Thursday, January 31, 2008

Indexed blog to be a book

A plug for a wonderful blog (you probably know it already). Jessica Hagy's Indexed blog is full of wonderful Venn diagrams and equations that describe essential life truths. Occasion for the plug now is that it's coming out as a book. Here's a link to it at Amazon. And here's a sample.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Design police

Thanks to Beth Shepherd for alerting me to the Design Police (2022 note: the link has disappeared). It's obviously hit the spot because it's on practically every design blog - and has revealed one or two sense of humour failures, judging by some of the comments. 
*The Design Police are Stephen Woowat and Karl Goldstraw. 

I wonder if this doesn't represent a real insight into simple, engaging ways to represent good practice. Having said that, each rule invites the question 'why', and the answers would range from legibility research to simple 'nice boys/girls don't do that'. 

For example, using inch marks for quotations doesn't actually do anyone any harm, but it is a signifier of competence that people will judge you by – like using the wrong knife at dinner. 

Inspired by the Design Police, I'm now speculating about repurposing road signs (not original, I know) to warn readers of problems ahead in complex writing. Here are some signs whose meaning I hope is clear:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Certain discrepancies

Standard Life wrote recently to tell us they are raising the management charge on our ISA. I'm trying to find the right adjective to describe their explanation of the reason for this:
"Standard Life Investments conduct regular reviews of their products. Following their most recent review, certain discrepancies came to light between their charging structure and those of their competitors."
Don't you just love the third person - nothing to do with us, it's them... although them is actually us. And obviously a discrepancy is a terrible thing. I'm so glad they've put it right. Happy to pay more. Wouldn't want a discrepancy. Oh no.