Yahoo Logo font set

Yahoo is going through a process to find a new logo. In the first couple of days I was excited with the idea to show 30 different logos.

I am not impressed. It looks like someone is testing out their font set on the word processor. What I was expecting was some play with the logo. I was hoping for some interesting ideas. At this point, if I was Yahoo I would not be choosing any of these for the expense of the change.

What would I like to see?

  •  Change the logo everyday forever, not just for 30 days. This would show Yahoo as an ever changing, on top of it all company. This would allow them to demonstrate some interesting ideas.

Here are the first 28 Yahoo logos:

Day 28

Day 27

Day 26

Day 25

Day 24

Day 23

Day 22

Day 21

Day 20

Day 19

Day 18

Day 17

Day 16

Day 15

Day 14

Day 13

Day 12

Day 11

Day 10

Day 9

Day 8

Day 7

Day 6

Day 5

Day 4

Day 3

Day 2

Day 1

By |September 3rd, 2013|Ideation|1 Comment

Have kids design their own solutions to problems

I have to admit that I found this article to be quite grating as a blatant free advertisement for frog design. They are a fantastic design firm but Fast Company is so enamored with them that they post an article that is an infomercial.

I guess it is a good thing that it was posted given that it is spurring me to write. Now that I have that off my chest I do have a few constructive things to say.

The article is about working with children to identify problems and have them use the design process to come up with workable solutions on their own. It is a terrific idea.

frog has an open source toolkit called CAT (collective action toolkit).

The toolkit encourages problem solving as a form of skill development, with group activities that draw on participants’ strengths and perspectives. The toolkit challenges groups to act on their ideas by defining and clarifying shared goals throughout the process.

You can read the story on fastcodesign.com. Want To Help Kids Solve Problems? Have Them Design Their Own Solutions – by David Sherwin

There are other organizations that encourage kids to learn in this manner. One in particular, I think is pretty awesome. The organization is called Destination Imagination(DI). People from 48 states and 30 countries participate in DI. There are 38,000 volunteers and 125,000 participants.

Destination Imagination is an organization for kids from kindergarten through college. Kids work in teams of 2-7 with others their same age. They focus on solving problems as a team using the creative process.  They work for several months without help or interference from adults and then compete within each state and at […]

5 Questions to Ask for a Better Solution

Are you a business owner or product manager looking to improve the design of your product? Even if you do not have a designer on staff, you have design minded team members that can be guided with right questions. Here are some questions to ask to get your team to drive to the optimal solution.

Question 1: What is the problem you are trying to solve?

There is a tendency to jump immediately to solutions without first stating the problem. Stating and clarifying the problem itself will crystallize the issue for both the product manager and the team. Ask this question to have team members verbalize the problem.

For example, I had a project manager ask me to design an icon to put on the screen. This button was the solution he determined for the customer problem. I asked him a series of questions around the problem and it turned out the button was a band-aid that would resolve the specific customer request. The real problem was much larger. Users were not able to get their work done smoothly and they wanted to speed up a process they did frequently throughout the day.

Question 2: Who has this problem?

There is a tendency to focus solutions on the most recent set of user requests or complaints, rather than generalizing to the overall user population. This question is asking about the persona or the archetype of the user. Identifying the persona determines the persona’s needs, goals, activities, environment and how the company wants to interact with this type of user. 

For example, I had a project manager come to me for help with a specific product enhancement. One customer was asking for a specific feature. By […]

Communication Tools at Work

Email still is the main tool for communication at work. Even with all the ports of social media to the enterprise, email is the core tool.

The are several problems with email that people are trying to solve with social media such as the asynchronous aspect of email and the heavy client on the machine as well as the coolness factor.

However, social media and email for that matter have the wrong object of communication. In the social media world the communication itself is the object. In the business world the “work” is the object of communication. We are not at work to chat with each other. We are there to get stuff done and we use all these things to communicate around the work.

Email has the problem that it is associated with the person not the work. If I were to design email from the ground up then I would focus it around the work unit.

The communication should be associated with the work unit, the PPT, web page, Photoshop file or whatever else you are working on. The communication should be stored in relationship with the work unit not with the person doing/receiving the communication.

Objects of work are usually associated or organized by projects and have a team of people associated. The communication needs to incorporate the team and all the project’s work objects.

How can we design a communication tool that is associated with the context of the work you are […]

By |October 3rd, 2012|Ideation|0 Comments

What is the ROI of design?

How much are you willing to pay for selecting the best design? How much are you willing to pay for making whatever design someone has in their head better over time? Do you take a focused approach to design? Or is the shotgun approach sufficient?

If you are driven by numbers, why would you ever avoid doing an appropriate design process? (I am not talking about engineering – I am talking about selecting the correct design concept.)

Let’s assume the quality of the design concept you come up with lies on a normal curve. What is the probability that the one design you come up with is the best one? How do you improve your odds? If it’s normal, the more times you do it the more likely it is that you will find one that is the best.

So as a business person why aren’t you demanding 100s of concepts for the new product or module or business idea? Prototype the best 3 and come up with the cost of creation/ delivery and maintenance of each. Know what your target users think of the concepts. Then make a decision.

Community software

Yeah I am not talking about software to make virtual communities but software for existing physical communities.

I belong to a synagogue in Massachussetts. We have over 1500 people in the community. We have some interesting problems.

  1. If you meet someone at a class or party and you get their first name and the event ends you go home. If a couple weeks later you would like to contact Joel again … well that is a tough one. You can send an email to the person leading the event if it was a small one and ask to get into contact with Joel. Hopefully there is only one Joel otherwise it is like the game of pictionary trying to guess if we are talking about the same person. I could really use a temple private “facebook” of sorts.
  2. I started up an online class and wanted to invite interested people. This is an interesting process of talking to the people who know everyone like the rabbi and trying to figure out who is interested. Then we need to contact the keeper of the email lists to see if she can email them to me. Come to find out she (the admin) does not have all the lists. Some other members have their own and they are more protective of those. I could really use a “Constant Contact” for internal mailings.
  3. The office spends alot of time managing the email lists. Who should be on what list and with what email address? Keeping all the personal info uptodate is a challenge. The office could really use a Customer Relationship Management system that is managed by the members like “facebook on steroids”.
  4. Since this is a community it would be great to get everyones oral history so that […]
By |March 26th, 2009|Ideation|2 Comments