How much would you pay for something completely useless? I’d pay nothing. Yet, the dudes over at thinkgeek.com have offered ‘The Useless Box’ that does nothing for $40. They even market it as useless, “Turn it on, so it can turn itself off… silliest electronics kits ever.” I went to buy one as soon as it showed up on my screen and it was already sold out. I live in Dubai, so it would cost me twice as much to have it shipped here, yet I’m heartbroken. Turns out there are 117 Facebook comments on the page, with similar reactions to mine, I’m not the only idiot out there drawn to an awesome yet useless experience:
“Shut up and take my money!”
“It’s the most useless and stupid thing I ever seen. I want it now…”
“I want to see the disappointment in my moms face when I spend 40 dollars on this.”
“MUST… RESIST… AAARRRRGGGGHHHH! This is the DUMBEST THING I have ever seen yet, I want one to put on my desk!!”
and so on…
Watch the video below and if you’re as dumb as I am, you can sign up to be notified when the Useless Box Kit is in stock again on ThinkGeek.com.
Update: I couldn’t actually buy the useless box. After a long thread of pleading emails with ThinkGeek.com’s customer service where I begged them to take my $40 dollars, somehow their poor business rules, checkout QA or UX won’t let me order one. And they didn’t really seem to care. I order things from American online stores all the time. I live in Dubai, use my UAE credit card and have things shipped to my friend’s address in the states. This is the first company of ‘geeks’ (yeah right) that I’ve had this problem with in 3 years. #fail
When video content breaks out of the box and unexpected actions happen all over the page, then you’ve got users in suspense and their attention focused on your message. Many have tried this creative approach, I’ve included videos of three popular ones from Honda, Frito Lays and the Expendables movie interview. Hope you enjoy the videos, and if you’re keen here is a link to 25 Awesome Youtube Takeovers. (more…)
Users often quickly judge the quality of a person, group, product or company by their first visual impressions of the website. The importance of an aesthetically pleasing website can not be underestimated. Thus I present this inspirational collection of colorful websites from tripwire magazine.
Everyone appreciates the fruits of clever product design, where the structure and function is effective and efficient to a biological standard. If that harmony achieves a balanced design, you attain sheer joy! Here are a few of my must have design inventions from A List of Genius Ideas and 34 Cleverly Designed Inventions.
I see the God complex around me all the time in my fellow economists. I see it in our business leaders. I see it in the politicians we vote for — people who, in the face of an incredibly complicated world, are nevertheless absolutely convinced that they understand the way that the world works.” (Tim Harford)
Mirror, mirror. An extraordinary pervasive AI computing UX vision. – The New York Times, Nieman Journalism Lab
Every once in a while something extraordinary comes along in gadgets. If you’ve got a little pervasive AI computing vision, the possibilites are endless!
Lets say Herbert, your mairror, (ai mirror duh?!), is installed on all your mirrors (bedroom, bathroom, entrance lounge) and displays (tv, lcd, phone, watch, kitchen).
It syncs with your calender, to do list, your news of interest, monitors your health, delivers media status updates from your closest friends and family, reads out important sms/emails/media notes, orders groceries, cleaning services, finds/delivers hints/tips/updates on your hobbies/wishlist, and encourages you to find time for those things you always wanted to learn but never find time to (even reads to you, teaches you interactively), and monitors your progress and gives you feedback. Whatever you want, nothing else.
Yes, there are many possible risks, fine details that need to be tweaked here, but I’m overlooking that for now and looking at just these few scenarios I thought up of in a minute. The potentials of a truly invisible interface here is amazing and there are a blahzillion enhancement paths for every field of science, living and business.
This is the start of true pervasive computing, where you’re listening to the radio in your car, like the artist/song, trigger some kind of action word/button, and Herbert finds and books you their next concert, or signs up for email newsletters for itself to one day tell/show you in the future while you’re brushing your teeth. Heck, even the annoying radio guy can be muted and Herbert can fill you in on whats important to you. Maybe even keep in touch with Pedro, your brothers mairror and arrange a call when you’re both free.
Read on to see how far this prototype has come to date: Mirror, mirror: The New York Times wants to serve you info as you’re brushing your teeth » Nieman Journalism Lab.
Results of an A/B testing evaluation show how triggering an emotional response / connection from user’s vastly increases their response rate, by 102.5% in this case. This seems to have the marketing power of testimonials, but portrayed in one happy smiling customer photo. A picture is worth a thousand words. Behind the scenes: A/B testing part 3: Finalé – 37signals.
Results of eye-tracking studies have shown how you can grab and guide a user’s eye using a similar emotional response. You look where they look, people look at other people’s faces – UsableWorld.com.au. But just because their eyes have seen an element on a page, doesn’ t mean that they’ve registered it.
This is worth a quick speed read. “Be useful first. Then be usable.” via Five Popular Web Strategies That Dont Work | UX Magazine.