Things Etc.

mainly about UI, UXD, Work and other stuff that interests me

Information Overload…

From this

to this

Fylde councils website was a pretty typical story as for all council websites .Information overload, legacy out-dated information all over the place coming up top in search results due the the popularity of hits and just general mis care via the cms of various staff who had virtually no training.

I conducted a number of research sessions with both council staff and the general public as well as delving into the Analytics to strip everything back to arrive at the above solution. The search interface was the quickest way to find stuff, people understood how google worked and when presented people generally hit the thing they were looking for in less than 2 clicks. General consensus was very positive.

Those that by-passed the search in favour of ‘the classic view’ were presented with a much scaled down navigation option:

Overall, the client was delighted with the site. The final CX document is here. or visit the site here. Content entry is still happening in certain parts of the site but on the whole, you will see how easy a site it is to use/find information on there.


Filed under: Insight, UXD

More Microsoft Stuff

Filed under: Branding, Insight, Social media Stuff, UXD


A while ago me and @techn0tic were discussing how many people are passionate about (mainly Social Media) and all that bollocks… So we decided to do something about it [insert psychotic laughter here]

Unmasker attempts to expose those people who write generic, disingenous crap in their Twitter bio. Original, honest bios go to heaven, buzzword laden rubbish is sent to hell. Simple.

Devils Feud Cake
Was the inspiration for the devil:

Have a go of it here… See if you are heaven or hell bound?!?

Like it? and wanna know more then here’s a write up on the ins and outs of the project, stats and some of the hilarious reactions to the app like…

countzeero: @StandUP4Design I am getting my ass toasted right next to you “down” there @unmasker is one of the best twitups I have seen…

PesciTriD worte an Unmasker Haiku

PesciTriD: thanks to @unmasker / ribald twitter speak revealed / keep your tweets comely

jasoncrouch and MrBoom both suffered from complete sense of humor failures …

jasoncrouch: @unmasker Get a life. You are a sad little clown

MrBoom: go away fuck face

Read more over at Daves gaff has explained it much better than i would…

Filed under: Art Direction, Branding, Graphic Design, Insight, Social media Stuff, UXD

Student [NO]Shows, Getting real with Time and Helvetica…


Been trawling the shows talent spotting… As always not great. I wish the educational establishment moved with the times and got real with the work students are putting up as their final pieces. Technically and from a craft point of view most of the work is immaculate, can’t fault it.

Mind you we could all create technically great work if the time allowed to do the projects was like a term. This is prob because the tutors are too fucking lazy to give briefs out on a regular basis, or get local industry in to brief the students on real life projects…

What my bug bear is that one project per term is not representative of real life working. A cover for Gatecrasher (yes there were a lot looking like MCP DR work and most stuff is CD not Vinyl or Digital these days) would take no more than a day or two… certainly NOT 8 fucking weeks… Com’on get Real… I have to train them up for six months to get up to speed with the turnaround pace of an agency… That shouldn’t be my job. That should be part of the Degree by default. Ok, enough on that. Next…

The Ideas behind the majority of the work are slightly dubious, very weak and as such lacking substance to say the least. What the work did contain though in an abundance is the use of Helvetica…


Helvetica is a font chosen by those who profess to be a graphic designer. They think it make their work look minimal and as a result better. Not true. It makes the work look the same — a vast sea of mediocrity…

Heads up, we don’t live in Switzerland and this ain’t 1958… and you certainly ain’t Josef Muller Brockmann, Armin Hoffman, Paul Rand or Olt Aicher — That’s for sure.

Designers who use Helvetica regularly (ie. whole books full of it) do so because they cannot think or make informed decsions on how to communicate the message. Helvetica is a lazy choice.

Few people can actually use it well. Some try to mask it by using Akzidenz Grotesk but the same principles apply…

Typographic genius? Nope. Am sorry you are just generic in my book… Show some imagination FFS…

Rant(s) over.

