Cinemagraphs continue to mature

This medium continues to mature. Meet the “Echograph”, a new iPad-only app targeting professional & “prosumers” who want to make cinemagraphs. I also like this a lot because it’s another step closer to using technology to tell a better story instead of just being a new medium.

Echograph App Lets Pros Make Art With Animated GIFs


If apps like Flixel are trying to be the Instagram of animated GIFs, Echograph is more like Photoshop Elements. It’s pitched as a creative tool, not a social network or a digital-hipster fad. That’s why it’s designed for the iPad, which can display higher-resolution imagery and offer users enough screen space to subtly finesse the details of their animated compositions.

Why not just a full-on desktop app like Photoshop?

“Two main ingredients would be missing from a desktop app,” says Alt. “The first is immediacy while working in the field. The ability to test an idea and have an opportunity to reshoot allows for built-in course correction to make a better Echograph while you’re in the moment. Second, the physical act of creating an Echograph is inherently tactile when using the iPad.

It’s $3.99 on iTunes.

– Randall Noval


going further

This is meant to be an inspirational post and is about taking your craft and trying to do it better. This is also not safe for mobile (NSFM) as it has lots of images. The animal theme is accidental, but I liked how it fit.
Have you ever had a client ask you to go further with an idea?
Have you ever struggled to take a small idea and make it “bigger” without a clear way to do that?
The simple solution just may be to keep doing the same thing, only more of it. Take your idea as far as you can take it. Then take that and keep going. The boundaries you hit may not be real boundaries but instead just a resting place before you climb your next hill.
Does this story resonate? Let’s say you were tasked with creating some art with finger-paint for a client. On your first attempt you get this:
Sure, it’s pretty, has lots of colors, but the client wants more structure, so you come back with this:

The client likes it but wants more detail, so, after some hard work and exploration, you come up with this:
Which was WAY realistic except that now the client wants something less real and more abstract, so you think hard and draw this:
And now the client thinks it’s too busy, too much stuff going on. So, frustrated and upset, you go back to basics. Black paint on white paper. But instead of adding in things, you just keep going. Your first attempts don’t take you anywhere interesting:
But you have faith in your abilities, you take a breath and get back up and keep going:
And going:
And finally get to somewhere you could not have gotten to otherwise.
And that place is somewhere incredible, valuable and special. Not everyone can get there because it’s hard and because lots of people confuse frustration and breathing with failure and stopping. Frustration is good, it’s a birthplace of creativity (ask me for some other example
s). Breathing and faith allow you to persevere and keep going further.
Sometimes we need to get back to basics, remove the feature creep and go further with a simple, core idea. We can look at the struggles we face when trying to make an idea bigger as a good thing. We’re going further than most to get to a place most people never can.
Incredible Finger Paintings by Judith Braun
– Randall Noval

Philips "invents" a new "augmented reality" "technology"

It was a difficult problem, how do you sell facial hair grooming products to clean-shaven men who don’t like any facial hair? I’m actually going to suggest skipping the article and just watching the 2 min video. Very smart!

Philips Promotes Shaving Products With Hilarious ‘AR’ Campaign

– Randall Noval

The Worst Meatball Sandwich

Here’s a little fun to start your week off right. This restaurant (JoeDough) in the east village had a bad review on Yelp and decided to have a little fun with it. I didn’t take the picture, but I if I were walking by there, I’d probably at least step in and take a look. I like that they kept the comment context and tried to put a spin on it the put them in a positive light.

Everyone loves a really bad meatball sandwich!


– Randall Noval

Is 70 degrees just annoying enough?

Potentially, 70 degrees is an important number when it comes to laptop screens. Apple places screens at exactly 70 degrees every morning so that people will come in and adjust them. This gets people to touch the product and Apple wants people to see the display and experiment with apps and web sites. This is another aspect of how people engage with brands that we can steal from a brand that does it very well.

Below are two related articles that I highly recommend reading (watch the video too). How can we turn our digital interactions into multi-sensory experiences? Maybe building in a barcode reader to a website that uses a webcam to scan product barcodes and give an enhanced experience. Maybe treating interactions on a website as a conversation with a start, middle and end instead of just consumption like a book. With that, we can close a conversation and invite users to come back for another experience / interaction. These are not the greatest examples, but I hope they inspire some additional thought on how brands can interact with people and provide value beyond just the sale of a product.

How Apple Store Seduces You With the Tilt of Its Laptops

Multisensory experiences build a sense of ownership.

Our brains love multisensory experiences. The more you engage your customers’ senses, the more likely it is that they will engage with your product on an emotional level and reward you with their loyalty…

Apple Store’s Secret Sauce: 5 Steps of Service

Think of APPLE as an acronym. Each letter corresponds to a step.

  • Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome…
  • Probe politely to understand all the customer’s needs…
  • Present a solution for the customer to take home today. Apple likes to remind its store employees that they are not in the business of selling computers. They are in the business of “enriching lives.”…
  • Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns…
  • End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return…

Customers will reward you with their wallet and their loyalty if you make them feel appreciated, confident, and happy…

– Randall Noval