The Uncanny Valley

The Uncanny Valley used in reference to the phenomenon whereby a computer-generated figure or humanoid robot bearing a near-identical resemblance to a human being arouses a sense of unease or revulsion in the person viewing it. In other words, the uncanny valley is when something looks close to the real thing but our brain freaks… Read More »

There are two kinds of people…

Of course there aren’t, but it is a great way to simplify decisions. Break down the problem to two kinds of people and decide which one you want to optimize for. Some examples: There are two kinds of people… Those that wants their inbox to be empty except new things and those that let’s their inbox… Read More »

Pokemon Go is already over

The speed of memes has been rising exponentially since the industrial revolution. When I was a child and a new idea or fad became popular it would take 1-2 years for the idea to spread and take a few more years for it to become officially dead. Just look at mullets from the 80’s! Last week… Read More »

Product Responsibility Framework v0.1

I’ve been thinking about how product teams are organized. I have seen several good frameworks out there, but none felt quite right to me. There are traditional models, but of course, I want to try something new. I took the framework from Pragmatic Marketing and started moving things around. I put the columns into chronological order… Read More »

Managing via Dials

Often, I will have feedback for a product manager, marketer or designer when they are writing text. I find that people have a hard time taking the feedback in a very specific way. If you say it’s too serious, they assume you want to take it to the extreme. As if there are only 2… Read More »

Even Slack can have bad UX

Even a tool that is awesome like Slack can have bad UX sometimes. Here is a perfect example. Try to make a new channel and you get this dialog Notice the error in yellow and the text underneath. After typing in my channel name, I pressed submit and nothing happened. I didn’t notice the italic/bold yellow verbose… Read More »

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Cyberbullying

Being the target of a bully sucks. I recently heard of someone who was being bullied on an online social site. Here are some trademark qualities of the bully: They create fake accounts to hide their identity Their comments are cruel and seek to de-humanize their victim They do it in a public forum meant… Read More »

Framing the Problem

Quick Story There once were two school children who loved listening to their new punk music. Like all school kids, they also had alot of homework to do. The first kid asks his parent, “While I am doing my homework, may I also listen to my music?”  The parent says, “No concentrate on your homework!” The second kid sees… Read More »

Margaery Tyrell is an Idiot

I was so annoyed with her on the Game of Thrones finale. I had to tweet about it six times. @Margaery_Tyrell when she realized what was going on… pic.twitter.com/Gjq4s9lGRH — Glen Lipka (@glenlipka) June 27, 2016 @Margaery_Tyrell WTF? When you realized it's a trap, just sneak out! If anyone asks, just say you are having… Read More »

The Moth in San Francisco 2016

I am planning on talking at the next Moth meeting in San Francisco. The Moth is sort of like an open mic night at a comedy club, except it doesn’t have to be funny, it’s mostly stories. They give a theme and each person is supposed to talk for 5 minutes. The theme on Tuesday,… Read More »

Analytics Design vs. Interaction Design

Interaction Design is easy for me. I can see the big picture and architect the system with all of the right patterns. When it comes to Analytics Design, I find my inner muse drags its feet. I am not talking about designing a BI tool like Tableau or Good Data. These have some interesting interactions.… Read More »

Obfuscated Rebate Programs

So this weekend, I went to the Verizon store. I have never gone into that store and left in less than 2 hours. It’s ridiculous how long it takes to get stuff done in there. The reason I was there was to get my youngest his first phone, plus to upgrade my father-in-law. He had… Read More »

Random Thoughts 2016

Hillary Clinton should choose for her VP, Michelle Obama. Two former first ladies! Plus, Michelle is a serious customer. I have no idea who would win, but it sounds good. Despite winning the most games of any team ever, the Golden State Warriors will not be considered even in the top ten basketball teams of… Read More »

Most Viewed YouTube Videos 2016

Out of curiosity, I looked at the most viewed YouTube videos. The distribution looks like this: That first one is Gangnam Style. This is a song, I am very familiar with. Why is it so much higher than every other? Good question. I do not have a good answer. In fact, you get music videos for almost the… Read More »

Design Principle #13: Give Feedback

This should go without saying, yet apparently it doesn’t. Design Rule #13: When a user gestures or fills out a form or clicks a button or speaks their audio input or whatever…give them appropriate feedback. Of course, the word appropriate is subjective. How do you know how much feedback to give? Let’s look at the… Read More »

