by December 30th, 2013
Earlier this year, Google had launched +Project Glass contest and offered a unique opportunity to experience Google Glass in-person. I entered into the contest as well and my submissions can be found here. Approximately eight thousand winners were selected and I was not one of them.
Recently, I received an email from “Glass Support” with an invitation to become a glass explorer! See email below:
I have not yet decided if I will join the program and purchase the Glass Developer Kit which has a price tag of $1500. Trying to figure out business value for Google Glass; from an enterprise IT perspective, I’m not sure how we can use Glass currently. In addition, I don’t think any of our largest partners are working/developing for Glass – example: IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, etc.
Since I am a technology enthusiast, I would like to get Glass for personal use anyway; it would create nice blog posts to share my experiences with especially how wearable tech is transforming user experience.
I would like to hear your opinion – Should I invest in Google Glass? Why or Why Not?
by October 31st, 2013
I have been following the rollout of the federal governments HealthCare.gov website and the subsequent healthcare exchanges. I have been reading many articles outlining the challenges that the team has faced with such a massive implementation, in a limited timeframe. There are many lessons to be learned from the HealthCare.gov story, but I would like to share three take-a-ways that struck me as important for EVERY software deployment, no matter how big or small.
Lesson #1 – Good, Fast or Cheap: Pick Two
It would appear from statements made from both HealthCare.gov contractors as well as the secretary of health, that there were a number of issues that should have either held back the deployment of the website, or a reduction in scope should have been applied, and possibly, additional team members should have been added to the project.
This reminds me of a simple project management quote:
“We can make it good, fast, or cheap. Pick two.”
Expert project managers know that very few real-life projects stay on track throughout the entire project cycle. A good project manager also understands how to make all three project constraints adjust to each other in order to maintain project quality. Some of the methods to keep projects within constraints are purely political: preventing stakeholders from changing the scope and maintaining boundaries around financial and human resources. Other solutions require classic project management techniques: keeping team members focused and adjusting milestones when necessary.
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by August 28th, 2013
Marissa Mayer has been making headlines across the web for her efforts in trying to turn around the Yahoo! brand. In February a memo was sent to all remote employees telling them to report to work…in an office. In May, the internet was buzzing with the purchase of Tumblr. This month, Marissa Mayer was featured posing for Vogue. The stream of news coming out of Yahoo! headquarters is seemingly endless.
There’s a lot of change happening inside those walls, so it makes sense that there would also be a change in branding. Since it’s founding in the 1990’s, Yahoo! has changed its logo twice, but with Marissa Mayer at the helm, they decided to take a decidedly public approach to their newest logo redesign.
21 days ago, they started using a new logo every day to grow excitement and engagement around their new branding. Sure, this helps to build excitement, but it also doesn’t hurt traffic to their website.
On to your burning questions:
Will the logo still be purple? Yes.
Will it still have an exclamation point? Yes.
All other questions will be answered on September 5th when they make the big reveal.
Well…almost all questions will be answered, because nobody can ever predict what Marissa Mayer will be up to next.
by August 12th, 2013
The title of this post by CIO.com caught my attention immediately this morning:
How IT Pros Can Use Pinterest for Career Growth
Pinterest launched in 2010, and since then I have kept my eyes on its growth and how people are using it for sharing and posting visual content. I never thought that the visual aspect of industry news in the enterprise IT space would take off on this social network, which is mostly known for sharing recipes, crafts and other media that lends itself to compelling images more than the enterprise IT space.
Technology infographics on Pinterest
But this post really gives some great reasons why Pinterest makes sense as a place for IT professionals to spend time:
- Find and follow influencers – they’ve had 3 years to find their way to the platform. Now there’s on Pinterest, and you should see what they’re up to here, just as you do on Twitter or LinkedIn.
- Pin helpful articles and books – you can post an article link and Pinterest will find a related graphic/image in that post to use as the main image.
- Find useful infographics – It seems to me that 2013 is the year of the infographic – there’s no shortage of them on Pinterest!
- Track information on specific topics – just use Pinterest’s search function to find helpful articles in the area of enterprise IT that interests you most.
- Webinars and events - TED Talks is on Pinterest, for example.
- Get career and talent search help
Read CIO.com’s post here.
by April 30th, 2013
If you’ve never heard of it, the Google Font directory is an online repository of free, open-source fonts that have been web optimized and ready for your use. There are hundreds of them from Display to Handwriting, Serif to Sans Serif. The Sans Serif is the home of Open Sans by Steve Matteson.
With the release of Analytics data on each fonts use, Steve has staked his claim as king of the free fonts by taking a commanding lead for both first and second spots for most used fonts….he actually has the number four position as well. If you select the one year time frame you can see Open Sans has 61 Billion views over the past year. Now that’s some big numbers.
