Jim Yurchenco & other things this week

2 minutes estimated reading time

Before IDEO was better known for corporate workshops and collaborative sessions; it did really good product design. This great interview / video by IDEO of veteran mechanical engineer and industrial designer Jim Yurchenco. Yurchenco is a throwback to when IDEO designed things.

Yurchenco worked on the design of the original Apple mouse, in the video he discusses his approach to design. It is also great to see him actually using real tools, rather than just tapping away at a work station. Yurchenco was retiring last week and leaves IDEO with some 80 patents to his name. Alongside the original Apple mouse Yurchenco also worked on the Palm V, in his own words:

That was a really important product for us, and the industry, Yurchenco says. “It was one of the first cases where the physical design—the feel and touch points—were considered to be as important as the performance

You can read more on Yurchenco’s work here. I worked on the marketing of the Palm V and Vx. The exterior of the devices set the standard for the smartphones we got a decade later. The problem with the V and Vx is that they were held together with hot glue. Yurchenco made an object of beauty, but one that was very difficult to repair.

The PDA launched with a lithium ion rechargeable battery around about the time that the Ericsson T28 came on the market. The T28 was the first phone with a lithium ion battery. This allowed Ericsson to make a really small clamshell phone. The Yurchenco design completely encapsulated the battery, rather like the first iPhone years later.

Subtraction.com did a great job of collating the user interface (UI) designs done by Territory Studios for Guardians Of The Galaxy.

In the same way that Star Trek, Ghost In The Shell and Star Wars have influenced engineers, who is to say that Territory’s work won’t be the creative DNA of new interfaces in the future?

In the earlier days of the web, interactive content had a distinctly trippy feel, from site design to ‘Mind’s Eye’ videos and The Shamen’s generative screen saver.  Japanese group BRDG (Bridge) have gone back to that psychedelic feel with this brilliant discordant video:

Twitter cards are something that is interesting me at work at the moment and I was particularly taken by this interactive one from Acura – the upmarket brand of Honda.

Pizza Hut Japan, have managed come up with marketing gold by creating an interactive YouTube series based around the grand opening of a pizza restaurant run by cats. Japan is obsessed with cats, which explains the prominence of felines. I am just surprised that Jonathan Hopkins and Nando’s hadn’t done it much earlier…