Drying ink in Google Docs

Here’s an idea to show recent changes in a shared google doc.

Imagine a mode where font color would fade much like regular ink does. Recent stuff more vibrant and ‘wet’, older — dry.

Ink pen

Following the real ink analogy, changed sections’ color could alter as the time goes by.

Now I could spot what’s updated since I last peeked in. :)

Gathering printed book reviews

Gathering book reviews is hard. Now, digital versions can come with all kinds of ways to engage the reader and get one to write a review or at least ‘Like’ the volume.

Different story for printed books.

Here’s a fairly simple idea. Why not put a blank page at the end of a book, print a QR code on it and ask people to write the review by hand on that last page, snap the QR code and have that review submitted to publisher?

I guess automating what happens then is a big problem on its own. But for books that get few reviews, this could be a real game changer.

Paper prototyping

Folks in some movie figuring out where to place furniture with the help of newspapers

I would argue that paper prototyping for interface design has a very limited use. Modern digital tools for prototyping, if used right, can get you to the desired result faster and welcome frequent iteration.

Changing something on a hand-drawn paper prototype (especially the ‘interactive’ kind) would mean redrawing the whole thing more or less. And as soon as designer’s tools start limiting them, I see a problem.

Sometimes digital can be best for quick and dirty.

More important though is being ready to iterate a lot when you’re at the start of the project and be ready to kill your darlings.

Higher expectations of minimal design

Once objects stop resembling real-life counterparts people tend to expect more of them.

You don’t expect much from a notepad. Just scribble in it. That is why Notes in iOS were OK to just support writing.

Notes app

But as soon as it looses the original look (take notepad example), people want it to do more, at least as much as other digital text editors do. Suddenly you will want to embed images, videos, slideshows, music etc.

If the product or object are presented in the very minimalistic form, consumers might just expect them to be magical.