Friday, October 31, 2008

"What Main Street Can Learn from the Mall" Questions

1. Gibbs uses a lot of criteria to evaluate a Main Street. Some criteria include how clean an area is. People will be turned off to a place that is dirty or doesn't look nice. Another thing is how safe a place may be. There should be a visible police present around, removing benches that may interest loiters, keeping the sidewalks clean and having very good lighting to make the customers safe. The location of stores is another thing that Gibbs evaluates. He says to never have a clothing store near a restaurant or never on the north side of a street. Restaurants can prosper on side streets and less- desirable locations and they should never be located on the western side. He also believes in the no left turn rule. People do not want to stop for a second to turn across traffic when they are on their way home so they will ignore the store. Also stores must have a very good display to try and catch a drivers attention. They have a second to get the driver interested. A lot of the criteria that he evaluates is the same that would be evaluated for a mall.

2. I do not think that "Main Street" should be a mall. Although it has a lot of features of a mall it still has that certain randomness that it needs to not be a mall. It also attracts more people because the not many people like to shop in the malls any more. It gives people a different kind of place to shop in rather then inside in a mall that can be frustrating to people.

3. I think that location is very important. Making the people feel safe by having a police presence noticeable. Keeping the location clean and simple to attract more people. Location of the stores would be very important. Having the no left turn policy in affect. Just trying to make it a friendly atmosphere and making it better than a mall because people are getting sick of them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Retail Analysis

1. The store I observed was Victoria's Secret in Jackson, MI. They market teenage girls up to middle-aged women.

2. a.)The appearance of the store entrance from the outside is at the top are big and pink letters that say "Victoria's Secret". There are golden arches for the entrance surrounded by glass windows on both sides. Two manikins are on display wearing the latest bra and underwear. There are also signs all on the windows.
b.) Inside the store, a soft pop type of music. It was an upbeat type trying to make the customer feel happy to be in the store. The volume is not that loud either making it easier to look around.
c.) The merchandise are laid out on tables and other types are hung up on the sides of the store near the walls. The products are all separated and put together with the same type of products. There was really no set way how the store was separated. One product would be in one part of the store and it could also be in a different part.
d.) The floors are carpeted. Of course the color is pink. This carpet gives off a certain girly look being soft and pink.
e.) There are many signs displayed throughout the entire store. Many signs on the tables and on the walls labeling sales. Other signs may indicate the price of a certain item. The signs are all so big and two-sided making it very easy to read from either direction. The font is a very readable but girly type of font.
f.) The cashier area is in the back of the store. Many different types of lipsticks, lotions, or eye shadow are near the area. The items are small and cheaper to try and get the customer to buy one more item before checking out. These products are intentionally put there.

3. The image this business tries to project is a sexy, and classy look. The pictures of models all around the store are of beautiful women in only their bras and underwear. Some of these models have glasses on to try and show a more classy look. The products them self give off a sexy and classy look by the type of material they are made up of. There are also colorful products.

4. I noticed that a majority of the customers were women. They would pick up different kinds of underwear that were on display and pick them up and put them down and just go through the entire table doing the same thing. With the products hanging up some customers would pull a certain product out look at it put it back and then just shuffle through the rest of the clothes looking for the right one. Another thing I noticed is that women would hold a product up to their body and look at one of the many mirrors around the store and see how a product looked.

5. One thing that I found interesting is how the store was separated in three parts with each part being a different type of wallpaper. One part was pink polka-dots all on the walls, then another part was pink stripes all on the wall, and then near the back in the third part were pink hearts all around. I also thought that the amount of mirrors was very interesting. There were many mirrors around the store. Another thing was near the back where the cashier was were a lot of clearance sale items. This makes the customer go through the whole store to get to the cheaper products.

P.S. I went into the store with my girlfriend and she kind of helped me describe some of the features in the store.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"The Science of Shopping" Questions

1. I think that one of the main points in this article is that customers are continually doing things when they go to stores without realizing it and that retail stores should do something because of it. Stores need to make their stores and products noticeable to customers because the average customer likes to be in and out of stores and they like to buy the product and get out. There are many design tactics in a store to get a customer to go throughout the entire store trying to get them to buy things that they didn't come in for. People are becoming aware of these tactics and avoiding them making it harder to sell products for the store.

