Posts in category: Design

Tools and operating frameworks

Tools and operating frameworks

Tools We have long built tools as a species. In recent times these tools have been information-based: mobile apps, software, computing hardware, the Internet. We currently have acces to a plethora of tools complex and simple to help us with every imaginable task...
Cross-ed FTW

Cross-ed FTW

I had the privilege to attend the final presentation of MediaLAB Amsterdam students recently. The message from students and staff is clear: there is immense value in cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural team-based learning. Cross-ed rules! It is inspiring and...
Creating “foreign” to test UX

Creating “foreign” to test UX

When was the last time you travelled through a country where you didn’t know the local language? Not having any hooks into an unfamiliar culture (to which language is a powerful inroad) can be a wonderful opportunity to test a user experience from a true...
Guinness Storehouse: exhibition done well

Guinness Storehouse: exhibition done well

The Guinness Storehouse exhibition is done very well indeed. Here’re the techniques I thought worked well. Clear traffic direction. Unlike the Book of Kells exhibition, the Storehouse design clearly channeled people through from point to point. This meant they could...
Book of Kells exhibition: could be better

Book of Kells exhibition: could be better

If hell were other people, then the Book of Kells exhibition at Trinity College was hell made manifest. The exhibition design did not effectively manage and direct movement. And they let way too many people in at any given time. The preamble exhibition space was just...
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

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

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...
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