Ross Oliver


Sunnyvale, CA

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  • 52 Comments
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  • "The black fonts on the white hanging signs are still too small, and there's plenty of room to make them bigger. Why waste the space? "If you can read this, you're TOO YOUNG."  And all the signs are the same color. They completely missed out on the opportunity for color coding.  Airports do this. "The parking shuttle is now arriving in the Orange Zone." Also, the isle signs are hung parallel to the axis of the isle. So which isle is A2 and which is A3?"
    on: Inspired by Airports, Walmart Redesigning Their Supercenters to Promote "Omni-Shopping"
  • ""dry them with a paper towel" severe cringe experienced! I never apply any paper products to any precision optics. Also never rest the surfaces of optics on any surface (i.e. the bottom of a container). My routine: first rinse under running water to remove any hard contaminants.  Next apply small amount of foaming hand soap or pre-dissolved dishwashing liquid to thumb and forefinger, rub lenses gently. Examine carefully nooks and crannies around nose bridge and if needed clean out any gunk with wood toothpick, Rinse under running water, and blot dry (don't rub!) with dish towel dedicated exclusively to eyeglasses. Resist the urge to dry wipe between washings. Live with the smudge or go do the cleaning routine.I agree with the project that certain soaps and cleaners interactive negatively with coatings. I avoid hotel bath and hand soaps for this reason. For travel I carry a travel size bottle of Johnson's Baby Shampoo along with my dedicated eyeglasses towel for cleaning. But I don't see the need for a dedicated cleaning container."
    on: How Do You Clean Your Eyeglasses?
  • "A graphic design detail that references the walls is deemed unacceptable, but the walls themselves remain standing? I don't understand that."
    on: A Lesson for Designers: When a Logo Redesign References Slavery
  • "Apparently they are not aware of the Dremel Versa Power Scrubber:https://shop.dremel.com/versa-power-scrubber-kit/Although I'm not surprised, as Dremel has done a terrible job of marketing it, selling it in the tool corral alongside the Dremel rotary tools. They need to buy some shelf space in the kitchen and/or cleaning departments. And make it a more appealing color than grey."
    on: Crowdfunding Smash: Handheld Power Scrubber Gets 3,000% Funded
  • "Kate Wagner of McMansion Hell has coined the term Coronagrifting for this kind of nonsense.https://mcmansionhell.com/post/618938984050147328/coronagrifting-a-design-phenomenonHer essay helped answer a question of mine: what motivates creation of the ludicrous designs that appear in your design roasts? The motivation appears to be blatant self-promotion tailored toward media that favor the shocking and controversial over the practical and useful."
    on: Anti-COVID Design: A Gigantic Helmet That Reaches Your Shoulders
  • "Rather than a rigid sphere, the helmet portion could be made of flexible clear vinyl, in a more tailored head shape. The ventilation system could maintain a slight positive pressure to keep it inflated.  It could be collapsible when not in use."
    on: The Latest Head Bubble Alternative to Face Masks
  • "If you have to touch it anyway, why bother with the haptic complication, just have raised nibs or whatever to indicate the quarter hours. Or just buzz on each quarter hour unprompted. Also don't see the need for dedicated hardware, as this would be a simple app to write for a smartwatch."
    on: Yea or Nay? A Wristwatch That Conveys the Time Non-Visually and Silently
  • "The dimensions seem strange. Their sheet pan is not any US or European standard size. 4.92 inches is 150mm, and 9.85 inches is 250mm, I don't think that's a coincidence.They make the claim, "Unlike plastics that are made from oil, silicone comes from silica which is derived from sand, the second most abundant material on earth." Yes, silica is one of the ingredients, but there's a lot of petroleum-based hydrocarbons in there as well. Finally there is the question of food safety: https://lifewithoutplastic.com/silicone/ "We feel uneasy about silicone cookware.While silicone is durable and has a high temperature resistance, it makes us queasy to be heating food to very high temperatures in a material like silicone which has been shown to leach chemicals and is not completely inert and stable."So is easy cleanup worth the risk of contamination? I'll stick to glass and metal for now, and yes aluminum foil when baking fish, as that fish oil residue will never come off."
    on: Cheat Sheets: Simple, Brilliant Design to Making Cooking (and Cleanup) Easier
  • "It's called "carbon sequestering." I think it would be poetic to shove them down into old coal mines."
    on: Proof that nothing is too big to throw in the garbage
  • "Or build the QR code right into the table."
    on: The No-Contact Menu System Adopted by Savvy Restaurants
  • "After thinking about this some more, it occurs to me that the pandemic has compelled a huge number of restaurants to implement online ordering for take-out and delivery just to survive. Now that work is done, why go back to menus and wait staff when the dining rooms reopen? Just order on your phone right from your table. Or even better, while you're waiting for a table. A restaurant that has lost dining capacity due to social distancing might recover some of that capacity through pre-sit-down ordering."
    on: The No-Contact Menu System Adopted by Savvy Restaurants
  • "I read the entire series, and I found it to be verbose, pretentious,, vague, lacking specifics, concrete examples or actionable techniques. For example:"While we may be introducing our methodologies in a linear series, it's worth mentioning that they are not linear in deployment or process but are, themselves, oscillating within the creative mindset of Pendulum Thinking, working in perpetual unison to relentlessly consider product, service, experience or vision in its wider context."Yes that entire paragraph is a single sentence.  This is a classic example of bad writing. It contains nothing of substance but tries to cover up this vacancy with made-up phrases ("perpetual unison") and excessively complex structure. The fundamental flaw is the notion that adding more and bigger words makes your message stronger. The actual result is more like over-seasoning a dish. "Yuk! Too many adjectives!"To contrast this style, try Googling "write like an Amazonian." You will find a number of what appear to be photos of whiteboard notes describing rules for clear and concise writing. Whether they are indeed from Amazon is debatable, but the ideas expressed in them are a refreshing antidote to the marketingeze and corporatespeak that so many organizations perpetrate."
    on: "Storyweaving": How to Merge Prototyping with Storytelling to Develop Future-Proof Designs
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