We’ve used the Google Webfont directory for quite a few projects now. The selection is massive, the reliability is high (with Google doing all the hosting) and most importantly it saves our clients time and money. Have you used Open Sans or any other font in this directory? Which is your favorite?
by March 28th, 2013
Smartphone penetration in the United States has reached 55% of the general population* and and the number of email opens on smartphones and tablets have increased 80% of the last six months**. These two facts have serious consequences for companies and organizations, and their communication platforms. Beyond the obvious need to build email to appear well-formed and structured for viewing on smaller screens, consumers are viewing thier email devices in a much wider variety of environments than just five years ago, so email needs to be responsive to get our clients messages opened and read wherever they are when they are scrolling through their inboxes, and the design itself needs to be simple and direct.
The first step is to consider the user flow, and the content structure in particular. On a mobile phone, the first piece of information that they will see is the From Name. From there, they will see the Subject Line, the Pre-header – a small snippet of text from the top of the email as a preview – and then once opened, the first few inches of the full email (AKA the viewport). So, step one is to plan the content flow to start with the most captivating and enticing headlines possible, and summarize the body content to draw the reader to open the full email. The time-honored principals of Journalism (and perhaps Tabloid Journalism in particular) will serve you well as you construct an inverted pyramid of messaging.
Once you have the content that you’re sure will draw the reader into the body of the message, it’s time to work on the design. A full technical discussion on how to build a responsive email is a subject for another time, but the primary considerations to keep in mind are as follows:
- Contrast. As the creative needs to shrink to smaller screen, those elements need to be clear and stand out. So maintaining a good contrast is important.
- Text size. The general consensus is that 13px is the minimum size to be easily readable on a phone. It’s recommended that you start larger, around 15-16px and find a nice balance between text and whitespace.
- Imagery. Big, bold, beautiful and immersive will garner the most attention.
- Layout. Through a web browser or a desktop email client multicolumn is a good way to go, but keep in mind in a responsive design when the email is viewed on a phone, the content needs to flow into a longer single column. Think though the hierarchy of information and plan how the content will stack.
The last point is about the context of the environment in which the user will open the email. If they are in line at the ATM or sitting quietly in a meeting there will be distractions competing for their attention. Therefore you have to keep everything simple and direct, be very clear with the call to action (big, bold buttons) and assume that there is no time for reading long paragraphs of information, so cut down the copy to the bare minimum.
* Exact Target, “Designing for the Mobile Inbox”
**Litmus, “Email Client Market Share Stats“
by March 22nd, 2013
At the end of the third day of SxSW, I sat in on a session about Behavior Change and how design can use that as a value proposition. Chris Risdon, of Adaptive Path, was the speaker, and it was great to sit in on this topic again and see how much it’s matured since the last time I got to see Chris present on it. The market today is becoming filled with products and services that are designed to not only track and monitor our behavior, but provide insight into how we might change that behavior for the better. Chris covered many of the concepts and principles behind this new breed of products during his talk.
Below are the notes I took during the session, please note it is mostly a stream of consciousness so please forgive any spelling or grammer mistakes.
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by March 18th, 2013
The third day of SxSW started off with a provocative session given by Golden Krishna (website) on the concept of No UI and the invisible interface. On the surface, I really enjoyed the presentation and the material that Golden covered, but I didn’t “fall in love” with his argument as many others did. In fact, since the presentation several blog posts have been written that argue against the concept of No UI which aligns to my way of thinking.
Scott Berkun - http://scottberkun.com/2013/the-no-ui-debate-is-rubbish/
Timo Arnall - http://www.elasticspace.com/2013/03/no-to-no-ui
Below are my notes from the session, please notes taken with my handy iPad mini and Evernote. Read the rest of this post »
by March 12th, 2013
Following a wonderful experience working with upcoming SxSW speakers during the Tweak Your Talk workshop, Russ Unger delivered his presentation on the life of Jim Henson and the lessons UX Designers can learn from him. I’ve personally been able to see the evolution of this talk of the years and it was great to see it presented on the big stage at SxSW. The highlight of the talk was ~1000 people singing along to Rainbow Connection. Below are my thoughts and notes from the session. (These notes are simply my stream of consciousness from the session, so I apologize in advance for any sloppiness. :D)
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by March 12th, 2013
I’m not alone in my admiration of the UX of LEGO®. Shortly after my post about the contribution of user research for LEGO designers, I came across this UX Magazine article by Josh Tyson: POP UX! Lego Teaches us About the Power of Near-Perfect User Experience.
Tyson asks a couple of intriguing questions at the end including “Is there value in a digital interface that takes the basic elements at-hand and configures new ways to produce rapid, rewarding results that seem limitless, or is that a messy pile of bricks?” My first thought was of graphical programs that rely on widgets or stencils such as Axure or Visio. I have built custom libraries in both tools using basic shapes as well as creating end designs.
Recalling the programming language for the original LEGO® Mindstorms® (possibly NXT 2.0 as well, but I haven’t used that yet) led to the thought of code libraries and snippets. Not graphical and for more specialized users, but definitely creating limitless results rapidly by comparison. I particularly like commenter Leigh Arredondo’s response: “Minecraft.”
The other challenging question Tyson poses is “If you create amazingly fluid and effective software, will it automatically imbue a brand with its core traits (for better or worse)?” Read the rest of this post »