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Month: June 2010

The UX of the Apple iPad – Part II

One week in and I have some more experience with the iPad.  There have been some ups and downs.  Here is my (as of now) reactions: Email Connection: I finally got it working.  I didn’t do it, my IT guy at work did.  I watched the details and it was way more complicated than I thought it would be.  Setting up Outlook on my desktop was a super simple, but the iPad was not.  However, having the email on the device is a huge improvement.  I can now be in a meeting and carry it with me rather than use…

The UX of Criticizing Apple

I spent two years (1992-1994) in Buffalo, NY.  My first conversation with a native Buffalonian went like this: Me: Hi, I’m Glen. Buffalo: Hi Glen, where are you from? Me: Just outside NYC. Buffalo:  Hmmm.  The wings suck there.  Pizza too.  Plus did you know the Buffalo Bills are the only NY football team.  The Jets and Giants are in New Jersey.  Buffalo is awesome! Ok, so what happened here?  Why did every native of Buffalo get really defensive when talking about NYC?  How did the Buffalo Bills become synonymous with people’s personal identity?  Why are wings and pizza so…

The UX of the Apple iPad – Part I

I recently had a chance to work with an iPad.  The different kinds of UI is exploding as Mobile devices, e-readers, netbooks and other devices gain in popularity.  No longer can I design for 1024×768 or better on a modern browser.  Now, I have to think about gestures on mobile devices too. The iPad is an interesting device, but mostly unsatisfactory.  It really is just a big iPod Touch.  My main source of frustration is figuring out why I would use it versus another device.  For example: I tried using it to read my work email.  I can’t figure out…

The UX of Living in Four Dimensions

We all have to be somewhere.  Street, cross street, floor, and at what time defines us all.  FourSquare even lets you tell your friends where you are at all times.  It’s amazing to me that you can meet someone in all four dimensions every single day.  We are a pretty ingenious lot. I was thinking about this when I was in a meeting today.  All I wanted to do was “meet” with the other people conceptually.  I wanted to meet at a place where we could agree on a course of action.  I had this image of being in space,…

How much can you make with Google AdSense?

I actually found it a bit difficult and confusing to answer this question.  There are many variables including traffic, audience make-up, page rank, ad size, placement and more.  The numbers are all over the map.  I am happy to share my stats with this experiment. My prediction originally was $2 a month.  I wasn’t very optimistic.  I read one post saying someone made $80 a month with very little traffic.  It could be an urban myth though. Apparently there are special words like mesothelioma which can get $25 per click!  Who would have thunk such a thing?  Advertising is a…

Design is Decisions – Part V

Design is decisions.  How do you make those decisions?  There are many competing schools of thought.  I’ll break them down and give you my experience with them all. A/B or Multivariate Testing Focus Groups Hallway Testing Consensus CYA Going with your gut Going with your gut As you can see form the past 4 posts, there are many ways of making a decision.  However, all of these methods have challenges.  If you can test with confidence, then the answer is clear, but how many things can you possibly test?  Can you test every single decision?  Test every copy edit and…

Design is Decisions – Part IV

Design is decisions.  How do you make those decisions?  There are many competing schools of thought.  I’ll break them down and give you my experience with them all. A/B or Multivariate Testing Focus Groups Hallway Testing Consensus CYA Going with your gut Consensus CYA CYA stands for Cover Your Ass.  It basically means that you should get as many people in the room to make every decision.  Never venture out on your own.  Always spread the risk around.  Please initial here _____ and here _____ and here ______. There are many rationalizations of why people do this, and make no…

Design is Decisions – Part III

Design is decisions.  How do you make those decisions?  There are many competing schools of thought.  I’ll break them down and give you my experience with them all. A/B or Multivariate Testing Focus Groups Hallway Testing Consensus CYA Going with your gut Hallway Testing Also known as, “Hey, come look at my screen!”  This is my favorite form of decision making.  A small group of people, like 2-3, looking at the screen and talking about what is there.  Sometimes you can just grab a stranger, like the company HR woman or the accountant and show them your work. When I…

Design is Decisions – Part II

Design is decisions.  How do you make those decisions?  There are many competing schools of thought.  I’ll break them down and give you my experience with them all. A/B or Multivariate Testing Focus Groups Hallway Testing Consensus CYA Going with your gut Focus Groups There is a famous story from Sony. Sony Corporation asked teenagers in a focus group which color portable radio/CD player they preferred–black or yellow? The overwhelming response was “yellow.” At the end of the three-hour session, the teenagers were told to pick out their choice of a free boom box as a gift for participating in…

The UX of Watching the World Cup

For anyone who has turned on the World Cup on television this question is pretty obvious.  What the $*#!@ is that damn buzzing noise?? It sounds like a swarm of bees or that my TV speakers are broken.  Turns out it is a VuVuZela, see below. This infernal device ruins the entire experience for me.  I can’t hear anything the announcers are saying.  As a newbie to Soccer, I want to hear their point of view.  I am sure that an experienced Futbol watcher thinks the announcers are stupid, the way I think Football announcers are stupid, but they serve…

Re-buying Lost Books

Sometimes, I lend a treasured book to a friend or even an acquaintance.  Through some happenstance, I end up not getting the book back.  I hate this.  I am one of those people who like to keep the books I have read around because they remind me of what’s inside and also because they make me feel good for having read them. When a book is lost, I am stuck with a dilemma. Should I re-purchase the book even though I know for certain that I won’t read them again? Then lend the book out and lose them all over again?…

Marketo is Growing

My first few weeks at Marketo have been great!  The sales have been so strong that they have been growing rapidly to support all the customers.  In fact, there are alot of positions open right now. Marketo is growing rapidly, which means that there is alot of opportunity to make an impact that will last a long time. The product is très cool.  The vision is compelling.  I wouldn’t have joined again if I didn’t think it was a place where I could do my best work. If you have ideas, creativity, enthusiasm, talent and a resume; check out the…

The UX of Healthcare

In the past 10 years, I think I have changed healthcare about half a dozen times.  For me it was easy, but for Katie (wife) it has been a nightmare.  You see, she takes care of all the paperwork. Health care in the US (and probably elsewhere) is saturated with paperwork and confusing rules.  It seems the entire system is designed to make you stay at home and suck it up.  Every doctor does things differently and and every health care plan is a winding mess of bureaucracy.  Primary Care physicians, HMO, PPO, Kaiser, FSA, HSA…the acronyms pile up.  Co-payments,…

The UX of Tab Priority

Alot of bad assumptions, especially by non designers on this topic. The question is: If you have several tabs to use in navigation and you want the user to pay more attention to certain ones, how should you arrange the tabs? The most obvious one is the left most tab (assuming left-to-right reading) should be the most important section.  However, most people make the mistake right after that. People assume the second tab is the one that users will read next.  They think people will read the tabs as if they were a sentence in a book.  This is incorrect. …

Marketo – The Sequel

After an 8 month hiatus, I have rejoined Marketo.  Truthfully, I found myself using the sentence “At Marketo we _________ and it worked great!” way too many times.  I know I missed alot of things about Marketo and am really surprised 2010 worked out this way.  It feels weird, like a High School reunion with people you recognize but you are both older.  My time at Adchemy was extremely fruitful and I gave them great stuff, but the fit was never quite right. I rejoined Marketo last week and was greeted so warmly it made me blush.  There are alot…