Filed under "Usability"


Ecosystems of Failure.

19 March 2008 • Filed under ,

A brief conversation in the car ride down to SXSW brought to my mind a topic that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. We were discussing the lucrative opportunities and pay offered to individuals who are experienced in simply installing and configuring a certain piece of behemoth enterprise software. It was proposed that if this software was designed better, the jobs of these “configurers” might be much less valuable. Which led me to recount to my captive audience a scene in the movie The Fifth Element. Simply put — for those unfamiliar with the movie, Cornelius (…


Title Of Blog.

18 October 2006 • Filed under ,

Just to get some perspective on what’s to follow, let’s review: It’s two thousand and blessed six. Almost seven. We’ve come so far as a civilization. It’s been decades since we put a man on the moon. We’re building a space station. We’ve been able to determine that Abraham Lincoln had depression. Women can vote now! And Justin Timberlake is courageously bringing sexy back after it’s been lost for so, so long. This is truly a magical time. So why do many respected and …


Ugly Hurts.

28 April 2006 • Filed under ,

You know, I’m getting pretty tired of bad designers or non-designers telling me how to do my job. I do this for a living, you know. Every day. I am fully aware of what my job entails and what demands I need to balance. But rather than get up to my elbows in manure, let me just put some ideas out there from people I think actually know what they’re talking about: Positive affect makes people more tolerant of minor difficulties and more flexible and creative in finding solutions. Products designed for more relaxed, pleasant …


LinkedIn Listens.

6 February 2006 • Filed under ,

I can’t claim to have had any direct influence on the change, but the timing sure leans in my favor. After emailing LinkedIn and posting my last entry, “The Case of The Lying Link,” the My Profile page has changed (highlighting mine): Each item in the “header” area now has an “Edit” link next to it, making it dead easy to know where to click to change the item. It may be a bit of overkill, but it certainly clears up a lot of confusion. So whaddaya know? Customer feedback really can make a difference. And I feel …


The Case of The Lying Link.

31 January 2006 • Filed under ,

So I was on Linkedin tonight, accepting an invitation from a new contact, and noticed some outdated information in my own profile. Well, being the responsible contact that I am, I couldn’t very well leave the page without correcting these deficiencies. The Crime Before we continue, let’s do a little exercise, shall we? Say you’d like to edit the information under my name there: “Designer, Dallas/Fort Worth Area, Internet.” Where would you click to edit that information? Unless you guessed at where I was going with this, chances are you answered wrong. I …


The Case of The Perplexing Pump.

24 January 2006 • Filed under ,

I’ve run across this interface design issue twice in the recent past, and it confused me both times. I took my camera back to the gas station the third time, just to document the interface behavior. How’s that for following through? The Crime So I was at the Shell station this weekend, filling up my tank (Fig. 1). I finished filling up, returned the nozzle to the pump, and approached the screen to finish my transaction. The first question on the screen was “Would you like a car wash?” There were “Yes” and “No” options onscreen, …


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