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Four Design Links: April 1, 2010

Four Design Links is a review of the design- and ethics-related stories we've been reading online this week.

1. Building a Better Estimate

Probably the best thing I read this week, business-wise. In this blog post, Andy Rutledge discusses how to improve one’s job estimates.

The secret? Don’t rush into it. Don’t quote the client your ideal figure; get to know them first. Then, adjust up or down based on your perception of the relationship.

At DLB, I think we do a good job with our ideal estimates and we certainly take clients’ differences into account as part of that calculation — provided we get a second job with them. But for first-time clients, I can see the wisdom of resisting the urge to commit to an estimate too soon…

2. A Dream of a Well-Designed Credit Card Agreement

From TED blog, check out this simplified credit card agreement:

Alan Siegel's Redesigned Credit Card Agreement

A legible, good looking legal document? What a delightful dream (er, inspiration). Truly the stuff of TED.

3. Saving time for doing nothing


Lately, I’ve been enjoying Bobulate (read as: the opposite of discombobulate), a recent addition to my blog rotation. Great layout and content.

Liz, the author, references a great piece on the importance of keeping un-busy. Much of creativity –even productivity– depends upon not working from time-to-time. When you’re busiest may be when you need free time the most. It’s something to keep in mind as the semester ends (for some of us).

4. Spy Party

Last, something else that caught my eye last week, Wired has a story detailing one of the most interesting game designs I’ve heard of in a while.

WIRED: SpyParty

Spy Party is a two player game where one person plays a spy in a party full of computer-controlled guests. The spy must perform several tasks while blending in with the AI. The other player is a sniper who observes the party and has only a single bullet with which to kill the spy.

Read the full description — sounds intense.

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NickApr 1, 2010

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