NO! bad designer, dumb idea!

So i am curious and would love to see examples and stories of times that you presented an Ideal to your company or even to a client only to have it shot down in glorious flames. (product idea, color trend, etc) And then to see it resurface in the market place either from the company it was presented to or even from a completely different company.

I’ll start since this just happened to me :wink:

13 years ago i was working for a company that bought a diaper company and also wanted to get into pet products, as the ID dept lead we where asked to generate quick rapid concepts to review. Of course not ideas are all good ideas but i do remember that a few dept leaders destroyed this idea with what i could only describe as a passion of hatred :wink:

Now i just saw a feed on linkedIn, i will allow the group to decide on the similarities…

What a stroke of bad luck…bummer… the company you were at & the management usually have their reasons.
These geometric shapes are simple and I guess it’s easy for people’s ideas to overlap at some point.

I did this back in 2012 at university;

Talking about how smartphones could become primary computing devices for the majority of PC users in business (ofc not engineers that need CAD and rendering, or games developers, etc) through a dock which upscales the primary screen and lets you use a keyboard and mouse or the smartphone as a trackpad. How the rate of improvement in ARM CPUs was outpacing Intel, cloud computing, virtual PCs, etc.
Everyone thought I was crazy, bar the lecturers, but 4 years later in 2016 Microsoft is raving about Continuum which uses the smartphone as a primary computing device in business, the screen as a trackpad, Windows on ARM, etc. Think I hit the nail on the head with this one personally.

One of my first (And still one of my favorite) student projects was a clock that told time by sound, but when I was concepting I had this idea “What if you could talk to the clock and say things like ‘Play Rock Playlist’ or ‘Whats the weather today?’” and I felt like the technology was not far away because things like siri existed in basic form. My classmates and a certain professor told me that no one would ever want something like that because its already available on your phone and tablet. A Year and half or so later, Amazon Echo was released…

Wow, AVClub. That is a funny one. You were on the right track! Obviously realisticly Echo was already in development but it shows you have the ability to look forward as a designer.

Honestly I think about it often, probably TOO often. I can guarantee Amazon was already working on Echo, but it would have still been cool to have the possibility of internet attention from the idea :laughing: Now in my portfolio people ask “Well why not just get something like an echo that can do so much more.” and I have to just bow my head and nod… :unamused:

Hopefully we can have AI at the level seen in Her soon, except not for relationships!

You can pull that one out in an interview and be like… BAM I did it before Amazon :laughing:

I’m sure someone is already deep into development of exactly this :open_mouth:

Agreed! @AVClub - That’s pretty genius bud. ha!

2005: “RSS reader”.
RSS was the archetype of what is now broadly known as “feeds”. WiFi was JUST starting to appear in laptops as standard. The idea was an internet connected device so you could always be up to date with the latest news. I put alot of thought into how you may hold it and navigate (scrollwheel, page-flip on both sides similar to kindle, table landscape mode etc)
Naysayers: “the battery will never last long enough, you would have to charge it like once a day!” “When you have Wifi you probably have access to a computer anyway, like at your office or library”
2007: iPhone, Kindle
2010: iPad

2007: “Travel companion”
This was done just after iPhone 1 was announced, but before it was released. Idea was to have a connected and intuitive navigation device, combined with storage for your photos you would take with your camera. The device would log your route, and by syncing time-stamps could easily place all your photos on right location.
Naysayers: “everyone carrying this device will get mugged” “how is this better than regular map?” “When I take photos I remember where they were taken by LOOKING at them - duuh - noone will need this gimmicky map feature”
2010: iPad. Photo location adapted in various ways by just about everyone.

Of course there were flaws in my predictions, but still nice to see I was on to something. I WAS lucky enough to get some internet traction out of it (Engadged picked up the travel thingy) which got me invited to some interviews. My advice to students is: get your work noticed. Don’t be protective of your ideas. You likely don’t have the means to develop it anyway, so make the best of it. Best case scenario, you’ll at least be part of it.

I have a number of professional projects that turned out this way as well, which I of course can’t reveal because that could reveal business strategy, and might do more harm than revealing a sketch. Most times the ideas weren’t shot down because they were thought to be “bad ideas”, but because it wasn’t the right time to focus resources on it. Again, I mostly find it rewarding to see someone else develop it, which reassures me of trusting my instincts.

Maan… I want to do school projects again, those were way more interesting :unamused:

Back in 2011 in early year 2 of University I designed a module phone. I had planned how the network provided a certain number of upgrades/ modules through the year to keep the phone fresh (as we all like new things!). Only way to describe it is a big fat aluminum pebble, it wasn’t a looker but the concept was there. You opened it up and the modules fit inside. Slightly embarrassing to look at now but hey, it was a start. Then came the Google Ara a few years later (well to the public anyway, probably had the idea in the 90s or something). I think it’s been canned anyway :frowning:

I will try and post a picture as I recently binned old work from my behance.

I graduated in 2002. Over the course of the 4 year program, 1/2 the class pitched an iPad/iPhone/tablet computer thingy. It was pretty clear where the technology could lead, it was just uncertain when it would be able to.

The thing that irked me was that I designed a tablet that had an acrylic window over the screen that went all the way to edge of the product. Basically like 99% of tablets and phones today. A practicing designer told me that it was impractical for production, I should kill the concept and not show it in my portfolio because it was such a dumb idea. Even designers can have their off days.

Can I thought? I have thought about that, but I worry I will get a “Sure you did.” Oh well, I might as well try it atleast?!

I think it depends how you present it. If you came in and said “I was working on voice control and I was really happy to see a year later when Amazon Alexa launched because if validated some of my thinking” … I’d think that was believable and that you had a healthy perspective on the situation.

Why NOT for relationships? Why put arbitrary limits on it? If people can experience a meaningful and healthy interaction with an OS (or app, or whatever), why would we deny them that?

Well I guess that is something to debate if and when it is proven that it is healthy and/or meaningful. I mean, to an extent any relationship is meaningless because we die one day, but whether or not it is psychologically helpful to be told what you want to hear and for your “partner” to just be and do what you want without question is another question. In reality couples argue, are not perfectly aligned in interests and world view, etc.

I think humanity needs to focus a little more on human-human relationships before we worry about human-machine. In fact, I think AI could obscure many of our own problems and lead us to avoid self-improvement.

I was going to say the same but didn’t want to offend anyone who may desire to have an AI partner. AI personalities will face many of the same problems which came up in Her. What personality does the AI take? If it’s not one to your liking then you’re not going to buy it or use it, if it is to your liking then you are just going to be self-serving and going to be less capable of dealing with real people who will not just agree with you, just do what you want, be exactly who you want them to be. It is a dangerous and slippery slope.

I don’t necessarily disagree, but my opinion is that human-machine relationships are not a question of “if” but instead are a matter of “when”. It’s going to happen, so I think the sooner we start worrying about it, the better.

You are right that whether or not a relationship is “healthy” is a question I’ll leave to psychologists and sociologists (among others). I am just asking a question under an assumption that an OS finally gets to a point that can mimic human interaction. If a person can find value and growth in a relationship with a machine, I’m certainly not one to say “no”.

On the surface, it all sounds cold and inhuman, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if that necessarily has to be true.

I’m no psychologist but I believe from my limited understanding in the field that there is a big difference between a human and what AI could ever be. There are factors beyond electro chemical reactions in the brain to what makes a human a human, and they include things like being self-conscious of ones own body and physical surrounding in relation to it. I will try and remember the documentary I saw regarding why this is important because I understand it but certainly couldn’t explain it to someone else.