April 2010

Designing for Change

A human body can last for over a hundred years. However, remove oxygen for 2 minutes and it will fail permanently. One hit to the head or major artery and its all over. How can a system be that fragile and last for so long? The Earth has supported life for billions of years. Modern civilization has come about in the last ten thousand years. Within that time, (equivalent to...

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Empathy and Sympathy

What is the difference between empathy and sympathy and why does it matter to building a great product or service? Empathy Definition: the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. In English: Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. This should not be confused with sympathy.  To sympathize is to feel or express compassion, as for another’s suffering; commiserate. In other words, Empathy is...

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Marty Cagen’s Bad Product Leadership Habits

I loved this blog post by Marty Cagen.  It’s all the things that bad leaders can do to mess up a product.  However, I read it differently than Marty wrote it.  In other words, he wrote the things a CEO or Executive do that mess up the product manager.  Instead, I read it as the things a bad product manager can do to mess up the user experience designer. At...

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Social Buzz Verbs

Google recently release Google Buzz.  This is a different service than Yahoo Buzz.  Of course, this is completely different than AT&T Buzz.com.  Why are all these web 2.0 social services named Buzz?  Why that verb? Facebook just released their “Like” button that you spread around the web.  Don’t confuse this with the Google Reader “Like” button.  I added a Like Button on the right column.  Click it now! Why is...

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Trading Mobility for Quality

There has been a trend over the last 20 years in telephones.  That trend has been the trading of quality for mobility and features.  Here is the progression: First, I had a land-line with a squigly cord.  The quality of the call was usually perfect.  The phone was comfortable on my ear.  I could talk to to a girlfriend for hours on end.  I had to sit near the phone...

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The UX of Inner Motivation

We moved into a new house a few months ago.  We still have boxes left unpacked; pictures not on the wall.  We had a nice surge of motivation to unpack, but then we ran out of steam.  The whole job seems really enormous.  It’s easier to just get through the day-to-day with the minimum of effort than to buckle down and tear open that box. Hanging up that first picture...

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New Theme – April 2010

I couldn’t help myself. I am using the 3.0 beta version of WordPress. It comes with a new theme that is pretty clean from an HTML standpoint. I haven’t made a theme in a long time, so I took the opportunity to build one up. Voila. It’s not done yet, but it’s a good start. I have decided to use CSS3 in this theme which means IE is going to...

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A Better Goldman Sachs Metaphor

There have been many analogies and metaphors used to describe the Goldman Sachs fraud case.  I think alot of them are bad.  John Stewart was very funny talking about them. Metaphors and Analogies are important tools for User Experience (UX) design.  Not only is it helpful to explain to your peers what you are trying to accomplish, it helps sales and marketing to wrap their heads around the spirit of...

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Did the iPhone get Leaked?

Yes. I may seem cynical, but this wasn’t an accident.  Apple purposely instructed that guy to leave his prototype at the bar. Apple is in the zone right now.  They are dominating everything they do.  The iPad is a runaway success, despite the menstrual name.  The iPhone sales are through the roof and profits are huge.  Their market capitalization is redonkulous.  This wasn’t a horrible mistake.  This was planned and...

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Font replacement strategies

I’ve tried many different methods for font replacement on my site.  I just can’t help wanting to use a fancy font.  I just switched techniques, but here is the complete rundown. Cufon. A JavaScript implementation that uses Canvas tags to change the fonts of specified tags.  It uses jQuery to find the fonts and a special JS file that you feed into the Cufon Generator to make the script.  Source...

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