February 2016

How to React to New Ideas

In general, people don’t like new ideas. What I mean by this is that the first reaction “most” people have to a new idea is FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.) It’s natural based on how our brains work. We love patterns. Things in motion stay in motion, things at rest stat at rest. A new idea would change that pattern and make us uncomfortable. This is not meant to put...

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Abstractions vs. Literal Names in Branding

Take two brands: Apple and Microsoft. The word “Apple” is an abstraction. It doesn’t mean anything related to computers or phones. Microsoft, on the other hand, is named for the fact that the company started by making micro-computer software. Although Microsoft has been incredibly successful, their branding has always been less than they deserve. Contrarily, Apple’s brand has had die hard fans no matter what Apple did. (OS9 and Newton, I’m...

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Logo Projects

Designing a logo is never easy. After a while every single logo looks the same. You start playing that game where you are trying to tell the difference between 18 different kinds of the letter g. Serif, sans, friendly, edges, the options are endless. Finding a logo is like searching for a black cat in a dark room that is filled with small dogs. – Glen Lipka There is never...

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The Presidential Charisma Rule

Presidential Elections Rule #1: The one with more charisma will win. Since presidents have been using television to communicate with the people, the one with the most charisma has won. I’ll start conservatively with 1952, but it really was 1960 when television really took off. 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) – 442 Adlai Stevenson (D) – 89 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) – 457 Adlai Stevenson (D) – 73 1960...

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GotoMeeting Strange Sentence

Open a new GotoMeeting meeting. Now, dial in with your phone. After you put in the meeting number you should hear the following sentence. You will no longer hear beeps until someone else joins the conference. What does that mean? Did people used to hear beeps until someone joined the conference and now they don’t? Is this a thing? Do people miss the beeps? Why are they gone? Isn’t that...

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Privacy vs Value

The news today about Apple is very interesting. They were ordered by a federal judge to give prosecutors backdoor access to the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone. Many privacy advocates are aghast. Apple has refused to comply. This is likely to go to the Supreme Court in the future. It raises a larger issue when weighing privacy vs. value. In this case, the question is asking whether expectations of privacy are...

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My Favorite Part of Design

I saw a rockumentary about the band Kansas. They told the story of how Carry on My Wayward Son was written by Kerry Livgren. From Wikipedia: On the last day of rehearsal for the new album, Livgren brought the band one more song, which they performed once before heading to the studio. The song, “Carry On Wayward Son“, became Kansas’ first hit. Specifically, he said that he was finished writing songs for the album...

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Feature Idea for OS and Cloud Storage

The rise of randomware is terrifying. Can you imagine losing all your files unless you pay ransom? Ugh! The best protection is the backup your files to the cloud. I use a combination of services for different things. One feature I don’t see on these services or on the operating system is the ability to make a folder public but with a shared password. This is very useful for things...

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Feature Idea for Calendars

People at work often have very (VERY) busy schedules with back-to-back-to-back meetings. Of course, they are usually in different places so you end up being late to every single meeting when you just count travel. Additionally, travel isn’t the only thing you need to do. You need to prepare for the meeting. This means reviewing notes and emails. For interviews it means checking LinkedIn. For User Research it means preparing...

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Unicorn Meat

Recently, at Engagio, I have been talking with customers looking at the details of the different problems (opportunities) to solve. I am looking for a particular situation with the following characteristics: A task that happens all the time, preferably by lots of people. Clearly sub-optimal workflow with incredible pain in every step. Computers could help. People are willing to pay to have it better. If you have all three, you have...

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