Observations and thoughts at the intersection of Design, IT, Psychology, and Business.

When small things work perfectly

Don’t you just love it when the little things work perfectly? I opened this packet of sugar today and the perforated strip tore perfectly across as intended. I wonder if this was a deliberated designed, tested and perfected user experience element of this product. It...

Mass media and Internet advertising

Mass media (TV, radio) was set up primarily to enable the mass marketing of mass produced, mass branded good to the public. The entertainment content came second. Consequently, we have been trained to expect the content for free, as long as we put up with the...

Do you worry about odour?

This is a large printed ad attached to a refrigerator with odour control features. It can be seen in all good whitegoods shops all over Singapore. Is this a sign of some failure in awareness? Of an inability to even peek slightly outside the box? Or is it a deliberate...

Mobile use in China

There are 700m subscribers. This is growing by 8m a month. China Mobile has more subscribers than the population of the USA (307m+). “Many would rather pay their mobile bill than their rent.” The mobile-using population is twice the Internet population. From the...

Free book idea

I have always liked the notion that in amongst all the massive volumes data and facts we have gathered about absolutely everything, there lies a basic simple set of core framework principles or core truths. For example: all humans cross all cultures like all...

Duck necks are duck necks

Coriander notwithstanding, these are still duck necks. Those who like these will like ‘em regardless of the garnishing. Those who don’t won’t. Authenticity is about not trying to hide who you truly are. Your business will only ever appeal to some people. Shocking...

Three universal strategic paths

When faced with change, there are three big-picture strategies an organisation (or indeed an individual) can adopt: Continue to do the same thing; or look to historically proven paths. Ignore the change; or walk the safest, best-trodden path. This is the path of least...

Minimalism win, usability fail

On the left is the normal lighting set up for the elevators. Nice, simple and swish. Love it. When the elevator is on the move, a green or red light shows above the door. Again, very minimalist. And in keeping with the general interior fit-out. But wait – which...

Nikko hotel

A small architecturally-unremarkable hotel set against a hill and next to a river, Nikko, Japan. 2010.

Insecticide packaging graphics

There are specific conventions used in the design of packaging for the different things we can buy at the supermarket. We learn to read these conventions and become part of our automated parsing of our environment. I think this is why the packaging visuals of the...

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