Forget iOS7 icons, check out Google's recent icon fart

Considering the amount of good work Google has done to refine its UI design patterns and the beautiful icon creation guides that surfaced online recently. There is no excuse for these creepy little icons appearing in Google's result pages. Inconsistent,  infantile and more importantly off brand. This is the kind of strange deviation that Google UXA should be concerned about. So many good things have been achieved, don't blow it now!


Sainsburys new TV spot combined beautiful type with a brand crime

The photography and art direction is really nicely done. The music choice (a stripped down acoustic cover) is a little obvious, but effective. Then comes the delicately handled type. Clear, playful and doing wonders for the brand.

And then comes the end card. In case you're wondering this is where the logo is supposed to be visible.

The Art Director on this ad and the Sainsburys Brand Manager should be thinking again about the purpose of an advert.


My (brief) return to academia

For the past eight weeks I’ve been on a remote learning course. I had been toying with the idea of signing up for an HCI course for a while now, so when a colleague told me about a new remote learning programme run by Stanford I decided to jump in.

The course is comprised of components from Stanford’s Human Computer Interaction degree. It’s delivered in four aspects; video lectures, tests, practical assignments and peer evaluations. Because it’s a condensed course it skims through a large number of HCI topics and the assignments move quickly.

Although it covered areas of psychology and interaction design that I’m interested in the lack of depth was a little frustrating. I took comfort in the fact that the course didn’t cover any topics that felt way out of my depth. The aspect of the course that I found most challenge was the abstract nature of the assignment briefs. I guess the past 14 years of commercial work has hardened my expectations. I initially struggled to work without any technical, financial and brand limitations. Essentially you’re expected to invent something entirely new that you can prove to be a useful and successful digital product.

The course is now complete I've got my grades and certificates. Looking back I can say I'm glad to have done it, but at the time the late nights and seemingly endless lectures certainly wore me down. It was like being a student again, but without the awesome parties, long hair and hopeful outlook on my career ;)