Creators: Khoi Vinh
Khoi Vinh is co-founder of Lascaux Co., whose first app, Mixel for iPad, launched today. (It looks great!) Previously, he was design director for NYTimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @khoi or check out his blog, Subtraction.
1) What have you been making lately?
We’ve just launched Mixel. When I’m in marketing mode I call it “The world’s first social collage app.” More casually I describe it as our attempt to transform art-making into something that anyone can do, and do with your friends.
It runs on the iPad, and so naturally it takes advantage of how effortless the device makes it to manipulate pictures, to rotate, resize, cut them up and combine them with others to create casual works of art. Mixel moves art away from something that has to be monumental or worthy of being framed in a gallery, and more into the realm of a big visual conversation that anyone can join.
2) What’s your favorite and/or newest tool that you use for work?
Depends on how you define new. I’ve been using this terrific and simple to-do list manager called Todoist.com for years. They’ve just released an iPhone app that works offline, so I can edit my to-do’s on the sadly still-unwired New York City subway. That’s huge for me, because like a lot of people I live and die by my to-do’s list.
3) What’s your favorite and/or newest tool that you use for fun?
I’m a huge fan of Balllin’, a terrific iPhone client for the Dribbble network, which if you’re not familiar with it, is just a wonderful platform for designers and illustrators to share snippets of their in-progress work. I’ve always liked Dribbble — its founder, Dan Cederholm, is a friend — but I didn’t visit as often as I liked. Balllin’, which was developed by Devin Ross, another friend, now makes it mobile and I find myself browsing it all the time. I only wish Dan would create an API for Devin to access, so I could favorite stuff from within Balllin’. Anyway, I really like this app because it’s a phenomenal example of what a developer can do when he puts on a designer’s hat; Devin didn’t do the actual rendering of the UI, but he’s clearly the one who developed the whole UX vision. It’s gorgeous and fun to use, and in some ways even better than Dribbble.com.
4) What’s something great you’ve read lately?
Brittany Tarvin wrote this powerful blog post about her encounter with casual sexism at a conference for Mac and iOS developers.
I do some public speaking from time to time. Hopefully I haven’t been casually sexist in those appearances, but posts like Brittany’s are a useful reminder that when you’re on stage, it’s easy to incorrectly assume that everyone in the room agrees with you. More to the point though, women are sadly underrepresented in the tech industry, and bad experiences like these aren’t going to help that situation. I’m not just talking about it from a bleeding heart liberal perspective, either. I fully believe we’re under-performing in innovation because we don’t have sufficiently diverse voices involved in the products we’re building.
5) Who should I interview for this series?
Nina Mehta. I only know her through the Twitters and such, but she’s doing this really interesting work at the intersection of user experience and journalism and product design.
Check out my new site: The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.