Seeing software

August 22, 2006

219547048_e5590a5491.jpg

Yup – that about right. In fact – all business managment should use cell shaded images to describe processes and activities. Now thats a string to Pixar’s bow I would love to see.

Seriously, much of the process in software is captured in either UML or ‘textual documentation’, both have verydifferent ontologies. Add the Visio aesthetic or even Omnigraffle and you begin to translate ideas for the better or worse.

Creative Director of Digitas, David Armano has been working on a bunch of diagrams to enagage the whole gammut of participants in a software development. Though they’re bright, cheerful and optimistic – software development at it’s best is about reflexity and recursiveness.

It’s all in the briefing and the planning.

As the advertising and software industries get closer and closer, my hope is to see the art of planning meet the Agile methodologies.

In a networked world, development teams for both communication and programmers need a direction, not a destination.

4 Responses to “Seeing software”

  1. David Armano Says:

    “software development at it’s best is about reflexity and recursiveness.”

    If we view the creation of digital experiences as merely software development, then yes—it is at best about reflexity and recursiveness.

    But if we think about it as providing a memorable brand experience that the customer falls in love with, then it’s something more.

    It’s more than just briefing and planning. It’s the strategy, planning, briefing, creative and execution. All have to work together. The reason why so many agencies are creating crap that people don’t want even if it wins an award—is because somewhere along the line, we’ve lost our way.


  2. Hi David,

    Absolutely, the execution of brand led software has seriously meandered into meaningless bloat-ware – such as Flash promos that just shout. I believe briefing and planning, when done well, keeps the creative and execution on track – but I suspect there are very few in the industry that understand code and brand strategies equally to produce such briefings. Online media needs to listen more than it communicates.

    Projects that are ‘software as brand development’ have the opportunity to encourage the brand to be reflexive and recursive. Brands, on the whole, are still too rigid in their modes of presentation; being invariants in society rather than adapting to the individual’s needs.

    If a brand’s ethos is the invariant in the software, dictating the range of functionality, a concept Stallman has argued for within the GNU licence, then perhaps the Creative Commons scheme, which encourages Attribution and Share Alike, enabling a more open approach to media development, is maybe the path many agencies have forgotten. The legalities of building upon existing software models have forced too many reinventions of the proverbial wheel, such as the numerous web2.0 clone applications including the upcoming bud.tv.

    By designing digital experiences that listen, producers need not be losing their way – the direction will be a strong message from the users – but we can only do this if we have the licence to include our users input, which means sharing the product with the audience, not just the fabricated experience. In turn, the relationship between brand and audience would result in a unique offering, reflecting of the shared values between them. This opens up the role of marketing to more than just communication, but to be a network and a manufacturer too.

    By sharing the development of the brand with the audience, the relationship avoids ‘love’ and maintains instead a friendship – a relationship that tends to last longer than a love…

  3. David Armano Says:

    Well put. I agree with the inclusion of the customer 100%.

    One thing.

    “By sharing the development of the brand with the audience, the relationship avoids ‘love’ and maintains instead a friendship – a relationship that tends to last longer than a love…”

    You are confusing love with lust. Lust does not last. It fizzles out over time. It’s great at first. Passionate and intense, but does not stand the test of time.

    Love does. I will always love my wife and children, no matter what happens.

    If a brand can figure out how to tap into this kind of love—well then they have done something right.


  4. I’m not sure I could ever love a brand, because a brand could never truly love me back…

    Mapping anthropological emotions to communication is a curiosity I have. Logos have an identity, yet their state of hyper-reality keep them from a personally connection – a mirage of personality. A brand is more than its logo, but the hyper reality persists because the brands identity is a fabrication: a simulation of emotions by proxy. This indeed encourages lust.

    Sure a brand can relentlessly claim to love you, but is it possible to produce an open embracing brand, incorporating interaction which is based upon listening and supporting the individual, with the willingness to compromise and challenge my interests without prejudice?

    Love also plays a zero-sum game, in such it becomes uncomfortable when a participant gains more from the relationship than the other. Commerce and communication thrives on non-zero-sum strategies, ensuring there is a reason to trade or discuss – a classic case of supply and demand. If the paradigm of love is possible within a brand strategy, then Bill has a warning observation:

    If music be the food of love, play on;
    Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
    The appetite may sicken, and so die.
    That strain again! it had a dying fall:
    O! it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
    That breathes upon a bank of violets,
    Stealing and giving odour.
    “Twelfth Night” (1.1.1-7)

    Commerce loves grief, and the consumer loves love.

    Saying that, Arthur Daily from the UK sitcom, Minder, summed up the folly of values within friendship too:

    “A friend in need is not a friend.”

    To which I’m sure the script writers borrowed from C.M.Coolidge painting ‘A friend in need’ c1870.


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