Wednesday, September 19, 2007

frogdesigner's Take on the iPhone

Robert Fabricant is the Executive Creative Director of frog design in New York City. I am a huge fan of frog design's work for Apple, which I think identified and defined frog design as a serious design firm and consultancy, and I think frog design continues to have motivating influence upon the design world. Frog design stepped in and worked with Apple to design the Mac II and Mac SE, and stuck around to design and define the Quadra line as well.

I particularly like how frog design's web site includes case studies, in which the designers identify a challenge. A challenge is an issue that the client identified in an existing product like Yahoo's redesign of Yahoo! Messenger for Vista or the introduction of a new campaign like General Electric's Picture a Healthy World Campaign. The designers then discuss the process that they went through to complete the project. Finally, the result of the project is included. Transparency is important to clients, and the process allows for mutual definition of a product or brand.

In this blog entry (why am I blogging blogs?..) Robert Fabricant discusses the technologies that have existed for a while, in the R & D labs and out in the open, that informed the iPhone. Some of the technologies were incorporated, such as web browsing, while other paradigms and uses of a mobile information device were overlooked, like SMS or an individual-based browsing interface: imagine a communication device arranged around your contacts rather than applications. The RSS abilities of iPhone 1.0 are overlooked as well, according to Mr. Fabricant. However, the iPhone is easily updated via iTunes, as Mr. Fabricant notes, and Apple seems committed for now to arranging its device interaction (think Apple TV, iPod(s), and iPhone paring with a Mac or PC) through iTunes as Apple repositions itself as an entertainment corportation as media and Web 2.0 meld.

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