by Jon on December 3rd, 2013 - Comments (0)
Since June 2012, Involution has held weekly Office Hours, opening our doors to the public every Thursday afternoon from 4 PM – 6 PM and inviting anyone with a design issue or project to come by the studio for help. We’ve conducted these Office Hours at both our Boston and Columbus locations.
Over the past year and a half, we’ve had the privilege of meeting and assisting dozens of entrepreneurs, technologists, dreamers, and doers, working on interesting projects we probably would have never seen otherwise. Along the way, we’ve even inspired others to open their doors and hold office hours of their own. One of these groups is Test Double, a local Columbus agency of developers that helps businesses build custom software. We’ve partnered with Test Double on projects and are happy to count them as friends and colleagues. So, we’re pleased to announce that, starting Thursday, December 5, 2013, Test Double will be joining us for Open Office Hours at Involution Studios Columbus to offer their software development expertise.
Both Involution and Test Double have a track record of solving complex business problems — using our design and development expertise to produce well-crafted products that matter. So, if you have any design or development related questions, or just want a different perspective on your current business problems, come chat with us (and now Test Double) every Thursday from 4 PM – 6 PM at Involution Studios Columbus. As always, we talk with people on a first-come-first-served basis. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.
Take a look at what some recent Office Hours attendees are saying:
“I just wanted to thank you and your team for your suggestions. Sometimes, as owners, we’re too close to our projects. It can be easy to miss the glaring weaknesses that are apparent to others. I feel our meeting saved a disastrous product launch. For that, I thank you. We have refocused our app …”
“Thanks so much for opening up Involution Studios tonight. What a wonderful opportunity! Please give your staff our sincere thanks for staying after work and for the generosity of their time, attention, and advice. Very cool! As we were driving in tonight, Ted and I were talking about what we hoped to gain from our time. You and your staff certainly delivered. We drove home with a clear understanding of our next actions. You also helped validate some of our assumptions, which was great.”
“Just wanted to drop you and your team a sincere thank you. I enjoyed meeting everyone there at Involution Studios and really appreciate the time you spent just kicking around ideas and talking. Have a great day!”
“Hey, I came to your guys’ office hours two weeks ago with the photo marketing app. … I’d like to thank you for the absolutely amazing advice.”
by Jon on November 26th, 2013 - Comments (0)
This year, as you prepare for your turkey-day travels, stock up your smart phone with a playlist from The Digital Life podcast. More so than any other holiday, Thanksgiving requires that we all commute at the same time to somewhere … else. So, as you sit, bumper to bumper with your fellow Americans, be educated and entertained by smart discussions on the latest user experience and design trends.
User experience is an amalgam of information architecture, visual design, interaction design, user research, prototyping, coding, and a host of other skill sets. Combine this complexity with the rapid rate of change in technology and techniques, and it’s no wonder that there’s a gap between the skills required by the industry of UX designers and those taught by design programs in colleges and universities.
In Episode 56, we discuss the state of design education and how to build teams with the right skills to ship digital products with Jared Spool.
In Episode 48, we tackle the topic of interaction design education with special guests Haig Armen and Dave Malouf.
The Internet of Things
Whether we notice it or not, we’re surrounded by machines and sensors. What are the perils and possibilities for designers inherent in the Internet of Things?
In Episode 55, we discuss the opportunities in this new programmable world with Matt Nish-Lapidus. If we don’t learn to program the world we want, it may very well program us.
In Episode 50, we discuss the coming revolution of the Internet of Things.
Design + Principles
Design has always been a practical art that finds meaning in both its underlying philosophies and methods. But how do designers manifest their values?
In Episode 51, we discuss “making things people want, not making people want things,” with Phillip Hunter.
