Taking design to the Boardroom

There were queues round the block last weekend for the opening of the Design Museum at its new location in Kensington. The development itself has always been controversial; repurposing the former Commonwealth Institute with the assistance of a significant financial contribution from flats built on the boundaries of the site. Reactions to the interior have also been mixed, but with 8,000 visitors on the first day there can be little doubting the public’s interest.


Four years on and still the media don’t get it


A couple of weeks before the last US presidential election, we posted a blog here highlighting the difference between the media commentary (backed by a lot of individual polls) which showed the result was close, and the completely different story coming out of forecasting models such as 538.com which predicted a small but comfortable lead for Obama.

Allowing for the margins of error, the polls had actually done a reasonable job forecasting the national vote, but the media had significantly overstated the volatility of the election by ignoring known facts such as a party’s post-convention bounce almost always disappears by the time of the election.  In the aftermath of the election there was a brief period of glory for the best known of the forecasters, Nate Silver, and then the lessons from the election coverage were gradually forgotten and business returned to usual.

Pedalling harder just to stand still


Press reporting of the fact that Apple now expects the typical iPhone to be replaced after three years, and Mac computers after four, has shed light on the challenge to the IT sector of declining hardware lives. Breaking Blue has been researching the lifecycles of IT products for over a decade, and we’ve built up probably a unique time series of how hardware lifecycles have evolved, based on research in several dozen countries.


Design lessons from history


It’s easy to overlook the importance of design in successful communication.  Too often the value of an important piece of communication is lost through poor design.  If the audience is turned off by the presentation, they won’t get the message.  This maxim seems to be lost on today’s transport companies, but it hasn’t always been this way.

Transport companies ignoring their brand heritage

The arrival of the author’s tickets for next weekend’s steam on the London Underground specials has prompted some reflections on the value of history as a part of the marketing mix for today’s transport industry. The bus and rail industries are unusual in that it’s possible to see earlier incarnations of their product in use in their original environment and many of the major players in the UK (TfL and Stagecoach for example) are active in maintaining their history.