I was thinking...


9 Minutes is a Long Time for a Brand, but Well Worth the Wait.

Pizza night is a tradition in our home. And of course, it's on a Friday. Pizza night allows us to wind down from the week, talk and generally just be together. Enough about that.

My favorite pizza is sausage, pepperoni, and green peppers on Naan bread. I love it! To me, it doesn't get any better than that. The part I hate is the cooking time...9 minutes. I mean 9 minutes! It has to be the longest 9 minutes of my life. But when the oven dings and it's time to eat, it's like every second was well worth the wait. And that my friends, is an experience worth having.

The things that make that pizza great are the ingredients congealing together into one tasty dish. You know it's going to be great. Everything is coming together right when you want it to. The hard part is waiting. Waiting for the time for the ingredients to come together. So what do we do? We rush. We forget an ingredient. We promote something more than the other. And what happens? It does not meet the expectations that we wanted it to have and we are disappointed. The experience is rather lack-luster or horrible. We end up throwing it away or pawning it off to the dog. It becomes something we never meant it to be.

That's what we do to our brands. Brands are not as fragmented as we think. We just have ingredients all over the place and we're impatient. We should be building and designing a brand for the experiences people will have with it, not just for the sake of competition and "innovation".

Give your brand elements time to marinate. Incubate on an idea for a while. Let it simmer. Let it congeal. Wait the 9 minutes! When we rush something just to get it to market, we become just as impatient as our customers. Then we all lose. How many new ideas have come across just lame or have been missing something? How many times have we used a product or service and asked ourselves "How in the world did they miss that?"

Our brands are complex and the experiences that come with them should be intoxicating. People shouldn't have a problem talking about them (in a good way). We shouldn't have to ask them to say something on social media. If it's a great experience, they will tell someone. They'll even brag about it!

So the social experiment that I had yesterday is still going; I'm just giving it some time to bake. And that's a good thing.




Being Whole When You're Broken


So this will be me for the 2-4 months. In a cast. I snapped my achilles playing the manliest game ever-dodgeball. Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen...dodgeball.

So as I was going through this process, I started thinking about how I would use this time constructively. Yeah, I can work from home and I will be going back into the office pretty soon, but I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss this moment.

I've been struggling with the things that motivate me and drive me towards a broader goal. So a way for me to tackle that question is by asking questions about motivation and drive. I've been a designer, brand and marketing guy for about 17 years now and even that description alone doesn't define me. When you ask people who they are, they reply "I'm a mom or stay-at-home dad. Or they just simply give you their name with a story behind it. Asking them What They Do is a whole different ballgame. So to tackle this complex question of Who I Am, I want to tackle the questions of What Makes Me.

So I decided to take it even a step further by asking What Makes Me Whole when I'm Broken? Trust me, there a #brandlesson in here somewhere.



The Do-It-Yourself Smart Home Market Will Reach $7.8 Billion By 2019 and Smart Product Designers Should Seize the Opportunity

Photo Courtesy of InfoStep via Flickr

I'm a geek. I love being a geek. I'm enthralled by the potential of technology. However, I'm also apprehensive about big data and who owns the data when it is thrown into the context of consumer consumption and usage statistics. But I digress...

UX Designers. Brand Managers. Anyone who says they care about designing a positive experience and interactions should take notice: the Smart Home and Smart Car are here. And we have the opportunity to claim some very sound mind share in shaping that consumer experience.

We are the creators and advocators of that experience. What's a more impactful space to display our passion for crafting experiences than in the home? Just wrap your mind around the possibilities for a second...

Done? Good. Because over the next couple of months, I know this is where my focus will be: the Internet of Things. Stay tuned.

While you're waiting, read these:

Here's Why The Do-It-Yourself Smart Home Market Will Reach $7.8 Billion By 2019 

This Startup is Trying to Create—and Control—the Internet of Your Home 

Is Your Home Smart Enough for the Future? 

Apple iWatch is actually a home automation play 

In the Coming Age of the Connected Home, Your Phone Will Be a Magic Wand

There's a ton more. But here's my advice: One of the things that designers and UX practitioners have in common is the spirit of entrepreneurship (at least I hope...). That spirit helps us see and identify the next big thing. I'm jumping on it. Are you?



The Future of Driving (?)

So I've been very intrigued by telematics and the research supporting the natural interface. Especially as it pertains to the driving experience. This is a very interesting concept and I believe it's where things are going for the driver. The trick to me is educating the driver while implementing a fluid driving experience. Take a look and let me know your thoughts.

Also, you can download the iPad experience and learn more here. Follow @matthaeus .

Very interesting start to revamping the driving experience.



Something's Missing

You ever had a bad case of the Mondays? The day when you want to drop out and not have any responsibility-at least for your primary job obligation?

Today is that day. Today is the day when you recapture what's been lost. Today is when you rediscover that gnawing feeling in your gut. Today is the day you reproduce that which has been in you all along. Today is the day you reimagine new possibilities to age old problems.

Today is the day you create.

Today isn't about industry jargon, brand loyalty (if there is such a thing - I'll provide more on this topic. Trust me.), User Experience and the impacts of good design. Save that for tomorrow. Today is the day you make your ancestors, friends, colleagues, family stand up and take pause. Today is the day that the only responsibility you have is the responsibility to self. Self-discovery. Self-imagination. Self- creativity. Self-design.

Today is Monday. Today is the day you shine.