Archive for the 'Design' Category

BBC home Archive beta

Yay, the official BBC homepage archive launched today, and check us being all web2.0 and down with the kids, we’ve even got a little beta sign.. wow, times have changed, and this in the same week my mum did her first blog post on the blogger account I set up for her community centre… blimey

As ever, indeed perhaps for the final time, Martin offers up his thoughts from an operational perspective in what could be his ‘last post’ as today was his final day at the BBC. At the going down of the servers, and at the rising of the feedback, we will remember him.

Anyway, this archive thing is great, but when we move out of beta and into… um, gamma, I’d like to see it fully integrated into the homepage proper. One idea we’ve talked about for ages is a shuffler, or nudger, like on a fruit machine. It’d be a sort of, ‘naah, don’t like that, show me something else’ type affair. Other thoughts are a daily scrape of all the sub pages promotions. Or taking a chunk of the Popular and New section and having a ‘what other people are doing’ style thing… So can someone build any of these for us please?


Flash on the homepage, Doctor Who Exclusives, and street crime…what a day

A mini mile stone has been reached in my BBC career this week…

yes, after three years and two redesigns we’ve finally got some flash on the homepage. This was talked about waaaaaaay back in 2002 by me, the hit man and her. Look, here’s some dev work to prove it, shark.swf & liar.swf. In a way, a lot of why we’d want Flash has been taken up by the rotorvator, and everyone loves that.

As usual, Martin’s got all the details, God I’m going to have to write properly about what actually goes on behind the homepage when he goes…

Anyway, a lot of the point are valid, however I feel if we’d have done something really ‘FLASHY’ we’d have set a high expectation… and the fact that the record co. only gave Radio1 and me TWO images! You can’t really do much with two images really. ‘sides we’re saving going really flashy for something ‘special’.

My favourite reply was one that said something like “when the images for this current homepage started they were crisp, now they’re all crap and jpeggy’ or something… sigh, everyone’s a critic.

Well, balls to flash, because today I was working with that ol’ pre Millennium favourite, the animated gif.. woo-hoo. We did a sneaky ‘doctor who exclusive’ in the homepage banner.. see here.

Well after about 20 mins, the Outpost Gallifrey message boards were aflame with rumour my fave being “bet they’re launching an advent calendar” – yeah because that would be a good thing to launch on the 2nd of December. heh-heh. So what is coming tomorrow? Check back at 12ish tomorrow…. Also the article about what we did for the series one finale went live today on The Cutting Archive, have a read.

Also according to the daily brief, complaints for my marketing and promotions colleagues ‘heads’ trail have topped 800, with licence fee payers seemingly trying to out do each other in shocked reaction, we’ve had ‘violently sick’ ”Absolutely horrible’ and ‘made me kill my family’.. actually that last one’s not true. Mind you so far in my time at the beeb we’ve had dismembered fingers, ear’s growing on trees, rubber faces that peel off, faces on monkeys and now mini heads…

Anyway, talking of scary things around 10pm tonight I heard a woman screaming outside my house, some guy was mugging her, right there in the street! I ran down and made sure she was all right, then called the police. The guy got away but the police are with her and out looking for him now.

I’m pleased to say that lots of residents came out to see if she was ok and one pizza delivery guy even went a ride round on his motorbike looking for him. Nice to know that. It doesn’t look like he’s violent, but it seems he only attacks women and is scared quite easily, mind you, he’s done it before

Buffalo…Tuxedo…Doctor Who…Wetlands

I’m back, after a week off seeing family up north and researching a story about buffalo farming in the Peak District (more on that later as I’m working to get a publisher for it – some shots on Flickr) We also visited Chatsworth House, which if you’re ever in that neck of the woods is well worth a visit. It’s not a cheap day out, but you can see where every penny’s gone, and me niece moved the farm and the adventure play ground. The restaurant/cafe in particular offered up tasty options, even the kids choices were healthier than most of the standard battered something and chips.We came back from up North so I could attend the Association of Online Publishers annual awards. This saw me having to don a dinner suit and black tie which I thought made me look a little bit like a bouncer.. There was a lot of booing of us by the Guardian table, (come on then!). In the end we won two awards, one for the Podcasting trial from Radio & Music and One for News Interactive best consumer website.Doctorwho_homechoiceAlso upon my return I see Homechoice have got all the new Doctor Who’s on the C1 replay channel. They’ve also gone the extra mile for the ‘kids today’ and got five other stories feature other doctors from different years, and have put the whole lot into a snazzy DVD style interface. The featured episodes are:2005 – all the episodes | 1989 – The curse of Fenric – ep1-4 | 1985 – Timelash – ep 1-4 | 1984 – The caves of Androzani – ep1-4 | 1976 – The deadly assassin – ep1-4 | 1972 – The three Doctors – ep1-4I started watching ‘The Three Doctors’ .. it was hard going. Now working at the BBC means I’m working with some of the most hard core Who fans who’ll be able tell me if these are good episodes… I wonder if Homechoice consulted any Who Fans about which would be good ‘showcase’ episodes? Or maybe they just went for one’s that were four parters?To round off our little holiday and because the weather was nice today we decided to go to Richmond Park, only at the traffic lights somewhere in Putney we saw a sign for the London Wetland Centre and decided to give it a try. It was rather nice, thought there were lots of men lurking in hides and bushes with telescopes… Had lunch there too, not as good as Chatsworths,So back to work tomorrow

homechoice ‘minimote’

There’s been a lot of beeb related bloggin on this site recently, and whilst that’s all well and good, it does mean I’ve neglected some other interests… namely design, photography and food!

