Blog is on pause, but please do enjoy my tweets :)

Extra effort caused by elimination of disposable packages

Although elimination of disposable packages in eg. Scandic hotel chain has been a great action for environment, some challenges that originally influenced to the very trend remain.

One of those is cleaning. Especially anything related to toiletries should deserve extra attention. Unfortunately this is often overlooked by maids, as well as the people who make the cleaning contracts.

Xbox Live credit card hoax disquised as Automatic Renewal

I spotted an interesting line from my credit card bill, which said Xbox live 19,90.

This was clearly unauthorized charging since I paid extra attention to my choice of Live membership and payment method after warnings from my colleague who had previously experienced continuous charging of credit card.

I decided to remove my card data as once from my xbox. -Unfortunately this move had been thought at Microsoft headquarters. Removal was not possible to do on the xbox!! Instead the prompt asked to visit for membership info and how to turn of automatical renewal...

At this point I can give you a hint. It's nowhere near there. You might get a better start from the address -The end result is not any better, but least that's wehere it is supposed to be..

The guidance what you'll in the end find is useless:

Ok, lets find that billing information then manually...
You'll probably find several errors from the system:


But if you hit the right spot, you'll find your billing information:


There it is finally; "Cancel my service".
-But let's first think for a moment that which service it was you wanted to cancel.......

Ok, here we go. Thumbs up everybody!!


Still not possible. -It Really is made impossible to cancel the automatic renewal and charging from the credit card!

Time for some conclusions:

I consider this a criminal credit card hoax, with the difference that this is done globally, diguised as legitimate and sealed with the human lazyness and self accusations. -And definitely not good businness on the long run.

Next: Calls to Consumer Agency and Microsoft.

Improving UX design by managerial decisions?

Original build of Kenwood kMix hand mixer had a power cord that could be rolled around the base of the mixer allowing a perfect fit to the table stand.

I fell in love with this feature and bought the mixer. The disappointment was huge when I found out that some "UX aware manager had clearly improved the design" by extending the cord for any of the usual reasons and simultaneously ruined the design.

I don't believe in the democracy of expertese.

Suddenly everything stops

Imagine that you rush into your hotel room with you hands full and drop your keycard to the floor when trying to shovel it into the main light switch while the door is closing behind you.

Suddenly you get a feeling that there's no rush and the best thing to do is crawl on the floor in total blackness.
-Further you can't avoid thinking that this was not considered, when the brilliant idea of key card operating main switch was introduced to hotel businnes.

Light treatment

When the winter begins, the thirst for light is immense. It doesn't really matter how you get it, but if This method works, I'm a happy camper.

Oulu based Valkee is studying and manufacturing bright light treatment device that deliveres the light more directly to the brain, saves eyes, allows user to move around while treatment and makes the treatment significantly shorter.

The main issue here is that it's really hard to believe this method is really working. You can evaluate the idea next time you turn your face towards the sun. -Is it your eyes or the tissue behind those, that enjoys the sun.

Design for not-in-use

This soda maker shows an perfect example how some products are designed without the thinking that how they actually are used.

When do you actually see your newly purchased OBH soda maker looking like this? -The machine stays unused 99% of the time looking like it's literally missing parts. Only time you actually keep the bottle attached to the machine is when you make the soda. And that's actually when all other functions (like attaching the bottle instead of good looks) are critical components in creation of the user experience.

Feature improvement?

Apple shows an example, how to take a hit like a man and turn it into a success.

There is a new feature in the new iPod Shuffle:
You remember the last years model - which didn't have buttons, only voice UI.

This is solved then - even without seeing the figures.
-Let's see what happens on the touch phones area - are HW buttons getting even fewer or will there be new rise of user control.

Why satisfy to ultimate performance?

When analysing how to make a design for young women, that delivers the message about the ultimate performance - one usually get's lost.

Why is it so natural to express the performance and qualities for men? -Just draw the headlines on the paper and make it look functional piece.

Is it really in our DNA so strongly?
-We see a good pair of tits and we have a positive attitude on the content.
-Girls see amazing shoulders and they are open for a guy to tell more of himself..

Designing for women can be close to trying to hit a girl. You need to make your stand, claim your opinions, prove your usefullness, act according to expectations, be transparent on your deliveries and be -last but not least- adorable.

What is expected from a (junior) industrial designer?

Michael Roller presented an interesting slide on his blog Strategic Aesthetics about what industry expects from a newbie industrial designer. And I cannot say that I would disagree..
His whole study is available here.

Special coffee automate - automated poor service?

What's the point in having a machine for special coffees?

Usually coffee shop staff do not know what kind of coffee they are selling from the device.
What IS know in this equation, is the higher quality expectation when customer orders special coffee. -And for this expectation regular coffee shop answers by ignorance - selling a product they have no control over (not even quality control)?!

Why do they even bother, when they would have perfectly ok coffee on the pot to serve - with normal expectation level? -Maybe the disappointment would be lower..

Photo frame out of office supplies

Crafted small photo 'frames' out of old prints and Post Its. There's nothing you can't do while you have a fresh supply of Post Its and ducktape ;)

Plastic bag seal generation 2

Remember those red little plastic demons, that ensure you will starve, before granting you the access to you carrots? I say no more of those.
Pirkka carrots have used a similar kind of plastic tape seal in a way that it forms handles to pull the two sides apart. Also the piece of paper that is used to create the handles features the best before date.
How convenient with only a small change! -Although, in my opinion this has been pending a little too long to fix such a simple but highly annoying problem.

Recloseable paper packaging

This is my regular ice-cream purchase from my next door shop. -It's not that I would like Dajm That much, but I buy it because of it's packaging.
It's unbelievable to see the amount of plastic waste in my bin nowadays. Everything comes in plastic, like ice-cream. That is, if you don't want to use the old fashioned paper-wrap that is super ecological, but a mightmare to reclose.
This package on the other hand, is paper and is easy to close tightly after taking some :)
-Can it really be that plastic is cheaper or why the vast majority of ice-creams are encased by plastic?