Archive for June, 2010

What’s the most important status indicator on a portable electronic device? Since the product can’t run without battery power, I would argue that the low battery light should get top billing. Yet when I look at some of the gadgets around the house — including such diverse items as a wireless mouse and one of […]

As the saying goes, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. This suggests that first impressions aren’t always accurate. True or not, it doesn’t change the fact that people rely on first impressions more often than they’d like to admit. Of course, it’s not hard to see why a book with great cover art […]

My company is looking for a new staff member to join our tech support team, so I’ve been helping with various tasks like writing the job description and reviewing resumes. Overall, the pool of applicants has been extremely strong, which likely speaks to the attractiveness of the position along with the large number of qualified […]

Like many people, I use review sites like Yelp to help make decisions about local businesses. For instance, is this new restaurant actually any good, or does that doctor treat their patients well? However, a few recent experiences have reminded me that good reviews are no guarantee that a business will deliver on your expectations. […]

Typically, a retailer’s private label brand is easy to spot, since it carries the same name as the store itself. But this isn’t always the case. Consider the following three approaches: – Obvious store brand: The private label items are easy to identify, e.g. CVS brand products in a CVS store. – Not-so-obvious store brand: […]

When you make a purchase in a retail establishment, the typical protocol is to sign your name on the screen of the POS terminal or on a printed receipt. But in certain cases, no signature is required. I believe this comes into play when a merchant has opted in to a special program with American […]

Many of the office buildings near me have huge lobbies with only a few widely-spaced pieces of furniture. Sure, there might be a security desk and other functional areas in the lobby, but it’s not uncommon to see 50-75% of the lobby be totally empty. I’m guessing these lobbies were originally designed as a statement […]

While I was at Trader Joe’s over the weekend, I had a brief chat with the cashier about why the Chicago stores don’t offer local delivery. As a bit of background, their New York City stores have provided grocery delivery for years, but they’ve hesitated to extend the program to Chicago. In short, she said […]

I get countless letters in the mail asking me to subscribe to one magazine or another, usually at a big discount from the cover price. But my past experience makes me hesitant to subscribe to magazines anymore. You see, many of the publications I used to subscribe to decided to sell my contact info to […]

Several of the residential buildings in my area like to promote themselves as being pet-friendly. Typically, this means the building has a dedicated area where dogs can, um, do their business. What amuses me the most, though, is the way they describe these canine rest areas. Instead of naming the area based on actual usage, […]