WhyTime is Live!

So, we launched our new app on 14.08.2013... crazy, huh?

You’ve been hearing about it for months, and here it is: the WhyTime App. Six months from inception to real thing – we think that’s a pretty good effort! Check it out. (Yes, I mean download it!)

You may be thinking that this is a bit of a deviation from our work in the past, but actually, not so much. We had to work closely with the developers, ‘building’ the app, and make sure the design we envisaged was brought to life. Working with builders – now that’s familiar territory! The process, you may be interested to know, was also not too dissimilar from building a building or a product – we had to set out our scope clearly, and make sure we had thought through all the details; we had to be clear about what we wanted and how to achieve it; we had to be ready to come up with new solutions that met the design intent, when the builders came back and said something couldn’t be done a certain way. And we had to accept that perfection wasn’t realistic or helpful – but getting it out into the world and ready for people to use was.

Below is a bit of summary of the process from start to finish. You can download it here, or visit the WhyTime App website for a bit more detail on how it works.

This is the first concept mock-ups. 

This was our second stage mock-ups, after we had done some early market testing. Interestingly, the idea for the quotes came from our testers, with many of them suggesting this idea of inspiring and motivating quotes. 

This is a diagram going through how all the screens connect and what the buttons do.

Another flow diagram. Yes, there was a lot of this! 

These were the first screen shots in development. No, they didn't freak me out at all. (They totally did).

 

The final screenshots. Victory, at last!

Still here...?! 

August 27, 2013

by Meriam Salama
in News
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WhyTime App

As some of our followers may be aware, we have been working of late on the development of an app. This idea began when we started considering the problem we saw in ourselves, our friends and a lot of our wider community:  the inability to make time for our personal needs in a busy lifestyle. The demands of work, family and social commitments speak with a louder voice, and with more urgency, than the needs of our own mind/body/soul, and for this reason we seem to attend to these external demands before our own.  Of course, the irony of this is that it is only by looking after ourselves first, that we will be able to give to all these other demands out of our abundance. We all know this, but putting it into practice can be a challenge!

Our solution to this problem is our WhyTime App.

app home screen

 We wanted to provide an inspiring and indulgent experience, where people could come to take a few minutes out of their busy lives. It is a place for the user to recharge and work on putting order into their private lives. The App helps to do this through inspirational content, as well as motivational reminders and affirmations. The emphasis is on identifying what it means to the user to do a certain task, or what it will mean to them to dismiss it; on ‘Why’ the user chooses to spend their time on a particular task. With the consequences so clearly articulated, one should, hopefully, not struggle to find the motivation to attend to these needs.  

You can have a closer look at screen shots here.

The app is not yet available for download; we are current working on refining it to meet the needs of future users, with a launch date after we have got this right. So we encourage you to have a look and let us know your thoughts here. What do you think – can you relate to this problem of not finding time to look after yourself, and would you use this app to help?

March 20, 2013

by Meriam Salama
in News
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Disconnected

When the basics aren't so basic anymore. 

We have been noticing lately, like an increasing number of people, how disconnected we are from the process of providing for our basic needs. Consider our Food, Clothing and Shelter. Where do these come from, how are they made, what exactly does it take to make it ready for us to consume? Take for example, these items:

disconnected

We all obviously know that the lettuce, tomato and cucumber that go into a salad don’t come from the supermarket, and that our favourite t-shirt has a story before it gets to the store.  But do many people care? It might be convenient to pay someone else to produce and provide these basics for us, but would life be simpler if we knew how to provide them for ourselves? If we could work less, for example, once we knew these skills, would many people want to take the provision of these basic needs into their own hands?

What about you.... what do you think? Would you be interested in products that could make it simple for you to grow your own vegetables, make your own clothes or build your own home? 

February 3, 2013

by Meriam Salama
in News
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What if...

We have been doing some imagining around an idea we came across a little while ago.

What if 01

What if 02 

What if 03

Whist the idea might not be feasible right now, this kind of imagining helps lead us to other ideas that we will pursue. It's nice to know that this wild daydreaming is all part of the process, too! 

What about you.... what sort of 'What if...' scenarios do you daydream about? 

January 16, 2013

by Meriam Salama
in News
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Shirt, how do I feel?

