Category Archives: Developing

ANZ: #HoldTight

In the lead up to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Auckland Pride Festival, ANZ bank have released a campaign specifically focusing on LGBTQI couples and their reluctance to hold hands in public. Agencies TBWA Melbourne and TBWA Auckland aimed to highlight this problem and encourage people across New Zealand and Australia, and beyond, to show their support.
The campaign is based on research commissioned by ANZ which discovered that members of the LGBTIQ community were three times more likely (39%) to feel uncomfortable holding hands in public. In Australia, they are more than twice as likely (52%) than non-LGBTI (14%) to have felt uncomfortable performing the most basic gesture of love: holding hands in public. Also, while the vast majority of New Zealanders (95%) agree that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should feel comfortable holding hands in public, less than half of the LGBTI community (39%) truly feel comfortable doing so. Similarly, in Australia, 94% of people support everyone feeling comfortable with this show of affection, but only (43%) actually say they feel very comfortable. What a sad reality, and something we all definitely take for granted.

As part of a broader social campaign, in collaboration with Twitter, a custom emoji was developed alongside the hashtag #HoldTight. The campaign launched the ad (above) accompanied by stories told by ANZ staff:

Additionally, they also developed a limited edition custom wristband (featuring the same heart-shaped emoji hands), which will light up when people hold hands. The wristbands will be worn by attendees at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Auckland Pride Festival:

ht_website_22028129

Carolyn Bendall, head of marketing at ANZ said:

ANZ is using #HoldTight as a platform to share an important message about diversity, inclusion and respect and to help people understand the challenges that many members of the LGBTIQ community face. We hope to make a difference by encouraging the wider public to join in the conversation and show their support.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spotlight: Fyn Ng

In a world where flat colour and long shadows are the go-to design trends, motion designer Fyn Ng has turned design on its head. Playing with 2D UI, Fyn has created stunning 3D versions of everyday technology.
Fyn mixes texture, nature and everyday objects to create surreal 3D narratives using brands like Google, Facebook and Apple.

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-12-32-13

Looking on his portfolio, I actually prefer his daily 3D renders, weekly series project over his professional work. What a great collection of downtime work! Check out his Instagram for more.

ui2_0-00-00-00_1000

ui1-0-00-00-00_1000

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Instagram vs. Snapchat vs. Facebook

Back in late 2016 Facebook launched augmented reality selfie masks for Live video – much like the already very popular Snapchat filters. Facebook acquired MSQRD in March 2016, and briefly tested using a similar technology with Olympic-themed masks for traditional photos and videos (only in Canada and Brazil).
I’ve never actually gone Live on Facebook, so I can’t say I’ve tried this feature myself, but I am a huge Snapchat user, and a big fan of the filters. Facebook is now apparently communicating with Hollywood studios to use the animated masks to promote big-budget movies on Facebook. As mentioned above, Facebook already allows filters over the Live videos, but unlike Snapchat brands have not been allowed to feature their own filters.

facebook-live-masks

Snapchat popularised augmented reality in mobile messaging back in the day – they are the OGs of mask filters – and have had a tone of brands using their service to promote their brand or campaign. The difference between Snapchat and Facebook (and Instagram) is that Facebook and Instagram reach far bigger audiences, whereas Snapchat is seen as a platform for friends.
This isn’t the only feature Facebook has “stolen” from Snapchat – Facebook previously put a Stories section on Instagram, and are currently testing a similar section in its Facebook app. Facebook’s Stories include augmented reality special effects, but that test is currently only limited to Ireland.

Its been stated that marketers and brands prefer the stories feature on Instagram, because Snapchat doesn’t embrace brands the way Instagram does. Instagram makes it easy to follow brands and like their posts – there’s no ‘like’ features on Snapchat, and it’s harder to follow accounts because users have to know exact names to find them (something I find very annoying…). Instagram’s search UI is far superior, in my opinion.
Dan Grossman, vice president of platform partnerships at VaynerMedia summed up the difference pretty well:

Instagram is a follower platform where Snapchat is more of a best friend platform. Snapchat hasn’t encouraged brands to build up huge followings.

As a Snapchat fan, when Instagram first rolled out the Stories feature, I was very hesitant. Now, I actually forget to use Snapchat and usually head for Instagram Stories to post my daily activities. The amount of money Facebook are putting into these new app features are, in my opinion, going to destroy Snapchat. Why would I use 2 platforms that do the same thing, when I can just use one? It’s likely that Facebook and Instagram will link their publishing of stories at some point.

(P.S. that is not me in the header image)
(P.P.S I’ve never written “Facebook” so many times in my life)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Standing “O”

Creative agency Deep Focus created a micro-site to say thank you to our favourite president, Obama. The site The Standing “O” contains user-submitted GIFs of people giving Obama a standing ovation, creating a mosaic of Obama himself.

As President Obama’s time in office comes to an end, we wanted to send him off properly – by bringing the world together for one last standing ovation. Join us in #TheStandingO.

deepfocusnowthisgiphy_thestandingo17

The micro-site allows users to submit a GIF, zoom in to the mosaic and select individual gifs to view. Deep Focus partnered with Giphy and NowThis to collect the GIFs, or videos (that were then turned into GIFs by the agency’s team) of people applauding Obama, which were then moderated to make sure they were not offensive. Algorithms placed the GIFs in the photo of Obama based on colour schemes to create the wonderful tribute wall to the 44th President.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

AKQA: The Snow Fox

Creative agency AKQA have created this children’s digital storybook for Christmas, transforming the traditional bedtime story of flicking through the pages into a beautifully designed app.

screen696x696

Inspired by the winter tradition of stories by the fire, The Snow Fox puts the magic of storytelling into the hands of children like never before, giving them the power to bring each page to life in their own personalised story.

