How to make scheduling an appointment confusing

I needed to make an appointment with a government agency that gives me a choice of three different days and locations. The process seemed more straight-forward and much simpler than I expected, until I realized […]

The profit in designing great

I’ve been tinkering with a Ramsey 555 timer kit, refreshing my long-dormant soldering skills (not bad; first attempt passed our lab guy’s inspection) as a practice project before embarking on something more sophisticated at work. […]

The Long Tale of the Caliper: Part 1

You’ve seen them before—and probably even have one in your toolkit. Those inexpensive digital calipers of questionable design lineage that make measuring things fun, instead of a pain in the Vernier. Mine is a General […]

Tailless Mice on Glass

I needed a new travel mouse a couple weeks back, to fill in for those times when my favorite TrackPoint isn’t quite the right tool, and to save a bit of wear-and-tear on my right […]

Aesthetics over Information = Confusion

Last night a buddy texted an invite to dinner, but because I had been in the library earlier, I had silenced my iPhone, and didn’t notice for a while. Just how long a while was […]

Simplicity Through Obscurity is Bad

Making things easy is hard; it can never be said enough. However, there is a tendency by many technology developers to attempt at solving this difficult problem by hiding things. In my humble opinion, this […]

When Good Enough is not Good Enough

There is a concept held by many engineers and analysts that products competing for market share generally have to be good enough—not perfect; perhaps not even optimal. This concept does indeed work in some situations, […]

Road-Trip Results in Retro UI

Preparing for an unplanned road trip tomorrow, I pulled my old GPS out of mothballs, and was instantly transported back to 2003. The Garmin StreetPilot 2650 may be old, but will continue to work for […]

Multiple Identities on One Small Screen

I’m in the middle of integrating a new email address/address book/VPN/etc. into my various computing devices, and am realizing more than I did before how much the screen size of my iPhone affects how I […]

Blackmailed Into Evernote Premium

I upgraded to Evernote premium yesterday, with very mixed emotions, but I really had no choice. Because I was blackmailed. By a good business model paired with software that does some very cool things in […]