Example of the Format
Tradtion and a play into an audiences familiarity with a certain form just reinforces the tradition until it becomes the "Standard." A photo app will have transformation and editing tools based on what you can do in Photoshop because Photoshop has reached a saturation level in the general consciousness. A small set of actions become the defined way to interact with a concept, no matter the particular app, and if you cannot participate in those actions, or understand them, you begin to get cut off from sections of the society that "talk in that language." 
There is an inherent alienation in this particular audience of Orcs who are asked to use a small, human-sized device. For all the fun advertising from the developer, it just reinforces the fact that an Orc cannot take part in their sometimes patronizing product. Who are we, creating the tools for the world around us. What are the problems that don't affect us and how can we address them? If we never consider Orcs, an extreme example, can we instead ask: "Where are the apps for my 85 year old Grandmother? Where are the apps for my First Grade Niece?" Ultimately: "Who are these apps for?" French Lick asks to consider a more socially engaged way of creating apps and the kind of problems those app developers are trying to solve. 
A lot of my work comes from the question, "If everyone is doing X, why can't they do Y?" And by binding ourselves to a platform such as iOS, Android, Windows, and the kind of phones they probably use in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, we bind ourselves to the APIs and other tools given to us by the makers. It could be said that we are given a dictionary and a lesson in grammar and then we can go make words and stories. 
I wonder about examples such as the latest version of the app Day One in where they dropped Apple's iCloud in favor of their own proprietary cloud storage and sync. This wasn't liked by the user base and many took to twitter and the app store to either complain or leave One Star ratings. Day One isn't going to change, but had to placate by saying they would look into switching back to their older way with Apple's cloud service. 
Has customer satisfaction become customer happiness? Weighing the audience's needs against the development of the products and stories that have yet to be heard. If an audience, conditioned to like certain things, through reinforcement of those things, can we trust their judgment when they demand things that just appeal to them? In my movie poster assignment also on this site, I talked about how the Oscars, by being a self-contained, self-voting body, end up creating a culture of resentment outside the realm where that body existed. 
In my classes where we design iOS apps from concept to UI, I implore the students to think about what options have not been covered by the apps currently out there. The artist Marcel Duchamp said, "The goal of the Artist {read: Designer} is to find the holes in any given field and then fill those holes. As long as we think of the visual as the metaphor to approach app design and use the model of social media and sharing/liking as a way to interact with apps, then it will be judged by fashion and taste, but if we take advantage of the devices and data available to us and think of different metaphors of interaction, then not only will we find a new way to approach on-the-go- information, but also involve different groups and ideas into the process. 
Student Work
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