November 2007

Management sins

What are the worst management sins?  Here is my short list. Micromanagment. I really hate it when a boss says, “I want you to be responsible for this, but I am going to dictate how you do it.”  This is the thing that made me want to leave Intuit.  If you delegate then, let the person do their job.  You can give them feedback and guidance, but don’t dictate.  I...

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Open Source Product Definition: OutlineTasks

Yesterday, I was struggling to achieve a basic goal.  I wanted to list out the sections of the application and specify all the different buttons and menus and features.  It was basically a quick outline of the product to be used as a UI specification doc.  There are lots of task managers, but none achieved my goal.  I had three requirements: An outlining tool as easy as MS Project 2007....

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Remend closes and lessons learned

The first company I worked as an interaction designer, Remend has officially closed it doors.  Here are some lessons learned for dot-coms building a product: A dollar spent in architecture is 10 dollars saved in maintenance.  Never hard code anything if you can help it.  The lesson is that things change.  Details change. You have to roll with the punches.  It is alot easier to change something flexible than something...

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The UX of Buggy Software

In any non-trivial piece of software you have alot of features.  Often, there is a bug in some of those features.  In the rollout phase of software, there are usually ALOT of bugs.  People use the word “beta” to mean buggy, but it carries a deadly payload. When a user encounters one bug, they will assume that all “similar” features are suspect.  In other words, if one menu button doesn’t...

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The UX of the Web

I love the Web.  I have loved it since Netscape 1.0 in 1994.  Here is why, in the form of two stories. Thanksgiving, 1996,  there were not that many websites in general, but there were a bunch.  My step-mother said, “The internet is a fad.  Mark my words, it will be gone in a couple of years.”  That night at dinner, we had alot of people over my dad’s house...

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The UX of Listerine

I haven’t used Listernine in years.  I was in Rite-aid this morning, buying Claritin and I saw the Listerine.  I was looking for one for the kids, but I thought it might be better to try it on my own first.  It’s ADA certified so I felt confident.  I took a swing and started swishing around.  Immediately, my mouth started to burn horribly.  Then it got worse. My gums receded...

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Thanksgiving and the UX of Digital Pictures

We had a nice Thanksgiving this year.  Penny was happy.  Katie was happy, but not taller than Darcie.  The kids got to ride their bikes in an empty mall parking lot.  Ethan got to cook a little.  Ben and Darcie were happy with their new baby Henry.  All the extended family was there.  Everyone had a good time.  Everyone took pictures.   The funny thing is: I will never see those...

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The UX of DebugBar

A new updated Internet Explorer tool is on the scene called DebugBar.  I was excited at first for this tool because I think IE has no decent tools.  However, my hopes were soon dashed.  I might be stupid and it was there and I couldn’t see it, however, I could not find out how to change a CSS attribute.  I didn’t see it anywhere.  There were JS tools, but I...

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The UX Firefox 3 beta 1

Mozilla has launched Firefox 3 into beta.  I quickly downloaded and installed it.  I realized this might be a mistake based on the fact that I need to use Firefox 2 for my development work.  Turns out there are two major problems, which caused me to uninstall the program almost immediately. I couldn’t run both Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 at the same time.  Haven’t we learned this lesson from...

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Lunch at GooglePlex

Avinash, analytics and web guru, was kind enough to invite me to GooglePlex for lunch.  The food was good overall, the variety was outstanding, but it was the energy and the style that was most impressive.  I really appreciated the energy of the people and the way everything was arranged.  Everyone shared offices.  Everyone had two gigantic screens to work on.  I imagine the computers were very fast.  There were...

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