September 2009

Ira Glass, UX Rockstar

I listen to NPR (National Public Radio) every morning.  I have been a consistent paying member for years.  Every few months, they have a pledge week where they try and get listeners to donate money to support the radio network.  They try all kinds of techniques to increase effectiveness:  Dollar-for-dollar matching, free gifts, prizes, donate to food banks, guilt, begging, cajoling, etc. However, it was not until this pledge drive...

Continue reading...

9 year old Soccer: Design Strategy

User Experience Design is about asking the fundamental question: Why?  Why do people love the things they love and hate the things they hate and ignore most of the rest?  Why does the world act the way it does? Once you understand Why something happens, you can design a strategy to maximize the positive outcomes.  A good UX advocate will find inspiration everywhere.  This weekend, I found it watching my 9...

Continue reading...

Storm Large – 8 Mile

This is pure unexpected WOW.  Watch the video and ask yourself, “Did I just say wow?  That was unexpected?”  Great song, great video. I hope you like it.

Continue reading...

The Neck of a Drop Down Menu

I have this horrible mini-UX experience in LinkedIn.  Overall, I love LinkedIn, but this one tiny thing is like a small pipe in a hallway that I keep stubbing my toe against.  You can try it out too. Go to LinkedIn and look at the top right. You see the “People you may know” box? Hover over the X and it gives you a sub-menu. Mouse over to “I don’t...

Continue reading...

Fun to Use or Easy to Learn?

Which is more important?  Something that is easy to learn or something that is fun to use once it’s learned? Most software developers get this exactly wrong. Riding a bicycle. At first, riding a bicycle is scary and physically painful. (Falling off a bike is not fun)  However, once you learn it, it is extremely enjoyable and the value of going much faster at a fraction of the expended energy...

Continue reading...

The UX of Product Priorities

How do you decide what to build next?  Let’s start with some high level categories: New Whiz Bang Features.  Sales is going to love demo’ing.  Marketing is going to love the story-telling. Polish the Apple.  This is going back over existing features and making them better.  More polished, more nuanced.  Sales and Marketing won’t care, but the customer will be happy with progress and improvement. Systems Infrastructure.  Sometimes this is...

Continue reading...

The UX of Verizon Phones

We switched to Verizon Wireless many years ago.  We were using Cingular?AT&T and were greatly relieved when we switched.  The network was much better.  No more dropped calls, no more static.  We were in “4 bar” nirvana. We got super simple clamshell phones with virtually no features.  I bought a game for mine, Breakout. Fast-forward many years.  The iPhone has ushered in a new era of super phones.  Basically, these...

Continue reading...

Firefox, The Next Generation

Firefox has been generally open source with their design process.  It’s an interesting approach and bound to get people interested and possibily to inspire some great ideas.  On the other hand, it’s alot of work to manage the flow of ideas. Their latest challenge is to re-conceptualize how bookmarks, history and other data are rendered in the browser.  I think I have some ideas about this, but they would make...

Continue reading...

Disgby Widget – What if I am not there?

On my blog, there is a Digsby widget that allows you to instant message me.  The problem is that I forget to sign out of Digsby at night.  So I come in to work in the morning and have 2 or 3 messages, but the person is gone from the website.  I have to remember to sign out. However, to cover the use case, I added in a contact form...

Continue reading...