Archive | June 2010

Craft and the Designer

Adam Richarson in “Why Apple is the New Master of Craft ” mentions

Good craft comes from intimate familiarity and ongoing hands-on manipulation of the material and the forms it can make, not from abstractly visualizing the form as is often done through CAD renderings.

While this is true for Apple as a company, and especially evident in all the Industrial design coming out of their stable (including the commercial failures like infinitely drool worthy Power Mac G4) it is also notable that this principle applies to all things design- not just those involving materials, or hardware, but almost anything.

Calling Apple a master of craft is very very interesting; because the recent Apple product designs are distinctly identifiable with their master designer – Jonathan Ive- who has led the Industrial Design at Apple since 1997 and was preceded by an illustrious linage of at least eight Industrial Designers – Jerry Manock (1977–1984), Bill Dresselhaus (1979–1983), Terry Oyama (1980–1983), Rob Gemmel (1981–1985), Hartmut Esslinger (1982–1989), Richard Jordan (1978–1990), Jim Stewart (1980–1984, 1987–1994),  and Robert Brunner (1989–1997).

Now ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) defines Design as:

“Design is a creative activity whose aim is to establish the multi-faceted qualities of objects, processes, services and their systems in whole life-cycles. Therefore, design is the central factor of innovative humanization of technologies and the crucial factor of cultural and economic exchange.”

Whereas Craft is simply defined as:

“A craft is a skill, especially involving practical arts. It may refer to a trade or particular art.”

Notice the difference in vocabulary and the absence of anything material, object, process, service, systems, technology, or economy in the definition of craft. It is this difference that is even more significant when we herald iPhone 4 or any other product from Apple as an example of design excellence.

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A picture is worth…

Was looking up on the happenings in open-source domain, and while there is lot of inspiring work available, its still somewhat rare to find new things concerning a Database. Introducing a Database, and with what flair!
Chanced upon the MongoDB, checked their presentation on slideshare….with this introduction slide as above, who wouldn’t want to?

And no, even such an upfront and agreeable persona comparison is not going to lure me into to labyrinth of any kind of DB, am comfortable being a ‘user’ here. But if it may interest the UX guy in you, you may check the presentation and the MongoDB site an an example of making things simple, in a simple way…. and yeah, the MongoDB site runs a very properly styled confluence. On Information Architecture side, it still seems not able to outgrow the out-of-the-box confluence tree though.

Just to keep perspective, the related technology sites by dear old Apache are couchdb and jackrabbit. hmmm, the intro slide is indeed a telling example of how to reach out as a fresh, differentiated and unique offering in an otherwise technical domain. A WOW!.

When the technology sites/presentations start looking this good, its very omnious sign, and a challenge for so called simpler sites to improve.
check the presentation at slideshare here. The details at

The Spectrum of User Experience

A very nice and comprehensive visualization of UX domain.

More details at

i4 Apple

This is one of those moments that reminds us why we do what we do” Steve jobs.

Steve Jobs live Address at WWDC2010

The magic, the drama, the suspense, and the relief nagging feeling again that maverick of Apple has much more up his turtleneck sleevs that makes us yearn for more and more, ever more than ever.

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Windows XP Fail

More often than not, XP crashes, and thank God for Windows 7 for that!
now, one of the most annoying crashes ever encountered was while changing the wall-paper…

Nokia PC Suite

Download now or preview on posterous

NokiaUsability.pptx (1676 KB)

The inappropriate use of very familiar icons, for very familiar actions resulting in a very very confused message.
Reason being the familiarity of actions suggested/rexpected being radically diifferent from the the icons used. The icons are familiar- but for different use in a different context.

Glad that Nokia discontinued this, and introduced OVI suite – a better designed but equally bloated software suite!