So, yesterday I got hold of a ‘minimote’, a kid friendly remote control for my homechoice box. Like the box says, it’s not for grown ups… so, um, I’ll have to use it when my nieces come and visit, or just use it as my ‘monged’ remote!

It’s actually nicely designed using soft orange plastic and it’s lozenge shape means kids know which end to point at the TV. In fact I wish adult remotes were less slab like. Menu wise it uses a trumpet symbol for volume, a ladder for up and down navigation to some of the on demand shows and distinctly shaped buttons… But the key thing is that it only works on the kids channels, like Scamp, cbebbies, nickelodeon etc so parents know exactly what the kids are watching. You can also schedule the last 10 mins of your child’s viewing interspersed with ‘Time for Bed’ messages.

The Scamp channel won a D&AD silver nomination, but was beaten by our very own Spooks Interactive designed by the lovely Vibeke Hansen and Kim-Leigh Pontin.. two wise design ladies indeed…

I’m getting to like homechoice more and more, since it’s installation at Christmas they’ve upped the broadband speeds, and made subtle but useful tweaks to the EPG system, the replay function means I’m watching more and more shows on demand, the BB is fast enough for my use and all the evening phone calls a free… I should be on commission!

blogstipated – The Sunday Times Magazine Dec 16th 1979

Bloomin’ ‘eck. This week I’ve been so blogstipated, a packed head full of stuff I wanted to comment on and share, yet without the laxative of time to do it. Work’s been busy, and there’s been a fair amount of socialising too.

So, here’s the first ‘brain movement’ of the long weekend.

I went to the doctors last Monday, and in the waiting room I picked up a copy of The Sunday Times Magazine December 16th 1979, that’s got to be a record!? Anyway, I expressed such an interest the receptionist said I could have it.

The cover story was the unearthing of the terracotta army in China, which is now facing a new enemy, and was a big deal back then. Some great ads too, and from companies that we’ve not seen adverts from for years.. Parker Pens, Mateus Rose, Yamaha Organs, some bath foam

In the back is ‘a day in the life’ of Colonel Richard Seifert, the architect of such London Skyline ‘faves’ as Tower 42 (nee the Nat-west tower) and Centre Point. but was he says the Guardian? A great view on Centre Point’s legacy is here. This legacy is all in contrast to Seifert’s ‘day’. Here’s some choice cuts: My wife Josephine is a human alarm clock.., he’s up and out in his chauffeur driven car by 6:30am. I liked this too.. At 8am young Michael – well, actually, I call him young but he’s been with me for 20 years – my office boy, brings in my morning coffee. Bloody hell, office boy! 20 years of bringing this guy coffee… ahh the days when jobs were for life eh? Anyway, he answers his post that comes twice daily, attends a few meetings, goes out on site once or twice.. . Then, after a a full day, this I’ll get home about eight, quite tired, but the great thing is Josephine always welcomes me home with a smile and a hug and without the slightest criticism for being late. She also has a splendid three course dinner waiting for me; soup, something plain like steak, chicken or grilled fish, and a sweet.. lucky sod.

Anyway, I wonder how many ill people have held this magazine, and how many of them are now dead?

My most used app recently..

Ikea wardrobe designing software

Dyson: Against the Odds

just finished James Dyson’s Biography: Against the Odds

His engineering approach and back shed attitude, coupled with his British Indefatigability, means he comes out of the books like a sort of Fred Dibner for the design world.

Choice cuts include:
The problem is this. When marketing began to emerge as a separate and identifiable skill, some time in the fifties, it quickly came to be considered as a distinct managerial area, and ultimately the area around which all others in a company should gather to determine their movements. This was fine, for marketing was still something that began inside the factory and was a process that continued all the way to the consumer, and kept producer and user in delicate harmony. But then is started to move away from its roots. Marketing became more portable, agencies sprang up that did nothing else, and gradually, and inevitably, marketing and advertising became detached from design and production.

Ahhh, so true. Here’s another:
A journalist what came to interview me once asked, ‘The area where the dirt collects is transparent, thus parading all our detritus on the outside, and turning the classic design inside out. Is this some post-modern nod to the architectural style pioneered by Richard Rogers at the Pompidou Centre, where the air-conditioning and escalators, the very guts, are made into a self-referential design feature?’
‘No’ I replied ‘It’s so you can see when it’s full.’

The house I rent has a Dyson, an old DC02, the first ‘pull along’, it’s a bit knackered now, and resembles the battered up robot in Disney’s the black hole. But it’s still going. It’s interesting to see how much his technology has been imitated, as well as his colour scheme a la iMac. Particularly derivative are Hoover, with their new The One. God what a rubbish name, there’s a train company called The One somewhere in England, and it buggers up all the platform announcements in this deregulated age, e.g., “The One 1:51 service is at platform 1”. Anyway, Which? voted The One a pile of shit, and it’s no looker either, cherry red and white? Wasn’t there a toy robot from Tandy with this colour scheme in the 80’s? Anyroad, Vac wars are well and truly on, and up for grabs is the verb, so this weekend I’ll be ‘Dysoning’ my lounge.

PS. Strangely Chuck Norris’ autobiography is called ‘Against all Odds’. It’s, well, odd to think of one lanky galloot tinkering with vacuum cleaners in his shed in the UK, while in the US Chuck’s putting stunt men in hospital with shattered vertebrae.

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
September 2019
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