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Month: February 2010

The Little Things Illustrated

Previously I posted on how the little things are the ones that make/break your product/service.  Here is an illustrated example. Don’t be fooled.  This doesn’t mean you can just build the details and forget the big features.  Obviously a cup holder without a car isn’t much good.  Table stakes are the big features.  Your product has to do something useful.  However, that will not be the reason they love you.  See the following chart: You can’t get to love if you don’t travel through great functionality.  However, if you don’t bake in wonderful little details they will never love you.…

Request: Microsoft Office Real-Time Collaboration

An open letter to the Microsoft Office team: You have to produce ONE specific feature to secure your future.  If you do as I suggest, you will kneecap Google Docs and breath new life into MS Office.  Just one feature.  It may not be easy, but you have smart engineers and they can figure it out. Feature: Multiple people need to edit documents from a network share at the same time and see live updates. I’m talking about the entire Office Suite.  I don’t care about any other 500 features you have planned.  They are all bullshit.  There is only…

Different Kinds of Spam

I get spam from alot of different sources.  Each one is a pain in the ass.  Why can’t government figure out how to make this manageable? Snail Mail. Every day, my mailbox is full of coupons and solicitations from charities and political groups.  I get magazines and newsletters that we never read.  We just throw it away.  I feel horrible that we are wasting so much paper.  This is the worst kind of spam because it pollutes the environment. Email.  The obvious one, of course.  I get about 50 emails a day from unknown sources, that I can never unsubscribe. …

The UX of Grooveshark

I stumbled on this music site called Grooveshark accidentally via Smashing Magazine, but I am glad I did.  It has a rich user interface with alot to like. The obviousness of what to do first is the best part.  I typed in a song.  Ting Ting: That’s Not My Name.  It was there right in front of me and then I was listening to music.  The whole experience was in Flash, but it didn’t look overfly flashy.  I saw the add on the right, but the neat thing was the promo at the bottom. Very clever and not obtrusive.  I…

The UX of Infographics

There are three kinds of infographics. Ugly and useless Pretty and useless Useful A website is like a big infographic.  It is usually filled with noise and chatter and happy talk.  Usually, it written for the author or author’s boss, not for you.  Over and over again, I see infographics on the web that are terrible.  Fast Company has a series of great infographics, which are the exceptions. What should a great infographic do? Simple: It should make someone go, “Oh!  I didn’t realize that!”   Possibly they should say, “Oh, now I get it!” Why not just write down…

Executing a Software Idea

Jeff Atwood wrote a post about ideas being very cheap and execution being worth millions.  Although, I think the lots of terrible ideas are executed and fail miserably, his point is not lost on me.  How do I translate an idea into reality.  People do it all the time, but what are the steps. DISCLAIMER:  I am not a programmer.  So this is a first draft at how I would approach it. First, you need to establish the idea in a prototype or storyboard.  This is the easiest step for me because I can do it all in Balsamiq.  Mockup…

The UX of Buzz

Three letters.  WTF! Logged into GMail and got (what many of you got) a thing about Buzz.  I wasn’t sure what the thing was but clicked on it.  The next thing it says is: You are following 30 people and a bunch of people are following you. WTF!?  I didn’t want that!  Huh?  What just happened!?  Is this list public?  Who sees this?? OK, calm down, calm down.  Start from the beginning.  What is buzz? Summary Buzz is Twitter (Or Facebook Status) inside GMail.  If you type something in there, alot of people, often everyone can see it.  It’s like Twitter…

Product Idea: Mobile App for Sales

I had this idea while talking to a friend.  It’s a different spin on a previous idea about competitive analysis and product management. Summary A mobile app that connects to a SaaS service which gives a salesperson a unique view into prospects.   Specifically, helps make social connections with prospects. In Story form A saleswoman is sitting in a lobby, waiting for her appointment to get her and bring her to a conference room.  She opens up her mobile app and hits the name of the guy she is meeting.  She jumps through a few tabs, Blogs, Tweets, Connections (Facebook,…

Presentation Review: Avinash Kaushik

A great friend and mentor, Avinash Kaushik,  presented at Adchemy last week.  Avinash is an analytics evangelist and industry visionary.  He has two books on Analytics and speaks frequently.  I worked with Avinash a few years ago at Intuit where we had a very prolific and fruitful working relationship.   The whole company turned out to see him do his thing. Avinash’s style is pretty unique.  He is exciting, entertaining and utterly authentic.  His stories stem from real experience and his point of view has been crafted over years of hard work.  He has a great sense of humor, although…

3D Physics in Flash

http://box2dflash.sourceforge.net/ The challenge is to find places in your application or website, where you can add a touch of this kind of magic.  It’s can’t be gratuitous.  It has to be fun and natural.  I found a place where it will work in the enterprise app I am designing.  I am excited to see it in action. UPDATE:  Yes, these are 2D physics.  But they feel so REAL!  It was a psychological slip to think of them as three dimensional.

The UX of the Magic Moment

The minute I get started on something, I make enormous progress.  Things get accomplished.  The problem is starting to work on something versus procrastinating. Simply stated, I procrastinate…then comes a magic moment, then I make huge progress. What happens exactly in step 2?  Why did the moment start there?  Couldn’t I have started it further to the left?  Why don’t I start work right now?  What am I waiting for?  The Muse?  Inspiration? This is a critical question to being a highly productive person.  The ability to force yourself to put down the stuff that wastes time and do the…