Upon consciously looking for symbols and icons, I found that despite completing the assigned readings, I didn’t understand the distinction between the two. So, naturally, I googled it. “What is the difference between icons and symbols?” I looked through some Google images, read a few of the brief answers on the results page, and it still wasn’t clear to me — mostly because all of the above involved overlap between the two seemingly distinct concepts. I then began reading a Medium article written by a product designer named Purvi Chheda who said, “symbols are arbitrarily assigned to an object/concept and…


A website and eCommerce emporium that I am a big fan of is Thrive Market. The user flow that I typically engage in while on the site is one with the goal of purchasing gluten-free and organic food. My entry point is usually my browser unless they send a coupon code via email — I first type in the site (which automatically populates due to my frequenting!), swiftly followed by employment of the global search feature as I usually know exactly what I want during my visit.

Thrives presents users with a built-in auto suggestion feature in the search field…


A product that I’ve interacted extensively with — along with the majority of the world — is Google. In my opinion, the Google homepage is a design anomaly. While many search engines fill their landing pages with brimming, seemingly relevant content, Google remains consistent in their minimalist offering. The use of white space undergirds Google’s clean, simplistic aesthetic but also serves the CTA — the search field — with supreme effectiveness. …


Wikipedia defines IA as the art and science of organizing and labelling data to support usability within websites, intranets, online communities, software, books, and other mediums of information. The term itself was coined by Richard Wurman in the 1970s to encompass the groundbreaking concept of giving structure to information in order to yield clarity. Richard Wurman was said to be ahead of his time when sharing his ideas surrounding IA; he eventually published a book called Information Architects that speaks to a profession of people who organize data into logical maps that direct human understanding.

The concept of navigating vast…


In the 1980s, A&W released a hamburger called the “Third Pounder” in direct competition with the highly successful Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s. A&W’s burger contained more meat, while the same price of the Quarter Pounder, offering customers more bang for their buck; beyond size, the Third Pounder outshined the Quarter Pounder in blind taste testing, with consumers preferring the flavor of the former. So why did the Third Pounder fail? Developers of the volume-oriented burger overlooked the faulty assumption that their potential customer understood fractions. In order to better grasp the burger’s lack of success, A&W decided to do more…


We have been instructed to develop an ATM for children while applying the framework of Design Thinking to guide the process. Proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, the process of Design Thinking involves 5 stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test.

Empathize

Empathy is crucial in the development of any human-centered product — here, we put ourselves in the shoes of our younger counterparts and their feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and needs to gain direction toward valid solutions for them.

Considering a child’s development of fine motor skills and the necessity of touch screen interaction with a degree of precision…


When I think of great product design, Apple immediately comes to mind. They seem consistently successful at creating products that excel at being supremely functional while possessing the utmost social and emotional economy. I can still remember when I opened the box to my new iPhone — brain flooded with happy-inducing chemicals. Sleek to the touch, heft in my hand, components and aesthetics in beautiful harmony. The design of the device communicated what my next steps where — no assembly or supplemental pieces required — the potential for frustration null, the tool was whole and ready to be experienced immediately…

reina berumen

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