Category Archives: business

The Lesson Approach

So here’s a sample of what I’m working on right now. I’ve had Online Language Help as a hobby for a quite a while. I’m trying to redesign it to be more based around discrete lessons. I’ve had the system for the lessons done for about a month now, but this weekend finally released updated lessons. Check out the new Basic Spanish Lessons.


Getting Back Into Blogging Again

It’s been over a year since I posted on this blog last. Since then I’ve graduated with my Master’s in Human Computer Interaction Design. Also I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina and did a short stint as the lead interaction designer for EliteHealth down here.

I miss going to school quite a bit. Academia was basically my life for so long. Even when I wasn’t in school, I was still in the atmosphere. Maybe someday I will go back when I mature more for a PhD. In the meantime, Online Language Help has again become my obsession as I try to make it make me a living.

New Facebook Apps

I find Facebook apps as annoying as you. I promise. A couple weeks ago however, Sean Connolly asked me to work with him on creating a “25 Things About Me” app based on the popular chain letter (which I also find annoying). It’s been an interesting experience, and actually inspired me to create one on my own.

25 ThingsOur app is called 25 Things About Us. We try to take the whole phenomenon a couple steps further by allowing the user create new lists about other things, as well as view community lists. We have a couple other ideas too, that you might see on their in the next couple weeks involving further community features. My role on this project has mainly been design, but I did some of the early programming and CSS. Zhuofeng Li has been the main programmer, and also acted as designer. Sean Connolly is the main designer.

Emotive Or Not The other app I’ve been working on, Emotive Or Not, is from an earlier design collaboration between Connolly, myself, and our classmate Kshitiz Anand. We wanted to experiment with affective and ludic design, and the Facebook app is our third prototype. Here are our first and second prototypes. Also, I have an earlier post I made about Prototype #1.

Obsessive Branding Disorder

Design Observer has a post up right now reviewing two new books, Obsessive Branding Disorder by Lucas Conley and The Substance of Style by Virginia Postrel. It has caused quite a good discussion. Here’s my take on brands and design:

Having a strong brand is a wonderful goal, and a good way to build a strong brand is by having a design that customers desire and trust. Design should not be subservient to the brand. Instead design helps build the brand by providing meaningful products. Having a trustworthy business in general – not just good PR – also helps. The problem isn’t branding as such, it’s the false messages that motivate people to support lower-quality products.

Join the fun at the original post: Design Observer – Obsessive Branding Disorder.

Mark Anderson’s 10 Predictions For 2009

With an astounding 90% accuracy rate – 96% for 2008(!) – Mark Anderson is the preeminent prediction guru for business and technology. Here’s some of the highlights from his 10 Predictions for 2009:

1.) It will be a big year for applications that can play on big screens. We’ve already got our plasma TVs, he said. In 2009, we’ll spend more on ways to use them – video games, movies, etc. “It will all be about what you can do for $100 to add value.”

5.) This will also be the year that wall computing gets traction. Think of the wall computers that CNN’s John King used during the election. They will soon find their way into corporate conference rooms, fundamentally changing the way we collaborate at work.

8.) Not to be left behind, the less developed world will finally see widespread availability of broadband. “Villages in Africa and elsewhere will get broadband and telephony at the same time,” he said.

It makes me sad to see there’s not more green-tech on here, but I guess that segment is still a little immature for this level of foreseeing.