Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

2011 Year in Review

It has been a while since I have posted and what a better way to start again than to write my 2011 year in review. And what a year it has been, both personally and professionally. And while I will focus this piece on the professional know that this has been an amazing year personally and I couldn’t be happier.

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Opportunity is I Don’t Know

‘I don’t know’ and ‘you are right’ are two things we are often afraid to say. But I don’t know and you are right should not be road blocks or hurdles. They are opportunities. I don’t know is a chance to learn something new, and to come back to the client or team mate with new opportunities. You are right is a chance to teach yourself where you might have made an inappropriate assumption or misinterpreted some data.
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Getting Back to the Blog

It’s been far too long since I’ve written here. Since Passover in April to be exact. And its not for a lack of events in my life. The Friday after the holiday I left Philadelphia for two weeks in London where I closed up a project for my company. Two of the fastest and hardest paced weeks of my life up until the present moment. I missed Spring Carnival at CMU and watched Fringe win Buggy on the live streaming telecast in between playing tourist. I came back to Philadelphia the last days of April. I had a week of relaxing work and went right back to travelling, this time to Salt Lake City, and Jersey City where I commuted for 10 weeks on a regular basis. I was again ridiculously challenged and learned an incredible amount. I should write about this. In detail. Except I don’t know where to begin. Life has calmed down a bit now though and I do plan on writing regularly again. That’s all. Thanks.

The Ten Plagues of UX

In honor of Passover, I have come up with the Ten Plagues of UX. And if you need a refresher on the ten original plagues, I direct you to Wikipedia or for the more visual explanation The Ten Commandments.

  1. Change Requests
    Like the Nile turning into blood this is a shock and out of the blue.
  2. Pixel Misalignment
    They multiply before your eyes. You fix one and two more appear.
  3. Focus Groups
    Instead of lice? No further explanation.
  4. Power Failure
    Some might say this is darkness, but I’m thinking swarm of flies so think you cant see. Plus, the ninth plague is more fitting in my opinion.
  5. Expedited Timeline
    Which has the same result as your livestock dying
  6. Feature Creep
    Might feel like boils
  7. Cluttered Code
    You don’t see the damage till it stops, you go outside, and the windshield looks like a pepperoni pizza
  8. QA Testing
    Locust, that eat all the hard work and require immediate solutions
  9. Blue Screen of Death
    I thought about power failures here, but thought this more appropriate. See the fourth plague.
  10. Crash of a Primary Server
    Self explanatory

Why What’s New Pages Fail

Last week I upgraded my Firefox to version 3.6. Prompted with the standard pop up, I went through the application restart and chose to restore my tabs after the process was complete. I then went through the routine process of closing the ‘What’s New’ tab. I continued working business as usual.

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On Trying Suggestions

A brief rant, request, or observation. I love working in an environment with other designers, an open studio where you can wander the desks and see what amazing designs people are coming up with. Design is a social process and not meant to be done in a vacuum. I learned this the hard way in 2004 at Carnegie Mellon, but that is a story for another time.

So it bothers me when designers don’t listen to each other’s feedback. I’m not saying every piece of advice or every suggestion is correct or should be carried out. But try every suggestion you get. Two main reasons for this.

  1. It takes five minutes to prove to someone that a suggestion won’t work. Not trying it out though leaves a conversation to speculation and without a foot to stand on for why you didn’t investigate an alternate solution your rationale will suffer
  2. You might actually learn something. For all the awful suggestions I have received, I can say that at least half of them have led to unexpected discoveries. Now in academia this is likely the goal of the professor, lead me astray to find the best solution. In the professional world though we typically don’t have Socratic teachings in mind but I would be hard pressed to say they still don’t happen.

Trying a suggestion doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. Take five minutes and create a hack effect in photoshop or illustrator. Print a copy and sketch over it. Something to get the idea from what if to definitely not. Ultimately, a client will ask why you went down a specific path and if you can say you tried a dozen other solutions and htis is the best instead of this is the path we went down and it works you will be a stronger designer and presenter.

If You Can’t Tweet Them, Join Them

If you can’t beat them, join them? And we all want to be at trending Twitter topic, right? Even if the topic isn’t true? Remember when Jeff Goldblum died? That’s why I have decided to roll with the #farkaslikesdudes hashtag.

Let me be clear, I am straight. The history of this tweet is simple. @mccue was tired of the #fail tweets filling the Twitterverse and started tweeting #success. Hardly the first, I do give him credit, although begrudgingly, for bringing it into my Twitter feed. @mbueti then followed suit. I went along by mocking them both.

Joke’s on me. @dreamhost has their win an iPad contest going on, excluding participants who tweet #fail or #win inappropriately. But in the end I do have a hashtag with my name in it. Even if it is untruthful it would be on the more awesome side of the fence to be a non-athlete, non-politician, non-celebrity with his own hashtag as a trending topic. So have at it @mbueti @mccue and @georgiamoon. Just remember the request. If you are to make this a trending topic, do it in a pure way. No bots to inform people or to RT the tag,e tc. This has to be done the good ol’ fashioned way. There you have it, enjoy. Do your worst

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