Some dessert, Mexican style

Went for lunch and decided to grab some Mexican. New restaurant, nice deco, I was looking at everything and generally was quite impressed. That was until I came across their napkins, and probably some other marketing. I took a photo of it and sent to to an infamous Russian website, where they have a section called Idioteka (which basically means, as you have guessed – idiotic things).



Icon shortage

Is this too obvious or am I missing something, but why did Instagram (a Facebook product) just launch an Instagram Direct service, using an almost exact copy of a Gmail icon?

Gmail (left) vs Instagram (right)

gmail instagram

Surely, someone at Instagram would have picked up on that. Yes, it’s a different service, but both being such big names — I would think they would at least try a little harder than just rounding off the corners.

Reminds me a little of the Virgin and Telstra websites a few years back.

Personalised emails

My first thought when I get a personalised marketing email from someone is “Who the fuck are you?”. Those aren’t emails that quite obviously come from a company and they just have my name in their database. These are from companies, which are sent from an individual working at that company (marketing guy, random artist, etc), but I have never actually met or even heard of that person. They usually start of with something like “Hi Alex, I’ve had such a busy…”.

Getting too personal by email with people you don’t actually know isn’t a good thing. It’s nice to get an email that’s personalised, but don’t make it too obvious, people aren’t stupid.

On another note, Google Hangout emoticons (previously known as Gmail Chat) have put on some weight. I call them “obese smilies”. Just look at these little blobs. Where are all those diet nuts looking, kids will be using this and also get fat. Start an anti-fat-emoticons campaign, quick!

obese google emoticons

Government Easy Pay

Ever tried registering or renewing your business name online? It’s the most excruciating process. I won’t be going into details, but here is just a taste of it. After all is finally done and paid for, you are presented with the following screen. Apparently, unless you click on the tiny “x” at the top right of the page — your payment will not go through. Government easy pay


I highly recommend others trying out this system, especially those who are studying UX and are looking for bad examples. And they call this “Government EasyPay”.

Foot or Food?

There are lots of normal people on websites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. And then there are those that like to take photos of their feet on the beach to show that they are on a holiday (or elsewhere) and others, or often actually the same people, who like to take a photo of everything they eat, food porn,… before they actually eat it.

Ok, everyone has their peeves, and I guess this is one of mine. In fact, a while back I’ve asked my friends to take photos of their food, after they have eaten it, and send it to me. Still a project in progress, but something I would like to take further.

Photo feet and food

Cities embracing design

Melbourne has always been considered a more cultural, arty place (by most anyway). A designer-friendly city, with it’s relaxed café-like environment. As opposed to Sydney, a fast-paced labyrinth, more geared towards the commercial, business oriented persona.

Melbourne has the agIdeas and just recently the state of Victoria launched Design Matters. What do we have in NSW? I recently received an email from the Sydney based design event, Sydney Indesign. The only issue with that email was that the organisers (PowerHouse museum as it seems) decided to launch the event by doing something that designers (their main target market) despise and look down upon the most — crowdsourcing design contest.


An instant backlash through social media, blogs and forums, wasn’t that expected? The best would be the actual entries that they have received, which were mainly posters of protest against this whole idea of exploitation. I won’t be going into details why designers shouldn’t get themselves into design contests, there is enough on that written already. $1,000 prize, even that number itself is a joke.

The good news, and I would say this is mainly due to the negative publicity they have received — the contest was pulled off the website within about 1-2 days. Good job guys, let’s just all imagine that this never happened 🙂

A couple of examples of the entries, too bad I didn’t save them all.



This is one of those things where people send in random designs/ideas and an art director either insults the shit out of them, says how great they are or actually gives some proper feedback. Since this is a quite popular Russian website, they get many. I’ve sent a couple over the years and finally one got published.

I think this logo is crap. He says it’s great. Doesn’t change the fact that it reads as “Centra park” though.

Cheers! (2)

Спрашивал однажды, какой самый популярный русский тост, ну или какой русский тост должны говорить иностранцы. Так как я полностью против тоста “На здоровье”, мой тост — “Давайте выпьем за понимание”. Иностранцы этого никогда не выговорят, поэтому пусть так и говорят “Лэтс дринк фор андерстэндин”.

Ну, или коротко и ясно – “За понимание”

Google (mis)presentations

Every time I watch presentations from Google — it’s a disgrace. The company has 20,000+ people employed there, can’t they find a couple of designers who can put together something worth looking at? Clip-art, stereotype images, uneven places, randomly cut corners — it’s as if secretary puts them together while eating her lunch.

This is one thing Apple always gets right (apart from a few others). Apple would never allow shit like what I got from Google’s online AdWords tutorial hit the public eye.