In Episode 47, we explore what it means to be a digital citizen with Harlan Weber and Michael Evans.
by Jon on October 18th, 2013
The team at Involution Studios — made up of Sarah Kaiser, Jane Kokernak, Kelly Mansfield, Harry Sleeper, and Juhan Sonin — created the Health Axioms card deck over an eight-month period. Starting with a dozen core, personal health habits, they turned these initial ideas into short catch phrases. Sarah and Kelly drew hundreds of sketches, which often drove the name […]
by Jon on October 8th, 2013
As part of the Town’s continuing effort to improve transparency, Arlington is announcing the launch of Arlington Visual Budget (AVB). AVB is a new online tool intended to provide the public with a visual representation of the Town’s financial history and outlook, as well as illustrate key trends. AVB allows users to dive into the budget like never before using […]
by Jen on September 30th, 2013
A truly powerful electronic healthcare record (EHR) encompasses more than just passing information between the physician and the patient: It should be a tool that benefits the physician’s efficiency and, most importantly, the patient’s health.
Involution Studios is working with the University of Missouri, with Jeff Belden, MD as project lead, to design and write an eBook that offers insights […]
by Jon on September 24th, 2013
Involution Studios is driven by a mission to create better lives and a better world. We’re part of a global movement to shift the health care system to one made up highly-specialized clinicians that work closely with self-monitoring, self-empowered patients and their families — aided by the continuous data driven by non-invasive personal diagnostics. Getting there will require equal parts […]
by Jon on September 12th, 2013
Involution Principal, Jon Follett, editor of the upcoming book “Designing for Emerging Technologies” recently spoke with Jenn Webb, O’Reilly Radar’s online managing editor and Mary Treseler, editorial strategist, on the O’Reilly Radar Podcast. In the podcast, the group discussed the challenges of understanding the disruptive power of emerging technologies — such as genomics, robotics, synthetic biology, and connected environments. […]
by Danielle on May 29th, 2013
“Have you ever been punched in the face?” That’s what Scott Sullivan, User Experience Designer at Involution, wants to know. In his Fast Co. feature article, Designers: Learn To Code! Here’s How to Start, Scott assures young designers learning to code isn’t that bad. “The fear of getting punched in the face holds you back from […]
by Eric on May 21st, 2013
Many of us here at Invo have been using the Arduino quite a bit. From making claws for costumes to retail environment behavior to coffee electronics – it is incredible what you can do with these microcontrollers. However, there still is not a straightforward way of getting data out of your Arduino, onto the internet and accessible via […]
by Jon on April 29th, 2013
For Immediate Release
BOSTON, MA – April 29, 2013 – Bytes and Atoms, a micro conference exploring the Internet of Things and the interaction between the physical and digital, today announced the speakers for its inaugural program.
Organized by software and emerging technologies design firm Involution Studios and agile development consulting firm Pivotal Labs, and sponsored by O’Reilly […]
by Jon on March 29th, 2013
We’re celebrating the 50th episode of Involution’s podcast The Digital Life with a re-designed and re-imagined Web site — featuring complete transcripts of all the new episodes and back catalog and previous contributor search. The new Digital Life is live — ready to inform, entertain, and engage the digital design community worldwide.
The Digital Life online radio program […]
by Jon on February 25th, 2013
Involution’s hGraph, an open source health metrics visualization, was recently featured in Wired Magazine online, highlighted in the article, “How Restyling the Mundane Medical Record Could Improve Health Care.” The Wired spot discusses hGraph’s strong social component: By tracking the data for entire families hGraph illustrates how some conditions, like obesity and heart disease, can be affected by collective […]
by Jon on February 22nd, 2013
Dominic Flask, Editor of The Designer’s Review of Books, recently reviewed Involution’s Design Axioms deck, created by Juhan Sonin, along with Luke Wroblewski, Andrei Herasimchuk, and Dirk Knemeyer. The deck features striking graphics, detailing sixteen foundational principles that outline the essential rules of interface design.
by Jon on February 15th, 2013
Involution client uTest has launched Applause, an analytics tool that offers clear, explicit data about what users truly feel about mobile apps. Applause enables app-owners to see how each version of their app measures up and the ability to compare their app to those of their competitors. Applause features sleek multi-version app graphs and a revolutionary rating scheme, […]
by Jon on January 28th, 2013
“Wake Up!” the poster created by Involution illustrator Sarah Kaiser and Creative Director Juhan Sonin is currently on display at MassArt’s Paine gallery. The exhibit, entitled “Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001-2012″, has over 122 posters from artists in 32 countries. Each piece is ideological, political, and, as Mark Feeney writes in his Boston […]
by Jon on January 20th, 2013
January 27-31, 2013
Metro Toronto Convention Center
Interaction13, the annual conference of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) will feature three speakers from Involution Studios: (above from left to right) Juhan Sonin, Erik Dahl, and Scott Sullivan.
