On innovation


Today, just a tip on two insightful essays, part of a three-part series by Jon Kolko.

What caught my eye:

  • Most critical in the design process is to formalize the process of translating data and research into knowledge, meaning (design synthesis).


Posted by on February 29, 2012 with no comments yet

Branding, and product placement, and humor

A little laugh to start the week.

UPDATE 2/28/12:
I uploaded a new video (sorry for the ads in the beginning) but apparently the previous video from Comedy Central has been “removed”.

Posted by on February 27, 2012 with no comments yet

An iPad Stylus

For your iPad sketching needs: Cosmonaut.

I love sketching. It’s fun to do it leisurely; it’s great to get ideas out fast. In fact, in the last Seattle CreativeMornings, Scott Berkun encouraged keeping an idea sketching/writing journal because it literally helps with creativity. That ‘s called Kinesthetic learning, which is to think while physically moving; and sketching fits that. Sketching is even a richer experience because the fingertips contain some of the densest areas of nerve endings on the body, are the richest source of tactile feedback. And now, there are all the possibilities of sketching on the iPad.

The creators of the Cosmonaut produced a device that is better than sketching with our fingertips (although we still use them as with any writing device, thus experiencing Kinesthetic), and it’s not so thin and pen-like (such as other available products), producing a more “sketch-y” experience, no pun intended.

I haven’t used the Cosmonaut yet, but really would love to. If anybody out there has used it, let us know what you think.

Posted by on February 21, 2012 with no comments yet

A straw connector


Design has become ubiquitous in our lives. But everybody seems to have a different take on what’s design. Or sometimes design collaborates closely with another discipline and disappears into the process — then, the end product is not perceived as “designed”, despite the fact that works well. Sometimes more decorated (or colorful, or fancy) things are perceived as design. Or certain materials tend to convey the idea of design.


Posted by on February 17, 2012 with no comments yet

Analog and digital: blurring the lines

This is fascinating! I’ve been intrigued by the idea of the marriage between analog and digital for a while.

On the video above: the strings are 144 elastics, bathed by 144 beams of light. If seen separate, it’d be easy to know what’s what, but when mixed together, they affect each other and blur the lines between analog and digital.

See the entire series below. Read more about it at Fast Co. Design.

Posted by on February 8, 2012 with no comments yet

How to know if you offer good usability

Here is a useful article on usability, Usability Is King For Your Product. Here’s How We Can Finally Measure It., where Roderick McMullen explains why he prefers to measure usability in qualitative terms, rather than quantitative. The former will give the big picture (is the user happy or not with the product/service?). He also points out how difficult (or not very useful) are the existing usability measurement tools.

Since usability presently might stand between a brand and its customers, it’s worth making sure it’s representing it in the desired way, and leaving customers a) satisfied, and b) ready to recommend that brand to others, says McMullen. But, he argues, you won’t know unless you measure it.

Below are quantitative ways to measure usability:

  • Efficiency (how long a task takes)
  • Effectiveness (whether or not a subject can complete a particular task)
  • Subjective satisfaction (whether or not the experience is enjoyable)
  • Error rate (how many times the subject makes a mistake, even if they eventually complete the task)

But here is what McMullen proposes, a single question that can help measure usability qualitatively:

  • How confident are you using this system/product/service?

He notes that the important thing is not so much the question itself, but making sure it’s asked. If using a scale of 1 to 10 to slot the answers, pay close attention to scores below 7.

McMullen also presents three statements that are so true:

  • The worst thing you can do to an adult is make them feel stupid (as in using products/systems usage that causes frustration).
  • Technology is supposed to work for people, and not the other way around.
  • We tend not to take things seriously unless we’re measuring them.

Read the full article.

Posted by on February 3, 2012 with no comments yet