Posts in category: Design

Real feel vs quantifiable measure

Real feel vs quantifiable measure

As part of any user experience (UX) design, we need to consider the feel of the service or product for the end user in their use context. Smartphones and tablets feel smooth, fluid and fast compared to PCs despite having significantly less powerful microprocessors...
Holding up the lifts

Holding up the lifts

The lifts of the cruise ship I was on earlier this year were very slow when responding to calls. I wondered if it was the software? Have they deliberately made the lifts less than optimally responsive to hails so as to encourage passengers to use the stairs instead?...
Good design in plain sight

Good design in plain sight

Good design can often be hidden in plain sight. Especially in situations where in order for the design to work, it must not call attention to itself. At the ticketing hall in Milan central train station, the schedule display monitors are beautifully mounted onto twin...
Designing for motivation

Designing for motivation

We can imbue greater intrinsic motivation into work by activating the three aspects of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose in the work design. (Definitions below are from LifeHacker. I have added questions to expand upon each.) Autonomy: Our desire to direct our own lives....
Designing for happiness

Designing for happiness

The following four factors for happiness may be useful as the basis for designing user experiences (processes, services, and user interfaces.) Material in quotes were from SlideShare. Questions are my value-add. “Autonomy – feeling that your activities are...
The tyranny of defaults

The tyranny of defaults

I came across this concept recently: the defaults a system is rolled out with often become the unseen and unquestioned status quo. A system can be an enterprise content management system, a cultural behavioural norm, or the boundaries and expectations we define in a...
On quiet cities

On quiet cities

Visiting Milan for the first time earlier this year, I noticed how quiet it was. Not quiet as in dead and lifeless; but quiet as in not emotionally or psychologically taxing, despite being a bustling urban centre. The only other large city that surprised me with the...
Buffet traffic

Buffet traffic

Earlier in the year, I had an interesting few weeks observing how people navigate the crowded buffet restaurant of a cruise ship. Image courtesy Shutterstock. There appeared to be three broad difficulties. Actively impeding traffic: Chatting in the middle of traffic,...
Solving the wrong problem

Solving the wrong problem

I have been pondering the issue of solving the wrong problem (or solving the problem at the wrong level) ever since I read a news story about an elderly woman who was allowed to have in-vitro fertilisation to help her get over the death of her adult son. It seemed...
Solving non-problems

Solving non-problems

Solving non-problems is the act of doing something because we can; without truly contemplating our intentions and the potential outcomes. I fail to see how this has got anything to do with “recycling.” Granted it is a whimsical and a fun idea. I do actually like it....
Read me!

Read me!

When you are watching a movie with subtitles, do you feel compelled to read the subtitles even though (a) the movie is already in a language you understand, or (b) the subtitles are in a language you can’t read? We are all wired to pick up patterns – and for...
Square peg round hole

Square peg round hole

Jeanny Wang on Somewhere.com shared this insight with me recently: Clement Mok wrote a piece back in 2003 asking whether the diversity and fragmented state of design is the root cause as to why the field will never establish itself as a respected and united...

Resource: What is strategic design

Strategic design is the initial exploration, understanding and planning part. Executional design then follows to implement the final solutions. … Strategic designers are the meta-design people you hire before you hire the executional designers. Read more here:...
The MoSCoW Method

The MoSCoW Method

The MoSCoW method is a useful technique to clarify product requirements during design specifications. I was asked to describe it to someone recently. Here is the write up of it. Must Have: basic required functionality to qualify to play. The fundamental of the...

What’s your problem?

Designers love a good problem to chew on. Design is by its nature a problem solving activity. How can we make something better? How can we make a process less painful and more effective? How can we make a space both beautiful and useful? I get bored when I don’t...
Fashion changes

Fashion changes

I snapped this outside a Westfield last month. Fashion changes. That is the whole point. So what? We may be tempted to dismiss this as more vacuous advertising noise, assuming we even notice it in the first place. If we think about this just a little bit (which is...

Perceiving others’ pain

Pain is relative. The experience of pain is subjective to each individual.This can make it really hard for us to understand another person’s pain. We tend to gauge their pain by imagining how we would feel in the same situation. This is inevitably flawed as we can...

Making a mark in a world of slim

It must be really hard to be an electronics product designer at the moment. Consider the plethora of same-same looking television sets at the moment. The primary opportunity for visual differentiation/expression seems to be increasingly limited to the stand. Images...
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