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Posts tagged Facebook.

Four Design Links:
May 27, 2010

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

1. 20 Worst Drinks in America 2010

20 Worst Drinks in America 2010

I like this spread on unhealthy drinks by Eat this Not That. Illustrating sugar content via equivalent stacks of cookies and donuts is a powerful visual. I'll never look at bottled teas and water the same way again.

2. We, the users - Facebook users' Bill of Rights

If you wanted a set of principles from which to base a code of ethics for social media, I'd say look no further than this users' Bill of Rights from the San Francisco Chronicle.

3. Google Font Previewer

Google Font Previewer

Google is breaking into web fonts with its new Google Font Directory and API, part of a collaboration with typekit. The selection is a little sparse at the moment, but it's great to think that we might have some more cross-browser fonts (as long as Google's servers are up).

The font previewer interface is nice, but it bugs me that the new fonts aren't properly anti-aliased in Windows. Until that gets ironed out (if it can be, as I think it's an OS problem), I'm not sure it's worth designing websites around them.

4. 10 Golden Principles of Successful Web Apps

10 Golden Principles of Successful Web Apps

We're very early into developing a web application, so I found this article and video helpful for wrapping my head around the mindset that accompanies these things. It covers the gamut from technology to branding and marketing with a few insights I hadn't considered before.

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NickMay 27, 2010

FIVE Design Links:
May 6, 2010

Today we have Four Design Links plus one. Four design- and ethics-related stories, plus one bonus link. Check it out!

1. 100 Abandoned Houses in Detroit

Flickr: 100 Abandoned Houses in Detroit
Photo by Kevin Bauman

Kevin Bauman's Flickr group, 100 Abandoned Houses, beautifully captures the faded glory of Detroit houses and in many cases their return to nature.

2. Facebook's Eroding Ethics

Say No to Facebook symbol
Image from Gizmodo

Facebook is turning out to be the design ethics story of the year. Gizmodo has a scary summary of Facebook's past and present sins against it's users.

And to top it off, just today, Facebook has been found adding data-collecting apps to profiles without users' knowledge. The jury's out on whether this is a bug or a feature, but read the above article before you decide...

3. Why Did Hunt's Ketchup Go HFCS Free?

A bottle of Hunt's ketchup

Hunt's has announced that it is reformulating to remove High Fructose Corn Syrup from its ketchup. Not because it's the right thing to do (which is controversial), but because consumers have worn them down:

“Manufacturers are tired of hearing about the e-mails, the 800-number calls and the letters,” says Phil Lempert, editor of the Lempert Report, which focuses on supermarket trends. “People don’t want it, so why fight them?”

If companies won't lead, at least they'll follow the market.

4. Your Office Chair Sitting Is Killing You

Office chair pain

BusinessWeek has an article explaining how sitting in chairs is bad for us, and how office chair design doesn't account for this.

"The Aeron is far too low," says Dr. A.C. Mandal, a Danish doctor who was among the first to raise flags about sitting 50 years ago. "I visited Herman Miller a few years ago, and they did understand. It should have much more height adjustment, and you should be able to move more. But as long as they sell enormous numbers, they don't want to change it."

Maybe instead of that fancy office chair, I should get a higher desk and some better shoes...

5. The Humble Indie Bundle

Screenshot from World of Goo

In the early days of BlogLESS, we professed our love for World of Goo, both as a game and for it's anti-DRM stance.

For the next five days, you can get it, along with four other acclaimed indie games, and name your own price. Moreover, you can decide where your money goes. You can pay the developers, or give to charities EFF and Child's Play, or choose how you want to split the money.

We're not involved with this offer in any way. But this is a model we'd like to see more of.

Buy good games. Do good. We can get behind that.

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NickMay 6, 2010

Four Design Links: April 22, 2010

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

1. Take Note: New Facebook Privacy Changes

Screenshot of Facebook Connect Policy

Did you see a new Facebook service agreement the last time you checked your status feed? The EFF warns that users should be aware of the latest changes to Facebook Terms of Service:

Today, Facebook removed its users' ability to control who can see their own interests and personal information. Certain parts of users' profiles, "including your current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests" will now be transformed into "connections," meaning that they will be shared publicly. If you don't want these parts of your profile to be made public, your only option is to delete them.

Read on for an explanation of why Facebook is doing this and what users can do about it.

2. Dribble

Screenshot from Dribble website

I'm digging on Dribble lately. It's a new website where designers can show tiny (400 x 300px) snippits of what they're working on. Kind of a visual Twitter.

So far, the work seem to have a high level of quality across the board. Despite the small size of the images, there's big inspirado inside.

3. Planes or Volcano?

Plane CO2 vs. Volcano -- InfoGraphic by Information is Beautiful

Another wonderful info-graphic from Information is Beautiful.

