David's Corner: No.1: The Army Calculates Coffee Alertness Levels, When Beautiful Design is Bad Design, and Google's Link Valuation Strategy

September 5, 2019

In our very first edition of David's Corner, Managing Partner David Minton has honored us with some very interesting articles! The first article dives into the science behind how to efficiently maintain that productive coffee buzz, followed by an article that features some of the design fails made by previous Apple chief designer Jony I've's, and finally, David shares his take on Moz's visual breakdown of Google's link strategy for Search Engine Optimization.


The U.S. Army calculates exact amount of coffee necessary for alertness

David Minton

Source: Fast Company

Takeaway: As in countless business across the globe, many of us at DesignHammer rely on coffee to help get us through the day. No matter its form, be it drip, brew, or espresso, there is always a difficult balance between focus and jitters. When it comes to relying on coffee to maintain operational efficiency, none may rely on the juice of the bean more the US Army. Recently, US Army researchers published a peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Sleep Research, describing an algorithm developed to maximize alertness by up to 64% by dictating when, and how much coffee test subjects consume. “The algorithm combines user-input data on an individual’s physiology and maximum caffeine allowance with psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) tests, a tool used to measure a person’s behavioral alertness.” Currently in testing by the US Army, the technology is available for licensing, and may soon be available either as stand-alone mobile apps, or incorporated into existing platforms.

Tags: #Science, #Technology, #Coffee


Jony Ive’s Mistakes: When Beautiful Design Is Bad Design

David Minton

Source: OneZero

Takeaway: Outgoing chief design officer at Apple, Jony Ive, is rightfully credited, along with Steve Jobs, as helping save what was a failing tech company. Over his nearly thirty-year tenure at Apple, I've had a hand in creating some of the most iconic technology devices of the 20th, and early 21st centuries, including the iMac, iBook, iPod, iPhone, and Apple Watch. One of the key factors in success was in simplicity in design. He will also be remembered for some colossal flops, such as the original round iMac “hockey puck” mouse, so derided that Steve Jobs made a public apology for it during a MacWord keynote. Charles Arthur, in his article, covers some of the highs and lows of Ive’s career, postulating while “everything must be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler,” I've often ignored the second part of that advice in the pursuit of refinement.

Tags: #Design, #Apple


All Links are Not Created Equal: 20 New Graphics on Google's Valuation of Links

David Minton

Source: Moz Blog

Takeaway: Link strategy is a cornerstone of successful Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Links, both incoming from external websites, as well as internal between pages on a site, are important, but not all links are created equal. Though the algorithm is constantly changing, Google assigns value to all links, with some adding value and improving Search Engine Results Page (SERP) results, some being neutral, while others actually hurting. This being the case, it is imperative to understand the different types of links, and how they can influence a site’s SERPs. Moz provided a great guide, with illustrations explaining the difference between twenty different types of links, and how they are employed.

Tags: #SEO, #Google


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