Design beyond the screen

We are in an exciting age of design: Welcome to a new era in history where our bodies, heaters, cars, bedrooms, streets and well — just about everything is beginning to become an interface.

Google’s Project Soli is developing a new interaction sensor using radar technology

This article will present a number of exciting technologies and various interfaces to interact with them, as well as take a historical perspective on interactions with man-made objects that have evolved with us to where we are. For simplicity’s sake, I like to group human interaction with the environment and technology into 4 ages:


On the value of using familiar technologies to create impact. A case for the use of the mobile phone to distribute educational content in Africa.

The mobile phone — and when I say mobile phone, I’m not talking about that shiny iPhone 6 Plus, which barely fits into the palm, let alone my budget. It’s the humble (or: “basic”) mobile that can send and receive texts and calls. We’re talking about that nostalgic 90's Nokia 6210 (or similar), which continues to enable far more than simply basic communication.

It can be argued that in Africa, mobile phones have been the most powerful device to drive change, by being used to develop health, education, agriculture, employment, financial services and more.

Just take a look at what mPesa did for mobile payment in Kenya and the potential of the mobile phone begins to become apparent. The mobile is much more than a…


I met a man on the street.

He says that he met all of his favorite women on the street. I was another lucky one: A privileged favorite. We actually met in an alley. It was the alley linking a Turkish wedding venue to the entrance of a startup accelerator program.

He was introduced to me at dusk. Entrepreneurs filled the alley and there was a full pig roasting behind us. “Why, hello”, he had said slowly after the introducer had gracefully stepped backward to allow for us to touch hands. …


Apple’s mobile screens have been steadily increasing in size before our eyes. While plenty of attention has been given to the camera quality, sharp resolution, and “bendability” of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, perhaps it’s time we shift our focus on what is to come. In 2015, the world will meet Apple’s smallest interface — and the yet-to-be-named, custom typeface for the Apple Watch.

This post was first appeared on The Huffington Post.

Apple’s mobile screens have been steadily increasing in size before our eyes. While plenty of attention has been given to the camera quality, sharp resolution, and…


Read the 2016 follow-up “The World is our Interface”

The design of a man-made object is only complete when people use it.

What happened?

Charles Babbage designed the first computer between 1833 and 1871. Then came 1984. The Apple Macintosh computer was invented: the birth of a mass-market PC with a graphical user interface and mouse. A completely new operating system was created to navigate information within this graphical interface.

Since then, screens have continued to shrink. We’ve moved from desktop, to laptop, to smartphone, to iWatch, to GoogleGlass, to — well —anything: the internet of things. The amount of smartphone users…


The future of delivering content is audio 

Screens are shrinking. The once large desktop computer is being replaced with compact mobile devices. Yet, we want to remain informed and entertained online. Audio is the answer.

Although we have a surplus of information, innovative distribution channels are needed to deliver it. These are the trends that are disrupting how we consume content. These are the trends that are disrupting how we consume content via our ears.

We becoming increasingly connected to audio

We demand to stay informed and entertained while we’re on the go. Commuting to and from work is time consuming. Americans spend on average 50.8 minutes commuting daily. …


Because there’s no such thing

‘The One’: That perfect idea. That prince charming. That moment of bliss. That thing, that for every illogical reason is just right: because it’s destiny.

‘The One’ doesn’t exist. The pursuit to find ‘the one’ is actually holding you back. It’s a myth that storytellers created to amplify a life of moments, experiences, knowledge and emotion that brought them to a place, which was so harmonious that it felt serendipitous.

Looking for what’s next prevents us from experiencing what’s now. ‘The Big Idea’ and the quest to find it, might just be stopping us from working on something meaningful…


You look around the room in humiliated shock as everyone mingles, giggles and swiftly replies with the wittiest, most amazingly intelligent responses as you face defeat and sink your hand into your pocket to the safety blanket that is your smart-phone. Checking emails, pointless notifications and twitter streams, saturated with dull over-marketed content.

There are people everywhere. Not just people, happy, confident, smiling, selling, intelligent people who appear to be able to converse with; and probably sell to even a brick wall. They smile and look sharp. Here’s the secret. Many of them are introverts too. …


Social Graphs and Internet Connections

Why gender roles are an issue for genders, not just women.

My dad used to play a trick on me.

He would wrap an empty box in pretty, red, patterned paper and place it in the cupboard where the precious things belong and would taunt me by making me watch him lock the lock with the click of a clockwise turn and fold the key in his pocket. I would spend my time trying to get to the box, assuming that it was filled with something so glorious that rainbow glitter hallucinations might overwhelm me if I were to be it’s lucky possessor. To get to the box, my strategy would…


Moon_beam on Instagram

I’m here right now, and by “here right now”, I mean in that slippery space. That glowing crevice between jumping into action to brew my fifth tea and gently pawing at the keyboard. Waiting. Anticipating the moment that my brain lights-up with inspired wit and wisdom and for those neurons to spring into action. Into a path of clarity, slipping down my tense throat, through to my fingers and filling that non-retina display MacBook Pro with sharp, delightful little pixels that fill to form letters, that span to form sentences, that transform into a gleeful stream of textual chains.

I…

Danielle Reid

I help companies & designers create great digital products. VP Design, Mechanism Ventures, Previously @toptal. Co-Founded @capsulefm & @steriome

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