And continuing on that thought…

I was playing around with photos.live.com, added some photos… and clicked on the very nice large bolded “Upload” word twice before realizing that it was simply happy text, trying to guide me towards the upload button. Aghhh.

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Bad design is everywhere

I was trying to paypal some money to my sister a minute ago, and I sat at the payment page wondering what I’d done wrong. A one minute task suddenly took five minutes as I scratched my head and clicked around to see what I’d missed. Here’s what I saw – can you figure out…

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Joel Spolsky’s latest article

Is a nice read, covering a lot of interesting topics, some of the more meaningful points as I see them: The most valuable course he ever took was the one he dropped after one lecture. It was valuable because it convinced him he shouldn’t go to grad school for CS. I had a similar experience…

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What is the sense of simplicity?

A coworker recently forwarded around this article from the New Yorker that talks about feature creep and consumer behavior: You might think, then, that companies could avoid feature creep by just paying attention to what customers really want. But that’s where the trouble begins, because although consumers find overloaded gadgets unmanageable, they also find them…

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Words to live by: "Start with the little dragons"

As I stepped off the elevator this morning, a coworker shared those words with me. “When you’re slaying dragons, start with the little ones.” He tells his kids every morning that he’s off to slay some dragons. He likes to start with the little ones, because they don’t put up near the same fight as…

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Switching jobs within Microsoft

Gretchen blogged about this a while back and I thought I’d share my experiences, since I’ve done this a few times in a variety of ways: My seven year anniversary at Microsoft is this year, and in those 7 years I’ve had 5 jobs. That sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t involve many interviews…

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It’s live…

They made a bunch of updates to the “Meet people who work at Microsoft” page, and I’m on the latest update: http://members.microsoft.com/careers/mslife/meetpeople/. I like the way mine turned out, although I did do a lot of heavy editing as the first version they had from my interview made me sound like a bill-worshipper because on…

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A release manager’s bag of tricks

So, like I mentioned a while back, I’m now a professional bean counter[1]. And as a release manager, I need to find scalable ways of keeping track of the work that several hundred program managers, developers, testers and writers on the Exchange team are doing. The trick is that I can’t afford to get too…

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When you write code, you write bugs. Period.

Larry has a great post about the myth of zero defects. As a release manager (or rather, bean counter), the issues discussed there are part of my daily life. One interesting aspect of bug management that may not be immediately obvious has to do with automation. Years ago, product teams at Microsoft didn’t have much…

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