Katelyn M. Thompson's Blog

I’ve Moved!

Posted in My Rambles by kmtom on April 7, 2011

This blog has moved over to my own website. Please update your bookmarks!



Muppets –> Angry Birds

Posted in Uncategorized by kmtom on April 4, 2011

Want to know what the Muppets and the cast of Angry Birds have in common? Gamefreaks has the answer:

via @BostonKate

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Giant Office Supplies

Posted in Design by kmtom on March 4, 2011

Being a Staples employee, you’re required to have a healthy obsession with office supplies. So when I saw the installment of giant office supplies, I couldn’t help but smile a bit.

You may be wondering the purpose of these large office supplies. Well, the property developers were showing the space and wanted to communicate that it could be split into 4 different sections. These supplies provided the boundary lines between those areas.

via SwissMiss

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How To Become a Giant

Posted in Design by kmtom on March 3, 2011

Ryuji Nakamura has created a house which sits on top of a MacBook and basically makes anyone sitting down to the computer a giant.

This would be hilarious to use during a Chat Roulette session!

via SwissMiss

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Ranking of Angry Bird Birds

Posted in Uncategorized by kmtom on February 25, 2011

The Oatmeal has created a ranking of the birds present in the Angry Birds game.  I totally agree with their ratings, I just wish they had included the huge red bird! Now, to get over to Newbury Comics to buy the plush!

via Mashable

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The United States of Shame / The United States of Awesome

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on February 22, 2011

A little while back I posted a map of The United States of Autocomplete. I now present you with two new interpretations of a map of the US. These are the things states are the worst at (from pleated jeans) and what your state does really well (from Political Language). I’m a born and bred Masshole Massachusett and I am guilty/proud of embodying both what Mass is worst at (bad driving) and what Mass is good at (college graduates).

It’s funny to see how some of them match.

NY (clearly influenced by NYC): Worst Daily Commute = Awesome Transit Use.
Utah: Most Liberalized Prostitution Laws = Worst Crime
North Carolina: Worst Teacher Salaries = Best Value University
Michigan: Best Freshwater Access = Highest Unemployment

via FlowingData

Don’t Touch That!

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on February 18, 2011

You’ll get your fingerprints all over my …….!

Well, George Kokkinidis at Design Language News decided that he was going to do just that! He wiped clean his iPad and started using an app (being sure to get his fingerprints on the screen) and then photographed his fingerprints on the screen.

Can you tell what apps he’s using in these two examples?

Hit the jump to see the answer and the rest of the apps.


A New Way to Recycle Paper

Posted in Design by kmtom on February 17, 2011

 Sharsha Lee has created a concept which brings a new meaning to recycling paper. The Eco Printer basically takes paper that’s already been printed on, wipes it clean and prints on it again. An interesting concept. There’s concern in the comments about someone erasing an important document, but couldn’t someone just as easily shred an important document??

via Yanko Design

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Analyzing the Digital Maps

Posted in Information Visualization, Usability by kmtom on February 16, 2011

Came across this great article on 41Latitude which compares Google Maps’ labels (left) with Bing (right) and MapQuest. It’s interesting to compare the maps side to side. I strictly use Google Maps, for not only a better mapping service, but also because it’s just easier!

The author’s first hypothesis is that Google Maps has a lesser density of labels when compared to the other maps. However, when looking at the area shown above, Google had 86 city labels, Bing had 91, and MapQuest had 83. So that is not the reason for GMap’s superiority.

One of the 3 reasons Justin O’Beirne gives for the Google Maps’ legibility is the fact that they have non-opaque white outlines around the labels. The images below show Google Maps (left) and MapQuest.

As you can see, Yahoo!’s decision to allow background map information to remain visible underneath its city labels harms their overall legibility. Individual letters are broken up by other dark lines, forcing users to give a second look to many labels.

The second reason he gives is the greater number of “classes” of labels for cities. (Think CSS headings). Google maps has 4 different sizes of labels while Bing and MapQuest only have 3. The third reason he gives is the fact that the smaller labels are shown in a lighter color, which makes them fade slightly into the background.

Additionally, a few “tricks” are pointed out – not necessarily related to the labels – that help with Google Maps’ readability. The first is label decluttering around major metropolitan areas, basically smaller suburbs aren’t shown. Also, Google displays city markers further apart than Bing (not that it is moving cities, just that it is showing cities that are father apart from each other). 

In conclusion, Google Maps is better. Although I guess I should Bing has addressed some of the issues pointed out in the critique.

via ChartPorn

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It’s All Relative

Posted in Design by kmtom on February 14, 2011

A creative and simple representation of time. Marcus Kraft explains his work:

sometimes, one second can change your whole life. on the other hand, a whole year can feel very boring, unimportant and dull. what if one year is as long as one day or even one second? — maybe there’s no difference at all.

via SwissMiss

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