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Posts tagged Core77.

Four Design Links: October 15, 2009

It's Thursday once again. Take a brisk walk through the leaves with Four Design Links.

1. The Battle Over Good SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a legitimate form of marketing. It should not be undertaken by people with brains or souls. If someone charges you for SEO, you have been conned.

That's the start of this blog post from Derek Powazek which is currently causing all manner of controversy in SEO circles. He says some things I believe many web professionals have been thinking and I can't help but agree with his conclusion: If you want people to find you make something great. Tell people about it. Do it again..

Danny Sullivan, an SEO professional, has crafted this defense of SEO, which I also like. He shares some of Powazek's concerns, but is careful to draw the important distinction between bad or spammy SEO and good/legitimate SEO.

Both posts may be worth a read if you are new to SEO or just want to brush up on best (and worst) practices before your next job or client meeting.

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NickOct 15, 2009


Paul has written before about products marketed as socially responsible, but whose promises are only skin deep. This clever comic by Lunchbreath says it all.

Cartoon by Lunchbreath for Core77


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NickJul 21, 2009

Selling and Building

Robert Blinn's recent essay at Core77 is close to our hearts.

It's always a thrill to read something that's nicely written by someone with whom you have some core value overlap. Thoughtful industrial designer Robert Blinn over at Core77 recently offered us the opportunity to do just that. Here's a sample:

If our response to our environmental debts is anything like our response to the current recession, we can be reasonably sure not only that the market will seek to correct it, but also that the response will come late, painfully, and with warnings that are only obvious in retrospect. Instead of waiting, perhaps we should fix our definitions of the economy, our definitions of growth, and most importantly our definitions of happiness today. Wouldn't you rather be making beautiful things of lasting value anyway?

Indeed. Blinn's article is full of similar sentiments, many of which I recognized from the DLB playbook. (He actually says at one point: "Make less. Make it better.")

I probably wouldn't have posted about this article in particular though, except for the fact that DLB is currently in the process of hiring someone to help us develop our business. We're doing some interviews this week, and this lovely sentiment caught my eye: "Don't let people who aren't involved in building your company get involved in selling it."

I think that ought to be an iron law for every little design firm.

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PaulJun 24, 2009

When "green" is not enough

The green design problem may be an invitation to look at some deeper assumptions we share about product design ethics in general.

I recently read Jennifer van der Meer's thought-provoking piece, The Crowd Will Save Us: How the green movement taps participatory networks to drive innovation at Core77.

TCWSU is an appeal to marry up two significant and recent cultural developments which have affected nearly everyone in the design profession, namely, the "green movement" and design strategies employing social networking. The first really compelling bit of her argument is this:

Over 50% of consumers want greener, more natural [e.g.] housing cleaners, but only 5% actually purchase this category of product: consumers do not want tradeoffs. consumers are looking for proven efficacy, broad availability, comparable price, and a brand they know and trust. They're not willing to settle for a product that performs less than a more eco-unfriendly alternative.

This statistic offers up something deep for us to think about: The (relatively) recent groundswell of interest in environmentally friendly product design is, while certainly "real," nevertheless only marginally capable of altering whatever practical or psychological norms motivate individuals to actually buy things.

The rest of TCWSU deals with some practical strategies about how social innovations in design might help us solve this complicated psychological problem afflicting products and brands, and rightly so. In addition to her practical conclusions, though, this strange statistic should certainly tell us something theoretical or psychological.

Namely, I wonder why, exactly, the psychological dependence on extant brands as the guarantor of quality isn't overcome by people's self-professed desire for greener products?

It's not you, it's me.
It's not you, it's me (via).

Several possible reasons occurred to me:

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PaulSep 22, 2008

First Blog Post’s First

In the best analytical tradition of "getting all meta-", Design Less Better is pleased to present a survey of the first posts for some of our favorite blogs.

Your public introduction to the world seems, on one hand, earth-shatteringly important, and on the other, totally throwaway. It's probably a little bit of both (perhaps more the latter). Still, you can't write a blog without writing a first post. It's impossible.

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DLBSep 6, 2007