It seems that every day I am coming across exciting new and emerging technologies: maybe it’s just the blogs I like to read, but its breath taking to think we are living at a time when it seems like anything is possible. One area that seems bursting with potential is the field of ‘smart textiles’. These textiles, which have functionalised fibres and sensors woven into or part of the fabric, can sense and respond to their surroundings. There are numerous products out there where they have been used in clothing and other textile products. 

qtc1

qtc2

Take for example force sensing materials, such as QTC Material by Peratech, which allows the textile to act as a switch. Applying force to the fabric switches it from the ‘off’ to the ‘on’ state. Some of the suggested applications are to integrate switches into jacket sleeves, or foldable keyboards. In fact, if anyone ever needed to have a keyboard on the sleeve of their jacket, the technology is ready to go!

lumi textile

Though not a wearable fabric, Phillips has developed a luminous textile with integrated LED lights that can play a range of standard or custom content. It’s marketed as being able to ‘express emotion and mood’ through dynamic lighting, so maybe it’s not too far in the future before we see clothing that  can sense and express our mood. Maybe it would be helpful to see that your colleague is having a bad day by the way their shirt is flashing red? It might even be useful for those of us who have trouble working out exactly how we feel sometimes... our mood sensing clothing could just confirm it for us!

pp

Konarka have developed ‘Power plastic’, which are photovoltaic solar panels that are lightweight, flexible and thin. One application is to provide portable power, if they are imbedded in say the outside of a computer bag or the face of a tent. Maybe one day our clothing will help us charge our devices; rather than plugging them into a fixed power point, we can plug them into the sleeve of our garments whilst we are on the go.

hv

There is also the SmartLife ‘HealthVest’, which is a shirt embedded with multiple sensors, that allow it to continuously register and record biological signals like heart rate, respiration rate and temperature, all whilst allowing the wearer full mobility. The advantage of this in the medical, sporting, military and emergency services fields is obvious, where accurate and continuous information about the wearer can be relayed to doctors, trainers or superiors. It is fun to think about where future developments of these technologies will go. Imagine their application in child care for example; parent’s could use it to see how their kids are doing throughout the day whilst they are at childcare: kids could be given a wrist band that measures their biological markers and is fitted with a gps; a user friendly interface could let parents know exactly where their child is and correlate it to their biological rhythms: did the child sleep soundly... play actively... get agitated? Whether parents would actually want to know all this information about their child when away from them is another thing!

What do you think... what would you like to see done with this technology? 

January 8, 2013

by Meriam Salama
in News
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Happy New Year

2013

We have big plans for 2013 here at Twenty Six Letters, and I can honestly say I was immensely relieved that the world didn’t end in 2012: that would have thrown a spanner in the works and put an end to all the fun we plan to have this year! We have written our plan for the year, set our milestone dates and key outcomes, and now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to it! We will be working on three new innovations throughout the course of this year and are excited about the whole process.  We hope to explore concepts that are exciting in their innovation, that are truly useful and add value to the lives of our customers. Reading between the lines, this means we don’t plan to be seeing a chair or lamp on the drawing board! (Unless there is something incredibly unusual about them:  there has to be this disclaimer!)

Because we would love our wider community to be part of the process, we are putting together an advisory board of sorts. Except we think that’s a pretty bland name for the kind of fun we plan to have, so we are calling it The Huddle . I was also keen to call it ‘The Ping Pong Committee’ (you know, ideas being discussed to and fro...) but I thought people might not get what they think they are signing up for. Having said that, I am always up for a game of table tennis, so if anyone is keen you know how to reach me! We hope this will be a group with whom we can share our ideation to commercialisation process; we look forward to their opinions and input throughout the process and how it will inform our outcomes. So we intend to share the ideas and innovations we come across that inspire us (think bio-printing: so fascinating!) ; to give them an insight into our ideation process and how our ideas evolve (we assure you there is method to the madness!); to get their opinion about the direction our ideas are taking, and last but not least, to listen to their input regarding specific product features.   

We wholeheartedly invite anyone who is interested in being part of this group to subscribe to receive the updates: it’s that simple to be involved.  We promise not to go too crazy with the amount of emails we send you!  Please sign up here, and you will be hearing from us very soon. We are excited about getting to know some of you a lot better, and to involving you in the work we do: we hope you will enjoy the journey as much as we plan to! 

January 1, 2013

by Meriam Salama
in News
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C Is For Celebrating

C

The DecoGlide

Finalist at Launch Pad 2012


Twenty Six Letters is proud to announce that The DecoGlide is one of 12 Launch Pad Finalists for 2012.
 
Launch Pad is an important design initiative, promoting the development of Australian product design through a unique and interactive program of events, including its annual Launch Pad: From Prototype To Production competition.
 
The DecoGlide was one of 160 electronic entries, which judges first shortlisted 54 prototypes. Inspecting those 54 shortlisted prototypes in person, judges selected just 12 Finalists to be shown in the Finalists Exhibition, which will run as part of Saturday In Design, 17 – 18 August in Melbourne.

