For those who don’t live and breath web design and development, frictionless sharing may be an unfamiliar term. Back in 2012, it was touted as the next big thing in the evolution of the Internet, primarily by social media giant and possible-evil-empire-in-the-making Facebook. Frictionless sharing is a process by which everything a user views is shared, not just items they select. Compared to traditional sharing, where my niece might post that she’s listening to Tegan and Sara’s hit song “Everything is Awesome,” under a frictionless sharing model every song she listens to will be shared through her social media outlets. Read More
All posts by Davey Williams
No spoilers!! (We at CommonGround Creative hate spoilers.)
If you’ve missed hit-television show and gore-fest The Walking Dead as much as we have, great news – season four returns tomorrow night with the much-anticipated midseason premiere. And while we won’t spoil anything for you, Robert Kirkman and the guys at Skybound Comics have promised us that the best is yet to come for Rick and company. Or is it worst? Given where we left off, I’m assuming they meant that the worst is yet to come for our survivors, ha.
So tune in, then head over to TheWalkingDead.com to check out some site enhancements and new merchandise, or just to discuss your thoughts on the show.
There’s no question that the video game industry has had huge influence on modern design. The gamers amongst us will tell you that Mario is inarguably one of the greatest video game stars of all time, rising from a simple arcade game to global mega-franchise. “IGN presents Museum of Mario” is a new website examining the 30+ year history of the world’s most famous Italian plumber, and for those of us who grew up with him, a nostalgic trip down memory lane. (Where is the minus world? How do I get there? Does it really exist at all??) Read More
Let me be clear upfront, this post is totally non-political. I mention this because I’m about to reference the political tsunami of our time – the government shutdown. Like many Americans, once the shutdown started I began reading news articles from more sources than I usually do, and I began to pay a little more attention to the reader responses. Comment scrolls are a relatively new innovation, and they introduce an opportunity for mature, insightful discourse. Needless to say, this opportunity is often squandered, with comment threads reading less mature or insightful than an episode of The Jersey Shore. Read More
Okay, I admit it, as a creative type I tend to have issues maintaining the sort of environment that would best suit creative work. Sometimes it feels like I should hire an OCD intern to file everything away in the exact best place. So, when I ran across this article on the effect of clutter I stopped to read it. If you’re already the supreme commander of the North Atlantic neat-and-tidy forces, then perhaps the section on Apple’s use of a clutter-free environment to promote sales might be of interest.
Was I truly interested in the article, or just putting off cleaning up my desk? Perhaps a little of both…
The BBC frequently uses interesting visuals throughout their family of networks. I’m not sure if this article about BBC Asian Network’s Summer of Music identity work appeals to me because it’s a really cool design idea, or because they made it by putting colored powders on top of speakers and exploding them all over the place. The end result is strikingly beautiful, though, and worth sharing. I asked my coworkers about converting a section of the office to a space where I could blow up powder bags and photograph them. They say no, or at least not until I find a client willing to pay for it.
I cook and I’m always looking for new flavor combinations, so I was interested in this SciAm article and interactive flavor combination infographic. The “flavor map” seeks to discover new palatable combinations based on the chemical makeup of the corresponding ingredients.
Does it work? Well, after spending a few minutes playing around I discovered that it indicates that rum, citrus and almond do not go together, despite this being the flavor combo of Trader Vic’s 1946 invention, the Mai Tai, one of history’s most popular cocktails. It does, however, indicate that rum, blue cheese and sauerkraut pair very well. Huh. Thanks, scientists, but I think I’ll stick to Ina Garten, Alton Brown and Epicurious for my recipe ideas.
Our Creative Director, Aaron, is always telling us how ecstatic he is that flat design is the dominating trend in our industry. As proof, I’d point out that when I told him I was posting an article about flat design he created the above flatly-designed visual representation of flat design, ha. Anyway, I loved this article as an exploration of flat design and its historical roots. I have to wonder, though – is flat design really here to stay, as the author thinks? There seems to be a constant fluctuation between the minimalist and the ornamental, as was the case with Streamline Moderne giving way to the more flourished design aesthetics of the atomic age. So what will apps and websites look like once people get bored of flat? I suppose CommonGround’s designers should get to work figuring that out, working hard to help design evolve while maintaining our standard all-out ban on the use of the Curlz MT font.
I ran across these on Kickstarter, and I had to share this really cool new product. It’s a light kit that you attach to your bicycle’s spokes. When they spin past a certain speed, the device lights up, displaying pre-programmed images and animations. Not only does this allow you to express yourself with your own designs (for better or worse, ha), but it also makes biking a little safer, since drivers will be more apt to spot you before charging right into your lane. (Yeah, Beverly Hills drivers, I’m talking about you. Jerks.)
I’ve always liked maps, ever since I was nine, when one spring afternoon we discovered a world map from 1917 in a building my father’s company was helping renovate. I recall poring over that map endlessly, comparing it to a contemporary one and wondering about the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire and addition of the Soviet Union. Urban metro maps aren’t quite as exciting, but they’re still pretty cool, and in a way they stand as the original “infographics,” visually representing important information in a manner that’s useful and intuitive.
When LA Metro released their latest “under construction” map, I had to check it out. There’s just something fun and fractal about it. Comparing the additions to the system over time reminds me of the way new plants in our garden grow in. And the fact that LA Metro put the planned future stations for the purple line on the map is reassuring – granted it may take thirty years to complete, but I really look forward to someday taking the subway from downtown to the beach.