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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The drive behind features

You know how there’s a warning tag on hairdryers that says not to use it while showering? I’ve always figured that the reason for those stupid warnings is that someone somewhere did use it while showering, and then the relatives of the deceased then sued the hairdryer company who agreed to put warnings on their product…

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How to determine if your users are satisfied

Well, I’ll tell you one way to not do it, which is to measure against user expectations without any sort of normalization or attempt to figure out what those expectations are. Take for example this survey from a hotel I stayed at this past weekend: As it turns out, I was expecting quality… and I…

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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…


Motivations & assumptions

So last year, LisaB rolled out the “myMicrosoft” initiative, and over the last year the various improvements have been rolled out (I don’t even like coffee but man those machines make goooooood hot chocolate), including upgrades to many of our conference rooms. In these new conference rooms we got fancy new projectors (no more screwing…


Behind the scenes of software development

Saveen pointed me at these blogs about product development at Adobe. Pretty interesting reads, sounds a lot like things around here: How Adobe products are built How features are added to Illustrator The note at the end of the second one (“In reality, what it all comes down to is testing.”) really resonated with me….

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Best. Ship Gift. Ever.

It’s a tradition with most major product releases that there’s a ship gift for the product team and a select group of key partners involved in designing, developing, testing and shipping the product. Jon Avner recently blogged about past ship gifts for Exchange on EHLO.  For Exchange 2007 RTM, we got zunes. The best part?…

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Funny how things go…

A while ago, I mentioned that I am now the User Experience manager for Exchange, over the design & usability teams. One of the things my team does is run focus groups and usability studies, and we ran a focus group with eight IT pros/exchange admins in December to explore some of the areas we’re…

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In case you hadn’t heard yet…

We RTM’d last Friday. Awww yeah!   As some of us were discussing on friday, “RTM day” is really a unique milestone in the life of many microsoft employees. I’ve been here 9 years and shipped 5 products that were all on 2-3 year cycles, so such a day just doesn’t come around very often…

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This seems like a fear of commitment, but I swear it’s not…

As I hinted a few weeks ago, I’m changing jobs again. My last role change was over a year ago, that’s almost a record for me. My new job is being the UX Manager for the next release of Exchange. I will be leading a team of designers and researchers on the UX (User Experience)…

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