Really loving these iPhone Post-it Notes

Many thanks to the folks at Apps-on for creating these handy Post-its of the iPhone 4. They're the exact size of the device, with a white area for sketching. Stick 'em on the wall, sketch the screen, stick another one on the wall and rinse and repeat. As soon as I opened the package I got started right away! They just release the iPad version so get 'em while they're hot!


The Power Law graph rears its head

I just dipped into our AddThis analytics page to see what content is being shared and to which services from the platform. I was surprised to see the Power Law Distribution graph in the results for "Services" people are sharing to. Facebook clearly takes the lead, followed by email a good distance down, then by Twitter. All the remaining services slowly taper off across the X-axis. I know what you're thinking, "Hey Tom, what about the "Other" bar, that throws off the graph?" At first glance, yes it does, but "Other" is a clustering of all of the other social platforms out there in the interwebs. If each was broken out, the long tail would continue to grow longer and longer. So there you have it.

Want to learn more about the Power Law Distribution Graph? Check the Wikipedia entry.


Clay Shirkey's Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations is a great read that points out other places the Power Law graph shows its face.


One of my logo designs, out there in the wild.

My sister-in-law opened up a high fashion clothing store located in Kikar Hamedina,
Tel Aviv, Israel. and needed a logo for her branding. I workshopped some concepts with her to get at the core of her business. This is the final piece, turned from a digital file into a physical real-world object. I've included the original file as well for comparison. The sign makers did a great job. I didn't expect that they would use extruded shapes for the sign and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

We went through many back and forth rounds to choose the typeface. But the final choice was Raniscript, which had the right tone to it. The squiggle was drawn freehand.

And here's a JPEG of my Illustrator file.



Recommended reading for User Experience & Interaction Designers

I was asked today by an intern that will be starting with us here at House Party, Inc. what books she should read in preparation. While nobody would expect someone to devour a stack of books in a week, here's the list I came up with by looking over at my bookshelf.


Designing the Moment by Robert Hoekman Jr.

Designing the Obvious by Robert Hoekman Jr.

Web Anatomy: Interaction Design Frameworks that Works by Rober Hoekman Jr. & Jared Spool

Communicating Design – Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning – Dan Brown 

A Project Guide to UX Design by Ross Unger and Carolyn Chandler 

Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug 

Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter

Prototyping by Todd Zaki Warfel

Designing Social Interfaces by Christian Crumlish & Erin Malone

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Louis Rosenfeld & Peter Morville (the Polar Bear Book)

About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann & David Cronin

Designing With the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules by Jeff Johnson


Cognitive & Behavioral Psychology (after all, we're designing for people, and people are complicated messes)

Fundamentals of Cognitive Psychology by Dr. Ronald T. Kellogg

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions by Daniel Ariely



On the topic of "Product Design" generally (not just web-based applications but technologies of many kinds)

The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman

Emotional Design - Why we love (or hate) everyday things by Donald A. Norman

Sketching User Experiences - Getting the Design Right, and the Right Design by Bill Buxton

Designing for People by Henry Dreyfus

The Inmates are Running the Assylum by Alan Cooper

Designing Interactions by Gillian Crampton Smith

Now for some Mobile User Experience, strategy & Design books:

Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps by Josh Clark

Mobile Design and Development: Practical Concepts and Techniques for Creating Mobile Sites and Web Apps by Brian Fling

Designing the iPhone User Experience by Suzanne Ginsburg


First sketch with my LiveScribe pen


(the first few frames of this clip is a previous page in my notebook that I can't figure out how to remove from this preview, the sketching comes a second or two into the clip)

What you see is the public view of a sketch from my notebook, drawn with my new LiveScribe pen. The ghosted grey lines are the final drawing, and after hitting the PLAY button, you'll see green lines animated on as if they were tracing a drawing. Those green lines are my original pen strokes being played back in real time, along with the audio recorded during the session. I was lying in bed trying to put a stubbord 4.5 year old to bed, so I figured I'd use the time to test out my new pen.

Mostly you'll hear the sound of the pen nib on the paper, since the room was very quiet. This pen is incredibe!

While watching the playback, click anywhere on the lines of the drawings to skip to that moment in time when they were drawn.