Show & Prove

March 9, 2010 Leave a comment

I did a very fast 5 minute presentation at Adaptive Path’s Managing Experience (MX) event yesterday on the importance of incorporating data-driven design into how design teams handle tactical problems. Video should be coming soon to the MX ’10 site, but here’s the slides:

Categories: bigidea, work

Registration: Step One

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

An image gallery of the first step in eight new-ish sites’ registration processes: The Hype Machine, The Sixty One, Later Bro, Foodspotting, Quora, Typekit, Glitch, and Times People.

Categories: interface design, links

“New World Computing”

January 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Steven Frank capably argues that the introduction of the iPad is more than simply the creation of a consumer computation sector – it’s a bold bet on the future of devices, interfaces and the ecology of networked computing:

Apple is calling the iPad a “third category” between phones and laptops. I am increasingly convinced that this is just to make it palatable to you while everything shifts to New World ideology over the next 10-20 years.

Just like with floppy disks, the rest of the industry is quite content to let Apple be the ones to stick their necks out on this. It’s a gamble to be sure…

The bet is roughly that the future of computing:

  • has a UI model based on direct manipulation of data objects
  • completely hides the filesystem from the user
  • favors ease of use and reduction of complexity over absolute flexibility
  • favors benefit to the end-user rather than the developer or other vendors
  • lives atop built-to-specific-purpose native applications and universally available web apps
Categories: links

Read These Later – Week 30

January 28, 2010 2 comments

There’s a lot of talk about Minimum Viable Product. What I want to see is more conversation around the idea of the Minimum Usable Interface: Realism in UI Design

The goal is not to make your user interface as realistic as possible. The goal is to add those details which help users identify what an element is, and how to interact with it, and to add no more than those details.

Another fantastic Letter of Note: Harvey Weinstein tells Erol Morris he’s boring

Speak in short one sentence answers and don’t go on with all the legalese. Talk about the movie as a movie and the effect it will have on the audience from an emotional point of view.

Small By Choice, Whether Clients Like It or Not

Q. People have compared you to the Soup Nazi on “Seinfeld.” Where do you think that comes from?
Ms. Esparza: That comes from American culture. The customer really isn’t always right. We believe we have the expertise to bring the best product. We don’t randomly put these ingredients together. We spend the time to test these and try them.

What to do if the world hates your idea – Scott Berkun

In some ways how you handle rejection is self selection for creative work – if you cant handle a few rejections from publishers, how will you handle a few bad reviews of your finished book?

And if you are trying to get a book published, here’s a tally of the books an editor at Del Rey rejected last year and why: Why I Say No

The Social Behavior Incentive – a good checklist for  Social Design [ed note – this may be the only time I ever link to anything Robert Scobble has said]

Site Search Best Practices – Another good checklist. You know, someone should just make a book of checklists for interface designers. Like a final gut-check prior to handing something off.

Engineer’s Guide to Drinks

Categories: links, read this

old school cupcakes

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment

This absolutely made my night. It’s near-perfect… sub Calibre 12 with Operation Ivy – boom. Done.

Categories: influences, music

Read These Later – Week 28

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Links to articles and posts that I’ve found interesting in the last week:

1. An Ethnographic Study of UX Professionals: ‘UX professionals are some of the most professionally unhappy folks I’ve ever encountered.”

2. 5 Myths That Can Kill A Startup: “Some companies have an unfortunate culture that mandates relentlessly hard work. When things get tough, people work harder. When things are good, people work harder still to try to keep the “good times rolling.” But this cycle of doom will ultimately fail as people burn out, get sick or simply quit.”

3. Confidence For Good: “People, both women and men, should be so fiercely passionate about good ideas that self-promotion is a natural extension. Otherwise, why is it worth doing in the first place? It’s when confidence and self-promotion are obfuscated from passion that the claims become flimsy and empty.”

4. Hi There: “Life is getting friendlier but less interesting. Blame technology, globalisation and feminism.”

5. Boarding Pass Fail: Redesigning the airline boarding pass.

6. Use Twitter in Your Next Presentation (ed. note: I was unlucky enough to witness a terrible presentation last week and walked away wishing the presenter had boiled down her points to 140 characters each – turns out there’s a strategy for that)

7. And finally… my bacon side project, House of Sticks, competed in a blind taste off against 8 other local and national brands last night. For a couple of guys with a hand-welded smoker in Oakland, we didn’t do that bad.

Categories: read this

Week 28

January 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Writing a weeknote on Sunday means you get to cheat a bit, see what everyone else has got going on. Reading through the posts, I found my self nodding in agreement, especially when I got to Ben Brown’s admiration for BERG, and his desire to get the internal processes of XOXCO worked up to a high gloss. I can certainly empathize; between client work, IxD ’10 prep and Pumpkinhead, there’s sadly been little time to really define Second Verse. I’ll be needing to manufacture an opportunity to change that.

If Ben sorts out that cloning procedure, I’m next in line.

Thankfully, this past week offered the chance to work with Kristin Nienhuis – as talented and forthright a collaborator as I could ask for. She and I will be knocking out the KickLight work over the next few weeks, making certain that the best ideas make their way off of the whiteboard and into the product. Friday’s all day review with the KickLight team was illuminating – initial presentation of working artifacts is always nerve-wracking, but I find it provides the best possible gut check. If your concept deviates from your client’s intended direction, the opportunities to course-correct are fleeting. Sort it early, and check in often.

Production work for Pumpkinhead is increasingly gaining momentum. I take an enormous amount of pleasure in responding to Tony & Tim’s “wouldn’t it be awesome if” messages with realized sketches of their proposed functionality. We are unapologetically building for ourselves, putting pieces of the experience together in ways that keep us motivated to push everything further, faster.

Two weeks remaining before Savannah, and plenty to do before I leave.

Categories: weeknote