Design and Innovation Daily

What type[face] are you?

Posted in emotional design, graphic design by Dan on January 20, 2010

As expected, not as much time for reading this week. I did, however, enjoy the entertaining “What type are you?” quiz from the design firm Pentagram. No, it’s not a Facebook quiz—it’s a clever, interactive, four-question quiz presented almost like a digital therapy session. In order to start, the password is “character”. Fitting, because the quiz itself has character; the counselor fidgets while he waits for you to answer each question. See what happens when you make him wait for a while.

“What type are you?”

Quotes on Design and the Useless Machine

Posted in creativity, emotional design by Dan on January 5, 2010

Another great site I discovered over the holiday is Quotes on Design. If you subscribe to the RSS feed, you’ll see new quotations posted every day.

Two of my favorites from the past week are:

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.
Albert Einstein

Mistakes are the portals of discovery.
James Joyce

Speaking of RSS, I’m going to take this opportunity to recommend Google Reader, the web-based tool I use to keep track of 200 different feeds (which I really don’t have time to read). I’ve tried quite a few different feed readers, but only Google Reader is both easy to use, designed well, and complete in its range of functions.

Finally, watch this video of “The Most Useless Machine EVER!” If no other machine does, THIS machine has character.

Creativity and innovation are not innovation and creativity

Posted in creativity, emotional design by Dan on January 4, 2010

Happy new year! I’m going to start off with a few things I missed since I last posted.

Uday Gajendar wrote an article about designing for panic. How do you design for the infrequent situation in which the user is panicked, anxious, stressed, and in a hurry? Some suggested strategies: “Panic! at the user interface.”

Andy Rutledge republished his (perhaps contentious) article that challenges the common understanding of creativity: “On Creativity.”

On a similar vein, Scott Berkun challenges the doubtful idea that “creativity” is the secret of innovation: “The secret about innovation secrets.”

Santa as a designer; the personality of doors

Posted in emotional design, interaction design by Dan on December 23, 2009

Here are 10 reasons why Santa is a great designer, from UI Trends. I have to say, though, that Santa is also a great manager if the elves are still there making all the toys for him.

Nicolas Nova blogged about a paper from the International Journal of Design about how people interpret the movement of automatic doors as a gesture. The simple interaction pattern involved with automatic doors contains a rich set of challenges with regard to emotional design. The study described in the paper analyzed participants’ responses to different door “gestures.” The paper (by Ju and Takayama) can be downloaded here (PDF). The subject reminds me of the XKCD cartoon “Automatic Doors” as well as the Pizza Planet airlock in Toy Story (see below).

With that, I wish you a happy holiday and new year! DIDaily will return bright and early on January 4, 2010.

Armored guards block the automatic doors at Pizza planet
Automatic doors open and the guards move out of the way
Buzz and Woody get ready to sneak into Pizza Planet

Citation for the paper: Ju and Takayama. “Approachability: How People Interpret Automatic Door Movement as Gesture.” International Journal of Design 3.2 (2009).