Building Emotional IQ with Laban Movement Analysis
Director of Design Strategy, Erik Dahl and […]
by Jon on January 18th, 2013
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), challenged designers across the United States to re-imagine the presentation of the medical record in order to create a better patient experience. The objective of the Health Design Challenge was to create a usable, beautiful medical record enabling patients to more easily […]
by Jon on December 12th, 2012
The way in which patients and doctors make healthcare decisions — from choosing therapies to evaluating possible side-effects — is changing rapidly based on newly available genetic testing and analysis. Involution client GeneInsight, a subsidiary of Partners HealthCare is on the forefront of this revolution in personalized medicine.
by Jon on December 5th, 2012
2.009 Product Engineering Processes Prototype Launch Event
December 10, 2012
7:30 – 10:00 PM
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On Monday, December 10, 2012, MIT’s 2.009 Product Engineering Processes class will launch eight new product prototypes focused on the theme, “Outdoors”. Product teams will demo prototypes to a broad audience made up […]
by Jon on December 3rd, 2012
The Health Design Challenge, sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is encouraging the UX design community to rethink the presentation of the medical record in order to create a better patient experience. The objectives are to design a usable, beautiful medical record that […]
by Jon on November 21st, 2012
Involution is pleased to announce a free, open source, iOS version of Design Axioms, which is now available on the iTunes app store for both iPhone and iPad.
The new digital version of the Design Axioms is easy to transport and use for brainstorming, group critiques, or other software design sessions.
About the Design […]
by Jon on November 7th, 2012
November 27, 2012
Microsoft NERD Center
When looking back on his life, Noel Coward famously commented, “Work was more fun than fun.” Great design studios provide a work opportunity that can be happy, rewarding, and even fun. But it isn’t easy: just calling yourself a design […]
by Jon on November 1st, 2012
November 7, 2012
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Harvard Business School
Involution Studios is pleased to announce that Creative Director Juhan Sonin will be a featured lecturer at Harvard Business School’s Project Management 101 course on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. In the HBS PM101 class, students learn […]
by Jon on October 19th, 2012
For Immediate Release
BOSTON, MA – October 19, 2012 – Involution Studios today announced that hGraph, an open source system for visualizing personal health metrics, has been selected as a finalist in the Healthcare and Wellness category for the 17th Annual MITX Interactive Awards. Held annually by the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange, the Awards recognize excellence […]
by Jon on October 10th, 2012
Big things are happening for Involution client, Neumitra, a Boston-based health startup on a mission to free the world of stress, one person at a time. Last week, at DEMO Fall 2012 — the conference for emerging technologies held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California — Neumitra launched Bandu, its ground-breaking product for stress monitoring […]
hGraph, designed by Involution, Places Second at the New England Health Datapalooza, Advances to National Competition
by Jon on October 4th, 2012
Yesterday at the New England Health Datapalooza, held at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., judges Pierce Graham-Jones, Innovator in Residence at the US Department of Health and Human Services; John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Group; and Manu Tandon, CIO of the MA Department of HHS, selected hGraph, an open system for visualizing personal health […]
by Jon on September 12th, 2012
On the world stage of the 2012 London Olympic games, in today’s hyper-competitive athletic environment, there’s no doubt that any advantage, no matter how small, can make a difference.
by Jon on September 5th, 2012
We’re excited to announce the debut of our Design Axioms card deck, which encapsulates essential software design wisdom from industry luminaries including Andrei Herasimchuk, Luke Wroblewski, Dirk Knemeyer, and Juhan Sonin.
