George Orwell

English

Neat grids, clear typography, and generous white space may draw my attention, but vague or inaccurate diction and disregard for basic grammar send me away. This is as true of tabs and checkboxes as articles and marketing copy. What good is a perfectly placed, sized, and colored button if its label is vague? Suggested reading: George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language"

Blog navigation

Blog navigation

Ever gotten to the bottom of a blog and clicked "next" or"newer" only to find out you wanted "back" or "older"? I have. Context is key here. The ubiquitous left and right arrows are okay if I know where I am and I can skip to a specific page. Top pick: ILoveTypography.com (it's in the middle).

Handy return envelope for the Preserve toothbrush.

Preserve toothbrush package

I like the funny looking curve of the Preserve toothbrush, which helps me brush gently. I like that it's made of recycled stuff. But I really love the package that also acts as a post-paid return envelope to recycle the brush when you're done. It's the simple things, isn't it?

Join.me

join.me

Screen sharing has historically been pretty hairy. Spend a couple hours setting it up, then hope it all works. Join.me turns that all into just a couple of clicks by ditching software installation and account creation. It's handy for working with techies, and basically the only option for working with normal people. And it's free!

Startup sound

Both Windows and OSX have startup sounds. An inspirational little tone to tell you, "In case you didn't notice, you pressed the power button!" Maybe it's good for accessibility. Maybe some people like it. For me it just causes problems in classes, meetings, and libraries. In Windows I can shut it off, but OSX seems to require some hacking. Is a checkbox too much to ask for?

Hulu reolution controls.

Hulu resolution control

Every once in a while I like to watch a little Hulu. The service has been pretty handy for me, since I don't have a TV and don't like TV shows enough to pay for them. But after three years using Hulu, it still doesn't know that I like 480p better than 360p. I don't want an account. Will you just set a cookie and remember the resolution, please?

Steamfresh veggies

Steamfresh vegetables

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the picture of a microwave on the Steamfresh bag actually shows the right cook time for that bag. It's the most critical bit of information, so it really deserves this big, easy-to-find presentation. Small detail, but it makes me happy every time I don't have to read the directions on the back just for the time.

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