Red Dot Awards for 2018

Happy New Year! A fresh year of work, exploration, and productivity stretches before us! I like to kick off the year with a recent Red Dot Award. The Red Dot competition is hosted in Germany, and celebrates human-centric design and innovative products from around the globe. Last year I reported on the Logitech K780 Multi-Device Keyboard in Red Dot Awards for 2017. Starting the year with great design reminds me to bring beauty and elegance to my work.

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L16 Computational Camera by Bould Design and Light

This year I selected the L16 Computational Camera, designed by Bould Design, and manufactured by Light, both located right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. According to their description, the camera “is the world’s first multi-aperture computational camera. It combines an ergonomically refined case, breakthrough optics and the most advanced imaging engine ever created to bring DSLR image quality to a pocket-size form factor. Sixteen image sensors span wide angle, mid and telephoto ranges. There are no extra lenses to carry or change. Based on focal distance, each shutter click captures up to 10 images, which are then fused into a high-resolution photo that can be refocused and adjusted with the Light editing software. Each shot yields infinite photographic outcomes.” 

I love how small, light (about a pound), and compact this camera is, and the picture quality is quite remarkable. You can see a gallery here: https://light.co/gallery. I look forward to seeing how the camera evolves.

Red Dot Awards for 2016

I may have found my new bicycle – and it’s from Ikea! The SLADDA bicycle is the Red Dot “Best of the Best” winner for 2016. Each year the prestigious Red Dot award recognizes exceptional design in a variety of categories. The award celebrates human-centric design that is beautiful and a delight to use. Last year I reported on several Red Dot winners for the software user interface category. The winners for this year’s winners are being announced on the Red Dot website.

The SLADDA bicycle design is by Veryday, and the manufacturer is IKEA, both in Sweden. The bicycle is designed for those who commute and do errands in an urban setting, but can easily handle recreational outings. The light-weight bike is engineered with low maintenance gear works, built in accessories, and an ingenious system for adding attachments. In true Ikea style, you receive the bike in a flat crate, and assemble it yourself (in around 50 minutes, per one YouTube video). Take a look at the bike:

Although the bike has its critics for its plain design and price, this is a great example of reimagining a familiar object, and innovating to improve it. Not everyone wants or needs a fancy bicycle, so this light, functional, easy-to-use design may appeal to those who just want a sensible transportation option.

Red Dot Award

User experience and user focused design are hot topics. The goal is to design an object in a way that is intuitive, if not delightful, to use. This is the experience I had several years ago when I unwrapped my Apple iPad, a gift from my husband. I felt like I was unwrapping a work of art. I still feel that way when I attach the pad to its elegant key board, and start writing. Beautiful and thoughtful design is a pleasure to use, and should be easy to figure out.

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My employer recently received the Red Dot Award for a couple of application design concepts. The Red Dot Award is an annual design completion hosted in Germany; they have been handing out awards since 1954. Awards are given for products in various categories for beautiful and innovative designs. Hardware and software companies, like Adobe, Cisco, and Dell, have received the Red Dot Award for their hardware, software, and communications products.

To give you an idea, here are a couple of winners from 2015: Apple and SAP. Look through some of the other categories as well to see additional examples. I appreciate this quest for beauty in form and function, and think it can be a positive influence toward better designed software with its users in mind.