Archive for June, 2007

it is not your fault … design’s fault

It’s not your fault
Simple things should stay simple
Fewer choices mean fewer worries
Your data is sacred
Your train of thought is sacred
Good interfaces create good habits
Modes cause misery
It’s easy to learn



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when there is no quiet there can be no loud

…silence, contrast, relatives, dynamic range, white space…


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can you see patterns in random numbers?


Dice rolling is much more than a way to create random numbers. There is much more invested in the simple action of rolling dice than resolving something. The way that you throw, the way that you rattle, the desire to see the dice roll or drop or spin, the way that you kiss your hand, or blow on the dice, the way you flick your hand after you have thrown the bones. There must be something in the movement to influence the throw.

Projection of patterns and influence in to dice rolling or random events

Reading patterns where none exist…
Zurich Axioms “Chaos is not dangerous until it begins to look orderly”

“Within a few weeks’ of the Shuffle’s release, the serendipity effect had kicked in. “OMG! That was the perfect song for this!” “Seriously. It can’t be random. It’s putting songs together that just… work*” The Shuffle was getting people out of their playlist ruts. Out of the music comfort zones we all fall into (emo, anyone?). Exposing them to songs they’d loaded onto their pre-Shuffle iPod but that never seemed to be one of The Chosen Ones. Think about it. Think about all the music on your (non-Shuffle) iPod, computer, or vintage CD rack. Now think about the subset you actually listen to regularly. For most of us, it’s a pathetically small set. By literally forcing people to listen to randomly-chosen songs, the Shuffle was constantly delighting, surprising, rewarding, stretching users. And users loved it.

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are they bugs or buffalo?


You can easily tell the difference between large things in the distance and small things near to you, by the detail in the image. Near distance things have more granularity and detail, far distance things are less clear with sketchy details.

Imagination works in exactly the same way as your eyesight, when it comes to forecasting or predicting things. The nearer in time, the more detail. The farther in to the future, the less detail and more sketchy the outline becomes.

This has a massive impact on our ability to plan projects or make forecasts about the future. With anything requiring us to imagine a reasonable period of time, we are generally only able to predict the broad, rough details and not able to get to the detail. This is also true of the past, with our ability to remember the broad details, the salient points that fit the schema rather than recall the full details.

Our forecasts (and memories) are also influenced by our current state of mind, or current hot topics. We pay more attention to the current focal points or trends.

(Daniel Gilbert – Stumbling on Happiness)

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copy me, copy me

Trends are created by people copying each other, small numbers of innovators create new things. Some of these things get copied over and over, some/most get ignored.–dr–alex-bentley–random-copying-and-culture.html

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