unintentional fail-safe messages

The Bluetooth audio-receiver in audio-casette form-factor that’s been making the rounds on the gadget-porn sites today is kinda cool; My First RedBox was in a modified audio-casette case, so I understand the appeal … but, seriously, who has an audio-casette deck anywhere anymore? If you’ve got a $500 bluetooth-capable digital audio player, you’ve probably swapped out your car’s crusty tape deck for $50…

In any case, that’s not important right now. What is important is that you carefully read the small text at the bottom of the casette…

First, read the left-side text, and note that – while slightly strange – it’s basically coherent, and an important instruction! Now, read the right-side text and realize that it’s supposed to be read straight across. I can’t believe that it was intentional that the left-side text is a stronger assertion than the text as a whole … i.e., if you only read the left you wouldn’t even glance at the screw, but when you read the whole thing you understand that you’re allowed to. With different wording and line-breaking, it may have resulted in something entirely less safe.

information design x2

Two examples of nifty information design I saw today:

  1. The Periodic Table of Perl (via lemonodor ).
  2. The recipe descriptions at cookingforengineers.com.

Information design is one of those things that involves talent, time, passion and creativity, and “a good eye” … I wish I could do it at all, let alone well.