Category Archives: Design 365 Challenge

Design365 – Day number… Idk

Things have been hitting me so hard that I don’t even know what day of Design365 I’m on.

But, in the meanwhile, I’m still practicing design thinking on my projects – both work and school. On the other hand, I haven’t been making much time for reading “Emotional Design”. In order to continue the progress, I will read “Emotional Design” for a few and try to gain back that positive momentum.

Back to it!

Design365 – Day 8 (to 21)

Wow, have I fallen behind…  Arrrrrggghhhhhh!!!! This was not my intent, but I have to roll with the punches. Things got hard balancing school, personal life, and other demands. But I will do my best to get back to it daily.

For the past week plus, I’ve been reading the Don Norman “Emotional Design” book off and on. As well, to try and stay active, I’ve noticed the design in some objects, but nothing deep nor scrutinizing. Moving forward, I’ll pick up the book now, read for 10 minutes to keep the design flowing through my brain while balancing the rest of life.

Goal is to finish the book by end of November, which is more than reasonable. Off to plow through!!!

Design365 – Day 7

Shoei Helmet
Emotions: Bad ass, fast, cool, confident, protected, sporty

Because I work on my master’s thesis about track days so often, I promised myself I wouldn’t get motorcycles involved in my Design365 project. But, as is evident from the picture above, I broke that promise.

They’re just too damn sexy! And for that, I had to search more into this. Last night, I was sketching prototypes for my project and I had to draw out a helmet. So I was looking at my own for inspiration and to mimic. Then, as I struggled drawing the complex curves accurately, I wondered what about this safety device makes it so cool? Because boiled down, the helmet is solely for protection – not gaining the admiration of those around you. But it greatly does both.

So, b/c I’m learning more from Don Norman’s “Emotional Design”, I’ll try to apply that here to see what I can gather. I’ll work from Reflective down to Behavioral, then finally to Visceral (or I’ll try to at least).

Reflective: Here, I imagine all the stories I’ve heard from others or seen in the movies. In nearly all of these depictions, the motorcycle rider is a bad ass muddah that shouldn’t be messed with! But on the other hand, the stories of people dead or injured from motorcycle accidents because they didn’t wear a helmet rattle me. It also makes me judge other riders who dare to ride without it. Lastly, it’s also illegal to ride without one, so that’s another piece added to the pie.

Behavioral: The helmet does what it’s supposed to. I don’t get bugs or rocks thrown into my eye, I feel comfortable knowing my cabeza is protected if anything were to happen, and it fits comfortable enough. Although it’s not the most comforting thing in the world, for what it offers, I’m willing to sacrifice a little comfort. Another point is it’s aerodynamic design makes it easy to manage while moving at 60+.

Visceral: This (while standing on the shoulders of reflective thinking) is what makes this product shine. As always with greatly designed products, form follows function and as noted earlier, the helmet must be aerodynamic. So it starts with a very rounded build. After that, there’s these little slits and slots around – one over the mouth area, one over the Shoei logo near the forehead, and two more near the crown of the head. These slots are really just adjustable holes allowing air in or out of the helmet for ventilation.

But rather than just being holes with a basic cover, these vents are designed to look very edgy. They offer sharp and abrupt edges, similar to the F-117 stealth fighter jet. Other spots also sport the flat, sculpted look and they add to the feel of the helmet, giving it another dimension. So rather than it being just a round ball, the vents spice it up with fighter jet flare. Might be hard to see in the picture, but there’s also other lines on the helmet that add to the sporty feel.

Another point worth noticing is how the vents use a shiny paint whereas the rest of the body relies on a matte finish. This helps to give it a futuristic and clean feel while also drawing attention to those spots.

Shoei helmet

That’s it for today’s analysis. But one quick celebration – I made it through one week! Consistency is key and I’ve struggled here before, but I got faith I’ll make it through a year of skill development. 1 week down, 51 to go!!!

Design365 – Day 6

Ooops! Welp, I actually missed doing a review yesterday. Was supposed to continue reading Don Norman’s “Emotional Design” book for a week, but got swamped with school work. Plan is to read tonight as well as do a quick analysis of my motorcycle helmet. #SleepIsForSuckas #IWannaBeASucka

*** Update ***
It’s 2am and I should be sleep, but I’m insane and gluttonous for pain and/or learning. Not sure if pain or learning is taking the forefront here, but I love keeping myself up late doing things only to wake up tired or late or both the next day.

But, for the reason that it’s so late and I want to be functional tomorrow, I’m going to be brief here with my follow up and the Day 7 write-up.

