Recent Posts

Michael Graves Wine Glasses Completed and On eBay

Hi everyone, the wine glasses Michael Graves told us about in episode 61 from this past August are now finished. You can see them next to bottles of [Yellow Tail] wine in the photo accompanying this blog posting, and also I have put them into the episode art for DC61 alongside the images of Michael Graves hand mixer from Target.
For the next several weeks you can bid on several sets of these limited edition wine glasses at eBay. Proceeds benefit the American Association of Museums.
To hear our interview with Michael Graves, scroll down the page to episode 61, or check the podcast feed, or click this link:


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Interview: Design of The Scarifyers Audio Stories with Simon Barnard of Bafflegab Productions

Simon Barnard from Bafflegab Productions (formerly Cosmic Hobo Productions) joins Tim Keirnan and Chad Esselink to discuss the design of The Scarifyers audio adventures as heard on BBC 7. Combining old time radio detective and horror stories with X-Files mystery and dry English humor, The Scarifyers have been “saving Great Britain since 1936”–sometimes in spite of themselves. How does the script, the music, the artwork, and the acting come together to create the experience?

You can find The Scarifyers at

You can learn about Nicholas Courtney (Inspector Lionheart) at

You can learn about Terry Molloy (Professor Dunning) at

Learn about Hugo Pratt’s historical fiction at

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Interview: Jeremy Keith at UI13 on Ajax Design Considerations

Jeremy Keith from Clearleft discusses his session at 2008’s UI13 conference called Ajax Design Considerations that Tim attended. What do UX professionals need to know about Ajax to best make use of it in websites and web applications? And why is Jeremy’s title at Clearleft currently “Lineman for the County”?

You can find Clearleft at

Check out the 2009 dConstruct conference at

UI14 is coming this November and you can learn more about it at

The Wikipedia entry for Jimmy Webb’s classic song “Wichita Lineman” is at

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Critique: EFI-X V1 Hackintosh Boot Processing Unit-The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Doug Jung joins Tim for a discussion of the Macintosh they built with the EFI-X V1 boot processing unit. The product enables the building of your own custom Macintosh and works somewhat as advertised, but reputed poor durability and consistently poor customer service from Art Studios Entertainment Media ruin what could have been a terrific customer experience. We even have a Fawlty Towers clip to illustrate ASEM’s customer service style.

You can find pictures of the V1 at the symbolically unusable EFI-X website on
(we’re so disgusted with EFI-X that we won’t directly link to them, you’ll have to type the address manually)

Unfortunately, you must register on the forums to read the complaints customers are having with the unit’s fragile nature and ASEM’s astounding indifference to the many valid criticisms of the product.

To read alternate, and in our opinion more accurate, information about the EFI-X V1 and V1.1, and to find possible alternatives, go to

Email from listener Alan closes the episode.

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4th Anniversary Episode: Talking Design with Michael Graves and Tony Hron

For the 4th anniversary episode of Design Critique, Michael Graves and Tony Hron from the Michael Graves Design Group join Timothy Keirnan to discuss product design:

* The wine glasses that [yellow tail] wines commissioned Michael Graves to make for their new wine[tails] mixed drinks. Pix will be at the show’s blog page as soon as they are released.

* Tim’s Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Hand Mixer, a part of the Michael Graves Design collection at Target stores. Pix are at the blog page now,

* General design discussion.

* Designing for accessibility in a world that still does not value universal design as it should.

Tim closes the episode with some listener feedback and his own reflections on doing the show for the past four years.

The press release for the wine glasses is at

Michael Graves’ firms are at

Wikipedia entry about Mr. Graves, focusing more on his architecture:

Michael Graves designs at Target:

The [yellow tail] website is

The [yellow tail] twitter address is

Listener Alan’s review site for iPod Touch/iPhone apps for young children is

When the final photos of the wine glasses we talked about are available, they will appear in the artwork for this episode.

Thanks for listening for the past four years, folks. Write a review of the show on iTunes if you’d like to help us celebrate.

