Posts in category: Design

History changing objects

History changing objects

Discovering the Asgard at the Museum Decorative Arts & History in Dublin prompted this post. The fact that one single object can come to be so intimately tied to a country’s history is astounding. As more and more significant human activities – such...
The potential in tools

The potential in tools

Looking through an exhibition about Irish silver, I found myself drawn more to the tools (the anvils) especially, than to the finished products. The tools promise infinite potential. Tools say “let’s begin.” Whereas the finished products are, well,...
Cola is red

Cola is red

Following on from my chocolate is gold post, here’s a photo of the drinks fridge in a convenience store. Notice how red is the category colour of cola flavoured drinks. Arguable set by Coca Cola in 1958 and since then widely echoed by their competitors. The one...
Chocolate is gold

Chocolate is gold

Gold balls at the Ór – Ireland’s Gold exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology in Dublin. All that gold and not a single piece of chocolate. Isn’t it interesting how certain materials become intimately linked with categories of products? Some...

Combining design thinking and applied psychology

I use three different problem-solving processes: Design Thinking, Crisis Support and Suicide First Aid. I see a great deal of similarities between them. There is a possibility to combine them to create a richer, more 360° approach. A hybrid process that is: Effective...
“Design” has a double meaning

“Design” has a double meaning

“The word ‘design’, unlike ‘art’, has a double meaning. Both a verb and a noun, it is not just a feature of our surroundings, it is also the creative process that makes them possible.” — Penny Sparke, English historian and...
UX lies beyond just the screen

UX lies beyond just the screen

Moving between a brand new Airbus A380 and an elderly Boeing 777 in a single (long) journey, operated by the same airline, provided the perfect opportunity to experience the same inflight entertainment system in two different use contexts. Naturally, the newer plane...

Feeling and Being in UI/UX design

“The fundamental human desire for a feeling of safety and security – even though this feeling may be only indirectly related, at best, to being more safe or secure.” From The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman....
Same green different light

Same green different light

Here’s a dramatic example of how the same colour can appear really different under different lights. I snapped this in Perth central station. On the left is the teal façade under warm white fluorescent lamps (3000 – 3500K), and on the right is the same...
Designing from where users are

Designing from where users are

Go out and meet your users where they are! User-centric design takes into account where the user is currently at – the cultural, psychological, ability and physical context – and engages with them from that point. An emergency defibrillator is designed to...
Infographic fail

Infographic fail

I was excited by the title of this AdWeek post Infographic: See Which Devices Your Target Audience Is Using but was most dismayed to find that I cannot actually read the infographic! The commenters seem to agree. An infographic is supposed to make information clear....
Audacity vs arrogance

Audacity vs arrogance

Arrogance is not audacity. On the surface they may initially appear to be synonymous. I have certainly mistaken one for the other. So how do we tell these apart? AUDACITY – Audacity is a mindset; an approach to engaging with the world outside the self. The...
Dell Venue 8 Pro opportunity missed

Dell Venue 8 Pro opportunity missed

Image via Dell. After several months of struggling through growing disappointments with a brand new Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet, I finally returned it (with some relief) after it yet again refused to wake/start up. Good bloody riddance. The purchase started promising...
Apple emojis missing the point

Apple emojis missing the point

Image via Gizmodo.com Apple’s new racially diverse emoji choices may be well intentioned but they completely missed the point of emojis. Emojis are those little icons we use in text-based messaging to convey emotions such as the smiley face :), sad face :(, or...
Why I keep Opera around

Why I keep Opera around

I live primarily in Chrome now, even more so since I moved away from using Outlook mail and calendar. So why do I have the Opera browser installed on my phone still? Because when I double-tap on a web page, I get a zoomed-in legible view with the text automatically...
One simple change to increase web form usability

One simple change to increase web form usability

There is a very good reason why we write long numbers as smaller clusters of 2, 3 or 4 numerals separated by spaces. Breaking down long sequences of numerals with spaces helps us read, copy and check these numerals more rapidly and more accurately. We even insert...
Another pointless and wasteful design?

Another pointless and wasteful design?

I came across this ANDREA Air Purifier on inhabitat and couldn’t quite get my head around it. See the video making some astonishing claims here. How can sticking a plant inside an albeit nice and futuristic pot with an electric fan and light boost the positive...
Circular menu done Material Design right

Circular menu done Material Design right

The Google Material Design time picker is a beautiful piece of work. You tap on the hour or minute component of the time to initiate setting the hour or minutes. The concentric display of 12-hr and 24-hr clocks is elegant and visually compelling. Especially if you...
What I do Wordle 2014

What I do Wordle 2014

I have just updated my website, LinkedIn profile and other marketing material. Here’s a Wordle cloud of the latest iteration of what I do. What do you think? Wordle can be a useful way to check whether a piece of writing hits the appropriate keywords/themes. And...
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