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Month: May 2007

Google Maps Street View

Wow!  This is unbelievable.  Check out the new preview of Google Maps – Street View.  Here is a picture of the old Koko Interactive offices.  This is where Katie and I lived when we first met.  It has El Camino Real.  I can’t believe they did this.  I believe that within 10 years, we will have high res graphics of most of the US from ground level.  Look Arinell’s Pizza, best in Berkeley!  Holy cow, this is awesome. I thought that Microsoft Maps was cool, but this ups the ante. And having overlays where you can see traffic or home…

Book Writing Weekend and PNG fixes

I skipped Memorial day festivities this weekend to focus on writing the book and preparing the presentation for AjaxExperience 2007.  I was pretty productive, but felt I could have been more so.  It was hard to maintain focus.  There was always the waiting distraction of food, break or sidetrack.  I felt like SpongeBob Squarepants when he had to write an essay for boating school.  Mrs. Puff canceled the assignment, but I won’t be so lucky.  Those of you without little kids may have no idea what I am talking about. In the book, I finally got through the HTML/CSS review…

Ajax Experience 2007

I am working now on my Ajax Experience 2007 presentation.  Title: jQuery for Designers. You can see my bio and presentation abstract on their site: http://ajaxexperience.techtarget.com/west/html/speakers.html#GLipka The presentationis moving along, although I definetely feel nervous.  I haven’t spoken to an audience in a long, long time.  I feel passion for the subject, but it’s been a while.  My presentation skills are rusty.  Even practicing with myself and Powerpoint I find myself saying Ummmmm way too much. The subject matter is the same as the book, however, I am unsure which one will be easier.  I work best with a team…

Windows Server 2008

Information provided by Betanews.com. I read the top ten new features of Windows Server 2008.  To sum them up: runs a little faster crashes a little less lots of enterprise benefits nice things for people who hate the mouse (a.k.a Linux people). The runs a little faster ad crashes a little less sounds fine.  The enterprise benefits are not relevant to me.  (Hooray for people who run thousand+ person organizations.)  The Command Line Interface (a.k.a. Powershell) is nice for Linux people, but I don’t care.Overall, this release isn’t for me.  It’s clearly an attempt to compete directly against Linux and…

jQuery Forms

I have been working on some forms for Marketo. Mostly shopping cart stuff to get signed up. It’s been a while since I really dove into jQuery to do some deep interaction design. Take a look at my prototype. [UPDATED to Joerns Link] It uses the Masked Input Plugin.  I like this plugin alot and used to do something similar with my inlineError form.  However, I think I will switch to this new method.  It’s much stronger.  I tried to use the Validation plugin, but I just couldn’t get it to behave how I wanted.  The plugin author assures me…

35 and Still Alive

The kids sang to me this morning: Happy Birthday to you. You live in a zoo. You smell like a monkey, and you look like one too. Good boys. Today is a beautiful day. Predictions for Glen’s 35th year: Blake wins American Idol. Jets win Superbowl Glen wins Pulitzer for best non-fiction book.

Debugging Notes

Some debugging complaints: Safari sucks.  There is no Firebug or IE Developer for Safari.  There is this thing called Webkit, but I can’t figure out how it works.  What the hell Apple?  Why do you have to be difficult?  No one wants Safari.  Safari has nothing special over other browsers.  It’s a pain in the ass to debug, and as a developer, I just don’t want more work to do tweaking css instead of designing world-class experiences.  Please, for the love of Jobs, KILL SAFARI!  Use Firefox!  It’s open source!  Everyone loves it.  It’s a good browser.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! …

Marketo.com Launched

Marketo.com (The comapny I work for as UX Architect) is launching their flagship product and public site this week.  Uses a bunch of jQuery, Tabs Plugin, Validation Plugin and Scrolling Promo Effect.  Design was by (upon request).  HTML Production was done by NetKitchen and myself.  Overall, I think it’s a solid looking site. One thing I have started doing is using more PNG files with transparency.  You have to be careful in terms of filesize, but the transparency effect is quite nice. I feel good about it.  Specifically the black background which I think makes the whole page pop!

Exciting News

Exciting news: The book publisher has green lit my book. I am starting to write it now. It is about jQuery and how it empowers designers. I will give a better summary after I work on it for a little while. I get an advance and everything. The book will be made of physical paper that you can touch and feel. Exciting! AjaxExperience 2007 has accepted my proposal to be a speaker at the conference in July. The presentation will be about jQuery and how it empowers designers. (Sound familiar?) I will give a better summary after I work on…

New Host – LunarPages.com

I just finished moving my host from Powweb.  It went pretty smoothly, well, for the part that I did.  I still need to move all my other stuff. I chose LunarPages.com.  Speed, my number 1 concern looks solid.  FTP is very fast.  Much faster than Powweb.  Support took a while to pick up the phone and their hours are limited, but they eventually got there.  It’s a big company, like 100 people or so.  West Coast based in Vegas and Los Angeles. They have an affiliate program, so I will be posting a coupon here eventually to save others money…

Getting fed up with Powweb.com

I have been using Powweb.com for a couple years now, I think.  I signed up for a 12 month program last July.  Since then, the ownership of Powweb has changed.  Since the switchover, I have seen degrading performance.  FTP is slow, sometimes painfully slow.  This website is sometimes slow and once in a while won’t come up at all.  And my email, which forwards to gmail, takes over 5 minutes to complete.  Today someone told me that an email to me bounced. Their chat people sometimes don’t listen to the problem.  They just suggested that I buy FTP ZOOM which…

