Consumer engagement via the Goldilocks parable

This week, we shopped for a new car—a thorough process of “try and buy” I’d not undertaken before. In both excitement and intimidation, we ran an exhausting 8-hour marathon, kicking the tires on a dozen cars. In retrospect, it was apparent our final selection was impacted more by the brand courtship than the product itself, with all recommended cars fitting neatly into our minimal criteria. The consumer engagement styles divided into the following three approaches. Continue reading →

OSS BBQ 2013: Setting the bar high for summer fun

This summer we held the 3rd-annual open source software barbeque (#OSSBBQ) in DC‚ an event many in the local tech crowd (including myself) get excited about ever year. It’s a social event for the DC PHP, jQuery, and WordPress meetup groups borne out of convenience (or inconvenience, rather).

In the spirit of open source, this post should give you a behind-the-scenes tour of how we pull it off. You can do it too! Continue reading →

This beer, that beer, which beer: satisfying en masse

This week, I fired up my grill for the first time in 2013. That makes it BBQ season, soon to be beach season, and ultimately summer beer season. Choosing the right beer to use as your social event entrance fee, or to cater to your own guests, can sometimes feel like a special kind of PR strategy. What seems expensive, but not too expensive? What is fancy, but not too fancy? What has mass appeal, but still feels special? Before giving up and reaching for [brand] Light, here is a getting started guide based on my experience. Continue reading →

The science of making the logo bigger

Recently, a friend and I were pondering the common design problem of sizing logos to go into a series of business profile pages. This is a frequent issue, be it with any set of images, but particularly with logos because their aspect ratios vary so widely. A batch of photos, on the other hand, are typically all landscape or portrait—maintaining a 4:3 or 5:4 ratio.

In this case, typical photos look just fine against a square boundary:


In the content management system (CMS) world, we often handle this issue of scale programmatically, by applying a maximum height and width to a particular module in a layout (as seen above). That works fine for photos because their ratio is somewhat close to a 1:1 square—they don’t look all that awkward slightly leaning into the rectangle format. However, with logos commonly being very wide or very tall in ratio, this means they appear very small compared to a square logo that fills the playground. Continue reading →