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Design

Our observations and strategies for effective product design.

April 11, 2014

Fixing Poster Image Stuttering on Looping Videos

A couple of days ago I was building an html5 video element that would autoplay and loop once it loaded. The idea is that it would look kind of like those looping gifs that you see all over the internet, but it's video! WOW! The problem was that the poster image would show up at the end of every loop and give the element a jarring stutter effect.

January 03, 2014

Don’t Judge a Design by its Looks

Paul Adams recently wrote a piece in which he addresses some concerns around the field of design today. Specifically, using design to impress peers rather than addressing real business problems.

March 21, 2013

Building an Application is a lot like Building a Bicycle

In my most recent experiment of building a new road bike I noticed that the process kept getting delayed due to lack of preparation. I basically approached this project with the ego that I could just remember all the parts I would need. In reality I just kept forgetting one small part, would order it, and then would quickly realize that I forgot just one more part.

March 18, 2013

Designing for Emotion

Meeting new people is fun, and in the design and development start-up scene here in San Francisco, one of the most fun ways to meet new folks is by going to meet-ups. My favorite question that I inevitably have to answer when telling a new face about myself is why I studied sociology and how it applies to design. Many people don't realize that in order to create something that users truly enjoy, the design needs to successfully appeal to their emotions and create a positive memory that stands out.The most interesting liberal arts tie-in with design I have found is how "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" can be reformatted into a hierarchy of design. For those that don't remember or were never taught, Maslow's Hierarchy is a framework that states no matter who you are, every human has a basic pyramid of needs and can't ascend to the next step unless the previous has been fulfilled. From the bottom to the top they are: Physiological (the need to breathe, eat, sleep), Safety (safety from bodily harm, loss of family, property of job), Love/Belonging (intimate connection to other humans), Esteem (sense of self, respect and confidence to excel in life) and Self-Actualization (fulfillment in being creative, solving problems and following a moral code to serve other earthlings).Maslow's approach to identifying human needs can help us understand our goals when designing interfaces as well. We could certainly live content lives existing on the bottom three levels of the hierarchy but as top tier San Franciscan designers we strive to live in that top layer. If we apply Maslow's hierarchy to interface design it would look something like this:

December 03, 2012

Tech Bellows of the Beast Vol. 2

Mozilla launches Facebook Messenger in Firefox In a recent effort to propel the struggling internet browser, Mozilla has teamed up with Facebook to combine instant messaging directly to your web browser. Thus allowing the user to continue to engage with friends and family without being confined to the boundaries of the Facebook page itself. This latest move by Mozilla and Facebook has taken our daily social connection one step further; you can now chat with friends through Facebook while not being on Facebook. Where is the line drawn? When are we OVER connected with our social media? While this technology is great, maybe we should stick to Facebook chatting on Facebook and not everywhere we can possibly imagine. After all, you probably have the Facebook app on your smartphone anyway right?