Read some of Donnie Norm’s book tonight. I met him, but don’t know him well enough, rather at all, to give him a funny nickname, but this is my blog and my rules here. But, the book went over how the mind works on three different levels of visceral, behavioral, and reflective thinking. The biggest impact I gained here is recognizing the flow of control from reflective thinking down to behavioral, then down to visceral. It’s a bit much to describe in a sentence, but really made me rethink how I understand human processing of an experience.

Design365 – Day 5

The analysis today is to review the World of Coca Cola. Recently went to the factory/amusements in Atlanta with my wife and loved every moment of it. Enjoyed all of the interactive attractions, relived some childhood memories, and learned a lot about the Coca Cola company.

Growing up, I remember stories of Coca Cola (and/or McDonald’s I believe) going into lesser developed countries and using up all of the local’s water to make Coke. Not sure the actual event and implications, but this is what I walked in remembering. Coca Cola is just this big conglomerate soaking up the world’s water sources. For good sodas, but that’s not the point. Even with this negative imprint, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

The site was built to embody fun and happiness. Of course there was an abundance of trademark Coke red coloring. We spotted the Coke Polar Bear, noticed the famous Coke bottle outlined all through out, and a lot of flags to symbolize it’s worldwide impact.

But, the powerful thing was feeling the emotional impact of the video they crafted. It works as an intro to the tour and entry into the factory. There’s a brief trailer on YouTube, but it doesn’t do justice for the actual impact. It was about a 5-minute video showing a lot of events that stirred emotional highs. The stories it told highlighted great and inspiring emotions. Best part was that the video barely included any plugs for Coke. It was all centered around the people who drink it.

Nonetheless, I reflect on the experience and the video had an amazing part. Was very well crafted and changed the visit entirely. Still reflecting on how Coke crafted everything precisely for different feelings and interactions.

Design365 – Day 4

Water Bottles

Feel like I’m running out of exciting things to review. At least things that stir up a lot of emotions. Will do some pondering over the next day before the next post.

For this post, I will analyze a few water bottles I own. Although it doesn’t seem like much, I can say enjoy and use one bottle often because of it’s good design. The more I write this, the more I recognize it’s less about emotional design and more about overall usability and design. Oh well! Time is short and I’ll make the most of the day.

First bottle on the left is one I got at a Hackathon sporting Google Glass. It’s a very cool black, stylish white font, and very sturdy aluminum or metal build. Very cool, but not as useful as others that I have owned. The bumps on the lid give it a texture that neither adds nor takes away from the bottle. Rather, it balances out because its texture balances out the slick, smooth body all over the rest of the bottle. Although it adds texture and variety, it’s not comfortable to hold for long. The hole at the top is also great for easy one-finger holding and transportation.

The middle bottle is from a work event. Another bottle offering good utility, but not as attractive as the first. This bottle seems like it’s built to be tossed around, taken to the gym, and lay wherever. The look alone isn’t much, but the loop, the texture grips, and the printed measurements on the side all add to normal functionality of the bottle. Maybe the “beat me up” look is intentional since it’s a cheaper model.

Lastly, the bottle on the right is my favorite. Easy to hold, easy to drink from, and pretty stylish. The bottle it very sleek, the transparent color seems cool, and the lid’s little flares add a nice touch. The wide lip, the accent colors, the neckband all add a feel not seen in other bottles. Another feature past the visceral level of design is the functionality that I haven’t found in any other bottle. The spring loaded lid allows me to quickly and easily access the water without having to twist the lid off or anything else. It seems like a simple thing, but that little feature makes it easier and more convenient for me to drink water and has been the reason my water consumption has shot through the roof.

Design365 – Day 3


I thought about it through the day and decided to not redo the Keurig and move on to another interesting item. The product I decided to analyze is a gift that’s very dear to me. It’s a pair of sneakers my little brother gave me one christmas. I’m far from a sneakerhead or fanatic, but I can appreciate a decent looking pair of shoes.

The shoes are from the Derek Rose line at ADIDAS. I pass by others and they will note “Aww man, you got the Derek Rose’s!!!”. I had no idea these shoes impressed so many people, but it’s definitely more than just the name.

First feature is the passionate and bold red/black color scheme – color of Rose’s Chicago Bulls and the meaning of so much more. Coloring helps for this to stand out and provide a mean, bold, and sporty edge.

