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Great presentations are really great stories. It’s great stories that move people, not stock images, bullet points, or diagrams. To achieve that we needed to create a new category of presentation apps. One that starts with what you want to say.

Presentation apps haven’t fundamentally changed at all since the early 90s. In all that time they’ve never really solved the human side of the problem. As designers, we feel compelled to create a new solution, one with a slightly different emphasis. By changing our focus, we change the likely outcome. To avoid reinventing the wheel, it is useful to look back before moving forward.

Yesterday: Look at the past to understand the future

There’s a simple, efficient, and fun way to prepare and tell a convincing story. It’s called the Rhetoric Canon and it’s the standard way to prepare a speech since ancient times:

Mnemonic Step Function
Idea What do I say?
Structure Order and Orientation
Style Make yourself heard
Practice Rehearse and remember!
Delivery Tell your story!

What looks like a step-by-step approach is in reality a more complex process. The idea evolves with the structure, the structure evolves as you elaborate your style. Practicing your presentation will inevitably lead to alterations. And if you hold your speech more than one time, the delivery will again push you to work on every part of your presentation.

Writing a speech: The process has a clear starting point, flow, and direction. Start with your idea, then structure it and dress it up. Fine-tune every aspect of your speech as you rehearse and learn it by heart.
The PowerPoint Spiral: PowerPoint lets us first pick a theme. Then it moves in circles between picking slide types, rearranging slides, and filling in textboxes and importing graphics. Practice and memorization is replaced by previewing the file. The slides are designed to function like key cards. The handout is usually an exact copy of the slides.

The rhetoric canon was developed for holding speeches. Presentations add visuals, design, and handouts to the mix. As you can see, the interdependencies then become a lot more complex. There are more elements to be taken care of, and each influences the other. If you change a tiny detail here it impacts every other part. We quickly get lost when we think about everything, idea, script, visuals, fonts, colors, and the design of our handouts at the same time.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: What we are aiming at

We asked you last year what you’ve struggled with using PowerPoint. You sent us hundreds of passionate responses to our boring questionnaires. Your main concerns were that in traditional presentation apps you

  1. Time: Spend a lot of time without noticing and getting under time pressure
  2. Focus: Struggle with design questions neglecting the content
  3. Confidence: Fear of boring others or getting a blackout

This is not a surprise when you look at how of PowerPoint & Co. structures the creative process. Comparing how presentations were created before and after PowerPoint shines a light on what might have gone wrong.

Presentation = Speech + Visuals + Handout: In essence, a presentation is a speech aided by visuals and a handout.
The Presenting Canon: Start with the story. Use titles to structure your story and to orient your audience. Illustrate to direct attention to your story. Let the app handle the layout. Choose fonts and colors at the end. Offer an easily readable rich text handout.

To stay focused we need a direction and go step by step towards the goal. The interdependencies will inevitably influence us as we move forward, but we get better results if we think before we act. How we start sets the tone.

1. Think: Idea

Lose yourself: Audience and purpose

A presentation is not about us, our nerves, our insecurities, or the medium we happen to be using, it’s not even about what we think. A presentation is about our audience. The obstacles standing in the way of their goals, and the solutions they might adopt to keep moving forwards.

With this in mind, we start our creative process with two questions: Who is our audience, and what is the purpose of your story? When developing a presentation, we believe that it’s far more effective to focus on what we are going to say first. Not just on what our audience is going to see. In traditional presentation apps you start by picking a design theme. Then you fill out a mask and pick the next page layout.

Great presentations are great stories

We think that great presentations are really great stories. And that it’s great stories that move people, not stock images, bullet points, or diagrams. To achieve that we needed to create a new category of presentation apps. One that starts with the story.

Just write it down: Start with your script, import or paste an existing text. Flesh out what you want to say before thinking about how you show it.
Or start with a raw outline: Write title and structure. Don’t worry about slides and visuals. Focus on what you want to say.

By developing our story using a simple text interface, we can begin to create a compelling and persuasive narrative. A narrative that has structure and purpose. You know the deal: Beginning, middle, end. What is the problem? What are the obstacles? How do we overcome them?

Fast Love: Work with existing text

iA Writer, our focused writing app, taught us a lot about helping people with challenging creative tasks. Writer is 12 years young and continues to help millions of people to get focused, get started and share their voice with the world. In the same spirit, we believe that the best way to start making a presentation is not with a template or an empty slide, but with a blank writing screen.

A blank writing screen removes the temptation to play with shapes and colors, or to entertain ourselves with transitions. It sets the tone for the task. Calm and clear. It whispers to us – What’s important here?

New Idea: Starting with a blank screen will put your thoughts right to the main task: What do you want to say? Some prefer to start with an outline, other prefer writing it out.
Existing Idea: You can import or paste an existing text. If you have an existing article in Markdown with images, you are as good as done. Working with existing text massively cuts down production time.

Sometimes we find ourselves starting with a basic structure, adding big ideas, then fleshing those ideas out until we have a rough script. Other times we have a head full of ideas that we just want to get down on the page and organize later.

Whatever path our mood takes us, we are always focused on the idea and the audience. We are developing our narrative, as we would a movie. We don’t start out thinking about camera angles and costumes. Or in this case slides, layout, fonts, and transitions.

2. Keep’em separated: Structure

We develop our narrative by writing and organizing our script. A script focused on what we want to say. A script that keeps our audience attentive, interested, and engaged because it’s about them and the challenges they are facing. The script discerns what is said and what is shown:

Editor: You can see and discern what is being shown on the slide (titles, images) and what you prepared as a script for when you present and text when exporting the presentation (body text).
Text and voice Avoid reading from slides. The audience can read the title without your help. You tell the story behind the headline. The title should be short and engaging, to direct the attention to the speaker’s voice.

Once we started to think about our presentations as a story, not as a series of split-up visuals, once we focused on what we wanted to say, not what they needed to see, it dramatically cut our creation time and made our presentations more engaging.

We no longer had to start from scratch every time we wanted to turn a memo, email, tweetstorm, or blog post into a presentation. We could just copy and paste our existing work into our text-based script editor and we were halfway home. What does that script editor look like and how does it work? Well, let’s finish our main thought first…

3. Black or White: Visuals

Only when we’ve worked out exactly what we’re going to say, do we think about what our audience is going to see while we’re speaking to them. And it turns out this doesn’t work as we first imagined.

Editor: Image plus spoken text in the editor.
Image and voice: Use images not to express what you cannot say but to attract attention to your story. Create a handout format that displays the spoken information.

Once a script has been drafted it becomes obvious where an image or two will offer a clear benefit to our audience. A picture can be worth 1000 words. And if it is, then we should use it. But not every picture is worth a thousand words. We believe that most of the time, our audience doesn’t need to be looking at unnecessary imagery. A boring presentation doesn’t get more engaging with replaceable stock images. Images should direct the attention towards your message.

Simple headlines and great illustrations reinforce what we’re saying. They give the audience a visual hook to hang the idea on and keep them focused on the voice of the person presenting.

4. I will survive: Rehearsal

Let’s think about the topic of practice for a second. When we practice our story properly two things are happening. First of all, we’re not just repeating it, we’re making it our own. We’re experiencing our own argument, hearing our own voice. Noticing the snags and the rough edges, we’re smoothing them out. The experts call this deliberate practice and it makes a difference. It helps to have an editor that lets us make rapid changes while we practice.

Practice and edit simultaneously: Open the presentation in a separate window to practice. Keep the editor open. If you find a way to optimize, you can edit on the fly without entering and leaving the fullscreen presentation every time you want to correct a comma.

The second benefit of practice is that it eases our anxiety. Any uncertainty we might otherwise encounter, starts to fade into the background the more we engage with the script. We’re laying down memories, one on top of the other, and calming our nervous system: “That didn’t kill me”, “That wasn’t as bad as I remember”, “That was thrilling”, “I can’t wait to do that again”.

5. The Great Pretender: Delivery

While we are all-in on the benefits of proper practice, we didn’t want to rely on it as a solution. We wanted a safety net, for when we’re in the hot seat and all eyes are on us. The traditional “slide notes” seem like such an afterthought. When I’m under pressure I don’t care which slide is coming up next, all I care about is the next sentence that needs to come out of my mouth.

We believe that nothing calms the nerves like knowing that there is a backup. Imagine you always have the option of seeing exactly what we need to say, big and bold right in front of you. An experience more akin to that of a teleprompter, or an autocue. But without the expensive equipment. Just our story, in big, bold type, that’s easy to read and easy to scroll.

A teleprompter, just in case: Don’t read from slides and don’t read from the teleprompter. But having the option of seeing exactly what we need to say, big and bold right in front of you will calm us down.

We have this just in case. If we wrote our story, illustrated it properly, practiced and optimized it, we don’t need to read from the slide or from teleprompter.

