie became a purveyor of mattresses for social change offers some fascinating insights about human behavior, community dynamics and… financial services.
Yes, financial services. Specifically, the challenge of financial inclusion—bringing financial services to the poor for the purpose of improving their lives. This is one challenge that resists easy scaling across markets. If a solution devised by a bank, mobile operator, or other financial services player achieves some level of success in one market, it's highly doubtful that the same idea will work in other markets. The always-cited example of this is Safaricom's highly successful M-Pesa mobile money platform in Kenya; no other mobile money service in the world has had even close to the same level of success.