Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where are you thinking?

What are you thinking is a common question that all of us have been asked on occasion but I would ask a different question, "Where are you thinking?"

As a programmer and a user of more than one Enterprise Resource Management System I am constantly faced with challenges of a cognitive type. I've found after more than a decade solving these problems, one of the best ways to get a fresh perspective is to change my location. I often get up from my desk and go for a cup of coffee (which usually gets cold sitting on my desk) or for a short lap around the office.

These are the times when some of the hardest problems are solved. You can't stare at a computer screen and force it into revealing to you the intricate solutions you desire. The truth is, I can sit happily programming for hours most of the time once I know which direction I'm going in, what techniques I'm going to use to achieve my goals. Getting to that point, however, might take me on a half mile walk around the facility or just down to the break room for a snack. I might even be found making coffee or even cleaning out one of the microwaves in the office. I thought up the idea for my start up while I was washing dishes. Most managers who are worth their salt understand the process. Even those who don't will accept it if the output is where it needs to be

Now, get up and get that cup of coffee or at least find a window to stare out of for a few minutes...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Design Inspiration

The picture I've included is an original I did back in the late 90's when I was first learning how to use Photoshop. I remember how incredible it seemed to be able to create digitally without any limitations, on an infinite canvas. It still amazes me how free we are to create, design, share and judge in less time than it takes to mix paint for a physical creation.

With infinite options, we can often over-think, over-create and over-emphasize. That fact has lead to a scaled down design trend that is stark and has little to no depth. I can only believe that this trend will give way to a resurgence of shadow and gloss in the near future, a continual ebb and flow of contrasting styles with each cycle bringing about subtle enhancements on the historical until we might at some unknown point in the future, reach the Nirvana of design.

Nature has had millions more years to experiment and so has, not suprisingly, handed me a gift this fine evening. The moon is approaching full and normally dominates the sky with a radiance that mimicks day, but this spring, the moon's leading roll has been usurped by an unassuming, simple, but magnificently beautiful product of earth...the dogwood tree. The blooms this year on the white dogwoods posess seemingly magical radiance in the evening, absorbing the moons own light to reprocess it into something more magical before releasing it like a sigh of contentment into the night.

To capture be able to recreate that in design would be mastery...