We are delighted to be shortlisted as Launch Pad Finalists and look forward to the Launch Pad Exhibition Opening Night on 15th August 2012 and Saturday In Design on 17-18th of August. If you are attending, you can see The DecoGlide at the Lightly showroom (Upstairs at Lightly, 3 Glasshouse Lane, Collingwood 3066) for the entire duration of Saturday In Design. To register please click here.

August 8, 2012

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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Introducing Words To Live By: An Artwork Series by Twenty Six Letters

WordsToLiveBy
Twenty Six Lettes is proud to introduce 'Words to Live By', an artwork series featuring three designs- 'Chance', 'Live Well' and 'Ideas'. Inspired by the written word and it's ability to teach and call us into action, we have combined laser cutting with beautiful and meaningful words in order to bring joy and inpiration to any space.

Each artwork is manufactured in Melbourne using an extremely durable and renewable natural material: 12mm Plywood and is finished in a resilent gloss finish that retains and enhances the natural richness of the wood grain. Environmentally friendly and Australian made these are works are 594mm x 841mm in size and are $380 (including GST + delivery).

At the moment the Words To Live By range can be purchased online at Hard To Find or Young Republic. Alternatively you can email us at info@twentysixletters.com.au for more information or use our Contact Form to reach us.

For media enquiries, our Press Release can be found below and for Retail opportunities please contact us at info@twentysixletters.com.au

Please feel free to leave us a comment below to let us know what you think of the Words To Live By series, we would love to hear from you.

Chance12.01 Chance

LiveWell12.02 Live Well

Ideas12.03 Ideas

Words To Live By Press Release, 2012

May 15, 2012

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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One Wonderful Year

Twenty Six Letters turned one last month. It has been a year filled with many wonderful milestones for us. We have put together some our favourite moments for your viewing pleasure.

[Forest Eyes: Jinja Safan]

May 14, 2012

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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Connect With Us

Social Media   

Twenty Six Letters is getting social! Yes, we are now on PinterestTwitterFacebook and Instagram. Come join us, we would love to talk with you!

Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter

Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram

April 15, 2012

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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It's our birthday!

firstbirthdayImage source: Geronimo; Edit by Twenty Six Letters

April 11, 2012

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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2011 (Belated) Year In Review

2011 was a gargantuan year for Twenty Six Letters. We both took the Christmas holidays as a chance to travel: Meriam to Perth and I to New Zealand. It was a great opportunity to reflect on the year that was, to rest and to plan for the year ahead. This really was no difficult task by the pristine waters of Lake Wakitipu. Below is a quick look at our reflections of 2011 and some snaps of where we went to daydream over the holidays.

This year is already off to a wonderful start for us. We have so much to look forward to in the months ahead and we look forward to sharing with you in the next couple of weeks some of the ideas, ambitions and goals that keep us so inspired! 

Lake Wakitipu, Queenstown, New Zealand

Ocean Reef Beach, Perth, Western Australia

February 14, 2012

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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December 20, 2011

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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Press Coverage

We have been so fortunate to receive some amazing press coverage in recent months and are super delighted that our favourite magazines, newspapers and blogs love The DecoGlide™ as much as we do!

You can imagine my delight when flicking through this months issue of House & Garden Magazine to discover the feature on How To Dress Your Windows, by Jessica Hanson.

HouseandGarden

As I turned the pages of the article, I found this lovely image below of our Timeless Design staring at me. I stared back whilst I drank my tea. I love the windowsill painted in Dulux Prado Pink against a Wattle Passionate Blue wall.  The Wedgewood Fine Bone China teacup are now also on my ‘to buy’ list!

http://www.twentysixletters.com.au/media/inside.jpg

It is as exciting to find The DecoGlide™ in the glossy pages of House & Garden Magazine, as it was to see us in The Sunday Age (17 April, 2011), The Daily Telegraph (7 May & 18 June 2011), West Australian Habitat (20 May, 2011), Herald Sun Home (4 June, 2011), The Sunday Times Home (5 June, 2011), Home Beautiful (July Issue), Inside Out Magazine (June/ July Issue), Adore Home Magazine (June/July Issue) and on Apartment Therapy and Style Collective blogs!

http://www.twentysixletters.com.au/media/MagazineFeaturesImage.jpgHome Beautiful (July Issue)+ Inside Out (June/July Issue)

Enough gloating! You can read all our press coverage at our Media Page. Happy reading!

August 15, 2011

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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Thank you!

It was an absolute delight to be exhibiting at Australias’s largest furniture fair, Decoration + Design 2011 and to unveil The DecoGlide™. As suspected, The DecoGlide™ was a huge success with visitors and we were ecstatic that others adore it as much as we do! 

The lead up to our first exhibition was both busy and exciting as we hurried to put into place all the details of our stand. We warn you- deciding to paint your stand a day before the exhibition opens is not a move for the faint hearted! As always, we make an extraordinary team, each of us working hard in our high visibility vests to bring together the sharp yellow Twenty Six Letters stand! Gorgeous isnt it? We think so!

