How do you think designers can improve user experiences in the nearest future? What is great design?
NR: I think designers are weaning off their desire to control whole visual canvases and get excited about the more modular, system based visual world. But it’s taking a long time. Great design to me is very adaptive and smart and doesn’t need to control the show to feel good about its role. But many designers and consultancies don’t share that view and I think this is holding back the discipline.
Founder & CEO @ SFCD
If you were asked about promising new technologies, what would you focus on?
MJO: Beyond the ongoing rise of VR technology, there is so much going on that sometimes I feel like a little kid sitting under the christmas tree.
Artificial Intelligence is improving at such a fast rate that it sometimes scares me imagining all the possibilities and worst case scenarios: total control by machines. What happens when you try to teach a machine to understand human thinking?
There was a recent story that I loved where a guy called Terence Broad created an AI network to reconstruct classic movies. He trained it to recreate individual frames from movies and then got it to recreate every frame. What was really funny was that he did it with Blade Runner, a movie about AI, and uploaded it to Vimeo. Warner Bros ordered a DMCA takedown notice to Vimeo because they couldn’t tell the difference between the simulation and the real movie.
With regards to the near future and current technologies, I find myself experimenting a lot with WebGL and how to use it for both purposes – creative and logic. I guess this back and forth of what is magical and what is logical has had a great influence on me lately.
In the end what we are talking about are formats made for devices, and devices always had a big impact on ideas, technology and formats. Think about what will happen when the first rollable devices come on the market… e-paper displaying information, news and with one swipe showing films, interacting with them or using it as a VR screen.
Is there any future for web design as we know it today?
MJO: We no longer talk about web design, we are now digital designers. The web is nothing more than a big fridge being filled every second with lots of yummy things and if you don’t eat it it just starts to stink. I guess we should all start to see ourselves as digital product designers. We are developing for users not for the web.