Author: scrl

Are friendly passwords better passwords?

I came across a really nice example of human-oriented design recently (*). Nothing terribly special – just a simple choice made by someone somewhere that reveals a refreshing humanity in an otherwise technology-oriented domain – and makes the product all

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Give way to confusing traffic signs.

Although Taming the Turing Machine is about avoiding confusion in the digital world, broken mental models exist in the physical world too. Here's a favourite example. What do you think the UK road-sign on the left (the rectangular one) means?

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Finally – a To Do list with less to do.

I love writing To Do lists. They're definitely one of my main productivity tools. But always on paper – never on a machine. It's not that I haven't tried. Over the years I've used all sorts of mainstream and niche

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Taming TomTom.

"Turn around when possible."   …  "Turn around when possible."  …  "Turn around when possible." I love my TomTom. SatNavs in general must be among the most rapidly-adopted consumer electronics innovations. The best are not  bad when it comes to

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Wonga makes it simple.

Sometimes you come across something that just feels right. Wonga ( is one such something for me. I don't mean the business model of lending people small amounts of money at relatively high interest rates over short periods. There are

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To the nearest half-hour.

As readers of Taming the Turing Machine know, I'm a big fan of the product editing process. I believe some of the best designs come from relentlessly stripping away the functions of a product until just the essence is left.

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The Sky’s the limit.

There’s a great example of the power of simplicity in the sitting rooms of nearly half the homes in the UK. It’s lurking under the TV in the form of the Sky+ PVR box. Sky+ has been around for over ten years now, but remains one of my favourite examples of restraint in product design.

What I think is especially great about the Sky+ design is not how easy it is to set up a recording by choosing a programme from the on-screen guide and pressing the record button. That is great, of course, and it’s become so natural now that most of us have long since forgotten the nightmare that was programming our VCRs. It’s also not the near-magical ability to pause live TV that I especially like. Wasn’t that a “wow!” feature when you first saw it though?

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Living in a glass house.

I'm well aware that writing a book and a blog about good interaction design (including a healthy sermon on aesthetics) is setting oneself up for – what shall we say – friendly critique?  I've worked hard to make this website

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