Join, don’t judge

Sunday 2012-03-04

Like many people, I like to dine in a good restaurant, where the mood is mellow, the waiter is a fine host, and the cook is passionate about good food and nice presentation. The courses are perfectly timed with your appetite, and each shiny polished plate of food contains the best looking, smelling and tasting food with the nicest textures. After desert, you get the best fresh mineral water coffee, and just sit there, satisfied, happy, in good company. The waiter discretely places the check on the table, and you happily pay whatever that check tells you to pay, and add a big tip for good measure, to show you had a great evening.

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The Car Buying Story

Sunday 2010-01-10

Stephen needs a new car. Being dilligent and a car lover, he takes the time to write down all criteria for a great car. When he finishes the list, he notices that the only car matching all his criteria is a Ferrari. Well, he always loved a Ferrari so that makes sense. To make things more realistic he adds another criteria, called “price”, and starts looking for alternatives.

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Design Gripes

Wednesday 2009-04-08

Dear Akio Morita,

Onion News Network on Sony productsLately I have some small issues with a lot of design decisions being made by the company you founded a while ago. If you look at my irritations seperately they’re just small gripes of a grumpy old customer. But the increasing number of design mistakes have me worried about your user acceptance testing and quality assurance processes. Given the sheer size of your company, and the fact that the very same people who are sabotaging your overall product quality can silently delete my complaint, I thought I’d share it with you here, on my very private blog.  Nobody else will read this. Honest.

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Irritating “Features”: Philips Matchline TV

Thursday 2008-01-17

Okay, I have to get this out of my system. It is something I’ve been complaining about for months, and it is really an example of the utter dumbness of some product designers. What am I talking about? Simply turning on my TV.

I have this very nice big heavy 100Hz 4:3 Phillips Matchline TV, which I bought 8 or so years ago. For that time, it was a feature-rich TV which could store all kinds of user settings through on-screen menus, and keep them stored even when the power went out. A few weeks ago I noticed a new TV at a friends house has the same “feature” as my old Matchline. You can’t turn it on!

What happens? Monday evening, you are done watching TV and use the remote to switch it to “Stand By” mode. Before you go to bed, you walk by the TV and hit the power button to completely turn it off. Now on Tuesday, after dinner, you decide to watch TV. You walk to the TV, hit the power button, and what happens? The TV goes from “off” to “Standby”. What complete and utter IDIOT designs a TV which goes to “standby” after turning it on with the power button? It wouldn’t surprise me that a junior programmer was showing off his l33t skills by remembering the state of the TV before it was turned off.

So, after 8 years of introducing the wierdest features to TV’s, the usability labs in this world have still not found the most obvious feature to a TV: Turning it on.

Essential Color Design Tool

Monday 2007-10-15

For those people out there designing user interfaces, web frontends or anything else displayed on a screen: About 8% of all males are color blind. This could mean that because of a simple color choice, 8% of your target audience (customers) could have serious difficulty in using your design. 5% of all males can’t distinguish green from red, although they are regarded as high contrast to eachother.

Do you want to test how your design looks to colorblind people? Now you can, with Color Oracle, a tool for Mac OSX and Windows which transposes the colors of your screen to reflect what it would look like if you were color blind. In fact, it can simulate 3 different kinds of color blindness.

From the site: “Color Oracle takes the guesswork out of designing for color blindness by showing you in real time what people with common color vision impairments will see. Color Oracle applies a full screen color filter to art you are designing – independently of the software that you are using. Eight percent of all males are affected by color vision impairement – make sure that your graphical work is readable by the widest possible audience.”