Category Archives: UX/UI Design

How humans interact with the world around them, online and off, has always fascinated me.

Out of the mouths of babes… or at least teens

This blog’s name comes from an old joke that any child knows the answer to:

“What is red and smells like blue paint?”

“Red paint”

The idea that an adult would think of the most complicated answer while a kid would just look at you like “Duh” appealed to my sense of simplicity.

Something just happened to me that reinforces that.

Have a look at an icon you’ve seen a thousand times:


We adults know what that is… an old 3.5 disc. However, it’s very doubtful that a teenager like my daughter has ever even seen one. Yet, the icon is so engraved in their brains that they know WHAT it does without knowing WHAT it is.

Out of curiosity I asked my daughter’s boyfriend (God it kills me to type that) if he knows what that is.

His answer… “You mean the thing that looks like a SIM card.. or a floppy?”

It never dawned on me that it could be read to look like a phone SIM card. He took an icon that dates back to 20 years before he was born and re imagined it to something that makes sense to him.

At least my little girl isn’t dating a moron.

The Dangers of Using Templates

I saw the sign below last night on my usual torture run around the neighborhood. Since the house has been on the market for some time it had to have been the 100th time I’d seen it, but this was the first time I’d actually read it.


Have a look at the website. Not the huge “” in red, but the small one in white near the bottom.

I’m pretty sure that this local Realtor doesn’t own the URL “”.

If you’re going to use a template when creating some artifact for your business… double check it.


US Army Website… Not Squared Away

The Army recruiting site gets a NO-GO at this station.

There are two major problems with this screen.

Can you spot them, boys and girls?  Go on, I’ll give you a minute.





1- The floating “Social Bar” blocks a good chunk of the navigation. Very annoying to the user.

2- It violates “RPR #2” in a huge, lazy way.  Have a look at the “About Us” text box. Lorem ipsum, anybody.

Sloppiness like this makes joining the Coast Guard look like a better move.

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Samsung to stop selling laptops in Europe ‘for now’

Samsung features very popular phones (like my Galaxy S5 Active), tablets and even household appliances. I have a Samsung fridge and, other than it’s tendency to turn the freezer into a snow drift, we love it.

I find it interesting that even they can’t move laptops in the Old World. If uber-cool Samsung can’t pull off the trick I’d have to assume that the days of the laptop are numbered and it’ll soon follow the desktop into the gray world of corporate sales.


Samsung will stop selling laptops – including Chromebooks – in Europe, the company said on Tuesday.

As originally reported by PC Advisor and confirmed by Samsung when I asked the firm, the move is the result of inadequate laptop sales in the European market specifically.

Here’s Samsung’s statement:

We quickly adapt to market needs and demands. In Europe, we will be discontinuing sales of laptops including Chromebooks for now. This is specific to the region – and is not necessarily reflective of conditions in other markets. We will continue to thoroughly evaluate market conditions and will make further adjustments to maintain our competitiveness in emerging PC categories.

Samsung didn’t launch new laptops at IFA in Berlin earlier this month. The PC industry is generally in decline as people switch to mobile devices (see also: Sony selling off its Vaio business), and this trend is particularly pronounced in western Europe

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What’s In A Name: “Semantic satiation” and the art of choosing a perfect company name

This post really struck home with me. I agonized for months on what to name this blog until the day I heard the “blue paint” riddle. Suddenly I had my name, but there was still that “Is this going to make any sense?” fear. According to this eventually readers won’t even think of a Sherman Williams can when reading it. Very interesting.

By the way, the name “Virgin” still gives me a brief pause, regardless of how big Branson’s empire has grown.

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Hoping a cheaper unsubsidized price will bring sales, BlackBerry to sell Passport for $599

12/16/2014 UPDATE

When you’re right, you’re right. FOX has declared this one of the biggest flops of the year.


My first thought when I saw the picture was “God, that is ugly.”

Add in the fact that it’s square design will make it hard to stuff in your jeans pocket.

From a usability perspective it would seem that having the keyboard scrunched down at the bottom would make it very hard to use since your hands are way down below the center of gravity. I’d constantly be afraid of it flipping out of my hands and landing on all that glass.

Besides, do we really think many people are going to choose this instead of the i6 over a measly $50?


If you want to buy a square-screened smartphone for less that most competing flagship handsets, you’re in luck: The BlackBerry Passport is expected to start at $599 off-contract when it launches this week. That’s less expensive than the new Apple iPhone 6 base model which starts at $650 at full-price and rises by $100 for a larger display or more storage.

The move is meant to spark interest in the new [company]BlackBerry[/company]. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal on Monday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said “I figure that to try to get the market interested, we’re going to start a little lower than that.”

Chen is spot-on in his assessment as there has been practically no interest in the company’s handsets of late. BlackBerry has watched its once dominant market share evaporate into vapor as phones running [company]Apple[/company] iOS, [company]Google[/company] Android and [company]Microsoft[/company] Windows Phone have taken over. BlackBerry…

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