Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dear FontShop (and Adobe) your Usability Sucks

Dear FontShop

First your Adobe plugin does not work - at all - this is probably because of Adobe though and not you. They seem to have major problems with their extensions / add-on manager in Creative Cloud. I already complained to Adobe and am trying to work with them to resolve this. This is just an FYI. 

Second, your new website design is awful! You threw usability under the bus for??? For responsive design??? Who shops for fonts on their cell phone??? AGGG!
You didn't even need to update your site it was great a few years ago, I could search very quickly - now it takes me FOREVER to do a search

I used to be able to save or favorite a font very quickly - now I have to go through several clicks to save or favorite a font. Why can't I do this right off of search like I could before?

And I used to be able to preview fonts quickly and precisely - now I am still struggling trying to figure out how to preview fonts. 

In the past I would have been able to do all this on FontShop in an hour or so and this has literally taken me days. Days. And I'm on a deadline and it sucks. 

I am not happy. Can you PLEASE REVERT BACK to your old non-responsive website?

I don't expect you to do this, revert your site back, but PLEASE PLEASE PLASE fix these problems. I don't think I'll be able to purchase or even recommend FontShop to anyone in it's current state. And please don't get all hipster with your next redesign. Nevlle Brody was only awesome back in 1999

Thank you

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A User Experience Designer And Her New Phone

Happy New Years! One of my resolutions this year is to be more creative. And since it is now officially the New Year I thought, why not get off to a good start and write a post on the blog? I know, right? It's been too long.

Last year, 2015, my resolution was to save money. Nothing like buying a fixer upper to put that resolution at the top of your list every year! It came time for a phone upgrade but as I was in frugal-mode (still am, frankly) I waited, patiently for Black Friday to get me a deal.  I used to have an iPhone 5c. A sleek little number with a candy like green plastic shell. It served me well on commutes to and from DC. I would see other 5cs on the commute and smile at complete strangers. Like, "yeah, I see you and your cool affordable iPhone. You know it. I know it. We're in the club." Mostly these people just ignored me.

At last, Black Friday came, but the internet said there were no deals! How could that be? Maybe I had too much turkey? Saturday I get in my car and drive to the store, and in fact, there were deals. (By the way, bad UX Target.com). I waited a few hours, and asked myself,  "Self, am I really ready for this commitment?" I replied, "email, tax deduction, you need it." So I did! But when I got up in the line to buy a new phone, all they had left were iPhone 6s PLUSes. The big one. Which I didn't really want. "Two hundred and fifty dollar credit" I thought. It's the only size left, so I bought a big ole 6 plus.

This thing is so big I thought right away I could use it as a snowboard.  I kept the plastic on it for over a week thinking I might exchange it, when they had more inventory. Every time I'd whip it out of my pocket, I thought about how big it is. I dared not to put a cover on it lest it look even larger than it already is. I hate phone covers anyway. It's so big. On Metro I felt like I was wagging around a wad of $900 cash. Come rob me!  And then, after about a week, I used the camera the first time. And the clouds parted and the sun shown down. Or was that the gloriously large display shining my photos, just taken, right back in my face. Wow this camera is good, and this enormous screen is great for taking photos. I get it now. The plastic film was finally removed.

It's still big, but I'm getting used to it. I wonder if I like it so large? When I glance around, I see that my phone is larger than most other people's phone. I wonder if this is how SUV drivers feel. I can always downsize. It's just a phone. It's not a marriage. Size isn't everything.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I'm Federal Contracting

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I am a Federal Contractor. I have been contracting to the US Federal Government since the beginning of 2014. And its a good place to work, a lucrative place for tech and developers to be. And it's completely fucked up at the same time.

So here I am contracting for the blank-blank-blank. (I'm not allowed to tell you) It was a hard road just to get to this point. Just to do some strait forward (and much needed) usability work for - - - . If it's this difficult, to get hired as a senior user experience (usability) consultant then imagine how completely backwards all government websites will be for the foreseeable future!

I don't want to be negative. Yes this is a sarcastic blog post. There are a few silver linings in Government contracting. I'm actually kicking butt improving web software at the blank-blank-blank. I haven't been happier since when I worked at Kick.com. But overall it's a mess, and a grossly expensive taxpayer funded mess that needs to change. The good guys working here get shafted by bigger firms that know how to play the contracting game better. Taxpayers loose left and right. Businesses too. It's generally a loose-loose environment which I'd like to see improve.

I don't understand why Google doesn't have a big fat office right in downtown DC? It might actually lift the culture in Washington out of the Mad Men era.

So the next time you do your taxes or fill out a Government form (like jury duty) remember, good Customer Experience is not an accident. Good experiences are planned. Period. Seems like a good role for government would be to plan ahead and create good experiences for folks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

An Array of Solar Powered Desalination Stills

So in reading about the drought in California I was inspired to try to design some kind of solution. I guess I was frustrated after reading the plethora of news about the drought and seeing little to no solutions mentioned. Just NYTimes naggery and finger pointing and stuff about how California's agricultural industry simply does not manage water well. How California has never implemented drought measures that other parts of world has. And then, maybe it's because I'm a gardener and I recycle water that I actually see this drought problem easily solvable.

So here's my little Temple Grandin moment! An "array" of solar stills floating like enormous doughnuts on the sea.


It would make me really happy if some people in California would try this out. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Confliction and The Measels


Confliction - A sickness of conflict between on political idea and another.

The Measles Outbreak of 2015


We can't tell parents what to do with their own kids

But we want to tell parents what to do

But the Government has NO RIGHT to tell parents what to do

But we really really really just want to tell parents what to do

But we can't. It's not cool

OK but seriously, some other kids are at risk, and we should just make laws

NO, we can't tell parents what to do with their own kids. THAT is already law!

How about we trot out doctors and be really nice about telling parents what to do?

Yeah, but a lot of people understandably don't trust pharmaceutical corporations

OK let's use statistics, numbers! Let the data convince the parents!

BUT, the LAW says, we can not tell parents what to do with their own kids

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Where is My Ultra High Definition Digital Sound?

I keep reading about new technologies coming out and hearing about the wearbales innovation. Seems like Silicon Valley is trying very hard to break into some new markets, and they're pushing into some unfamiliar territory to get there. Yesterday I was reading about apps that will tell if the person you're speaking to on your smartphone, is lying. Yup. I suppose there's some benefits to technology like that but here's why it's being developed.... to sell you more stuff. It's more Big Brother  advertising crap.

What about just improving the good old stuff we know everybody loves and will buy? Where is my ultra high definition sound? Better than a CD, over the internet?

This seems like a multi-billion dollar challenge, that is technically and commercially obtainable. The data storage is there, the marketplaces are there, god knows the cloud is there, and the consumers are there - what's missing is the high definition sound! All that takes is some more technology, which, is already there!!

Better yet, this could revive artists and artistry. A group who have been dealt a bad hand in the internet revolution and don't make a dime from services like Spotify.

So let this be a call to somebody! Apple, Sony, Google, hell... Amazon. Some crazy software sound engineer in college! Sound me up.

I realize SACD exists, but I can't stream it on my laptop.