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Your faithful correspondent fell under the browbeating eye of authority on a few recent and essentially trivial occasions, making me think a bit about the effects of control, rule enforcement and tone in my own work.
Design Treasures Found and Lost in the Paris Métro
Tons of cool historical design in the Paris subway is getting gutted.
Paper Cup? Five Bucks, Please
When behind-the-scenes systems replace common sense and customer expectations. A parable at the coffee stand.
A Subtle Nose for Coffee, a Taste for Good Design
A coffee tasting leaves a caffeine buzz and a lesson that applies to design, too: In matters of taste, subtlety is everything.
Centaurs and Park Benches: Innovation by Idiosyncrasy
A park bench becomes a subversive design element. Every project needs one.
Gotta Have a Helipad: Banality and Betrayal in Design
A neighborhood landmark gets a garish transformation, and thoughts wander to designer responsibility and online communities.
Understanding the Piano
User communities own and define technologies as much or more than the inventors. A piano from 1817 is the perfect example.
Ancient Architecture: The Gods Are in the Details
An Acropolis visit is an object lesson in the value of quiet design decisions amid colossal projects.
Your Word Processor Is Distracting You
I kicked Microsoft Word to the curb seven years ago, and my plain-text world has been more productive ever since.
Currency Usability: Show Me the Money
Currency may well be the most important travel interface. In that match-up, Europe wins the coin toss against the US, whose coins border on the unintelligible.
Vu Magazine: Photos, Robots and Cutting-Edge Design
I expected nostalgic photos, but instead got insight into how technology works to spark design innovation.
MoMA Lesson #2: Interface Design and the Path of Least Resistance
Audio-obsessed museum visitors prefer to listen to their audio guides rather than look at the art, revealing a lesson in interface design.
Walk a Mile in Their Knees
An “empathy suit” helps designers discover how well their creations work for aging customers. Are there clues here for software and web developers, too?
MoMA Lesson #1: Story-Driven Design
An architecture exhibit offers some useful usability lessons for web and software designers.
Why Simple Is Complicated
Don Norman despairs that simple doesn’t sell, and the blogosphere reacts. What makes simplicity so difficult?
Seven Books for Creatives
Gift ideas, eye candy and brain food for the design-obsessed
Inspiration, Far from the Computer
When designer’s block strikes, hit up Mother Nature. You’ll be surprised what you might learn.
The Amazing Power of "I'm Working on It"
Or, the salubrious effects of the progress bar.
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