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Month: July 2008

IE6 Status – Mid 2008

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 was released on August 21, 2001. It attained a peak of about 95% usage share during 2002 and 2003.  Then IE7 was launched in late 2006 and it began a sharp market share decline. I just checked my Google Analytics (as well as some other sources) and there is still a not-insignificant audience using IE6.  Maybe 5-10%, but still that is alot of people. Real web developers who aren’t lazy like me support IE6 and just do the legwork, but the truth is that it is a pain in the ass.  IE6 rendered web pages horribly…

IE6 Update to Theme

I installed the Twin Helix PNG Fix and tried to tweak up my site for IE6.  I got most of the PNG files taken care of, but not all of them.  I need to refactor some of the classes to get it all working right.  In general, my approach is to add a class called PNG to everything that has a background image with a PNG in it.  I wonder if letting jQuery add those classes would be the best thing?  I doubt it would work, but I should try. I still feel that the IE Team should be the…

Great Artwork – Portraits of Women

There are several images in this collection of beautiful feminine illustrations that just stopped me in my tracks.  To me, the purpose of art is to evoke emotion or thought.  This collection has a wealth of it. Two standouts are the one with the girl spinning a hoop/maze and this cubist rendering. I think women especially should view the whole collection.  Does it evoke positive or negative emotion?  or none at all?  Do I see the images differently than Katie?  I wonder.

The UX of Solitaire

A while back someone had pointed me to World of Solitaire and asked for some UX advice.  I tell it like it is, so for good and for bad, I will give my best advice. First, the good stuff.  This is a technical marvel.  Honestly, this is a ridiculously rich experience all done with 500kb of YUI and hard work (and 2 megs of images).  I can’t believe someone had the patience and wherewithal to build this thing.  It’s absolutely marvelous and detailed.  Lots of options for backgrounds, decks and games.  It has more solitaire games than I could shake…

The UX of Google Translate

Today, I saw a comment on a previous Jets post. Niw wiem co Wy widzicie w tym futbolu ? niech mi ktos to wyjasni ,bo nie bardzo rozumiem.sorry nie znam angielskiego na tyle by poprawnie sie tu na forum wyrazic-pozdrawiam Les At first I thought it might be spam, but I saw the word futbolo in it.  I wanted to know what it said, so I googled the word translate and found the Google Translator.  It didn’t have an option for “I don’t know which language”, so I just started guessing.  Spanish, obviously not.  Not danish, bulgarian, russian, etc etc. …

Are you ready?

Miyagi: Now, ready? Daniel: Yeah, I guess so. Miyagi: [sighs] Daniel-san, must talk. Miyagi: Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later *squish* get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do “yes” or karate do “no.” You karate do “guess so,” *squish* just like grape. Understand? Daniel: Yeah, I understand. Miyagi: Now, ready? Daniel: Yeah, I’m ready.

Vista internet access failing. Gateway 0.0.0.0

For some reason, my internet access fails on Microsoft Vista Business 32-bit edition every time I reboot.  The main symptom is that it puts a default gateway of 0.0.0.0 in the settings. Why is it doing this?  I don’t think I am infected or anything.  It’s happened to another computer in my network as well. My fix is to put the following into a batch file in my startup folder: route delete 0.0.0.0 route add 0.0.0.0 mask 0.0.0.0 192.168.10.1 I have no idea why this keeps happening.  I found alot of info on the net, but no one has figured…

Software speed

Lately, I have been thinking about speed as the number one factor for software satisfaction.  When a piece of software is fast, it makes the user so much happier than if it is just “powerful”. For example, in the early 90’s I loved XTreeGold.  It was wicked fast and could do what I wanted so much faster than any windows software.  (It worked in DOS mode).  I also loved InfoSelect for exactly the same reason.  It was superfast! This is why Vista users are unhappy.  The GUI is just too damn slow.  Why is this?  It takes me as much…

PNG Support for IE 6

Hooray! Someone finally nailed the background-repeat problem for PNG support.  I have stopped stretching PNGs in the foreground because of IE intermittant issues.  This, however, is a great solution.  It’s in Alpha now, so maybe I should wait a bit to make sure it’s baked, but this is GREAT news.  PNGs to do corners and shadows rather than GIF files is much much better. Thank you to Twin Helix for this super useful code.  My only question is:  Why didn’t microsoft release this years ago?  It wouldn’t “break the web”.  Clearly people wanted it.  People still use IE6, alot of…

JibJab Campaigning

JibJab is so cool.  They allow you to upload your own photo into the middle of their movie.  How the hell do they do that?!  Watch this one.  I am in it. Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Decisions

Miles: Sometimes you gotta say “What the F**k”, make your move. Joel, every now and then, saying “What the F**k”, brings freedom. Freedom brings opportunity, opportunity brings freedom. So your parents are going out of town. You got the place all to yourself. Joel Goodson: Yeah. Miles: What the f**k. Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide. Napoleon Bonaparte When is a decision rash?  When is it bold?  How does one know whether a decision is right or wrong?  These are the turning points of our lives.  So many of us let events…

Memories and Technology

Back when I had more hair.  Jared looks so happy.  Time flies. I got a new scanner, the CanoScan 4400F.  So far, it’s pretty impressive.  I am scanning Katie and my wedding album.  Ahh memories and new technology.  What more can I ask for?

