Design simplicity

There’s an article by Donald Norman that has been stirring up controversy online. Whereas last time I thought he was wrong, this time I think he’s right—mostly.

In general, he’s correct that people don’t buy the simple, well-designed stuff. Instead, they buy the stuff that looks like it has the most features; and they tell what that is by looking at how many settings and controls it has.

Not always, though. The best exception that proves the rule is the now almost ubiquitous iPod.

Random acts of kindness #1

A few weeks ago I read on bOING bOING about a music industry royalties collection agency responsible for webcasting and satellite radio. After much reluctance they had finally put up a list of artists they owed money to, but said they had found it impossible to track down. I decided to take a look at the list. Sure enough, there were a bunch of artists I’m a fan of. Of those, there were several I knew it would be trivial to track down on the web.