We still feel a shot of adrenaline the moment we step up to speak. And that’s ok. With all our ducks in a row that shot of adrenaline is exactly what we need to give our story a spark. It lights a fire under our ideas and helps move our audience to act.

What about design?

Changes: Responsive Design!

In times of responsive web design and mobile-first approaches, PowerPoint still forces us to obey strict resolutions and aspect ratios. That the main form of business communication nowadays uses unresponsive static slides is simply stunning. If we change the resolution of the our presentation the whole presentation falls apart. A device-independent, flexible, mobile-friendly design format is what you want in 2022.

Device independent, liquid design: A device-independent, flexible, mobile-friendly design format is what you want in 2022. Presentations should adapt to wide screens, different overhead projector ratios, different Zoom-windows, tablets and phones.

If you get a presentation on your phone, you should be able to read it like an email. No zooming, no pinching in and out. Contemporary digital design adapts to the world of 100’000 different screen sizes, and most of all, mobile screens. Contemporary presentations need to be readable on a handheld device.

Okay, but then how do you control the layout? You don’t! You shouldn’t have to.

Let it go: Automatic Layout!

Imagine not having to deal with layout at all. All you do is writing a text, editing on headlines, illustrating your story where it makes sense. The layout gets picked automatically. But how would that work? An algorithm? AI? Black Magic?

If you limit the amount of information to not compete with what you say, there are not that many layouts to cover. If you get rid of the pressure to use slides as index cards, and you eliminate reading from the screen, you end up with a handful of slide types. These can be picked algorithmically based on the number and type of elements you use on a single slide:

Autolayout: The amount of elements that can be fit on a slide so they do not distract from your story is limited. There are still plenty and picking them and scaling them is technically challenging.

The amount of layouts multiplies again when you automatically scale and reorganise the elements depending on screen aspect ratio. A horizontal comparison f.i. becomes a vertical comparison on a phone. Static cards on a landscape layout become scrollable in portrait, etc.

Autolayout: Every layout has to scale to different windows sizes and devices. So every layout needs to scale at infinity aspect ratios. No more pixel pushing when you change font sizes. Is this crazy? Maybe. Is this possible? Yes. Has it been done? You bet.

This is also liberating. No more pixel pushing. You don’t design a static page, you design a flexible story that will work on different devices.

Easy like Sunday morning: Readable text documents as handouts!

The story is the backbone of a good presentation. A story-based presentation app allows you to:

  1. Import existing texts
  2. To practice and optimize your pitch
  3. To calm you down knowing that you have a safety net in case you get lost

Once the story works, you know it by heart and you almost don’t need it anymore during the presentation. Except that after the presentation it comes in handy again: To create a readable handout.

Taking a story-based approach, allows you to start with regular text and finish with regular text, exporting your presentation not as a labyrithian mosaic that needs pinching on a phone and slaloming through an A4 with little cards, but as a standard text document with images.

Editor: In the editor, the presentation reads like a text document.
Export: The presentation can be exported as a regular text document without splitting information into different slide frames and note boxes.

Next: Outlook

In Part I, we looked at the challenges that we’ve been dealing with when making presentations with the existing tools: Getting started, understanding the weird and time-consuming format of slides, remembering what we want to say, and not being boring.

And in this post, we shared our belief that in order to solve those challenges we need a presentation app with a different emphasis. A way to create presentations focused on stories and one that puts the storyteller’s needs first. Because a prepared, calm and supported presenter makes for a more interesting and compelling presentation.

To achieve that we: Start with a blank slate. Write the script first, and sort the visuals later. Take advantage of existing work. Then tell a moving story that’s impossible to forget. Coming up in Part 3: What we made.

How Can We Make Presentations Better?

– Presentation apps haven’t fundamentally changed at all since the early 80s. In all that time they’ve never really solved the human side of the problem. As designers, we feel compelled to create a new solution, one with a slightly different emphasis. By changing our focus, we change the likely outcome. To avoid reinventing the wheel, it is useful to look back before moving forward.

Being Boring: What’s Wrong With PowerPoint?

– Our meetings take too long, our presentations feel empty and no one pays attention. Tools like PowerPoint and Keynote shape the way we live and work, and boring slide presentations are part of the meeting theatre. Could better presentation tools help change the culture of never-ending boredom?

iA Writer 6: Now with Lasers

– In 2010, the original iA Writer introduced focused writing with Markdown. Twelve years later, iA Writer opens the doors to a simple and friendly knowledge management system with wikilinks.

End Procrastination

– The most influential companies in the world put all their energy into getting us to click, react, and consume. If you work on a computer, procrastination awaits you everywhere, all the time. How do you beat it and get things done?

On Apps and Coffee

– No matter how many times developers compare their apps to coffee... apps are not coffee. The question is not: How many coffees does an app cost. It's: How many apps does a cup of coffee cost? And the answer is: Apps are not coffee but coffee machines.

Do Presentations Make You Anxious?

– We’ve been locked away, a cabin in the mountains, working on the problem of presentations. And it’s time to invite a few more people around the fire, to participate in the process. What’s your perspective on the problem?

Markdown in Academic Writing

– A piece of writing aiming to be academic must be 'clear, concise, focused, structured and backed up by evidence'. We believe that Markdown writing tools make it easier to focus on content and thus support the main aim of academic writing. iA Writer has a couple of tricks up its sleeves that other apps do not.

After all, everyone is distracted once in a while

– These days we all fight to stay focused. People with ADHD are specialists on the matter. We asked you to share your experiences with iA Writer. Answers revolved around the topics of distractions and the ability to focus, which are key concerns of the attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Let's see how iA Writer helps you tackle the challenges of writing as explained by users with ADHD. Their insights can help us all.

Style Check on Android

– After its launch on Mac and iOS last summer and its recent introduction to Windows, Style Check has arrived on Android with version 2.1 of iA Writer. It has been one of our best received and most requested features, therefore we worked hard to make it available for all platforms.

An ADHD-friendly Writing App

– There is a ton of specialist advice out there regarding writing for high school and university students with ADHD. Most of these suggest a distraction-free writing environment that allows for channeling one's energy into the task at hand.

Style Check on Windows, Big Sur Support, and Next Steps for Android

– iA Writer for Windows 1.4 is now available and it brings Style Check in a free update. We launched Style Check on Mac and iOS this past summer and we have never received so much praise for a new feature. You sent us request after request to bring it to other platforms. We doubled our efforts to bring it to other platforms as soon as possible. It's ready for Windows as of today. We are working on bringing it to Android next.

Apple cuts 30% commission to 15% for small developers

– Apple will lower its commission to 15% if you make under one million US dollars per year. For small developers, this is fantastic news and overall it’s a good step in the right direction. In the bigger picture, more steps need to follow.

Why is Facebook not Paying the Apple Tax?

– Why should Facebook—the biggest beneficiary of the iPhone, its tools, and its infrastructure—pay nothing, when small developers have to pay tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars?

How to Think Different

– This week we published two long posts on Monopolies, the Apple Tax, and Subscriptions. Both articles come to the conclusion that lowering the 30% fee Apple charges developers would benefit everyone. The tax is at the core of their Antitrust case, at the core of the developer's business model. And in the end, it is in our common customer's interest to lower it, because profitable development produces better software.

Subscription or no subscription? That is not the question.

– Companies selling apps via subscriptions use drama to sell: "Either subscription or we die.” As customers, we don't like to add more recurring payments to our monthly credit card bill. Begrudgingly we all accept subscriptions as a new reality. There is a limit to how many we can add to our credit card bill before we ask: Is this necessary? Is there only one business model for software, and, well, for anything now?

On Monopolies, Apple, and Epic

– Google has built a complete monopoly on search. Amazon uses the sales data of its resellers to continuously expand and solidify market dominance. Facebook copies the competitors that they can’t bully into being bought to keep their dominant market position. Apple is partying in antitrust land forcing its competitors to hand out 30% of its revenue. The game is rigged. And no one is enforcing the rules. Except for Epic, the maker of one of the most successful games of all time.

The Power of Style Check

– Style Check is like having a personal editor-in-chief on your device, carefully reviewing your text for redundancies, clichés and filler words as you type. It's simple, different, powerful, and available for Mac, iOS, Windows and Android.

Syntax Control, Individual Scroll, Snippets

– iA Writer for Windows 1.3 is the biggest update the platform has ever seen. It's available to download right now and comes as a free update for existing users.

New PDF Preview, Better Web Publishing, Improved Editing

– iA Writer 5.5 for Mac and iOS has arrived. The update adds a powerful mix of functionality and delicate subtlety that will improve your writing workflow.

MacStories App Of The Year and Custom Backup

– 2019 was a good year for iA Writer. Sales were good, reviews were good and in the end we got rewarded for our work with the App of the year prize from MacStories.

