Saturday, February 27, 2010

The price of tea in China...

...about 50 bucks for 380 grams of packaged black tea, according to Teashopchina. 2 grams for a cup, works out to about a quarter U.S., right?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Always ask why

..and then, ask why again.

He wrote the book...

Well, a book, anyway.

The Little Black Book of Design has been spending a reasonable amount of time at the top of the graphic design bestseller lists in Amazon's Kindle store. You don't need a Kindle, though -- they have free readers for PC, iPhone, iPod Touch and Blackberry.

It's a collection of a hundred-odd points to ponder, like those I've been posting here.

If you like the blog, you might like the e-book.

"Ask me questions, and I'll tell you no lies" is no way to maintain any kind of partnership. Faith and trust require risking openness as well as betrayal. If the product has a flaw, or if a partner has an undisclosed relationship that could appear inappropriate, the fallout from the cover-up will be far worse than the cost of the truth. You might not get the job if you have a poor product or if you have a connection that is questionable (then again, you might - disclosure would add strength to the "good-faith on your part" element of any decision). Deception, however, will get you labeled as a liar and a fraud.

Oversight or poor judgment can be understood ("I had no idea my friend Mr. Smith was part of the approval process for this project." "We felt the accessibility shortcoming could be overcome soon after launch.")

Lying means you made a conscious decision to do the wrong thing, presumably for your own benefit. Giving a second chance to you after you've gone down that road is going to be very difficult - and most would consider it unwise.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

There is

a lie in believe.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


...really can make you go blind.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sometimes... need a use case, not a target audience.

What you need... a reason to do what you're doing the way you're doing it. If you can articulate the "why" you are in a manageable position. If you can't, you're not.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Unnecessary Complexity

... leads to disaffection. I have government clients who will insist on cumbersome, complicated, difficult approaches. When the flaws in this are pointed out, the response is that the users will have to "deal with it" because they are required to. This may be because it's a required training course, a tool that a particular group has to have exposure to or something similar. But the users will only "deal with it," they won't internalize the training (internalization - really absorbing the information - is always the goal with training), or actually use the tool, or value the experience in any way. They'll deal with it. And then they'll try to forget it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The User...

...doesn't care about the cleverness of your design. He doesn't care if you use "they" or "he" as a generic pronoun - but saying "he/she" or "(s)he" will create a speedbump in his movement through your content. Users want to get what they came for - whether it's information, education, training, or entertainment. Unless it's easy fro them to get - to "use," - they're going to move on.

Too many cooks...

Too many cooks still spoil the broth - even if they call it "collaboration."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17

The technically superior design is not always the most successful. The better mousetrap often will lose out to the better-marketed mousetrap.

journey of a thousand miles...

Or... the design of a single product. Both start by starting. With a single step. Even if it's the wrong step - take it. You can always change direction.