Posted in random

seth godin’s world-changing idea: tribes

Seth Godin is amazing – his view on marketing as making something remarkable that will attract people vs. shoving it down their throats is such a breath of fresh air in today’s mass marketing culture. I swear, if I see one more “loose 50 lbs in a day” or “Google pays me $1520.34 /month” ad, or if I see other “internet marketers” boasting about how they use their blogs to make thousands a month, I might well lose it. Continue reading “seth godin’s world-changing idea: tribes”

Posted in entrepreneurial, random, Vancouver

Trying to turn $5 to $5000 – watch us live in 30 minutes!!!!

Now here’s some hands on learning! We were given the challenge of turning $5 into as much money as possible at 11 AM this morning.

It’s currently 2:31 P.M.

My Team and I are planning to go to the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery and try to turn $5 to $5000 in two hours! (from 3pm – 5pm today!)

Check out our website @ http://www.5to5000.com

We’re using my iPhone 3gs to stream live with the qik app – Check our most recent video here:

Check out all our videos at:

http://qik.com/jon_chew

Our twitter feed is @ twitter.com/5to5000

By: Twitter Buttons

Help us spread the word as much as possible!

Posted in random

Firefox doesn’t like 111+ tabs – Anyone have a cure for tabulitis?

I’ve gone and done it again.

I made firefox crash.

a few days and 111 tabs later firefox and I couldn't keep our relationship from breaking
a few days and 111 tabs later firefox and I couldn't keep our relationship from breaking

111 tabs is quite a lot, I suppose. But that’s why I got a 15″ MBP with 4 Gb of memory!!!

I’m starting to try the firefox readitlater plugin – which connects well with the iPhone app, but it’s going to take me some getting used to.

Any suggestions?

Posted in random

TODO

– make this website look nicer
– connect with some other people who have similar visions and passions for clean, beautiful, and powerful user experiences
– reply to all the people i need to e-mail

Posted in random

Newspapers Are having an identity crisis

(fr my iPhone)

As I was browsing the Vancouver sun this morning, i saw a quick summary section.

This got me excited. How great to be able to see all the important stuff in one page without having to look for it?

Then I saw the online section below. One short sentence grabbed my attention.

“Nobel prize announced”

Now really what are they tying to get me to do? Go to vancouver sun online just to see what the Nobel prize in medicine is? Why not just google it, probably much faster!

Or even better why not just, hmmm , I don’t know,TELL ME, what the medicine was?!?! I’m still one of the faithful few who paid money to get your paper instead of getting my news online so why would you tell me to go online instead??

Sometimes I feel like users are the last ones considered in these decisions – I don’t have a problem with the sun encouraging me to check out their online site, nor do I have a problem withthem giving an inncentive (ie. A contest or something downloadable to your computer), but I do think it’s a problem to withold news, what I’m paying for, in order to get me online to see it.

It seems newspapers are realy having an identity crisis. Whenever there’s a decision being made, a good rule is to ask “how does this affect our users?”

photo4

Posted in random

A list of things google cannot find for me

The best place in Vancouver for night time tennis
The cheapest computer products in Vancouver
Which gas station is closet to my out-of-gas car (apparently “gas stations” and “gas” does not return petro Canada, esso or chevron because the word “gas” isn’t in there)

I’m seeing a pattern of location here. Maybe I’ll try google local and see what I get.

Pardon the brevity. Sent from my iPhone

Posted in design, random, user experience, Vancouver

When automatic washrooms backfire: a lesson in cost-externalization

The washroom was so small that the auto towel dispenser thought I wanted paper as I walked in. This paper caused the auto dryer to turn on for 5 seconds. This repeated itself as I watched in amusement.

A closer picture of the perpetual automatic dryer
A closer picture of the perpetual automatic dryer

One has to wonder why this was not thought of earlier in the design of the washroom. What makes it worse, was that the door opens half way only as it is blocked by the sink.

A picture of this "automatic" dryer and paper towel dispenser combination
A picture of this "automatic" dryer and paper towel dispenser combination

This happens in software projects all the time. It’s called cost externalizing and happens when companies don’t take into account the fact that their users have a hard time getting certain tasks done, or have a bad experience while doing it. To them, they think:

Who cares that it takes the user five clicks to get this action done, they can do it so we can check off that feature request.

This is a very dangerous way to design software, or anything that involves users, really.

Posted in random

You know my location!!!?!?!? THANK YOU MAGICJACK!!!

So I’m trying to get Google Voice working in Canada and I found a post which told me to use MagicJack.

What does any self-respecting, internet-plugged-in 23 year old do? check their website of course.

And here is what I’m met with:

Picture 11

From a purely design perspective, nothing overly spectacular. Same for user experience, except for one little thing I noticed. It told me, in a big bold banner that it would only take ONE day to ship to Vancouver.

Why am I pleasantly surprised by this?

First of all, I’m a fan of location-based experiences. Ever since location tracking on my iPhone it’s hard to go back physically typing my city and province into a website. Or, how many times have we gone to any of the major companies (Telus, Future Shop, Best Buy, are companies that painfully remind me of this every time i visit their sites) and had to click again and again and again, the first time we go, which country, city, or native tongue we speak.

The first obvious answer for a good “User Experience” is to do what Rogers has finally done, and remember what I clicked on last:

Picture 12

But of course, this involves cookies.

So I’ve always wondered, Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you just found out where my IP address was?

I mean, it didn’t seem that hard – http://www.ip2location.com seems to be able to know my approximate longitude and latitude, let alone my location and internet provider!!! (of course I deleted the exact IP Address and Latitue/Longitued for security reasons)

Picture 14-edted

Is it really THATTTT hard for a programmer to add that logic in? How many lines of code, like a couple?

  • get client’s IP address
  • plug it into ip2location
  • use that location

So, this is where MagicJack.com gets a high five from me! Not only did it find my location automatically, it also told me how long it would take to send their package to my location!!!

Now my only complaint is that the banner looks so much a part of their site (ie. static), that it would be hard for me to KNOW that it was dynamically and intelligently made just for me. Now, is that a user experience point or a design point? What do you think?