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Posts tagged Business.

Four Ethics Links: April 12, 2010

Four ethics links is a review of recent stories in applied ethics. This week: The Ethics of Ethisphere, The Banks, War Journalism, Yelp, and Planetary Exploration and Colonization.

In wake of crisis, public eyes corporate ethics - Reuters

Some of the best-known U.S. companies, including General Electric, Gap and Google, made The Ethisphere Institute's 2010 ranking of the 100 most ethical companies (read our worries about these rankings here) , released on Monday. But, after a government bailout of the U.S. financial system, no Wall Street banks were represented for a second straight year.

We quote Reuters, who sounds like they're quoting us:

Top ethics officials at several major U.S. companies said honest business practices are critical after a brutal downturn that pushed the U.S. jobless rate as high as 10 percent, savaged retirement savings and home values and left many Americans less trustful of big business.

Read all about it here

Jean-Francois Millet: Gleaners
Jean-Francois Millet, Gleaners
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PaulApr 12, 2010
 

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

Bobulate

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
 

Four Design Links: March 25, 2010

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

1. Watch this Presentation: Square

Something that caught our eye a while back. This video is one of the most clever and legible explanations we've seen. It takes a complex, multi-step product and makes it seem accessible to anyone. Bravo!

2. The Six Things Clients Want

A nice reminder of what the designer's job really entails, e.g. you aren't just building your client a website, you're inspiring them, bringing in ideas, and improving process. See past the product in the contract. What does your client really want?

3. Adobe's Magic Paintbrush: Context Aware Fill

Very impressive technology demo. The "uncropping" part at the end is astounding. I was skeptical, but it's not a hoax. This will be in CS5.

It's not 100% perfect, but from the look of things, it's about 90% what you'd get if you spent hours with the Clone Stamp. I'd call that progress.

((as somebody commented on the Adobe blog, with this tech, sites like iStockphoto are going to need some new watermarks...))

4. A Manifesto of Manifestos

I like this post and tend to agree with its observations. Sort of a meta-manifesto.

Needs to be 10 points, though. A nice round number. ;)

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NickMar 25, 2010
 

Four Ethics Links: March 22, 2010

You know and love Four Design Links; now say hello to Four Ethics Links, a review of recent stories in applied ethics.

Beware of corporate consulting firms offering awards for corporate ethics - Slate

Sometime in the next week or so, something called the Ethisphere Institute is scheduled to announce this year's list of the "World's Most Ethical Companies." If past years are any indication, the winners will have their press releases ready to go, and news outlets across the country will eat it up. There's just one hitch: These ethics awards—let's call them the Ethies—may have ethics issues of their own.

Read all about it here.

Vermeer: A Girl Asleep
Vermeer, A Girl Asleep
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PaulMar 22, 2010
 

Doing Well And Doing Good

In India, where business strategy and social mission go hand in hand, researchers find companies are doing well because they do good.

We’ve been saying it all along. If you commit to doing good, your business will do well; good design and good business sell. Peter Cappelli’s post on the HBR blog describes a study he conducted which cements the case for serving the needs of all business stakeholders – doing good, beyond profits:

My colleagues and I recently completed a study of Indian businesses based around interviews with the leaders of 100 of the biggest companies in India (the basis of our book The India Way.) Every executive we interviewed described the main objective of their company in terms of a social mission. They expected to make money, but they expected to do so while doing good.

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AndreaMar 17, 2010
 

The Goodness 500

A new website attempts to quantify good, but the numbers don't add up.

The Goodness 500

The Goodness 500 has a premise we at DLB can agree with: help consumers find the most socially responsible companies in an aesthetically pleasing way.

However, looking at the companies in their rankings, I question their definition of good. There are quite a few companies I wouldn't think to see on this list, particularly the large number of financial institutions.

The rankings appear to be gleaned from several public reports on charity donations, equality, and environmental policy. These issues are important, but don't tell the whole story. What company would allow itself to look bad on one of those reports when anyone (like Goodness) can easily look up such numbers? Donate some money, follow the rules, and everything looks fine. Meanwhile, the company might use child labor or issue bogus loans. Much more difficult to look up.

What's missing is the ethical dimension. I'd like to see a Goodness 500 that really quantifies trust and fairness, not the Goodness-On-Paper 500...

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NickMar 11, 2010
 

Four Design Links: February 25, 2010

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

1. The Ethics of 3D

3D Picture
Creative Commons photo by Jim Frost

3D seems to be everywhere these days, but is it bad for us? ABC blogger Mark Pesce thinks it might be.

Exposure to the kind of fake-3D we see in movies and video games can affect a person's real-world depth perception. Unless a different technology comes along, Pesce argues that viewing 3D in this way for long periods of time could cause permanent perceptual damage(!).

But the media companies must have thought of this, right? Not really:

All of this is rolling forward without any thought to the potential health hazards of continuous, long-term exposure to 3D. None of the television manufacturers have done any health & safety testing around this. They must believe that if it's safe enough for the cinema, it's fine for the living room. But that's simply not the case. Getting a few hours every few weeks is nothing like getting a few hours, every single day.

To follow up on this question of ethics, what about 3D accessibility, as well?

Even if it proves to be harmless (which I doubt -- more on that next week), as it turns out, some people can't see 3D. It bears noting than an experience should not require 3D, or one risks excluding at least some of the audience.

As designers, it seems as though we ought to be more careful in our application of 3D.

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NickFeb 25, 2010
 

Day-Ruining Invoice Notepads

These Day-Ruining Invoice Notepads are hilarious. A great idea, and a funny gift for your designer friends.

Day-Ruining Invoice Notepads (close-up)
Day-Ruining Invoice Notepads (full)

Jessica Hische has created Day-Ruining Invoice Notepads. The covers are letterpressed and the interiors are 2 color offset. They're bound with glue black binding tape. As Swiss Miss notes, a set of them will "certainly make any designer snortlaugh if you give it to them."

You can buy them here.

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PaulFeb 19, 2010
 
Tagged with: Business, Clients, Design, Humor
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