Time for the second in our series of extracts from the interviews we conducted with Direction 16 speakers for Scroll Magazine. All conference and workshop attendees get a free print edition (88 bound pages of articles and interviews with full colour photos and illustrations) while it will also be available for digital download post-conference.
What is something “forgotten” you’d like to see make a comeback?
Mark Pesce (Inventor, VRML):
Caroline Sinders (Machine Learning Designer, Buzzfeed):
Probably the usage of buses. I know that sounds strange, but let me explain. There’s all this talk right now of self-driving cares and how they’re going to revolutionise the way we travel, and I kind of wish we would create better bus systems. Self-driving cars allow only for one to four people to fit within them, but buses can allow for many more. It would be great bring that back and focus on that more.
Pasquale D’Silva (Product Designer, Hype):
Classical animation, back in the theaters. Disney / Pixar has been steering the community into some wonderful pockets of storytelling, and visual development… but it’s becoming much of the same. 2d takes just as long as computer generated films to produce today. You can do things in 2d, that you could never do in 3d. You have an opportunity to defy physics, simulation and geometry. I think this reasoning has been forgotten, and it’s a shame.
Jacob Bijani (Product Designer/Engineer, Tumblr):
RSS feeds. Really, the whole idea of an open web. Being able to make an “API mashup” that cobbled together some features you wanted was pretty awesome. I think it inspired a lot of great ideas. Now everything is so closed and protected, and with how iOS is built it’s basically impossible to customize apps like you could with browser extensions.
Jenn Bane (Community Director, Cards agains Humanity):
All the drive-in theaters in my area are closed – do those still exist at all? I want to go to a drive-in, let’s bring those back. Watching a movie outside sounds so peaceful. Or maybe it’s terrible. I genuinely don’t know and want to try it!
Jonathan Shariat (Product Designer):
The Flash intro. Ha ha. But seriously, I miss some of the real creative experiences during the time Flash was around. Some were quirky, others were sublime or beautiful, I loved the diversity of it all. Today, we see less diversity in the experiences on the web. I hope we can start seeing people take more risks and create some real memorable experiences.
Anna Pickard (Editorial Director, Slack):
People being themselves on the internet. OK – well, that’s unfair. The world is full of people being themselves on the internet. But I do miss an unfiltered, more open (and in many ways more vulnerable) internet, an internet where people were unafraid of presenting themselves honestly and openly.
Matt Griffin (Film Maker & Designer):
Inline styles. Just kidding, they’re already making a comeback. Batten down the hatches, friends.
Aubrey Blanche (Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Atlassian):
I’d be down with “please” and “thank you.” As we rely more on machines to do things for us, we’ve lost the value of politeness to a certain extent. I’d love a world in which the Amazon Alexa I have at home would refuse to turn on my TV unless I asked politely. Not necessarily because it’s crucial for me to be nice to my appliances, but because everything we do is constantly re-wiring our brain into new habits.
Andy Clarke (Designer & Art Director):
Recently I’ve developed an obsession for boutique publishing, in particular independent magazines such as Elliot Jay Stocks’ ‘Lagom.’ Somehow the variety of magazine layouts combined with the feel of a printed magazine makes the format incredibly satisfying. While we focus on making compelling digital products and websites, we mustn’t forget that print can be equally compelling. I’d love to see more digital creatives make printed work.
Josh Clark (IxD, Big Medium):
Wow, the beaming feature of the Palm Pilot. Remember that? If you wanted to share contact info or set up a meeting with someone right next to you, you just pointed your Palm Pilots at each other, and it was done. That’s so hard to do now! We fumble with our phones, scramble with apps, and then finally just email or text the other person. We’re clumsy now, but the Palm was elegant: just point, beam, done.
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