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Product Design Student from Indonesia — eternally stuck between knowing too little and wanting to learn more

Ever since news broke of the merger of Indonesia’s two fastest growing unicorns, Gojek and Tokopedia into the tech giant Goto (as opposed to my preferred name of ToKek), I believe what’s happening is not just a merger, but the emergence of Indonesia’s first true super app.

What’s so super about super apps?

Logo transforming into a green square on top of a cyan paper background
Logo transforming into a green square on top of a cyan paper background

Logos speak a thousand words. A great logo can tell the story of an organization without a single word. Recently, logos from various companies have experienced a transformation. From car companies like GM, restaurants like Burger King, and food products like Pringles, it’s clear that many companies are dipping into this trend of logo redesigns. Along with redesigns, however, is the trend of disliking them as well. While backlash towards any change is generally accepted, the trend for disliking a specific design language is relatively new — so what happened?

Why Logos Change

confused black man looking at gear selector designs
confused black man looking at gear selector designs

In the world of new technologies and the user experience designed around them, we are often stuck within the thought of “newer is always better!” We soon find that this isn’t always the case, complaining that it’s hard to use, or not as good as we thought. But why so?

Old Habits Die Hard

In the world of simulation video games, realism is the key to the gameplay. Games like BeamNG.Drive, Farming Simulator, Eurotruck Simulator and even The Sims are some examples of games that emulates said realism in an impressive scope, and at the same time, trying to eliminate the mundane and boring aspects of reality to elevate the experience. But what about a game that embraces the dull aspects of real life, and yet still delivers on a unique experience?

Sandbox, Open World, Car Simulator?

Mobil merupakan artefak penting yang mencerminkan sejarah modern Indonesia. Impian masyarakat Indonesia akan mobil yang dibangun oleh bangsanya sendiri nampaknya akan selalu relevan di konteks perkembangan Indonesia sebagai negara. Amerika memiliki Chrysler, Ford dan General Motors; Jepang memiliki Toyota, Daihatsu, Honda, Mazda, dan Mitsubishi; Inggris memiliki Jaguar, Land Rover, Vauxhall; dan tetangga kita, Malaysia, memiliki Proton dan Perodua. Setelah lebih dari 70 tahun, dimanakah mobil tanah air?

Hindia Belanda dan Jepang

Gunung Sampah di TPU Bantar Gebang, Jawa Barat. Gambar oleh 22kartika / CC BY SA 3.0

Sekilas, desain yang hijau dan “sustainable” merupakan suatu hal yang mudah. Kata-kata seperti kurangi, hindari, ganti, sering digunakan dalam usaha untuk menjadi lebih hijau, namun apakah kita sudah berusaha sebaik mungkin, atau masih berada di bayang-bayang omong kosong divisi pemasaran dari korporasi yang terus menguras isi bumi?

Buku “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things” pertama kali saya baca di soal ujian mata kuliah yang saya ambil saat itu, dan walau saat itu saya tidak banyak peduli tentang isi buku ini, memilih untuk membaca secukupnya dan langsung melanjutkan soal-soal berikutnya. …

A bust of Socrates with Rose-Tinted Glasses, a retro-styled car, a 70s video game console and a microphone app
A bust of Socrates with Rose-Tinted Glasses, a retro-styled car, a 70s video game console and a microphone app

In the world of design, originality is a desirable and highly respected trait in the byproducts of the creative process but is admittedly a difficult feat. So why go through all the trouble, when you can “borrow” ideas that have worked from the past and do it again?

It All Starts With The Past

According to the paper Nostalgia and Its Value to Design Strategy, Nostalgia is intangible but extremely powerful, not just occurring in the individual, but may serve as a collective socio-cultural phenomenon across a society. …

The year 2020 is coming to a close, and what a year indeed. Having the entire world turn upside down in the face of a virus surely have made the past 366 days very special, albeit not one we ever expected. As we enter the next chapter of the world, what is there to even hope for?

The Covid-19 pandemic has of course, rattled our world. It has changed how we live and how we view the year 2020, as almost overnight we became confined to our homes, have masks as the top fashion trends of the year, and questioned…

30 years ago, the thought of being able to carry a phone in our pockets sounds like a concept more befitting a Science-Fiction film than what society can achieve. Why would anyone buy a mobile phone for the whopping price of 4000 dollars? And yet, 30 years later, the concept of not having a cellphone would seem like an impossible thing to do.

The age of technology has blessed mankind with a range of products and objects that has vastly improved the quality of life, so much that we often disregard the many negative impacts of its usage. It would…

Image from James May: The Reassembler. Imbd/ BBC Four

Think about it for a second. From the moment we wake up until we sleep again, we interact with so many objects that it seems ridiculous to think that these seemingly arbitrary objects have any value worth a second look. At a glance, the objects we use and interact with daily seem to feel “Un-designed” as Jony Ive puts it; because simply, of course it would be that way, why would it be any other way?

Take a peek at the other side and we soon see a different scenario. Piles of paper stacked in a trash can, a collection…

Rayhan Finn

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