Simon Meek Digital design for humans

  1. Metropolis London iPhone App

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    Metropolis (http://www.metroinfo.co.uk) are a UK leads generation bureau delivering high quality intelligence on company relocation and construction opportunities. To deliver extra value to their subscriber base we at Estates Today have developed a London-centric iPhone App for their unique service.

    The App elegantly delivers the Metropolis stories to the subscriber base while preserving the filters used in the web application. We added a simple favourites system and push notification to make the most of the mobile environment. We think their subscriber base will love it!

    Design-wise, we’ve kept the design in the Metropolis flat colours, rather than going for the native iOS style, which enhances the client’s identity and keeps the look simple and elegantly utilitarian.

    Subscribers to Metropolis can expect to be able to take advantage of this exciting new offering in the very near future!

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  2. Making sense of MIPIM: The MIPIM Aggregator 2011

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    Next week sees the property world’s great and good gather for their annual event in Cannes. MIPIM can be an overwhelming experience, so we at Estates Today have created the MIPIM Aggregator, which tracks various Twitter feeds, blog posts and also allows you to find you way around Cannes after the inevitable late night drinkies.

    New for 2011 is the mobile version, based on JQuery Mobile, which seems pretty robust for what is an alpha release. JQuery Mobile allows your web pages to behave more like a native app, but has the advantage that it works across iOS, Android and the posher Blackberries too. There’s a great intro to JQuery Mobile over at Elated.com written by Matt Doyle which saved me loads of time.

    You can see the MIPIM Aggregator at: http://www.estatestoday.co.uk/MIPIM/

    An interesting point. We spent ages looking for a decent sniffer to allow a seamless experience between desktop and mobile, and in the end went for this hosted solution from HandsetDetection.com. Seems to work brilliantly so far.

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  3. A next-gen digital design tool: a manifesto

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    Over on Elated, I’ve set out my stall for a next-generation digital design tool which I imagine could one day replace Photoshop. I spend a fair bit of time moaning about Photoshop as regards its use as a design tool, and it seemed important and fair to suggest an alternative approach, and be more constructive.

    So, if the idea of a design tool with multi-page layouts, stylesheets and wireframing appeals to you, head on over to Elated.com and read the article. Then make a noise so that a developer hears about it!

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  4. Glitch & Drone: A new bespoke music and sound design service

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    This week sees the launch of a new bespoke music composition and sound design service from myself and Scott Billings, aka The Wonderland Project. The idea is to tie together all we know about design and branding from our perspectives as a designer and design writer, with our combined passion for music.

    From the site:

    “Sound affects us. It is instinctive and emotional, yet cerebral and intellectual. Sound influences how people feel about the other things they are experiencing.

    We help organisations and brands to harness this power of sound, creating bespoke material composed to suit context, content and audience.”

    Read more about our new music composition service, Glitch and Drone at the site.

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  5. Out Now: “Tomato Soup & Ghosts”

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    In a rare moment of productivity, The Wonderland Project have released an actual record. Well, I say record, because that’s the concept my befuddled aged mind can deal with. A long player, certainly. It’s called “Tomato Soup & Ghosts”, and it’s out now.

    And in the spirit of helping with the national debt, we’re giving it away for free on the site!

    Download “Tomato Soup & Ghosts” now.

    It’s an interesting release from our point of view, underlining what we always felt about the first record – that we’re songwriters first and foremost. Indeed, this new record is almost entirely devoid of the synths, beats and twiddling of “The History of Science”. Instead, it’s mostly acoustic guitar and singing. Almost a folk record without all that tedious vocal flicking and cider.

    I always thought that we made folk music anyway to be honest, in the sense that it’s music about folk.

    A few thoughts on being a “proper” band.

    This lp is not like the first, except that it was made by the same two people. One of those people (not me, obviously) was asking on Twitter this week whether we could be classed as a proper band, since we never actually play on stage. I suggested back that we could, because recording is no less valid than playing live. Essentially, I was getting at the fact that it’s our own preconditioning that makes us feel like we have to play live to be a “proper” band.

    On reflection though, I realised that the clue’s in the name. We are The Wonderland Project. It’s a project, more than a band, and one which is for us more than it’s for other people to boot. That means that in turn we can play by our own rules and do whatever we like. We create our own validity.

    With that in mind, you’ll likely see a third record at some point in the future; one which will probably be different again. Current discussions revolve around composition more than songwriting, and whether we can get the British Council to sponsor a jaunt abroad to do a lovely A/V show and drink wine.

    We shall see.

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  6. Glasnost21 iPhone App hits V2.0

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    Hot on the heels of version 1 comes the new Glasnost for iPhone, the enigmatically-named version 2.0. This is really a massive shift in how the mobile Glasnost21 experience works. Where v1 was a toe-in-the-water release, dealing only with Contact Management, the new version adds full Project and Image Management too.

    You can add tasks, view documents, check your image galleries and generally work seamlessly when out and about. We’re giving it the marketing push of “Glasnost21 Reinvented”, and it really does feel like that. Take it for a spin today!

    The Glasnost21 iPhone pages

    Get it on iTunes

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  7. Regent Street Occupiers Site Now Live

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    After a fairly epic incubation period, the Regent Street Occupiers’ site went live this week. The site is aimed at the businesses working along Regent Street in London, and is the first rollout of the new-look Vicinitee system for business communities.

    I’ve been involved in the design of the site, and by and large it has come out pretty well. There are things I’d change, but I think that for the first-time rollout of the new system, we’ve done pretty well. Hopefully there’s lots more to come, including a dedicated mobile version.

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  8. Glasnost21 iPhone App now live on iTunes!

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    This is very exciting news. The first iPhone App I’ve designed is now live on Apple’s iTunes.

    It was hard going at times, but the results are nice I think. I hasten to add that I didn’t do the build for this, just the design work. It did make me realise that I wish I could do the build though, since the interaction is so important to how the App feels in your hand. Something tells me I won’t be learning Obj-C anytime soon though.

    Anyway, the link (iTunes):

    itms://itunes.apple.com/us/app/glasnost21/id383330010?mt=8

    P.S. Note that to use the App you need a Glasnost21 login. If you want to play, you can always try a free trial.

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  9. The New Elated Site Redesign

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    I’ve written a piece for Elated (note the new sentence-case way of writing that) about the redesign of the site and the new branding elements. In the article, I’ve pretty much bared my soul over the issues we had with the redesign, and also laid bare the design’s version history. The result is a very honest take on how the new look came together.

    It was an epic 14 months from start to handover for build, but it was worth it! Matt should be following up with a piece about the build process too, which should be really interesting.

    Read the article now: How We Redesigned Elated.com: The Design Process

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