Happy 25th birthday, GIF! And WOW, you have come a long way in this quarter of a century. Since 1987, you have witnessed many historical events: you saw the birth of the Web, the rise and decline of Geocities, you survived the dot.com bubble, and, when Web 2.0 came and your time seemed to have ended, you resurrected with MySpace, and the ironic, politically incorrect memes spread by imageboards.
Your simplicity is your strength and everyone seems to love your lo-fi loops. Your repetition is a visual mantra, and your obsessiveness fits well with the attention deficit caused by information overload. GIF, we have been through a lot together and you are still among the best expressions of digital creativity out there.
In IDEO’s New York studio we recently hosted a holiday party for our clients. The studio designed a handful of experiences for the occasion under the topic “How To Survive the Holidays.” We subjected them to the “Holiday Cliché Elevator & Lightbox Entrance,” a “Tip Jar,” a “Card-sending Station,” and a “Quiet Room,” replete with a digital fireplace. We also gifted them a “Hangover Kit” to recover from an excess of holiday spirits.