If you go down to the woods this month you’re sure of a big surprise. Well, that is if you are in Scotland and you’re relying on your GPS for hill walking. Due to military exercises the GPS signal is being jammed for planned periods. If you’re not familiar with a map and compass, you could find yourself in a spot of bother.

Much has been written about our over-reliance on tech, and even those of us who were glued to Pokemon Go last week must at times have hankered after a more mechanical age. Who, after all, wouldn’t want to have Rob Higgs’s mechanical wine bottle opener, which will also pour you a glass. Perhaps the magic really happens when a dialogue can be found.

Colour theory is one very clear example of how analogue lessons can inform a digital present. Google is famous for having offices equipped with slides, brightly coloured furniture and quirky objects. All of those things have been shown to help spark imagination and engage with the senses of employees. Could that working environment transcend their offices, though, and actually spread into the user experience? Technology, with its clean, glossy lines is more commonly thought of as a cold or detached sensory experience.

Let’s take that brightly coloured furniture. The psychologist Angela Wright, who has long studied colour and its effect on us, might hold that painting the office blue could be a good idea if you are looking to increase your workforce’s productivity. If you’re a designer, perhaps a yellow room will help you to be more creative. This is, of course, a simplistic take on colour theory, but it could nevertheless be a starting point for a colour pallet when designing software or apps. Green is supposed to be balance, calming and reassuring, so perhaps use of green is a good idea if you’re creating a banking app.

Whatever your approach, it is worth drawing on some established analogue theory when creating digital solutions and apps, as we do. You can learn some surprisingly useful lessons.



Rob Higg's wine bottle opener

Rob Higgs’ Mechanical Corkscrew