March 16, 2014

Scroll Indicator

The website of Project Ara has a arrow at the bottom of the visible part of the screen, that looks like this (the grey is the background color of that page):

Looks like you could interact with it, right? So let's see what it does when you hover over it:

The arrow transforms into the text "scroll down". But that is it, you can't click it, nothing else happens. This feels weird, like if the page is telling you "click here to scroll down" and then when you try to do that "oh, guess what, scroll down yourself!".

I think what they tried to do, is to indicate that there is more content when you scroll down, but this is definitely not the best way to do that.

(Images are screenshots from Project Ara)

March 9, 2014

Back to Low Tech Loyalty Cards

All kinds of companies try to make you sign up for their loyalty programs. Most of the time it works like this:
  • You sign up by giving them you data
  • You get a fancy plastic card, so you can collect points to get some kind of reward
  • You'll get lots of advertising and special offers

But for me it usually doesn't work out. Most of the time I don't buy enough at that certain brand to get a reward out of that. Also I get annoyed by the ads that I receive or I feel that all my purchases are being tracked. In addtion to that I don't like having to carry a bunch of cards around with my in case I might need them. You might also have to remember some kind of login credentials to log in a website to see you status in that loyalty program.

So, here is what I decided to do: I'll just accept low tech bonus cards. You know, the old ones where you just collect x stamps to get one free?

These are the advantages of those cards:
  • You don't have to give anyone your personal data
  • Your purchases are not tracked that much. So, yes they know you bought 10 donuts, but not that you get a rainbow sprinkled donut with chocolate filling every day before work.
  • You won't receive ads
  • If you don't like it anymore just throw the card away and you are done with it. You don't have to worry that your data is still somewhere in a database.

February 25, 2014

How Litmus Made Me Smile

Litmus, a tool for HTML mail testing, shows an organizational chat on their page about unlimited plans. It made me smile, when I recognized that the company they use as an example is the company from the TV series Mad Men.

Screenshot from Litmus

For the whole content of the page, it doesn't matter if you get that reference, but it is a nice easter egg. 

February 7, 2014

Can you open this? - Part 2

Crown corks have two disadvantages compared to screw caps:
  • You need an opener to remove them (I know some people can open them with almost anything, but they still need some tool).
  • They cannot be closed again.
Still crown corks are used a lot.

January 26, 2014

Taking Pictures on Android

When you are taking pictures with an Android phone and take a break, the phone locks up as usual. To go on taking pictures you don't need to unlock it. Only if you want to do anything else then taking pictures, even looking at recently taken pictures, you have to unlock it first.

I think this is a good thing, because you don't want to miss a perfect moment to take a picture by having to unlock your phone. If someone else might pick up you phone in this status, that person might be able to take pictures with your phone but can't do anything else. So your personal data is still save.