Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Form Follows Function - iPad Edition

I got an iPad. So far I love it. I feel like the chains have been broken and I no longer have to log incredible hours in front of my office & desktop setup. Even as I write this post I'm sitting in a bar, enjoying a glass of Cabernet and chit chatting with people, other iPad owners who also love the pad. It's way more social, more touchy-shareable than the iPhone and iPod touch.

Before the pad was released I was working with chef author Eric Gower and I predicted that this device could empower kitchen cooks and be oh so more effective for reading recipes than the iPhone could ever be. Check out this post about a kitchen cabinet outfitted with an ipad cubby... Something I literally spoke of, just ask Eric!

Menus on My Mind
I have more ideas, and Nelson, the owner of Grand Cru, the bar I'm writing this from agrees. This thing is going to revolutionize all menus forever. Yes menus. Why kill trees when you can just update some website? Like that Sangiovese? Read all the background info about it, find out about the producer, order some more.

Form - omatic
In addition to menus in restaurants and bars and hair salons there is also Doctors office potential. I hope never to see a poorly formatted paper form ever again. I hope no more health care administration will have to waste time inputting somebody's info. Any place where a customer needs to fill out a form, this process can now be improved... Human resources forms, heck forms at the DMV, all info should be captured electronically.

Survey Says?
What about surveys or user testing? I've already invented the killer user testing app in my mind. Just don't think Apple would let me sell it. But market research, surveys, and observational opportunities will be transformed by the iPad.

Point of Sale
If you go to the Apple store you'll notice the employees have these tricked out iPhones with a credit card readers attached and they can sell you anything at any spot in the store. Soon, maybe not in an Apple store, but in some other fancy retail setting your salesperson WILL be the iPad. Or more likely you'll experience "iPad enhanced shopping". Imagine navigating a Walmart, finding items quickly thanks to the pad. Don't worry if Home Depot doesn't have that new BBQ you want. You can order it on the fly and have it delivered from a different location. Actually, they could bring you three, let you decide which you like best, and you can pay for it at home.

So What about Email?
Ah email... The Bain of my existence. Let me just say, I couldn't check email on this thing for the first two weeks I had it because I did not want to spoil the nice happy feeling I have about this device, but then I finally relented.  I do not use Mac/me mail which is the only mail app you can get on the iPad. I do use Gmail however and it works great on the iPad through Safari. Not quite as good as the full desktop version but good and oh so convenient. So convenient in fact, I composed this entire blog piece in Gmail.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Logo & Web Solutions For The Low Tech World of Massage

Studioroom is pleased to announce the launch of an all new website, with all new branding for The San Francisco School of Massage. At first this project was daunting, trying to create a new logo for a venerated massage school. The world of massage makes me think of crystals, lavender and "new age" music. Most of what we see that is massage related are spa brochures and websites showing some woman relaxing in a peaceful setting. None of these things honestly depict a massage school.

The task: Create a logo for a massage school that alludes to human anatomy without being too literal.  

Logo design is an iterative process. So I started out with an exhaustive typeface search, then explored ideas for artwork.
Through the process, clients and designer alike explore many logo variations and can determine what design works for the client's business...

...Winding up with a final logo design, and then translating that design into a website  - it's one of Studioroom's specialties! 

Now for some shameless self promotion. Unlike a typical branding agency or graphic design service, we emphasize website best practices as much as possible. We never propose ideas that won't work well online. We never recommend tricks which might look flashy, just to impress a client. All of our sites are always search engine optimized and viewable on most platforms including old browsers and mobile devices. The true test of how well a brand works is directly related to the media supporting the brand.