Posts in “Design”

July 17, 2014

What is love?

No matter how familiar the passage, I never tire of seeing and hearing it another way. This video by the amazing Fred Sprinkle is the latest, and one of the best. (Click the image to see the full video!)

Love Bears All Things

Love Bears All Things

August 9, 2008

Joining the dark side

main_overview20080609[1]I wanted a really cool Windows Mobile phone. I was hoping the HTC Touch Diamond or Sony Xperia could make it respectable, but I don’t see any sign they’ll be available to me soon.

I thought Google’s Android might be a good excuse to avoid joining the iPhone cult (though I worry that Google may yet become the world’s scariest corporation). But it’s nowhere on the horizon either.

I can’t go on waiting. I got my iPhone today.

I already miss right-clicking to modify a setting directly, and I’m disappointed that the Exchange integration and Bluetooth contacts support are a bit weak.

But it’s just wonderful.

June 8, 2008

How can this survey mean anything?

I just got a survey in the mail. There’s a crisp $2 bill and the promise of $10 more if I fill it out and return it. It’s only 108 pages long, and full of easy and interesting questions like “Is either adult head of household aware of variable annuities that include a Guaranteed Minimum Accumulation Benefit or a Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit?”

It shouldn’t take me long to look up my life insurance policy disclosures, so I can answer “Does the interest rate paid on the cash value of either adult head of household’s policy change with the money market rate or with the performance of underlying investments that have been chosen?”

Does anyone fill this out? Accurately? And wouldn’t this be a highly specialized, self-selecting group of obsessive-compulsive personal finance geeks guaranteed to not in any way be representative of the general population?

This has to be what happens when a company gets too big. You have a hundred departments each contributing their dozens of questions to an outside firm that promises to handle all the messy survey details. And nobody with any sense looks at the result to ask, “Will anyone actually answer this accurately? And if they did, would I want that person as a customer?”

April 3, 2008

Design Police

I really would love to carry these stickers around, along with a pad of apostrophes at different sizes…but I’m annoying enough without engaging in grammar vandalism.

March 19, 2008

One-click purchasing will be the death of me

I’m really interested in visual navigation tools, so people send me links to things like Musicovery. It took about 30 seconds for me to find something I liked, and seconds later a copy of The Golden Gate Quartet Collection was on its way to me.

I think that is the fastest "browse to discovery to purchase" trail I’ve ever completed, and it’s a testimony not only to how Amazon’s one-click feeds my addiction to instant gratification, but the power of going "straight to the meat."

I used to design user interface that was too respectful of the user. I didn’t want to make assumptions, so my tools waited till you told them what you wanted. But I’m finding that interfaces that "serve the meat" immediately are more useful and effective. Musicovery is cool, and I browsed it for a few minutes before the novelty wore off. But I don’t know if I’d have purchased (or realized how much I like the Golden Gate Quartet) if it hadn’t started playing the samples immediately, without asking, and put the purchase link right there. (And of course, I wouldn’t have ordered if Amazon didn’t reduce that to just a "Yes!" button.)

January 31, 2008

I love my nixie clock

blog image textIt was love at first site when I saw the nixie tubes on Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ blog. I ordered a clock immediately.

I still need to find the perfect place in the office to show off its warm glow and cross-fading numerals to everyone; until then I’ll just have to keep it here on my desk, hypnotizing me…

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