These types of auto-completer suggestions are really catching on. For another example check out my Save My Clicks post on Hulu’s nice auto-completer.
I like to have some tea in the afternoon. When steeping recently I noticed the new Ahmad tea my wonderful wife bought me had an extra convenience. Ahmad cuts a tiny slit in the paper tab. Wrap the string around your mug’s handle, pop the string into the slit, and it holds the bag in place—it doesn’t slip back into the cup and require you to dig it out with your hands.
Such a simple addition, probably doesn’t increase the production cost at all, but man is it nice.
Here’s the bag in action:
The lanyard is some putrid, bright green. I can find it anywhere!
Printed on both sides, so when it inevitably turns around, no problem.
The company name is small. Googlers and other popular folks aren’t as likely to be bombarded with job inquiries.
There’s a QR code, which enables quick contact gathering, sans business cards. Just scan the code with your mobile phone camera and QR app and you’re automatically following them on my.sxsw. Read more about this at sxsw.com.
Barnaby’s Cafe in Houston staples their copy of the credit card receipt, the one I have to sign, to the check. At restaurants there is often confusion over which copy is which, and people inevitably write out a tip, calculate the total and begin to sign before they realize they’ve written on the wrong copy.
Barnaby’s simple solution is to staple the receipt to the large customer bill. When they do that, I instinctively know which I’m supposed to write on. I’ve never made a mistake there.
If you haven’t seen Photosynth, check out Trg Ban Jelacic in Zagreb, Croatia on Bing. There are a lot of great interaction mechanisms in Photosynth. Among them, you can click right where you want to look, there are lighter-colored and related images close to the current one so you feel the context of the image, and the angled, 3-d jumps you into the scene. Zagreb feels just like that.
I’m not in the habit of being negative on this blog, but there is one thing I think Photosynth could really benefit from: a feature that emulates the taste of a cappuccino from a cafe on the square.
WARNING: The following post may contain material not interesting to some audiences. Reader discretion is advised.
I am no unix/linux/ruby/rails/git expert—I have a light to decent working knowledge of each. In about an hour today, I:
- Created accounts on GitHub and Heroku
- Created a GitHub repository for the HTML/JS project, and
- Deployed the rails site to Heroku (and it’s running!)
Both Heroku and GitHub were straightforward, and their help docs, especially for the first-time user, were excellent. The services are to be praised for their simplicity, and the interaction design is top notch.
Go to Gap’s site and find a product you like. Mouse over the image and you are given a big zoomed-in version of the picture that updates with the mouse position as you move the cursor over the image. It requires no click to activate, just a mouseover.
The zoomed in version covers up supporting information about the item, but that doesn’t bother me at all since the feature is effortless to de/activate, and when you want to look at the item more closely, as 37signals says, that other stuff “just doesn’t matter.”
Really a fast way to get a nice view of the product.
Check it out yourself on gap.com or any of their other company sites.
Here’s my microwave’s control panel. I imagine GE engineers designed this interface to satisfy all kinds of use cases (look at all those buttons):
However, I just use the “ADD 30 SEC.” button:
It’s an extra feature, but I use that button almost exclusively. Here’s the interaction:
- Press it
- It displays 30 seconds
- It waits a half second or so
- Starts automatically
You don’t even have to press start. It just goes. And if you want 15 seconds, push the button, wait for 15 seconds and stop it. If you need more than 30 seconds, press the button twice or however many times you need. When I need 2 minutes, I press it 4 times. I could press 2 and then start, but the 30-second button is so easy.
A wonderful unintended consequence of that add-on feature.
Not too long ago I decided to try out the labs feature Mouse Gestures. It seemed like such an unconventional idea—a non-keyboard shortcut—one that I would surely at some point remove due to lack of use. You see I have this problem with shortcuts; I don’t put them to enough use to the point that they become second nature.
This shortcut mechanism stuck with me, though. I have no explanation for it, but I use these mouse gestures all the time to move to the previous or next message. The gesture is simple: click and drag to the left (previous) or right (next). When you begin to drag, a target is revealed 50ish pixels away, darkens as you approach it, and triggers when the mouse touches it.
It’s better just to check it out. Go to Settings > Labs in gmail, enable the feature, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s nice and inexplicably habit-forming.
As promised, here’s another VW post.
Last night my family and I decided to head down to Home Slice for pizza and then Jo’s for coffee. At one point in the evening, we parallel parked, after which I heard ssssssssssssss. Awesome…a flat tire.
It was night and thus dark. I pulled out the jack, tools, and spare and got to it. The good interaction came when I had to position the jack. I’d changed a flat on this car a few times before and remembered what to look for to position it correctly. There are little arrows on the bottom of the sides of the car to indicate the right position:
The triangles are an excellent indicator. Though it shows them in blue, they just match the color of the car, so you can’t see them. They are however punched into the body, so you can feel them. This was particularly useful yesterday because, as I mentioned, it was nighttime. So not only did VW engineers think most people would need jack position indicator, they also knew we’d be changing tires in the dark.
VW gets another interaction point!