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Month: June 2008

Upgrade to Windows Vista 64bit

Something went wrong with my machine at home.  A popup started saying things like, “Your license is about to expire, backup your stuff because this machine is about to become a paper-weight.”  I was really annoyed.  I purchased Vista for a reason.  So I wouldn’t have to deal with that crap.  Microsoft tech support was not helpful at all. The whole experience is me really mad at Microsoft.  They haven’t innovated in a long time.  Vista is fine, but it’s not fast enough.  It makes me want to switch to something else, but what is better? Mac?  I don’t want…

New WordPress theme

I was working on a friend’s wedding site using WordPress as the base.  He is a graphic designer and has excellent taste for these things.  At first, I started with a theme that was close and tried to modify it.  This is what I did on my own site.  However, I realized pretty quickly that this was folly.  I should have started with the sandbox theme. In fact, about 3/4 of the way through, I threw away my work and started over with the sandbox.  It went MUCH faster to design the theme.  Most people’s html is just horrible.  It’s…

The UX of Google Street View

Google Maps and street view is getting scary.  For a while, Microsoft’s Maps, was the closest look at my house.  But the Street View for Google is just crazy.  It’s a digital photo from the street of every house in my neighboorhood.  Interestingly, I can’t make out any of the license plates on the cars.  I wonder if they do that automagically. The coolest new thing I saw today was how you could edit your own house.  I looked for my address, and then noticed that the marker was one house off.  I clicked edit and moved the marker.  It…

WordPress 2.6

WordPress 2.6 is getting ready to go into beta.  I’ve said this beofre, but WordPress to me is just a fantastic program.  The design of the UX including the UI, IA, upgrade process, plugin process, html editing, is just world class.  I am continually inspired by how a program can work in such a smooth and pleasant way. Writing a post is fun.  I am looking forward to installing 2.6.

Microsoft Office 2007 Menu Fonts

This might sound stupid, but I was struggling to find out what font Microsoft used in their menus in Office 2007.  I thought it was Calibri, but that was incorrect.  It turns out to be Segoe UI. Google sort of let me down there.  I googled and googled and couldn’t find a post with the answer.  This link finally had the word Segoe in it and that helped me.  ALthough the wikipedia links should have shown up.  How very stange.  Maybe my googling skills are getting rusty?

300 Million Prize for Better Battery

John McCain has proposed a 300 million dollar prize for a better battery.  Although I certainly am in favor of a significant increase in funding for batteries, I don’t understand why this is a prize.  Why not just invest 300 million in R&D grants for better batteries? Is it really a “prize”?  So one company wins and everyone else loses?  The government can be a powerful force for R&D.  Energy, healthcare, food production, economy and even art are things the government can improve simply by providing grants to enterprising companies and individuals who can make a difference. It’s a great…

The UX of DirecTV

I recently upgraded my DirecTV so that I get HD and DVR in one box.  It took a week to get it actually working.  Some technical problem, lets skip that.  The device has an ethernet port so I bought a special ethernet to wifi connection.  It took a little while, but I finally got it working.  Then finally there was a SATA port to have an external hard drive.  I bought  one of those to expand the amount of space.  I can’t get that working.  Ugh. Ok, but here is the part I want to write about.  The onDemand feature…

The UX of watching a crackberry addict

I don’t have a Blackberry.  I appreciate it’s UX very much for the primary user.  It’s downright addicting.  However, the UX of the person WATCHING the person using the Blackberry isn’t nearly as good. Hold on a sec. Click. Spin ball. Type. Wait. Wait. Ok, I’m back.  How lame is that?  Every person with a blackberry stops engaging in the conversation at hand and starts looking at the little screen and spinning the little ball. You know what is really happening?  They are bored of listening to you or your meeting.  They are bored!  So they look at their email…

From A to Z

I just noticed something this morning.  I always knew the arrow was sort of a smile.  The M and the A were the eyes and the arrow was the smile.  However, I didn’t notice that the arrow goes from A to Z until today.  From A to Z.  They don’t just sell books.  Get it? I now rank this logo much higher in my “Logo Hall of Fame”.  The arrow inside the E and the X in FedEx is still my number one logo.  Nice job, to whomever designed the amazon.com logo.

Internet Advertising

Check out the chart showing history of online advertising spend.  It’s fascinating.  This is why Yahoo still exists, even though they are getting clobbered by Google.