Here is some stuff that did catch my eye and was worthy of a bit of disk space on my iPhone:

The best thing I saw this year. Interesting, different and brilliant. via @D&AD

The rest in order of preference
Nice Typo, Nice Illustration, Nice film:

via @MMU [I think]

No Mac involved here (below), good old fashioned talent, some one who can actually draw using gasp… pens, pencils and old medium like that… Oh the horror! (BTW am not talking about the subject matter).



Again, very nice illustrative style, very now and very cool and similar to ‘hello little girl’ above.

both via @LJMU

Bit of interesting typo again LJMU

And that’s it. Not much to show really. I’m sorry that there are no names attached to the work, that’s because:

1. Students obviously felt it far more important to be somewhere else when their show is on — very pitiful how many were at the show, hopefully they have all secured great jobs and were in the boozer celebrating?!? Doubt it though.

And if you can’t be there for whatever reason;

2. Leave cards or have the grace keep them stocked up so potential employers can actually get in contact with you…

Just a thought?

Filed under: Art Direction, Graphic Design, Insight

Adidas: The presentation

Just heard back from Adidas with a “Sorry it took so long to get back to you…” Hey I know you’re busy so thats ok! We thought your stuff was so cool that we sent it to global corporate marketing who also thought it was SUPA COOL! etc etc. The long and short of it is — we’re now on the roster so result! Fuckin A!
Here’s the work as a powerpoint [.pptx]

Filed under: Art Direction, Branding, Graphic Design, Insight, Mobile, Pitch, Problem Solved, Social media Stuff, Typography, UXD

Adidas: A Gift of an Insight by Hermann Deininger, CMO adidas Sport Style Division


“adidas Originals’ biggest strength and point of difference is the ability of the Trefoil brand to be a relevant part of people’s lives — in whatever lifestyle they have — skater, rocker, artist, musician, sneakerhead, sports fan whatever,” explained Hermann Deininger, CMO adidas Sport Style Division. “This is a campaign that celebrates all of them and

offers an open invitation to consumers to come and join in.

Filed under: Insight, Pitch, Social media Stuff

Nice way to start the NY

Working on a large-scale project for ASDA…

Filed under: Branding, Insight, Problem Solved, UXD

Get the Game Workshop

At Get the Game Conference over at ICDC Liverpool with @robsandbach. Interesting stuff and as conferences go have actually learned a hugh amount from the SONY guys here.

Was talking to the producer who did Little Big Planet. Interesting to hear his take on UGC as the whole game idea is built on it.

Here’s what he told me and it’s very insightful:

• UGC is a good idea when people that are doing it are good at what they do.
• This only accounts for <2% of users though
• Costs of moderation are huge [copyright infringement, malicious content etc]
• Customer complaints rise [why have you rejected my planet]
• Moderation was not accounted for on this scale
• With hindsight we wouldn't have done it
• It will not make a profit, the losses are huge

So there you have it… UGC is not the holy grail so think about that before you rush headlong into some naive project thinking all you content is going to be cool because our customers have done it type of approach.

Huuum… All commonsense really, I mean you only need to look at youTube for that…

Anyway here's some notes from it:

Here is my idea that I have to pitch back to them but won’t as have only spent about an hour thinking about it over lunch… Re:Jam App for PSP.


Basic premise is that you create a tool that allows people to do music stuff or upload there own stuff. This makes for a fertile testing bed for BMG A+R interms of spotting talent.
• The user can also upload parts or make parts available to other users to re:Jam hence becoming a more social/collaborative workspace.
• User can also invite people who he is a fan of to re:Jam his stuff.
• The user can sell his stuff as downloads
• Competitions where user can win contracts or commissions
• Video cam Interviews [fuel ego]
• You get the score etc, all a bit generic really
• I do like the ‘Re:Jam on PsP’ as a brand though, more thought is required if i can be arsed?!?

Finally, Rob rocked it with his chainworx pres. Shame hes going off traveling as he would have scooped the 10k dev prize easily! Best one of the bunch!!!

Much thanks to Enda Carey over at NorthWest Vision+Media for the invite, best conference i’ve been to for a long time.

