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This blog has a new home! March 12, 2014

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in Uncategorized.
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Dearest readers,

I know this blog has been lonely for the past years, but I have good news! This blog is now moving to a nicer home at www.wesense.co

I will start by reposting some of the most interesting content from here and will keep adding the latest and greatest on art and technology there.

As always, thanks for the support, and feel free to keep sending interesting projects my way.

Space saving furniture designs July 4, 2010

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in Uncategorized.
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Ron Barth, President of Resource Furniture (http://www.resourcefurniture.com/space-savers), demonstrates and explains their amazing line of Italian-designed space-savers.


Are you sure? February 21, 2009

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in delightful.
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Users usually find it really annoying to have to say they are sure when deleting an item, for instance. Some authors argue that we can totally remove this confirmation dialog and let the user ctrl+z if a mistake is done.

Netflix does it in a very elegant way.
If you want to delete a movie from your cue, you can just do it without having to say you’re sure. That row, instead of disappearing immediately, turns to gray and provides an “undo” link in the same place where the “x” for deleting used to be. Another delighful UX!

Before deletion:


Google me, Google me not February 9, 2009

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in Uncategorized.
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Google was once again smart enough to recognize that people may type one less “o” or a few extra ones. But a few of the gooooogle URLs were already taken. Check it out:

Ok, I guess that’s enough.
You get the point 🙂

Small delights that make up a good UX January 29, 2009

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in delightful.
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I just had another one of those delightful moments of user experience design. Tiny little details like these really add up to the experience.

Twitter’s text box lets you know how many characters you still have left to type. This is in light gray, so it fades with the rest of the interface.

Then, as you approach your limit, the color of the characters changes to dark red. Or is this a brownish red?

When you are very close to running out of space, it changes once again to red.

These kinds of interface elements are in the periphery of our attention. Would usually pass by unnoticed. By a simple change of color, it came to my foreground. At first my thought in a nanosecond was “Wait, what happened? Did that number just change color?”. So I actually deleted an extra character to see how the number was before. I was surprised to see that it was gray and I had barely seen it. And i’ve been using twitter for quite a while now. I guess I never write long enough messages. 😉

This is what demonstrates a thoughtful user experience, I would say. The small details add up to make a difference.

Design is inevitable December 2, 2008

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in text.
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Design is inevitable. The alternative to good design is bad design — not no design at all. Everyone takes design decisions all the time without realizing it and good design is simply the result of making these decisions consciously, at the right stage, and in consultation with others as the need arises.

Douglas Martin, Book Design

Interplanetary Internet November 21, 2008

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in text.
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Technology surprises me everyday. And look who’s involved: Google!
Read below:

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineers have successfully tested the first deep space communications network based on the Internet, using the Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol to transmit dozens of images to and from a spacecraft more than 20 million miles from Earth.

NASA and Google’s Vint Cerf jointly developed the DTN protocol, which replaces the Internet’s TCP/IP protocol for managing data transmissions. “This is the first step in creating a totally new space communications capability, an interplanetary Internet,” says NASA’s Adrian Hooke.

An interplanetary Internet needs to be strong enough to withstand delays, disruptions, and lost connections that space can cause. For example, errors can happen when a spacecraft slips behind a planet, or when solar storms or long communication delays occur. Even traveling at the speed of light, communications sent between Mars and Earth take between three-and-a-half minutes to 20 minutes.

Unlike TCP/IP, DTN does not assume there will be a constant end-to-end connection. DTN is designed so that if a destination path cannot be found, the data packets are not discarded but are kept in a network node until it can safely communicate with another node. In October, engineers started a month-long series of demonstrations, with data being transmitted using NASA’s Deep Space Network twice a week. Researchers say the interplanetary Internet could allow for new types of complex space missions that involve multiple landed, mobile, and orbiting spacecraft, as well as ensure reliable communications for astronauts on the surface of the moon.

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Microsoft Arc Mouse November 20, 2008

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in design.
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I haven’t seen the Microsoft Arc Mouse before. I don’t know how confortable it is, but it looks very elegant. I’m happy to see Microsoft giving more attention to hardware. Hardware is definitely an important part of the user experience. It’s not only about the software, but what’s physically around it.

Photoshop Interface rendered in real-world objects November 17, 2008

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in design.
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This fantastic “real world” Photoshop window, made with actual objects, seems to have been made as an Adobe PhotoShop ad for the Indonesian market. There’s also a good Flickr photoset that shows how they put it together.

The Unfinished Swan November 17, 2008

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in video.
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The Unfinished Swan is a first-person painting game set in an entirely white world. Players can splatter paint to help them find their way through an unusual garden.

The Unfinished Swan – Tech Demo 9/2008 from Ian Dallas on Vimeo.