‘Stache-Off ’08

Here at Electronic Art, we’re a socially-aware bunch. And just to prove it, we’re supporting the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a little competition of our own – the E.A. ‘Stache-Off ‘08. On August 1st, the handsome men of Electronic Art will shorn themselves back to a natural, moustache-free state and let the growing begin (Guy Dillon has been granted exception in the shaving by the staff as he already has an admirable and stately mustache the likes of which should not be messed with). Each contestant will then grow his (or her? Uhhh … ) facial hair for a duration of 24 consecutive days. No Rogaine, Monoxidil or other hair growth supplements allowed. Random screening for such chemical enhancers will be performed throughout the competition and ‘dopers’ will be disqualified. Judging will be held on August 25th and winners announced by COB on that day. Photographs of the competition will be shared right here on our blog – don’t miss out. Postings will include pre-competition shots as well as interim progress shots and of course, the final judging shots. Winners of the following categories will be announced: change in appearance, style, presentation at judging, and of course the overall best moustache category. If you would like to participate in the E.A. ‘Stache-Off ’08, feel free to submit pre-competition and judging photos for consideration.

“Love is a present that can be given every single day you live.
Learn Chinese: hú zi – mustache. “

-Chinese Fortune Cookie

Where are the kiosks?

I recently returned to the office after traveling in Germany and Switzerland for two weeks. Of all of the things I anticipated seeing before I left, I was very interested in seeing differences in everyday life, especially where technology is concerned. What I found was a little disappointing. I saw very few examples of kiosks or digital signage in Germany and Switzerland. What I did see most of was a chain of stores named “Kiosk” where you could buy something to read or eat before hopping on a train. Thumbs up to the Chilis in the Charlotte International Airport though. They had an excellent digital signage application that allowed people to browse the menu and also integrated ads.

Ideal clients

This video shows how some clients can really butcher a project.  I think we’ve all been there, and I know EA has had it’s share of clients that won’t allow us to lead.  Results… we don’t put them in our portfolio.  Take a look at this video for a surreal but very real example of how clients should not act:

Current clients:  We love you, this couldn’t possibly be you.

If a Tree Falls in your Office…

Wind toppled tree…and no one is at work, does it make a sound?

This is what we found when we got to the office this morning, a large tree fell on the building next door (same landlord). It doesn’t look like it did any major damage to the structure, just took out the railing on the balcony.

More pircures: 1, 2, 3, 4

Welcome Marca

We have a new tenant in our building that does branding / marketing:  Marca    www.LiveMarca.com  we welcome them to our community of creative services in the building.  The environment here is very active and focused on business services.  We’re sure that they will fit in well, and perhaps there are some synergies there for our customers!

Evolution of kiosk design

I was in my favorite coffee shop this morning (Moca at DeSalles corner) talking to the owner.  He was chatting me up about kiosks and a project we are doing for the state of Ohio.  I then find out he used to work for a local design shop called “Digital Bang” years ago, and they did a few kiosk projects for P&G and others.  He wanted to know what kiosk form factors we used, etc.  as the old kiosks back in 2001 (ancient history…right?) looked so much like big ATM’s and had troublesome components in them.  He said they just never “caught on”.   This started the conversation of the importance of design, not only in interface design, but in structure and enclosures, etc.  I know I’m biased, but I feel that here at Electronic Art we do a good job of creating sexy hardware enclosure designs, not just “easy to build in a wood shop” designs.  We paid an industrial designer to create our initial design for the Easy Ship, which is a zoomy steel pole design.  It is in the Borgata Casino Hotel, Verizon Wireless street teams use it, the Freedom Center uses it, and the state of Ohio is using the new Easy Ship XL.  Just to name a few.   I promise, we will never make the boxy ATM style kiosks.  They are just plain old Ugly!  Design matters, and every touch point with your customer should be of high quality.

Fix for WordPress 2.6 permalink bug

When we upgraded from 2.5.1 to 2.6 links to the individual posts started throwing 404 errors. After a little digging around we found this fix on wordpress.org:

If you need/want the index.php to be there, then on the Settings->Permalinks screen, add some values in for the category and tag bases. The words “category” and “tag” will do just fine. As long as they are not blank, this should work around the bug.

I hope this helps some other people out there who were gnashing their teeth like I was 5 minutes ago.