3 Business Models

Business Model #1:  Enterprise This is when your product costs over 100k.  Maybe even in the millions.  The sales cycle is pretty long.  It requires lots of documents to make the sale and build the product.  RFI, RFP, MRD, PRD, Roadmap, the list goes on and on.  This is a tough business to be in.  If you are good at it, then you could get very big like Seibel or Oracle or any other big expensive product suppliers.  If you are a startup, you have to get VERY lucky.  Remend tried this and was not lucky.  They got caught in…

Matthew and Katie

This is EXACTLY how Katie and Matthew interact. Except replace Lois with Katie.

Household Income, 2006

This is an update to my post previously about income in the United States.  Based on 111,617,402 households in the US as of 2006. Household Income, 2006 Total People Percent Less than $49,999 57,218,480 51% $50,000 to $74,999 21,221,889 19% $75,000 to $99,999 13,214,551 12% $100,000 to $199,999 16,145,482 14% $200,000 or more 3,817,000 3% It’s not much different than before.  82% of people make less than 100k in the household.  Of course, in some locales, 100k is plenty to thrive.  However, 200k+ is not all that much.  To have only 3% make that much, even including two parents working,…

The UX of positive feedback

A nice review of Marketo.  I really feel like Marketo is starting to gain momentum in a serious way.  Articles like this make me feel all warm inside that I was able to have a positive impact on a company and on the people who use the product. This raises an important thought for me.  Positive feedback is critical to making someone feel good about their work and feel committed to the organization.  Without positive feedback, you just don’t know if you are making a difference or having an impact. In a large organization this is harder, but certainly not…

Microsoft Tech

I am so far behind in my usage of Microsoft technologies.  I haven’t installed Windows Server 2008 anywhere.  I haven’t installed Exchange 2007 on any system.  I haven’t tried Sharepoint Server 2007.  I feel so lame.  They have SP1 on these for crying out loud.  I am way behind. I don’t have a server in the garage anymore.  I can’t upgrade us at work because there is no time and I would get killed if I lost our data. Has anyone used these new versions?  Is there anything noteworthy?  I wish Microsoft had citrix virtual machines so you could try…

What Microsoft should do about Windows

This will probably never make it to someone who actually matters on the Microsoft Windows team, but who knows.  It’s worth a try.  You never know. The Microsoft WIndows team should spend the next 3 years NOT adding new features.  They should spend the entire time improving performance and quality.  The reason MacOS X is much better than Windows Vista is the exact reason why Windows 2000 was so much better than MacOS 9.  It’s faster and more reliable. Users like fancy graphics in general, but that is not the critical aspect of the operating system.  Speed and reliability are…

jQuery UI 1.5

jQuery has just released version 1.5 of their user interface module called “jQuery UI”.  Maybe not the most snazzy of names, however, the module is a major leap forward for web developers and application developers.  You can see the details at http://ui.jquery.com although the high interest has crash the server, I think.  I can’t wait to try it out. 🙂 The blog post is extremely well written and gives a great high level overview of what the module does.  When jQuery first came out, it totally transformed the way I think about building websites.  With jQuery UI, I think a…

Surfing

Every once in a while, I do a little exploration on the web to look for interesting things.  I don’t do it that often because it is a road that leads to everywhere and I could get lost for hours.  However, I feel compelled to do it a little bit of the time and this morning was one of those times.  I started with a Google Search of UI Blog.  Here is what I found in the order I found it: User-Interface Blog – Looks promising.  I will subscribe. Jensen Harris Blog – Microsoft Office guy who blogs about UI. …

Design Pitfalls

I wrote this a while back for the book too.  It described the design process in most organizations as I perceived it.  I cleaned it up a bit and made it into HTML instead of a Word doc or PDF.  I called it Design Pitfalls. This is another in the series of stuff from the book that wasn’t exactly going anywhere.  I hope it helps someone out.

The UX Series – IA

I was looking at some of the documents I produced in writing the book.  I really like some of them.  They don’t string together like a book, but taken individually as just a single serving of UX, they actually are useful.  Well, I think so anyway.  I am going to package them up and post about them.  Maybe I will just start with one. The first one is about information architecture.  It explains how a user finds a needle in a haystack. I hope you find it useful.  Please let me know.

Ajax News and random

Three bits of interesting UI news today. First is a spotlight from the ExtJS blog called VersoChat.  Mostly, I just read the blog, skimmed their website and looked closely at the big JPEG on EXT.  Default skin, but very nice icons.  I wonder where they got those ones.  The Information Architecture (IA) is definetely designed for a power user.  It’s laid out for someone who clearly uses the thing every day.  I like it in general, but that is a very hard space to get into.  I think the chat window could potentially have the rich text editor from EXT,…