Review: Designing the Obvious

I just finished the book, Designing the Obvious by Robert Hoekman, Jr.  Although I appreciated his overall view and the points he was making, I just thought the book fell a little flat for me.  In comparison, Don’t Make Me Think, was a much more enjoyable read.  Neither book really introduced me to any new concepts, but that is OK.  Sometimes, I like to give these kinds of books to others as primers. Compare Designing the Obvious to The Design of Everyday Things and to Universal Principles of Design.  DOET has virtually no pictures, but it was mesmerizing.  I had…

WordPress 2.6 and Gravatar

Wow, that was fast.  WordPress 2.6 is released.  I actually had trouble with it for the first time ever.  I downloaded the ZIP file and it had errors.  I then tried the TAR file and it worked like normal, magically and instantly.  This is my first moment using it, so I haven’t seen specifics about the experience.  The WYSIWYG editor “looks” the same, but apparently it’s been upgraded.  It still uses some PrototypeJS, but it has an up to date version of jQuery.  I’ll look around. Also, this theme uses Gravatars.  I find them pretty cool and easy to use. …

Upgrades – Trillian/WordPress

I love upgrades. Trillian Astra just sent an update that allows me to see when someone is STARTING a message to me.  I love this feature.  I am so excited about it.  Whenever I see the “Joe Smith is preparing a message to you”, I get giddy!  I can’t believe how long Trillian Astra has been in Alpha.  When will they release a beta so you all can use it? WordPress is testing 2.6.  They are on Release Candidate 1.  I am trying to hold my breath until it’s released in final.  I should probably just upgrade though.  Hmm, upgrade,…

Theme Weekend

I’m definetely pissing Katie off this weekend.  I never have time during the week for this, so I have to do it now.  Plus, since I am by the computer, I am moving a bunch of files from a smaller external HD to a larger one.  This is taking alot of time. Anyway, here is more on my theme modification adventure. I had to fix the URL for the Gravatars.  Gravatars are really brilliant.  You create an account and upload a picture.  Then Gravatar aware systems can put your picture next to your post.  Brilliant!  We should do this on…

Experimenting with New Theme

There is one thing I love more than anything else, and that’s Katie.  However, a close second runner-up is trying new software.  I love new software.  I love trying new things.  I am addicted to it.  My theme is no exception.  The newness of it is just intoxicating. As you can see, I have the Lemon Twist up and running…mostly. There are a few errors that I have to work out and of course, I need to customize it.  Here is my experience so far. I think there was an error on line 49 of commentform.php.  It was killing the…

My WordPress theme

I have been getting tired of my WordPress theme. I have zero time to do anything about it.  However, I saw a theme that I kinda liked.  It’s called Lemon Twist.  It uses PNG files very nicely.  It’s got jQuery and jQuery UI built in.  The mouseover effect on the right is nice.  Rounded corners, of course.  I really dig the comments section.  The author’s comments are in white.  Overall, I really like it.  I found it on SmashingMagazine. So I was thinking of installing it and then making some mods.  I’d have to change the logo of course.  Adding…

Some UX Rules

I have been compiling some UX rules in my head getting ready for my AjaxExperience talk in October.  Here are some that I have.  Not too much detail here, I will expand on them at a later date. Don’t bend your users. Given 10 users, you will get 8 different ways they try to succeed in your application.  (2 will be different by NOT being different and doing it one of the other already tried ways).  So rather than bend your users guesses and make only ONE way the correct way, you should make ALL the ways correct.  RIght-click, menu,…

Interface Driven Requirements Docs

I use Powerpoint 2007 to do all my prototyping and requirements.  It’s a great tool.  Much much better than PPT 2003.  Over the last 18 months, I have used this technique to great success.  Check out these two examples.  One is an older style and the other is newer.  The newer one has animation, so you might want to check it out in presentation mode. In general, the thing to notice is that they contain very little text.  From a engineer’s standpoint it means having to extrapolate architectural requirements from the UI.  I have seen people call this Interface Driven…

IE7 PNG Problem

I just ran into a problem that is a real pain in the ass with Internet Explorer 7. Start with a blank page with a patterned background.  Put an absolutely positioned 24-bit transparent PNG file (like a fade) on the page and make the width=100%. You can see an example of this on sparkt.com at the top.  In IE7, SOMETIMES it will add a strange reverse fade on the image all the way on the right.  SOMETIMES it will just stretch all the way to the right.  I have been doing this sort of thing for a long time and…

Idealism in your job

There are lots of people who can do a particular job.  Sometimes, however, one gets a new idea.  The idea is how you can do that job better, more effectively and more enjoyably.  The idea is important. Most companies make that idea difficult to implement.  It stays on the shelf with lots of other good ideas and rots there.  Eventually you get jaded and say, ‘Ideas rock the boat.  Just move forward and one day I will be charge and can bring back that idea”.  And of course, once you are in power, you have long forgotten that idea, or…

UX and Product Management

Someone asked me today what the difference was between UX and Product Management.  I explained with an analogy. User Experience (UX) is like being Willy Wonka.  The chocolate factory was the ultimate in UX Design.  Not only was everything awesome, but it was easy to use.  No one had to ask how to eat in the candy garden.  There were no user manuals for how to fly with Fizzy Lifting Bubble Ade.  Sure there were lots of bugs in the system, like the dessert in the 3 course meal gum, but what product doesn’t have bugs.  The point is that…