The 21 Best-Designed Apps Of 2013

See on Scoop.itWhat you need to know this week

There were 50 bajillion apps released last year, at least according to Apple. Buried in that pile of steaming, microtransaction-driven zombie-laden garbage, we found a few stellar pieces of software that question the limitations of user interface as we know it. These are the lovingly designed apps that are pushing the entire medium forward, raising the bar for what software can be.

 

So please, explore the gallery above to see our picks for the best apps of the year. As with any roundup, we’ve undoubtedly made some oversights. So we encourage all of you to share your favorite apps of 2013 in the comments.

See on www.fastcodesign.com

Wednesday Round-up

December 18th

Alright if you’ve never read a wednesday round- up before here’s the situation: a lot of stuff is going on on the internet. We know it, you know it, that guy over there knows it; but don’t worry we’re here for you. We’ve searched and stumbled and clicked and skipped so you don’t have to.

Enjoy what we deem the best things this week!

Everything (well most things) that happened in 2013 packed into one pop culture-tastic image by illustrator, Mario Zucca.

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From Doctor Who next to a ‘will filibuster for food’ sign to the rise of the Netflix original shows surrounding Edward Snowden and new Pope. This illustration shows the political issues (Obama and the ever present 404 error) and the entertainment phenomena (note pacific rim taking over most of the background). If we had to cram everything that happened this year into a pretty small illustration we would say this one is pretty freaking good.

To see how it got made check out Mario’s blog

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Apple’s new Mac Pro comes out tomorrow, December 19th.

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Apple has always targeted those who need computers for creative purposes, but the new Mac Pro is taking it a step further. Apple boasts about the amazing things this new CPU will be able to achieve with video editing, animation and 3D modeling, photography, design and layout, as well as audio. This new computer is all creative all the time, we will just have to wait and see if its cylindrical shape lives up to the hype.

check it out all the details

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Sprint uses James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell ‘to honor the important things you do’ in their new campaign and we can’t tell you how many times conversations like these are overheard in our office.

Weird Accent Wednesday might be changing to Dramatic Reading Wednesday.

Get a look behind the scenes with AdWeek

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LightFog, a Bangkok based company, has created a bike that is also a pollen fighting machine (now this is something we can get on board with. Not saying the tennessee has a lot of pollen… but it does) Using a filter system the bike takes the pollen, dust, and C02 and turns it into clean air.

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Check out more with The Atlantic

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Alright we know the holidays are coming up and we are going to be those people.

Please don’t drink and drive.

Wednesday Round Up

 

December 4th

We hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving and start to the holiday season! We’ve been pretty busy here at The Bingham Group, but we haven’t forgot about giving you guys the bite size weekly round ups that you love so much.

Here is what you need to know this week (and last month, but who is really keeping track).

 

What are the biggest game changers in the digital space? Digiday wants to let you know (and so do we).

Check It Out

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With voice recognition in most smart phones these days Google took the first step to hands free computer searches with ‘OK Google’.

Now you don’t even need to type to learn anything about everything with the power of Google.

Learn More

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This organization is bringing a reality check to the retail industry.

“It was Junot Diaz who said, “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.” So Pro Infirmis, a European advocacy organization for the disabled, has created a series of mannequins to provide those reflections in the image-obsessed world of retail.”

For More

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And this last one is from all the designers here at The Bingham Group.

Recently Mashable created a list of the best font games. We tried them out and narrowed the list of 18 down to our top 3.

3. Coming in third place is a printable game that is great to have around the office. Font Spotter is a flash card-esque game that the whole office can participate in and trust us… it gets heated!

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For the downloadable or on screen versions visit: http://fontspotting.org/

2. In second place we have Type Connection- the dating game for fonts. Learn a little about type history and which fonts pair the best through this fontastic matching game.

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Pair up fonts at: http://www.typeconnection.com/

1. And in first place we have Shape Type. This game isn’t particularly hard at first, but trust us it gets intense. (and is by far the most addictive game on the list.)

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Using designated points on the screen you try to create a font shape as similar to the original as possible.

To try your eye: http://shape.method.ac/

 

When it comes to texting and driving, AT&T’s “It can Wait” campaign pings the nail on the head.

Great inspiration for The Bingham Group’s upcoming Highway Safety Campaign. Any advertising about the dangers of texting and driving is great in our book.

Gods of Advertising

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More than any one commercial or piece of marketing communications (of which there are many), what I really dig about AT&T’s campaign to eliminate texting while driving (and during movies) is the single-minded beauty and simplicity of it’s theme and tag line: “It Can Wait.”

Beyond the obvious ‘safety first’ messaging is the great insight that most texts are of a highly superficial nature. We all know as much. Yet, we do it anyway.

“It Can Wait,” reminds each one of us that “Where U at?” or “Sup?” is hardly important enough to distract moviegoers let alone put lives in jeopardy.

“It Can Wait” strikes exactly the right tone between admonishment and reminder. The line is like something an angry parent would say to a teen-aged kid. Yet, somehow it doesn’t come off as bitchy. Perhaps because we see ourselves as both parent and child.

texting
Courting disaster…

Moreover, most of…

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The Good, The Bad, and The Social

You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those who use social media and those who dig… a whole with it.

There are many examples of social media screw ups, but the good news is that these types of experiences force marketers and senior executives to recognize that social media is something they need to be more responsible for. While these companies are a great example of “what not to do,” it is important to learn from their mistakes because not everyone can change their name to Bill  Carson.

