Guidelines for the Aesthetically Impaired:

by James R. Stoup Sep 18, 2006

So, Zune will come in brown eh? Well, for those dumbasses at Microsoft who actually think that looks good, here are some helpful hints in picking the color scheme and overall look of Zune 2.0 (or any other electronics for that matter).

    Design Guidelines For Dummies
  1. 1. No electronics device should be colored brown, EVER. If it looks like horse excrement from the start and it turns out later that it sucks, then you have no one to blame but yourselves when the jokes appear on Leno.
  2. Chartruce, peach and puce are also out of the question (the postscript “you morons” is understood)
  3. In fact, if you come up with a color that a heterosexual male can’t pronounce, then it is out too.
  4. Plaid is not allowed unless you are making devices for lumberjacks.
  5. Paislies on electronics is a sin against nature and will result in an automatic beat down.
  6. Polka dots aren’t allowed unless your main distributer is “The Dollar Store”.
  7. Pin stripes are for suits, not computers.
  8. Horizontal stripes on a shirt make you look fat, on an MP3 player they make you look retarded.
  9. Clear plastic is no longer cool. Peole know that microchips power your device, not magic fairies that make everything work. Move on.
  10. It isn’t a tricked out Honda Civic so it doesn’t need running lights.
  11. It isn’the star ship Enterprise so it doesn’t need warp nacells either.
  12. Unless it has guns, gun-metal gray probably should be left to the war ships.
  13. Acceptable building materials include metals, rubbers and plastics. Note that wood is not on this list. (I know its obvious but look who were dealing with)
  14. Candy Apple Red is a real color. Candy Apple Blue isn’t. (this goes for yellow, orange, etc.)
  15. The iPod has a click wheel that actually moves. Don’t add in a fake wheel that doesn’t really do anything. It just looks stupid. [Side Note: Adding buttons that don’t work, levers that don’t pull, etc. is likewise stupid]
  16. Please don’t make up a color. For instance, Zune is your product’s name, it also can’t be your product’s color. (“it’s an light shade of Zune” see how ridiculous that sounds?)
  17. If your product comes in “green, blue and red/black” please try to control the urge to “sex up” the names by changing them to “forest glen, ocean wave and ebola vomit” as it will backfire horribly.
  18. Oh yes, and, whatever you do, don’t use brown.

If you like this list please consider sending in your donations to the “Buy Microsoft a Sense of Style” campaign. We are currently accepting contributions and 100% of the proceeds will go towards this worthy and noble cause. Please help us prevent another “Brown Zune” from happening again. We beg you, think of the children.



  • Ill be honest…as stupid as I think it is to get brown, I kinda like it. But I truely love brown….

    mynameisjesse had this to say on Sep 18, 2006 Posts: 12
  • Brown - Think cassette recorders,  Station wagons, dictation machines, dial phones, faux woodgrade plastic anythings.

    Remember the “dino-sore” campaign used by MS last year?

    Unfortunately people generally rise to the level of expectations.

    Robert Pritchett had this to say on Sep 18, 2006 Posts: 25
  • Perhaps M$ color research team found something in trendy fashionable in brown that we just can’t smell.

    Our predominantly male oriented A.M. persuassions do have a genetic incompatibility with that turd-brown stuff but let’s look at the female side’s opinions, shall we?

    Hmmm…they like earthly colors, for sure. Handbags and purses do come in varieties of turd-brown colors. So, do those powdered thingies they fill their pores with. Yah, especially those from boutique shops initialled “LV” makes my savings account cry every time my wife has this urging for petite brown stuff. No, not that one! :D

    So now I get it! M$ is targeting the female audience as one-third of their prime Zune demographic. After all, it is one of the three initial colors, see.

    Come to think of it, Apple should be shriveling with fear now that it reintroduced those old iPod mini pastel colors and reduced them price$ across the board.

    Nah!...Dream on, Balmer!

    Robomac had this to say on Sep 18, 2006 Posts: 846
  • brown sucks!

    nana had this to say on Sep 18, 2006 Posts: 63
  • Re. #2, the color is “chartreuse.”  And, of course, no one would ever want to see an electronic device in that color!  Though Apple did produce some wildly colored iMacs in the past.

    scott122 had this to say on Sep 19, 2006 Posts: 1
  • Spelling guidelines for dummies…
    - chartreuse (thanks to scott122)
    - distributor
    - nacelles
    - people

    But seriously, atmosphere/background lighting (think the RAZR keyboard) is one of the hot new areas in design, as is the use of wood trim for larger electronics. And anodized aluminum with a dark gray tint (e.g. “gunmetal”) is equally sexy. That being said, a brown Zune appears to be impossible to accessorize, which should be one of the goals of ANY portable electronics device.

    AdamB had this to say on Sep 20, 2006 Posts: 4
  • Which leads me to nominate chocolate as the all-time most astounding marketing success story.  People think of blue or purple-colored food as gross. And yet we drool over something that’s the color of poop.  grin

    tundraboy had this to say on Oct 05, 2006 Posts: 132
  • I think the “Buy Microsoft a Sense of Style” campaign would find it very hard to achieve anything near a success. Microsoft will want more money than the total monetary budget of most medium sized nations just to think about changing to what we might deem a reasonable sense of style.

    But then who knows… they picked Poop Brown for the Zune… meybe by now they’ll realize its Time To Change.

    HA! Who am I kidding?!? wink

    MrAlbatross had this to say on Nov 01, 2006 Posts: 2
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