Designing in the open


On Tuesday 9th of April I gave a little talk at Mozilla’s “Designing in the Open” event. Along with the rest of the speakers I was asked to prepare a 10 – 15 minutes talk and to be prepared for a discussion to follow. In preparation for the talk I spoke to a few people – designers and engineers – and one of them (@sil) said: “I hope you are going to publish this...

Dangers of double negatives


Riding around British Columbia one can’t help but notice the posters encouraging people to either vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in an upcoming referendum. Being the curious type I have of course asked around and discussed it with a few of the locals we have encountered. As a temporary visitor any opinion I might form on the actual tax is totally irrelevant but what has been...

Unintended consequences


Two stories. 1) A former colleague of mine did a research project for a power company on one of those machines you have in your house that goes red if you are consuming lots of electricity. One participant started boiling water on the gas hob when she was making tea because that way she could keep the thing from going past amber. 2) A different colleague of mine uses an iPhone app which is...

Design by enthusiasm


As many of you are most probably aware I work for Canonical and some of my blog posts from here are syndicated to I was asked a rather interesting question on that blog and partly due to the impatience of the asker decided to respond by way of a post. My other motivation for responding in this way because I didn’t want an interesting question to be lost in the comments...

Guadec Day 2: In pursuit of critical mass


Today I was reminded of this quote by Jane Goodall: If everyone could think a little bit about small choices they make every day: What do you eat, does it result in animal cruelty? What do you wear, how was it made, does it damage the environment? When people start thinking like that they do change. They do make changes. And when more and more people think like that we get critical mass. –...

Could you lend me some withdrawal please?


I find it enormously irritating when cash machines offer me a ‘withdrawal’. When I walk up to the cash point I am thinking about getting some cash. Some money. Moolah. Readies. Wonga. I have never uttered the line “I am just going to the cash machine to get a withdrawal” and I doubt that I ever will. Even if we go American English for a second do people ever go to the ATM...



At some point or another those who blog and those who read blogs end up having some sort of dialogue (internal or external) about blogging. The Voice’s workplace has recently launched a blog. (Though, as it allows no comment, I would argue that it is more of an archive of articles.) And, as a clever sort of chap, The Voice feels compelled (or is being compelled!) to add his own opinion to...

Paranoid population


Has anyone heard those new ads on the radio? “How can you tell the difference between someone just hanging about and a terrorist casing a place?” (Ok, so I am paraphrasing a little here but that is the gist of it!) I don’t like it. Is creating a paranoid population really the best use of taxpayers money? What next, KGB-style citizen informers? I think this is one of my most...

Is internet access a utility?


I have been staying with The Voice for the last few weeks. His broadband connection hasn’t been working for the last 2 weeks. The inadequacies of Tiscali and Sky Broadband notwithstanding – between them they seem to think that a 4 week interruption to service is acceptable – is it only me who sees internet connectivity as a basic utility? The Voice maintains that I am...

About Author


Ivanka Majic works in technology. She was Head of Design for Ubuntu, service managed Digital Marketplace through to beta, was acting director of digital for the Labour Party. She lives and works in Brighton where she works with the council’s digital first team, does a bit of teaching at Sussex University, and works with her husband on projects like and the BRAVOs. She has also started a podcast with her friend Michael which you can listen to at