A quick thought for this fine Friday: Something about the term “Getting Things Done” always bugged me. Now I know what it is. It’s the passive voice. Instead of the indirect phrasing using the verb “to get”, maybe we really should simply say “Doing Things“. GTD isn’t about getting other people to do things — … Continue reading Doing Things vs. Getting Things Done
Al Gore and Iron Eyes Cody. Go check out the original TV ads: Canoe and Horseback Whenever I am about to do something wasteful, like throwing a plastic bottle in the trash or turning the air conditioner on when it’s 74 degrees, my wife says these words to me: “Think of Al Gore.” The phrase, … Continue reading Think of Al Gore. Don’t be a Dick.
The New York Times is ending their TimesSelect “service” as of tomorrow, September 19th. Despite my deep resentment of the whole TimesSelect idea in the first place, I applaud the Times’ decision to end it and to finally align themselves with the way the web’s culture of thought actually works. During the 2004 election cycle, … Continue reading TimesSelect is Dead. Times Op-Ed Columnists Become Relevant Again.
This book, “The Manual: How to Have a Number One Hit the Easy Way”, changed my life. It was written by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty (aka The Timelords, aka The KLF) back in 1988, hot on the heels of their doing precisely what the title says: producing a number one hit in the UK, a cheeky little song called Doctorin’ the Tardis. Before I go any further, if you are the person I lent this book to years ago, please return it to me!
In the responses to my previous proposal to use the second-person perspective in interaction design documentation and literature, Oleh Kovalchuke brought up an excellent concern: Using the word “you” in documentation can risk implying, if only subconsciously, that the reader — who is a developer, designer, etc — is the same person who will actually use the system.
This is just a reminder that, in Tron, the citizens of the computer system worshipped their users. And make no mistake, “users” was exactly what they called them.
There’s a huge debate going on in the UX community about the use of the word “user”. Some argue that the word demeans the people we are trying to help, that it distances us from them, and that it makes us unable to truly empathize with their wants and needs. Words like “people” and “humans” are suggested instead, reminding us that our users are, in fact, human beings just like us. But these arguments ultimately feel a little phony to me…
Lately I’ve been starting a great number of blog posts, saving them as drafts, and then leaving them, unfinished, in my blog’s drafts queue for weeks (and now months) until at some point I realize the post is either no longer inspiring to me or somehow irrelevant. For example, Khoi Vinh recently posted a great … Continue reading Worth Starting, Not Worth Finishing?
I suppose it’s as good a time as any to admit that I’m never going to read any Harry Potter books. I’ve got nothing against the series, actually. I’m sure they’re fine books and I’m glad so many kids, and many adults, enjoy reading them. It’s just that I can’t imagine actually sitting down to … Continue reading I’ll Never Read Harry Potter
A few months ago during an intermission at the 2007 IA Summit, Christina Wodtke and Bill Wetherell accosted me in the hallway of the Las Vegas Flamingo hotel. The next thing I knew, Christina was interviewing me for a new series of Boxes and Arrows podcasts. The 16-minute interview has just been published, and I’ve … Continue reading My First Podcast