All Posts Filed in ‘Art and Design

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Mad Men has the answer

Re-watched season one Mad Men, and found this amazing dialog between Don Draper and Roger Sterling:

Roger: “I bet there are people in the bible complaining about kids today.”
Don: “Kids today they have no one to look up to…. cause they are looking up to us.”

I guess that’s the answer to my post almost two years ago.

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Why we think the PSP Go hardware design is ugly

With the leaked photos of the upcoming Sony PSP Go hardware, common consensus, is that, the hardware / industrial design is pretty darn ugly. While I am not an industrial designer, let’s try to examine why the public reactions are so negative.

The Shape
When the old PSP first launched, everyone commented on the beautiful 16:9 screen. Sony did a great job keeping the shape of the old PSP simple and honest. With the addition of the new PSP Go slide out control, you ended up with many more circular design (4 circles shape on the control + the 2 added round edges of the slide out bottom) to compete with the rectangular 16:9 screen. If the actually PSP Go screens is square, you will have much less of a problem, but right now, in most consumers minds, it’s no longer the sexy 16:9 device, instead it’s something with various mismatched shapes.

Moving Parts
Moving parts might look great in a transformer movie, but in general, things that move break. When things break, it mean they are cheap (and negative feeling abound). Just look at most of the consumer slider mobile phones and you will probably agree anything that slides around is just low-end or easy to break . (Note: the exception of this would be flip phones and laptop design – since the flip / clam shell motion communicate privacy and hidden treasure).

The Material
Glass is sexy. Metal is sexy. Plastic not so much. In one of the press photo that got leaked, gone are the sexy “breathing holes” on the old PSP, what you gain is uneven cheapo plastic surface. I hope Sony can (will?) fix it in production model, but the damage is done.

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The Mylo legacy.
Dear Sony, nobody cares about the Mylo. The 12-14 years old these days all have cellphone, Mylo is not that useful to them as a communicator, and bringing the Sony Mylo legacy to the gaming world will just further confuse the consumers.

I blogged about the original PSP launch in 2004 with enthusiasm. How times have changed….

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On Three Design Topics

On Mint.
I’ve criticized Mint when it first came out about two years ago. (Me being a long time Yodlee user) Since then, Mint added Investments section which I remember wasn’t too impressed either.

Things have changed in the last 8 months or so. Mint is now my “go-to” online personal financial app due to the visual cleanliness, speedy ajax interaction, keyboard (accessibility) access, and clever use of Flex.

The most impressive part for me (as a UI Designer) is the innovative use of “drop down panel” in the transactions table. Everything is just right.

Compare with Yodlee (which is getting pretty ghetto on the UI these days), and Thrive (aka justthrive.com), Mint is still miles ahead.

Don’t take my word for it, try all 3 and see who’s UI (and product) is better.

On iPhone as a platform to redeem your Brand
iPhone could be the Jesus Phone after all. Not trying to be mean or anything, but who still use AOL products and Portal (beside AIM)? Yet, under the iPhone’s ‘halo effect’, AOL released the “Daily Finance” iPhone App which is really really well put together.

Redeem your (product) Sin on the iPhone. It’s the Jesus phone after all.

On Objectified (the film)
The film is not about the gadgets. Surprise!

The film is about industrial design, the designers, and the *things* that’s around us. It didn’t shy away from the topic of consumerism, and how we should actually appreciate the things we’ve already purchased. Now that’s an interesting idea.

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Comme des Garçons + H&M

Screenshoot

Check out the official Comme des Garçon + H&M cross over site. This ain’t your poser / ironic street fashion. This is high fashion by Rei Kawakubo at an affordable price. I just saved you a trip to Aoyama, Tokyo.