Posts Tagged 'rants'

Market Differentiation

You do not differentiate yourself through buzzwords. You do not differentiate yourself by finding new words for the same thing.

You differentiate yourself by being approachable and by doing work in a different, new, or novel manner.


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A Rant: Privacy and the Internet

It’s that time of year again. People are applying for jobs having received their degrees and they are ‘scrubbing’ or ‘sanitizing’ their social media presence for fear that hiring managers will see pictures of them doing keg stands, drugs, or just generally being a little less than responsible on the internet. This concern is valid. HR departments have been known to use employees, interns, and their own accounts to dig up ‘dirt’ on people’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, to see if the individual presented on the resume and at the interview matches the personality on the internet. As a result, I have seen numerous friends and colleagues try and game the system by changing their last name to their middle name (or something else all-together) on Facebook and other sites.

What we need to remember, is that this is a placebo solution. Changing your name doesn’t change what posted. It simply makes it more obvious you are trying to hide something. Aaron Irizarry (@aaroni) posted on Facebook this week:

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 9.30.01 AM

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Willy Wonka & the 5 Client Types

There are countless posts describing the good clients and the bad clients, and while I don’t wan’t to be just another of those, I wish to share a conversation I had not too long ago describing clients in terms of the characters from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. We’ve all experienced some, if not all, of these client types and the personality quirks we face when working as consultants across domains and project types.

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On Dropping the Adjective Before Design

Dan Willis, also known as @uxcrank on Twitter, gave the third keynote at Midwest UX in Columbus, Ohio (slides available here). Discussing how we artificially break down our profession, Dan encourages us to take the adjective before design in our title and drop it. During Q&A, Joe Sokohl (@mojoguzzi) challenges this direction, stating we need the adjectives. Joe points out that there are differences between fashion designers and web designers, architects and automobile designers, and we need the adjective to understand what type of work we do. Due to time, the conversation between Dan and Joe was limited. I leave my additional thoughts below.
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Researcher’s Serenity Prayer

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot test; the option to use qualitative or quantitative methods, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I originally posted an abridged twitter version found here. I meant it more as a joke but as with most jokes, they spark from truth. This came from a recent usability test I have been engaged with and the discussion ‘would our goals benefit more from AB Testing than qualitative research?’ In this particular case, we were asked to perform qualitative research. I am not naturally a fan of AB testing, and yet in this case I wholeheartedly agreed it was the more valuable method.
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Combinatory Explosion, or Why I Hate the Beer Distributor

I would not say I am a beer sommelier, though if given the opportunity I would certainly like to be one. I do however love good beer and can describe, to a lay person at least, the differences in flavors across a given selection. When I go out, I make it my purpose to order what I haven’t had before, preferably on draft. This makes my selection very easy. I typically drop off from possibilities all American Piss Beer and am left with choosing between three and five choices. If I like the beer I ordered, second round here I come. If not, I can always try something else.
This does not work at the beer distributor though. Enter Combinatorial Explosion. I don’t have the option of a draft over bottle. Choose a beer I don’t like and I am stuck with a case so I tend to stick more with what I know. Walk to the Porters, Lagers, and Stouts, and I have too many choices. Easily over a dozen options of each, I want something new or different but I don’t want to give up my tried and trues. Making a decision is tough. Each time I decide on one beer I feel like I am letting another down. Too many choices cause indecision and its difficult to know what to take. Finally deciding on one, I always feel a yearning for another option as I, in my mind, look back with a ‘next time’ feeling in my head.
Now there are two solutions for this. The first, and ridiculous of the two, is to only sell a few beers of each make. This is of course not economically viable. Instead, I suggest distributors limit the selection the same way they do with wine. Give me a ‘chef’s choice’, even if its just the preference of the guy unloading the truck. If this rotates monthly (more often at the distributor is not my problem) I can choose the showcased porter, lager or stout and my selection of over 30 (10 each) is now brought to three. I leave happy, the distributor is happy, an my mind has been duped to making a selection.

AT&T’s Poor, no innapropriate, billing design

This is a rant, plain and simple but Twitter’s 140 characters is not enough to explain this.

This is my AT&T plan:

450 anytime (A)

5000 nights and weekends (NW)

Free mobile to mobile on AT&T (M2M)

Now this is how they bill you:

Anytime: 6AM-9PM, Mon-Fri

Nights and Weekends: 9PM-6AM, Mon-Fri, All Saturday and Sunday

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