Some great ideas
According to the StrengthsFinder test, (more info) Jim Watson's number 1 strength is Ideation - a fascination with and propensity for coming up with new ideas.



Address locators
Respect the reader - please put visual landmark locators in business in ads. 2011


App design
Some guidelines, samples, and tips to improve the design of apps. 2007-12


Arrows that are color coded

The color of an arrow can easily denote direction. 2012


Backgammon in the Round

A board designed for the way the game is played - it's round. US Design Patent, 1977; Improved version: 2012


Backgammon in the Round app

An app for the better gameboard for backgammon. 2012


Book shelves
The books are the shelves, there is no visible support. 2006


Briefcase with retractable shoulder strap
It is common to use a shoulder strapped bag, but there are many instances when the case is carried like a briefcase. A case whose strap retracted into the case would simplify use and be more convenient and stylish. 2006


Briefcase backpack
A professional case that would be appropriate and acceptable in a corporate boardroom, but still be portable and leave hands free while walking and commuting. 1975


Calendar
More logical and appropriate. Laid out to reflect the way we live. 2009


Carbands and car baghook
For holding more stuff, more securely, in the car. 2000


Card deck with 6 suits
More games, more players. 1990s


Check registers
Easier to use and print at home (but now outdated with online banking). 2006


Chick-Fil-A ads
Why they are inappropriate and potentially harmful to a child's education. 1997


Cruise ship in a wedge shape
An intriguing idea of a triangular plan for a cruise ship. 2010


Christmas lights for a dog
Sew a battery-powered string of lights into a pet sweater - moving Christmas decorations. 1996


Color Light Machine
An easy, simple, and clear way to demonstrate projected color mixing and color properties. 1982


Cup holder for the exterior of a car

There are cup holders all over the interior of a car, but we need one on the outside - a simple solution to the problem of spilled coffee on the roof. 2009


Cup holders on vacuum cleaners
This would encourage more men to help with household chores as they could keep their beer handy. The holder should be the kind that is used on boats - that swivel in all directions so the beer won't spill. 2006


Curb design
In parking lots, many curbs end at the wrong angle. Here's how they should be. 2010


Day belongs with the date
Many designers, writers, and editors make this simple mistake that is rude and inconsiderate. Please always state the day of the week when publishing the date of an upcoming event. 2007


Design lab
Sketches of a laboratory classroom specifically designed for design education (maybe obsolete now due to wireless technology). 1985


Design paper
Specifically for designers who want to efficiently make both notes and sketching. 1978


Disney Resort in New York City
A resort just across the Hudson River from Manhattan to house a large hotel, indoor pool, and a venue for a permanent home for Cirque du Soleil in New York City. 2011


Directory phone numbers

Listing information in a format that is easier to scan and read, and takes up less space. 2005


Dog food cutter
An easier way to cut up dog food plopped out from a can. 2010


Dog park: green grass
A simple way to allow grass to grow in the dog park. 2013


Downtown boulevard grid plan
A better proposal for a vacant Interstate right-of-way through downtown Oklahoma City. 2012


Elevator buttons
In more logical and easier-to-understand arrangements. 2007


Facebook Status Update Awards - The Zuckers
Recognition for the good and bad among status updates on Facebook. 2012


Fitness and jogging tape
Strong beat and rhythm to motivate endurance running (I now do this with an iPod). 1980s


Flag waving hat

A flag that waves itself so one's hands are free to clap or hold things during a parade or rally. 1989


Good magazine
A more clever and appropriate identity for the magazine. 2006


Home improvements
While remodeling a house in Edmond, OK, Jim implemented numerous innovations. 1995-2000
Mailbox hidden behind garage panel door to minimize clutter and tackiness of store-bought mailboxes
Clock face of kitsch items; sink with no visible pipes underneath to minimize pipe chaos
Wheeled closet unit
Lights on the closet and bathroom wall (rather than on the ceiling) to light the contents and the face rather than lighting the top of the shelves or the top of the head.
Headboard lite switch
Lamps in headboard


Horn honk = no tip
Finally, sure-fire graphics to help reduce the obnoxious honks in the big city. 2011


Hotel housekeeping cart
A cart that is narrow to fit into rooms, unobtrusive while in hallway, decorated to match hotel decor, and tall to hold more. 1995


Hotels in Las Vegas
Improvements including double deck drives - one for arrivals, one for taxi & valet pickup (as Mandalay Bay did later) and sidewalks over the entrance drives (Aladdin) to separate pedestrians and vehicles. 1996


