Braun Triumph toothbrush coupon con in France

I bought a Braun electronic toothbrush several months ago and just decided to write about it because I now want to buy a shaver but because of what happened with the Braun toothbrush purchase I have decided that regardless of the reviews, the proof or any other type of argument that may indicate (which you’ll see is not the case) that I should get a Braun shaver I WILL NOT.

braun oral b triumph professional care 9900 coupon con

braun oral b triumph professional care 9900 coupon con

Why may you ask, be so stubborn. Well I purchased a Braun Triumph toothbrush from Cdiscount and was promised a partial refund by sending it back with a coupon and proof of purchase.
The morning I received the toothbrush by post I sent the coupon on with everything asked for:
– Code bar from the box
– Bill with date of purchase
– Coupon filled in with all the information.

Several weeks if not months later I get a letter from some company I have never heard of saying that because I took more than 5 days to send the coupon in after the purchase I was disqualified and would not get the money from Braun. Also to be noted there was no email to contact anybody, neither Braun where ever they are in France and just a snail mail address for this company that did a great job of looking through the elements I sent. They might have seen that I purchased it online, and that well, guess what, you can’t send via email so it takes time for me to get the box with the code bar needed to get the refund.
You should know BRAUN coupons are a con in France and they cheat you!

So I will not spend another cent on anything from Braun. I am not going to buy a Phillips Sonic toothbrush just to spite them since the Braun toothbrush works fine but obviously don’t buy one ;)

Philips Flexcare Toothbrush

Philips Flexcare Toothbrush

However as explained I am now looking for a shaver and well I started looking at the Philips shaver because unlike the Braun toothbrush I am unhappy with my Braun shaver. I have looked at the Philips site and reviews about the arctic shaver and I must say for a dude like myself it looks like a cool gadget and looks a lot sexier than the Braun shaver. The whole cleaning system on my Braun one is just not good. But obviously for the moment I can’t compare. but I soon will be able to because as you guessed from the beginning of my post there is no way in hell I’m buying another Braun product. And to make it funnier I couldn’t even link to the page about the equivalent Braun product because it is all in Flash and couldn’t get an image either although I could from the Philips site because they were clever enough to do it in HTML with Flash rather than a full Flash site!

Philips 1095 Arcitec Rotary Shaver

Philips 1095 Arcitec Rotary Shaver: now does that look sexy or what

And the time indicator had better be readable upside down like on the image or else I will not be happy :)

I was also impressed by the Philips site because you could check the manual out. I was wondering whether the shaver would charge in the cleaning system and was able to confirm by ready the first few pages of the manual. But also found out that what looks to be just a cool looking travel case actually charges the shaver at the same time. You can buy it on their site and register the product online which is pretty cool. I found that the video that runs through the functions etc was good, although I felt the voiceover in French was a bit annoying, but that could just be me…

Working too hard is not that efficient

Working too hard is not that efficient… in the long term

At a time where people are worried about losing their jobs and working all hours god sends to stand out from the pack in a positive manner it seems that they may not be providing their company with the best of themselves. Obviously if your company is short staffed and still has as much work they may not be so interested in the article over at FastCompany. But may be worth reading so at least you are aware ;)

Examples from Flickr and Facebook are provided to illustrate the misconception that getting people to work their socks off may not be providing you with the best results in the end!

Make sure you check out this great video from TED, Stefan Sagmeister is a world renowned designer who explains how every 7 years he takes a year off to pursue personal areas. He also indicates that structuring his time off was probably one of the most important parts in a successful sabbatical year. Furthermore this time often allows him to be a better designer and provide his clients with a better quality service once the sabbatical is over! Better still take the time to view the video see for yourself.

