Wrong direction

In Milan, like in many other cities, public transport tickets have a magnetic strip on the side that is used to check their validity by means of electronic readers. Even now, some years after the introduction of the new tickets, a lot of people still insert their tickets in the readers in the wrong direction, and can’t pass the turnstiles until they get it right.

Better not to forget it: Nielsen on users

Here’s an insightful excerpt from Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, September 21, 2009: Users don’t care about design for its own sake; they just want to get things done and get out.

The importance of packaging

Your experience with some products starts as soon as start you tearing the shrink wrap around them. This is what happened to me last week. I just bought a MacBook and I had been second guessing my choice since I pressed the “Submit” button on the order form.

Maps for public transport users

Even if modern trains are getting more and more friendly to passengers, many of them are still terribly lacking if we consider this aspect, at least in Italy. As I’m writing this post I’m travelling through Tuscany on the railway.

A new use for margins

While I still read books on my way to work, I recently started reading online articles and blog posts using my phone as well. This morning, while I was reading a column on Alertbox on iPhone, I noticed with pleasure a small detail: the left and right margins of the page have more than a merely aesthetic purpose.

Pagination directions

Although pagination is a widely diffused pattern, some times it can still be a bit confusing, when it comes to blogs. Most blogs (and many news sites) have a couple of links at the bottom of the page, newer and older posts or articles.

Itsme: is the desktop metaphor really over?

Last week a friend of mine, knowing my increasing interest in interaction design, forwarded me the poster of a talk held in University of Milano-Bicocca about a new project named itsme.

Augmenting cityscape

I had the inspiration for the subject of this post this summer, while having a walk in Milan with a friend. As we passed in front of the XIV century Sforza Castle (italian: Castello Sforzesco), we noticed it was lit by coloured lights, which gave it a quite peculiar aspect.

Why Mac menus are on the top

Disclaimer: despite the title, this is not a post about fast food. 🙂 I always wondered why Apple decided to place their menu bar on top on the screen, rather than inside the window it belongs to.

Business cards v. 2

I used to consider business cards pretty much of a nuisance. Collecting tiny pieces of paper just to copy the same data to a mobile phone or contact manager didn’t seem to be practical to me.