Not only is the app’s aesthetic beautiful, the added detail such as personalisation (name and gender of the child) and recordings of the child’s voice for a rendered video at the end is the perfect addition to this digital book.
I love the illustration style and colour palette, which seems to be a rare find in companies and brands who randomly roll out apps and games (not naming any names, Channel4’s ‘Gogglebox’ game, wtf) with little consideration regarding the design.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Women’s Refuge: The Shielded Site

Horrifyingly, New Zealand has the worst rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the developed world, so Saatchi&Saatchi (New Zealand) teamed up with the Women’s Refuge to help tackle this problem.
Dr Ang Jury (Women’s Refuge Chief Executive) says:

We’ve noticed an increasingly disturbing trend of perpetrators using smartphones, software and apps to track and stalk women, during and after the relationship has ended. The very tools we hope would assist a woman in seeking help are being used to abuse, and we needed to do something about that.

The solution involves an anonymous website that protects women from from those who may check their browser history. The website appears as a widget on websites (currently only The Warehouse’) and allows users to access help. 1 in 3 partnered women in New Zealand reported domestic abuse, and other findings include:

  • 64% of women suffer from psychological abuse,
  • 49% physical abuse,
  • 23% financial abuse,
  • 21% harassment and stalking,
  • 12% sexual abuse,
  • 11% abuse with weapons,
  • 24% of cases included a child witnessing or hearing it happening
  • Family violence rates spike dramatically in NZ before and during the holidays

shielded_site

These stats are insane, and it goes to show that there is a hell of a lot of work to be done to protect domestic abuse victims. However, I’ve just noticed a serious problem with how this is being tackled – the website claims that:

The shielded website allows victims to seek information online under the guise of browsing The Warehouse website.  A victim in an abusive relationship who is seeking support or advice can safely can visit The Warehouse website, click on the icon, and be provided with vital information without leaving a browser trail.  A perpetrator tracking a victim’s online movements and browser history will see they’ve only visited The Warehouse website.

So, if the abuser sees ‘The Warehouse’ or any of the other future supporters of the project (so far The Warehouse is the only organisation currently taking part in this online initiative) on their partner’s browser history and has read about the ‘shielded website’, this will contradict the entire reason for the project. Whilst anyone or any business can support the Women’s Refuge by adding the Shielded Site button to their website, won’t victims still be at risk if this appears in their browser and is recognised by their abuser?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apple’s Priorities: Are Driverless Cars to Blame for the New MacBook Pro fail?

Apple has finally admitted that it is going to heavily invest in the self-driving car industry, wanting to utilise their software expertise. Despite safety and privacy concerns, Apple are wanting to have a head start on its competitors (e.g. UK’s first self-driving car Oxbotica) in what could be a highly profitable industry.
Not only did Paul Newman from Oxbotica turn a hacked Nissan Leaf into a system that can make any vehicle self-driving, Google have also tested a driverless car. However, in September, the Google car collided with another vehicle after the jumping a red light.

https://embed.theguardian.com/embed/video/technology/video/2014/may/28/google-self-driving-car-spin-video

Uber also swiftly managed to get ahead of the game by testing ‘Ford Fusions’ in Pennsylvania, USA, whilst collaborating with Volvo to develop a driverless car.

Steve Kenner, Apple’s Director of Product Integrity said:

The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation.
Executed properly under NHTSA’s guidance, automated vehicles have the potential to greatly enhance the human experience — to prevent millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year and to give mobility to those without.

Could this be the reason for the half-arsed attempt at the new MacBook Pro? If Apple are wanting to invest their time and money into this new lucrative industry (it could be worth £900bn by 2025), will they have time for their original fanbase – creatives?
Watch this space for ‘iCar’, which will happen sooner rather than later to get ahead the likes of Uber and Google

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dear Apple pt.2: New MacBook Pro ad

Great ad, great song, great art direction.
If you read my previous post (Dear Apple. Are you high?) on Apple’s new MacBook Pro, you’ll see the irony in the strapline “Ideas push the world forward”.
Where do ideas come from? They come from creatives, thinkers, do-ers, makers, technologists, artists… all of those people that Apple decided to forget about when re-designing the new MacBook Pro. So, using the line “Introducing a tool for all the ideas to come” bears no relevance to the “new” product, because it has no congruence towards Apple’s most important target market – creatives!

*face palm*
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

AI Experiment: Quick, Draw

In collaboration with Google Creative Lab and Data Arts Team, developers Jonas Jongejan, Henry Rowley, Takashi Kawashima, Jongmin Kim, Nick Fox-Gieg built a game built with machine learning:

You draw, and a neural network tries to guess what you’re drawing. Of course, it doesn’t always work. But the more you play with it, the more it will learn. It’s just one example of how you can use machine learning in fun ways.

AI experiment is a website released a few days ago that showcases Google’s artificial intelligence research through web apps that anyone can play with. Projects include a game that guesses what you’re drawing (Quick, Draw), a camera app that recognises objects you and a music app that plays ‘duets’ with you.

Very interesting! Give it a go here. There was only one drawing the machine couldn’t recognise when I tried to draw a stringbean.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,