PDF Preview, New Typography, Preferences

– You've waited patiently for it, and now it is here. Version 1.2 of iA Writer for Windows has launched. This release packs in a boatload of improvements, making it the biggest update to hit the platform since the initial release.

Multi-window, Dark Mode, Content Block Flexibility

– iA Writer 5.3 is ready for iOS13. It now comes with multi-window support, Dark Mode, and Content Block improvements.

Useful macOS Tricks

– People sometimes ask us "What tricks do you designer guys use on your Macs that I don't know of?" We don't know what you don't know, but there are a couple of general tricks using macOS that you might not all be familiar with.

The Nice Place

– It seems the times of free online advertising for indies are over. Blogs are not what they used to be, RSS is about to be buried. Facebook is a commercial and moral nightmare, and so is Facebook's Instagram. On Twitter, our main marketing channel since 2007, our engagement is sinking year after year. On Google, VC powered startups steal our ad positions, and we're all too old for Snapchat or TikTok. So what can you do in 2019 to get the word out?

Music in Writing

– We make music when we speak. When we write, the music is in our head, and typing we play the drums. Being fully immersed in writing is like composing and playing music while we drum up our perceptions into letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. How does it all play together?

New File Library for Windows

– iA Writer for Windows came out one year ago. We launched version 2 and called it 1.1. It comes with a cleaner UI, sweeter typography, tighter templates, better word export, and a powerful file library. At first sight, it just looks like we've closed a gap to its older sibling, the Mac app. But there is a subtle twist

“Ethics” and Ethics

– Facebook fishing for our email passwords, Roomba is hovering up all the data on our homes, Amazon is listening to our conversations for laughs, Tik-Tok spying on our kids. And that we see so much dirt on the surface makes it likely that under the surface it's even worse. The solution for all of this: "Ethics". Design ethics! Tech ethics! Business ethics! Ethics for AI!

Word and GitHub

– iA Writer 5.2 offers premium Microsoft Word export for markdown and lays the ground for a great iOS GitHub synchronization.

A Typographic Christmas

– The next update of iA Writer does some extreme typographic acrobacy. It comes with three variable fonts which give us 1000s of grades. This allows us to adjust the weight of the font depending on size, device and background color. Additionally, we adjust the line height and spacing depending on column width and type size. The crazy part is that you probably won't see any of this. But you might feel it.

Write to Organize

– Creating the latest update to iA Writer was a slow burn. Beginning with some basic maintenance and then improvements for the new iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, the Kraken was released in the final weeks of preparation. The all new Tags and x-callback-urls are so hip they'll take you to funky town.

Aesthetics

– As the success of design has become measurable, it has transformed a handicraft into an engineering job. Not the master designer but the user is the arbitrator of good design. The key performance indicator is not beauty but profit. As financial and technical performance was gained, beauty left the stage. Now it feels like something is missing.

Designed in China, Assembled in California

– As China starts outdoing us economically, technically and strategically, we are turning Chinese, slowly losing the spiritual, cultural and political texture that made us different.

Eight Languages Wrapped in Wallpaper

– Both iA Writer for Mac and iOS are localized in English, German, Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. For this update, we've decided to add a little present: 17 beautiful wallpapers for your desktop, mobile phone, or tablets.

A New Document Library

– iA Writer for Mac, version 5.0, is now available for download in the Mac App Store. It comes with a brand new document library, and apart from English, German and Japanese, it now also speaks French, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and Portuguese.

Mac with Tabs

– This update to iA Writer brings support for tabs in macOS High Sierra. Version 4.2 also comes with a subtle UI polish in typography and transitions, all in preparation for the big 5.0 upgrade.

Take the Power Back

– You may have heard that the best way to deal with the “information overload” is to switch off your devices. To take a break from the Internet. Go for a run. Roll out the Yoga mat. Read a book. Talk to your friends. Switching off is good advice. But eventually, you’ll be back. How about changing? Changing from passive, to active. From scroll to search, from react to rethink, from like and retweet to write and link. Take the power back.

iOS: Backups for Dropbox, Google Drive and Co.

– iA Writer 5.0.5 for iOS introduces a fail-safe backup system for any documents opened from other applications. This means if you’ve opened a file from Dropbox, Google Drive or any other storage provider, everything you write in iA Writer is preserved—no matter what.

Die A Little

– Language has the power to make us understand others, to feel like others through time and space. To almost become someone else. Used as tool, computers can help us amplifying the use of language. But if we talk to them alone, they can extract understanding for commercial use and make us die a little.

Make Bots Identifiable

– Everybody that has an interest in influencing public opinion will happily pay a handful of Dollars to amplify their voices. Governments, political groups, corporations, traders, and just simple plain trolls will continue to shout through bot armies—as long as it is so cheap.

How does sending traffic to the App Store affect your App Store ranking?

– Sending too much traffic too the App Stores might negatively impact your App Store ranking.

Is Time Money?

– Bitcoin rose from 1,000 to 19,000 in a couple of months. Today it fell back to 10,000. If time is money, then what happened to people’s time? Is it lost?

Design is Political

– Everything around us is designed. Design shapes cities, gives form to houses, sketches and connects spaces; designers define our environment, our things, bodies and minds. Design is political.

Web Trend Map 2018

– The most important ingredient for a Web Trend Map is missing: The Web. Time to bring some of it back.

News from Facebook

– Step by step, Facebook has cut the news from its feeds. Yesterday, they confirmed that they will focus on content from friends and family while de-emphasizing news. How come? A brief history of the odd partnership between Facebook and the news industry and what it means for us.

Why we like distractions

– Just when it really matters and we should really do what we are about to do we are most vulnerable to distractions. How come? And what can we do about it?

Kickstarted: iA Writer for Windows

– iA Writer for Windows has been a long time coming. Ever since we first launched iA Writer for Mac you have asked, “Will you make a Windows version?” After over two Million downloads on iOS, Mac and Android, we’re excited to bring iA Writer to the world’s largest desktop platform. And to fulfill the vision we have for this app, we’ve just launched our first-ever Kickstarter campaign.

The Ideal Paragraph

– You may have read or heard that the ideal paragraph consists of one thought. Clearly, there are various ways to begin and end a thought. One way is to start with a claim or topic sentence, offer examples for your claim, explain how your examples support the claim, repeat the claim in the light of the examples, and build a bridge to the next thought. It is not clear if the ideal paragraph has five, six, seven, a maximum or a minimum number of sentences, as it is not clear what one thought is, where or how it begins, and where or how it ends. On second thought, one could as well argue that every sentence consists of one thought.

Who serves whom?

– Artificial Intelligence is a complex riddle for all sorts of experts. It’s full of magic, mystery, money, mind-boggling techno-ethical paradoxes and sci-fi dilemmas that may or may not affect us in some far or near future. Meanwhile, it already shapes our everyday life. Things already go wrong. And no one is responsible. What can we do?

“Art at scale”

– The excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails are a gold mine. The text itself is a raw cut-up from a series of private emails. Kay argues that fundamental innovation and following objectives run counter to each other. Very much like art, fundamental research needs to be free from objective purpose.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

– In 2017, we gave you a major iOS rewrite, the complete redesign of Android and a new type of writing font. 2018 is going to be a big year for iA Writer. There is an upcoming update of the Mac library and a backup solution for iOS is under construction. Next, we’ll add a Windows version, web collaboration and a physical product to the family. What? When? How?

Duospace: In Search of the Perfect Writing Font

– Monospace is the typical choice that communicates writing. With iA Writer Duospace, we went a step ahead. After seven years of offering no font options to write, iA Writer now comes with a choice. Next to the monospace Nitti you will now find a brand new duospace font. Duospace?

95% Keyboard: iA Writer 5

– 10 months in the making, we built iA Writer 5 following three specific goals. Through the 10 months of iterations, training our focus on these objectives has kept us on track. So what did we choose as our guiding principles?

Files in iOS11

– This fall Apple brought us iOS11 and with it new features. A lot of you have asked about the new Files app integration in iA Writer 5. Here is a short look at what you can expect.

iA Writer for Android Oreo

– The new iA Writer for Android now works on 42,000 different phones and tablets. Different brands, different resolutions, different processors, screens… Here is how it looks.

iA Writer 5 for iPad: Sneak Peek

– You may have already seen our sneak peek of iA Writer 5 on iPhone. For those of you with iPads, you may be wondering what the tablet experience will be like. This is what you can expect.

iA Writer 5 for iPhone: Sneak Peek

– iA Writer 5 will be released on iOS shortly. You asked for more focus on the writing, so we directed our attention on the keyboard, the heart of your writing experience.

