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Nutritious blog-nuggets below. Hope you enjoy!
Latest blog nuggets
The duty to be interesting
Some people have irritating ways of talking. They do that thing where their voice raises up at the end of every sentence. Others annoy us by speaking in monotone. They might do any number of these things. Allowing your voice to be irritating is lazy. If we are taking the trouble to say something to...
Feeling embarrassed by new tech
Some iPad doodlings My latest device is the iPad Pro. I have the Logitech Keyboard and, of course, a pencil. It feels like after 10 or so iterations, the iPad is finally more than just a toy. It’s a laptop alternative, and one that has the potential to help shape the future of work. In...
Why I like argumentative people
Some people are argumentative by nature. In a room full of agreeing people, they’re the ones looking for a way to disagree. Their default position is ‘no, it won’t work like that’. Their hat is black. I like these people! For a start, it is usually easy to know where you are with them. They...
Re-drawing the collaboration diagram
I’m sure you’ll have seen this diagram before. Classic Venn diagram showing the mixture of technical (feasibility), business (viability) and user interests (desirability) It shows the balance of interests required for great design. Without this balance we’re in for trouble: Skewing too much towards… …might yield screens that… Technical interests look like the database Business...
Re-reading Frank Chimero’s excellent article, The Web’s Grain, I was struck by this simple point he makes: "...the less you have to do, the less say you have" A simple view of this could see us equating quite a few different things: more convenience = less stuff to do as a user = less control...
How to handle disagreements
I had an disagreement with a colleague the other day. It started quietly… **Me**: "What happened to the <design element I liked>?" **Colleague**: "Oh, we lost that. That came out." **Me**: "Really. Why?" **Colleague**: "It was causing confusion, the users we've been talking to preferred something simpler" I had delegated this last round of research...
Worrying about the wrong things
I’ve been sleeping terribly over the last month or so. Waking up in the middle of the night thinking about ridiculously unimportant things. Right now, these are detailed project related things. Stuff I should really have a note-book for – and leave at work. In this knowledge economy, we’re paid to have problems mull around...
Designing modal interactions
For me, a ‘modal interaction’ is one that facilities a single, focused type of interplay between human and computer. It’s a moment where you’re doing just one thing, without any distraction. As soon as you use the word ‘modal’, you might start thinking of ‘modal dialogues’ or ‘modal windows’ – which ask the user a...
Mediocrity – and how it happens
Too often we give up fighting for the best possible outcomes. The odds are impossibly stacked against us. Someone or some system of people are in our way – and we learn to pick our battles. Worse than that – we learn how not to fight. Sadly, this all might start in school, where you...
Beating the advice monster
A few years ago a colleague of mine gave me this great piece of advise for workshop facilitation: "Never hold the pen" He meant, that I should try whenever possible to have participants be the ones who are writing things on the white board or on post-its. The temptation to give shape to other people’s...