In the Details: Special Characters
Over a year ago, I compared the methods for inserting accents and other special characters in Windows and Mac OS X. Lion dropped yesterday, and among the many new features is an even better method of inserting such characters. When typing a letter that you intend to be a special character, hold the key down for an extra second, and a little popup will display the options. Each option is...
Clever Little Bag
My favorite IDEA 2011 winner has to be Puma’s Clever Little Bag, which won a gold award in the Packaging category. Once again, I recommend pointing your browser at Fuseproject’s own website to learn about it. Like so many great, contemporary designs, this is the result of taking an object that hasn’t changed in decades—the shoebox—and finding a better solution. The challenge was to look at one...
Service Design & IDEA 2011
I was interested to see how Service Design is being treated in IDSA’s IDEA awards. Now in it’s second year, the Service Design category of IDEA 2011 holds two gold winners, no silver or bronze, and two finalists. In 2010, there was one gold, one silver, and two finalists. As usual, the brief descriptions of the winners aren’t enough information for me to make my own evaluations. This year’s...
IDSA announced the winners of IDEA 2011 at the end of June. I’m finally getting around to perusing the gallery. There are a lot of great designs, of course, but one in particular immediately caught my eye due to it’s similarity in concept to one of my student’s projects. Pure is a water bottle designed for adventure tourists and world travelers that filters and sterilizes water from any source...
It’s a little disturbing when I’m reminded just how dependent I am on technology and how little I actually know about it. A couple nights ago, we had a short, but heavy, storm with strong winds. A tree fell over and took down some power lines, leaving our house without power for several hours. Apparently, the electricity went off and on several times before staying off. I know that isn’t...
National Design Awards
The Cooper-Hewitt recently announced the winners of the 2011 National Design Awards. I was pleased to see that Ben Fry is the winner in the Interaction Design category. Ben has created some fantastic information visualizations and authored the O’Reilly book, Visualizing Data. He has a Ph.D. from the Aesthetics + Computation Group at the MIT Media Lab and was the Nierenberg Chair in CMU’s School of...
Back up. Do it now.
I have thousands of photographs. I have hour upon hour of family videos. I have many year’s worth of design work, writing, email, financial records—the list goes on. It’s priceless, completely irreplaceable, and it’s all on hard drives sitting right here beside me. Yes, you better believe I have a backup strategy. I’m a faithful listener of TWIT and MacBreak Weekly. They’ve mentioned several...
I received email from Intuit a few days ago warning me of the impending arrival of Mac OS X 10.7, it’s discontinuation of Rosetta, and the resulting incompatibility of Quicken 2007. One might think this wouldn’t be an issue; after all, who would be using software that old? Surely there’s an upgrade. Well, that’s the thing. There isn’t an upgrade. Intuit released Quicken Essentials for Mac—a...
My family attended the Beauty and the Beast live show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The actors on stage wore elaborate costumes while performing choreographed dance numbers on a set inspired by the film, just as one would expect. But I barely noticed what happened on stage. You see, we were sitting on the far right side of the theater close to the stage, and there was apparently a group of deaf...
Fee Fi Ho Hum
If you’ll allow me to channel my inner Seinfeld, what’s the deal with internet charges at expensive hotels? My family stayed in one of Disney’s resorts during most of our vacation. I had gone fully expecting to have an internet connection in our room, but no, they wanted to charge me 10 bucks a night. I would have paid more for one week than I do for an entire month of service at my house, and I’d...
Google + Design
It’s obvious Google has suddenly taken a keen interest in design. I’d be interested to know why. Not only is it apparent in the new Google+ and their announcement that they are rolling out a new visual design across their products, but I happen to know that they are making a huge push to hire interaction designers. I’ve seen job descriptions, and I was contacted by a Google recruiter who found me...