Want to write? Here is how to get started

– “Only write when you have something to say.” It’s short and sound advice. Like “Think before you speak.” But, how do we know if we have something to say? Something to say *to whom*? Is there some other way than speaking to find out if we had something to say? Is there a formula?

iA Writer 5: Forging the Hammer

– Last week we explained how we believe that technology evolves from raw to complex to simple and how this relates to iA Writer. In order to simplify it even more, we asked how you see iA Writer in future—and what and how you’d expect to pay for it. To a handful of questions we received a warm wave of response from you. You all agreed on on thing: Let's keep it simple.

iA Writer 5: From Raw to Cooked to Sushi

– Technology evolves from raw to complex to simple. From the fist to the hand axe to the hammer. From carts to the Model T to Tesla. From switchboard-operated phones to digital phones to smartphones. From SMS to Facebook to Messenger. From the crude to the cooked to Sushi.

iA Writer 4

– We’ve been hard at work producing the next major update to iA Writer, and we’re happy to announce its arrival. iA Writer 4 adds a whole new dimension to how you can work with your documents. We’re excited—and a little nervous—to unveil how this all works…

UX Lessons In Game Design

– To spice up our monster essay on icons, we created an icon monster shooter arcade game. Planned as a one week hackathon, it turned into an amazing one year adventure. Here is what UX designers learned creating an arcade game.

Multichannel Text Processing

– In the classic era of word processing, text was born between MS Word and a printer. Today, it is written and edited on multiple devices and apps, then mailed, printed, copied, pasted, annotated, published, RSSed, shared and re-shared, using all kinds of tools and platforms. Stubborn proprietary file formats fail in this frantic new environment. Plain text does better, but lacks Rich Text’s formatting. Markdown could be our golden gun. If only it looked a little shinier!

Über Icons

– Icons sparen Platz. Icons sehen schick us. Icons geben einfache Antworten auf nervige Fragen wie: Kann man das alles etwas etwas frecher machen? Wie können wir da mehr Marke reinbringen? Womit peppen wir den Entwurf nun noch auf? Icons sind praktisch. Icons sind ein Segen. Wir ♥ Icons. Bis zum Wahnsinn.

On Icons

– Icons save space. Icons look crisp. Icons give quick answers to hard questions: How do we make it nicer? How can we brand it? How do we make it more fun? We ♥ icons. Until they start messing with our minds.

iA Writer Video Tutorials

– To help you get the most out of iA Writer, we’ve created several videos. Here you can find tips and tricks which make producing beautiful content easy as pie.

iA Writer Comes in Colors

– In 2013, iA Writer introduced Syntax Control: syntactic highlighting as an editing feature. We kept it minimal: only one part of speech at a time, in blue. With version 3.1, iA Writer breaks out of its minimalist straitjacket. Syntax Control now highlights parts of speech in blue, yellow, orange, purple and green. She’s a rainbow.

iA Writer 3

– Five years ago this month we released iA Writer for iPad. We built apps for Mac, iPhone, Android, and a whole new iA Writer Pro branch. People who use iA Writer enjoy the experience of writing with it, they love its purity. We released iA Writer 3, the third generation of our writing machine, as a free upgrade to iA Writer Pro.

Starting Out On Android

– In the summer of 2014, we started dabbling with the Android SDK to get a feeling of what it would mean to develop an Android adaptation of iA Writer. We discovered a dev-friendly world with scant traces of the Android horror stories we had in the backs of our minds.

Information Entropy

– Will information technology affect our minds the same way the environment was affected by our analogue technology? Designers hold a key position in dealing with ever increasing data pollution. We are mostly focused on speeding things up, on making sharing easier, faster, more accessible. But speed, usability, accessibility are not the main issue anymore.

Putting Thought Into Things

– To get a good perspective, we start our projects with research. We go mobile first for prioritization, and we want all the content first so we can design in the browser… Unfortunately, the reality of web design follows a different stereotype.

Introducing iA Writer Pro

– After four years and over 1 million downloads of iA Writer, we’ve introduced something new. iA Writer Pro is a writing suite that boldly goes where no other writing app has gone before.

Logo, Bullshit & Co., Inc.

– Everybody likes logos. Everybody wants their own logo. Everybody wants to make their own logo. Everybody has a computer and some fonts. Anybody can make a logo. What makes designers think they are so special?

Learning to See

– Learning to design is learning to see, an adventure that gets more and more captivating the further you go. A love letter to my profession.

«Die Spannung zwischen Nutzbarkeit und Ästhetik» (Webmagazin)

– Interview von Christoph Ebert für Webmagazin anlässlich der MobileTech Conference in München.

Keio University

– One se­mes­ter on “Law and So­ci­ety, Tech­nol­ogy and Power” at Keio Uni­ver­sity, taught by iA Founder Oliver Re­ichen­stein and Pro­fes­sor Catha­rina Maracke.

アプリにレスポンシブデザインを届ける

– iA WriterはMacネイティブアプリにおいて、初めてレスポンシブデザインを取り入れたテキストエディターです。しかしなぜ実現までこんなに時間が掛かったのでしょうか?

Bringing Responsiveness to Apps

– iA Writer for Mac is the first native text editor that uses a responsive design. Why did it take so long?

Das Ende der analogen Welt

– Im allgemeinen Sprachgebrauch ist «Digital» all das, was mit Computern zu tun hat. Aber was hat heute schon nicht mit Computern zu tun? Der Unterschied zwischen digitalen und analogen Geräten verschwimmt immer mehr. Wie sinnvoll ist es noch, von «digital» im Unterschied zu «analog» zu sprechen?

“Nichts war geplant” (Persönlich)

– Herr Reichenstein, kürzlich hat Facebook für die unglaubliche Summe von 1 Milliarde US Dollar das kleine Unternehmen Instagram geschluckt. Werden die Information Architects bald von Microsoft geschluckt?

“400,000 downloads with a super simple app” (Business Insider)

– The following Interview on iA Writer and the secret of its success has appeared in Business Insider, who reached out to us, “to get the story on where his app came from, where it's heading, and what's wrong with contemporary text editors.”

“Good design is invisible” (The Verge)

– Since iA's work is informed by its presence in Europe and Asia, The Verge wanted to know our thoughts on the differences between the two, and in particular where he sees the state of Japanese design right now.

Introducing iCloud

– We have just updated iA Writer for Mac, iPhone and iPad. We have been working hard to make them compatible with upcoming Mountain Lion and iCloud features. What’s new?

Twitterror

– How do you deal with erroneous tweets? Not any erroneous tweets, your erroneous tweets. The tweets that you misspelled or, worse, that contain information you later discover is false, or a late night knee-jerk response you regret in the morning.

レスポンシブ・タイポグラフィ

– ウェブサイトを作るときは、まずは本文のテキストを定義することから始めるものだった。本文の定義次第で、中心となるコラム(列)の幅が決まり、その他はそれに連なって自ら定義される。これは昔の話。近年までは画面の解像度は基本的に共通だった。しかし、今は様々な大きさのスクリーンや解像度に対応する必要があり、事情は複雑になっている。

Responsive Typography: The Basics

– When we built websites we usually started by defining the body text. The body text definition dictates how wide your main column is, the rest used to follow almost by itself. Used to. Until recently, screen resolution was more or less homogeneous. Today we deal with a variety of screen sizes and resolutions. This makes things much more complicated.

Follow-up to “Sweep the Sleaze”

– Our call to question the common practice of blindly adding social media buttons to every page got a lot of attention, and found many friends across the board. This proves we are onto something. Let’s look at some of the more critical reactions.

Sweep the Sleaze

– Promising to make you look wired and magically promote your content in social networks, the Like, Retweet, and +1 buttons occupy a good spot on pretty much every page of the World Wide Web. Because of this, almost every major site and brand is providing free advertising for Twitter and Facebook. But do these buttons work?

Kommunikation ist Knochenarbeit

– Der folgende Text über die Grundregeln des Bogenschiessens stammt aus dem sogenannten Shaho-Kun. Er lässt sich leicht auf die Kunst der Kommunikation übertragen.

Der Computer: Velo oder Hamsterrad?

– Werkzeuge sind Verlängerungen des Körpers: Die Brille ist eine Verlängerung des Auges, der Hammer eine Verlängerung der Hand, der Hut eine Verlängerung des Kopfhaars. Was ist ein Computer? Die Verlängerung unseres Geistes? Steve Jobs meinte, der Computer sei ein Fahrrad für den Geist. Eine schöne Vorstellung. Wenn man aber schaut, was insbesondere das Mobiltelefon mit uns macht, dann wirkt der zeitgenössische Computer eher wie ein Hamsterrad.

New Site with Responsive Typography

– With the chaos of different screen sizes and a new generation of web browsers, the design paradigms of layout and typography have shifted away from static layouts and system fonts to dynamic layouts and custom web fonts. Screens are changing not just in size, but also in pixel density. Now we need not only responsive layouts, we also need responsive typefaces.

