Friday, December 12, 2008


Thursday, December 4, 2008

movies for everyone.

Great news, you can now watch Netflix movies and shows on your Mac! I can't tell you how happy this makes me. They are making this magic happen by using Silverlight. I tested it this morning for a couple minutes. The quality was pretty good and even on my less than superfast comcast connection it played well.

i might have to start watching Six Feet Under again. te he.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

let the networking begin

LinkI attended my first networking event a couple weeks ago. It was pretty good. Met some nice people and got hooked up with a volunteer gig with the AMA My teams' project is working on the Big Brother Big Sister website. We have our first meeting next week. I'm looking forward to meeting the people on my team.

I'm working hard to settle into my new design/ux community, you can't just sit at home and make a happy career.

Yesterday I had drinks with the el presidente, as he calls himself, of a little web agency. It was pretty interesting to talk with him about how the work I do could be scaled down, to be implemented in really small projects. At first i was a bit stumped. How do you add Ux practices to a 5, 10 or 15K web project? Would there be enough value to make it worthwhile, can the practices be scaled down that much?

I think it can and why should big sites be the only ones to benifit from user centered design and strategic information architecture? I'm going to try and create some packages for smaller size jobs for him. If you have any ideas or thoughts let me know.

Monday, December 1, 2008

tactic for a sucessful video

conversations are much more engaging than monologues.

so i've been struggling lately with issues around video use on the web. now i know that it is all the rage and that there is lots of traffic to sites like YouTube and lots of clicks on embedded video in just about every blog, but I still wonder how much people like to watch video online especially if they are trying to learn something and not just be entertained.

i was working on a project recently and had to decide what would constitute a "successful view" for the videos we were using. we played around with a few ideas; percentage viewed, 30 seconds viewed, 1 min viewed, action taken after watching, etc. This conversation went on an on and everyone had an opinion (i'll have to write more on this later) but what struck me was that we were using video to express the brand and explain how the company was different but we didn't even know if people would watch the video.

What makes a video watchable? When is it the right medium for explaining something to a user?

I'm not really a video watching user but i recently watched a video explaining the features of the new Quicken Online and I realize that one tactic that really seems to work is the conversation approach to video. This video would have be completely boring and maybe even hard to follow if it weren't for the two voices having a conversation about the features. One voice would ask questions, questions that I as a user may have and the other voice would answer.

**I am now interrupting this entry for a special message**

(( I was going to ask you if you agreed and link you off to the video, but when I went to grab the link they had change the video to a new one that featured just one voice!!! can you believe it? now i just don't know what to think. did they change because they tested both and the monologue won? or was there another reason.))

**now back to the post**

This method can also work in the old school text medium. read this. i think it works very well. and i agree with commenter Justin that they are cute.

me: so what do you think makes a video successful on the web. particularly when used to explain something?
you: (silence)
me: well, that is a very interesting perspective.

too simple means too hard.....sometimes.

i've always been bothered by the overly "simple" ipod interface. it seems to just slow me down and leave me longing for new features.

"By having a single button, they didn't make it simpler, they made it more complex. They didn't simplify the feature set, only the interface, by overloading their single button with a bunch of different capabilities." read the full entry, Faux Simplicity


why the pillow?

  • i need a place to log the ideas and thoughts i get while falling a sleep. i get some really good ideas when my head is on a pillow.
  • much of the content here maybe fluff.
  • it could be a metaphor for a good user experience. i'll have to write about that later and it might be fluff.

why a blog ?
  • people are writing and talking about user experience stuff all over the place and i need a place to log these conversations. i thought others might like to see my list of articles and links.
  • blogs are a good way to meet people and i am trying to meet fellow industry people in Portland Oregon, where i just moved this summer. hi!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I enjoy....
imagining what isn't there but should be.
figuring out how all the little pieces can be shifted and become something unified & beautiful.
getting people to see what may not be apparent.
creating easy to navigate, easy to understand, positive experiences

I'm an empathizer, picking up the subtleties of life.
I like to do things right because I can see how it will fall apart in the end if we don't.

I ...
am also a bit of a spacecase.
think out loud, often getting myself in trouble.
have a hard time excepting pointless rules.

contact me if you are interested in doing something creative together.

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