Blogless: Blog of Design Less Better.

Posts tagged Food.

Four Design Links: March 4, 2010

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

1. Designing a New Hot Dog

Redesigned hot dog
Image from Fast Company.

A few weeks ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared hot dogs a potential choking hazard for young children. In this Fast Company piece, Ravi Sawhney of RKS set out to redesign hot dogs to be safe (and fun!), settling on the spring shape above.

I like the idea in the comments: just slice the dog down the middle before feeding it to your kids. That sounds like the DLB way.

2. "Mad Libs" Forms Increase Conversion 25-40%

Mad Libs Form Design
Image by Luke Wroblewski.

The headline pretty much says it all.

At first look, it does seem to be a more appealing form design. Though I wonder if it works better because of novelty, or because it really is better than a standard form?

3. To Do Better, Feel Worse

According to studies referenced in Scientific American, people in a bad mood may perform tasks better than those in a good mood.

Grumpy people paid closer attention to details, showed less gullibility, were less prone to errors of judgment and formed higher-quality, persuasive arguments than their happy counterparts. One study even supports the notion that those who show signs of either fear, anger, disgust or sadness—the four basic negative emotions—achieve stronger eyewitness recall while virtually eliminating the effect of misinformation.

That last part sounds like it could apply to commercials or videos to make them more effective. Other than that, while I'm glad bad moods are good for something, I'm not about to induce one just so I can be more productive...

4. Most Attractive Sounds

I must admit, I don't pay much attention to sound in designs, but after this story I might.

According to the article, 83% of advertising is exclusively sight-based. To me, that spells opportunity.

After reviewing the lists of memorable sounds (I'm not going to say "addictive", as the writer suggests, that's just silly), I was surprised at how closely I associated them with their branding or with a particular product category. It may be time to flex those sound design muscles.

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NickMar 4, 2010

Don’t Waste Food

A nice little Thanksgiving reminder from the folks over at GOOD from their transparency series.

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AndreaNov 25, 2009
Tagged with: Food, GOOD, Transparency

Four Design Links: October 29, 2009

In this week's Four Design Links we dish on some visual finds making the rounds.

1. Color Percentages of National Flags

Flags By Colours

This piece by Shahee Ilyas tickles me in all the right ways: the sweet spot between minimalism and infoporn. Smart.

2. Food Rules

NYT: Food Rules: Your Dietary Dos and Don'ts

The New York Times serves up this list of rules about eating collected by food-scholar Michael Pollan. I appreciate not only the wisdom, but the presentation (albeit Flash-enabled).

3. Projectography Rawks

A camera with a display in the front? That's so 2009.

In 2010, we have cameras that can project pictures from the front. A recent post on Click Opera describes the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj which not only takes photos, but throws them. This awesome video by the Helicopter Boys showcases the artistic possibilities.

4. Wash your Hands

bathrooMotivators - from the goofs at

We close with an extensive collection of hand washing sign designs compiled by RightBrainTerrain.

Until next time.

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NickOct 29, 2009

Oh Yeah, I am loving it

This short film by Mark Yamamoto and Roger contrasts the perfect images in fast food advertising with real images of what we consume.

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NickOct 20, 2009

Four Design Links: August 20, 2009

It's Thursday and that means four more Design Links are coming your way. It's our way of sharing the sites we've been reading this week, keeping you up to date on the latest design research, trends, and stories.

1. Far Foods

I caught James Reynolds's Far Foods, an updated design for produce packaging, on Swissmiss. I think the boarding-pass styling might be too clever visually, but I very much like the idea of prominently displaying point-of-origin, distance traveled, and resulting CO2.

James Reynolds': Far Foods
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NickAug 20, 2009

Four Design Links: the Science of Persuasion

Check out the following links and consider the many ways designers use psychology to influence our daily decision-making. Are these practices ethical? We'll examine that question in a future post.

1. Menus that Make You Spend More

Recently, I found a couple of interesting articles on the science of influencing customers' choices through graphic design. Experts in this area claim that a menu redesign can increase a restaurant's profits substantially.

The way prices are listed is very important. "This is the No. 1 thing that most restaurants get wrong"... "If all the prices are aligned on the right, then I can look down the list and order the cheapest thing." It's better to have the digits and dollar signs discreetly tagged on at the end of each food description. That way, the customer's appetite for honey-glazed pork will be whetted before he sees its cost.

--Time Magazine: The Menu Magician

2. 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

Alex Moskalyuk reprises all 50 chapters of the book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, many of which have marketing implications.

For instance:

Asking for little goes a long way. Researchers went door-to-door asking for American Cancer Society donations. Group A just asked for a donation, group B ended their spiel with “even a penny would help”. Results? 28.6% response rate for Group A vs. 50% response for Group B.

3. Why You've Gotta Catch'em All

Why are people so addicted to games like Pokemon, Mafia Wars, and World of Warcraft? Gamasutra considers the appeal of item collecting and achievement hoarding.

4. The Psychology of Being Scammed

What makes people fall for scams? Mind Hacks blog discussed a recent report which lists some obvious factors: perception of scarcity, appeals to trust and authority, inducing behavioral committment, etc.-- tactics one often sees in marketing.

Even more interesting are the findings that are counter-intuitive:

  1. many people who are scammed know a great deal about the subject of the scam (say, financial investing)
  2. they tend to put more cognitive effort into investigating the scam than non-victims.

So, it's not just the ignorant or the careless who can be manipulated!

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NickJul 9, 2009

Single Serving Zen

Japan is well-known for producing small, elegant things —everything from Bansai trees to Gameboys— but I had no idea they packaged food in such small amounts. Tokyo Damage Report has a gallery with some examples.

Consider the design of a package for a single piece of food. Is this practice wasteful or does this reduce waste?

Your moment of Zen for the day:

Small Japanese food packages
Clockwise from top-left: One banana, one plum, an ear of corn, a single egg.
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NickMay 29, 2009
Tagged with: Blog Less, Design, Food, Packaging, Zen

My Sweets

A London designer gives us occasion to ponder our favorite question this weekend: How can we design less better?

My Sweets are candy bars designed by London-based Tithi Kutchamuch. Specifically, they are candy bars designed to aesthetically deliver you less candy.

'My Sweets' by Tithi Kutchamuch

From his statement:

Bargain food persuades people by playing with the value of money, which has brought a lot of problems to society: over nutrition, eating disorders, obesity, illness, guilt, wasting food, wasting resources, over production, etc.

Can design make people buy food that offers less?

Something to consider for this weekend: Is selling less candy like this really ethical?

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PaulMay 8, 2009
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