by Jon on August 22nd, 2012
The age of information is upon us, and much has been made of the great improvements to communication, collaboration, and business process efficiency as we transform from an industrial- to a knowledge-based economy. However, despite all the rapid technological changes of the past 20 years, we are still at the very beginnings of the knowledge work era. At the dawn […]
by Jon on August 15th, 2012
One of the great challenges of knowledge work is in understanding how to integrate virtual tools into the oftentimes tricky realm of human communication and relationships. We take for granted that the constantly evolving toolset available to us is ultimately helpful to our productivity and ability to complete our day-to-day tasks. How did work ever get done without mobile phones […]
by Jon on August 1st, 2012
The university system is critical to the Innovation Economy in Boston. Not only do schools supply the region with well-trained creative class workers in fields like engineering, science, design, and architecture; they also serve as R&D labs, generating new technology research; and as catalysts for the marketplace of ideas that fuels entrepreneurialism and a growing ecosystem of start-up companies. In […]
by Jon on July 23rd, 2012
Energy is the industry that IT forgot — or at least until recently. While sectors as varied as finance and healthcare, entertainment and communications have roared ahead with digitization, automation, and analytics, the energy industry has not evolved as rapidly. Despite this fact, it’s clear that the future of energy lies in software. In both conservation and sustainability, software offers […]
by Jon on July 16th, 2012
We’re excited to announce that we’ll be having Open Office Hours here at Involution Studios Boston, every Thursday from 4-6 pm, starting on July 19, 2012.
Involution has long been involved in the Boston UX community, and we’re thrilled to be joining the Open Office Hours movement, to share our design expertise with our colleagues and friends. Part of […]
by Jon on July 12th, 2012
Yesterday, at the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s Mobile Summit, panelists and audience members eagerly discussed and debated developing for the often volatile ecosystem of mobile. The summit general session, “Content is King” featured panelists Phil Costa, Director of Product Management at Brightcove; Jeff Moriarty, VP of Digital Products at the Boston Globe; and Sanjay Vakil, Director of Mobile Product at […]
by Jon on June 28th, 2012
Involution client Segterra is doing its part to prepare US athletes for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. Segterra’s innovative software product, Inside Tracker, is being used by champion track cyclist Sarah Hammer and triathletes Jarrod Shoemaker and Sarah Haskins to learn about nutritional deficiencies and excesses via bloodwork analytics and optimize and boost performance based […]
by Jon on June 18th, 2012
Today, Microsoft fired a significant salvo in the war for a Unified User Experience, with the debut of its Surface tablet. Taking a page from the Apple playbook, Microsoft is creating both the hardware and software for the Surface, a strategy it once executed successfully, with the Xbox 360 gaming console; and twice not so successfully, with the Zune […]
by Jon on June 6th, 2012
Last year, Internet luminary and entrepreneur Marc Andreessen wrote a significant essay in the Wall Street Journal, outlining the many ways in which software has become absolutely vital to our world. Software allows us to extend our reach even further than we did before, automating processes, accelerating the rate of change, and providing the sinews between people and data. […]
by Jon on May 21st, 2012
We’re at the very beginnings of a significant evolution in the way we work — not just in from a technical perspective, although that’s a significant driver — but in the culture and nature of work and organizational relationships. The way we work today is markedly different from the way our parents worked, and even more distant from the way […]
by Jon on April 8th, 2012
At the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center last Wednesday evening, software innovators came together for a series of presentations and conversation about the opportunity for technology and design to effect positive change in healthcare.
The program, “Linking Healthcare, Technology and Design”, explored aspects of the changing face of the industry, and how digital solutions could provide the […]
by Jon on March 28th, 2012
At Involution, as a part of our commitment to learning and growing as a company, we conduct semi-regular studio critiques. This kind of critique is important to our ongoing evolution as an organization and helps everyone, from leadership to staff, understand the broad vision and values of the studio. As a part of that ongoing discussion, we’re drafting a set […]
by Jon on March 17th, 2012
A few hours ago GigaOm published an article declaring “Marketing is the next big money sector in technology”. In the first paragraph, the author, Ajay Agarwal of Bain Capital Ventures, sets up the future of the industry this way: “For the first time in history, businesses can leverage big data for the benefit of driving marketing insights. We are […]
by Jon on March 16th, 2012
Earlier this week, we released our Predicting Major League Baseball 2012 interactive information visualization with our picks for the playoffs this year. The visualization made its debut in the inaugural post on our recently launched channel on BostInno.