2. After reading this article I feel that I often do the things that Paco said without even realizing it. I like the stores that are very easy to look around and are separated making it easier to find clothes. I like when the store is designed for men's items to be on the right side and the women's on the left. The colors and lighting of a store also influence whether I go in or not. I like stores with a lot of lighting and colors that are very nice to look at. I do not like going into stores that are dark because it is hard to see the clothes and it kind of gives off a nasty mood.

3. A check list would include How the store is separated. Whether it is easy or not to find products and you don't have to search all over for them. The lighting has to be very good so the customer can actually see what they are looking at. The colors of the store should give off a nice, uplifting mood and not so much a bad or nasty one. Put attractive things on display to try and get the customer to buy it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Isn't it Iconic?" Questions

1. Packaging is important in marketing a product because the company is trying to have their product stand out from the rest. A customer may be looking at a product that is made by two different companies and they could be the exact same thing but the customer may buy a certain product just because of the packaging. Packaging is one of the main ways companies pull customers in. Most customers will look at the product and if it has nice visceral designing the customer will more likely choose the more attractive one. An example of how a package has influenced my decision to buy something are certain special edition DVDs. There is always a basic package for the DVD that is less expensive but then there are the special editions that have a very cool package and design that makes you want to spend the extra money just because of the case.

2. A product that has iconic packaging is Budweiser beer. Everyone can tell a Budweiser beer from any other kind of beer. It has had the same design look for many years and it has just the basic colors of red and white like a lot of iconic packaging. Other products that try to be iconic include all types of Cologne and perfume. It seems like almost all Cologne and perfume bottles are trying to make their product more attractive by making very cool bottles.

3. An issue that could occur is having difficulty with the plastic packaging. It is sometimes hard to remove the plastic. An example would have to be with DVD and CD plastic that covers it may take some time to remove. Another issue could be the amount that is in the product. A certain packaging look may seem like there is more of a product when there actually is not as much as you would think. Looks can sometimes be deceiving when you evaluate the product and its look.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015" Questions

1. This reading relates to the concept of user-focused design that we have discussed in class because a lot of this is dealing with things involving the user of the website. It is all about the user of the website and what they do or what they need to do with the website. The reading talks about how the creator of the website should only care about the user and nothing else. The user does not care about the creator, they only care about doing what they need to do with the website. This is also one of the more important points of design with products. Customers do not care about the designers or how it is designed they only care about the product and if it will do what they want it to. The designer must make something that the customer wants and will be able to use easily.

2. I feel that one of the most important points was the first one about nobody caring about you or the web site. I think that this is very important because it is very true. Nobody really cares about who designed what, all they care about is if that website is helpful to them and has what they need. Another important point is the navigational failure point. If a website is hard to navigate around most people will leave the site to try and find a different one. It is also a plus when the navigational features are easy to locate because everyone likes easy to use websites. I think one of the most important points has to deal with the lack of the heroin content. A successful site is one that keeps on having you come back for more. I personally go to many sites like that and they are almost always updated and addicting to go back to each day.

3. It should be very user friendly and easy to use. It should be appealing at first glance and state what the website is all about. The navigation should be easy to use and easy to follow. The website should be very addictive and get users to keep coming back for more. Finally, the website should be helpful to everyone that visits and every user should get what they wanted out of going to the website.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Know it All" Questions

1. I think that one of the main points in this article is the comparing of Wikipedia to Britannica's Encyclopedia. Another point of this article is to show the strengths and the weaknesses that Wikipedia have. I also think that another point would have to be about how many people go to Wikipedia and actually rely on it. Also that people like the fact that Wikipedia has information on a lot more subjects then regular encyclopedias.

2. Wikipedia may be the world’s most ambitious vanity press. There are two hundred thousand registered users on the English-language site, of whom about thirty-three hundred—fewer than two per cent—are responsible for seventy per cent of the work. The site allows you to compare contributors by the number of edits they have made, by the number of articles that have been judged by community vote to be outstanding (these “featured” articles often appear on the site’s home page), and by hourly activity, in graph form. A seventeen-year-old P. G. Wodehouse fan who specializes in British peerages leads the featured-article pack, with fifty-eight entries. A twenty-four-year-old University of Toronto graduate is the site’s premier contributor. Since composing his first piece, on the Panama Canal, in 2001, he has written or edited more than seventy-two thousand articles. “Wikipediholism” and “editcountitis” are well defined on the site; both link to an article on obsessive-compulsive disorder. (There is a Britannica entry for O.C.D., but no version of it has included Felix Unger’s name in the third sentence, a comprehensive survey of “OCD in literature and film,” or a list of celebrity O.C.D. sufferers, which unites, surely for the first time in history, Florence Nightingale with Joey Ramone.)

