Walter Iooss

Walter Iooss

This collection of pictures by Walter Iooss is just full of great shots (via Signal vs. Noise).

Clark Little

Clark Little has some great photographs of waves. Thanks to Tom Tunguz for the link.

Designing the on-hold experience

A standard telephone keypad.

Image via Wikipedia

On designing the on-hold experience:

In the first of two experiments, Munichor and Rafaeli found that callers who were given information about their place in line reported more positive experiences—and hung up less frequently—than those who were played background music. And as for recorded apologies? They can make the situation worse, said Rafaeli.

Every interaction your company has with a customer is an opportunity to leave a good impression. via David Hammer.

Virtual Keyboards

Virtual Keyboards

This article about virtual keyboards on iPhone and Android is a good case-study of how seemingly small changes can make or break a design.

It also contains this brilliant idea:

[David Pogue:] “Although you don’t see it with your eyes, the sizes of the keys on the iPhone keyboard are changing all the time. That is, the software enlarges the “landing area” of certain keys, based on probability.”

For example, if you type the letter «N», the next letter is unlikely to be «H», but quite likely to be «G». Accordingly, the iPhone will increase or decrease the target areas of these keys.

The corporate culture at Netflix

This presentation about the corporate culture at Netflix is full of interesting ideas:

Speaking of Netflix, my friend Noah points us at an article that explains how Netflix delivers DVDs.

Okinawa Aquarium

I’m not big on keeping animals in captivity, but this is gorgeous. Do yourself a favor and watch this in HD, fullscreen:

via Kottke

13-year old reviews Walkman

You’ve got to love this story of a 13-year-old kid reviewing an original Sony Walkman:

It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.

There are a lot more great paragraphs in there, and the article really shows how quickly technology has evolved over the past 30 years. You’ll find some more thoughts on the virtues of the walkman in this article, including a picture of the gorgeous blue model.

Matte Harley-Davidson

Harley Davidson

The other night I saw a Harley-Davidson 883 parked on the street. This bike wouldn’t have caught my eye, except for the fact that it’s painted in completely matte paint. It’s so dark and un-shiny that it really stands out.

My cruddy iPhone photo doesn’t do it justice, but you can see the contrast between the shiny exhaust and the rest of the bike:

Matte Harley

It’s remarkable how such a simple change can completely change the perception of a product.

PS: I wish the rumors of a matte iPhone had been true. The shiny plastic they’re using today looks so cheap.

2009-6-30-8:50 PM #   

A washing machine that uses less water

Halle linked to this article about an awesome washing machine that uses only one cup of water.

It uses less than 10 per cent of the water of conventional machines and 30 per cent less energy by replacing most of the water with thousands of tiny reusable plastic beads to attract and absorb dirt under humid conditions.

I wonder how they manufacture these beads, and how durable they are. Hopefully the process is somewhat eco-friendly as well, lest the net impact be negative.

Deadline on a post-it

DEADLINE is a fun stop-motion animation using post-its. My first thought was “wow, that must have taken a long time to make”. Then I realized it was a senior thesis project. Ah, college…

Update: the making-of is super cool too. Thanks to Eduardo for spotting this and posting in the comments.