Not sure if these are actually meant to be used for sports or if it’s just to resemble what the athletes wear. Regardless, these shoes make me feel sporty. They are light on my feet, very form fitting, and have great grip. Although they may inspire me to feel like D. Rose, I only use them for walking around campus and work. I don’t ball hard and nobody wants to fine me. Actually, I don’t even ball 😛

Back to the review – the shoe sports a forward momentum with the coloring and material patterns. Things seem to slope forward. As well, the mesh tongue and the patterns on the side feel reminiscent of a basketball goal, which also adds to the real sporty feel of these shoes.

Lastly, the D. Rose logo is pretty intense in and of itself. It looks like a spinning top, the aerial view of a hurricane, or a saw blade in motion. All of which are three things constantly moving and good not to get in the way of.

All of these components combined are what make wearing this shoe turn me from a nerd to a 5-star athlete. All in my head of course!

Design365 – Day 1

Canon Rebel T3i
I call her Cammie for short

First day really digging into this, I decided to look into the design of one of my favorite products – my Canon Rebel T3i DSLR camera.

Hands down, it’s one of my favorite products I own. From its look, to the feel, to the function. But why? Maybe because I feel like a “real” photographer or the $600 price tag makes me feel obliged to like it! Regardless, there’s more there I wanted to know.

So, I took it out to play with it and learn more about why I liked certain features. Visually, the black color gives it a stern and professional tone; the textures look gentle and rubbable; and the contours of the body just beckon to be held.
Moving past the visceral level, I noted the functionality behind the form’s features. The sexy curves are built for holding (especially since it’s so heavy), the textures to increase grip, and since it’s moderately heavy, it’s built well to be handled with one or two hands. And maybe it’s also designed for one handed use to support the photographer doing other tasks with the other hand. One interesting comparison was the the textured handle resembling the shape, grip, hand placement, and texture of some gun handles. No idea if it’s a real connection or coincidental, but there seems to be similarity.

Wrapping up, it’s pretty neat to look into why I love my camera so and opt to hold it for hours on end during a shoot and even the down time between shots. Analyzing the details of the product design, I learned more about what makes the camera so lovely and desirable.

The next product to review is my Keurig coffee brewer – another product that’s enthralled me, but I never known why.

Design365 – Day 2

Keurig Coffee Maker
I had to catch the Ghostbusters themed Krispy Kreme box in the pic

Today, I looked at the Keurig coffee maker to analyze what I love about the design.

First thing that catches my eye is the simpleness of a coffee maker. Everything that looks like it can be touched or moved supports the desire to. Cleaning and maintenance are really easy because of the detachable parts. The design avoids complex features like a clock or other unneeded settings.

Viscerally, the item’s curves and black finish add to the modern feel. Not sure what else about it makes it so attractive, but I’m running over my planned daily blogging time. Will look more into it tomorrow to understand what’s there.

*** Update ***

Brief follow up to this since I abruptly reviewed and analyzed this product. The Keurig coffee maker made coffee brewing fun with a lot of different options. For as long as I can remember, when you were making coffee, you had to put grounds in a filter, then run hot water through a filter. I’m sure others have done it many different ways for a while, but this is what I’ve known as coffee making. So when Keurig came around, it changed the entire game by rethinking the process. No scooping, no filters, few limitations.

With the K-Cup, you have minimized clean up and waste. Instead of disposing of a filter, you throw away a little cup. No pitcher to wash out, because your cup is the only thing that got dirty. And you also don’t have a coffee pitcher full of coffee when you only wanted a cup or two, so waste is limited.

Another great feature is daily variety and ubiquitous coffee making. With the individual cups, I can buy a variety box and have 24 different flavors from one box. All 24 are not that delicious, but the ability to buy so many flavors at once is exciting for me since I didn’t have the option before. Although the appeal of variety wears out at home pretty quickly, it’s very useful for the other use cases. Dealers, realtors, and other office based service-providers can offer clients a shmorgus board of options to choose from.  Which is another great facet of the device – it’s ubiquity adds to ease of use and access to your favorite coffee.

Although a products ability to be widely adopted is wildly unpredictable, the fact that Keurig caught on helps in adding value to the product. So now, I’m able to carry my favorite coffee’s around with me and know that there’s a high likelihood of finding a nearby Keurig machine to brew on. It also helps that since the machine is so simple in both appeal and cleaning. It makes the user feel as if these devices must be sanitary because the water tank is clear and there’s no grounds everywhere.

In retrospect, I may have gone off course and given more of a product review rather than an emotional design analysis. But I’ll tighten up for future ones and keep this post in mind.

By the way, I’m doing this as an open discussion about design. So please chime in if you have something you’d like to mention.