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  Wednesday, May 19, 2004

A Design Epiphany: Keep It Simple. A professor has spent eight months putting forward his own one-word vision of the future: simplicity. By Jessie Scanlon. [New York Times: Technology]

Among the revelations after the first year of research:

1. Heed cultural patterns. The iPod, for instance, succeeded not just because of its sleek form, but because, in conjunction with iTunes, it solved so many of the problems of buying and storing music.

2. Be transparent. People like to have a mental model of how things work.

3. Edit. Simplicity hinges as much on cutting nonessential features as on adding helpful ones, the Newton MessagePad and the Palm Pilot being prime examples.

4. Prototype. Push beyond proof-of-technology demos and build prototypes that people can interact with.

6:36:20 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

So what's it mean when design hits the covers of two business magazines at the same time? Business Week's May 17 issue features "The Power of Design" on it's cover, with a profile of IDEO. Then Fast Company's June issue hits the mailbox with "Masters of Design" on the cover. The Fast Company article isn't available online except to subscribers, but Business Week's is. Can it be that business is beginning to take notice of the impact of design on product sales? It's not news to companies like, say,  Apple. Wouldn't it be nice if all software had as compelling a design element as some of the consumer products covered in the two articles?

IDEO's CEO Tim Brown was the closing plenary speaker at CHI2004, and is mentioned in both magazines.

3:15:24 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Glenn takes a righteous swipe at high-priced hotels charging big fees for WiFi:
The More You Pay, the More Access Costs. [Wi-Fi Networking News]

If there was a Best Western with WiFi anywhere near the Baltimore Convention Center, I would have stayed there during the STC conference. As it is, I chose the Marriott Inner Harbor as the closest hotel with internet access (STSN, wired, not WiFi), and paid an extra $9.95 a day for the privilege. As I've said before, hotels should just include WiFi in the room package -- they'll make up in patronage from folks like me what it costs to install and maintain. Chains like the Marriott are alienating us.

11:52:33 AM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

"Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair."
 Edmund Burke. [Quotes of the Day]

9:35:28 AM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

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