Artefact Cards Blog
“It’s genius, it’s Moleskine for Post-its”
So said Matt Sadler, my friend and fellow graduate of the IPA Excellence Diploma’ of Artefact Cards, as we caught up for the first time in AGES tonight.
I liked that so much, I made him write it down. Then put his face very close to it.
We were down at the launch of an initiative at The Bakery, which has been started by Alex Dunsdon & friends; Alex is another friend of ours from the Excellence Diploma. The Bakery brings together brands, agencies and technology companies, to try and solve problems consumers have with technology, rather than just use it to deliver advertising.
MTPW > MPWT, etc.
Anyway, the two things together (“Moleskine for Post-its” and Tech startups) made me remember a conversation that Mark Earls, Tim Milne and I were having yesterday, about one of the subjects around Mark’s new book he’s writing.
When people are pitching new tech startups to people, they tend to throw together two familiar things to make an unfamiliar thing. It’s Last.FM for Running. It’s Etsy for Auto Parts. It’s Mailbox for Calendars. It’s Instagram for Video. It’s X for Y.
Anyway, there’s probably a clear formula to use.
It’s [POPULAR THING] for [BROKEN THING]
And it’s all out the “Cut Up Technique” play book, of which Artefact Cards a definitely of the school of. Cut Up Technique is basically where you take an existing body of text (or images)’ cut through them all, and start rearranging to find new combinations.
It’s what the brilliant William S Burroughs quote “When You Cut Into The Present The Future Leaks Out” refers to. Cut into what exists, reorder, and see what might exist in the future.
Try it tomorrow. Write down lots of popular things in culture, and a set of broken things around the thing you’re working on. Then mix them all up, and see what you can create.
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After what must be nearly three months of work, we've cracked the new box prototype.
To say we're delighted would be an understatement.
Into production very soon, expect them in September...
I've just taken delivery of the new batch of stickers for inclusion with the Deluxe Boxes. Rather pleased with them; the idea of playing with ideas is becoming a more consistent territory for the cards, I feel, as it seems to apply across the board for whatever people are using them for.
It also goes back to what Tim, Fraser and I discussed at the beginning of the summer:
It really feels like we're conceptually getting to the interesting parts of the Artefact Card thing. More news very soon...
I did a wee presentation on Artefact Cards down at The Future Laboratory yesterday, and at the last minute on the train interspersed the presentation with a rudimentary Artefact Reading List (snapped and exported using the Artefact app, of course)
...so if you want to investigate some of the key texts which inspired the working method of the cards, here's not such a bad place to start:
We had the first Artefact meetup last week, which was great fun. More on that over here. But there will be more, that’s for sure. Thanks to Helen & Mel at BBH for hosting, and the guys over at Carlsberg in Copenhagen for being the beer sponsors (and sending us some fine craft beer from the Jacobsen microbrewery).
At the end of the evening, Adam mentioned that he’d heard someone describe the app as “Minimum Viable Presentation”. Which I think is brilliant. I just wish I knew who it was who’d said it.
Anyway, get your MVP tool for iPhone over here, if you haven’t already – http://bit.ly/15D4uOh
And if you have it already, do be a dear and write us a review of it
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Yes, it’s been a little quiet on the blog of late – but with good reason.
One of the things I’d picked up a lot when talking to users, or using the cards myself, is that there wasn’t an easy way to get the cards off the table or down from the wall, and into a computer or phone and sent to someone as a digital file of some form.
That’s the problem we set out to tackle, and I’m so so pleased with the result -it’s free to download and have a play with, with the advanced features being the very modest price of £2.49.
It’s not just for using with Artefact Cards, clearly – it works brilliantly for any sort of working practice where you’re surrounded by piles of sticky-notes and flipcharts that need capturing. Snap ‘em, order ‘em, and export as a presentation, PDF, or just the pictures.
It’s already been featured in the likes of PSFK, which is very nice. If you know anyone else who might want to feature it, just send ‘em my way.
Finally a wee postscript; working on it over the past few months with Adam (build) & Darrell (design & UI) who’re on opposite sides of the pond has been a brilliant, brilliant experience. Basically because they’re both awesome people with a fondness for tea. And very, very good at what they do. Thank you, gents.
And you should see what we’re planning next for it…
Ta-ta then, happy playing.
What, you’re still here?
GO PLAY WITH THE APP ALREADY…
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