Here are some recent social media screw-ups:

 

The Home Depot had to do some clean up after an offensive tweet went out from their account. The tweet was meant to drive some engagement and be fun, instead it was racist and degrading. The Home Depot tweeted, “Which drummer is not like the other? See more” and attached a photo of two African-American men and a man wearing a gorilla mask.

 

In response to the tweet, Home Depot handled it the correct way; they deleted the tweet, apologized and tweeted influential accounts.

 

 

 

  

The banking giant, which has been the target of eight investigations for U.S. federal regulators, staggered into a social media nightmare with a proposed Twitter forum. The event was set to include a bank senior executive on hand to answer consumer banking questions via Twitter, using the hashtag #AskJPM

What happened next could be the subject of marketing seminars for years, especially when focusing on what not to do when reaching out to consumers directly. The bank collected 24,000 posts on the #ASKJPM hashtag, very few were complimentary. Here’s a few samples:

Here’s what JPMorgan posted just six hours after collecting questions from Twitter consumers:

 

Part of the problem was timing, given the bank’s current troubles with the U.S. Justice department, it was not the best time for consumer interaction, and the other part was not focusing on a specific issue.They were ‘smart enough to know that talking wouldn’t save them’ so The hashtag #AskJPM is now a thing of the past.

 

 

 

Kellogg’s UK  Twitter sent out a tweet that was aimed at promoting its campaign to feed hungry children. That’s admirable, but things went south when the company tied its willingness to feed vulnerable kids to how many retweets it got.

As expected, the tweet did not go over well at all and Kellogg’s sent out this apology tweet:

 

Kristina’s Media Mistakes Don’ts 

  1. Talking at people instead of having conversations. Social media is interactive and many companies use it to post nothing but information about their own company, nothing more. Social media posts should share thoughts, opinions and resources that encourage conversation. Good social media strategists ask questions and think about education more than promotion when developing content.

  2. Expecting instantaneous or “viral” success. A crucial thing to remember with social media is that it’s an investment. It takes time and resources to increase your company’s influence. Often what looks like a “viral” success requires carefully planned orchestration or owned, earned and paid media to gain momentum.

  1. Thinking social media is “not for you” because you aren’t a consumer business. The free access of social media isn’t the only things that makes it great. Social media is also great for organizing information and helping connect people and organizations that share a similar worldview, no matter how niche the audience.

Sometimes businesses manage to be successful without making any of these mistakes, sometimes mistakes are made that businesses can learn from. The most important thing with putting your business on a social network is to be engaged and to constantly try and find a new way to reach out to your customer base and be relevant to them.

 

For more of Kristina’s insights check out her blog:

kristinahoertnerpr.wordpress.com 

or follow her on twitter:

@khoertner_pr

(all puns based off The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly were not made by Kristina- she would like to apologize for her editor….)

Wednesday Round Up

Sometimes during your lunch break you just want to get lost in a YouTube haze. We feel ya here at TBG and we’re ready to provide. Enjoy these videos we’ve found over the last couple week while we’ve been putting the finishing touches on the Hiwassee Celebration of HOPE balloon glow festival. (which was a smashing success)

 

So this girl quit her job… with this youtube video

And the company responded

 

If you need to solve a Rubik’s Cube just listen to this rap

 

I also recently discovered creative dog grooming…

 

Speaking of dogs this is the smallest dog I’ve ever seen:

 

And this dog is GIIIIIGANTIC:

 

 

We Hope you make it through your hump day with a smile!

 

 

 

 

Trucks are for more than food… just ask Fashion Week

I don’t know about you but most of my money disappears into my gas tank, my stomach, or my closet (sometimes the floor around my closet). The beginning of September brings an exciting week that comes only twice a year (possibly even more exciting than Shark Week) and that’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The time of year where I yearn for clothes that cost more than my college tuition.

The price tag only got me thinking how these clothes get sold?

  • Celebrities bring press, which gets the designers name to the general public.
  • Editors forecast styles and decide which shows make it into their prestigious Fashion Week spreads. They have influence over next seasons trends and the designers to watch, as well as designer who may have, in their eyes, missed the mark this season.
  • Buyers evaluate each line and choose which ones are worth putting into their stores. They look at forecasted trends, client base, and selling potential to make sure each line they choose matches the store/stores they represent.

Each designer has one show to sell each of of their target markets on their image for Spring of 2014. With this much on the line the designers only have their clothes, their models, and their music selections to make that final sale.

But even more than that….

Fashion week boosts a number of opportunities for other companies to advertise. The September issue of many fashion magazines are their most extensive in both content and advertisements.  AdAge confirms that Elle Magazine’s September issue is the biggest yet with 442 ad pages.  InStyle sets their new record at 455 ad pages, and Vogue, leading the tribe, also had a increase with 665 ad pages. (read more)

Each live stream, from their personal YouTube live stream

to those found on sites like fashionweeklive hosts an ad before you can watch. This year blogs are playing an even bigger role than before. The number of bloggers covering fashion week is almost unimaginable, from every part of the globe blogs with their own set of advertisers get more hits during Fashion Week than any other time. And just think, all of this only counts as flat (on page or on screen) advertising opportunities.

Now brands in the 200,000 gift bags handed out during fashion week aren’t the only ones getting picked up.

Many brands that are leveraging fashion week are taking to guerilla marketing  to get their products to the public. Check out the trucks hitting New York streets offering more then just food. 

How many other brands are going to hop on the truck in January for the Fall 2014 show? We’re expecting to see more brands trying to climb up the luxury latter. Who do you think we’ll be seeing in the streets come January?