Living the blogging life; ups and downs

I just came across a post on Jeff Atwoods ‘Coding horror’ site (can’t even remember how I ended up there), and a post about blogging, more specifically the reactions you can get from irate people. I’m not sure his recommendation to ignore people is ‘the’ solution but it’s an interesting point of view and account of his own experience with flame wars and irate people with comments like “I stopped reading your blog years ago“! Interesting read, especially for people that blog themselves…
PS: Sorry I remembered he has a good review of the Dell XPS M1330 and I had recommended this laptop to a client, Anne-Sophie, webmaster of the Adecco France website and reminded me she was also happy with her red laptop!

Experience Architecture in website designing

The importance of experience architects in creating or updating a web site is often underestimated. There is a general tendency to fudge the initial user experience phase (sitemaps, personas with their specific user journeys and wireframes) or even skip it and jump straight to concept designs that are then fleshed out to ‘wow’ the client. The whole rationale that consists in understanding what functionalities and services are required on the site and structure them in a coherent manner, hopefully even test them before designing commences, is omitted. Defining the main functionalities of a site, then having an experience architect (who worked on that first phase) to sketch it out and analyse it should precede the functional specifications but most of all the design phase. Designers that have extensive web design knowledge as well as experience architecture knowledge are few and far between so you are unlikely to obtain the optimum result by starting with the design.

Card Sorting
The initial phases, when analysing the structure and organisation of an existing site in view of updating it ‘can’ benefit from card sorting. This consists of taking the different sections and seeing how users sort the different sections / areas into groups. It can help you understand how users would expect these different areas to be organised and therefore, where they would expect to find them. Different logical taxonomies may appear following the analysis as different user groups may sort cards in different ways. There are also 2 different types of card sorting, ‘open’ where no structure is predefined and ‘closed’ where participants are asked to place the cards in a pre-defined structure. Card sorting is not recommended to simply test a current site but should be considered as part of the process involved in defining the structure of a site that is being created or updated / redesigned. It can also help when adding or updating a new area to a site. As Nielsen explains more users are required in card sorting than in usability testing though. A fair amount of analysis is required to obtain useful findings.

Sitemap, user journeys, wireframes
By creating the recommended set of ‘sitemap / user journeys / wireframes’ you are capable of seeing black on white the optimum route a person will take. The organization and categorization of content blocks should be logical but can be modified to optimise the user journey outcome. A site should usually provide several optimised user journeys for the different types of target users / personas that have been identified.

Simplify the site and structure
Generation Y as opposed to generation X and the baby boomers are more net fluent and savvy online, capable of delving through content until they find the information they feel relevant and trustworthy. Their experience and knowledge provides near instantaneous gut feeling about a site. Uncluttered, simple pages with straightforward navigation principles just feel good. A pleasant experience on a web site that easily allows you to find what you are looking for is memorable simply because it is unfortunately a rare experience. This new generation and generations to come are a primary targets, neglecting them is not an option.

Simplify the design and content
Simple ways of communicating, avoiding the “noise” traditional designers want to apply in order to personalise or own their design can complicate things. Twitter, like SMS are two extremely simple ways of communicating, their restrictions simplify the communication.
Now is this to say that design is just powder in your eyes? Well, when applied by talented designers that know their target audience, how to play and innovate with the chosen medium and how to further optimise the previously crafted user journey, then obviously no.
A friend of mine works at the “Musée des Arts Décoratifs” in Paris, we discussed this concept when applied to modern decorative art. I was comparing the concept to artists capable of choosing specific material(s) and their ability to amplify the user experience and overall design through the selection of specific material(s). The technology but also the interfaces mechanisms of web sites are in this perspective key elements that a great designer will know and use to further his / her design.

Accessibility, standards, usability and web 2.0
Web applications are becoming more and more complex to the extent that they are starting to compete with desktop applications (ex. Google Maps and Mail, Flickr etc.). The interaction provided as well as both usability and accessibility when relying on standards are far better. Although the ‘web 2.0′ term is often used as a buzz word (see Zelman’s web 3.0 article) the term has undoubtedly helped spread the idea of more savvy websites, thought through and help improve user experience.