Alex Pineda

Creative Director

The Inflection Point

As I write this, I’m currently watching the live event of Apple’s latest iPhone 8 event. They just announced an update to the Apple TV set top box, with support for 4K, because, according to Tim Cook, “TV is at an “inflection point” with the mainstream adoption of 4K.”

This made me ponder the implication of this term “inflection point”. By definition, in math terms, it’s “a point of a curve at which a change in the direction of curvature occurs.”  In Tim Cook’s reference, it’s when a technology reaches a certain critical mass in terms of how many people use it, hence Apple’s new product.

In larger, cultural terms, an inflection point represents a fundamental change in how people live, do business, communicate.  On the NY Times website, there is a video of all the things the iPhone “destroyed”, in terms of how it disrupted whole industries, and changed how we interact with each other:

The list of disruptions engendered by the rise of mobile technology is enormous, including the taxi industry, alarm clocks, cameras, etc. Every organization is faced with the potential of disruption, with the inflection point. The key is to anticipate this disruption, and embrace it, to evolve, rather than die. History is littered with industries and companies that could not embrace change and fell by the wayside.

Since I’ve been with Matrix Group (1999), there have been a huge number of inflection points, both culturally and technologically. Every time there is a major fundamental change, we’ve had to adapt our design process, business practices, and offerings to clients. From desktop to mobile, cloud computing, content management systems, these new technologies have all had huge impacts on our business, and how we help our clients.

Some of the new potential inflection points include the internet of things, virtual reality, screen less experiences etc.  As a company that designs interactive experiences for our clients, it’s imperative that we stay on top of these changes, embrace these changes, and think about how we can apply these inflection points to help our clients evolve and thrive, and not die.

Rich Frangiamore

Systems Admin

Windows 8 Treats

Since upgrading to Windows 8, I keep finding more and more little treats. Remember all those essential programs you had to install after a fresh Windows XP or 7 installation? Not anymore! I’m so glad to see these new built-in features (with the apps I used to use in parentheses). Win8 screenshot

* A native PDF reader. (Adobe Reader / Foxit Reader)
* Long awaited native ability to mount ISO and VHD files (Virtual Clonedrive)
* Built-in antimalware/antivirus with an improved Windows Defender (Panda Cloud AV / Microsoft Security Essentials)

What nifty features have you discovered on Windows 8?

Roger Vandawalker

Front End Developer

Windows 8 isn’t as scary as the Internet would lead you to believe

I’m a fan of Windows 7, as are many others. If you share this opinion then you’ll be happy to know that Windows 8 (which will be available October 26th for a $40 upgrade) offers you just as good of an experience with some increased performance. It ran buttery-smooth on a 6-year-old laptop! The interface has been tweaked a bit and this is where all the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) stems. In reality, things aren’t all that different.

Windows 8 Start Screen

Here’s an example of the Windows 8 Start Screen. Looks different, functions the same.

It’s true: Windows 8 doesn’t have the Start Button or Start Menu that you’ve known since the days of Windows 95. The Start Menu has been replaced (and enhanced) by the Start Screen; a full-screen menu that features app icons and widgets (aka Live Tiles). Everything is all laid out like goodies on a dessert tray – not nested in folders. You can browse by scrolling left-to-right or by typing the name of the application you want. You get to this menu/screen the same way you always have: click the bottom-left corner of the taskbar (where the Start Button used to be) or pressing the Windows key on your keyboard. I prefer the latter.

The Start Screen has produced a lot of noise on the Web. I’ve found that the majority of this noise is coming from folks who just haven’t had much (if any) experience with it. I’ve used this interface through various iterations over the past year and the changes to my workflow from Windows 7 have been very minimal. Getting used to the Start Screen took all of 5 minutes and it’s fantastic once you customize it to your liking. I still use the traditional Windows desktop the majority of the time, though.

There are very few differences between the way I use Windows 7 and the way I use Windows 8. Scott Hanselman wrote a great article summarizing any discrepancies you might come across. Ultimately I think you’ll find they are minimal and Windows 8 isn’t all that scary, despite what the Internet may yell about.

What’s your biggest concern about Windows 8?