Archive for October, 2008

One of the websites that I use regularly has a built-in messaging feature. Whenever someone sends you a message, it appears in a special area where you can reply, delete, etc. The site also tries to notify you when new messages come in. The problem is, these notifications are always wrong. For example, if I […]

I just learned there’s a Lego store on Michigan Avenue. I’m not exactly in the market for a large quantity of Legos, but I do pass by that area quite often. Since Lego stores are few and far between, I thought I would have noticed the store by now. Then I discovered the problem: it’s […]

Last weekend, I got to see part of the Chicago Marathon. With over one million spectators, it’s a pretty major event, spanning a huge area from the downtown Loop to the surrounding neighborhoods. Of course, the crowds of spectators tend to purchase a lot of food and drink, which means big business for the restaurants […]

These days, most software designers understand that confirmation messages are a good thing. For example, if the user just made some changes, you should show a message that says “Changes saved” or something along those lines. But aside from showing the confirmation, where should you take the user next? Should you bring them back to […]

Against my better judgement, I found myself at an H&M store on Saturday. After picking out a few items, we went to the checkout area. The overtly stylish cashier rang up the purchase, and I gave him my American Express card for payment. He looked at it for a little while, seemed confused, and then […]

Sometimes a company or product confers an obvious benefit over the competition, but little effort is made to promote this advantage. Take Trader Joe’s, for instance. Their pricing is vastly lower than any other grocery store in downtown Chicago, yet they never show any comparisons of how much money you’re saving. I’ve run the math […]

During the course of a single weekend, I experienced two very different approaches to bag check. First up was the Art Institute of Chicago. This well-known museum likes to greet paying members by forcing you to check virtually every bag you bring in — especially if it’s on the prohibited list. What does this list […]

If a restaurant only serves breakfast a few days a week, you would expect them to open earlier on those days to accomodate the breakfast crowd. Similarly, when a restaurant is open the same hours every day, you would expect them to offer the same meals every day. So far, this is just common sense. […]

About a year ago, I went to the grocery store to buy coffee. They were out of the kind I usually get, so I chose another blend from the same company. Unfortunately, it tasted like crap, so I brought it back to the store. They refused to take it back, insisting that store policy prevents […]

If the design of your product provides built-in branding opportunities, be sure to take advantage of them. Whether you sell a physical product or provide an online service, there’s probably a place where your company’s logo appears. This logo makes it easy for potential buyers to identify your brand before purchasing. It also helps them […]