A line balances atop a circle and precariously supports a cluster of shapes.
A line balances atop a circle and precariously supports a cluster of shapes.
Illustration by Pia Blumenthal

Perhaps you’re a Designer who wrestles with a chaotic design system, or a Design Manager who struggles to center your company’s decision-making on the needs of users. You might be a Product Manager who’s frustrated with low product performance metrics, or a Head of Product striving to elevate the product experience to the next level.

All of these scenarios signal the need for a greater investment in design in your organization. You see the need clearly, but your leadership does not. So, how do you make the case for dedicating increased resources to design? …


A circle of laptops facing each other, each projecting an avatar on screen.
A circle of laptops facing each other, each projecting an avatar on screen.
Digital products will help us overcome the effects of social distancing and address the value shifts that will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. Illustration by Pia Blumenthal.

As a New Yorker and Managing Director at O/M, a bicoastal digital product design studio, I’m carefully following the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis as it unfolds. We’re all feeling the impact of the virus on global and local communities, and as individuals and businesses we are adjusting daily to new realities.

O/M is taking steps to continue to serve our clients well while also keeping our culture thriving and distancing ourselves physically. …


To date, Cooper Hewitt has published several groupings of exhibition-related content in the channels editorial web format. You can read about the development of channels in my earlier post on the topic. This article will focus on post-launch observations of the two most content-rich channels currently on cooperhewitt.org: Scraps and By the People. The Scraps channel contains a wonderful series of posts about sustainability and textiles by Magali An Berthon, and the By the People channel has a number of in-depth articles written by the Curator of Socially Responsible Design at Cooper Hewitt, Cynthia E. Smith. …


Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is pleased to announce it will begin its first major initiative to address the conservation needs of digital materials in 2017. Supported by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, the Digital Collection Materials Project will serve to set standards, practices, and strategies related to digital materials in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection. Of the more than 210,000 design objects in the collection, it is estimated that roughly 150 items incorporate information conveyed in a digital form. Many of these objects are home and office electronics, personal computing and mobile devices, and media players with interfaces that span both hardware and software. Among the 150 items, there are also born digital works–examples of design that originated in electronic form that are saved as digital data. …


There is a goldmine of digital materials in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection — rarities like prototypes donated by interaction design pioneer Bill Moggridge; gaming classics like the Game Time wristwatch (which you should really see in action! ); icons of product design like Apple’s iPhone; and artistic achievements in code by contemporary artist-designers like Aaron Koblin.

 Digital Project, Ten Thousand Cents, 2007–08; Designed by Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima; USA; processing, adobe flash cs3, php/mysql, amazon mechanical turk, adobe photoshop, adobe after effects; Gift of Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima; 2014-41-2; Object Record
 Digital Project, Ten Thousand Cents, 2007–08; Designed by Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima; USA; processing, adobe flash cs3, php/mysql, amazon mechanical turk, adobe photoshop, adobe after effects; Gift of Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima; 2014-41-2; Object Record
Digital Project, Ten Thousand Cents, 2007–08

And we need your help! We are looking for two ultra-talented and fearless media spelunkers to dive into the collection and surface all of the computer, product design, and interaction design history within. We want you to help research and invigorate this part of the collection so that we can share it with the world. …


Fig.1. Process Lab: Citizen Designer exhibition and signage, on view at Cooper Hewitt.
Fig.1. Process Lab: Citizen Designer exhibition and signage, on view at Cooper Hewitt.
Fig. 1. Right: Process Lab: Citizen Designer exhibition on view at Cooper Hewitt. Left: Exhibition way-finding signage.

Background

The Process Lab is a hands-on educational space where visitors are invited to get involved in design process. Process Lab: Citizen Designer complimented the exhibition By the People: Designing a Better America, exploring the poverty, income inequality, stagnating wages, rising housing costs, limited public transport, and diminishing social mobility facing America today.

In Process Lab: Citizen Designer participants moved through a series of prompts and completed a worksheet. [Fig. …


There’s a new organizational function on cooperhewitt.org that we’re calling “channels.” Channels are a filtering system for WordPress posts that allow us to group content in a blog-style format around themes. Our first iteration of this feature groups posts into exhibition-themed channels. Subsequent iterations can expand the implementation of channels to broader themed groupings that will help break cooperhewitt.org content out of the current menu organization. In our long-term web strategy this is an important progression to making the site more user-focused and less dictated by internal departmental organization.

The idea is that channels will promote browsing across different types of content on the site because any type of Wordpress post — publication, event, Object of the Day, press, or video — can be added to a channel. Posts can also live in multiple channels at once. In this way, the channel configuration moves us toward our goal of creating pathways through cooperhewitt.org content that focus on user needs; as we develop a clearer picture of our web visitors, we can start implementing channels that cater to specific sets of users with content tailored to their interests and requirements. Leaning more heavily on posts and channels than pages in Wordpress also leads us into shifting our focus from website = a static archive to website = an ever-changing flow of information, which will help keep our web content fresher and more engaged with concurrent museum programs and events. …

About

Lisa Adang

Managing Director @ O/M. Formerly @ Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

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