Ice chest in a washing machine
It may be weird, but it holds lots of ice and drinks, and cleanup is easy - the ice melts when you run a wash cycle. It is fun to tell guests to go get their drinks out of the washing machine. 2000


The Idea Kit

Info, tips, and exercises to improve creative problem solving. 1998


I ♥ Texas
The classic mark, but evolved with image symbols only. 2013


Intersections
A few ways to make intersections more efficient for both vehicles and pedestrians. 2007


iPad holding and support system: the iGrip

Many iPad accessories address standing the pad up, but none address providing more comfortable options for holding the pad for long periods of time. 2011


iPhone wallpaper screen

Improved screen layout and background for easier and quicker app recognition. 2010


JustOnePiece

A concept, philosophy, rationale, and visual design for an effective anti-litter campaign. 2008


Laugh tape
Just to inspire contagious laughter and better health. 1980s


Laundry room layout
A friendlier instructional sign and a more convenient and accessible table arrangement for a condo laundry facility. 2005 & 2010


Leash belt
An easy way to walk dogs while keeping your hands free. 1996


Lincoln Center table placement
An arrangement of tables in the plaza that better respect the Lincoln Center buildings. 2010


LoMa
A Brand designation for the NYC Downtown naberhood of Lower Manhattan. 2006


Lucky Grape
A design consultancy that was just for fun. 2006-08


Macrap
A name for all the design built on a computer when it shouldn't have.1998


Maps: New York City on the ocean
Some inaccurate maps. 2008


Maps: NYC GuideMaps
Clear maps of naberhood sights to purchase or print out at home. 2008


Meadows Museum
A plan for better traffic flow in the museum public spaces. 2001


MetroCard building kit

Recycle used MetroCards into building pieces, patterned after Ray & Charles Eames' House of Cards. 2009


MoMA ordering system
A more appropriate, efficient, and clearer food delivery system at the museum cafe. 2006


Museum hours chart format

Displayed in a simple, easy-to-understand graphic for use on websites, brochures, and ads. 2011


Neurobics

The concept, activities, and explanation of the word and its implications. 1990


NYC tourist guides
A system of volunteer hosts to offer help at key locations around the city. 2006


No Baby
Please, don't have a baby unless you meet basic criteria. 2010


Oklahoma National Memorial
We could have done better. A thorough critique of the memorial in OKC. 1995


MemorialOklahoma
Jim's design submission to the contest to design an appropriate memorial to the bombing tragedy. 1997


Parking sign
A map to guide drivers to new airport parking lots. 2008


Pothole solution
An easy and cheap method to fill annoying potholes in the street. 2008


Self photo morphs
Send in photo with what changes you want (less fat, darker hair, more muscles) & photo is manipulated to reflect that and returned in variety of sizes (frameable, wallet) for motivation and goalspirations. 1994


PodPosts
An adapter to fit over CD Columns to hold iPods and cups. 2006


Push Pull symbols
Stickers to let people know how to move a door without running into it. 2008


Queue lines

Layout tips and examples for a more efficient, easier-to-follow alignment. 1968-2006


Reader reply card
A card that is better organized. 1990


Recycling symbols

A proposal for a consistent program of colors and shapes for recycling bins. 2013


Salsa ranch
Soon after ranch dressing was introduced I mixed it with an equal part of Tex-Mex salsa - delicious. 1980s


Science Museum
A better logo, a new map style, and a more logical identity and entry traffic flow. 2008


Sensory Input Machine
Creative people rely on perceptions in their brain as resources for creative problem solving. These perceptions come from one's imagination creating new stored images from actual images previously experienced. Actual images are recorded from numerous sources, including travel, television, magazines, and movies. If the variety of experiences increases - the creative source file is increased. This can be an expensive and time consuming process and limited by one's environment and ability to travel and purchase media.
Can this period of experiencing images be condensed in time and broadened in scope? Could images of artwork, architecture, graphics, interiors, products, and environments be compiled and shown to one at a high rate of speed - long enough for the image to register within the subconscious? Like programming a computer, can a machine help program a viewer? Can the brain perceive 2-D images from a machine as if actually experienced? Will the images register as experiential memory? How fast can the brain process an image? Can the viewer control the speed of projections? Can the images be organized by keywords? 1980s


Shoe ties
Simply use cordlocks to hold laces secure and avoid tying laces. 2005


Sidewalk conduits

Concrete boxes buried along streets; the top becomes the sidewalk and lifts up for easy access to utilities. 2006


Signs with center flush alignment

Aligning distances and exits can improve rapid comprehension. Late 1990s


Signs for highway rest areas

Directional that communicate more quickly, efficiently, clearly, and safely. 2007


