Archives for the month of: January, 2012

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” ― Albert Einstein

This morning, as I was scanning the early bird Twitter stream, I came across a phrase that caught my eye: “Cluttered cubicle may make you more organized.”

A team at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands conducted a study on how people react to clutter. In the experiment, 49 college students were asked to sit at a cluttered cubicle, a neat cubicle, or one that was in-between.

After sitting at the desk, the students were asked to rate on a scale from 1-9 how well a series of statements fit them: “It upsets me to go into complicated situations,” “I would like to simplify my life as much as I can,” “I would like to keep things simple,” and “I am bothered by complicated things.”

When the results were in, it was clear that people sitting at messy desks came up with much simpler organizing principles. They were also the ones who scored high on questions like, “I would like to simplify my life as much as I can.”

Conclusions:

  • Sometimes the mess sparks a desire for simplicity, making people think in a clearer, more organized fashion.
  • Someone else’s mess (a co-worker’s) may spark a need for simplicity.

Check out the full article in Life Inc. And just what is an empty desk a sign of? The jury’s still out on the verdict, but at the very least I found “the mess effect” to be a thought-provoking concept.

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How should a brand interact with its customers?

We’ve all seen the images resembling mini barcodes within magazine and newspaper articles, advertisments and even on product labels.  These are referred to as QR (Quick Response) Codes.  The brief history of this tool starts in the auto industry as a way to track parts in vehicle manufacturing.  These codes can store URLs to web pages, send messages to users, or add a contact to their mobile device.

Pongr is a new company which utilizes mobile image recognition technology and social media network connections.  Users can snap images of their favorite products and submit them to earn points that can be redeemed for prizes such as discounts on products or free merchandise.

While these two applications are being used similarly in brand marketing campaigns, there are very distinct differences as well as pros and cons.

QR Code Pro:  unlimited number of code designs.
QR Code Con:  limits user to be taken to location(s) that brand determines

Pongr Pro:  allows users to be creative with their submissions and share within social networks in real-time.
Pongr Con:  rewarding loyalty with incentives can be dangerous.  If the incentives stop or slow, so may the loyalty.

Personally, I see QR Codes moving more toward the logistics, supply chain and high-level marketing aspects of a brand or product.  With Pongr, you can put the brand, its user and its user’s friends in the same room and let them interact.  Through the use of social networks, incentives and creativity, Pongr allows a user to really advocate for a brand and product.

Take a look at the lastest article in Fast Company (which by the way, if you’re interested in new technology, products or business ideas, you should be reading).  The interview is with Pongr President, Jamie Thompson.

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/162/pongr

Thanks to 3rings, the Designer Pages product blog for architecture & design, for shedding the spotlight on Huddle this week!

“The Huddle table is loaded with a litany of lovely, convenient options to address the changing cultural milieu.” Check out the full story here.

California-based Office Solutions recently helped turn a dream into reality for one lucky high school in its local school district, when it provided it with brand new classroom furniture. The award was the result of a special “Ugliest Classroom Contest” that OS held throughout the area.

The winning classroom received all new furniture, featuring our SmartLink line: a new teacher’s chair and desk, 24 student desks and chairs, as well as a modular storage unit.

Read the full article in the latest issue of Independent Dealer.

Many thanks to Contract Magazine for including us in their 2011 Brand Report, which surveys readers on their preferred manufacturers. Our products were featured in their ergonomic seating, storage & filing, education solutions, and furniture systems categories. Click here to read the current November/December 2011 digital edition.

 

{NEW to HON!} Turn around, sit sideways, lean back, & stay comfortable for longer periods of time. Available in a variety of styles, sizes, & colors, it’s a smart choice for any age and any type of learning environment. Meet SmartLink seating here.

Whether you’re choosing school colors, stimulating colors for learning, or matching  your current interior design, SmartLink comes in a full spectrum of colors, including vibrant shades that keep students energized & focused. Have a favorite?

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