Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Learning Log 6.2: The Magic Mouse

I remember our class talking about Apple's mouse design and saying how it wasn't necessarily a good design. I disagree and think it is. I like the fact that Apple & it's products give you the option of scrolling left/right up & down. The sleek design is comforting on the hand & clicks the way you expect it to.

Apple has only recently introduced the new Magic Mouse. It has virtually no buttons except for it's entire body. Magic Mouse features a Multi-Touch surface with gesture support. It likes the Mac trackpad, allowing you to swipe, scroll, such as: scroll in any direction with one finger, swipe through web pages and photos with two, and click and double-click anywhere. It's also wireless.

Another great and unique feature that the Magic Mouse has is that you can customize your mouse to be comfortable and easily usuable for those who are lefthanded.

Learning Log 6.1: Design Research & Brainstroming

For our next assignment, this chapter seems very appropriate. I have yet to really strategize on how I am to go about doing my research for this project. This chapter was very useful. I learned some very useful facts such as focus groups are NOT reliable. It is vest to be camouflage when doing your research. The best way to really observe is to become your environment. I learned that when I had my Observing Humans class sophomore year. I had to take notes and watch my surroundings at the nearby Starbucks. It wasn't actually until i got comfortable and looked like a customer with my cup of coffee and laptop out that I had good concise research.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leanring Log 5.2: The Dyson Air Multiplier

It's a shame I already had show & tell because I would have really liked to discuss this with the class. Only a few days ago did James Dyson (man behind the rolling ball vacuum) reveal a new design for the standard desk fan. The standard fan is pretty clumsy although it has worked! The only problems are dirty blades, some-what dangerous if the cage falls off, & heavy immobility. They also take up some unnecessary space.

The Dyson Air Multiplier Fan has no external blades and the device draws air into the upright cylinder portion of the fan via vents on the base. The air is then funneled out through a ring that sits atop the base. The cool air is blown out of vent hidden around the ring giving the illusion that the air is being blown at the person from nowhere. According to Dyson, the fan provides a better experience than traditional fans that product uneven air circulation and collect dirt on the blades.

I think this is a great step in the right direction for improvements in technology. A safer & more efficient design was definitely needed in the world of air cooling systems.

Learning Log 5.1: New Uses For Color

As soon as I started reading this article one thing came to my mind: food. Maybe it's because it's 12 noon and about that time for lunch. But the real reason is because it reminded me of the physiological study of color being directly related to humans appetite. Certain colors induce hunger.

If you take a look at a number of your favorite fast food joints, they use the colors red & yellow most readily in their interiors, exteriors, and logo design. These warm colors give us a sense of comfort and warmth. Red instantly attracts attention and it also makes people excited, energetic, and increases the heart rate. Red seems to have color dominance with regards to actual food products, as well. If red foods such as tomatoes, strawberries, and apples aren’t a natural part of the product, often times red packaging is used instead, such as with Coke, Skittles, and Campbell’s Soup. Red has also been linked to be effective in impulse buying. I think McDonald's has instilled in our head that their golden yellow arches mean tasty golden french fries. Yellow also is an attention getter.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Project 1: Redesigning "Buttercream Philadelphia"

I decided to redesign the website for Buttercream Philadelphia, which is the home of the cupcake lady. She rides around in a postal truck that's decked out in vinyl sprinkles & sells cupcakes out of her movable shop window. The website for it though is very poorly designed. Too many links & too much space. This site needs some condesing and a fun, simple make-over.

The cupcake lady (or Kate) likes to put a lot of non-sense information that makes this website feel 'homey'. That's the idea though, home-made cupcakes, from scratch. That doesn't mean the site has to be like that. I basically lessened the amount of links and dumped what was unnecessary like ramblings, pictures, & the fact that it takes a year to scroll down to the bottom of each page. Less is more! By reducing bulk, this website is easier to navigate & articulates information much better.


I'm basing my redesign off of two other Philadelphia pastry shops websites. Although I complained about Naked Chocolate's website previously, I appreciate their aesthetic–simple, clean, white display. There lack of information & accessability is my only concern. I am more basing my information distribution (and somewhat design) on Brown Betty Dessert Boutique. Unfortunately Brown Betty's website is currently down but I will be sure to post a screen shot as soon as it's back up. UPDATE: Brown Betty's Website

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Learning Log: Not Enough Info Naked Choclate Cafe

There are websites with too little information. Enter: Oh lord, days ago I had ordered a dozen cupcakes & a cake for my room mates birthday. The only way I got any contact information for the store was because of informative guide sites like Yelp & Yellowpages. When you go to Naked Chocolate's website, there is literally no information. There are no buttons to click, there is no way to know where it is or how to reach them. Also there are at least 3 different Naked Chocolate Cafe's int he city of Philadelphia. I thought I was calling the one on 13th & Walnut. NO. I had called the one on 34th & Walnut. I had to cart myself all the way to University City when I could have conveniently gone around the corner. I blame this one on 411. But, if there was a clear informative website, I would have know where exactly I was ordering from. All you know is that its got delicious pastries & the website just tempts you. You find yourself asking' Where can I get these cupcakes?' and without some outside searching, you would never get to taste their deliciousness. It is a beautifully designed site, with little to no information at all.

Learning Log: Too Much Info at

Websites are designed to be easily accessible & informative to better serve a customer or consumer. In order to assure that no stone goes unturned as far as information goes, there is one website that has it plastered all over their website: I think the website is great. It's got almost every product available at the tip of your hands. I remember a time when mazon was strictly books, CDs, and Barnes Nobles related goods. Then something happened, & now they have everything! Electronics, TVs, clothing, shoes, oh and hold on wait... grocery items. I assume now that they have all these different products, customers have had issues or concerns about them, so they have information up all over the place. Information about shipping, features & services, financing deals, best sellers lists, & advertisements. When the designer made this site they really saw the consumer at hand. Someone who is skeptical about on-line shopping (which most people were and still are) & wants to know every detaila bout the product your getting. On-line shopping is basically like shopping blind unless it's a product you've had before & are familar with the performance it gives.