Notes, links, etc

A personal scrapbook for things I find interesting and feel like sharing or commenting on. Broadly speaking, covering design, tech and occasionally craft. My name's Denise. I'm the co-founder of b3ta and the ex-creative director of MOO. These days I'm a creative director at BERG but these views are my own. Thanks for visiting.

Data Doppelgängers and the Uncanny Valley of Personalization

Interesting article. I have a facebook account and look at it, say, every couple of weeks. I don’t post on it (or at least I post rarely and usually to wish people happy birthday). I was half way through reading this piece when I realised I’d never noticed the ads. I just don’t see them. I should probably be outraged at the things they are offering me, but frankly, I have absolutely no idea what they are.

MIT Rethinks How You Consume News

The Fold team believes that context is so intrinsic to understanding information that their platform can span beyond news and work for how-to articles, recipes, academic papers, and more.”

I used to design magazines. I hate to say this but magazine designers had a magical way of doing this - even in print! It was called a pull out box. 

Should you manage to find a something so retro as a magazine in your own life see if you can spot one! They use them on long form articles. They can also be spotted in ‘Newspapers’ if anyone remembers those.


Japanese Boxwood Combs from Nalata Nalata
Photography by Armando Rafael



Japanese Boxwood Combs from Nalata Nalata

Photography by Armando Rafael


Only saw this for the first time recently. It’s wonderful.

Things I think about when walking

There are various routes i can take to get to my house from work. It involves at least three different modes of transport, but depending on which office I’ve been working in, it can involve four. (Tube, overground train, tram, bus. For some reason I don’t count walking, not sure why.)

Last night I cut out the final bus journey to walk instead, it was a nice evening, and there was no rush.

I walked past a garden with climbing roses making a bid for freedom over the garden wall. They were so full of themselves and so bursting with life I thought I should stop and smell them - actually they had no smell, which was a shame. Pretty though.

I used to work in a florist as a teenager. I was usually in the Kemptown shop, often on my own. When I started, it was all in such a rush that the boss left without telling me how to use the till. My first customer was a lovely man who patiently showed me what to do. Occasionally I would run out of change, and would have to ask customers to wait in the shop alone, while I ran to the newsagents to swap a £5 note for coins. Sometimes the shop would be so cold I’d stand on the other side of the street in the sunshine just to warm up. It was a nice place. People were nice. 

I was thinking about all this because the roses last night didn’t smell.

I was thinking about it because of the one customer I didn’t like.

She worked at a centre for the blind. I won’t name names, because it doesn’t seem right, and it was a long time ago. Every week she’d come bursting in, filling the shop with her condescension. She had a budget for flowers, and every week I’d watch her buy the most ostentatious blooms she could find. Anything big. Anything expensive looking. Anything she liked. 

Nothing that ever smelt nice, or really had any scent at all.

What kind of person works in a centre for the blind and chooses flowers for their looks.

Flowers! Of all the things. 

Wired's review of new Virgin flight booking site

"And so Virgin invested in a responsive website rather than a website-plus-app strategy, on hopes that the ease for users would more than make up for the relatively small amount of ad dollars flowing through the page."

"Boarding passes can be accessed on the website, but for those who prefer paper, the team at Work & Co. also designed a version that’s printed on letter sized sheets and meant to be folded to fit conveniently in a back pocket. “We made one side all about everything you need to get to your gate and other side everything the TSA needs,” says Liebel."

"Liebel gives credit to Virgin for preventing their high-concept approach from being homogenized. “Usually, you’re dealing with digital group and they have to run the through legal, operations, and IT—that’s where the quality usually drains out the bottom,” he says."

Google's Nest Moves To Become Master Of The Smart Home, By Talking To Other Devices

"Would Google Now be able to use Nest’s data to serve Google’s all-important advertising ambitions?

“Nope,” says Nest’s Rogers. “We’re clear our data can only be used for what a developer will use it for.”