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Not Going Viral

Nothing I have done has ever gone viral. I am talking about Charlie Bit My Finger viral. (840 million views, 500k comments) Ok, maybe even something with a few thousand likes. This is the kind of viral that usually happens in numbers similar to winning the lottery. Very few have done it and usually it… Read More »

Learn Fast and Get on with It

I hear the phrase “Fail Fast” all the time. At heart, the sentiment of this is “Get on with it.” (Which is a good thing) The problem with the word Fail is that it assumes that the effort is going to be negative. Why can’t the message be “Learn Fast“? Fail fast makes me depressed. Failure is… Read More »

My Favorite Comedians (2016)

These are currently my favorite comedy acts: Flight of the Conchords I love these guys. They have live acts plus an HBO series. They are brilliant. So many different styles, each funnier than the last. Here is my favorite live show from them: Garkfunkel and Oates They are like the female version of Flight of… Read More »

Collecting Design Principles

UX design principles 1-10 Over the years, I’ve picked up certain rules that I use as design proverbs. At Engagio, I put them on the wall to remind me and to decorate my area. I just added my 11th and 12th design principle. 11. Vertical Space is Expensive. This refers to the fact that most… Read More »

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Social Network Connection Categories

I have Facebook friends, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections and Google contacts. If you put most of them in front of me, I would have no idea who they are. Why am I connected to all these people? I actually know about 5% of my social connections. How does that help me or anyone else? Think… Read More »

Confident or Intelligent?

My world has just been rocked. At the end of the movie, The Wizard of Oz, the scarecrow receives his diploma. He then immediately rattles off what I thought was the Pythagorean theorem. Until this morning, I thought was he was saying was correct. Today, on NPR, they disabused me of that notion.  Here is… Read More »

Silicon Valley Product Marketing

I am not officially trained in anything in particular. I’ve learned from practice for the past 22 years. Over the years, I have headed UX, Product Management, Training, Documentation and Product Marketing. Each area has a different set of mental models and techniques to do a good job. I have seen people who were masters… Read More »

Application Performance Model

The following is a model to determine the optimal response rate of an application. It is optimal and therefore difficult with today’s technology. However, the answer of “instantaneous” is not correct in most circumstances. I + T + D = P Input + Thinking + Delight = Optimal Performance I = Input. This ranges on a… Read More »

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For Goodness Sake

Someone once told me that you should be happy doing nice things for people, for its own sake. You should never do something nice with the expectation of getting something good in return. In other words, if you save someone’s life by pushing them out of the way of a truck, don’t expect them to… Read More »

The Future of Email

I have been emailing for around 25 years. It was the original killer app of the internet. Quick communication with immediate delivery. It has had a tremendous run, but I am starting to see signs of its demise. Here is a brief timeline of my email experience: Compuserve – You emailed people based on their… Read More »

Marketo Summit 2016

My first summit was in 2010. It was a simple affair, more like a meetup. There were about 120 people total all fitting in one room. It was fun and familial. I remember we had a thing called Marketo Idol where users would describe the coolest thing they did with a Smart Campaign. Alexandre Pelletier won.… Read More »

Bad UX: Signing into Google Analytics

Something has gone horribly awry at Google Analytics. You click on the Sign In button and get this menu: WTF? I can’t find the damn thing I want. What is all this shit? Here are the flaws: Skimming text doesn’t work. Every single item has the word Google in it. Is that needed? I came… Read More »

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Movie Review: Whiplash

My son and I watched the movie Whiplash last night. He is a drummer and guitarist, so he was interested in this movie. (He loves Rush, but appreciates Jazz and Buddy Rich). My definition of great art is when the piece evokes thought and/or emotion in the audience. Whether it is writing, music, paintings, sculpture,… Read More »

Wrist Progress Update

Im starting to get annoyed that this is taking so long. The therapist says this is normal and I’m doing well, but I just want to play tennis unencumbered. It’s not just the flexibility, it’s also the strength. My wrist, fingers and forearm are still a bit weak. Here is the updated flexibility. The backward… Read More »

MVP Deconstructed

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. I have had a long distaste for this acronym, but I think it is worth a deep-dive. I found an image on this website that sums up some of the problems. I’m going to deconstruct it to explain better. Strategy #1: Build too much before launch In this scenario, you… Read More »

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