June 2012

View all on this date written articles further down below.

Multiculturalism in European nation-states: an oxymoron?

Immigration is a big issue in Europe these days. Europeans have to fight between the post-Nazi guilt about racial discrimination and the practical social issues of racial integration.

Discourse is divided between the so-called extreme right groups which call for the expulsion of foreigners and the opposite which calls for the free influx of refugees and immigrants who seek a better life.

This article does not attempt to justify any of these positions, nor to find a middle ground for any current dispute. It is merely an attempt to look at whether the idea of multiculturalism is possible within the socio-cultural and political context of many European countries. Read more

Print people have difficulty embracing digital…

This is another uninteresting venture by print people in making iPad apps.

The Straits Times of Singapore fail to understand an app is not the tablet version of their website.

While I appreciate the choice of font and the clarity of it, you cannot zoom in or out, nor can you share the article on a social network. In many ways, this is worse than their website. FAIL.

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Poorly-made signs confuse your users

poorly-made-signs-confuse-your-users_01

Carrefour supermarket, Ghent, 4 June 2012, Belgium

The manager of this branch of Carrefour supermarket should be fired.

The door of this entrance has not been working since time immemorial. Instead of mending the door, staff tried to prevent customers from using the left door by putting up very poorly-made signs telling them to use the right door.

When the top sign that says “THIS DOOR” did not work, the hand-written bottom sign was put there elaborating the message in broken Dutch: “Please take other door thank you”

The result: customers continue to push both doors and the already broken left door suffers further damages.

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Another UX lesson from our daily life: use clear, recognisable visual aids

use clear, recognisable visual aids

Ghent, 28 May 2012, Belgium

There are some rules by which one can apply when it comes to design for good user experience:

  • Zero or minimal learning curve
  • Visually indicative environment to guide the user
  • As few steps as possible for the user to reach his goal
  • As little time as possible for the user to reach his goal
  • FUN!

The above picture indicates how a bad user experience costs time and money for the driver and for the city administration. Read more

5 reasons why you should NOT use social media marketing

I am often bemused by these enumerated mantras churned out by marketing gurus. To what extent people exactly believe such mantras is a mystery to me, but it is certain that with the rise of social media, advertising and marketing directors and managers have been cooking up new theories and methodologies, invented words and ideas to mystify the things that they do so as to raise the status of their work.

As cynical as I may sound, I am actually one of them. But unlike them, I seriously advise you NOT to engage in social media should you identify with any one of the reasons below: Read more