Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Given all the effort that consumer product companies put into their branding and package design, I was fairly shocked at what I saw in my local CVS store. Basically, the CVS-brand products featured packaging that was nearly identical to the name brand products. They copied the colors, text styles, and more — everything but the […]


While working with an online spreadsheet program, I noticed something interesting. As you might already know, some web-based applications don’t have a “Save” button. Instead, changes are saved automatically, without any action on your part. Well, in the case of this spreadsheet program, the designers realized that people would still be looking for the missing […]


I know that I’ve written about this before, but I came across the problem again — this time on an otherwise excellent support site. Namely, don’t use low-contrast color schemes for text that customers are supposed to read. Almost dark gray on a sort of white background will always be harder to read than black […]


While making a routine purchase over the weekend, I noticed something rather confusing on the credit card terminal. After swiping my card, it asked me to sign for the purchase. But before I could take the attached stylus and sign in the box, I hit a roadblock. The screen said “Do not sign with pen.” […]


My mom asked me to help with the camera on her new cell phone, and I figured it would be fairly straightforward. Well, I was partially right. Taking a picture was simple enough. But viewing the pictures you’ve already taken was baffling, and I couldn’t figure out what the option was called. After some trial-and-error, […]


When I was a kid, I collected scratch and sniff stickers. Unfortunately, I put them all in the same box, so every sticker ended up smelling like root beer. But that’s a story for another day. Speaking of scratch and sniff, I think scent is very underused within the product packaging world. Given how many […]


It’s really irritating when product designers violate the established conventions or design patterns for a particular interaction. Here are a few examples relating to text and hyperlinks on web pages: – Links that aren’t underlined (making it difficult to tell that they’re links at all) – Regular text that’s blue and underlined (so it ends […]