Weird buses exist in Singapore

I was going to my work place the other day and I took a bus that looks like this:

SBS bus with nice white chairs

Looks really strange to me. The design is not really practical. I think it probably is some special tie-up with Nokia or something. Was just thinking the bus could have carried a lot more people.

But still, it looks refreshing. I sat on one of those white chairs. There is even a fake bar top. What’s up with buses these days?!

How does IKEA design their products

Well, if you have the time, you can read the following. It’s very interesting to me – the way IKEA place effort in their design process and tweaking their designs to achieve greater cost savings.

“When we decide about a product, we always start with the price,” Deboehmler said. “Then, what is the consumer need?”

“When we start in the development process, we say we’d like to have a cabinet to hold a large screen TV that’s 42 inches, and priced out to come in at X dollars,” Marston said. “OK, now we’ve said we want it to retail at $500, arbitrarily. What can you make, what can you design, to make it at that price?”

From the beginning of the process, a variety of people get involved. Those include field technicians who are able to see what’s needed in the creation of a new product and determine if Ikea has already designed something similar that can be mined for parts or design inspiration.

Another example is a packaging technician.

“They’re always part of the team from way at the beginning, when the product is designed,” Deboehmler said. “We always have to find the smartest way to do something so that it can be flat-packed and minimize waste of space when transporting.”

With the Lillberg chair, the idea was to build a prototype at the factory–which the team did–and then to see what they had on their hands.

“After many, many days of trials, we thought we had it right,” Deboehmler said. “‘OK, this is the product.’ Our designer was on his hands and knees. Then we got it back to (Ikea headquarters in) Sweden and started taking it apart again, and decided we can make it better because we can fit more in the package if we changed the arm direction.”

By making a small tweak in the angle of the chair’s arm, she elaborated, the designers and packaging technician figured out they could get more of the chairs in a single shipping container, and that, in the end, meant a lower cost to the consumer.

“The arm (change) meant huge savings,” she said. Continue reading “How does IKEA design their products”

A new blog design – Dialectical subtlety

I updated my blog layout. Things are pretty messy in the past. The colors did not look right, the links aren’t working and I lost interest.

Theme: Dialectical subtlety

The key focuses of this theme are elegance, readability and simplicity.

ijustrealized Dialectical subtlet wordpress theme 1

Some powerful WordPress features – such as previous post links, categories and trackback information – are sort of removed or made less obvious. Tags are preferred over categories too, it is also the main method to sort the posts. Continue reading “A new blog design – Dialectical subtlety”

Tech talks can actually be very entertaining

I been to a couple of tech talks before. I shan’t named them but they haven’t exactly been very entertaining. The food, the food, the food is – erm – more interesting than some of the speakers.

Here we have Hans Rosling at two TED talks, both are entertaining. As a doctor and researcher, Hans Rosling identified a new paralytic disease induced by hunger in rural Africa. Now the global health professor is looking at the bigger picture, increasing our understanding of social and economic development with the remarkable trend-revealing software he created. (Stole it from here)

I embedded both his videos here. His data visualizations are really good. It’s an animated and playful presentation too.

Hans Rosling: New insights on poverty and life around the world (2007)

The software demonstrated was later purchased by Google in March 2007. Rosling met the Google founders at TED. Continue reading “Tech talks can actually be very entertaining”

BBC and Firefox 3 redesigned

It appears that BBC has undergone a redesign. It looks much cleaner now and I am still trying to figure out where to start. Previously BBC tries to push more information to the user. Today’s BBC tries to get the user to learn about what’s available and let them choose the content for themselves. It’s kinda a slightly refreshing approach to online news which often confuse me with too much pieces of news in one page. Try minimizing everything. I sort of feel happier seeing no information than some information, hahaa…

And also, Firefox 3’s new interface has gotten better. Ars did is a good write-up on what’s coming up. Honestly, I don’t like their back and front buttons. It looks almost hideous.

By the way Ars is one of the best websites to read about interfaces I notice. They don’t just take a bunch of screenshots that throw it online, Ars crops it nicely so you don’t have to move from page to page clicking and clicking. It’s a good effort.

Hat tip: citizen geek