After the heartbreak of the Red Sox collapse last year, at Involution Studios we felt that, in order […]
by Jon on March 7th, 2012
Today Apple revealed the third generation iPad with its Retina screen, bringing the most powerful mobile visual display to market with a whopping 326 ppi in its 9.7 inch space. Print resolutions typically range from 300 – 1800 dpi, which means that Apple has effectively brought mobile computing into that same realm, a significant step to say the least. […]
by Jon on March 2nd, 2012
I don’t think there’s any question that the creative class jobs that drive our innovation economy — designers, engineers, scientists, architects, entrepreneurs, writers, etc. — are all positions that require constant learning and evolution. In a larger sense, our economy, the companies that survive and thrive, the types of jobs in demand, and the skill sets required to successfully compete […]
by Jon on March 1st, 2012
In the new digital world, we are the sum of our trackable behavior. The web sites we read, the items we share, the products we buy, are all elements that contribute to our digital personas. Online marketers desperately want to collect our behavioral data so they can analyze our history, better target their offers, and maybe even predict our next […]
by Jon on February 24th, 2012
At Involution Studios Boston, we’ve been lucky enough to design crazy, brain-bending, exciting software that changes the way humans work and play. Since 2004, we’ve been creating software for some of the biggest and best companies, not to mention over 100 different start-ups in various industries. Our alumni have worked for companies like Apple, Facebook, Adobe and IDEO. And we’re […]
by Jon on February 16th, 2012
The Mass Technology Leadership Council held its annual Big Data Summit yesterday at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge, MA. The sold out event was attended by a broad cross-section of the Boston tech community with engineers, designers, venture capitalists and business managers all coming together to discuss the future of Big Data in […]
by Jon on February 6th, 2012
Last week, the IxDA’s Interaction12 conference in Dublin, Ireland brought together the professional interaction design community from around the globe for four days of inspiring talks and workshops.
Involution Studios was well represented with two of our leadership team speaking. Involution Founder, Dirk Knemeyer examined the complex, cross-disciplinary question of how people understand themselves and each other, in his […]
by Jon on January 26th, 2012
Is the age of ubiquitous computing is upon us? We may not be living yet in William Gibson’s plugged-in future, but there’s no doubt that we’re absolutely dependent on the digital realm. From tablets to smart phones to laptops to car navigation systems, we always seem to be connected. The digital life is everywhere we go, and software is […]
by Jon on January 5th, 2012
Happy new year! Two thousand and twelve is going to be big here at Involution Studios. We’re excited, not only by the software we’re designing and building for our clients, but also by an internal project, that, after months of operating in stealth mode, is ready to have the wraps taken off. So, as the new year brings with it […]
by Jon on November 9th, 2011
Here’s what we’re reading online, this week at Involution, on design, tech, and the digital life, in our links round up.
If You Make Sure You’re Kinected, the Xbox is on the Wall
Last week, Microsoft’s Kinect turned one year old, and the Redmond giant celebrated the “Kinect Effect” with a video highlighting future applications of the technology from […]
by Jon on November 4th, 2011
I’m a big Boston sports nut. And, as cliched as the sports metaphor may be for discussions on teamwork, there are lessons to be learned from the collapse of the Red Sox, which was the worst in baseball history and has ongoing and transformative consequences for the organization. There were, of course, many reasons for the losing streak that took […]
by Jon on August 20th, 2011
The space in which we work defines us, both as individuals and as teams. Sometimes we’re unaware of how important our office environment is, but the fact remains that it’s key to our every day mental health and our ability to perform. Our work space effects whether we’re able to get our work done and whether we enjoy doing it. […]
by Jon on July 28th, 2011
At Involution, our software design methodology approximates that of the industrial design process: Designers take an overall, system wide view of the product, and are responsible for specifying, as much as possible, the final form and function. This means that, just as an industrial designer understands her materials, be they metal or silicon, so too must the software designer understand […]
by Jon on July 14th, 2011
At Involution, when we design software, we draw upon a process akin to industrial design, where—after we engage in an initial product architecture to understand the feature grouping, flow, and functionality—the next step is often sketching.
