The Wake Blog. Read what makes us tick.
Blog & News
Wake Interactive wins W3 Award for IntuiLab.com
“The W3 Awards honor creative excellence on the web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award winning sites.”
We are thrilled to be among the list of award winning web design agencies this year and would like to thank our gracious client IntuiLab for giving us the opportunity to redesign the site from the ground up.
Yes/No Dialogs Are Confusing
Copywriting is the most important part of user interface design. Yes/No dialog boxes are a perfect example of poor UI design. The buttons on these should instead be words that verify the action.
John Gruber links to a series of yes/no dialog boxes (one, two, three) written by Microsoft. He states his rule of thumb; “assume the user won’t read anything other than the buttons.”
Yes or No provides no information about the action you’re about to take. It forces you to parse the the words in the question to interpret meaningless buttons. We face physical dialog boxes every day, could you imagine if those were designed to be Yes/No? Here are a couple tongue-in-cheek examples of what that could look like.
The Road Signs
Track $0.99 movie rentals on iTunes
When Apple announced that it would be doing movie rentals through iTunes, it was time to invest in an Apple TV for the family. What further made movie rentals enticing was that Apple is offering a $0.99 itunes rental movie of the week.
Since the weekly movie isn’t advertised on the iTunes storefront, we made 99rental.com complete with RSS feed. 99rental.com lists all $0.99 movie rentals on iTunes and their current availability. The special price is available from Thursday through Monday. Once rented you have 30 days to watch it. Now you have no excuse to miss these great titles on your favorite iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV.
Update (July 31st, 2008): You can now track the £0.99 iTunes UK Film of the Week
Update (September 1st, 2008): You can now track the $0.99 iTunes Canada Movie of the Week
Want to beta test some coffee?
Here’s a fun twist on public betas. This time it’s not a new web app, it’s coffee! The Florida based Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea company is marketing to the blogging community by offering free coffee. We designed and programmed the Joffrey’s Java Beta Test site. If you are a blogger who loves coffee, sign-up and test their new Java! Right now they are offering Jamaican Me Crazy.
Highlights from the SEED Conference
It was a cool and sunny fall Chicago day as we took a taxi to the McCormick Tribune Campus Center on the IIT campus. Coming from hot and humid South Florida, the 50-degree weather was an invigorating change and worth the trip alone.
Carlos Segura - Segura, Inc.
The most soft-spoken of the group, Carlos brought up the distinction between what clients want and what they actually need. He emphasized not cutting corners and going beyond what the client asks for. In the case study of the Corbis CROP campaign, Carlos and his team changed the stock photo industry by reconsidering the way they market themselves to their “designer” customers.
Carlos also brought up his decision to stay small on purpose. By choosing so, he guaranties working on only the project he wants, rather than taking on undesirable work in order to feed the beast.
Jason Fried - 37signals
Quick and to the point to allow for more discussion, Jason spoke about what his team has learning building web applications.
- Watch out for red flags (Need, Can’t, Just, Only, Fast) These are the biggest productivity killers when building something.
- Keep your team size small Focus on the important things and benefit from clearer communication.
- Make sure your staff has alone time Active communication is a disguised form of disruption. Using passive communication allows people to communicate when it’s best for them.
- Meetings are toxic. A 1 hour meeting with 10 people is in actuality a 10-hour meeting. The larger the meeting the less each person is involved.
- Make tiny decisions. If you make small mistakes, it’s easy to change direction.
Get the basics right and launch now, then refine to perfection. I liked the Porsche 911 example. The car today looks much like it’s 1963 counterpart. They’ve been polishing that car for over 40 years, making it better and better.
Jim Coudal - Coudal Partners
By far the most entertaining segment of the day, Jim started by showing this video, which hit entirely way too close to home. This started a talk about curiosity and how important it is to always try new things. There is no such thing as failure, as you always learn something from trying ideas. One thing leads to another, so stop talking about it and try it.
He used a sound wave as a metaphor, the peak being the exciting “anything is possible” feeling that gradually decays. Learning to fail faster and starting new projects perpetually ignites these passionate feelings. Don’t talk things to death, just act on them even in a small way. Every successful idea has always been followed by the question “I should have done it sooner”.
To get a visual representation of the conference, I highly recommend checking out Mike Rohde’s amazing sketchnotes from that day.
Heading off to the SEED Conference
Brandon and I are heading off to Chicago tomorrow for the SEED Conference on Monday, October 29th. I have to say this is the first time I’ve gone to a conference or workshop where I wasn’t sure what to expect, whatsoever. Even though I’m optimistic my creative and entrepreneural spirits will be lifted, I’m just so darn anxious to find out how. I’m not even sure why it’s called SEED either, but it seems like a great opportunity to hear some smart people talk and a great excuse to spend the weekend in beautiful Chicago.
37signals profiles Wake on their blog
Basecamp (a.k.a. Wakecamp) is an important part of running our business and an app we genuinely enjoy using on a daily basis. When 37signals wanted to profile our use of Basecamp on their blog we felt much obliged to share how we use this great tool to help manage our projects. Read it on the 37Signals blog.
New Wake site garnering attention
It’s been less than two weeks since we’ve launched the new Wake site and quite a few new visitors have come through due to being featured on some of the best web design inspiration showcases.
Wake Interactive website launches!
It feels like an eternity since Wake Interactive was formed, but now we are legitimately announcing ourselves to the world. Our goal with this website was to represent our belief in the elegance of simplicity and usability.
New Wake business cards
The new business cards are in and most have asked where these were printed. I found a place online called Print100.com, who seemed to have a great reputation and offered a few more options than the typical printer. These were spot UV varnished and die-cut to have round edges.
Eric was helpful and the turnaround was quick. My only disappoinment was that the blue color came out darker than expected, but that’s the nature of 4-color printing. You can see larger pics on Flickr.