UX Review of Google Analytics Beta

Google has opened the “beta” of thier new Analytics interface.  It looks nice visually.  Alot of UI improvements.  They use fmore flash now.  Most of the charts are bigger, which is good.  But I still think it lacks some “follow-through”.  My main complaint stems from a simple action that I keep trying to take that it doesn’t support.  I want to drill into details of particular nodes. What do I mean?  If I am looking at a chart showing that April 15 had alot of traffic.  I want to be able to click (or right-click) and drill into that date. …

Tennis in my head

In tennis, there is a terrible disease called, “Your inner dialogue.”  I have this in spades.  I just recently got my raquet restrung with a different string.  The pro said, the softer string will break sooner, and the medium string will have less touch.  So when I played, I literally couldn’t keep the ball in the court.  Everything went deep.  Even my drop shots went deep.  So I said, “Damn it” and cursed the bad strings. Then I called Bruce. (nice dome)  Bruce said that  the medium strings would go LESS far.  That I would have LESS power.  He said I hit…

Stuff to do

So much to do. So little time. I find lists to help me organize my thinking. I had a dream last night that I was adding the Google Analytics script to http://js.commadot.com. I really should do that. Check out a JPG of the new Google Analytics version coming soon. I like the design and am looking forward to using it. Ok, my top ten list of stuff to do: Add Google Analytics to http://js.commadot.com Blow out the examples I have started there. These demos will help me alot to get the MooTools versions. Redo Table of Contents, one last time,…

The UX of OK/Cancel buttons

Nice article about OK/Cancel Buttons.  I was researching this because I had to make a decision on Marketo whether or not to put the OK before the Cancel or vice-versa.  Apparently, as this study shows, MacOS X and Windows do things very differently.  Should the OK come first or last?  This is definetely an idiom that people get used to, but doesn’t really matter all that much. In fact, many web applications just do it however they want. In general, I think that you want the user to click OK or Yes or an affirmative answer more than you want…

UX Defined

UX stands for User Experience.  We used to call this Interaction Design (IxD) and before that we called it User Interface Design (UI).  Before that they called it Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Design.  Additionally, people have called parts of it Information Architecture or Visual Design. Fundamentally, they are all the same discipline.  I call it Design. In general, I like UX (User Experience) Architect as the title for me.   The thing I have always had a love and passion for is the way that person interacts with a man-made thing.  This includes everything man-made.  Scissors, web application, car stereo, VCR,…

CSS – Using AND in classes

I am totally stunned that I have gone so long without knowing this works. <div class=”foo bar”>ONE</div> <div class=”foo”>TWO</div> <div class=”bar”>THREE</div> Before today, I didn’t think you could make a single-line CSS statement that affected ONLY number ONE and not TWO AND THREE.  Previously, I would do torturous workarounds.  But I was just informed today by Scott Sauyet on the jQuery forum that, not only is it possible, it is easy. div.foo.bar {color:red} This worked!  I can’t believe it.  It’s unbelievable.  I have wasted so much time.  I am stunned.  Shocked and surprised.  I am awed.   WOW. UPDATE:  THIS IS…

The UX of UX Design

I think I am starting to unravel a great mystery.  Why do people who are not trained and not talented in UX insist on telling designers what to do?  I pretended to be a business owner talking to a UX Designer.  The UX Designer wants to do XYZ.  I think to myself, “I worked hard to get funding, to put the team together.  I have the vision for the company.  I am the one with the IDEA.  I am the founder.  The project should be an extension of my vision, not the vision of this artsy-fartsy pima-donna.  Well, I am in…

New Style Brutha!

So after Danny slammed my style last time, I decided that commadot.com needed a refresher. First I started looking at WordPress themes.  After alot of looking, this one caught my eye.  I started hacking it from there.  I changed the graphics, the text, the order of some things.  Then I added jQuery and started messing around with hide/collapse.  I am hiding every post but the first one.  Not sure if this is good UX.  Need to think about it. I found this great set of movies on Photoshop CS3.  They show this quick-select and refine edges tool that is really…

The UX of Hotmail and Google

Truth be told, I use GMail as my primary mail program.  I have been happy with the Google UX lately using Google Talk, GMail, Picasa, Picasa Web Albums and sometimes Google Desktop.  Gmail is very good for mailing lists like jQuery.  Much better than anything I have seen from Microsoft (Hotmail, Outlook, Outlook Express, Live Mail Desktop).  Also their Picasa albums have been very satisfactory for me, with great integration to a well designed desktop product. Today, I received an email in my Hotmail account.  Side note:  I block ALL email from entering my hotmail account.  It’s 99.9% spam, so…

Random UX Judgements

 DISCLAIMER:  UX Judgements are harsh.  Don’t get upset or defensive.  Ignore them if you wish, but like Simon on American Idol, what I say hurts, but it’s true. The date picker in Google Analytics on the left is not obvious.  The only way to make a custom range is to find a hidden icon no where near the chart.  The icon should be on the top right of the chart itself. Mantis Bug Tracker is totally lame. Possibly the worst UI ever.  Who designed this thing?  Blind people?  I wanted to change the columns displayed in my main view.  I…

Excellent Experience at Experts-Exchange.com

I have been a fan of http://www.Experts-exchange.com for a long time now.  I registered in Sept 2003 and have earned 23,285 points.  It is fulfilling to help people.  I love that.  And the whole structure is set up to easily ask questions and easily answer them.  Recently (last year) they did a redesign which I think makes it one of the best user experiences on the web.  It’s clear and elegant.  The visual design is strong.  Great use of chunking and contrast. Overall, I think it is one of the best sites on the web.  It would be cool if…