Social TV & Co-Viewing

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Watching TV is an experience that’s better shared and obviously the social nature of viewing has generally been through talking to, laughing with and occasionally jumping up and down with people who are physically in the same location as you.  This shared experience is a strong reminder to us that we are social beings. When we laugh, cry and interact with a show, it’s the sensibility of the audience that gives the experience meaning rather than simply the TV show itself. But other types of social engagements are now evolving around TV. Now when we watch a show we have our laptop or iPad in front of us where we are talking to friends over Facebook, using hashtags on Twitter or googling an actor. There is an emmerging opportunity to expand this social interaction, to create digital experiences that unify people watching the same show in the interest of making the show actually better.

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NYT Profile on Gestalten

Book publisher Gestalten profiles some interesting designers on their Motion site. Below is an excerpt from an interview with New York Times designers, mainly talking about the process of working with the web. Interesting for me was mention of the constraints of the paper being a safer place for designers (“finite space forces you to edit”).

Layer Freak

We just came across this neat Layer Tennis iPhone app called Layer Freak.If you’re not familiar with Layer Tennis, go check it out at Coudal’s site. It’s a well established way of designers pinging Photoshop files back and forth, adding visual twists and turns as they go (seems to have become a bigger deal with Adobe’s involvement). Anyway, the app is a great way to checkin now and then with how the season’s progressing and relive great moments in previous seasons. I always thought that Layer Tennis was good example of how a simple, working collaboration work: exploring new areas and perspectives simply by adding additional elements along the way and seeing where it takes you. Obviously not very objective-orientated but certainly allows for surprises.

Check out Layer Freak via iTunes.