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!

Have a beer with my heroes

After the release of the Tesla Motors “D” series of cars, I became further captivated by the genius and ability of Elon Musk. Watched several YouTube videos of him at TED Talks and speaking on other topics.

Seeing this made me think about other heroes and idols I have. My wife and I talked about becoming a successful individual but not being an arrogant ass about it. For example, Steve Jobs and Kanye West are extraordinary and have talents many dream for, but only few have. Yet, I know that I wouldn’t opt to have a conversation with these guys (I’m more than aware Jobs has passed, that’s not the point though) because they’re so high and mighty. They have tons of knowledge that you can’t get from anywhere else, but I imagine there’d be some ass kissing involved before they’d gladly share it.

On the other hand, there’s guys like Elon Musk and Bill Gates who I would love the opportunity to sit down and chat with. On stage, they don’t seem as poised and confident as the others, but that’s the beauty – they show they’re human and willing to give and take around others. They know they don’t know it all. Another person I imagine would be a great person to drink beers with would be Matt Inman of The Oatmeal. Another smart and cool guy that isn’t off-putting with arrogance.

Wrapping up, I respect and admire a lot of people for their contributions to the world. Kanye and Steve Jobs are amazing and irreplaceable figures in our society. But I would probably hesitate to meet someone like them because I don’t think I would get the respect I’d like to get in return. Maybe I got it all wrong and I’m misreading their personas and they are great people to know.

But through what I see, I’m learning what kind of leader to be and what not to be while striving to make my impact on the earth. And hopefully, I’d be able to enjoy a round with greats like Bill Gates and Elon Musk who would treat me and respect me as if I were a great (even if I’m not).

*** Update ***
Was thinking about this write up and wanted to clarify – more than likely, I wouldn’t turn down a chance to talk with Kanye or some other great of our time, but I have mixed feelings about meeting them because of who they portray. On the other hand, I try to withhold judgement because I don’t know these people personally, and hence should not judge them for how the media portrays them.

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.

365 Days of Design

First time starting a blog and with a year long challenge.

I’m challenging myself to learn more about design through hands on experience. So following the lead of others who challenged themselves to learn new skills over a year.

Started on Thursday, October 9, so (hopefully) I’ll be making a post a day about my progress.

Plan is to exercise one part of design techniques daily for 12 months. In order to make the most of the time and not be scattered everywhere in design, I’ll focus each month on a particular trait.

Starting off with Emotional October by reading Don Norman’s Emotional Design book and getting a deeper touch into my emotions and various products. Will log daily activity and any notable progress or incidences.

Here’s where I dump them