Google TV

Failed attempt, or better still, describe going from product 0 to product release 1

The Apple way – do it right, or don’t do it at all. If you do it wrong, can it quickly and pretend you never made it in the first place (or, alternatively, call it a “hobby”).

The Google way – do it, put it out there regardless of the state it is in, hope to be able to fix it or upgrade it later to something worthwhile.

I am not saying one method is better than the other in all cases (Gmail and the iTunes Store are enormous successes of the two respective philosophies) but when it comes to something like this, I can’t see a future where GoogleTV has been fixed or upgraded to make it worthwhile. It is exactly he kind of thing that you don’t bother launching until all the partners and especially all the content is in place.

Otherwise you’re just doing damage to the brand, and later on when you do have the partners and the content, all anyone will remember are the jokes from the early days about how you don’t have anything to watch and can’t buy a screen with it built-in anyway.

Getting the tech right and the content wrong is a classic error, and Google should be smarter than this. It’s not like that film; just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come.

HT @engadget

S3 Stats

You’d be remised for not checking out this awesome tool for running Amazon S3 Stats.

It’s helping us monitor our daily and monthly bandwidth totals on Amazon s3. Having moved all the heavy image and video files over to Amazon S3, we found it lacked a good web stats engine. Our greatest need is understanding bandwidth usage and location analysis. Stats now come alive with this tool. Use it to gain fresh insights by looking at your data and slicing/dicing your web server usage.


I can relate to somebody who says “As a statistics junkie, I just can’t say enough good things about this product. Ever since I moved my site’s images over to S3, I’ve felt like something was missing. Now, S3STAT has given me back my favorite obsession”

Every night, s3 stats downloads your access logs, translates them, sorts them, and runs them through Webalizer, the industry-standard web analytics reporting package. They take those processed log files and reports, and stick them right back into your Amazon S3 bucket for you to view. Easy. Smart and dependable like Amazon .

Beyond this point dragons dwell

Old beautiful map

If you’ve ever worked with maps that have any meaningful level of detail, you’ll appreciate how they are more like dictionaries and encyclopedias than novels. They are reference materials. You don’t read them and study them for fun and memorize or pay attention to them on the whole (most of us don’t, anyway). You only reference them to answer specific questions as they arise. Questions, in fact, you almost certainly didn’t have before they became important to you.

McKinsey Video

Nothing wildly exciting but a rather apt example of no frills ‘simple+effective.’ The context is a business user looking for business strategy, comes across video interviews, like this one with John Chambers. I thought the six screen rollovers are a refreshing straightforward ‘smart’ for the user allowing them to delve deeper, without necessarily having to scroll from the beginning of the video.

Try it out here

Indie Labs

Indie labs

New Big Cartel is the equivalent of a drag and drop shopping cart experience. Super simple and real easy to deploy. Looking forward to checking it out for

Big Cartel has made it easy for thousands of bands, record labels, clothing designers, artists, crafters, and independent businesses to make beautiful stores to sell their stuff online.



Showing off the carbonmade portfolio site, [you know it I’m sure, 110,000 savvy designers apparently using it too]. I’ll be building one for tonight. Found a chap at random on this site, John Weiss who says:

My work is guided by purpose, passion, simplicity, beauty, innovation and surprise.

Natural Interaction

Alessandro Valli has been hard at work creating this Interactive Climbing Wall. You may remember the other creations by Natural Interaction that we featured on the past, Interactive Floor, Multitouch SensitiveTable Skin and Grid Interface.

iOO Climb turns every ordinary climbing wall into an augmented and interactive climbing experience. Thousands of boulders and routes can now be saved on a single wall, and browsed and played using a single remote control. Climbers can thus focus on their climbing experience, forgetting numbered stickers and colored stripes. Climbing routes are displayed only where and when it is needed.

Remote smarts

Understanding how to use a remote is made easier by a friend. I love this, it makes me smile thinking how I’ve written clear schematics for family and friends in the past.

Ever written out detailed schematics so visiting friends or family members could operate your home theater setup? It’s annoying, right? Web site Designing Interactions highlights an incredibly simple but surprisingly workable solution.

It’s a bit silly and, you know, ugly, but the simplicity and effectiveness is undoubtedly a win. Just grab a piece of paper, cut a few holes where necessary, label, and you’re done. No, this isn’t necessary for the remote wizards in the audience, but it’s a great idea for quickly dumbing down your remote for anyone to pick up and use.

Via Lifehacker


Seed Magazine content navigator. They are flying the “Science is culture” trademark with strong aesthetics and design sensibility.

“The Universe in 2009. In 2009, we are celebrating curiosity and creativity with a dynamic look at the very best ideas that give us reason for optimism. Rethink your assumptions and pose better questions about the future”

Things application

Here’s a good example of ‘simple is smart’ thinking in the form of a task management solution for the Mac. I particularly like it’s iTunes like simplicity. You easily understand that ‘adding and sorting your things to do’ lives in a section called focus (where you divide and conquer) and you naturally ‘collect’ these each day (that’s your in-box for today’s work load). Familiar mental models can help a user grasp the concept quickly and have a lasting impression on what your doing and why.

During this short trial I found myself liking how ‘projects’ are those bigger goals that allow nested activities. That makes perfect sense. Added to that, you’ve got obvious things like calenders and logbook features. Apparently a global shortcut allows you to accept a variety of document references. ‘Tags’ means things can be searched under particular names. Cultured Code from Germany have come up with a smart experience.

Thought cloud

Came across this rather good looking ‘thought-cloud’ from Stan Allen Architects. What’s smart is using this as active navigation ensuring purpose for such elegance. The full size view of it can be found here or check out the site.

Chorus EPG Welcome

AGENCY.COM produced and directed a mini intro video (1999) to help user understand how to use the interactive digital services provided by Chorus in Ireland.

Not The Users Fault

Open-source software needs better user-interface design in order to take over the world. Jono at Mozilla Labs discusses his 10 favorite issues with UI design.

This one calls for a good laugh “Is UI design marketing?”

The qualities of software that make for a good advertisement or computer-store demo are not the same qualities that make software usable and pleasant to work with long-term, day-in day-out. Often these qualities are opposites.

We should be grateful for decent well-designed software that is not only elegant but a blend of intuitive and easy to remember. It is so often not the case.