Improving the Digital Reading Experience

– There is a difference between checking Google Maps on your iPhone and asking a stranger for directions. It matters whether you listened to Beethoven’s 9th in a concert hall or in your living room, whether it plays from a vinyl LP or from your iPod. King Lear is not the same experience when seen at the theatre, studied on paper, or scanned on a Kindle.

Salzburg.com – Alle Facetten einer Region

– Oft ist die Weltpolitik relevant für eine Region und manchmal ist die Politik einer Region relevant für die Welt. Bei Regionalzeitungen mit überregionalem Anspruch bewirkt dies zuerst und vor allem ein zünftiges Kuddelmuddel in der Ressortnavigation. Wilde Kategorienmischungen wie bei der WAZ sind keine Seltenheit: "News – Lokales – Politik – Sport". Wo sind denn die lokalen News – und finde ich den Lokalsport nun unter Lokales, Sport, oder an beiden Orten?

“Why Simplicity Creates Great User Experiences” (DRT)

– Interview with William Channer for DRT, focusing on “the importance of keeping interfaces simple, why current websites are complicated and the pitfalls of research and why it's a good starting point to understand user expectations.” This is the unedited transcript of the interview.

iABC

– The idea: Look at the history, shape and sound pattern of each letter, sum it up in 140 characters, and collect a beautiful specimen for each letter.

On Prices and Features

– It's been two weeks since the launch of Writer for Mac and it went off like a rocket. We sold almost 5,000 copies in two weeks. Of course, version 1.0 had some birth defects (1.01 is out now), but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive—with the exception of a few complaints, mostly about the absence of features, and the price.

iA Writer for Mac

– A better tool doesn’t make a better craftsman, but a good tool makes working a pleasure. iA Writer for Mac is a digital writing tool that makes sure that all your concentration goes into the text instead of the program.

Business Class: Freemium for News?

– I had a perspective-changing talk on the subject of pay walls with the chief executive of a big publishing company (no, I can't tell you who). He asked me what I think about pay walls.

Business-Class: Ein Freemium-Modell für Zeitungswebseiten?

– Der Geschäftsleiter eines grösseren Medienunternehmens hat mich kürzlich nach meinem Standpunkt zum Thema Pay Walls, diesen Online-Bezahlschranken gefragt. Worauf ich, wie üblich, mit Schema-F antwortete: Die Grundwährung von News-Websites sei die Aufmerksamkeit und nicht Moneten.

Venn ich nur wüsste, was UX ist

– Ich weiss ganz genau, was wir hier bei iA machen. Der Kollege, den ich vor einem Monat nach langer Zeit wieder einmal traf, der wusste das nicht. Wie er mir erzählte, hatte auch das eingehende Studium unserer Webseite daran nichts geändert.

A Web Designer on Fukushima

– I'm not a nuclear expert. I am a 40-year-old Swiss web designer, with a degree in philosophy, living in Tokyo. And I'm a father of a two-year-old boy. I was nonchalant about nuclear energy so far, but recently, I've read a lot about it; it's hard to understand the discussion.

Die Zeitungs-Applikations-Komplikation – wer zahlt?

– Computer, Smartphone, Tablet-PC, IP-TV, Spiele-Konsole, Navigationsgerät und vielleicht sogar im Display des neuen Backofens. Das Web soll uns ganz wie von Bill Gates vorhergesehen überall Information übermitteln. Ob das wirklich Sinn macht, ist eine andere Frage.

iPad App Sales Numbers: WIRED vs. Writer

– We're tracking the performance of iA Writer with a wonderful app called AppViz from ideaswarm. AppViz not only allows you to track your own sales—you can also use it to evaluate how much other apps make, if you have comparable sales numbers. My first question was: How much does WIRED make?

Form and Information

– Here is the lecture iA's Oliver Reichenstein gave in 2010 at Keio University on creativity, information, and innovation.

Stephen Fry on Writer

– When asked which four iPad apps he couldn't live without Stephen Fry replied: IMDB, Instapaper, Soundhound, and Writer. “Astonishingly simple. Everything goes away except for the writing experience.”

iPad: Scroll or Card?

– How do you navigate content on the iPad? Scroll or flip? In 1987, the biggest neck beards in tech held a conference on the Future of Hypertext and there were two camps, “Card Sharks” and “Holy Scrollers”. They had an epic battle over this question: Should you scroll or flip pages on the screen? Who won the fight?

A. Burroughs on iA Writer

– I wasn’t expecting this. In three weeks, we’ve sold over 13,000 apps and every day we seem to climb up another rung in the App Store. While selling apps makes the product feel real and secures future development, the biggest personal satisfaction comes from the feedback our app gets from professional writers.

Gap: Controlled Brand Demolition? No.

– There has been speculation about whether the Gap redesign was a super-dynamic marketing stunt, or just mere tomfoolery. If you know how plump most big corporations are, the answer to that seems pretty clear (tomfoolery). In the light of the recent run of brand redesign hullaballoos, it’s worth discussing whether scandalous redesigns help brand awareness or hurt brand image.

Can Information be Architected?

– A presentation with the title "iA on IA," held at EuroIA 2010.

Writer for iPad

– “Writer has out-innovated Apple. Writer is actively designed to help you write.” —Fast Company

Can Experience be Designed?

– Do architects design houses or do they design “inhabitant experiences”? The bullshit answer is “They design inhabitant experiences”. The pragmatic answer is: “They design houses”. The cautious answer is: Architects design houses that lead to a spectrum of experiences, some foreseen, some not. But they do not design all possible experiences one can have in a house.

“Web design is engineering” (Jonny Holland)

– Jeron van Geel interviewed Oliver Reichenstein on Jonny Holland. He asked a series of questions about the relationship between Philosophy, Design, Japan and Western culture.

E-Reading: Neue Medien sind mehr als ein Vertriebskanal für alte Inhalte

– «Das Buch wird niemals sterben.» In der englischen Simultan-Übersetzung klingt es fast wie «wir werden immer reiten und brauchen keine Autos». Doch der italienische Redner eines wissenschaftlichen Fachverlags ist sich seiner Sache sicher.

WIRED on iPad: Just like a Paper Tiger…

– First, the paper magazine was crammed into the little iPad frame. In the form of a PNG slide show. To compensate for the lack of interactive logic, this pretty package was provided with a fruity navigation.

Cosmic 140—Art for Geeks

– Our latest Web Trend Map tells the story of Twitter and its 140 most influential Twitter users. Surprisingly, it’s even more popular than Web Trend Map 4.

Cosmic 140 – Per Anhalter durch die Twitter Galaxis

– Hier ist unsere nächste Web Trend Map. In diesem Jahr gibt es keinen Metro-Fahrplan und auch keine Internet-Adressen. Stattdessen zeigen wir die 140 einflussreichsten Twitter User mit #Namen, #Alias, #Kategorie, #Einfluss, #Aktivität sowie wann und was sie zum ersten mal getwittert haben.

«Gibt es die perfekte Webseite?» (Design Made In Germany)

– Interview von Ulrike Daraghma und Pascal Jeschke für Design Made in Germany. DMIG «wollte wissen, ob es die perfekte Webseite gibt, ob Online-Nachrichten-Magazine eine Zukunft haben» und wie wir uns «die Zukunft von Text generell vorstellen.»

Designing for iPad: Reality Check

– Over the last two months we have been working on several iPad projects: two news applications, a social network, and a word processor. We worked on iPad projects without ever having touched an iPad. One client asked us to “start working on that tablet thing” before we even knew whether the iPad was real.

iA’s 2006 Facebook Designs, Redesigned

– From December 2006 to February 2007 we were in touch with the product manager of Facebook. The prospective: Redesigning Facebook. Eventually. Since the contract was never signed, we kept our designs in the drawer. Until now…

Meet C140, Our Next Trend Map

– It’s one year since our last Web Trend Map. A lot has happened, but there are not enough changes in the landscape of domains in the last 12 months to create another domain-based Web Trend Map. The big changes happened one level higher, on the social layer, that is: On Twitter and Facebook.

Reuters, NYT und iA im Gespräch

– Am diesjährigen Media2010 Event in Sydney wurden Marc Frons (CTO, New York Times), Nic Fulton (Thomson Reuters) and Oliver Reichenstein über die Zukunft der Nachrichtenindustrie befragt. Die beiden Hauptfragen lauteten…

API for News? Reuters, NYT & iA Inc.

