Evolution of the Segment Editor

Problem Statement: As a non-programmer, I just want to select a subset of people from a database. However, when I try it’s either really hard requiring SQL editing, or the UI is so difficult that is makes me want to puke. Therefore, I will just not do it very often. Competitive Context When I started…

Streaming Live Sports 2021

Every once in a while, I upend my family room and change how everything works. My family loves it. (not) Well, guess what, it’s time again. I currently have a lot of services. Netflix, Hulu, Prime, HBOMax, Disney+, and YouTube TV. All of this streams through a Roku sound bar. Platform I love the Roku…

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Terrible UX: Kia’s new logo

Sometimes I just shake my head in dismay. Today, I was watching the Australia Open on television. In the back of the court is a giant logo that looks like this. My son and I looked at it and said, “What company is that? KN? Maybe the n is backwards. KVI? Maybe the V and…

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When Prophecy Fails

About 15 years ago, I read a book recommended by a mentor at Intuit (Bill Mirbach) called When Prophecy Fails by Leon Festinger. (Wikipedia Article) The book, published in 1956, studies a small UFO religion in Chicago called the Seekers that believed in an imminent apocalypse and what happened when the world did not, in…

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My History with Community Q&A and Forums

Over the past 25 years, there have been many forums that I have engaged in. This week Figma just launched a new forum for their users. It made me think I should note the previous communities I have been a part of. I had blogged about Q&A in 2008 and also Forums in the same…

Cartoons Sketches from 1992

I used to doodle all the time. My brother just sent me an old notebook he found. I had this running series of comics about the Assumptions. Creatures from the planet Assump. Get it? Anyway, here is a good sampling of them. RCC was my community college – I wasn’t a good student Assumption Lifecycle,…

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The Goals of a Manager

I’ve been managing people on and off for 25 years now. It’s hard to tell how I have evolved, but I am sure that I’ve changed some over the years. There are certain principles that I think about as a manager that have stayed with me since the beginning and others I have picked up…

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2020 in Review

At work, I asked everyone on the design team to make a 10-15 minute presentation of their 2020 in review. Specifically, it was meant to be a professional review, not home life. I suggested that they include some journey mapping of their highs and lows as well as some general review of what they worked…

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Problem Statement Comic

I find that most problem statements are not written very well. Some of them are blatantly circular. The circular problem statement Writing a good problem statement aligns the team on the mission. If you solve the wrong problem, you will have a poor business outcome. Give me a bad problem, I will give you a…

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Communication at Work

Good communication (imho) is the most important factor contributing a successful project or product. Interestingly, the ways we communicate at work are pretty diverse. The recent acquisition of Slack by Salesforce had me thinking about alot about this. Here is a list of how I communicate at work: Slack for general conversationIncluding posts for longer…

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Post Office Idea

Years ago, I used to write holiday cards for all of my coworkers. I would hand write the card and leave it on their desks. Now, in the age of Covid, we are all working from home. This presents a problem. How can I get everyone their holiday cards? I don’t have their addresses and…

Election Day 2020

I have a serious feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. In 2016, I felt confident in the morning and sadness and despair slowly built up during the day. Today, I am exhausted with all of the 2020 nonsense. I am sick and tired of there being news every single day. I can’t…

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Covid Protocols and Tennis

There are Rules My kids (the older 2) are pretty strict about Covid protocols in general. When playing tennis with others, we were following the Official USTA Rules. The rules say “Bring your own can of balls and ONLY touch those. Don’t touch any other set of tennis balls”. The invitations to play tennis also…

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Tab Groups in Chrome

Chrome recently updated their browser and added a much needed feature. It’s called Tab Groups. Firefox used to have it and for some reason lost it. Here is how it works. First, update chrome by clicking the top right kabob (three dots) and then Help → About Chrome. It should pop open a tab where…

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Remote Team Bonding

In the Age of Covid, we are all working in a new way. I spend more time in meetings and less time sitting with people at their desks. As a team leader, I want to make sure we are bonding and developing relationships with each other. We can’t sit and have lunch together or bullshit…

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Unnatural vs Natural Acts of Product Development

When developing a large product, especially for enterprise customers, it is tempting to do some engineering specifically to land (or keep) a big customer. This, on its face, sounds good, right? “The customer is always right.”Marshall Field – Wikipedia I think this makes sense in a department store. However, when dealing with large enterprise software,…

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A Brief History of Me (So Far)

Can you put your life into bullet points? Can you summarize and really boil information spanning decades down to its essentials? Let’s give it a try. Act I (Growing up)Born outside NYC in the foresty suburbsWas pretty bad at school, but I read non stopGot into Art pretty early. Loved to drawWent to a local…

Covid Decision Making Framework

I don’t know what the question is, but the answer is a spreadsheet.- Glen Lipka I love collecting weird data and making charts out of it. In the last year, there has been a ton of interesting data. Decisions are made often with lots of bad bias. One area my family struggles with are decisions…

UX: Putting a Chair Together

My son (16) put together a new chair for his home desk last night. It wasn’t very complicated, but he struggled with it for a few hours. This was his first attempt at putting together any kind of furniture. I didn’t help him because I wanted him to experience the feeling of trying to put…

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Live anywhere?

What if… What if all information companies and information jobs were given permission to work remotely? Several companies have already announced that their workers can work from home permanently. Each of these workers has to decide, “where do I want to live?” For the majority of my life, I had to commute to work; which…

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