TicTrac: Mastering email updates

For those of you that don’t know TicTrac, TicTrac is an awesome tool that keeps your activities in one place and allows you to track them over time. I have started using it about a month and a half ago. In the beginning I thought I wouldn’t be using it much I find myself completely hooked on it (the fact that all my FitBit activity is linked there as well helped a lot).

Almost a week ago I have received my first TicTrac update email, and I must admit I was absolutely stunned by the beauty and the structure of the report.

Simple minimal design focusing in just one of the many aspects of what the website tracks. The webmail utilizes the branding guidelines of the company in a very refined way. It feels like something that came from TicTrac without overdoing it. Overall, excellent UX.

I believe that they struck gold by understanding that in most cases people don’t have time to read long bodies of text. The report keeps copy to a minimum, focusing mostly on nicely designed graphics that convey the idea and are pretty engaging. In addition they have placed their call to action right in the middle of the email, and it is not a stupid reasonless call to action it’s a push to get you to use the thing even more. Kudos.

Tic Trac report

There is a very subtle “social” aspect to it since it allows you to share the repost via facebook and twitter without showing off the needless facebook / twitter logos that you can see now days everywhere, and kind of lost their meaning.

TicTrac is a new kind of service, and as with everything new there is a learning curve. TicTrac decided to end the report with a list of tips of how to use the system more effectively, which I find really smart.

TicTrac Tips

Finally, nothing can be perfect. The share to Facebook and Twitter links seem to be a bit buggy, or badly thought. The twitter post contains only a non-obfuscated AWS/S3 link followed by the url of the website which actually has a space in between which makes it render really badly. My advice would be.

  • Obfuscate the URL
  • Fix the URL to tictrac.com (it’s a shame)
  • Add a bit of a copy to make it more engaging, like “My weekly TicTrac report” or something
  • Add @tictrac at the end of the post
  • Add recommendation to follow TicTrac after posting

My thoughts? I loved it. It made me to engage even more with the website, that much I had to write an article about it. If you don’t have a TicTrac account and you do have a life goal, like becoming healthier, tracking or loosing weight, or you are just a statistics buff, go get an account and tell me what you thing about it.

Beautiful billboards

I think it has been stated enough that designers of any discipline should learn not to be constrained by their media. Below you can find some very nice examples of large scale billboards that bend the rules to the will of their designers. Enjoy!


Interactivity and the rituals in business cards exchange

There was and always will be a long argument about the use, the format, the content and reason behind a business card. Mainly the business card is a way for other people to have a way to contact you, but the truth is that not so many people nowadays do actually keep them or give them for that reason.

In any business interaction all it takes is one email to be exchanged and the signature of this email will be carrying all the information that someone needs in order to contact you additionally to just replying to the email. If that’s not enough our information are so easily accessible via your personal website, the website of the company you are working in, your LinkedIn, Facebook or twitter account. So, I don’t really believe that we give our cards for people to have our contact details.

Business cards transcended into a way to initiate conversation and create a memorable experience, in order words the action of handing your card became an, almost ritualistic process. The goal of this process is to impress and seal a face-to-face interaction with a physical component.

From each experience we have what we remember the most is the sensory components of it. Sound, vision, taste, smell touch. A business card adds a visual and a touch component to this process. Creating interaction between the business card and the receiver enhances and strengthens the experience.

Finally, although a huge percentage of the business cards we receive end up hidden in a box or another storage device if and when they are rediscovered they carry these memory and become a memory vessel.

Check out below some very nice examples of interactive business cards that do this very well.

Pilates instructor card
Web developer business card
Painter’s business card
Transport company
Photographer’s card that looks like a camera’s viewfinder
Card of a company called paper plane – could it get more literal?
That just makes you want to get your camera can take hilarious photos
Gym trainer’s card
Paperweight card – an excellent reason to keep it around
Filmaker’s business card
Fortuneteller toy card – that is just so cute and it also has so many connections with childhood memories
Remember what we where talking about sensory additions and taste not being a part of this experience? Well not in this case. This is an edible business card with chocolate – definitely not one to keep in your wallet.
After the tasty cookie card this doesn’t look so impressive but it IS still a nice idea.
And a bit more advanced version, build a chair cut-out b.card for a furniture company.
Look! I can reach my head with my feet!
Would you use a business card as a comb?


Well that’s all! What do you think? How does your business card look like? Do you believe that the material and the presentation plays any role on a business card?


Samsung’s window comes with blinds too!


Samsung has designed a window that doubles as a monitor, allowing users to look outside while surfing the net. Samsung’s ‘Smart Window’ works like a touch screen, allowing users to select a variety of apps and functions with a touch of their fingers. Users can even ‘draw’ the windows blinds by simply sliding their fingers down the screen.

From the videos below, the window demonstrates the ability to surf the web, watch videos and even give presentations. The window is reported to be eco-friendly, as it runs on LED lights and is partly powered by solar energy. Could this be the future of windows in our homes? And if that’s the case would Janet let me put those on our bedroom?