Filed under: Insight, UXD

Making Search Relevant to myLocale

If I use my mobile to search for something i would like the option for it to be relevant to my geoLoc For example:

If i am here:

And i want to find:

The results should be relevant to walking distance [default] and short driving distance [secondary]

and not a scattergun unrelevance and useless result like:

Just a thought…

Filed under: Insight, Mobile, Open Source Ideas, UXD

Knowsley:Space Pitch Thinking

Ok I’m done thinking on this one.

The overarching idea [Nicked from Why Don’t You — Go switch off your television set* and go out and do something less boring instead….?] is this:


As we know this is another box ticking exercise so as such where would the reporting lines lie? How would KS be able to justify the spend??

Ok here it is:

Every Child Matters is at the heart of the governments welfare strategy
The National Curriculum Framework is the standard at which education is judged
• An then what partnerships are readily available to take advantage of?

Scoring highly on all these three points will no doubt generate the Reporting ROI. The ideas have enough merit to satisfy a #s of Users criteria. Ideas then, here’s the best three I’m going to present on the 23rd of October.

In light of the recent young boy — Rhys Jones being shot and killed in Liverpool, gun crime is a hot topic for debate. Here is a chance to channel all that negativity into something good…

• Mobile phones are the must have accessory [Most kids if have them]
• Phones are more akin to cameras with a phone
• Some have the ability to record Video

How does this tick the boxes?

Be healthy — yep
Stay safe most — definitely
Enjoy and Achieve — think so
Positive Contribution — of course
Economic well-being — yes yes yes

This is too easy…

Ok now for NCF
• Design Technology, Art
• Geography and History — trips of briefs as part of a project
• Citizenship
• Careers
• Options (third year as i know it or year 10 or whatever it is…)

Where do possible partnerships exist:
• Galleries, to be used as exhibition space
• Liverpool ECHO and POST and METRO plus the free rags that go around the borough
> Work placements, Photo journalism, report the campaign and publish the work
• Mentoring via professionals
• Business can offer up prizes or sponsorship, placements or all of the above
• Can be run annually end of year awards ceremony at say St. Georges Hall
• Universities can play a part in particular Journalism School, School of Art at JMU which will be in the new building by the time this happens


I was really surprised to find out that this doesn’t already happen in some way, shape or form…

• Most kids are on MSN and have potential access to a computer
• Use existing School log-ins and passwords
• This would be a private login/chat through school network [login via space to HTTPS]
• Credit eg; for effort can be attached by attendance to the sessions
• The same system could also be utilized as a private care forum where kids could talk in confidence about issues affecting them
• Can also be a social space where students can meet other people from different schools
• Utilise web cam technology where applicable

How does this tick the boxes?

Be healthy
Stay safe most
Enjoy and Achieve
Positive Contribution
Economic well-being

Satisfies all of the above me thinks…

• Goes without saying really cause all subjects are touched
• Timetable would need to be developed eg: Mon = Maths, Tues = English etc

Where do possible partnerships exist:
• Advice bureaus that deal with Pregnancy, Drugs, Sexuality etc


Basically School Newspaper 2.0. A magazine format which could have possible links with TV via Sean Marley (Lime Pictures)…

• Each school gets a spread per month
• They populate it with video, editorial, pix etc
• Publish to deadline
• App pulls all the spreads together to form 1 online publication

How does this tick the boxes?

Be healthy
Stay safe most
Enjoy and Achieve
Positive Contribution
Economic well-being

Tick, Tick, Tick all the way home so jobs a good ‘un…

• All subjects have the potential to be featured here
• Eg: Quizzes, crosswords etc are all about knowledge and problem solving

Where do possible partnerships exist:
• Liverpool ECHO and POST (Work placements, Photo journalism, report the campaign and Publish the work)
• Mentoring via professionals
• Business can offer up prizes or sponsorship advertising opps
• Awards at the end of the year for best content, pic, etc
• Advice bureaus that deal with Pregnancy, Drugs, Sexuality etc


Errrr. That’s it i think… Lets see what happens on the 23rd.

* 21st Century version substitute with xBox

Filed under: Branding, Insight, Pitch