Every once in a while I print a blog post to PDF just in case it ever gets consumed by the short memory that is the internet. Even more rarely, sometimes I print a blog post. On physical paper made of atoms and wood, and ink.
Read this. Maybe print it. It might make you feel like a planet, or a rabbit, or a human. But it will make you feel something. You should probably print it.
“Thoughtfulness is free and burns on time and empathy.”
I’ve always laughed at clients who insist on printing out websites for review. It’s like looking at a picture of a painting… The medium itself is what makes the thing what it is. Once you remove the media, the identity of the thing you’re reviewing is essentially lost.
But when I saw this slide in the excellent slide deck called Good vs. Great Design by Cameron Moll I sort of wanted to print a website. Now I have no idea what Cameron is saying during this slide in the real presentation. Maybe he’s making fun of people who print websites too. But what I see is a tactile way to review content and hierarchy.
There are lots of markup tools for online mockup reviews. But they all feel like using a butter knife to cut steak. You want to directly interact and scribble with your hands, not draw boxes and type text in Markerfelt. Why not print out a website big, stand 10 feet away and blur your eyes? We’ve been doing that stuff for print work for years. Maybe a change in perspective will help you focus more clearly on making the site read at a glance. Plus being able to doodle, sketch, and cross things out is always a liberating experience.
I bought a Christmas gift for someone in my family from http://llbean.com last year, and I’ve been on their mailing list since. I’m continually impressed at how smart and well-crafted their advertising is. There is a reason they’ve been able to stay relevant for 95 years. They know how to treat customers.
Here’s an example from today’s emailer:
While every other company is trying to spam me, sell my email address, and cross-sell the hell out of me, they politely ask if I even want to keep receiving their emails. While everyone else buries an “unsubscribe” link in 6pt type in the footer, they flat-out ask me. Remember this isn’t a catalog that costs $2.50 to print and mail- it’s an email that is essentially free to send. It’s not about benefitting them. They’re asking because they would like to be asked if our roles were switched. Brand equity attained.
“When an AT&T representative suggested to one of Jobs’ deputies that the Apple CEO wear a suit to meet with AT&T’s board of directors, he was told, “We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits.”
I don’t really believe that happened, -but I would love to think it did. via df
“We had about three weeks to prepare,” Evangelist says. He and another employee went to work creating beautiful mock-ups depicting the perfect interface for the new program. On the appointed day, Evangelist and the rest of the team gathered in the boardroom. They’d brought page after page of prototype screen shots showing the new program’s various windows and menu options, along with paragraphs of documentation describing how the app would work.
“Then Steve comes in,” Evangelist recalls. “He doesn’t look at any of our work. He picks up a marker and goes over to the whiteboard. He draws a rectangle. ‘Here’s the new application,’ he says. ‘It’s got one window. You drag your video into the window. Then you click the button that says burn. That’s it. That’s what we’re going to make.’ “