Decoration+DesignImage1 Featured: Custom designed DecoGlide™ in Sharp Yellow Timber + The Hive DecoGlide™ in Grey Polyester.

Yellow DecoGlide

  Featured: Custom designed DecoGlide™ in Sharp Yellow Timber used as the backdrop of our stand. Most of our 12 designs are incorporated into these screens.

Here are some images of the lead up to the exhibition and the details of our stand. We had so much fun, even if our feet were a little sore by the end of it! We met some wonderful and interesting people and had some fabulous conversations. We love that visitors saw the versatility and innovation of the product. We look forward to all potential ways and exciting projects in which we will use The DecoGlide™ in the days and weeks ahead.

Decoration+DesignImage2Featured: Geometric DecoGlide™ in Fair Biance + The Hive DecoGlide™ in Grey Polyester.

Thank you to those of you who visited our stand at Decoration + Design and all your lovely comments about The DecoGlide™: we sincerely appreciate it!

July 28, 2011

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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Decoration + Design

Decoration and Design

We are excited to be showcasing The DecoGlideTM at Decoration + Design, held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 21-24 July 2011. We would be delighted if you could come and say hello at Stand AB40! We will have The DecoGlideTM on display in all it's glory and we will be beaming from ear to ear!

You can register here. See you there!

July 17, 2011

by Marianne Sourial
in News
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The DecoGlide Video

Video

Being a new and innovative product, we get a lot of questions here at Twenty Six Letters about the The DecoGlideTM 'How does it actually work?' you ask... We realize that being new, it isn't easy to visualise how it slides, or how it will look when it stacks out of the way. Also, we wanted the chance to familiarise people with our Online Order Form... it has a few features that might make questions about cost in relation to designs and materials a lot clearer.

So we have put together this short animation, which will hopefully answer a few questions: The DecoGlide Video!

We always love hearing from you, whether it be your questions about the product, or any of your feedback... so keep the comments coming!

June 2, 2011

by Meriam Salama
in News
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Welcome to Twenty Six Letters

Itshere!
Could it be true- has the day we launch our website arrived?

It is true! There have been times when the arrival of this day seemed a mirage: tantalizingly close, yet somehow just out of reach: one more prototype or pricing matrix away! Sometimes the simplest of things held us for unforgivably long periods of time. (Think of a number in your mind, of the number of weeks it might reasonably take to come up with a meaningful business name; multiply that number by ten, and we are quietly confident it still won’t match how long that process took us!) Other times, we took great strides in moments of pure genius (Think of equations that would make Einstein proud!)

Here we are, full of excitement and a healthy dose of pride to introduce you to Twenty Six Letters, our design consultancy and its first innovation- The DecoGlide TM.

The DecoGlide TM – what a journey it has been! We had an idea... and it took our breath away. We believed in it, we worked day and night on it, invested all our physical, mental and financial resources into it, talked incessantly about it, dreamed about it and brought it into fruition. Above all, we loved the journey: all the exciting ideas we got to explore, all that we had the chance to create from scratch, and all that we learned along the way. We toiled and persevered and managed to come through with (the majority of) our faculties intact and an innovation as well considered, refined and beautiful as artwork. No mean feat, and in that we are proud and grateful.

Did we say proud? Yes and also very grateful to a whole host of people for their invaluable expertise and assistance in these formative months! We want to thank Stefani, Louise and the team at Nest PR, for their encouragement, admiration of our product and always having a positive comment to make! We want to thank James Geer, who photographed our screens, for his beautiful work, and his pleasant and easy going manner. We want to thank Warwick, Matt and the team at Cobalt Niche, for providing us with the design advice we needed and for their informed and pertinent ideas. We also want to thank the team at Actuate IP for their efficiency and accuracy in handling all our IP legal matters, and helping us decipher all the legal jargon.  

In particular we want to mention Rowan McNaught of Studio Skiing. Our branding and our website are the creative works of his brilliant mind. Intelligent, well informed and with a great eye for detail, we could not have found anyone more suitable for our website. Thank you Rowan for listening to and understanding our needs, and time and time again, being able to deliver a well thought out, apt and elegant solution. Thank you for all your hard work, and no doubt if you never see another formula again, it will not be too soon?!

Finally we want to thank our family and friends, for all their support and encouragement. We have been talking about this for a long time: thank you for your support and believing we could do it!

And you, dear reader- thank you for dropping by! We hope that you will stay awhile and get acquainted with the website and The DecoGlide TM... we know that you will love it too!

April 5, 2011

by Marianne & Meriam
in News
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