Jony Ive on the Design of iOS7

ios7Design is solving problems, and Jony Ive is one of the best designers in the world. In this video screened at WWDC yesterday and now on Apple’s website, he gives us a glimpse into some of the challenges Apple designers and engineers took on in the iOS redesign and how it addressed them.

From the first few lines of the video, Ive echoes one of the all-time best quotes on design:

We have always thought of design as being so much more than just the way something looks. It’s the whole thing — the way something actually works on so many different levels…design defines so much of our experience.”


(HT )

Summit — for Someone.

bluebonnets_1982When I was a kid, my family camped all the time. These excursions were normally at campsites, either in forests or at the beach, so they weren’t as hard-core as a lot of families like to do, but my childhood was also filled with swimming in the ocean, climbing trees, fishing in lakes, riding horses and bikes, and running through fields.

I never really thought the fact that most kids don’t do that any more until recommended The Last Child in the Woods to me last year. But it’s true that nature is becoming more and more abstract, less and less accessible, to each new generation. And it very well could be to the detriment of kids’ health and everyone’s environmental consciousness.

Some kids will always have access to nature, but many more — the ones who can benefit most from facing and learning from the challenges that the wilderness offers — just don’t have the resources. And that’s where Big City Mountaineers comes in.

I have been deeply inspired by the work that BCM is doing, provides mentoring and wilderness programs to at-risk youth, focused on building character, resiliency, and decision-making skills. (They have information on the effectiveness of their programs on their website, as well as videos like this one featuring graduates of their programs.) And that inspiration is even more powerful because Summit for Someone — the BCM fundraiser that I’m participating in — has helped me rediscover my own love of nature and the confidence boosts that come from tackling nature’s challenges.

For a long time, this process was about getting physically ready to climb — hopefully to summit — Mt. Hood. And in 17 days — SEVENTEEN DAYS — I may reach the summit or I may not, for reasons that may or may not be within my control. But no matter what, I win, because I’m helping so many others. And I’ve almost reached my fundraising goal of $2500.

If you’re inspired to help, please do so…

  • here (tax-deductible for you), or
  • here (matched 100% by my employer).

I’ll definitely be able to add all donors’ names to my t-shirt for donations received by June 7 — after that, I’ll do what I can!

Thank you so much to everyone who has already pitched in; your encouragement has meant more to me than I can express.

Cross-posted on my new mountaineering blog, where I also share skinned knees and n00b mistakes. Thanks for putting up with the occasional off-topic post here.

The Mental Notes Card Deck (and One Use For It)

I ordered a deck of @stephenanderson‘s Mental Notes cards shortly after seeing them at #UP2US13.


See more at

The cards each feature a principle of interaction design — explained, categorized, and beautifully illustrated and packaged. The deck has been a good conversation starter just sitting on my desk, and a few weeks ago, I found another great use.

At work, I facilitate a monthly ID workshop across teams, and I’ve been looking for an easy way to turn participants into presenters so that we all get more practice leveraging each other’s expertise. So I created “invitations to present” designed for Mental Notes cards to be tucked inside them, selected a few cards with concepts relevant to learning, packaged them in nice envelopes, and distributed them to coworkers with a simple challenge: to explain the concept and show an example, whether in learning experiences or other interactions.

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The thought behind these invitations was the result of another conversation with Stephen, in which he explained the value in making the presentation of a Mental Notes deck very premium. In the case of the workshops, I wanted my audience to know that I valued their participation, that they would be missed if they didn’t show, and that what they were doing was part of a cohesive whole. And while my graphic design skills definitely aren’t premium, the invites seemed to resonate at exactly the wavelength I wanted.

How do I know? The results were fabulous: no one bailed, everyone brought ideas I never would have thought of on my own, we had great conversations, everyone learned more about interaction design, and we “formed” a little more as a group. Total win.

ASTD-Cascadia and the CPLP

In March, both ASTD-Cascadia and PSU (Portland’s provider of CPLP study courses) announced that they are suspending support of the CPLP program.

Regrettably, I haven’t even been involved enough lately to know that this was under discussion until after it was announced, but I am proud of my chapter for this decision. Their concerns, which I share, seem to focus mainly on the work product process; I have additional issues with the content of the knowledge exam (which, for the record, I passed easily last year).

ASTD-Cascadia President Pam Moore reports in her most recent leadership message that “the decision has been met with overwhelmingly positive support from our membership, and from our large chapter peers around the country.” That certainly has been borne out in my private discussions with L&D professionals; however, I’ve seen very little public discussion, and to a certain extent, that’s why I’m writing about it now. Because even if I didn’t agree with Cascadia’s decision — which I do — I applaud its willingness to publicly express concerns and take action. Frankly, we see way too little of that in our field.

Minutes from the chapter’s February and March board meetings have further details.