Simple Technology

Note: This has been sitting around in my drafts for ages, I consider it unfinished but that’s never stopped me from posting something before… A while ago Adrian mused (lusted?) over Apple TV sets and in the comment to that post, he rightly states that “Technology should serve it’s purpose and technology should be as simple as it can be without breaking it’s purpose.” Now, before I go any further I will confirm that what Adrian was really saying was that “Technology should serve it’s purpose and technology should be as USABLE as it can be without breaking it’s purpose.” Which is very different from “technology should be simple”. After all, it takes a long time for technology to evolve …

Continue reading »

Sentenc.es

Fighting email overload with Sentenc.es. “… with email, often times the sender will ask two or three open-ended one sentence questions which elicit multi-paragraph answers. In these cases, the sender spends one minute and the receiver is asked, implicitly, to spend maybe an hour.”

Continue reading »

User-focussed Design Works!

Proof, if more proof were needed that keeping the user in mind when designing a product, document or website really does work. Renewing a support contract with a client, I was asking them if the website had been beneficial and if there was anything about it that had worked well. The response wasn’t quite what I’d expected, so I can’t take full credit for this, but it’s worth bearing in mind. Amongst various comments, one stuck out: “… and a lot of people have commented on the fact the photos aren’t ‘glossed up’, you get a real sense of the workmanship that way” For example, if you look at this photo page you can see that the photos used were …

Continue reading »

Find a blog

Right you lot, let’s shake some of those summer holiday cobwebs out of our systems! Yes, I think it’s about time we all put a little more effort into our blogs, and spent less time faffing about in real life doing interesting things. I don’t want to hear about your holiday, I don’t want to hear about the FABulous paahtayy you attended with Jemima and Erimintrude, nor do I care to read about the latest installment in your ongoing battle with the moss in your front lawn. This is blogging people, and I ask, nay demand! more from you all!! (Ed: ohh hark at him, who does he think he is??) Ohh alright. But if you DO get a moment, …

Continue reading »

Weekender

Friday night. Games night at work, with a Wiimbledon tournament running on one wall (using the overhead projector) and a Pro Evolution Soccer tournament running on one of the small LCD tvs.. a third TV had an XBox hooked up for various games, and a second Wii was chopping and changing another set of games. Chaos. And pizza. My thumb still hurts. Saturday and we picked up some friends and headed to Strathaven for a BBQ. The weather held, surprisingly, and we all ate too much. For a change I didn’t have that much to drink, with the onset of a migraine lurking. Which wiped me out for most of Sunday. Bloody things. Still, we did make it through to …

Continue reading »

My Mother is an idiot

First things first, she’s not really, but I’ll get to that… This is a post in two parts although it wasn’t planned that way. Considering the title of this post (which was hard to type, believe me) I thought it prudent to pre-warn Mumsy less the shock prove to much and send her to the drinks cabinet. Rumour has it that world gin supplies are low so I sent her a draft copy just to be on the safe side. Plus I knew if I posted it without consultation she’d just hang about in the comments making corrections. Originally I had planned to re-write the draft with corrections but instead I’ve cut down my original bit, and left her reply …

Continue reading »

Content Audits

The basic premise behind auditing your content is to better understand both the structure and the content itself. Conceptually the idea seems simple enough, but in reality performing a content audit can be fairly boring. However, whether you are conducting the audit as part of a single source conversion project, or if you have recently inherited a large documentation set, I’d suggest that it is an excellent way to gain an understanding of what already exists and, with little guesswork on your part, start to understand what may be missing. Content Audits are usually one of the early tasks undertaken by a team moving towards a single source publishing model but they can also provide a clear indicator about whether …

Continue reading »