Out and About: Steve in Sydney (1 of 2)

I got back last week from two weeks in Australia, traveling around as well as speaking at UX Australia and Service Design Melbourne. Here is the first of four posts with some of the highlights. All my pictures are making their way to Flickr, as well.

The diminutive is a common Australian form. Toasted sandwich becomes toastie. Football is footy. Breakfast is breaky/brekkie. Motorcycle gang member is bikie. Slot machine = pokie. Self-portrait is selfie. I saw this in advertising, building signage and the newspaper.

I’m certainly impressed to know that Sol Levy is such an esteemed tobacconist. What related line of business does he offer that requires one to be over 18 in order to take a trip down memory lane and reveal treasures? Some sort of vintage tobacco porn? The mind boggles.

The savory pie is an Australian dish, sold in all sorts of stores including the ubiquitous Pie Face, where their pies are decorated with, well you guessed it, faces.

Yet another example of personas (or the aesthetics of personas) turned into customer-facing messaging: “Hi, I’m James. I’m a freelance TV producer. But before you write me off as some sort of knob who owns a fancy European car, think again. I don’t even own a car! Instead, I just use GoGet Cars whenever I need one. So when I’m on a shoot and I’ve got expensive equipment to transport, I’ll use this van.”

I was astonished at how foreign I felt in Australia. Despite a common language, there are so many disconnects around vocabulary. This ad on the back of a bus reads “Grab an iinet Combo. It’s like a showbag for grown-ups.” Sure, I can read that, but what the heck are they talking about? Some Aussies clued me in that showbags are gift bags from the equivalent of state fairs. Whatever – that feeling of cluelessness was a particularly wonderful aspect of the whole trip.

Whether you say please or not, the option of opting out at the mailbox is something I’ve seen in Europe as well.

Prohibited clothing.

And more prohibitions.


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