This is a diagram I quickly presented as part of my talk at HIVE 11. It needs some context but I wanted to pop it up here quickly and get back to the explaining when I get back home. If you were at HIVE you know it was a wonderful day. I was particularly pleased by the emergence of themes across many of the talks. This is always a good sign that your discipline is moving in a positive direction if many great thinkers and doers arrive at similar conclusions independently. Well, as independently as you can in this information sharing world of ours.


There are these ugly little things that appear again and again in our lives (particularly in our digital lives) and I think it's time to speak up.

Not only are they ugly they give you a negative jolt each time you encounter them and THEY NEED TO BE REDESIGNED. I'll be calling them out as I find them in hopes that someone will hear our cries.

Roy Robson Map 1

Couple weeks ago I was working on a map interface; I tried to find some inspiration on the web and really came up empty handed. There are a ton of excellent pattern and inspiration libraries but I couldn't find much to address the display of content on maps. I'm sure you guys will educate me on the vast number of sites I failed to find ( I hope) But I figured I better start collecting some on my own and this may be of interest to some of you. First one: Thanks to @benforgarty for leading me here via the badass portfolio site of the designer  Jan Ploch  


Stats: Map: Google Maps Content: Store Locations Items: 100's

Lessons: 1. Make choices to provide value to the most people. 2. Provide lists to compliment the map. 3. Small design elements make a big difference.


First thing I like is that they made a choice. They have stores around the world but they chose to focus the initial map display on the area with the most stores, probably the most customers too; hence helping the majority of the folks get what they need quicker. The choice is also successful in communicating to it's core audience that they have a ton of stores and one is bound to be near you.  They do have stores in Iran and Uganda but would the experience benefit from showing a map of the world?  How would they show pins when the distribution is so unequal?  They easily mitigate the problem of Iranians not seeing a their stores on first view by bringing the Shopfinder front and center. It is always best practice to provide a list to supplement the map experience. In this case the availability of the list allowed them to make a choice to focus the map on a certain part of the world.

Also of note: You can quickly zoom in and out with a scroll of the mouse. The pins contrast well on the map and the white outline allows them to be stacked and overlapping and still be clickable. I love the full screen view of the map.

Selecting "Choose country" opens the list and the list stays open. There are enough moving parts in a map interface. Try to reduce rollovers and other moving functions. Simple click to open click to close is refreshing and so nice to use.  This interaction model is repeated when interacting with the pins.

Also of note:  Get directions takes to Google Maps. I think it's ok to not try to do everything within your map interface. Take it to the level that brings value to your company and the visitor then go ahead and send them to Google (or other map program). They will be familiar with it and probably have data saved like their address eliminating a number of clicks and steps.

Selecting a country refreshes the page bringing you a new map focused on the country you selected. I like the page refresh avoiding the tempting "zoom in/out and move the map in some crazy animation" instinct.

Once there we are given another list that reflects the information on the map.

You can also change the country without going back. Nice.


Select a city get a list of the stores. Although it should zoom in to the selected city but it doesn't.

Over all I think this is a super successful map design.  What do you think?

I'll post more as I find them.



Tyler Thompson has redesigned the Delta boarding pass. I love it!  Who among us hasn't noticed the awkward, missed opportunity that is this piece of paper millions of people interact with everyday. His new design is clean and pretty. He thought about how he uses it and how it could become a useful tool for navigating the airport and boarding the plane.


It's successful for the most part, although I think the target audience for this is me, you and Tyler and maybe not the general public, as we are used to seeing design like this, it may be a bit sophisticated and hard to read for the average flyer. Actually let me correct myself,  the non-average traveler, the most general of the public.

I was thinking though, aside from solving usability issues which would be great. There is an amazing missed opportunity in boarding passes.

Boarding passes represent a specific moment and place in time.

I'd like to see the airlines take full advantage of this. Let's see the day's news headlines or 'It happened today' facts. How about local history, art and statistics. What about statistics or facts about the relationship between the two locations you are traveling. Ooooh, the poetry of local poets on seasonally appropriate topics. I could keep going, but you get the point.

Some airlines are using the unused portion of the print at home boarding pass to provide travel information, this is nice, but my ideas could turn these into collectibles, kinda like posted stamps. Have some imagination Mr and Mrs Airline.



