Future home of SRAM and Google Chicago

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1K Fulton is the new name for an old building in the meat packing district of Chicago. Well, they still do plenty of meat packing in the area, but over the last few years, the area has become a hot spot for other businesses. Until recently the building was a massive cold storage building, but now it’s going to be home to Google’s local offices and the headquarters for SRAM the bicycle parts company.

Before, During, and After

Google will definitely be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, but the cooler tenant is SRAM. I can’t confirm where now, but I read they are going to have a velodrome in their office. That will be really cool.

They didn’t tear down the original building. Instead they dismantled it. In the process they uncovered some really cool ice formations. For more than 90 years the building was used as a cold storage building and the build up of ice formed stalagmites and stalactites.

Josh Rouse at City Winery Chicago

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Josh Rouse Band at City Winery Chicago

We went with our friends Pat and Rina to City Winery to check out the Josh Rouse show. Rouse has been around long enough to have amassed a decent body of work. It’s all singer/songwriter stuff, so the venue was perfect.

Rina was fascinated with groovy moves of the bass player who seemed to be listening to his own soundtrack. After the show his band was hanging out in the lobby and I managed to get some pics with us and said bass player.

 

Ever since they banned smoking in venues in Chicago, the experience has become more civilized. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about that. For this show, it was perfect. Had it been somewhere and someone else, I’m not so sure. All the clubs in town seem to be morphing towards the similar micro-brew-pub motif.

Great user interfaces aren’t just a matter of taste

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I pulled the following from a Crain’s Chicago Business article about the many bold moves the Sun-Times is making here. While I think it’s great to challenge the Trib, there was one line that stuck out at me.

With regard to his digital strategy, Mr. Ferro said he’s trying to create a “great user interface” for a tablet application that is in the works. On that front, he praised the example set by the New York Post tablet application.

Maybe what he meant to say was their app is consistent with their brand. Like the New York Post newspaper, their app is sloppy, rude, and just slapped together, but it’s not a great user interface. The thing that bothers me, is that someone in a leadership position is saying the user interface (a very specific term) is an important part of their digital strategy, then cites one of the worst possible examples of a tablet experience.

Has anyone else seen the New York Post iPad app?! It’s a hot mess express. It doesn’t follow any of the conventions of most iPad apps. Not that it needs to, there are plenty of great iPad experiences that don’t. The NYPost app, on the other hand, looks like a mistake. It’s like someone tried to Xerox the entire newspaper onto an 8.5 x 11 sheet at the Kinkos color copy sale.

Look at this mess

You literally get an experience that leaves stories cut off on the edge.

I’m may be splitting hairs when I say he should have used a term other than “user interface”. However, it’s not uncommon for someone higher up the food chain to insert their opinion on the UI as if it were just a matter of taste.

By now, every exec has read the Steve Jobs bio, so they get the user interface matters. Unfortunately, they don’t necessarily understand how it actually happens. So the lesson here is don’t let all your hard work and critical thinking get pissed away because someone thinks it’s subjective. Spend the time comparing and contrasting the dos and the don’ts. Show your work. Don’t just build something and say, “here it is, what do you think?”

Take the time to explain why it’s important, don’t assume they’ll know.

via Sun-Times owner: ‘We’re not buying the Trib’ – Consumer News – Crain’s Chicago Business.