Category: Design

How I Bought a Mini Cooper

You’ve heard me rave about how much I love my Mini Cooper in articles such as What is Great Design? But I’d like to tell you about how I got one, and how I became hooked on them. I’m not a car guy by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t tinker under the hood. […]

The “Good Enough” Culture

Imagine a completely normal paper clip. How many ideas can you generate for what else it can be used for? You have 2 minutes. Go. This exercise is one of the classic creativity tests to determine how skilled you are at brainstorming. The more ideas, the better. But how innovative are your ideas? There is […]

Design Adds Value More Than it Adds Cost

You would expect that kind of title from a designer, right? Who wouldn’t. So let’s back that up with a real example. The Motorola RAZR was one of the hottest selling cellular phones during the 2005 selling season and well into the 2006 season as well. In fact, it was selling at a rate of […]

Why You Have to Design For Usage Scenarios

I hate my furnace. I really, really, can’t stand it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever disliked anything as much as my furnace. Ever. What is it about my furnace that evokes such strong emotion and contempt for something that simply pushes air around my home? Functionally, the furnace does everything it is suppose […]

What is Great Design? Part 2

Ben Shneiderman wrote in his article Designing for Fun: The psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi talks about the flow experience of optimal performance when people are creatively facing challenges to achieve personal goals. When people are in the flow state they suspend their fears, put aside their anxieties, and engage fully in the experience of the moment. Concentration is intense, […]