Trippy Friday…

July 21, 2006

My buddy Randy-pants just sent me this link. If you need to liven up your Friday, give it a shot.


Meebo Usability and Money…

July 19, 2006

Looking for a $150?? Apparently, Yahoo is conducting some usability studies and is paying participants. The sign up form is here and the fine print (and discussion) can be found here. I just ran thru the form so we’ll see if I get selected.

Agile In A Box…

July 7, 2006

Ok, so you still need to know how to develop but Buildix is as close as you can get to a whole development setup in a box. Man, I love those guys at Thoughtworks.


July 7, 2006

Ian over at SecretGeek has a very interesting idea: multiformats. I’ve done this a few times myself and I do think that it would be a great idea but considering that Windows hides file extensions by default, I’m not sure how that would affect adoption. Granted, if you can’t figure out how to make the extensions show up, you have no business writing software but it may be something to consider.

Ajax Issues (Krugle)…

July 7, 2006

Ajax is a big buzzword right now and something that while extremely cool can also create usability issues and headaches for the users. I’m using Krugle as the example, not because they’re the worst offenders or even bad but simply because I’ve been using them quite a bit lately and am familiar with their interface.

Let’s start with the “in-browser” pop-ups (i.e. the login). While this is a slick way to present a form to a user without a page reload, it is not visible to the browsers for pre-populate from my username/password cache so I have to type in my own username and password. Yeah, I know I’m lazy but that’s the behavior that I’m used to and it really does save me time so why take it away??

Add to this the fact that there’s not any “Remember Me” type functionality to persist this info between sessions and what do you get?? I’m not going to be logged in 99% of the time. Any functionality that requires this will basically go unused and any tracking that they might want to do regarding my usage of the site become a much bigger effort. SIDENOTE: Actually, Krugle doesn’t even persist your login between page views so if you navigate to another site and then return later in the same session, you have to login again. *sigh*

Pretty much any Ajax type web application suffers when it comes to the back button. Things to mitigate these issues have been dealt with in depth elsewhere so I’m not going to go into it other than to mention it since it’s direction relevant to my last point.

My biggest issue is the JavaScript submit of searches. This is a HUGE problem. Since it’s not a new page, my back button doesn’t allow me to move between Krugle and another site and then return to Krugle’s search results. Big time pain. Also, this has so far thwarted my efforts in creating a Firefox plug-in for the search toolbar. While I don’t claim to be an expert in creating these plug-ins, I’ve not been able to find a way around this in order to make this happen and such a tool would easily double my usage of Krugle for my searching. Not a showstopper by any means but certainly a hindrance to the proliferation of Krugle as the code repository to search.

Like I said before, I don’t want anyone to think I’m down on Krugle – I’m not. I use them daily and they have been very responsive when I contact them about issues/suggestions. They’re doing a good thing!! I simply used them to point out some of the issues that using Ajax in your interface can create.