Carousels: finally, one that’s all grown up

Design, UX

I’ve always been suspicious of web carousels, especially those that auto-rotate. That’s because the reader can’t control the rate at which information is disseminated*. They might want to look more closely, and POW! you’ve moved them onto the next graphic. Silly rabbit: Let the reader decide if and when to advance to the next slide.

But even if they don’t auto-rotate, they still make me itch, and that’s because there is little to no indication for the reader as to what they’ll find at their next stop. A few years ago, we saw many web carousels like this:

App Review: eBriefing

App Review
Screenshot of eBriefing app - table of contents

This is, effectively, a table of contents. A pretty table of contents.

eBriefing is an enterprise app developed by some of my friends and colleagues at MetroStar. It is a system comprising a Builder (a SharePoint-based web tool to help people build digital briefing books) and a Reader (a free mobile app that lets people consume digital briefing books). I will confine my thoughts here to the Reader, which I downloaded and explored on my iPad. I have not yet seen a demo of the Builder.

App Review: Guide

App Review

Today I got an email from a friend¬†announcing the launch of her team‘s new app, Guide. The concept is fantastic: it styles itself as a newsreader app that turns online news and blogs into TV.

Screenshot from the Guide app

She looks normal here (except for the nineties flannel…because all news anchors dress that caj) but believe you me, it’s weird when her lips move and eyes blink robotically.

From their description in the App Store:

Guide allows you to consume more of your favorite web content while you do other tasks like working, exercising, cooking, eating, or even getting ready in the morning. Our news anchors read the content to you while presenting the most important elements from the article like videos, images, and comments.

Now that’s an app I can get behind: I love the idea of listening and barely watching while I do other things (knit, for example). So I was one of…everyone else on the planet, apparently who downloaded this app yesterday. But I have to say, I don’t get it.

an iPad case for an executive

Design, UX

My employer recently got me a nice new iPad to use for research and design purposes. They also gave me a rooCASE “executive” leather case in which to keep it. I love the iPad. But I’ve used this case for about two weeks, and I have to say, it doesn’t work for me. Why? Because it was designed by a dude. An old-school dude. It’s a case that Gordon Gekko would love.



I don’t have empirical evidence of this product’s designer’s age, gender, or favorite Wall Street character, but I’m comfortable calling it: this case was designed by a dude with an MBA from the oldest of schools. Here’s why: