Our pick of some of the digital stories that have caught our beady Brass eyes this week, including Instagram, Lego, government design principles, the rise of display and how to turn a church into a musical instrument…
Share your thoughts in the comments bit at the bottom.
Craig Goode, Digital Designer
Instagram, a popular photo application and social network on iPhone, launched for Android devices on Tuesday and hit the one million download mark in less than 24 hours.
A few years ago, more and more of my friends’ photos started popping up on Facebook, shot with a camera phone and vintage filter. Quickly I couldn’t open Facebook without being hit with a wall of hipster picnics with a red tint and vignette overlayed. The snobbish photographer in me came out and I dismissed these apps as a fad. More and more of my of my creative friends started singing the praises of Instagram to me though and telling me about how much of a friendly and supportive photographic community it had become. So when I finally gave in an got an iPhone it was one of the first apps I installed to have a play with, and I love it.
I quickly found a lot of my friends using it and really enjoyed the real-time photographic updates of their life and what they were up to at that moment. To me it’s social networking at its best; me, my friends and new friends interacting with each other and keeping updated with each other’s lives in real-time through a medium I love: photography.
It hasn’t replaced my DSLR; I use it in a different way. If I’m going to shoot a band, going on holiday or for a walk in the woods, for example, then I definitely want my photography equipment. But my phone is always with me and, using Instagram, I’ve started using photography as a kind of diary to record my life in a way I’ve never done before.
Instagram also provides a really strong network of great photographers, illustrators and designers sharing their work. I now find my Instagram feed a better place to go for a dose of really good photography and illustration than my Flickr feed.
And if you really hate those vintage filters then try using other photo apps such as Decim8, Blender and Diptic to achieve a different look.
So what are you waiting for? Download it and join in.
See my photos here.
And some people whose work I really enjoy:
Slightly more to it than hipster picnics with a vignette then.
Andrew Brown, Creative Director
This week saw the launch of the Government Digital Services Design Principals on the beta website www.gov.uk
The original objective of these design principles was to “provide clear, consistent design, user-experience and brand clarity for those developing sites for the single GOV.UK domain”. But they’ve grown slightly to cover many aspects of building digital services.
The government is taking digital services seriously and these guidelines set out a digital approach that is well thought through and sensible. They’ve assembled a great team, and with people like Ben Terrett and Russell Davis it’s going to be really interesting watching what happens across http://www.gov.uk.
Openness is inherent in their approach, so you can read the guidelines yourself here: https://www.gov.uk/designprinciples.
George Hurrell, Digital Designer
So we’ve all seen projection mapping videos. They have been circling the web for a couple of years now and there have been some very impressive and innovative uses of this technology. I came across this though which caught my eye: ‘Archifon’ by The Macula.
A Prague-based studio used projection mapping to turn the Olomouc Baroque Chapel into a giant musical instrument. Members of the public can use laser pointers to target different areas of the chapel to generate sound samples and it isn’t limited to one person; groups of people can come together to create beautiful music.
It was just nice to see this technique/technology used in a different way and progressed, rather than just having building-sized projections that interact with the space (which is impressive, but has been done now)
View a video of it in action below.
You can see more of their projection mapping work on their site http://www.themacula.com
Katie Bradshaw, Media Manager
There’s a lot of discussion around online display these days. Budgets are increasing and the technology is becoming ever more complex. The latest potential development for display, which in our eyes could have a revolutionary effect, is the potential introduction of a metric called ‘viewable impressions’ from the IAB. More details to be found over at adexchange.com.
This means that an ad is only served, and paid for, if it’s actually on screen and viewed by the user. Currently when an ad is loaded onto the page, if it’s below the page fold and is never viewed it is currently counted as an impression.
By only paying for ads that are actually viewed, the performance of display will undoubtedly increase, leading to further budgets and obvious imminent world domination… okay, maybe not quite that far. But we do agree with Jim Nichols that the banner may outlive us all.
Paul Mallett, Managing Partner
This week I discovered Lego’s new project for crowd-sourced model kit ideas. If you get over 10,000 ‘supporters’ it will put the idea into its full process to see whether it should go into production.
It was launched last year, but seems to be building up a head of blocky plastic steam now.
The critical element to this project is in the socialisation; you have to get 10,000 supporters or nothing. I came across it via EVE Online’s social channels, where EVE has mobilised its fanbase to vote for some great models of the ships in EVE. Why wouldn’t you? Getting Lego publicity and kudos attached to your brand is never a bad thing.
The current winning entry is the pub from Shaun of the Dead, which has had Simon Pegg tweeting about it. Although Lego has noted that it may have a few concerns about re-creating an 18 certificate zombie splat-fest, liquid filled blocks would seem to be the way forward.
If you want to feel the crowd-sourced plastic love go here: http://lego.cuusoo.com/discover.
Lego continues to occupy a really special place in between the mainstream and sub-cultures; this initiative will only cement that unique place in the heart of geeks.