Monday, 21st of September 2015
Today was a casual working day. Robert had to leave for a few days, so feedback came slower than usual due to the fact that he has scarce access to an internet connection. So while waiting for feedback, I read some more about design and user behavior. For instance, did you know that while you are reading this post, you are actually following the so-called “F-Pattern”? Here’s an example (the more reddish, the more your eyes are drawn to that particular area):
To simplify the image above, take a look at the scheme below:
When you first open a website / webpage, the first place your eyes look at is the upper-right corner. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but that’s where the logo of that website is usually placed. Then, your eyes scan the first horizontal line, moving to the right. Usually this is when you take a look at the menu of the website, which is placed on the first line. As you begin to read this article, you search for keywords, moving your eyesight on a vertical line on the left, basically reading the beginning of each paragraph. When one paragraph catches your attention you begin to read it, thus completing the “F-Pattern”. The process continues until the end of the article, so in the end you get sort of a “F”-like pattern, or how I like to call it: “the F on steroids”. 🙂
This is a very empowering information. Designers take advantage of this pattern to design performing websites that ultimately get more views.
But I don’t want to bore you with “fun facts”. So let’s talk about something we can all relate to. Today I was craving for some chicken so I went to KFC. I found it surprising that there are only 4 KFCs in the whole of Hamburg, but what was more surprising was that they don’t have that delicious garlic sauce. Nope. That awesome, mouth-watering garlic sauce which is probably one of the main reasons I eat at KFC is… missing. In fact, there is not one garlic sauce at KFC in the whole of Germany! This, and the fact that torrent websites are forbidden in Germany, make me think twice about actually moving here for good. I’m serious.
Tuesday, 22nd of September 2015
A good friend of mine, Mada, told me she would rather read about cultural shocks and other issues and challenges. Well, the reason I didn’t write about cultural shocks is because I haven’t really encountered so many. Maybe I am not paying close attention, but I could probably count the cultural shocks on just one hand. Let’s see…
One: Germans don’t have a sense of humor
False. I mean, yes – they are generally more serious than Eastern or Southern Europeans, but for example, me and my colleague, Annika, are always having a great time joking about mundane things like work or other colleagues at the office.
Two: Germans are never late
False. I have German colleagues at work and they are sometimes late. I’m not going to point fingers or anything. As for the buses… they are always late when it’s rush hour. Not the subway though. The subway is usually on time.
Three: If it’s German, it’s high quality
Partially false. The statement above might imply that only what is German is of high quality. But whenever I go shopping, I find merchandise made in all sort of countries. Like when I went to IKEA for instance and I bought some really nice plates made in… Romania. 🙂
Four: If you meet a beggar on the street, chances are he/she is from Eastern Europe
False. Unfortunately, in Hamburg I see a lot of homeless people. And almost every time I take the subway from Altona back to home, homeless people get on the train, to beg. They first tell their story, then they go by each passenger to collect food and money. I haven’t yet met a single beggar who wasn’t fluent in German. That’s because they were German. This doesn’t mean I haven’t met Romanian beggars. I have. I sometimes hear them talking on the street.
Five: Germans are cold people
Actually this is partially true. Before coming to Germany, another good friend of mine (Oana), made an analogy which helped me understand the difference between Eastern and Western Europeans. Eastern Europeans (Romanians included) are like peaches: soft and fluffy on the outside, but then you get to the kernel (their personal life) and that’s when they draw the line which is very hard to cross. Western Europeans (Germans included) are like coconuts: hard on the outside, but if you have patience and know how to open them, they are quite sweet on the inside.
So I guess it’s just a matter of time until I break the coconut, but it’s definitely one of the most important cultural shocks I cam across so far.
There. I counted all cultural shocks on just one hand. But who knows how many more shocks I will come across until the end of my internship.
Wednesday, 23rd of September 2015
Since I came to Hamburg I came across some cool ideas which I am hoping to take back home. Today I came across another such idea. Take a look at this photo:
Trolls be like: “Haha, that’s a stupid stop button in the bus. This invention is as new as agriculture.” Shut up stupid trolls! Do you see something special about this stop button? No? Let me unveil it to you. See those small bumps? Those bumps have not been placed for design purposes. Those bumps spell “STOP” in Braille, so that blind or visually impaired people would be able to read it. Blind people are people too, and it’s up to us to make this world accessible to them.
Thursday, 24th of September 2015
I’m learning new things at work. Today I drafted an agenda for a Corporate Identity workshop which will take place next month. One article in particular opened my eyes and I would like to share it with you, here. Although Corporate Identity belongs rather to the marketing field, in a startup like Breeze I get to do things that are not necessarily in my job description. There are pros and cons for everything, but I like to focus on the pros and see this as a great opportunity to develop other skills, like brand management and training, not just design.
Weekend, 25th-27th of September 2015
I didn’t do much this weekend, or at least nothing worth mentioning. But because some of you told me you really liked the pizza photo I posted a couple of weeks ago, here’s another one, from the same “Via Vai Pizza al Taglio” restaurant. Enjoy:
Next week there’s a chance I will join Robert to a startup fair in Istanbul, so the next post in my diary might be quite interesting. Stay tuned…