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Redesigning the Blog Page Part 2

Design Critique album art

Colin Finkle from returns to discuss redesigning the blog page for the show. This episode is the sequel to DC56, and you might want to hear that one first before hearing this one.
In this second part of the series, Tim (in the role of client) tells Colin (in the role of consultant) what he envisions for the new blog page. Based on this episode, Colin will create a third mockup to display in a future episode along with the “client-free” mockups done by Colin on his own.
Amidst the discussion, Tim rants against those who disdain a typeface even though context may justify its use for a specific goal. Since when did joining form with function become unfashionable? Should design teams allow some elitist snobs’ whims of fashion dictate what typefaces should and should not be used for a purpose?

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Wordcast: Accessibility with Mike Elledge

Mike Elledge of MSU’s Usability & Accessibility Center joins Tim for a freewheeling, after-dinner discussion about accessibility in product designs. What is it, why should we care, and how do we achieve it? This episode explores the fundamental concepts of accessibility.

You can reach Mike at
ELLEDGE (followed by the at sign) MSU dot EDU

The MSU Usability & Accessibility Center is at

The W3C Web Accessibility initiative is at

Web Accessibility In Mind is at

Section 508 guidelines are at

CSUN Conference is at

Accessing Higher Ground Conference is at

The Blind Webbers listserv is at

The Web Axe podcast on accessibility is at

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Interview: Jim Jacoby on UX and Business Leadership Opportunity at IUE2009

Tim Keirnan interviews Jim Jacoby of Manifest Digital about “big picture” UX  and our ideal place inside companies. Jim’s presentation  was called “Interaction Designers As The Next Generation of Business Leaders”. Recorded at Internet User Experience 2009 on April 1st, Jim told us the following points:

* Why interaction designers should be the next generation of business leaders inside our companies.

* How traditional “business players” in companies have become commodities.

* Why “the creatives” in companies should step forward and help their companies innovate at the highest levels, not passively remain in the background.

* The danger of being an introvert while “empty megaphones” from other areas may lead your company in non-customer, unauthentic, non-innovative directions.

As a provocatively sincere and friendly revolutionary, Jim tells us about all this and more, including the importance of being “in the moment” with our end users/customers and coworkers.

Manifest Digital is found at

Jim’s blog, Everlasting Now, is at

The “mindful walking” exercise Tim mentioned came from his experience at Peaceful Dragon School in Ann Arbor:

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Interview: Neuro Web Design with Dr. Susan Weinschenk

Book cover for Neuro Web DesignAt Internet User Experience 2009, Tim Keirnan interviews Dr. Susan Weinschenk about her new book, Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click. How does the human brain process website use, and what can Web design teams do to better design websites for the subconscious as well as conscious mind? Recorded on April 1st, 2009, Dr. Weinschenk provides a brief overview of her book’s themes and answers Tim’s questions from her presentation earlier that day.

Dr. Weinschenk’s website for the book is

Make sure you visit the Fun Stuff tab to find her podcast and blog!

Susan works at Human Factors International, which you can find at

Finally, Deanna wrote to tell listeners about Zero Ink, an innovation for printing full color without the need for ink because the paper contains the colors. There’s a contest ongoing for all you print design professionals at

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Redesigning the Blog Page Part 1

Design Critique album artThis is the first episode in a series wherein host Tim and listener/volunteer Colin redesign the blog page for the show at  Our process for this “case study in the making” is:
1. Colin designs a new look and feel using only his impressions as a long-time listener of the show, with no input from “the client” (Tim). Tim wants to see what Colin would do without any input from “the client”.

2. Colin interviews Tim to ask questions he normally would ask a new client (this here episode, in fact) regarding branding opportunities for and background of Design Critique.

3. Colin iterates his “client-free” design based on what he learns in this interview.

4. Tim, still not having seen Colin’s first two designs, tells Colin his own goals for the new blog page, including both big picture concept and nitpicking details.

5. Colin creates a design based only on Tim’s (the client’s) needs.

6. Tim views all three designs, which will be shared with the listeners.

7. Colin and Tim debate the merits of the three designs and invite listeners to help evaluate their strengths and weaknesses through several UX methods.

8. A final design is iterated and put into production.

You can find Colin’s website at

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