1st Brazilian Seminar on D&E

1st Brazilian Seminar on D&E

The Seminar was a landmark for the launching of the Porto Alegre / Brazil local Design & Emotion Chapter. It was fully booked several weeks before it happened. We had some press coverage, including contents broadcasted on the radio, in newspapers and trough the Internet. We have also sent invitations to professors and students in every Graduate Design Program in Brazil, as well as to Design Companies. The result was an auditorium crowded to its limit, filled with 180 people ready to see some lectures – specially the one from our keynote speaker, Pieter Desmet – and to take part in a workshop.  The result was an auditorium crowded to its limit, filled with 180 people The morning started with a presentation from Leandro Tonetto, focused on describing what designing for emotions is and its main approaches. Tonetto was followed by Marcos Nähr and his excellent set of experience-driven examples. Filipe Campelo was the third speaker, and his lecture included a description about what has been done in Brazil in the field, and also a research agenda. The morning ended with an inspiring presentation from Pieter Desmet, who said that designing should be seen as an “act of love”, and spread some impressive ideas on Design for Happiness. We consider this first Brazilian Seminar as a succes! We can’t wait to see the following...
Concept of Design

Concept of Design

What many think of as an aesthetic profession has become so much more. By Andrian Kreye* There are few places oozing tradition like Oxford’s Randolph Hotel. During the TEDGlobal conference you would pass the restaurant where tea sandwiches are served on ornate étagères and enter a thickly carpeted room full of shelves filled with the works of progressive thinkers. The local bookshop had set up a satellite store for the event. Right there against the wall, a futuristic gadget was on display in a fancy jewel case. It looked like a military-grade USB stick made of brushed metal. A friendly gentleman from Boston explained that this was the Genome Key, made by his company, Knome. For a handsome fee, they would decipher your complete genome and deliver it on this small stick. Your biological present stored for a “gentech” future. The Genome Key had all the markings of a great design object: the metallic sheen, the shiny box, the futuristic lines. But it wasn’t the look that made the Genome Key such a great example of intriguing design. It was the system surrounding and supporting this storage device; the aesthetic allure was just an afterthought. The Genome Key can record one’s complete genome, not just the part that is usable today. This avoids making it a soon-to-be-obsolete technology. Also, all of your genetic data is exclusively stored on this device only, so customers don’t have to worry that their most intimate information will be hacked from an institution’s database. The Genome Key, albeit far from a mass consumer product, embodied the new role of design that had become evident during the TED...
Annoying Web

Annoying Web

The 65 Most Annoying things about the Web Today. by Bradley Hebdon. We’ve come a long way on the web today. Or have we?  While we’ve innovated in many areas, we’ve also continued to disregard pre-existing issues. And in some cases, we have also created new ones. Here is my list of the top 65 most annoying things about the web today. They’re in no particular order, but I have organized them into what I consider core groups. Using the Web can still be a very annoying experience! Poor Design Illegible text. I can’t read that, it’s too small. And what on earth is that font called? Busy backgrounds.  Oh MySpace, why do you allow users to create profiles like that? My eyes hurt. Obscure links. I’m confused, can I click on that or not? Oh I get it, you don’t want me to view other pages. Flyouts that are too large. Holy crap Yahoo!  This is a page within a flyout! Drop-down menu navigation too many levels deep. OK, if I slowly move my mouse this way first… dammit Jim, I’m a doctor not a magician! Complicated navigation. I just want to get to that page, the one over there! Oh I see, you want me to complete the maze first. Abused centerpieces. Aren’t centerpieces supposed to serve as mechanisms for promotion, rather than areas to cram an entire page’s worth of content into itself? Call me an idealist, I guess. Poor navigation labels. Give me a clue and use labels that make sense! Clutter & chaos. With no emphasis or information hierarchy, it’s difficult for me to know what to...
Cooking a Website

Cooking a Website

Parallels between cooking and designing interfaces and websites. by Dmitry Fadeyev* [usabilitypost] I’m not really an expert at cooking but I do love to watch professionals cook. I mean Michelin star level professionals. What these guys produce is really amazing and its also interesting to see just how much work some of these dishes involve and how many unique techniques are used. It’s not just food really, it’s art. Some art is there to be seen: paintings, some art is to be listened to: music, and some art is to be tasted. Anyhow… what does all this have to do with websites? Well, what I do find interesting is that I’m seeing several parallels between cooking and designing interfaces and websites. Let’s see… 1. You need to pick complementary flavors Creating a Michelin star winning dish requires a naturally good palate. You need to know how flavors come together in order to create a fusion that works. Choose the wrong ingredient and you could ruin the whole dish. In web design you need to be able to create a design that works as a whole; when all the elements are sliced and coded it must come together as a coherent page, with each element reinforcing the other. Keeping a consistent theme is crucial, as is picking a color palette that works. 2. It’s all about the flavor of the main ingredients Each dish has a star ingredient, be it the delicate scallop, or the hearty fillet of beef; everything else on the plate works to bring out its flavor. All the other elements should support that main ingredient and...
Users do not exist!

Users do not exist!

Users are in fact mythical creatures that only dwell in statistics and Excel sheets. Let’s say you are creating a website for a travel agency directed at female customers. In the course of your research of this particular kind of service consumers, you have found out that your target group, the site’s future users, is the following: female, successful career women, age between 25 and 54, income around R$5,000 a month, two kids.   Keep in mind that users do not exist, but people do   All that information characterizes the user of the website you are developing and is very valuable, no doubt about that. Now then, after gathering and analyzing all the data, you are ready to begin designing the website, right? WRONG! You still have a major problem to sort out: Users do not exist! Users are in fact mythical creatures that only dwell in statistics and Excel sheets. Users do not exist in the real world. Users do not possess feelings, they do not think, do not make decisions neither make mistakes. Going back to our travel agency example, there may be two completely different women that, nevertheless, still fit the profile you have just outlined through your research, but their shopping habits and internet searching systems are absolutely at odds with each other’s. One is extroverted and goes after what she wants without giving it a second thought. She relishes challenges and makes quick decisions. The other, conversely, is highly introverted, quiet and does not appreciate being rushed through her decision-making process because she loves doing a lot of research before committing to a...