Love in the time of software-a

I have been using two pieces of software a lot lately: the zune client, and Win7. And today I found myself having two very different but still highly emotional reactions to both pieces of software. One was like an instant huge crush-on-first-sight, the other was like a slow-burning love affair that grows over time. The…

2

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.

0

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…

1

How to make better software for users? Here’s to so-called "soft" skills and fewer jerks.

I had a discussion with someone today who said something like “It’s amazing how much of the process of software development isn’t about software, it’s just about communication and cross-group collaboration”. My response was that “Actually that’s not amazing to me – what’s amazing to me is how many people don’t realize that’s what it comes…

2

User behavior will *always* (eventually) trump technology

The Seattle PI recently posted about recent changes in the numbers of unique visitors for the major email services such as hotmail, yahoo, gmail, QQ, etc. According to that data, hotmail lost some users. From the first comment: I can’t say I’m surprised. I have email accounts with hotmail, yahoo and google. Hotmail is the…

4

Strange things that happen to your email when you work on email software

Raymond’s recent blog on strange things that happen when you let people choose their own name (part 3) reminded me to check if my favorite old email address, kclemson5 AT exchange.microsoft.com was still working: yep, still there. As to the history of why I can be reached via that email address, it goes back to…

8

Human nature and email attachment security

Dare’s post about human nature touches on UAC in Vista: How do you design a dialog prompt to warn users about the potential risk of an action they are about to take if they are so intent on clicking OK and getting the job done that they forget that there was even a warning dialog…

2

Application scalability

Dare has some good points on the debate around the scalability of twitter, relating it to some similar challenges Exchange has faced over the years. Another related issue is that in a single-instance model where you have a pointer to the content, this increases the number of read I/Os necessary to retrieve data – which…

2

Now *that’s* a user scenario…

Try this. Open up word, make sure automatic spellchecking is on, and type in the names of some star wars characters:       I love it. They’re in the dictionary… except, for some reason, for Leia. For the ones it does know, it even capitalizes the first letter for you if you type it…

1

Waiting for my kindle…

I ordered it a few weeks ago, but they’re behind on production, so it took until yesterday to ship (and supposedly is arriving today – hurrah for online up-to-the-minute package tracking!). At first, I was cynical and gave a lot of weight to the negative reviews of the Kindle… DRM, usability problems with handling the…

4