User centered design: For lousy designers?

April 30, 2007

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Reading Designing for Interaction by Dan Saffer a couple of weeks ago, I realised something that really struck me. Designing the Ipod, Apple did no user testing… Since Apples security is strict, Apple didn’t want to test the Ipod, because there was a risk of revealing what was coming. However testing a user interface that is so new to the users as the click-wheel, would seem to be the only sensible thing to do. Apple chose to rely on Jonathan Ive’ designer skills instead of the users, and you could say that wasn’t such a bad idea. So my question is: User testing is that mostly for the unskilled designers?

By Rudolf

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A graphic designer’s paradise

April 29, 2007

If there is a place where graphic designers go when they die, it must look like The Neon Museum Boneyard on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Behind a fence on a large site on Boulevard North, The Neon Museum keeps retired, damaged neon signs in all shapes and sizes. A part of the collection has already been restored to its former glory, and put on display in the Freemont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. But as the non-restored leftovers sit there awaiting paintjobs and repairs, they form a graphic designer’s wonderland too amazing for words. Giant letters and odd shapes are casually stacked against one another – some have fallen over, the bulbs are broken or missing and the old paint is peeling off. Most of these signs will properbly never shine again. Though the Boneyard has been visited many times before, it is hard not to think of it as a hidden, unknown treasure. It has the melancholic beauty of a closed down, forgotten funfair, making it very special indeed.

The Boneyard can be visited by appointment only. The good people of The Neon Museum will give you a tour of the site, but feel free to fall behind exploring the paradise on your own. By special arrangement (and money) the site can be used as a backdrop for films and fashion shoots. If you are ever in (or near) Las Vegas – don’t miss it!

www.neonmuseum.org

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Clea, Vegas