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Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Thank you Steve Jobs

Apple - Steve Jobs - Hong Kong design student Jonathan Mak, possible a homage to a Raid71 design.

Thanks, Steve
We’ve all been lucky to live in a world where there was a person with such an imagination

The above and what follows is from an editorial written by Stanley Bing who contributes his wisdom and writing skills to every issue of FORTUNE. It alone is worth the price of a subscription.

“I WANTED TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY before time and our common mortality rob me of the chance to do so, to thank you, Steve Jobs, for all that you have done for me. No, I never had the privilege of meeting you, or had a chance to get yelled at by you in a business meeting, or even watch your charisma transform an audience into acolytes. But I feel as if I know you well enough to express, as you ascend to your new role as chairman, the sadness I feel and my gratitude for so many of the good things that you have brought to my life. It‘s not business, it’s personal.

I want to thank you for my graphical interface. There were computers, of course, before you made that first Mac. They could run only one program at a time. They had no graphics. You knew that was lame. You imagined the alternative—multiple programs, launched by clicks, running concurrently in a windowed field. Last night I I watched a movie, printed photos, harvested e-mail, and bought a bunch of business socks, all at the same time. So thanks for my GUI.

I want to thank you for my mouse. Can you imagine a world without mousses? I can’t. Before you bred them for commercial use, a person needed a host of keyboard commands to get anything done, and a lot programming code to produce words and numbers on paper. I read somewhere that you got the vision after you visited Xerox’s PARC. They showed you what they were up to, but they sort of didn’t know what they had. You ran with it. Because that’s the way you did everything. All in. Feet first.

I want to thank you for all Macs, great and small. I went to your Apple store the other day and saw a tidy row of new machines, from the slender new Airs to the massive towers of power. I wanted every one. They’re pretty and shiny, unlike my big old black rubberized clunker the corporation gave me, and the last time I got a virus was just before I put my Windows PC into the closet. That was when I sent the phrase “I love you” to 22,000 fellow employees and the CEO “I love you, too, but let’s not let anybody know,” he-mailed back.

I want to thank you for my Airport Extreme, the small white box through which I get my Internet. Before it, I used to have to plug it in and configure this horrible router. It never worked. I often ended up screaming and crying and throwing hardware at the wall. This thing? You just plug it in and use it. Sometimes as I fall asleep I watch the little fellow, with its round eye glowing green in the darkness, a beacon of easy functionality.

Thanks for my iPod, which pretty much defined how I listen to music now. And for iTunes, which you made too easy not to understand. And for my iPad, too which despite all is really nothing more than an Angry Birds machine. No, you can’t work on it. So what? Work isn’t everything.

And thanks for my new iPhone, which channels a million apps and does everything well except the phone part. A pompous Silicon Valley dude I know used to say, with a weary grin, “every year is the year for mobile.” Until you decided it was, Steve. And so I never have to generate a single unaided thought for the rest of my life. What a relief!

And oh,yeah. Thanks for TOY STORY too. And UP. Really loved UP.

Its been your world, Steve. And we’ve been lucky enough to run along behind you, picking up goodies as you dropped them in our path. It’s a little scary to think that one day you’ll go off to your famous mountaintop and not return with the next big thing. But at least we can all say we lived in a time when there was a person with such an imagination and offer thanks in whatever digital or analog format we choose, wherever on earth we may be. We can do that now.”

A quote from this addresses says it all.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart”

The only addition I care to add to this tribute to this great man is that Steve Jobs real legacy is APPLE itself. Without fanfare he quietly made sure his beloved company was built to last.

A Website To Make You Weep

Featuring the wisdom of Denny Hatch.

If you’re reading this on my BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE blog then I’m pretty sure you have the desire to start your own mail order business. There are few things more important than making sure your website is customer friendly, easy to read and to navigate. If not you’re wasting your money because your prospect who somehow has found you will not order what you are selling.

Denny Hatch one of the great freelance mail order copywriters and a regular columnist in TARGET MAGAZINE has some words of wisdom for you. This is from his column in the May 2011 issue.

“Summers during the 1960’s I used to spend an occasional weekend in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, and would go to Tanglewood to hear the Boston Symphony. I remember going into a restaurant in the area one evening where a young African American jazz musician named Randy Weston was at the piano. Fifty years later, I can see him in my mind’s eye and still hear the wonderful sounds.”

“Fast forward to March 2011. It was announced that the Randy Weston Quintet would be playing in the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. I went online to see about tickets and learn more about Randy Weston’s life in the years since I heard him that one time and immediately came to his website”.


“Go to and you’re greeted with a handsome black and blue landing page with a sound bite of his music and a slowly spinning outline map of Africa that cross-fades into a piano then morphs into a photograph of the 85-year-old jazz legend. However it’s all downhill from there”.

“Page after page is made up of tiny dark blue or gray type against a deeper blue background. Here is a web designer showing off ‘design’ and not giving a damn whether the viewer can read anything. The site is a textbook example of what’s terrible in website design these days.”

“Quite simply the Internet—for all its flash and filigree—is essentially a print medium. Start with the basic unit: the landing page. ‘Page’ is a print term. The rules of print apply. Among them:”

  1. ‘Type smaller than nine-point is difficult for most people to read.’—David Ogilvy
  2. ‘Never set your copy in reverse (white type on a black background) and never set it over a gray or colored tint. The old school of art directors believed that these devices forced people to read the copy; we now know that they make reading physically impossible’—David Ogilvy.
  3. “Avoid ‘gray walls of type.’ Try to make the first paragraph no more than 3 lines, and no paragraph longer than seven lines”.

The reason to go to Randy Weston’s website is to learn about his work—performance schedule, biography, recordings, photos and perhaps to buy an album or two.

“Yet the design gets in the way of the visitor and makes it difficult. Take a look at two websites to see what I am talking about: Randy Weston’s ( and mine (”.

“I designed my site and wrote the copy. It is not elegant, not pretty and will certainly win no awards. In fact, it’s ugly. But by golly, when you get there, you know exactly what I’m about, and what I want the visitor to do—buy my new book. In ample supply are info and some fun stuff to help make the buy-or-won’t-buy decision. And I follow the basic rule Make it easy to read and to order”.

“On Randy Weston’s site, his discography of 44 albums is unreadable—white reverse mousetype (seven-point or less!) on a blue background—as are the pages devoted to each album. If you can’t read the copy, you won’t order.”

“The tested, tried- and- true rules of design are alive and well on the Internet. What’s dead are websites created by unschooled goofballs who are breaking the rules and haven’t a clue what rules they are breaking”

To thank you for taking the time to read through my longer than usual blog, I’d be pleased to send you a copy of Denny Hatch’s “22 Rules Everyone Needs to Know to Guarantee Internet Success”. No cost, no obligation. Just shoot me an email.

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