– Last week at Media2010, Marc Frons (Chief Technology Officer, Digital Operations, New York Times), Nic Fulton (Chief Scientist, Thomson Reuters), and I were asked several questions on the future of news…

Mit einem Blogpost am Rad der Weltgeschichte gedreht

– Am 12. Januar 2010 meldete Google in einem Blogeintrag wie ein Blitz aus heiterem Himmel, dass man eine "neue Herangehensweise" an China ins Auge fasse. Man sei nicht weiter bereit, die Suchresultate der chinesischen Google-Suchmaschine zu zensurieren.

What’s Next in Web Design?

– I’ve been asked by the Italian magazine L’Espresso to write an article on The Future of Web Design. Here is the (longer) English text.

Was bringt 2010?

– 2009 ist sicher in unseren Erinnerungen verstaut, die Nullerjahre sind überstanden – Zeit für einen Ausblick.

Web Trend Map Video Interview

– I sat down with the video team of GaijinPot for a short interview about the Web Trend Map.

Can Experience be Designed?

– First, think of a number between one and ten. Then take a step back and look at the words “User Experience Design” as if you had never seen them.

Kenya Hara On Japanese Aesthetics

– What makes Japanese design so special? Basically, it's a matter of simplicity; a particular notion of simplicity, different from what simplicity means in the West. So are things in general better designed in Japan? Well, actually, it's not that simple…

Tell me again: Who Relaunched Krone.at?

– I got an email the other day from a young entrepreneur that asked whether we send out press releases. The answer is twisted: So far I have refrained from sending out press releases. But that might change…

Der Weg des Projekt-Samurai

– Obwohl ich immer wieder grosse Projekte leite, habe ich nie intensiv über das Handwerk der Projektleitung nachgedacht. Ich sehe aber, dass selbst gestandene Projektleiter immer wieder scheitern.

The Value of Information

– When confronted with the necessity of offering news for free, editors are quick at pointing at the cost involved in news production. Which of course is beside the point. Information on the Internet is as common as snow in the arctic. You can't expect Eskimos to buy a snowman.

Die Schnipsel-Kultur

– Diesem Artikel ging eine schockierende Selbstbeobachtung voraus. Lange habe ich mich geweigert, den 140-Zeichen-Dienst Twitter auch nur aufzurufen, geschweige denn zu – das Wort auszusprechen fällt mir heute noch schwer – twittern.

Die 100-jährige Internetfirma

– Die 100jährige Internetfirma wird ein Pharmakonzern sein, stets auf der Suche nach der nächsten grossen Rezeptur. Oder ein Filmstudio, das 10 Produktionen im Jahr finanziert, um einen Blockbuster zu landen.

Future of Journalism: A Little Bit of Everything Please

– Recently, there has been a quality renaissance in the discussion about the economic future of journalism. While some are still touting the one miracle solution (usually alluding to Google’s business model and success), a lot of ideas have arisen that will probably make up for the economic future of journalism as a whole. Time for a summary.

The Spectrum of User Experience

– Designers are narcissists, programmers are nerds, and whoever wears a tie must be a jerk. Designers, programmers and business people love to hate each other. That's why we keep them separated…

Das Spektrum der Nutzererfahrung

– Eine fertige Website weist zahlreiche Aspekte eines Hauses auf. So lässt sich das Treppenhaus (sagen wir die obere Navigation) oft nicht mehr verschieben, ohne dass die Mieter (sagen wir eine Partnerintegration) gestört werden und das Fundament (sagen wir Drupal oder Typo3) bestimmt die Stabilität und das Entwicklungspotential des Gesamtgebäudes mit.

Web Trend Map 4: Coolest Gift For Geeks

– It hangs in the headquarters of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, WordPress, and Yahoo! Japan. Even the CERN in Geneva has its own copy. The WTM4 poster has caused quite a stir.

Kill Blog Comments?

– Blog comments have an innate communication problem: You can't discuss and moderate the discussion at the same time.

コメントよさらば?

– ブログのコメント機能には、その性質故に不可避のコミュニケーション上の問題がひとつあります。議論に参加しながら同時にモデレータ(つまり、進行/管理役)の役割を果たすことが出来ないという問題です。

Wir Trödler

– Der wichtigste Antrieb, sich für ein soziales Netzwerk wie Facebook anzumelden, ist das Bedürfnis, Leute auszuspionieren, die man nicht physisch trifft.

Social Media Marketing? Kaboom, Baby!

– "Social media marketing" is bullshit. If that upsets you, don't read the following text.

New and Dirty: Tweet Blogging

– We all waste too much time reading (and writing!) boring text. Here is one solution to the problem.

Twitterブロギングのすすめ

– 私たちは、つまらないテキストを読むことに(そして書くことにも!)時間を浪費しすぎています。そして、そんな私たちの問題を解決してくれるものを今回はご紹介したいと思います。

Web Trend Map 4: Preview

– While the first map was hacked together in an afternoon, the second took a week, and the third devoured a month of concentrated work, the fourth Web Trend Map (due in February) has already taken more time in preparation than all previous versions combined.

Web Trend Map 4 : 予告編

– 第1弾は半日、そして第2弾は1週間、第3弾に至ってはかかり切りで1ヶ月という製作期間を記録して来たWeb Trend Mapですが、今回の第4弾(2月リリース予定)につきましてはすでに前3作の総作業時間をも超過する大仕事になっております。

Web Trend Map 4: Die Online-Trends 2009

– In einem Nachmittag zusammengeflickt war die erste Web Trend Map, die zweite kostete uns eine Woche und die dritte verschlang bereits einen ganzen Arbeitsmonat. Die Web Trend Map Nummer 4, erscheinen soll sie im Februar 2009, hat bereits jetzt mehr Vorbereitungszeit in Anspruch genommen als alle ihre Vorgängerinnen zusammen.

webapp的死闘:Google vs Apple

– ウェブサイトが機能的にも審美的にもますますウェブアプリケーション的性質を帯びてきている昨今ですが、本日はウェブアプリケーションをスキニングの観点より分析していきたいと考えています。まずは手始めに、HTMLスキン対デスクトップアプリケーション・スキンという二つのアプローチの比較をしてみましょう。言い換えれば、Google対Appleです。

デジタル・バロック時代の到来

– 多くの方よりご質問をいただきましたので回答させていただきますが、みなさまのおっしゃる通り、ものを書くのをやめたわけではございません。書籍の方も、未だ作業中です。また、ブログも続けておりますが、こちらは書籍としては出版しないことにいたしました。何かを書く度に森林破壊に加担しているような気分になるのは、私の執筆生活における精神衛生上、望ましくないと考えるようになったためです。

Japanisch für Anfänger: Too Mutchi

– Das Internet ist reich an Text und arm an Qualität. Drei japanische Tricks, um Zeit und Nerven zu sparen.

The Age of Digital Baroque

– After all, blogging is over now, isn't it? Very probably so.

Webapp Death Match: Google vs. Apple

– With websites turning more and more into web applications, functionally as well as aesthetically, it'd be interesting to look at what makes a Web app work in terms of skinning. We start off by comparing two different approaches: HTML-skin vs. desktop-application-skin. In other words, Google versus Apple.

キモ男子の逆転勝利とプレスリー

– 噂の14歳のビデオ・ブロガー、フレッド君のファンが4,500万近くに到達したそうです。しかしながら、セス・ゴディン氏やロバート・スコーブル氏はこの成功の秘訣を探るどころか、彼の偉業にずいぶんと冷たい反応です。エルヴィスがかつてなんと言ったか、彼らは忘れてしまったのでしょうか。ねぇ、エルヴィス。

Elvis and the Opposite

– A 14-year old video blogger named Fred somehow managed to get a fan base of almost 45 Million users. Now instead of asking how that's possible, Seth Godin and Robert Scoble trivialize his success. Did they forget what Elvis said?

iA、スイスに第2の拠点開設

– この度、今まで皆さまにお伝えしたくても出来ずウズウズしていた重大ニュースを、ここに発表させていただける運びとなりました。ひとつめは、特大プロジェクトの完了の件、二つ目はチューリヒに第2の拠点開設のご報告です。

iA eröffnet Schweizer Niederlassung

– "Kuck mal, da versteht jemand etwas vom Internet", war unser erster Gedanke, als wir vor etwas mehr als eineinhalb Jahren die Web Trend Map von Information Architects Tokyo entdeckt haben.

iA Opens Second Office in Switzerland

– We had to be unusually secretive about the following developments. But now, we can finally lift the curtain. First, the big news project is finished. Second, we have opened a second office in Zürich, Switzerland.

Anonyme Kommentare

– Japanisch für Anfänger oder was von anonymen Blogkommentatoren zu halten ist.

Innovation oder Investition?

– «Dieses Internet wird sicher irgendwann wieder verschwinden» hat mancher Verlagsmanager noch bis vor kurzem gehofft – bevor er sich gerade noch rechtzeitig in den Ruhestand retten konnte.

Gebt den Sauriern Saures

– Die Rezession ist das Beste, was uns passieren kann. Uns Lesern. Uns Konsumenten. Uns neuen Medienmachern.

Datenschlachtplatte

– Der verlinkte Bürger hätte heute die Möglichkeit, zum Datengourmet zu werden. Das Angebot besteht. Alles, was man tun muss, ist reduzieren.

情報美食家

– IT革命は私たちの生活に自由と豊かさを与えるべく期待されていました。自由。プロパガンダからの自由、無意味なTV放送からの自由、過剰宣伝からの自由。そして豊かさとは、単調な仕事は機械にまかせ、生活に時間のゆとりという豊かさ。さて、それで、実際のところはどうだったのでしょうか。

Data Gourmet

– The IT-Revolution promised to free and enrich us. To free us from propaganda, to free us from mindless TV, to free us from advertisement torture, and to enrich us by letting machines do all the boring work so we'd have more free time. So, how did it go?

ナダレにノッて

– 今、景気はこれから後退すると言われていますが、これは、私たちにとっては、もっとも好ましいシナリオです。私たち-つまり私たち読む側(リーダー)にとって、私たち消費者にとって、そして、新しいメディア・メーカーとしての私たちにとって。

Surfing the Avalanche

– The supposed recession is the best thing that could happen to us readers, consumers, new media makers. Avalanche, take us with you!

Web Trend Map V3

– Das ultimative Tool für Internetfreaks, die Web Trend Map 2008, ist nun als A0-Poster erhältlich.

2008年度版 Web Trend Map

– 2008年度版 Web Trend Map がとうとうリリースとなりました。おかげ様ですでに、The Guardian, WIRED, Le Monde, Corriere, kottke, Boingboing, Techcrunch, Mashable, Valleywag、そして数え切れないくらい多くの方のブログで取り上げていただいております。

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– 匿名読者の皆さま。私たちに対してご批判があるのでしたら、どうぞおっしゃってください。ゲストとして、きちんとお迎えいたします。でも、ゲストなら、ゲストらしい振る舞いをお願いいたします。

Use Your Real Name When You Comment

– Dear anonymous reader, if you intend to be critical: Be our guest. But if you're our guest, act like a guest.

Web Trend Map 3

– We are happy to announce that the coolest gift for geeks, the A0 poster of the 2008 Web Trend Map, as featured by The Guardian, WIRED, Le Monde, Corriere, kottke, Boingboing, Techcrunch, Mashable, Valleywag and literally thousands of blogs.

Web Trend Map 2008 ベータ版

– ここに、ついに2008年度版Web Trend Mapを披露させていただけるときがやってまいりました。私たち渾身の、栄光のベータ版です。今回は300件近い有名な、または影響力の大きなサイトをピックアップし、東京首都圏路線図に配置してみました。そして、前回より多くの方のご要望をいただき、ポスターのサイズもA3からA0へと大きくしました。ご自宅や、オフィスのワンポイントに、自信を持っておすすめさせていただきます。

Web Trend Map 2008 Beta

– We present you with the 2008 Web Trend Map, in all its beautiful beta glory. This time we’ve taken almost 300 of the most influential and successful websites and pinned them down to the greater Tokyo-area train map.

Web Trend Map 2008: New Layers

– Those familiar with the new Swiss train station maps may recognize one source of inspiration. We’ve adopted some concepts from our good friend Adrian Schaffner’s work on mapping Swiss train stations.

2008年度版 Trend Map: What’s New

– 今回のmapは首都圏路線図をベースに作成し、また新しいレイヤーを2段追加しました。

Trend Map 2008: What’s New?

– We’ve redesigned the Web Trend Map from scratch. It’s now presented as an isometric landscape.

2008年世界IT業界予測

– 今回の予測が2007年予測くらい実現したアカツキには、来年は有料サービスにしようかと思っています。2008年は7件の予測をお届けします。

Predictions for 2008

– This year we have seven predictions. If they are as accurate as last year’s, we should make this a paid service.

2007年を振り返って

– 1年前、私たちは2007年をこう予測しました。現実の2007年と見比べながら、ちょっと振り返ってみたいとおもいます。

Looking Back on 2007

– Here’s what we said was going to happen in 2007 one year ago, compared to what really happened…

This is madness! No, This is Radiohead

– The release of music for free online is certainly no new thing, with many bands finding success through file-sharing. That fill-sharing kills the record industry is also nothing new, however Radiohead recently made it official by showing that it's possible the make and reach millions without either.

Branding Crimes: 4. The Start-Button

– We have hated this thing for over 12 years now—the button that launches a pull-up menu. Only the twisted minds over at Redmond could come up with this. Yeah, I know it's not a real "Start" button anymore, with Vista it's become more of a clickable logo like the Macintosh one. But, after all this time, it is still a push-up menu. And that is another major branding crime. Why?

Branding Crimes: 2. Stealing Interfaces

– A wonderful example of what not to do if you believe that Brand = Interface. Copying interfaces defines you as a second choice company.

Branding Crimes: 1. Missing Logo

– The Interface is the brand—but few interfaces qualify to leave out the main orientational element—the logo.

Face Off: The Essentials of Online Rebranding

– A company may choose to rebrand itself because of a merger, a bankrupting scandal, or because they simply have outgrown their name. These are solid reasons; however, on the web, rebranding should be considered with the caution of a face transplant.

Web Trend Map 2007 Version 2.0

– We have done it before, and now we’ve done it again—the poster of most successful websites, mapped to the Tokyo Subway, is back!

A Word on Design Value

– The other day we got a telephone call from a business man that planned to "exponentially increase" his Internet performance. His budget? $1,000.

Newspaper Wiki: Schematics

– The last couple of days we have received some excellent feedback on our article “Washington Post Redesign as a Wiki”. First of all, thank you to everyone who took the time to study our problem and form an opinion. To be able to receive input from the best people in the field is rare and rewarding. We got lots of applause, together with some questions and reservations.

wiki型新聞再構築(Washington Postデザイン考察)

– 前回の記事には多くの反響をいただきました。特に、どゆこと?という詳細へのご要望が多かったのが

Washington Post Redesign as a Wiki

– After our last post on “The Future of News” we have been asked again and again to illustrate what a newspaper as a wiki would look like. We’re happy to oblige…

Web Ad Spend Overtakes Newspapers

– Earlier this year we speculated that in 2007 "Big ad investments start streaming in". Our prognosis was heavily understated.

The Future of News: How to Survive the New Media Shift

– News organizations cannot continue to ignore the global shift from institutionally-controlled media to user-controlled media. They have to redefine their processes and face the obvious question: Do we still need old media for news?

10 Newspaper Myths Deconstructed

– The San Francisco Chronicle is in financial trouble. InfoWorld stops printing. Time Magazine redesigns its print edition and fires 50 people. Quo vadis, newspapers?

Understanding New Media

– You often hear people saying that other people understand or don't understand the media. Funny enough that the appreciative "he/she understands the media" is applied to success in old media, while "he/she does not understand the media" is applied to old media people fumbling with the Internet.

USA Today: Mission Accomplished

– When I read this morning that USA Today "refashions itself as a social network", I got a little shock as I was worried that they are going to eat our client's lunch. Fear nothing, client. Among information designers the USA Today redesign is a laughing stock.

Pushers and Spammers Should Pay

– The amount of spam and flooding blogs and mailboxes is getting worse and worse and worse. How should we stop it?

How to Compete With Free

– You should read Mike's latest article several times. Not because it's hard to understand, but because it's amazing stuff. Read it again and again and then read through a whole series of his related articles.

Tirekickers & Co. Ltd.

– Yes, we still get requests from people that want us to work for free or deliver comps and sketches “just to see”. And we did some work for tire kickers in the past and once got really screwed by a couple of con-men. So actually we do have some advice for young creative companies and students that work in our field.

Web Trend Map: Reactions

– What started as a fun new years card made quite a few waves. The Web Trend Map’s reception so far…

iPhone NanoとiPhone Shuffle

– そして再び、Appleが私たちの信条としているセオリー「ブランド=インターフェイス」を証明してくれました。言うまでもなく、私はこの小さなミラクルとでも呼ぶべきiPhone、発売と同時に手に入れたいと思っています。

Introducing iPhone Nano & Shuffle

– Apple's iPhone proves again that user experience is brand experience. But I'm still unsure if I really want one; they're kind of too big and too complicated for an old man like me.

Web Trend Map 2007

– As a Christmas and New Year’s present to our clients and readers we have created three fun Internet overviews.

Internet 2007 Predictions

– After looking closer at what made the web in 2006, it is time for some bold predictions.

Technorati: Big Business with Bogus Data

– Since the PR giant Edelman and Technorati are working together they are both trying to become an industry reference for statistics on the blogosphere. The question is how reliable is Technorati’s data?

