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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Ten Awesome Internet Easter Eggs

Posted by & filed under HTML + CSS.

After countless hours of scouring the web in the name of research, I am proud to present to you a list of ten awesome internet Easter eggs ripe for the plucking. Enjoy the surprises and have a happy holiday.

10. The Things Meatloaf Would Do For Love

skybet

We don’t condone placing your bets while at work but the folks over at SkyBet have you covered in case the boss sneaks around the corner as you’re taking care of business. Click the little icon in the upper right above the Facebook icon and you’ll get a wonderful spreadsheet with your ‘work’ and also a list of the things Meatloaf would do for love.

9. Break me off a Piece of that ASCII Code

kit-kat

Across a handful of Nestlé websites one may simply ‘look under the hood’ by viewing the source code to reveal logos drawn with text. Check out the Kit Kat homepage and view the source code.

8. Digg, Dive and Roll

digg-roll

Every gamer, dead or alive, knows of the legendary Konami Code. For those of you not familiar, it’s a cheat code originally found in many video games published by Konami. During the title screen before the game demo begins, the player could press a sequence of buttons on the game controller to enable the cheat. Now for some fun we can head over to Digg.com and after the page loads simply use your keyboard arrows and buttons to input the following:

↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A

7. The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

hitchhikers-guide-to-galaxy

Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and within it there’s a popular central joke: “The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.” Searching Google for “the answer to life, the universe, and everything” will return this answer.

6. It’s Bigger on the Inside

tardis

This one is definitely a personal favorite and many Doctor Who fans can rejoice. Google has added a feature to their maps that allows you to explore the TARDIS. Click the first image to see inside the TARDIS and walk around a bit.

5. Zerg Rush

zerg-rush

The term originates from the game Starcraft in which the ‘Zerg’ race is notoriously known for its ability to mass-produce offensive units within a short time frame, thus allowing the player to overpower the opponent by sheer number. This Google search will literally overwhelm you until there are no results left over.

4. Eggcyclopedia

easter-egg

Wikipedia has it’s own Easter egg right on the Easter Egg media page. Just click on the turtle in the image.

3. Pöpcørn

swedish-chef

A Youtube video posted by The Muppets has the Swedish Chef making popcorn shrimp closed captioned with his own Swedish dialect translation.

2. Error 404: Now What?

zork

Every site has error pages set up and one in particular is the infamous 404 page. When a browser attempts to load a page that doesn’t exist a 404 page is generally loaded. In the case of THCNet.net, the error page has a built in text-based role playing game called Zork. Enjoy!

1. Atari Breakout

atari-breakout

Last, but not least, Google also has a love for gamers. Search “atari breakout” and click on the images tab at the top of the page and you’ll have full access to Google’s version of Atari Breakout. Happy Easter!

No Detail is Too Small

Posted by & filed under Brand Marketing, Corporate Identity, Think Tank.

In any successful organization, a common root to achieving today’s goals is based on a notion that no detail is too small to overlook. When designing for the world the smallest features have the capabilities of making or breaking an idea.

Thumbs Down for the Thumbs Up

Several months ago, Facebook announced the first redesign of their ‘Like’ button that had survived the web and made a large, iconic stamp on the internet. Why? With over 22 billion views a day across millions of websites, Facebook still decided it was time for a brand-leading makeover, according to the new button’s designer, Hugo van Heuven.

Absolutely nothing changed within the functionality of the button, just it’s form. It was deepened to a royal blue and the well established thumbs up icon was replaced with Facebook’s own icon. “The Like button was this light blueish thing that usually fell away,” van Heuven tells Co.Design in a recent article. “We thought we could make it more prominent, look a little bit better, and be more consistent.” Here, van Heuven speaks about consistency and not just with the brand itself, but also across the 7.5 million sites that use it. An interesting point is the ‘new’ blue color and new, reliable pixel dimensions allow for a cleaner corporate brand across the entire internet, ease of use for programmers and designers, and a heightened appeal to like things. This was definitely not a small detail to overlook and by treating it as a large overhaul ended up boosting the corporate brand and message simultaneously.

Go Ahead, Get Stuck and Watch Creativity Burst

Struggling for an idea is definitely not new to anyone in any field of design and development. If anything, it’s the first step towards solving the problem. Adapting to change is also a part of climbing out of a dark place and shine a light on the answer. Like a star gone supernova, the ideas will begin bursting from the core of the hippocampus.

Google+ has been slowly releasing updates and one in particular is the way link posts are viewed. Google also updated Hangouts to display messages similar to other messengers on the market similar to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The link posts also resemble the easy-to-read post structure of Facebook. The big ideas here were legibility, simplicity, and simply what works with the intended targets. All internet users tend not to know what they want but do tend to gravitate towards what works when it comes to ease of use and engageability. The answer to Google’s issues of pleasing their users and expanding their audience was simply to bring the features of other social media outlets and unveil similar features with the Google brand. The end user gets what they want (without actually knowing they wanted it) within the intended platform, stimulating the right endorphins to keep the audience using the products.

Did it Change for the Better or Just for Good?

The overall Facebook and Google changes were very small and nothing impacted the entire site directly other than the indirect changes that allow the end users to have a better user experience. The question now: Did anything change for the better or just for good?

We know for a fact that whatever changes has been changed for good. Facebook, Google, Twitter and the myriad of social media sites borrowing from each other and accounting for their audiences’ needs are working for the better. When a change doesn’t work we see changes revert as Facebook has done before as well as slowly rolling out minor changes to eventually create a major, all-around change. In the case of TED, a major site revamp was scheduled for the first time since the site debuted in 2007 and all its users were allowed to dabble with the new design and features for some time before the release.

Ideas aren’t frozen in time. They are living and breathing things, and they continue to evolve after a talk is given. Our speakers have told us they want a way to offer more ideas and resources than fit in an 18-minute talk. And we’ve heard loud and clear from you that you want to be able to dig deeper.

— TED Staff from Introducing the new TED.com

Not only did the design and development teams offer a better video playback experience with a much more clear and organized use of space but addressed a host of questions, comments and concerns from the overall users: Ideas evolve. So must the talk, its page and contents. Mobile and non-mobile users now share a similar experience with crisp audio and video. Not too familiar with English? Access over 100+ languages with auto-scroll transcripts. A user may even monitor his or her actions and influence on each individual post. These were all very extensive additions to TED as well as showing that each minor detail was not small at all. Each was specifically solving a problem that addressed the needs of the target audience. There is no such thing as a small detail. If the smallest change has stimulated more activity, boosted interest to new and old users and expanded the user experience and interface, then the small change was a big success.

What Does 5 Days of TED Feel Like?

Posted by & filed under Infographic, Think Tank.

TED 2014 has come and gone. Lucy Farey-Jones is asked the question, “What does five days of TED feel like?”

Upon my re-entry to the real world, friends, clients and folks at my firm say: ‘How was TED?’ And there is a big pause from me as my brain tries and fails to sum it up. It’s an impossible question to answer. It’s like being asked ‘How is food?’ or ‘Puberty — how was it?’ Which is where this idea came in. I thought a way to answer this daunting question would be to make a graphic which tries to capture how TED makes me feel. I gave myself the challenge to capture 5 days in one page.

Click here to see her infographic in full detail.