I think that this passage is effective because it gives out specific numbers and facts. It shows what kind of people are contributing to Wikipedia and how much they are contributing to the site. This passage is also showing the growing popularity of the site and how people are getting obsessed or addicted to contributing.

3. Wikipedia's design is a very simple and appealing to most people. Searching for something is quite easy. All you have to do is type the thing you are searching for and something will show up. I also like Wikipedia's contents box, it is very visible and can help when you want to look up something specific on a certain subject without looking throughout the entire article. Britannica's design is also very appealing to the eye. It is not as plain as Wikipedia by having a little color in the background. There are ads at the top of the page which may be unappealing to few people. The contents section is not that big and you can not see all of the contents at once like in Wikipedia. Also, with Britannica when you search different items come up that could be related to that subject which can be helpful at times. I think that Wikipedia is going for the simple, easy to use site while Britannica is going for the slightly more complex and more reliable look.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


1. Simplicity and complexity clearly contributes to Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective design is some way. I feel that both simplicity and complexity are evident in both visceral and reflective but I think that more times complexity is used. There are some visceral and reflective design that could be fairly simple and they can help someone express themselves. For the most part tho Complexity is more popular. People are looking for things that are flashy and can express themselves more. I think that with behavioral design simplicity should be a bigger part of that design, but I feel that complexity now is used more often. I feel that people think that complexity is better with products just because it can do more functions, but I think that things would be a lot easier if simplicity was used more often. I think that it all depends on the product and what people think is best when it comes to simplicity and complexity.

2. Sometimes complex things can be more more desirable. One thing that comes to my mind is my friend's microwave. It is a really cool microwave that can do all of these different options. It has a toaster on it plus all of these really fancy buttons. The first time I tried to use the machine I could not even get it started. Once i figured it out i learned how to use the basic toaster and the microwave features but not much else. I still would like to get that microwave but not anytime soon.

When I bought my first cell phone as a freshman in high school I picked out a phone because the complexity of it made it more desirable. The screen of the phone could turn 180 degrees which, it turned out, served no real purpose; however, when I was in the store looking at phones it looked the coolest.

I picked these two passages by Andy and Kenny because they both had to deal with complexity. They both had desired something because of the complexity of the product and thought that the looks were very cool. With Andy's post he talks about it being complex and how he could not even get the thing started the first time, but he learned the basic features and nothing else. I think that many people do this now a days, instead of learning how to do everything a product does they just learn the basics meaning that simplicity would have been a better choice. With Kenny's post he talks about his cell phone that looked cool and the phone did something that had no real purpose. This is also being done more often with purchases of products. People often buy stuff just for looks or something cool that it can do instead of other important features. I think that complexity is not always the best thing, but it seems like everything is becoming more complex in today's society.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Simplicity Is Highly Overrated Questions

1. Something that I did buy where complexity was more desirable was actually very recent. I bought an HP All-in-One printer. I bought this printer because it had different functions a regular printer could not do. Now I still don't know how to do all those other functions but I still like that I have the opportunity to do those functions if I ever needed to. I could have easily bought a simple printer that only printed paper for a lot less, but of course I wanted the more expensive printer just because it cost more and had more functions.

2. I think that complexity is justified when the product does many functions that are needed and can be figured out with a little help. I think that there are a lot of products out there that may look very complex and could be complex when it is your first time working with the product, but I think that if you actually read directions or call for help the product becomes better in the long run. I think that simplicity is most important when someone just wants a product for one certain function and does not care about any other functions it does. I think that a good example of that is with tools. Not a lot of tools are used for more then one or two functions.

3. The poster in my room of "Fight Club" is an example of Visceral Design because when I saw the poster at the poster sale it caught my eye and I had a predetermined mindset that the movie "Fight Club" was cool. Visceral Design is significant because from the very first time we see a product, we have an almost predetermined opinion of it.

I thought this post by Kenny was interesting because I had talked about movie posters when I talked about Visceral Design. This was also a different way visceral design was used with movie posters because in my post I had said that the posters made an impact on whether you go out and buy the movie or see the movie, but with this it was opposite. Kenny had seen the movie first and because of that he decided to buy the poster. I also agree that we almost always have a predetermined opinion of it.