Six Flags
A variety of improvements. 1968


Sofa: modular seating units
A sofa made of units that are easy to clean and arrange in a variety of configurations. 1980


Speed bump in a better location
A more effective way to calm traffic without disturbing adjacent yards. 2009


Sports scores
Team names and scores arranged in a clearer way. 2005


Stair climbing
Advantages versus the escalator or elevator. 2009


Starbucks
A few things they do well and some that need work. 2007-11


Stage steps
A set of theatre set stairs that are self-storing. 1968


Statue of Liberty Visitor Center Experience
An immersive center with exhibits, boat ride, and access to the Statue of Liberty. 2011


Stop signs made better
Go on red after stop - we waste much time and gas idling/sitting at a red light while no one else is at the intersection. Maybe we should just go - like at a stop sign. Yield to traffic with the green light, then, if clear, go ahead and cross the intersection (I came up with this notion long before people had cell phones in their cars and became less attentive drivers); Change all stop signs to Yield: a complete stop is often unnecessary, wasting gas, car maintenance, and time. 1978


Subway cars with themed interiors
To make a positive impact on the riders' experience; fun car interiors might provide a conversation starter, help remind riders that life is not to be taken too seriously, and help to brighten the outlook for urban commuters. There could even be product tie-ins to pay for the remodelation and provide extra income. 2005. Some options:
   Sports: Yankees, Mets, Giants, US Open, etc.
   Art Deco: rich details, pastel colors
   Manhattan kitsch souvenir touristy stuff
   Disco: music, mirror ball, 80s colors
   Jungle: foliage print walls; leopard, tiger prints, jungle sounds
   English library: Hunter green walls, walnut veneer, faux leather seats
   French Rococo drawing room - might be fun to see urban hip-hop fashions in such a room
   Space: Alien and Star Wars/Star Trek style materials and appliances


Sudoku gameboard
Improved graphics and function for a plastic gameboard. 2006


Table bases

Finally, a base that guides chairs into their proper storage position. 2007


Table tops that are squound

D-shaped for a more efficient use of space. 2005


Texas license plate
A simple, very Texan plate. 2010


3D glasses
Market custom, affordable, and prescription glasses for the home. 2010


Thunder OKC logo
A thorough essay on the name and identity of OKC's NBA team. 2008


Ticker Tape Parade medallions

An easy addition to explain the names of the parade honorees. 2009


Ticket design

A better way to efficiently and rapidly communicate info on a ticket, hard copy and e-tickets. 1993 & 2007


Times to call
A graphic of the best and most considerate times to make business phone calls during the week. 2009


Toilet flush handle
A long extension, it just makes life easier. 1995


Travel pants

The first pair of pants to ease the hassles of air travel. 2005-08


Tribute Visitor's Center logo
Weak, inappropriate, and disrespectful logo for a 9/11 visitors center. 2006


Tripod House

A house that sits on three legs to avoid cracking when settling. 1979


TV program times

Better layout design for displaying showtimes across 4 continental time zones. 2005


United Nations guidemap
A version that is accurate and more user-friendly. 2007


Urinals in the home
Install them in home bathrooms - to forever end the seat-up-or-down conflict and minimize bath cleanup. 1977


USA designations
Clearer, more intuitive regional monikers. 2007


UT Protest poster
A 1970s era statement against the institution of the university. 1970s


Velcro belt

A belt with a velcro buckle so one can go through airport security without having to take off the belt 2008


Verizon logo
Why it is excessive and how to make it better. 2009


Volkswagen van
Remodeled as a more upscale vehicle. 1976


Volleyball center
A recreation center devoted to the game of volleyball with a bar and restaurant, instructional clinics and classes, locker rooms, and leagues. 1984


Wallet: minimal
The thinnest and simplest option yet for Jim's wallet. 2012


Water bill error
Utility attitude of not caring, a simple solution, and a satisfying response. 2010


Website for JRW
The design, philosophy, and rationale of jamesrobertwatson.com


The Week magazine
improved contest layout and cover design for the weekly newsmagazine. 2009


WWJD Condoms
Market a line of condoms named 'What would Jesus do?' - give them away to undercut the price and success of all others, thereby making them very popular and common. A WWJD Condom might give pause to teenagers who are about to have sex. Hopefully, thus might reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, young immature mothers, and kids getting married too young (Corey suggests that WWJD could also stand for 'Who Would Jesus Do?') 2003


Which Wich bag

Better-designed bag for the sandwich restaurant. 2009


West Thames Pedestrian Bridge
A better design for the proposed bridge in Battery Park City. 2009


YMCA logo
A better identity with some obvious simple changes. 2011


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