If you haven’t done it before, sketching concepts for a software user experience may seem like a daunting task located in foreign territory: […]
by Jon on July 7th, 2011
Last week Involution Studios celebrated seven years in business. We’ve had a bunch of highs, a handful of lows, and a whole lot of fun in that time. We’ve had amazing employees, partners and clients, and even as another recession seems to be looming we are going strong and showing no signs of slowing down. Here are the seven most […]
by Jon on July 1st, 2011
On Tuesday, Involution Studios Creative Director, Juhan Sonin challenged infovis guru Edward Tufte to engage more fully in the discussion regarding our nation’s greatest problems, including education, energy, finance, and health, among others, during a segment on The Digital Life podcast.
by Jon on June 23rd, 2011
At Involution, over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to count among our team a number of designers and strategists who are also industry thought leaders. In this new and regular blog feature, “From the Archives”, we’ll highlight articles from the past, written by our Invo colleagues that have stood the harsh test of Internet time and still have something […]
by Dirk on February 12th, 2011
Involution Studios Boston is located in Arlington, MA on Mass. Ave., in what was formerly the city’s grand ballroom. When we took it over in late 2008 it was a pilates studio with wild green-and-blue paint and fixtures, along with mirrors lining the walls. To the discerning eye it was all potential.
Here is the evolution of our space over […]
by Dirk on February 9th, 2011
After a conversation on The Digital Life with Brenda Brathwaite and Soren Johnson about “Social Game Design”, it became clear that I needed to get to know Facebook Games better and see if there was more there than I thought. So right after the show I signed up for about a dozen Facebook Games. I played all of them […]
by Dirk on August 3rd, 2010
I’ve been slowly backing away from the field of “user experience” for some years now. More and more, I’m beginning to think it is time that I turn my slow retreat into a full-fledged race to the hills. This evening Juhan pointed me to a terrifying article by renowned user experience thought leader Whitney Hess. Please do […]
by Dirk on July 13th, 2010
It is no surprise that web design companies are desperately trying to get into application design. Web design as a business is highly commodified with small margins and a crowded competitive landscape. Even the top early providers are watching their ability to get customers affordably and service them profitably become seriously compromised. Web design companies are scrambling for new opportunities. […]
by Dirk on December 28th, 2009
Not much surprises me anymore. After more than a decade spent providing boutique services, followed by the last 6 or so years strictly in software, I’ve really earned the increase in grey hairs on my face and head. However, one thing I continue to find absolutely baffling is the way companies and designers often attempt to design their software from […]
by Dirk on November 13th, 2009
Online surveys are one of the most commonly-used feedback mechanisms for businesses. And it’s no wonder: they are cheap to create, deploy, tabulate, report and share. They provide a degree of insight into how customers think and feel about your company, products and/or services. While getting valuable and insightful results is much more likely when the survey is being administered […]
by Dirk on October 27th, 2009
Most of our customers are relatively sophisticated with technology. They either own tech start-ups or are in a role where they are involved in the software, website, IT, digital marketing or some other type of technology within their company. Not surprisingly many of them carry powerful mobile computing devices and are far ahead of the general population in their adoption […]
by Dirk on October 20th, 2009
Sorry to burst your bubble and scuttle your budgets of time and money. It’s true. I’ve seen it dozens of times: clients come to us saying something has to has to has to be shipped in 12 weeks. We tell them there is no way that can happen, no matter how much they pay us. They disagree and pay us […]
by Dirk on October 12th, 2009
It is generally accepted among the design intelligentsia that Apple is designing better software and hardware than pretty much everybody else in the core areas they choose to play. Yet there is one area where they have notably failed – if only by non-participation – yet stands as one of the most vital hardware solutions in the present and future: […]