4. What's in a Brand Name?

ASUS logo

I get a kick out of design trivia, like this Mental Floss article explaining the brand names of 10 top companies. I thought the story of Asus name was interesting:

Netbook computers are the hottest gadget out there, with around 14 million of the cheap little laptops sold in 2008. One of the big names in netbook production is the Taiwanese computer company, Asus, which gets its name from the winged horse of Greek mythology, Pegasus. But if you took a quick glance at the phone book, “Pegasus” wouldn’t have been too high in the directory of computer companies. So, to increase their visibility in alphabetical lists, they dropped the first three letters of their name. It was an unusual strategy, but apparently it worked.

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NickApr 22, 2010

Tomine’s Facebook

Adrian Tomine is one of my favorite comic artists. Here is his take on Facebook.

'Facebook' by Adrian Tomine
Facebook, by Adrian Tomine
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PaulMar 12, 2010
Tagged with: Adrian Tomine, Facebook, Zen

Four Design Links: November 19, 2009

It's time for Four Design Links, a curated collection of stories we've been reading this week.

1. Facebook Now Accounts For 1 In 4 Internet Pageviews(?)

Database marketing firm Drake Direct claims that Facebook represents 1 in 4 pageviews in the US. By comparison, Google gets 1 in 12 pageviews using the same dataset.

The data sounds questionable, but it made me think. These days, I probably visit Facebook at least as much as Google. I wonder how that traffic breaks down in terms of Facebook applications vs. socializing? How much of those numbers are games, for instance?

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NickNov 19, 2009

The Digital Economy’s Coming Subprime Crisis

Obviously, economists today are more interested than ever in isolating factors that make economic crises predictable. We can see many of these factors in play in the current Internet advertising climate.

In the Shadow of Foreclosures
In the Shadow of Foreclosures, via.

The Harvard Business Review has an excellent article about our favorite topic, design ethics. There, Umair Haque has eight interesting points. I'll paraphrase several for you below.

  1. Toxicity: Wall Street's subprime crisis was built on toxic financial instruments. The mediascape's subprime crisis is being built on toxic communications.
  2. Value Chain Expansion: The financial crisis happened in large part because of massive reintermediation. Banks sold debt it to the next guy, who sold it to the next guy, and so on. What was once a simple, short value chain lengthened to the point of absurdity. Exactly the same value chain pattern is surfacing in media.
  3. Unnovation: The deeper issue is this: The digital economy is supported wholesale by ads, but no one's improved ads. In the final analysis, every industry that does not improve must reach the crisis point.
  4. Ethics: Every financial collapse is really just an ethical collapse that happened a few years earlier. Is the state of advertising in ethical crisis? Obviously, we think so. And if that sounds familiar, recall Wall Street 2001-2008.

A very nice article, and some serious food for Monday thought.

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PaulNov 16, 2009

Four Design Links: November 12, 2009

Here are Four Design Links that interested me this week. Hope you enjoy!

1. How To Spam Facebook Like A Pro

As a follow up to their coverage of social gaming scams, Tech Crunch posted this great article on the other dark side of social games: collecting your personal data and using it to spam (and scam some more).

An excerpt:

People on Facebook won’t pay for anything. They don’t have credit cards, they don’t want credit cards, and they are not interested in shopping. But you can trick them into doing one of three things:

  • Download a toolbar: It could be spyware (such as Zango) or something more legitimate, such as Webfetti or Zwinkys.
  • Give up their email address: You’ve won a “free” camera or perhaps you’ve been selected as a tester for a new Macbook Pro (which you get to keep at the end of the test). Just tell us where you want us to ship it.
  • Give up their phone number: You took the IQ Quiz, so give us your phone number and we’ll tell you your score. Never mind that you’ll get billed $20 a month or perhaps be tricked into inviting 10 other friends to beat your score.

It's worth a read to see what's at stake for consumers and the kinds of things that happen any time a new platform comes along without enough regulation.

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NickNov 12, 2009

Four Design Links: October 1, 2009

Happy Thursday. Happy October! Happy Anniversary!! Time for Four Design Links. This week features stories about advertising and data. Dig in!

1. Unilever's "Crowdsourcing" Outted as High-Tech Spec

Unilever, which encompasses dozens of popular brands such as Lipton, Bertolli, and Slim-Fast, fired the ad agency representing Peperami (British Slim Jims) and replaced it with what it calls a crowdsourcing solution.

But while most crowdsourcing involves leveraging the collective intelligence of a group for mutual benefit, Unilever marketed the call for ad ideas to professional ad agencies only. Moreover, they are offering a $10,000 bounty to the winning idea. Sound familiar? It's the classic spec work pitch.

Peperami packaging
They should crowdsource a packaging designer, too....

Advertising Age called them on it:

Crowdsourcing at its core is about mass collaboration. Unilever's move, on the other hand, is nothing of the sort. Unilever is looking for no collaboration here. What it is looking for is to get lots of high-quality creative ideas at a significantly lower price. End of story.

UPDATE: There appears to be a whole section on NO!SPEC regarding unethical crowdsourcing practices!

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NickOct 1, 2009
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