Partner in Astroturfing: Boycott Technorati?

– We all had a bad feeling about this right from the start. Why is the blog watch-and-search engine Technorati bonding with the No.1 PR giant Edelman? Can we trust them?

Web 3.0: You Say You’re on a Revolution?

– Web 1.0 started as a streaming publish-to-read medium; web 2.0 has established itself as a publishing platform for everyone. Now web 3.0 is said to be a technologically advanced Internet, where the user executes and the machines do the thinking.

Good Books Want to be Re-read

– Good books are good people: Books are people speaking with signs. Meeting cool people several times is nice.

Build a Plane and Fly to Sicily

– Since Mondays are typically low energy days, I’d like to share this story with, to reassure you: If you have a strong vision—no one can stop you.

電脳紳士

– ユーザーフレンドリー(user friendly)でないサイトは、オーナーのマナーのなさを暴露するものです。専門家の方々は、このユーザーフレンドリーという単語を乱用しすぎて、元来「フレンドリー」という言葉が道徳用語だということを忘れてしまったのではないでしょうか。

The Electronic Gentleman

– If you have a website that is not user friendly, you have an unfriendly website which basically means that you lack manners. The specialists use that word (“user friendly”) so often that they forget that “friendly” actually is an ethical term.

100% Easy-2-Read

– この世にあふれるウェブサイトの多くは、読むのが苦痛なくらい細かいテキストをびっしり詰め込んでいます。どうしてなのでしょう?スクリーンに、そんなに情報をぎゅうぎゅうと詰め込む必要はありません。これは、スクリーンが今よりずっと小さかった時代に遡る、悪しき慣習的集団勘違いです。ですから、

The 100% Easy-2-Read Standard

– Using 10 pixel Verdana made sense in a time when screens were 640 pixels wide. Today it is a mistake.

その違いは:日本でのApple広告

– 先週の日曜から、「はじめまして、パソコンです…はじめまして、マックです…」というTVCMが始まりました。そして、驚くべきことにこの日本版CM、海外オリジナル版と異なっているのです。マック役の男性も、そんなにイケメンではないし、PC役の男性は、「サラリーマン」です。オリジナルほど、分かりやすく、露骨な宣伝ではなくなってしまいました。日本では、どうやら控えめにいかなければならないようです。

Read Different: Apple Ads in Japan

– Last Sunday, they started airing the "Hello, I'm a Mac… and I'm a PC" ads here in Japan. And here's a surprise: they're different. The Mac guy isn't particularly cool and the PC guy is a real "salary man" type. The ads aren't as obvious as the Western originals.

New Athens

– When people ask me about my background, they're confused. I studied philosophy. How come I do web design? In short: The old Greeks brought me here. What can Internet workers learn from the old Greeks?

95%タイポグラフィ説ーその後

– コメントの嵐、多くのブログでのお褒めの言葉、ちょっと恐れ多いような方々からもご意見をいただき、またフォーラムでのディスカッション、中国語やイタリア語への翻訳など、ほんとうに色々と皆様に反響をいただきました。一つ一つにお答えすることが難しいので、いただいたご質問、反論などから多かったものについてこちらで少し追記させていただきたいと考えています。この作業によって、結果的に自分でも色々と整理出来た気がします。

Reactions to 95% Typography

– An avalanche of comments, hundreds of applauding blog entries, honorable mentions from cooler and more sublime and hotter and higher places, forum discussions, translations in Chinese and partially in Italian and even blunt plagiarism was incited by one of my recent notes.

Jakob Nielsen, Time Machine?

– In 2001, usability guru Jakob Nielsen—according to USA Today “the next best thing to a true time machine”—was convinced that by 2007 books would be gone and “fully replaced with online information”. Was he being serious?

Coca-Cola and The Matrix

– Brands make us associate positive values and positive experiences with the products they mark. Brand values are defined by the senior management in the “Brand Matrix”. Coca-Cola recently changed their brand matrix. Are we soon going to associate other things with Coca-Cola?

The Interface of a Cheeseburger

– All things have an interface. Shaping interfaces is shaping the character of things. The brand is what transports the character of things. When looking at McDonald’s, iPod, or Nintendo DS it becomes quite obvious that the interface *is* the brand.

チーズバーガーのインターフェイス

– すべてのものにはインターフェイスがあります。インターフェイスを形作ることは、そのもののキャラクターを形作ることです。ブランドとは、そのキャラクターを世に伝えるものです。マクドナルド、iPodや任天堂DSを見ていればインターフェイスこそがブランドであることが分かるでしょう。

ウェブデザインの95%はタイポグラフィ

– ウェブ上の情報の95%は文字になった言葉です。ですから、ウェブデザイナーになる人間は言葉や文章の体裁について、つまりタイポグラフィについてきちんと訓練を受けていることが必要である、というのは理にかなった主張だと考えています。

Web Design is 95% Typography

– 95% of the information on the web is written language. It is only logical to say that a web designer should get good training in the main discipline of shaping written information, in other words: Typography.

Design is How it Works

– “Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

CI and CSS

– Corporate design manuals, CSS, information architecture and object oriented programming follow the same principle. They are modular.

どうしてシンプルは難しいのか

– シンプルなウェブサイトは使いやすく、分かりやすく、そして読みやすいものです。しかし実際には、使えないか、醜くて、そして一般的に難しい単語がびっしり詰まったようなものを多く見かけます。どうして、デザイナーたちは、シンプルな仕事をすることにこんなに苦心するのでしょう。

Why is Simplicity Difficult?

– Simple websites are easy to use, easy to understand, nice to look at. In practice, websites are either unusable or ugly and filled with too many words. Why do designers have a hard time to keep it simple?

Internet Consulting?

– The Internet business took a hard hit around 2000 after the tech bubble burst. To call yourself an “Internet agency” or even an “Internet startup” was considered nothing less than masochistic. That is when most Internet companies started to get into “consulting“ and “branding” and “marketing”.

Usability News: The F-Pattern

– Since I’ve started developing websites I’ve been looking for the ideal layout. Today I got another hint on the direction to take. Jacob Nielsen calls it the “F-Pattern”.

Internet Users Visit Only 6 Websites

– We now have over 75 million websites we can go to, but still we only visit six of them regularly, as we just learned from a study recently made public by Directgov. Their findings make us think of a new phase of the Internet.

ユーザビリティとブランディング

– 企業のウェブサイトというのは往々にして顧客との最初の、そして緊密な接点となるものです。その点で、ユーザビリティとオンライン・ブランディングはどのビジネスにも重要です。しかしながらウェブデザインとユーザビリティはしばしば矛盾するのです。今回は、私たちがどのようにその矛盾を解決しているのかをご紹介したいと思います。

Usability and Branding

– Your website is more important for your company and its brand portfolio than your business card, your brochures, the products you sell, your packaging, the address and the building your company resides in.

Usable Interface Design

– As an information designer the interfaces we currently work on—no matter whether Apple or Windows—bother me. Yes, OS X looks a lot better than its predecessors, and Windows’ upcoming rip off of OS X looks better than the previous rip off.

The Right-Side Column: Just Noise?

– If it is your side column on your website you want it. But does your user read—or even: see—it? You might argue that the side column is standard. So we do need it. Do we?

Do We Really Need a Site Navigation?

– Whoever performed any usability tests knows that users look at the content straight away. Users first look the pictures, then at the titles, then at the text. Navigation often gets completely ignored. In my seven years of conceiving websites and monitoring usability tests I am tempted to say that navigation is useless.

How Important is Design on the Web?

– Internet users can give websites a thumbs up or thumbs down in less than the blink of an eye, according to recently published study report. Nature.com and Wired recently reported on the fact that we pass judgement on a website in less than a second. This sounds like good news for web designers. Is it?

Startup in Japan (2): Find an Accountant

– I needed an accountant for my new company and so I checked out a couple of websites and made a couple of appointments. And if you think accountants are boring, you are so very wrong.

日本で起業するということ(1)基本

– もちろん、日本語が使いこなせるかは、日本でビジネスを行う上でキーになります。しかし、あなたの日本語がパーフェクトでない限り、日本人と仕事をしようなんて、考えてはいけません。やっていきたければ、日本人のスタッフを雇うべきです。そして、そういった環境を整える準備ができるまでは、ガイジン市場に固執してください。小さいけれど、大変にフレンドリーな市場です。自信を持って出せるものさえあれば。

Startup in Japan (1): The Basics

– Setting up a company in Japan as a foreigner isn’t as difficult as you might guess. Of course, it helped that I knew some things about Japan, and starting off—before I started off.

What is an Idea, and How Much is it Worth?

– An idea is not some pink cloud that looks like a bunny. The Greek word "Eidos" originally meant "form, shape", and that is what a real idea is.