Swiss design?

All throughout college I've heard so much about how awesome Swiss design is. I've also seen a huge number of examples: books, posters, typefaces... I have to say, though, that generalizations of this kind are harmful. When you call something…

Oddly specific

Signs and labels of all kinds are a source of unending fascination for me. Today, I'd like to talk about two of them that I recently saw. You've probably heard about Helvetica Man (a term coined by Ellen Lupten). Even…

The joys of Fiat 500

You might remember my earlier post on car temperature controls. Back when I wrote it, I thought those controls were the worst thing about cars. Enter my new arch-nemesis: Fiat 500. To cut the long story shot, somebody hit my…

On hard dependencies

This week, there was a major power outage in the area where I live. We had no power in the house for over 20 hours. During this time, I learned a couple interesting things about my appliances. I have a…

Just make them different

When two different designs or products look too similar, they invariably end up confusing users. Sometimes, it could be two different brands. Or two devices that have different purposes. Or walls that look too much like whiteboards. My example today…

It's Automatic!

Last time I stayed at a hotel, I noticed that the clock on the iHome device on the bedside cabinet was showing the wrong time. It wasn't just off by a couple minutes: it said "12:31 PM"…

Car temperature controls

I have driven quite a few different cars, mostly rentals, and on many occasions I found myself frustrated with the temperature controls. Until very recently, almost all cars had the same type of temperature controls, as illustrated below with the…

Figuring out Ford Focus

I went on a trip to California last year and ended up renting a car. They didn't give me much choice over which car I would have (barring the unreasonably priced options), so I ended up with a 2013 Ford…