Monday, March 22, 2010


Yeah - that's what we call the old navigation aid, usually at the top left. But I'm talking about maintaining interest.

Users are commitment-averse. Maybe because so much of the web has evolved to suit adolescent males.

They won't commit to give you an hour, or half an hour. Or even ten minutes. You can probably get another click or two out of your users, unless you've really put them off. So you have to leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Just one more cool thing ("OK," the user thinks. "I'll see this and then move on.") Then another cool thing, and another. They might only commit to that one click at a time, but if you do it right you just might be able to keep them for as long as you want.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Intelligent Design

No, not the theological kind. But that thought does provide a starting point, because they really don't mean "intelligent design", now do they? No, they mean "intentional design."

Which is to say, meaning to do whatever it is you do. Otherwise, making it up as you go, it's just evolving, isn't it? It's going to evolve anyway - with each new piece of the puzzle, the whole thing changes somewhat and the other pieces will shift in order to fit. But there should be an intent in place before anything is written, shot, coded, has life breathed into it. Makes it easier to run the show, if you have a script.

Too many metaphors? Working on the web, it's all metaphors. Buttons, scrollbars, cursors, frames (accursed frames), layers -- it's all a representation of something else. Real-world items, paper documents, machine control interfaces.

Use them with a purpose. Any purpose will do, as long as you have one.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The web

The web is for browsing, surfing. Sporadic, short bits of contact with sporadic, short bits of content. The web is not for plowing through pages of text, like a book. That's what... books ... are for. The web is not for sitting passively while a story is unfolded for you. Like a movie. That's what -- you get the idea. Yes, you do.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


When does multitasking become task interference?

Monday, March 15, 2010

What are you doing?

Are you adding value, making something better - a tool, an experience, an explanation? Or are you merely keeping the parts moving? I'm not saying that's a bad thing. But is it a good thing?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stop Sign Redesign

A classic look at complicating something simple. Thank you, organizational mentality.

Here's the low-res embedded Youtube video (if you don't want to go to a new tab).

Multitasking Collaborators

The time it takes to complete any project must be multiplied by the number of multitasking collaborators assigned to it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Are you...

Are you working for them, with them, or on them?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Review and validation

Reviewing a deliverable - and validation of actions taken as a result of that review - should be done by the same person. Otherwise you risk a never-ending cycle of new change requests. And (and this is very important to the Facebook generation) you may never get your validation.

Friday, March 5, 2010

It all depends...

It all depends on how you look at it.

So look at it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Never embark on a course of action based on what someone from upper management saw at a conference or read about on an airplane.


... in motion. Keep moving. I read a story, ages ago, in which you could visit a friend far away via a holographic avatar. The protagonist's equipment was old, however, and the vertical tracking drifted. If he stood still for more than a few seconds, his avatar (and consequently, his point of view) would sink through the floor. So he had to keep moving.

Don't sink through the floor.