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Month: October 2010

More (or Less) complicated than you think

I had several interesting experiences yesterday.  In all of the cases, the subject of my work was much more or much less complicated than what I initially thought.  Some examples: Case #1: I was working with an engineer who had a problem with CSS.  He is only loosely familiar with CSS, so he was freaking out.  He was proposing a massive re-architecture of the system.  I wrote down the one line of CSS for him and the problem was solved.  2 weeks of work or 20 seconds?  In this case, it was 20 seconds.  This exact problem yesterday happened twice…

Following the Narrative

As we are getting close to finishing election season, I am noticing a very specific common experience.  The media is the number one victim of this.  They are “following the narrative”.  By this I mean that they have a hypothesis about the world and will do anything to support that idea.  Any new information that is the opposite of their expected outcome is ignored and conversely, any information that supports the narrative is pointed to as a smoking gun. This is an awful way to go about the world.  If I had a nickel for every time the “truth” was the exact opposite…

Browsers vs. Searchers

There are two types of people in this world, browsers and searchers. Searchers You see the search box and type in what you want and then look at the results.  The results are based purely on your input.  The thinking involved is primarily about what to search for.  Different search phrases will yield different results.  The amount of clicking is minimal and the system doesn’t need a hierarchy.  The down-side is that you may need to search several times to find just the right keyword.  Sometimes one search phrase is dominated by results that are not what you meant. Browsers…

With all due respect

From Urban Dictionary A term used by many people all over the world, to make the next few words coming out of their mouth, sound less offensive. Example: With all due respect, your mom looks like a permanently aroused gorilla. As a species, we often get angry at other people.  This is a worldwide phenomenon.  We get angry for lots of reasons.  The response to this situation is fascinating.  Some people just yell at their oponents.  Some get passive aggressive.  There are a host of defense mechanisms out there, take your pick.  The one I hate the most is veiling your anger…

The UX of Business Cards

I received a bunch of business cards at the conference and was thinking about them. Some of the cards had clever things on them that pointed you online. Others were plain white, classic and boring. Others were black, which made writing on them impossible. Some were oddly shaped and difficult to put in the stack of others. (I suppose they thought it would stand out, but I think it just invited tossing into the trash). Some were landscape and others portrait. There is such a diversity of themes and approaches to business cards. It goes with the axiom that great…

The UX of Marketo User Summit 2010

Of course, I have a vested interest.  I am the first hired employee and the head of UX for Marketo, but I feel I can be objective.  Well, just take it with a grain of salt anyway. It was awesome. Last year, we had about a hundred and fifty people.  I thought that was alot at the time.  It blew my mind that all these people knew what “munchkin” meant and were using words that I had coined in the spur of the moment.  The event last year was “home-brew” in that it clearly was a conference for a small…

The Power of Standard Interfaces

Imagine that Toyota (or some big car manufacturer) came out with a standard interface to the stereo system.  It looked like a tray above the center dash that could hold your cell phone or ipod or small device.  At the bottom of the tray was a removable interface.  You could plugin a iPod adapter or a Zune adapter or a blackberry adapter or a [to be named next year] adapter.  Toyota would sell different adapters but publish the protocol as open source.  Then everyone could sell those adapters for all kinds of devices.  People could innovate using the standard protocol. Right now,…

Aikido for Resolving Disputes

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the Way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the Way of harmonious spirit.” Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidka (aikido practitioner) “leads” the attacker’s momentum using entering and turning movements. I saw a…

The UX of Twitter Tools Setup

Part of this post is just a test.  However, the setup process of Twitter Tools is insane now.  It’s not their fault.  Twitter has a ridiculous serious of complex hoops to jump through to get this stuff to work.  You have to put in all kinds of technical info.  The basic premise is simple.  I post a blog entry and I want it to change my status in Twitter and Facebook.  Not that complicate, in my humble opinion. The Facebook plugin is pretty easy, no crazy setup.  But the Twitter one forces me to register an app with Twitter in their developer…