Design Design Viewpoints

"Here I show off my T400 with the laptop that started it all for me, the 560" Gregory Costa As promised, here is a  blog about the responses I received regarding my request for stories and images about other peoples first ThinkPads. It was great reading them and reliving your memories on the road to 60 million ThinkPads. It's always amazing to me to see how much emotion is connected to the ThinkPad brand and design. Not everyone could produce a photo, but they could certainly tell a story. I thought it would be interesting to publish the one that hit me the hardest. Here is the complete story as sent by Gregory Costa. Thanks to Greg for not only writing the story, but giving me permission to publish it. Here you go: The Laptop That Started it All, by Gregory Costa Back in 2007, I had just begun my master’s in biology at UMass Dartmouth.  My laptop at the time was 3 years old and was falling apart, with its broken hinge, worn silver paint at the palm rests, and loud hard drive.    Simply, it was 6 pounds of junk—the brand shall go nameless, since I’m not allowed to use four-lettered words in here.  Needless to say, I needed a new laptop, but was completely unsure which laptop would suit my needs. Walking to lab one morning, I was surprised to find a stack of...

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The net gen has significant influence on the world of technology and design People have been talking about the generation gap for many years. I remember my parents telling my sister to turn down her record player like it was yesterday.  Herman's Hermits, the Beatles, and other British bands had clearly invaded more than America, they invaded the Hill household. My sister's love of the Beatles was mystifying to my dad. Music was Mozart, not mop tops with odd collarless suits and crazed women fainting at the sight of a guy named Ringo. Decades later, it turns out that both my dad and sister knew what was special in the world of music, but at the time, the generation gap was very real. Portable music technology and design circa 1965 Today, the generation gap continues, but it seems to have stretched even wider due to the rapid changes in technology. I didn't own my first personal computer until I was in my late 30's. My children, on the other hand, were nearly born with them. The generation I am talking about  is often refered to as Generation Y, the Millennial Generation, Generation Next or theNet Gen.  This group is marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. They...

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Maybe I should have said better taste, less filling. If you're a frequent Design Matters reader, you probably noticed the new design we rolled out yesterday. It's been 4 years since we first launched Design Matters as Lenovo's first blog. It's hard to member exactly what other things we were working on way back in 2006. It's been a great experience for me. I've learned a lot about social media, and certainly have grown as a blogger,  but the design of the blog has never changed. I participated highly in the original design to ensure it had the right look and feel out of the gate. I knew that future readers would be very interested in ThinkPad and what made design tick at Lenovo. The blog design needed to connect to that audience. In retrospect, I think we did a good job, but it's hard to not reach for improvements. Designers just can't stop designing. The new design adds some important social media links and usability features to a new comments bar. It's now very easy to share a blog either with Twitter or Facebook and stay connected with your followers and friends. Bookmarking a favorite blog for future reference is a simple click away. You can also finally print a specific  blog without burning up your printer with a zillion unwanted pages. This has driven me crazy since the beginning.

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Kansas backroads haven't changed much since I lived there 30 years ago. Thanks to David Rush for the photo. This must be the year of the podcast. I just finished another one where I was interviewed about my design education/background, what I did at IBM, and what I do at Lenovo.  My design educational roots stretch back to studying architecture in Oklahoma and ultimately industrial design at the University Kansas, where I graduated in the early 80's. Yes, they have a basketball team too. Karel Vredenburg conducted the interview last Friday.  Karel is responsible for driving the visual and interaction/user experience design of IBM software, hardware, websites, and services.  He also leads the development of IBM's user experience design processes, methods, assets, and tools, for their deployment company-wide. I first met Karel back in the early days of UCD at IBM. You can read more about him here. I thought my Design Matters readers would find the content interesting. You can give it a listen here. David Hill

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  I recently did a podcast with Information & Design founder Gerry Gaffney. Operating out of  Australia, Information & Design is an innovative usability and user experience consulting firm. Not to suprisingly, Gerry is also a big ThinkPad fan. I thought you would find the content regarding the evolution of ThinkPad interesting. You can read the transcript, or give it a listen here. David Hill

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