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Month: March 2008

The UX of Disruptive Teenagers

The boys and I were at a Bat Mitzvah, which is a religious ceremony for a 13 year old girl.  She reads in front of everyone, pray pray, sing sing, go have a giant party afterwards with music too loud.  At the ceremony, there was an interesting phenonmenon.  All of the friends of the star sat together.  This isn’t surprising, as they would want to sit with their friends.  They sat as far to the back and to the side as possible.  Sort of like rats will feel more comfortable on the edge of a room rather than in the…

The UX of Virgin America

First of all, Virgin America’s website kicks ass.  It blew my mind.  I put in the origination and the destination and it gave me the lowest prices that day and several days ahead and behind.  That clued me in to the right day I should fly to save literally thousands of dollars.  The UI was spectacular, the graphic design was professional and slick, the information architecture was logical and intuitive and the features were exactly what I needed, plus a few that I loved without ever having thought of them. Great work to whomever designed that site. The airplane was…

The UX Manifesto v1

Very often, I think people do not understand what I mean by User Experience (UX).  They think its paint that goes on AFTER a product has been defined and possibly built.  Maybe it is deciding where the button goes.  I think UX is different.  UX is about looking at the world through special eyes.  Eyes that see how people react to all kinds of circumstances. My blog, for a little while now, has been about The UX of ________.  I look at the world through the UX lens.  How was this thing conceived and implemented?  How do people interact with…

Mac vs PC in the Office

Quick history lesson: Apple Mac was easier. Windows 3.1 was more successful.  Apple System 7 were easier/better then Windows 3.1.  Windows 95 was as good as Mac System 7-8.  Windows 98 was a little better, maybe.  Windows 2000 was multi-threaded and was MUCH better than Mac System 9.  Windows XP was a nice improvement and was MUCH better than System 9.  Then Steve Jobs came back to Apple.  MacOSX is much better than Windows XP.  And now, Vista is only slightly better than Windows XP and certainly alot worse than MacOSX. OK, so here we are, Macs are clearly better than PCs,…

Google Reader Link

Somebody at Google is trying to confuse me.  They keep moving the Google Reader link. Sometimes, its in the menu and sometimes it’s at the top.  I can’t deal with buttons moving.  Is that lame?  Ok, maybe. I wish Google would consider some more advanced UI for stuff like this.  Check out this basic EXT combobox.  Now imagine the above UI using it.  You could use the keyboard, you could type in what you want and get auto-suggest, you could use the basic trigger.  It would make a more nuanced and powerful experience. Some may say that simplicity is the…

WordPress 2.5

Of course, I couldn’t help myself. I need my new beta software fix. Must use new software. The upgrade went flawlessly AS USUAL for WordPress. The UI is cleaned up and so far, I like it. I haven’t used it enough to really get a feel for it. Right now, I am trying the editor screen. I think there is one thing missing. Control-K usually makes the LINK dialog popup. I use that all the time. I hope they didn’t kill it. They are using TinyMCE, which I hate in our own application for all the crazy html it produces.…

P-CAMP Unconference for Product Managers

I went to a conference today at Yahoo.  Nice campus.  It was P-CAMP Unconference for Product Managers. I took alot away from it.  Some learnings: There is a huge chasm between what serious Agile practitioners proscribe and what most companies who say they are doing agile actually do.  One guy said, “You just have to find the companies that are doing it right.”  I laughed.  I just can’t suspend my skepticism that it just doesn’t exist beyond the 1% of companies.  I am very happy to be proven wrong, but so far, I haven’t met anyone on a personal level…

A New Idea about Time Tracking

I’m up early again.  I get ideas in the middle of the night and need to wake up and record them. Anyway, this is a follow-up from the last post.  I think I have a new idea how to manage predictions in a software project.  This would fit in nicely with a program like TargetProcess. But could just as easily work with Trac, Bugzilla, Mantis, FogBugz, Jira. or any other bug tracking system.  The key is the source control integration. In TargetProcess (and others) when you check in your code changes, you usually put the number of the bug or task…

The UX of Time Tracking

Project management is hard work.  I feel for anyone who has to do it in the software industry.  The problem is simple.  To do any kind of prediction in project management, you need to be able to guess how long something will take.  Let’s say you want to build a web page.  How long will it take?  Over the last decade of doing just that, I know that a page takes about 1-2 days to produce from a JPEG or PSD.  I know I can make a Marketo landing page template in about 1-2 hours.  I can make a home…

Jets

The Jets have made some great free agency moves.  My general philosophy is that a team lives and dies on the line.  O-line got improved with Alan Faneca.  I expect D’Brick and Mangold to improve dramatically with Faneca in between them.  They need his veteran presence.  This will lead to Thomas Jones (RB) to having a break-out season running behind these guys.  In fact, he gets another great blocker with Tony Richardson as Full back. Jones must feel like he is the luckiest guy in the world.  I am predicting a 1500+ year season.  I also expect QB Clemens to…

Internet Explorer 8

I downloaded Internet Explorer 8 to install.  It gave me an error saying, “IE8 is not supported on this operating system.”  I am running Vista.  Seriously?  It doesn’t work on Vista??  What OS are they using over there?  Vista is the latest.  Are they really using XP? Man, Microsoft needs to work on Vista.  This is just plain vanilla bullshit.  It’s slow and has problems.  Let’s go people! I am not terribly excited for IE.  Just more messed up browser contradictions.  Now I have to deal with people using IE6, IE7 and IE8.  The standalone versions don’t work right.  Testing…

Growing pains

I can hardly remember the growing pains from Koko.  We had 30 people at the peak.  I remember agonizing over organizational charts.  I remember thinking about communications lines.  I remember how hard it was to get engineering leaders to communicate effectively (at all) to account managers.  I remember isolated incidents, but I really don’t remember massive pain.  Maybe I am remembering it with rose-colored glasses? At work, we are growing because of success on the marketing automation platform we built. I am very proud of the job we all did and the response that the market is giving us is…