I am having a positive reaction to this site

for the following reasons....

100 to watch home


The bookmark metaphor

The color coded medium identifiers (colored dots, key in the top left)

Getting a nice preview of the work

Navigating with arrow keys

It mimics the experience of walking through a gallery.

It utilizes the wide screen (i have one so I like it)

I'm so so about the audio announcing each artist. As a an English speaker I enjoy hearing how to pronounce the names.  It is a bit futuristic and creepy though.

(I found the site via SiteInspire)

100 to watch inside 1

100 to watch inside

KornFerry Home Page

I like this site.*

1. The colors and texture are really pleasing and unexpected for a staffing site.

2. I'm a fan of using the main navigation to tell the story. By placing it in the middle of the page what's inside the site is elevated to something worth exploring not just a bunch of links pushed to the side or up in the corner.

This placement allows the eyes to bounce through each navigation label and build a quick understanding of what the site and/or company has to offer.

3. The subtle animations in the hero and the headers of the sub pages are smooth, interesting and add to the experience.

*Yes, there are places it falls apart, especially on some of the internal pages, but I suspect the final comps and interaction plan before development and months of little changes by various business interests, were really great.

Ten out of Tenn

This is such a beautiful and effective site. I love the the subtlety of the navigation and social media links.

The colors are excellent. My eyes moves around easily finding everything I would expect to find.

ten out of tenn footer

and who could deny the beauty and brillance of this?  check out the site to experience the roll over interaction.


This tour will be in Portland on Sunday. Maybe I'll see you there.


cupcake party Just as for-profit companies are trying to figure out how to exist, persist and grow in this world of new communication so are the not-for-profit organizations. It's time to use our power for good and put some creative energy around this. Many have started and there is room for more.

I've worked with a hand full of non-profits over the past few years that I've noticed that there are some things that are the same across the board. The biggest "same" is the need to raise funds.  Each time I engage with a nonprofit client the bulk of the discussions and energy are spent working on ways to optimize the effectiveness of  the "support us message" and the process of making a donation.  But you know what? Optimization can only go so far.  At some point we need to design new ways to draw people into donate.  We need to design ways to cultivate the donor/organization relationship and take it to the next level.

My best ideas have revolved around the idea of creating an army of evangelists and giving them the tools to go out and raise the money for you. I believe this is the the most powerful way an organization can raise their participation level. I also believe that for-profit companies have known this for years and continue to use the tactic no matter how distasteful it feels coming from a corporation, so it's bound to work for the for-good organizations of the world.

So here are my top 5 things to consider when thinking about redefining and revitalizing the ways you raise funds.

The 5 rules for succeeding in the new world of fundraising:

1. Harness the energy of current supporters, this isn't about acquisition of new supporters (at least not right away). 2. Put your old rules and goals away. People will give money more freely if the cause is endorsed by their peers. So put the old rules away and see how you can redefine your expectations and set a plan to support them. 4.  Let us tell the story in our own words.  You can't and shouldn't want to control the message. Let your supporters talk to their people in their own words. You will learn something and maybe even see your organization in a whole new light. 5. Let us have fun. It's nice to be serious and there will always be the set that wants a straightedge giving experience, but there's a whole crop of people who will be attracted to a good time, especially if this good time results in something good.

There are a few companies working in this space, designing products for individuals and organizations to use for fund raising. I recently came across BeExtraodinary, they are right in there with what I'm talking about.

There's a lot of room for good thinking, design and problem solving in this arena. I would challenge you to think about it a bit. I'd love to hear your ideas.


Hey NIKE!  I would like to talk with you about using NIKE+ as a fundraising tool.  Call me.

photo credit: group cookery


I just submitted a proposal for Ignite Portland. The topic is about applying what I've learned working with essential oils to design and the creative process. Sound interesting? I think so. Now I just have to flush it out.

If I get in this will be my first presentation outside of work since high school. Kinda crazy. Hope I can do it:)

You can check out the full list of proposals here. If you participate in the voting (which you can) I hope you will vote for me and John from MilkMuny (because his presentation will be truly inspiring)

Ok, sorry for the slowed posting lately, I have a bunch of balls in the air right now, but they are all providing me with good writing ideas (if I can get around to it!)