Assessing Usability is a Full Time Job

Everytime I look at something; a sign, a door, an appliance… I think about how it is used, how it can be misused, misunderstood or cause mishaps.

I give critical (and positive) feedback to everyone who asks and am constantly being asked my opinions about websites, applications, devices and consumer products.

I am happy to do so, and truly feel that I have found my calling. What concerns me is that I have a hard time “turning it off”.

When do I get to just enjoy the product or website?

I need to find a mecca of usability where I am not constantly bombarded by things that are not accessible, not annoying and not difficult.

I need to live in a place where things are perfect, where people have thought about all the possible ways I could totally screw their site up or slice my finger off with their plastic doohickey.

Where is that place? Who is designing this heaven? I will pay whatever it takes to get there and use those products, people!

Grill Tip: Flip Your Burgers More Often

While I highly recommend doing experiments in your own grill, I think the science being this research is reliable and interesting.

The skinny: Flip often and you’ll get a better burger in less time. Who can argue with that?

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Clockwise from top left: Autopsy of a well-cooked burger, evenness of cooking vs. # of flips, proper flipping technique.

A friend—who for some odd reason trusts my musical advice, or at least pretends to—asked me a question about the great Who number “Pinball Wizard” the other day, and as always happens when I think about that song, the best line got stuck in my head for a good three days. There’s something about the image of a kid who’s “got crazy flipping fingers” that’s just funny to me.

All this has nothing to do with burgers, other than the “crazy flipping” part. I posed a simple question on my Facebook page the other day: When cooking a burger, how many times do you flip it?

As you can imagine, the responses fell overwhelmingly into the “single flip” camp. It seems that so-called “nervous flipper”—you know, the backyard griller who, like a chimp at the Bronx Zoo, can’t seem to leave his meat alone—have a bad rap in the food world. Some commenters even went so far as to resort to ALL CAPS: “How can you even ask this question? ONE FLIP!”

Yikes!

Well, I’ve always been of the mind that if an answer exists—and clearly, there is an answer to this—then the question is worth asking. Fortunately, this question is one that’s fairly straightforward to test.

Those on the “one flip” side (22 out of every 23 people, according to my Facebook data), claim “more even cooking,” and “better flavor development,” as the selling points of the method. Curiously, the few people on the “multiple flips” side (which, incidentally, has some heavy-hitting supporters including Harold McGee himself) claim the exact same benefits from multiple flips, adding in “shortened cooking time” to the mix.

So who’s right? Continue reading

Examples of New HTML5 Features

People are already revisiting  and polishing up their HTML skills because of the exciting possibilities of  HTML5.

Here are some great examples originally posted on Webification.

The new HTML5 provides some interesting features that allow designers to enhance and boost their creativity. The new useful tags will replace many of typical div entries from code, the new canvas support allows you to create fantastic animations without using Flash, etc.

In this post I have collected 15 examples of what we can do with HTML5 and its potentials. Some of these examples work with the support of Javascript but they show how it’s easy to replace Flash with HTML5.

1. How we’ll create forms in HTML5

HTML5 contains new interesting input fields that enable us to perform our work and save much time. In this post we can study in deep the new input fields and all their features.

Link

2. Learning About HTML5 Local Storage

This video tutorial shows how to build a simple to-do list with local storage. HTML5′s local storage is a new functionality which we can save data in browsers even the browser is refreshed or closed.

Link

3. Wave motion

This experiment, made by Hakim el Hattab, makes a wave motion rendered using the canvas element. Each bubble holds a tweet with the word water in it. Clicking on them we can read the tweets.

Link

Continue reading

Apple Readies Verizon iPhone

While I have written several times about the iPhone being available on Verizon

( Verizon iPhone a ‘Done Deal’, Mobile Phone Next Steps, iPhone Available on Verizon )

Now that the article is in The Wall Street Journal, maybe people can finally believe its actually true! Continue reading