Thursday, July 31, 2003

Useless but OK  Well, although I know my role is still considerably diminished, I'm much more resigned and less angry. Thanks to the anonymous poster who reminded me not to whine so much. So I've toned it down. Depression is quieter, anyway.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Don't Mess with Me  I'm pissed off today.
Not your fault, but I'm still totally torqued. I spend hours researching something as detailed as whether a menu list should be alphabetical, geographic, or ordinal. I conclude that alphabetical is best, based on such sources as Stuart Card, Ben Schneiderman, and Karen Schriver, among others. I specify it so. My PM receives the info, though he doesn't concur (he feels it should be geographic, based on current practice and politics...organizing interaction around organizational charts, not usage models). He goes into our bosses office, He discusses with him. They agree on a result. They never ask me, they never inform me. They just do it.
Then, in a meeting today with the developers (a different internal org), I discover their decision. "Joe, you won't like this, but...."
So, bottom line, I'm pissed. Guess my irrelevance should work to my advantage—perhaps a policy of coming in late, leaving early, and taking long lunches will at least improve my quality of life.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Helpful Help  Often written help carries the reputation of being unhelpful. Here's a technique to creating more helpful error messages in your online, Web-based presence. If you can get the appropriate rights, you can edit the type of 404 and 401 messages users receive--the dreaded File Not Found and the unauthorized access messages. Thanks, Heiko!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Who Can Attend Conferences Anymore?  A note I sent to Molly:

Hi Molly,

we've never met but have mutual friends/acquaintances in Peter Merholz, Christina Wodtke, and some other IA/UX folks. I've been reading your blog with delight most days.

One question, though: how are you able to do all the travel that you do? That is, in this economy vis-a-vis our profession, how are you able to attend so many conferences and also do so much flying around? My curiosity is primarily professional. Having left Germany in December 01 and returned to the States, I've seen a marked downturn in corporate support of conference attending. In addition, despite what airlines would like us to believe, travel (especially internationally) continues to be expensive.

I miss it, actually. I miss the flying from Hamburg to Chicago to San Francisco to Seattle to Newark in order to test an information architecture. I miss the frequent travel from Hamburg to Munich and Innsbruck for projects. I miss the travel to Gotheburg and Stockholm....and I miss the international give and take with folks at the IA summits, STC (yes, even STC), CSCW, and other conferences.

So what's yer secret?

Anyone else have the same question?

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Ain't No Such Thing As Job Security  So today 51 positions were eliminated, 25 currently filled. That puts in jeopardy 25 mortgages. 25 credit ratings. 25 families. Maybe more than 25 children who won't go to college...or whose choice of college is severely limited.
Meet the new boss...