Jun
11
2010

A true classic never dies, but it can be replaced and not always by a worthy successor. “Nobody likes a change for the worst!” A conversation I had with Mr. Jimmy James a few weeks back still echoes in my mind from time to time. I had mentioned a re-design of the Bay Area Rapid Transit map (aka B.A.R.T.) and how it’s now a much simpler design. True, it’s now less geographically accurate but it’s much easier to read. There is some controversy over the new design in the Bay Area and some extreme adaptations.

Sometimes designers get lost with all the information they need to display and never achieve an intuitive design that is visually compelling. This philosophy is true for much in the world, making designs user friendly and not just maps. But I’m trying to make a point, so here goes.

I recently traveled to London and used their underground transit system, at first like anything new, it took a few minutes for me to understand all the routes and how the system functioned. But once I got the hang of it, the map was ingenious in its simplicity. In actuality the routes are not as simple as shown, but are laid out in equal increments of one another, at straight or 45 degree angles and have bright primary colors for visibility. The new B.A.R.T. map is very similar to the Underground map but is simpler by nature with less information to display. London is a crazy network of streets and tunnels similar to New York. They too updated their map recently, the map from 1972 seems to be the best so far (Apparently this design style was common in the past) and they abandoned the simpler look only a few years later. I’m sure the locals were not happy with the change…I wouldn’t have been.

The designers of the world create the visual tone of a city (or a country) much like a skyline can define it, so can its signage. I appreciate it when they make a point to welcome a newcomer, not confuse the shhh out of them! I’ve had a few instances driving around the greater Seattle area, getting use to some of the freeway exits and where they were in relation to the signs. Other than that its been a smooth transition and I really enjoy my new home, Los Angeles was crazy city in comparison, as I’m sure you’ll all agree… even if you’ve never been.

While writing this blog I stumbled across this map of all the major freeways and cities in united states. The artist uses the London Underground diagram as his inspiration. Jimmy Jam also mentioned that all odd numbered freeways (like I-5) run North/South and all even freeways (like I-90) run West/East , I knew this subconsciously I swear.

eisenhower-interstate-london-underground

So to sum up, I love change… for the better. I love good designs and great ideas. Especially when they come together as one. I used a Mini-Disc player for years. Until a portable hard drive you could listen to became an option, but thats another story.

Feb
9
2010

After my last post on Apple logo wallpapers, I’ve been feeling the itch to create my own. I wanted something that certainly captured the retro feel of the old logo but was clean enough to leave up on my desktop to use as a work space. I sat down this morning before lunch with some ideas in-hand and whipped up something I could use at work. I wanted to write a quick post here to share the wallpaper for your personal use.

Classic Retro Apple Logo Wallpaper

The image above is linked to the 1920 x 1200 resolution, but the 2560 x 1600, 1920 x 1080, and 1280 x 1024 resolution sizes are also available.

Dec
29
2009

We have a lot of Apple computers in the office, but I’m very likely the only “Apple snob” here; though I should note that with full disclaimer I only have one iBook from 2002 at home. We know I can’t be a true Mac fanboy then, right? Sure. But that doesn’t stop me from slapping the little Apple sticker I got with my Sixth Gen iPod Classic (White) to my car’s rear quarter-panel window.

As such, one of my favorite things to do is dress up my desktop each month with a different Apple logo-themed desktop wallpaper. I’ve come across many over the last few years, but I sat down and finally came up with a list of my favorites. Below are 40 wallpapers that you may have encountered before, but I’m hoping many are new to you. I’ve attempted to hunt down and credit each one to its original author (I really hate internet thievery), so each thumbnail below will take you to the download location for that wallpaper. Keep an eye out for “view full size” and “download” links.

Behind the scenes Apple wallpaper

Continue reading…

Dec
22
2009

It’s time for my annual list where I review the Top 10 Bullseye Blog posts and rank them in order of how much they appeal to me. Here goes:

#10: “Happy Holidays, from Bullseye” by Heather B. This one is ranked dead last simply because it makes my jawline look like Howdy Doody when I’m clearly more of a Charlie McCarthy type.

#9: “spacious thought” by Peter N. It just freaked me out. Who is this Tom Waits guy and why has he invaded my nightmares?

#8: “Office Art” by Jamie M. It doesn’t work. I’ve stared at this thing for hours now (I know, right?) and all I occasionally see is a slice of pie and a Twinkie. Maybe I shouldn’t be reading blogs on an empty stomach.

#7: “Pumpkin Carving” by Rick P. This one didn’t make me look too bad, but that’s only because it DIDN’T EVEN INCLUDE ME. Jeez! I swear, do I even work at this place? (sometimes I wonder).

#6: “iPhone Dragon Diction Review” by Travis K. I didn’t actually read this one. And based on the low number of comments, neither did anyone else.

#5 (tie): “Social Media Magic” by Jamie M. and “Customer Persona Development” by Travis K. These are both good stuff, but they are basically thinly veiled advertisements for Bullseye. So, to play “impartial judge” I placed both of these squarely in the middle of the pack.

#4: “iPhone Task Management App Review” by Travis K. A solid review, and most of the words are spelled correctly.

#3: “My Life in Technicolor, Photoshop Tutorial” by Rick P. It’s a long blog entry, so I haven’t read it. But I hear it’s good. [editor's note: this post was removed since it actually sucked. I finally read it and found it offensive and distasteful.]

#2: “Decade in Review: Zeitgeist Art” by Rick P. This is pretty amazing. Although, I was never sure what Rick was working on all of those hours, I now see it’s a really cool summary of the past decade, one which no one will actually read (I only made it to 2003 before I started to just scan the rest).

#1: “Top 10 Bullseye Blog Posts of 2009″ by Peter K. Pure brilliance. Total originality. When was the last time you read a Top 10 list on a blog? And at this time of year, no less.

Dec
9
2009

Persona (Per-so-na) -n

A fictional character created to represent a particular market segment

Inspiring designers or developers to create new products and services can be challenging. Frequently I find “new ideas” are really just reinventing existing ones. An example of this is I routinely meet with clients that think they have the next “Facebook”, in actuality they just have “Facebook” with a minor twist or spin. Who whats to be a member of Facepage?!?!

Most companies have in-depth demographic & physcographic information on their target customers. This information is useful but has the opportunity to be a much more effective tool for inspiring new products or services. Developing personas that show the day in the life of target customers can be instrumental in hatching new ideas.

Continue reading…

Dec
4
2009

When I sat down to create a decade in review for our blog, my original intentions were to list some things we had all forgotten about and arrange them in a way that “looked nice.” The idea drifted around in my head for a week, slowly evolving to segment the information by year, color-coding, and eventually laying the phrases, quotes, and words out into the shapes of the years they came from. What follows is the child of that idea, a complicated arrangement of glyphs and characters.

The words contained in the shapes of each year are arranged (mostly) by chronological order, though some are moved to where they reached a fever-pitch and not where they were started or founded (Facebook, for example). A few years have a special section that encompasses a specific event or series of events. I’ve attempted to arrange those chronologically as well. The size of the word is loosely connected to its relative importance, similar to a tag cloud (which, as a term, did not make the cut). This is all subjective, of course, so you may agree or disagree with my choices. The ultimate intention of this piece was to present stories, people, movies, music and news in a way that let you reflect; parts of the image are purposefully abstract in the hopes that you will use the Internet to do searches or ask friends, family or colleagues to find their meaning.

Continue reading…

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