Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2010

Bad UX or Bad Advertising?

Have you ever had the situation where you can't tell if an annoyance on the part of some software is caused by bad user experience design or bad marketing decisions? Of course, we could make a case that all marketing decisions are, by definition, user experience decisions. Still, I am left to wonder today when I made the usual move to click on a webpage background to focus my browser and inadvertently clicked on an advertisement I was not interested in.

I clicked on the margin of the page, which is my usual habit:

What I didn't realize was that a simple scroll upward would have revealed this about the margin:

Oh, you sneaky sneaky Visual Studio 2010 ad!
So, which was it?

Someone Do This So I Don't Keep Wanting To

I'd like to say it is for lack of time, but the blame is equally (at least) on the shoulders of a lack of motivation. This is the blame for why all these little ideas never get made. Here are a few things I would love to do/make, but would even more so love for someone else to have already done. There are things I really want to build, because I am excited about building them. There are other things I really want to build, because I am excited about using them. For the second group, I'd just as soon find that someone else will, is, or already has built it.
Del.icio.us Bookmark Post Generator I'd like to collect and blog the links I find throughout the day, but I can't find a good non-manual way to do it. The method I blogged previously didn't really pan out, unfortunately. I want a web app that I can give my del.icou.us account and have link posts generated for me, with options.
Minimum and maximum links to include in a postMinimum and maximum time to pass between p…

Using Exploits To Improve User Experience: A Test Case

Many of us know about the neat trick you can do with the common blue/purple colors (without styling) of links, depending on which have been visited or not by the user. Obviously a UX plus to know what you've already seen, but we eventually realized this information could be exploited to learn all sorts of personal information about a user, simply by visiting one site that flooded the page with links to different places and inspected the colors. Recently, Mozilla announced the start of finally solving this problem.
This kind of makes me sad, and I'll tell you why. My first thought when reading the news was to come up with an idea to use this exploit for good. This is only "good" if you like wasting free time, which it has the potential to do.
Announcing, from PanTechnoCo, Always Always New: the link sharing service that only shows you new links.
Keep in mind, this isn't a product, but a toy. I just wanted to play around with the idea. You can post links and you can f…

An Introduction To Vagrant

I spent my Sunday afternoon familiarizing myself with a tool who's Getting Started page has been sitting in my Evernote tickle file for a couple weeks. This is one of those many projects that fall under the ever widening category of "Stuff I Wanted To Do, But Am Glad Someone Else Did It So I Can Just Use It And Get On To The Next Thing." If you use virtual machines as part of your development process, or want to, and especially if you already use the excellent VirtualBoxVirtualBox, then Vagrant is certainly worth looking at.

The Setup (for Vagrant 0.2)
Now, the docs might need some updating and they seem to assume you're already a Ruby user, so they're missing a few dependancies that such a person would just happen to alread have. This is what I did, as an Ubuntu user who didn't even have Ruby installed. I'm also adding Virtualbox's Karmic repository to provide VBox 3.1, which Vagrant requires.
sudo apt-get install rubygems libxslt-dev openssl-ruby
sudo g…